Explore the must-see attractions and find the best places to eat and drink with Culture Trip’s essential guide to Moscow during the World Cup in Russia.
Where to eat in Moscow
With over 2,000 restaurants to choose from, you’ll never go hungry in Moscow. But choosing just one restaurant may be a daunting task. For an overview of the capital’s culinary delights, check out our pick of Moscow’s best restaurants, for everything from Russia’s answer to Heston Blumenthal to the historical Café Pushkin.
To try the kind of food that babushka makes, take a look at our list of restaurants that serve traditional Russian cuisine. Even if Russian food doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can’t leave Moscow without tasting the beloved pelmeni. For those looking to try something a little different, the city is home to one of the largest diasporas of Uzbeks, making Moscow arguably one of the best places to try the cuisine outside of Uzbekistan.
Where to drink in Moscow
Moscow may not have the atmospheric bar scene of St Petersburg, but there are still a number of legendary institutions that visitors should check out. In our overview of Moscow’s top 10 places to drink, you’ll find the city’s best cocktail parties and pubs as well as the place where fashionista Gosha Rubchinskiy once went for lunch with Kanye West.
If you’re just after a place to watch sports, drink craft beers and eat classic pub food, Moscow has no shortage of low-key sports bars where you can watch the FIFA World Cup 2018. For those who like to take their evenings into the early hours of the morning, Moscow’s hippest 24-hour bars will guarantee you a night to remember… or not.
What to see in Moscow during the World Cup
A capital city with 870 years of history, Moscow has so much to offer when it comes to historic sites, iconic buildings and famous monuments. If possible, give yourself at least a week in Russia’s capital so that you have time to experience all of Moscow’s 21 best attractions without feeling rushed. The essential sites of any whistle-stop tour should include Moscow’s Kremlin, Red Square, GUM department store and Lenin’s Mausoleum, which are all located in the heart of the city. If you have time to squeeze in a day trip in between matches, there are plenty of places just outside Moscow where you can experience rural Russia.
What to do in Moscow during the World Cup
Start by touring Moscow’s many museums: admire the world’s largest collection of Russian art at the Tretyakov Gallery, visit the world-famous Pushkin Museum or step back in time at the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines. Apart from being a museum-lover’s paradise, Moscow is undeniably Russia’s capital of shopping. Make sure you hit GUM, TsUM and Okhotny Ryad – all a stone’s throw away from Red Square – where you can buy unique souvenirs for loved ones.
To cleanse your body and calm your soul after the emotional turmoil of an eventful evening, head to Moscow’s oldest and most spectacular bathhouse, Sanduny. But don’t forget to read our do’s and don’ts of banya etiquette first to avoid any social faux pas. Continue your day of relaxation and take a stroll around Zaryadye Park. With its 750 gardens, floating bridge and spectacular views of the city, it’s definitely worth visiting.
How to get to Moscow’s FIFA Fan Fest Zone
The Moscow FIFA Fan Fest Zone will be at the foot of Moscow State University’s (MSU) main building. Situated across the river from the Luzhniki Stadium, the 40,000-capacity area will be open every game day and will close a couple of hours after a match. To get to the MSU from the Universitet metro station, you can take buses 1, 113, 119 and 661.
How to get to Luzhniki and Spartak stadiums
Unlike the other 10 FIFA World Cup 2018 cities, Moscow boasts two stadiums where football drama is set to unfold. The first is the 81,000-capacity Luzhniki Stadium, which is hosting seven of the tournament’s games, including the opening and final matches. Located relatively close to the city centre, the stadium is easy to get to – the best ways are either using the Moscow Metro or Moscow Central Circle – or on a good day you can even take walk to the stadium from the Gorky Park. Check out our guide to Luzhniki Stadium for more information on how to get there and what to see, eat and drink in the vicinity.
The second is the more remote Spartak Stadium, aka Otkritie Arena, which will host five games. The 45,360-capacity stadium is a 10-minute walk from Spartak metro station and a 20-minute walk from Tushinskaya metro station. Take a look at our guide to Spartak Stadium for other transportation options and things to eat, see and do in the area.