Hi there, today I have some exciting news to share with you. If you’re following me on Instagram, you already know that I am visiting some off-the-beaten-path cities in Russia. But starting Monday 4th September, I will be visiting some of the Russia World Cup host cities.

You may not know, but I travel to Russia around three times a year. But this trip is part of a personal project called #AlternativeRussia. Have you been to Russia, or do you know anyone who’s been there? If so, it’s very likely that you (or your friends) only visited Moscow and St Petersburg. Even though these are world-class cities with a lot to offer, there’s much more to Russia than these two places. Most of the Fifa 2018 host cities are quite unknown to the general public and I will be showing you why they’re worth visiting before, during and after the World Cup 2018.

Russia World Cup Host Cities Sochi

Sochi is one of the better known of The Russia World Cup host cities (Photo: Pixabay)

What Are the Russia World Cup Host Cities?

The World Cup host cities are concentrated on the European side of Russia. The only city on the Asian side is Ekaterinburg, Russia’s 4th largest cities. In total, 11 cities will host 2018 World Cup matches: Moscow, St Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Sochi, Samara, Saransk, Kazan, Rostov-on-Don, Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod and Ekaterinburg.

Russia World Cup Host Cities Kazan

Kazan, the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, is among 2018 World Cup host cities.

For logistical reasons, I would imagine, no other cities in Siberia or the Asian side will host matches next year.

#AlternativeRussia: Exploring the Russia World Cup Host Cities

For the first leg of this trip, you can follow me as I visit the following places between 4th and 12th September:

  1. Sochi: The city came out of obscurity when it hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics and then started hosting one of the Formula 1 races;
  2. Samara: Located at the confluence of the Volga and Samara Rivers, the city is an important economic, political and cultural centre in the southern European part of Russia.
  3. Saransk: The smallest of all 2018 World Cup host cities, Saransk is the capital of the Republic of Mordovia and is also located at the confluence of two rivers, Saranka and Insar, just northwest of Samara.
  4. Kazan: The capital of the Republic of Tatarstan is known as Russia’s third capital – it’s not the third biggest city, however. Kazan is a multicultural city with an almost 50/50 split in Orthodox Christian and Muslim population and a very ancient history. Today, it’s a modern and important economic centre.

The second leg of this trip will take place in October, when I will visit another four host cities. This project will then become a practical ebook for you to plan your trip to any of Russia’s World Cup host cities.

Please follow the hashtag #AlternativeRussia on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook (I’d love it if you followed me there, as well. I will also be showing these places on Instagram Stories – so come and join me!


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2 Responses

  1. Ladakh George

    Great article on #AlternativeRussia. Its news that the cities Moscow, St Petersburg, Kaliningrad, Sochi, Samara, Saransk, Kazan, Rostov-on-Don, Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod and Ekaterinburg are hosting the wold cup next year. Never heard of the cities except the first two; Moscow and St Petersburg. Thank you for writing such an informative article.


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