Tourism

Russia is trending: Aussies get World Cup fever

Apparently you guys are going MAD for the World Cup this year.

According to data from KAYAK, this year’s host country, Russia is experiencing a huge boom in destination searches, particularly Moscow which is currently the number one trending European destination for Aussie searches with a 485 per cent year-on-year increase in flight searches!

Here’s a quick look at what to do and where to stay, if you’re planning to travel to one (or all!) of the 11 cities that will be hosting the action.

Moscow

Portrait of a Beautiful Mature Woman Photographing Red Square in Moscow, Russia

Russia’s capital is home to world-renowned ballets, theaters and operas, as well as iconic sites such as the Kremlin, Red Square and Gorky Park.

The city will host a multitude of football matches at its Luzhniki and Spartak stadiums. And though there’s high demand for hotels, you can still find deals if you’re quick.

Take a look at Aerostar Hotel Moscow and the Hilton Garden Inn Moscow Krasnoselskaya, both of which have easy access to public transportation.

Saint Petersburg

Tourboat in St Petersburg

Home to the Hermitage museum, the spectacular Church of the Saviour on Blood and charming canals lined with baroque buildings, Saint Petersburg is a cosmopolitan hub with so much to see.

Matches for the tournament will take place at Saint Petersburg Stadium, which boasts a capacity for 67,000 football fans.

For a mid-range hotel with good public transportation access, check out the Russ Hotel or try the Station Hotel M19.

Sochi

SOCHI, RUSSIA - JUNE 18, 2017: Stadium "Fisht" in the Olympic Park.Football stadium decorated with symbols of the FIFA Confederations Cup

Sochi, located on the Black Sea, is Russia’s top resort city. Many call it the “summer capital” of the country.

When you’re not watching soccer matches at Fisht Olympic Stadium, you’ll enjoy warm seas, hiking in the Agura Valley and top-notch nightclubs.

Stay in the heart of the city at Mercure Sochi Centre or Park Inn by Radisson Sochi City Centre.

Ekaterinburg

Sevastyanov House in Yekaterinburg

Ekaterinburg, or Yekaterinburg, sits at the foot of the Ural Mountains, with a vibrant arts, music and theater scene.

It also has a super-fast underground Metro system that can get you to the matches.

Find budget rooms at the central Ural Hotel or try the Hyatt Regency for a touch of luxury.

Saransk

Mordovia Arena

Saransk is a comparatively small host city, filled with picturesque mosques, orthodox churches, museums and charming squares. Soccer fans will head to Mordovia Arena for the action.

For a central, budget accommodation check out Hotel Meridian and Sarin.

Rostov-on-Don

Rostov on Don

Along the River Don, fans can enjoy sandy beaches and a seafood feast before or after watching a match at Rostov Arena.

This port city is home to top universities, a fresh vibe and a booming technology industry. Indulge in a plush room at the Bellagio or the great-value Hotel Elbuzd.

Kazan

Kazan from the air

One of Russia’s oldest cities, Kazan is no stranger to sports. It’s home to some of the best soccer and hockey teams in the country, as well as the Kazan Arena.

Visitors can explore gorgeous cathedrals, mosques and a diverse culture. Make your base a room at the Ramada Kazan City Center or the Center Hotel Kazan Kremlin.

Kaliningrad

Fishing Village. Kaliningrad, Russia

In Kaliningrad you can take a ride on the Pregolya River, enjoy fantastic fishing and explore the dynamic amber jewellery industry.

For accommodations that are near the action at Kaliningrad Stadium, check out ibis Kaliningrad Center and Hotel Kaiserhof.

Samara

View on old beer factory Zhiguli Brewery in Samara city, Russia.

The Volga region is on the tourist map for its famous Russian aerospace centre and beautiful beaches along the Volga River. Check out budget rooms at Hotel Livadia or at Holiday Inn Samara, where you’ll be close to the the river.

Volgograd

Stella pointer installed next to road at entrance to hero-city Volgograd with flags and decorative eternal flame

Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, is most famous for its place in World War II history, during which it was besieged and much of the city destroyed.

Now, the city welcomes tourists with beaches, monuments, museums and vibrant culture. If you’re planning on watching the action at Volgograd Arena, check out rooms at the Hotel Volgograd with a spa and indoor pool onsite, or the budget-friendly Parallel Hotel.

Nizhny Novgorod

The building of the Nizhny Novgorod Fair. Nizhny Novgorod, Russi

World Heritage-listed Nizhny Novgorod is located in the hills overlooking the Volga River. History shines throughout the city, especially at its 16th-century Kremlin. A brand new stadium will host the action, so look for rooms at central hotels.

Try Marins Park Hotel and Courtyard by Marriott Nizhny Novgorod City Center to enjoy the matches and some vacation fun at the same time.

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