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Russia is in the spotlight of millions of fans because of the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup, which will take place from June 14 to July 15 of 2018.
11 cities will host the World Cup matches and there will be played a total of 64 games. 12 of them, including the World Cup Final, will be played in the Russian capital – Moscow.
Here in this article, I would like to introduce my ultimate Moscow travel guide for the World Cup visitors. You’ll find out the most useful information on how to get around Moscow, where to stay, eat, drink, cool things to do and see before or after the game and more!
Transportation to/from the airport
There are 3 international airports in Moscow: Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo. They are all located outside of the city, approximately 30-40 kilometers each from the downtown. I highly recommend you to take a look at my other article with the tips on getting a flight to Russia for the 2018 World Cup.
To get between the airport and the city center you have the following options:
- the most expensive and easiest way;
- there is a chance you might get ripped off by the taxi drivers;
- it’s not the fastest way to get to the city during rush hour;
- cost: ~2000 Rubles.
Aeroexpress – train from the airport
- it’s the fastest way of getting to and from the airports in Moscow – travel time is 35-45 minutes (varies by airport);
- there is a schedule and trains are very accurate with the time;
- you’ll have to do some work to get to/from the Aeroexpress terminal at the airport – it’s not as convenient as simply walking out of the airport and taking a taxi;
- cost: 540 Rubles one way (if you pay at the terminal).
Uber or other ride-sharing apps (GetTaxi, Yandex Taxi)
- it’s what I personally use most of the time when I need to get to/from the airport in Moscow;
- I like the convenience of the taxi and cheaper prices;
- you have to have the internet on a smartphone to request a ride (if you don’t have DATA there is usually a free Wi-Fi at the airports);
- cost: ~1000 Rubles.
Moscow Metro (subway)
Metro is the cheapest and during the day the fastest way of getting around Moscow. The cost of the single ride ticket in Moscow Metro is 50 Rubles.
The Moscow Metro is one of the largest subway systems in the world – it has 14 lines and over 200 stations. When you look at the map of the Metro at first it might seem very complicated and confusing, but if you take a little bit of time to research and understand the system, you won’t have any problems with navigation.
World Cup Stadiums in Moscow
Luzhniki Stadium (capacity – 81,006)
Luzhniki stadium will host seven games of the 2018 World Cup, including one of the semi-finals and the World Cup final match.
How to get to by public transportation: it’s located close to the city center and very easily accessible by “metro”. Luzhniki can be reached by taking the red metro line – station “Sportivnaya”. From “Sportivnaya” station it’s only a 5-minute walk to the stadium.
Spartak Stadium (capacity – 43,298)
This stadium is a home venue of my favorite team FC Spartak Moscow. “Spartak” stadium will host 5 matches of the 2018 World Cup.
How to get to by public transportation: take a subway to the “Spartak” station of the purple metro line (Tagansko-Krasnopresnenskaya line). The stadium is located just a few minutes walk from the metro station.
Where to Stay in Moscow?
First off, take a look at this article to find out hotels cost during the 2018 World Cup in Russia. At the time of the tournament hotel prices in Moscow will start from 3,480 Rubles a night for a 2-star accommodation.
Here are a few accommodation options for you in Moscow. I divided them into categories by price and location.
Luxury (4*-5* hotels)
- Radisson Royal Hotel
- Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow
- Moscow Marriott Royal Aurora Hotel
Middle priced (2*-3* hotels)
- Ibis Moscow Paveletskaya
- Best Western Vega
- Hotel Element
Hotels by the Luzhniki stadium
- Yunost Hotel
- Gostinitsa Arena
Hotels by the Spartak stadium
There is pretty much nothing around the Spartak stadium. If you are going to attempt the World Cup games at the Spartak stadium, I’ll recommend getting a hotel somewhere in the city center. As I mentioned before, it won’t be hard to get to this venue by subway.
Where to Eat?
In Moscow, you’ll find the most popular worldwide fast food restaurants, such as Macdonald’s, Burger King, KFC, Subway. For coffee, there is Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, McCafe (coffee stands at Macdonalds, their coffee is really good in Russia).
In the post about the budget of going to the 2018 World Cup, I mentioned, that you would feel pretty comfortable with 1800 Rubles ($30) daily budget on food. Obviously, you’ll go way over this budget if you eat at fancy restaurants. That’s why here, I have a few suggestions of budget places to eat in Moscow during the World Cup. The restaurants below are the places where locals eat – they are affordable and delicious.
- “Mu-Mu” (pronounce as “moo-moo”)
“Mu-Mu” is my personal favorite place to have a lunch in Moscow. They have a bunch of locations in Moscow’s city center, which is very convenient.
It’s a typical Russian buffet-style restaurant – “stolovaya”. Most of the foods at these type of restaurants are pre-made. The difference compared to the buffet restaurants in the U.S. is that there is no set price (like “all you can eat for $10”) unless you get one of their lunch specials. What happens is you pay exactly for what you get. Every item of the buffet has its price – every salad, a side or a dish, even a piece of bread has its price.
They don’t have English menu at “Mu-Mu” restaurant, but you can see all the food in front of you. Simply point and pick stuff that looks good to you (there is a lot to choose from).
Prices at “Mu-Mu” are cheap. Even if you get a lot of food you won’t likely to go over 550-600 Rubles ($10). Their lunch special sets are priced at like 300 Rubles, which is only $5.
Believe me, buffet-style restaurants in Russia are so much better than any buffet you’ve ever had in your life. I’ve been to a few buffet restaurants in the States and I was very surprised with how nasty their food was. Yikes. Food at “Mu-Mu” is delicious and affordable – this is why it’s the most popular place to eat among the locals.
- “Stolovaya №57”
Would you like to experience a dining like a communist in the Soviet Union? Then you should definitely check this place out. Luckily, it’s located right on the Red Square in the GUM shopping center.
Stolovaya 57 is one of a few places to eat by the Red Square where your meal won’t cost you a fortune.
To me, the food at Stolovaya 57 is not as good as at Mu-Mu, but nothing can beat its location in the heart of Moscow. That’s why this restaurant is always packed with the locals and tourists.
- “Burger Heroes”
The Burger Heroes is the go-to burger place among the Moscovites. Their prices are reasonable with the cheeseburgers starting at 250 Rubles, which is less than $5.
Try their special burger called “Chernaya mamba” – it’s a black burger with bacon and cherries. Another bestseller is a classic burger with cheddar cheese and bacon called “Agent 007”.
Would you like some crepes? Then Teremok is the restaurant you have to check out.
It’s actually considered as a fast-food restaurant. They serve typical Russian-style crepes with different kinds of stuffings. Among the locals, the most popular ones are crepes with the ham and cheese as well as the crepe called “Ilya Murometc”. These crepes are like a full meal for you and they are very filling.
Besides crepes, “Teremok” has a lot of other tasty Russian foods to offer. They have over 20 locations in the city center of Moscow and there is a high chance there will be one near you.
Where to Go Out for a Drink?
If you are interested in the nightlife, I recommend you to take a look at the top 10 nightclubs in Moscow.
Below, I’ll list some of the best sports bars in the Russian capital. These places are perfect to watch the World Cup games or have a few pints before heading to the stadium.
- “Liga Pap”
“Liga Pap” is a popular bar to watch sporting events in Moscow. It’s decently priced compared to some other bars in the Moscow’s city center. Here you can take a look at their menu.
“Liga Pap” is open 24 hours, so you can come here for a drink at any time. The bar has over 20 TV’s, as well as a large full HD screen. This place accepts credit cards except for American Express.
Address: Bolshaya Lubyanka St., 24, Moscow 101000. To make a reservation call +7 495 624-36-36.
- “Bobby Dazzler”
Are you a fan of Manchester United? Then you should definitely come to the “Bobby Dazzler”. This British pub is the favorite place to hang out and watch games among the Man United fans. There is only 70 seats at the bar and it gets full very quickly, so make sure to make a reservation prior to your visit.
Address: Kostyansky per., 7/13, Metro Chistye Prudi, Moscow. To make a reservation call +7 495 608-03-83.
“Kolbasoff” is a chain restaurant-bar, they have a total of seven locations in Moscow.
It’s a nice place to watch a football game, have some beers and enjoy an authentic “kolbaski” (like sausages) platter dish. They have two kinds of their own beer “Kolbasoff” (lager and dark beer), which is really good and affordable.
To make a reservation call +7 495 210-3-210.
“Cockney’s” is a pretty busy place, and it will for sure stay busy at the time of the 2018 World Cup.
It has a true atmosphere of the English pub with a modern style. “Cockney’s” offer its guest over 10 different kinds of English beers on tap as well as two kinds of cider. Come here to watch the games of the England national team.
Address: Kalashny Lane, 9, Moscow 125009. To make a reservation call +7 926 075-15-42.
- “Katie O’Shea’s”
You have to check out this Irish pub if you are a fan of the “Bloody Mary” cocktail. At “Katie O’Shea’s” they make some of the best Bloody Mary’s in Moscow.
This place is owned by Irishmen, so you know that it’s an authentic pub with a large selection of beers and Irish foods.
Address: Mira Ave., 26/5, Moscow 129090. To make a reservation call +7 495 792-51-88.
Cool Things to Do in Moscow
Below is a few touristy things I recommend you to do while visiting Moscow for the FIFA World Cup. I don’t think you’ll have a lot of time for sightseeing, but make sure to check out some of these popular attractions.
- The Kremlin
The world famous Moscow Kremlin and the Red Square are the most visited sights in the Russian capital.
If you are in Moscow, you simply can’t miss this place. It’s a must visit for every tourist.
- Moscow Metro
Moscow’s subway system is not only a convenient way to get around the city. It’s also a very well known for its beautiful architecture.
You have to at least try to use Metro while in Moscow. As I mentioned earlier, both World Cup venues are easily accessible by subway from the city center.
- Arbat Street
Arbat is one of the most famous streets of Moscow. It’s a pedestrian street in the historic part of the city with a lot of restaurants, shops, museums, street arts and etc.
- Space Museum
Are you interested in space exploration and astronomy? Check out the Moscow Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics (Space Museum) if you have an extra few hours. Just so you know, the Russians were first to travel to space and the first to orbit the Earth in 1961.
- Vorobyovy Gory (Sparrow Hills)
Vorobyovy Gory is the park close to the Luzhniki stadium. There is not that much to do, but it’s nice to have a walk here before heading to the game.
- Ostankino TV Tower
Ostankino TV Tower is the tallest structure in Europe (540 m or 1,772 ft). At the time when it was built in 1967, it was the tallest building in the world.
Ostankino is mainly used as a television and radio tower. There is an observation deck which is open to the public as well as the highest restaurant in Europe called “The Seventh Heaven”. Come here to see some of the best panoramic views of Moscow.
That’s all for now, in this article I covered the most of what you needed to know about the Russian capital. If you are going to Moscow for the World Cup, and still have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments. I’ll be happy to answer to all of your questions or hear a feedback!
See you in Russia in 2018!