Your World Cup 2018 Guide to Ekaterinburg

Ekaterinburg, Russia | © Mikhail Markovskiy / Shutterstock
Picture of Zita Whalley
Updated: 22 May 2018
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Ekaterinburg is a relatively young industrial city with a gritty history. It has a great art scene and a number of interesting architectural sites. If you’re heading here for the World Cup, here’s our essential guide on what to eat, drink, see and do. And of course, how to watch the match.

Where to eat in Ekaterinburg

If you try just one thing, don’t leave the city before eating pelmeni. Though the dumpling is ubiquitous throughout Russia, it is believed to have originated from the Urals. You can have a go at making your own at the Pelmeni Club. Another delicious yet affordable option is Nigora, a quaint Uzbek chain that serves up authentic comfort foods such as manty, Uzbek- (and Tatar-) style dumplings, and grilled shashlik. Since the area is close to Asia, Ural cuisine is a delicious blend of Eastern and Western flavours. A great place to try a contemporary take on Ural cuisine is 26/28, headed by local chef Vladimir Olkinitskiy. For an overview of the best cafés, chains and 24-hour restaurants, check out our list of the best places to eat in Ekaterinburg.

Where to drink in Ekaterinburg

Whatever your poison is, you’ll find it here. Make sure you try a beer from Jaws Brewery, the local craft beer makers who are at the forefront of the craft beer wave currently washing over Russia. The Ben Hall is a lively, popular pub and easy to find. If you want to unearth some of Ekaterinburg’s more hard-to-find gems, Spletni is a charming cocktail bar that is willing to mix you drinks until the early morning. Alternatively, there is the Amy Wine House, a cleverly named wine bar offering a global selection. There are plenty of bars and clubs in Ekaterinburg to experience Russian nightlife. But if you’re just looking for a pub with good grub to watch the World Cup, check out our list of the best sports bars in Ekaterinburg.

What to see and do in Ekaterinburg during the World Cup

Ekaterinburg is an arty city with a tumultuous history. Acquaint yourself with the city and go on a self-guided Red Line Tour (literally, just follow the red line painted onto the ground), which covers all the essential landmarks, including the State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Keyboard Monument, and the relaxing Iset River Embankment. The Church on the Blood is an unmissable site, built where Russia’s last royal family were executed by Bolsheviks during the Russian Revolution. You can also check out the old mining pit where the family were disposed of by Stalin’s regime, just outside the city. If you want to bask in the splendid view of the sprawling metropolis, head up to the viewing platform of the Vysotsky business centre. You can also tap into the city’s thriving music scene and catch a gig at the Press House, a multi-purpose space housed in one of Ekaterinburg’s many historical Constructivist buildings.

Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre © Angelus_Svetlana / Shutterstock

How to get to Ekaterinburg’s FIFA Fan Fest Zone

Ekaterinburg’s FIFA Fan Fest Zone, Mayakovsky Central Park of Entertainment and Culture (MBU), is located in a gigantic park, over 80 per cent of which is forest, with capacity for 17,000 people. A little bit too far out of the city centre to walk, MBU can be reached by trolleybus 5 or trams 3, 6, 9, 10, 20, 21, 33, and the park has a stop with the same name.

How to get to Ekaterinburg Arena

The nearest stop for buses, trolleybuses and minibuses is Central Stadium, which is just a short distance from Ekaterinburg Arena. Buses 2, 21, 24, 25, 27, 28 and trolleybuses 3 and 7 stop here. The best thing about the stadium’s location is that accommodation, bars and restaurants are all easily accessible.

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