The place to be for football fans
There’s just over 500 days to go till the biggest event in the footballing calendar – the FIFA World Cup 2018.
Hosted by Russia, it’s a great opportunity to showcase the very best of what the country has to offer, not just football fans, but visitors and business people around the world.
Eleven different cities will be hosting the event. Here’s the list in full…
Moscow: What can we say that hasn’t already been said about Mighty Moscow? The Kremlin, Red Square, Lenin’s Mausoleum … they’re all internationally famous landmarks in Russia’s fascinating capital. Add in the Bolshoi Theatre, the Lyubyanka (headquarters of the feared KGB from Soviet times), its many parks and estates, literary, musical and cultural heritage, and it’s obvious that Moscow is one of those places you really must try to visit at least once in your lifetime. Even the Metro system is a tourist attraction in itself!
St Petersburg: Often referred to as the Venice of the North, this ‘open-air museum’ is one of Russia’s most picturesque cities. Again, literary and cultural associations abound, with the Winter Palace housing one of the world’s very best museums – the Hermitage – and also historically famous as the site at the centre of the 1917 October Revolution which marked the beginning of the Soviet era.
Kazan: A mix of Muslim minarets and Orthodox monasteries, ancient archaeological sites and the science city of Innopolis, forest steppes, taiga and the Great Silk Road. With its own impressive Kremlin and old Tatar neighbourhood, it’s no surprise that this third capital of Russia extends a warm welcome to a million guests each year.
Sochi: Host city to the Winter Olympics 2014, Russia’s principal resort is a delightful mix of Black Sea beaches and towering mountains, just a short train ride away. And thanks to its Olympic legacy, the city’s infrastructure is second to none, offering great transport links and a wide range of accommodation.
Kaliningrad: A dynamically developing commercial and industrial centre of the most western Russian region, yet steeped in centuries-old heritage, Kaliningrad attracts visitors from all over the world. The wider Kaliningrad Region is known for its well-developed cultural, health and ecological tourism.
Saransk: Located in the Volga basin about 390 miles east of Moscow, Saransk is the capital of the Republic of Mordovia. It’s one of the most beautiful cities in Russia, and world-famous for its sporting achievements. It combines historic buildings, fascinating sports venues, crowded malls and relaxing parks.
Nizhny Novgorod: Until just a quarter of a century ago, you wouldn’t find the city on any tourist maps. Between 1959 and 1990, Nizhny – then called Gorky – was the Soviet Union’s largest closed city. Today, this old Russian merchant town is proud of its timber planking and carved window frames that survived the onslaught of modern architecture.
Volgograd: At the beginning of the twentieth century, it was called Tsaritsyn, a backwater town on the banks of the Volga River. Then it became Stalingrad – the fortress that played a pivotal role in World War II – and was later renamed Volgograd, which today is a sunny and hospitable city whose residents love fishing, football, boat rides and beaches.
Rostov-on-Don: Home to the Don Cossacks, famous for its delectable fish and all the traditions of a large trading port, Rostov-on-Don is a great place to get a taste of the Russian south.
Ekaterinburg: Named by UNESCO as one of the world’s twelve ideal cities, this title perfectly suits the capital of Ural, a territory full of natural treasures from oil and gas to gold mines and Europe’s largest emerald deposit. It stands almost on the border between Europe and Asia – a fact that’s reflected in its history, culture and architecture.
Samara: This merchant town and important aerospace centre was described back in 1916 by Boris Pasternak, Russian poet, novelist and future Nobel Prize laureate, as ‘the best, the most sinful, most elegant and most comfortable part of Moscow, cut out from the city and transplanted on the banks of the Volga’.
It’s difficult to book tickets for th e World Cup far in advance because you never know whether your team will make it through to the next round. But whatever your requirements, we’re here to help. For all your Russia 2018 travel and accommodation requirements, there’s only one place to go – RNTO!