Russia, the largest country in the world – spawning two continents – offers visitors an extraordinary experience unlike anywhere else. If the exceptional landscapes have inspired poets and authors for centuries, it’s the labriynth of diverse cultures and world-famous cities that will surprise and delight today.
Whatever your conceptions of Russia are- forget them… you are going to be very pleasantly surprised by warmth of the locals, its modern infrastructure and its cultural diversity.
11 cities are hosting games during Russia 2018, each with their own highlights, culture and customs.
Moscow is the epicenter of the World Cup with its 2 stadiums hosting the Opening Game, the Final and a range of group and knockout matches. St Petersburg offers unbelievable cultural and historical experiences- it is undeniably Russian, but could easily be mistaken for somewhere in Western Europe.
Other cities include Sochi (host of the 2014 Winter Olympics) Kazan, Samara and the fascinating Kaliningrad, which is a Russian exclave between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic Sea. We will profile all of Australia’s group stage host cities and stadiums following the Final Draw.
English & Local Population
We’ve travelled to Russia on 4 occasions to prepare for our World Cup tours and have found Russian people to be very friendly and welcoming. However, one of the key challenges fans will encounter is a lack of English proficiency. Only around 3% of the population can speak English, and proficiency is even less outside of the major cities of Moscow and St Petersburg.
The Cyrillic alphabet also makes it difficult to communicate directions with taxi drivers and the like as they won’t understand locations written in English.
Our tours include all ground transportation and we will also have Australian and local bi-lingual hosts to assist you throughout, so you can concentrate on having the time of your life and not trying to communicate where you want to go!
Russia’s inhabitants are as diverse as their country. Approximately 143 million people live in Russia – the ninth-highest population in the world – representing more than 140 nationalities who speak over 100 languages. This giant of a nation houses a kaleidoscope of beliefs, customs and legacies. Around 80 per cent of Russia’s population resides in the European segment.
Football is the most popular sport in Russia. The sport is universally loved and enthusiastically played year-round – in spite of the harsh winter weather – by the Russian people.
The quality of domestic football is soaring, as is the performance of the Russian national and club teams. Clubs such as CSKA Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg (2005 and 2008 UEFA Cup winners respectively), Lokomotiv Moscow, Spartak Moscow and Rubin Kazan have risen to prominence through their success at continental level, while Russia’s national team reached the semi-finals at EURO 2008 – led by “our” Guus Hiddink.