The World Cup is so close you could literally count down the days until it begins. 32 teams from five continents (Team USA failed to qualify) coming together in order to fight for their right to spend four years bragging that they are the best football team in the world. The majority of these matches will be held in Moscow, but what is there to do between events? Here are five top attractions to visit whilst absorbing the entertainment and culture of Russia during the World Cup.
- Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
Home to exhibitions from Internationally-renown artists, such as Takashi Murakami, Katharina Grosse and the late Louise Bourgeois, the Garage Museum has been around since 2008. Originally an exhibition venue housed in the Bakhmetievsky bus garage, hence the name, the art gallery was declared a museum in 2012 after moving to Gorky Park. Pop in for the stunning architecture from Dutch designer Rem Koolhaas and soak in the latest art show if you fancy a bit of creative culture.
- Neskuchny Garden
After tiring your legs out from walking around the Garage Museum, try relaxing amongst Russian nobility. Families such as the Orlovs and Golitsyns had previously claimed this beautiful area as their home, with secret arbours allowing them to admire the Moskva River from its steep banking, which you can do to recover after a particularly intense World Cup match. If you like theatre, you’re in luck too, as the famous 19th century landmark will be hosting plays, magicians and much more.
- Timeout Rooftop Bar
Floors 12 and 13 of the Hotel Pekin house this cocktail bar that overlooks the centre of Moscow. The most recognisable features of this venue include a Soviet realist mural on the ceiling and an ever-changing menu. No, it doesn’t change daily, rather the cocktail menu changes throughout the day, including champagne-based ‘breakfast’ drinks in the morning, tea-based cocktails in the afternoon and classic Russian mixes in the evening.
- Atrium Mall
You can find all your favourite men’s and women’s fashion shops under one roof here, including Michael Kors, Zara, Emporio Armani and Urban Decay. What makes this shopping centre a desirable tourist location for World Cup-goers are the smaller independent shops that’ll help you find a unique souvenir during your visit to Russia. Head here after a long day walking around Gorky Park and catch a movie in the KARO 8 cinema before making your way to the Timeout Rooftop Bar.
- Moskvarium Centre of Oceanography and Marine Biology
Opened in 2015, this ocean-sized aquarium will keep the kids entertained with over 8,000 species of sea-dwellers. Octopus, crabs, sharks, orcas and much more are offered at this attraction, so be prepared to spend the whole day here. If you need a sit down, there is a theatre within the centre offering stunning marine shows featuring sea lions, walruses and orcas. Furthermore, there’s a pool where you can swim with the dolphins.
Whatever you decide to do in Russia, when you’re not either watching the football, giving an unofficial post-match analysis or crying about the result, make sure you have European travel insurance from ERV to cover you for all your activities. Start your quote by clicking here.