Your survival Guide to FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia

Where and when matches will be played and where to sleep lowcost in the 11 Russian cities hosting the event.

Every 4 years the whole world stops to watch the most anticipated sport event ever: the FIFA World Cup! This 2018 edition will be held in Russia and, for sure, it will be compelling, exciting and fun!

In this article we will present all the cities hosting the tournament and for each city we will give you some tips and tricks on what to see and where to sleep...so if you are a huge football fan you can combine your sporting passion with a nice holiday in Russia...and get two birds with one stone!

Let's start with a quick look at some basic information!

Qualified teams: 32 (Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, France, Spain, Peru, Switzerland, England, Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Croatia, Denmark, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Iran, Serbia, Nigeria, Australia, Japan, Morocco, Panama, South Korea and Saudi Arabia).

Groups: 8

Group stage: from 14th to 28th of June

Knockout stage: from 30th June to 15th July

 

WHERE WILL THE MATCHES BE PLAYED?

Let's meet all the 11 Russian cities that will host the 2018 Fifa World Cup!

 

1) KALININGRAD

Matches in Kaliningrad

WHY VISIT KALININGRAD? The city is located in a Russian enclave on the Baltic Sea, between Poland and Lithuania. Enjoy beautiful walks along the city promenade and visit its  old picturesque fishing village. One curiosity about the city: the the famous philosopher Immanuel Kant is buried here.

STADIUM: Arena Baltika Kaliningrad Stadium

CAPACITY: about 35.000 people

MATCHES DATES: June 16th (Croatia - Nigeria), June 22nd (Serbia - Switzerland), June 25th (Spain - Morocco), June 28th (England - Belgium)

WHERE TO SLEEP IN KALININGRAD? Hostel Suffix is a design hostel with affordable prices and many excellent services.

 

2) SAINT PETERSBURG

Saint Petersburg

WHY VISIT SAINT PETERSBURG? The second biggest Russian city does not only has a long history behind it (established in 1703), but it has an enormous charm and a timeless elegance. It is also considered as the most "European" city in Russia with many cultural attractions not to be missed (one in particular is  the Hermitage Museum with its huge art collection). The Nevsky Prospekt, the avenue that crosses the city from east to west, is also very famous and a part of city visitors should definitely see.

STADIUM: Krestovsky Stadium

CAPACITY: about 68.000 people

MATCHES DATES: June 15th (Morocco - Iran), June 19th (Russia - Egypt), June 22nd (Brazil - Costa Rica), June 26th (Nigeria - Argentina), July 3rd (round of 16), July 10th (semi-final), July 14th (3rd place play off)

WHERE TO SLEEP IN SAINT PETERSBURG? Hostel Cinema is located in a historic 19th century building in the heart of St. Petersburg. It has a very original design with decorative elements that pay homage to the world of cinema.

 

3) NIZHNY NOVGOROD

Nizhny Novgorod

WHY VISIT NIZHNY NOVGOROD? For sure this is not a city heavily reached by tourism, despite being the fifth most populous in Russia, but it's definitely worth a visit. Take a stroll through Rozhdestvenskaya Ulitsa, the city's elegant main street full of amazing shops and curious life-size statues. There you can also find the Church of the Nativity of Stroganov, a fantastic example of Russian Baroque style. Do not miss a cruise on the Volga River as well as a visit to the immense city Kremlin, very rich in important monuments.

STADIUM: Nizhny Novgorod Stadium

CAPACITY: about 45.000 people

MATCHES DATES: June 18 (Sweden - South Korea), June 21 (Argentina - Croatia), June 24 (England - Panama), June 27 (Switzerland - Costa Rica), July 1 (round of 16), July 6 (quarter-finals)

WHERE TO SLEEP IN NIZHNY NOVGOROD? Smile Hostel is located in a quiet pedestrian street in the city center and it features modern and colorful interiors. There is also a super-equipped kitchen where guests can cook something tasty.

 

4) KAZAN

Kazan

WHY VISIT KAZAN? The capital of Tatarstan has an ancient history and a rich architecture. It is definitely worth getting up early to enjoy the sunrise show on the Kremliovskaya riverside and spend at least half a day visiting the beautiful medieval Kremlin! And do not forget to taste a chak-chak, the traditional tartar sweet made with pasta and honey!

STADIUM: Kazan Arena

CAPACITY: about 45.000 people

MATCHES DATES: June 16 (France - Australia), June 20 (Iran - Spain), June 24 (Poland - Colombia), June 27 (South Korea - Germany), June 30 (round of 16), July 6 (quarter-finals)

WHERE TO STAY IN KAZAN? Aurora Hostel Kazan is a "no frill" hostel where you'll feel like at home, thanks to its very welcoming staff.

 

5) YEKATERINBURG

Yekaterinburg

WHY VISIT EKATERINBURG? It is the capital of the Urals and is the only city in the world to rise in between two continents: at the 17th kilometer of Moskovsky Trakt there's a stele that symbolizes the border between Europe and Asia. We recommend a relaxing break at the huge Volchikhinskoe water basin (also known as the Sverdlovsk Sea by locals) and don't miss a visit to the Prehistoric Collection of the Regional History Museum of Sverdlovsk Oblast where you can admire the idol of Šigir, the oldest wooden sculpture in the world (it dates back to the Mesolithic period, around 9.000 BC).

STADIUM: Central Stadium

CAPACITY: about 35.000 people

MATCHES DATES: June 15th (Egypt - Uruguay), June 21st (France - Peru), June 24th (Japan - Senegal), June 27th (Mexico - Sweden)

WHERE TO SLEEP IN EKATERINBURG? Jazzz Hostel is a clean female-only hostel with a nice kitchen perfect for cooking a great meal together with other guests.

 

6) SARANSK

Saransk

WHY VISIT SARANSK? Capital of Mordovia, Saransk is a beautiful city with many museums and churches worth visiting: we particulary want to point out the Museum of Russian Military History (where ample space is given to the events of the Second World War) and the glitzy Cathedral of St. Fyodor Ushakov. We suggest you also take some time to enjoy the enchanting atmosphere of Pushkin Park. A curiosity: the famous French actor Gerard Depardieu, who once acquired the Russian citizenship, has chosen Saransk as his city of residence and here he restructured a cinema and founded a cultural center named after himself.

STADIUM: Mordovia Arena

CAPACITY: about 45.000 people

MATCHES DATES: June 16th (Peru - Denmark), June 19th (Colombia - Japan), June 25th (Iran - Portugal), June 28th (Panama - Tunisia)

 

7) SAMARA

Samara

WHY VISIT SAMARA? It is a young and dynamic city hosting two important musical events every year, the Grushin Festival and the "Rock on the Volga". Take a leisurely stroll through the Strukovsky Garden and then head for the underground Stalin Bunker ("hidden" nearby). And do not forget to visit the old Samara brewery, where Zhigulevskoe (the most popular beer in Soviet times) was produced.

STADIUM: Cosmos Arena

CAPACITY: about 45.000 people

MATCHES DATES: June 17th (Costa Rica - Serbia), June 21st (Denmark - Australia), June 25th (Uruguay - Russia), June 28th (Senegal - Colombia), July 2nd (round of 16), July 7th (quarter-finals)

WHERE TO SLEEP IN SAMARA? Nice Hostel Samara offers cheap accommodation and is located in the first suburbs to the north of the city. Run by a young and friendly staff who will advise you on best things to do and see in Samara.

 

8) VOLGOGRAD

Volgograd

WHY VISIT VOLGOGRAD? City's top attraction is definitely the 52-meter-high statue of Mother Russia: it is a grandiose allegory of the Russian homeland, erected in 1967 to celebrate the heroes of the battle of Stalingrad (ancient name of the city). The city was deeply marked by the war and several points of interest prove it: visit the remains of the old mill (the only surviving building after the war), the panoramic museum (which celebrates the victory over the German troops of the Wehrmacht) and finally the Alley of the Heroes (pedestrian street that runs along the Volga river and ends with an obelisk bearing the names of 127 fallen in the Great Battle).

STADIUM: Volgograd Arena

CAPACITY: about 45.000 people

MATCHES DATES: June 18th (Tunisia - England), June 22nd (Nigeria - Iceland), June 25th (Saudi Arabia - Egypt), June 28th (Japan - Poland)

 

9) ROSTOV ON DON

Rostov on Don

WHY VISIT ROSTOV ON DON? In 1979, all the subways of the city center were adorned with immense and colorful ceramic wall decorations (second only to those of the old metro stations in Moscow). Another attraction not to be missed is the ancient Paramonov warehouses on the banks of the river Don: this building, now in ruins, stands near a hot spring (around 9° degrees in any season of the year) that once guaranteed an ideal microclimate for the conservation of cereals, now flowing into an incredible "pool" contained within red brick walls (in winter it never freezes).

STADIUM: Rostov Arena

CAPACITY: about 45.000 people

MATCHES DATES: June 17 (Brazil - Switzerland), June 20 (Uruguay - Saudi Arabia), June 23 (South Korea - Mexico), June 26 (Iceland - Croatia), July 2 (round of 16)

 

10) SOCHI

Sochi

WHY VISIT SOCHI? Also known as "The Pearl on the Black Sea" and is famous for its strategic position that makes it a seaside destination during summer and a destination for skiing in winter (with peaks that exceed the 2000 meters). City has experienced a great development after recently hosting the Winter Olympics and it's a pleasant center for beautiful walks along the avenues of the Riviera Park (the largest park in the city). Do not miss a visit to the Dendrarium (a huge botanical garden with a sea view) and be sure to try a typical Russian "banya" (a sort of steam-based purifying sauna).

STADIUM: Fisht Olympic Stadium

CAPACITY: about 48.000 people

MATCHES DATES: June 15th (Portugal - Spain), June 18th (Belgium - Panama), June 23rd (Germany - Sweden), June 26th (Australia - Peru), June 30th (round of 16), July 7th (quarter-finals)

WHERE TO SLEEP IN SOCHI? the Sunkiss Hostel is a modern hostel located in the new Olympic area of ​​Adler. Very clean and greatly furnished with a super-equipped kitchen for guests.

 

11) MOSCOW

The final match will be obviously played in Moscow

WHY VISIT MOSCOW? The final match will be obviously played here. We will not dwell on what to see in this city because there would be stuff to write another 10 articles! The immense Red Square, the Kremlin, the beautiful underground and the iconic Cathedral of Saint Basil are just some of the thousand things to do and see in this amazing city, so dive into this metropolis without brakes and enjoy it in all of its wonder!

STADIUM N. 1: Otkritie Arena (Spartak Stadium)

CAPACITY: about 45.000 people

MATCHES DATES: June 16th (Argentina - Iceland), June 19th (Poland - Senegal), June 23rd (Belgium - Tunisia), June 27th (Serbia - Brazil), July 3rd (eighth)

STADIUM N. 2: Luzhniki Stadium

CAPACITY: about 81.000 people

MATCHES DATES: June 14th (Russia - Saudi Arabia), June 17th (Germany - Mexico), June 20th (Portugal - Morocco), June 26th (Denmark - France), July 1st (round of 16), July 11th (semi-final), July 15th (final)

WHERE TO SLEEP IN MOSCOW? Hostel Rus - Ysadba is located a few steps from the Marksistskaya metro station and is housed in an elegant Russian-style building. It has both private rooms and shared dormitory beds.

 

Our guide to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia ends here...may the best win and may your hostel in Russia be as lowcost as possible! Find your ideal hostel starting from here: