Now that the summer Olympics have ended, the world is looking forward to the 2018 World Cup (football world championship) that will be held in Russia. Whether you are planning to watch a live match or you’re following in television, you be immersed in the world of these 11 Russian host cities.
Read this guide to learn about the cities and what you can expect for the 2018 World Cup. Check out as well Russianblogger.me for the information about the 2018 FIFA World Cup tickets.
World Cup 2018 Russia host cities map
The capital of the Russian Federation is an obvious host-city choice. Not only is it a center of arts, history, and culture, but it is also a center of sports and athleticism. Luzhniki Stadium is the crown jewel of Moscow’s athletic culture and the main building for the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament. The stadium is part of the 1980 Olympic sports facilities, and since its opening it has been used for a number of important sporting events. Visitors to the Luzhniki Stadium and the World Cup matches held there are in for a treat as they experience the city of Moscow. Innumerable museums, theaters, and tours await the traveler who seeks to learn and play in Moscow.
2. St. Petersburg
Those traveling to the new World Cup stadium in St. Petersburg will find themselves in a futuristic structure in the midst of historic buildings. Because the city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Krestovsky Stadium was not built in the heart of the city, but rather an island just beyond its banks. Travelers to St. Petersburg can engage themselves in Russian culture by experiencing famous opera singers, touring the old buildings, or visit the State Russian Museum to view artwork.
The Kalingrad World Cup stadium is most conveniently located for fans from Western Europe. Kalingrad is a Russian city in Kalingrad Oblast, which is a region located between Poland and Lithuania. The region was formerly owned by Germany, when it was known as Konigsburg. Germany’s fingerprints can still be seen all over the region, but in the end, it is distinctly culturally and legally Russian. Visitors to the city can enjoy experiencing Russian culture, but also have the opportunity to see authentic and reconstructed Medieval German buildings.
Kazan is the third most visited city in Russia, after Moscow and St. Petersburg. The most interesting place to visit in Kazan is the Kazan Kremlin, a city within the city, which houses museums and other major cultural centers. The Kazan Kremlin is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city also has many beautiful cathedrals and mosques to tour, which are indicative of both a Christian and a Muslim culture within the city. The Tartar culture, responsible for the Muslim elements, is an interesting subject to study, and there is no better place to learn about it than Kazan.
5. Nizhny Novgorod
In 2015, three years before the date of the World Cup, Nizhny Novgorod began construction on their new stadium, built specially for the event. The waterfront stadium will hold nearly 50,000, and with that number of spectators comes the promise of a tourism spike for the city. Fortunately, the city is fully prepared to entertain tourists, and work on its greatest attractions began and ended centuries ago. The city itself is about 800 years old, and many of its most famous buildings were built three to four hundred years ago. Fans of the World Cup can join the throngs of visitors to see these buildings, along with the art galleries, museums, and cultural centers in Nizhny Novgorod.
The city of Rostov-on-Don was founded as a trading town because of its strategic location on the Don River. The construction of its World Cup stadium will expand the city center southward; currently, the city lies on the north bank of the river, but the establishment of the stadium on the south side will initiate further construction this direction. However, in 2018, World Cup spectators will still have to travel across the river to experience Rostov-on-Don’s museums, art galleries, and theaters.
The Volga River has long been the source of Samara’s draw. The beauty of the city is what first attracts residents and tourists, but it is the city’s diverse cultural, economic, and positional opportunities that cause them to stay. Sports fans visiting in 2018 will find much more than just World Cup matches to entertain them; the city is first and foremost a performance arts center. Theater performances are more than available to all who would like to enjoy an artistic hour or two.
Saransk is the largest city in the Republic of Mordovia and is also its capital. The city is smaller than many of the other cities hosting the World Cup, but it is still world visiting. The history of Saransk is visible in its architecture and art. Although a relatively young Russian city at just under 400 years old, the city has been through much during its lifespan. It was founded as a fortress and later grew into a city. Under communist rule, it was a closed city, opening after the fall of the Soviet empire and shrinking somewhat in population as its citizens moved to nearby Moscow and other areas. Today, it is still a thriving metropolis and a center for manufacturing.
Sports enthusiasts and casual spectators alike will recognize the name and landscape of Sochi, the city that hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics. The same stadium used in that Olympic Games will host the 2018 World Cup in Sochi. Fisht stadium is beautiful, strategically designed to display all of the region’s natural beauty. The stadium opens to the water on one side and the mountains on the other. If you’re looking for a game with a view, this is the stadium to choose.
Volgograd’s claim to fame is the historic WWII Battle of Stalingrad, christened after Volgograd’s former name. The city contains “The Motherland Calls” statue and an exhibit in the Panorama Museum dedicated to the battle. Seventy years later, the town will be the site of a different kind of battle, albeit a less bloody one—the battle for a World Cup title.
Yekaterinburg is the fourth-largest Russian city, and it is located exactly on the European/ Asian border. It is a center for both European and Asian culture, boasting dozens of museums, theaters, and cultural activities. Visitors to the World Cup in Yekaterinburg will not be short on enjoyment and entertainment.