Moscow, which is hosting 12 matches at the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ including the Opening Game and Final, is a true example of a city that never sleeps. Life in this huge metropolis powers on for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the locals are capable of working and relaxing deep into the early hours.
Fans planning on visiting Russia for the World Cup in 2018 simply have to come here and get a feel of the crazy rhythm in this city of 12 million people, where they can experience an unparalleled blend of historical eras, cultures and things to do.
In the Russian capital, the modern skyscrapers of the Moscow City district stand alongside grandiose buildings from the Stalin Era, classical 19th-century architecture and even the remains of ancient wooden huts in some places.
There are different ways of travelling through the ages in Moscow. For example, you can visit the world-famous Moscow Kremlin to discover the treasures of Tsarist and Imperial Russia, climb up one of the seven Stalinist skyscrapers that loom over the city, descend underground into a Cold War bunker or take in a panorama of the famous battlefield near Borodino where Russia and France fought in 1812.
Many factories built in the Soviet Union are used for art exhibitions and entertainment centres. Even the city's renovated parks still preserve their 20th-century soul. For example, the recently modernised VDNKh exhibition centre has kept the pavilions of the former Soviet republics, while in the centre of the grounds there is a copy of the Vostok rocket, on which Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space.
The green capital
Many generations of Muscovites have relaxed from their daily worries and played sport in the massive Gorky Park on the banks of the Moskva River. Nowadays it is one of the most modern recreational parks in the world, but it has nevertheless managed to cling on to its century-old history. Moscow is actually considered the greenest city in Europe judging by the amount of green spaces in the Russian capital.
The metro is a must for moving about Moscow, including when getting to the stadiums at Russia 2018. However, this is not purely because of the traffic jams on the roads; pretty much every station on the Moscow metro is a work of art in itself. Even the trains can be a sight to behold: wagons specially decorated with art or poetry for example often cruise around the network. In December 2016, one train was painted in the colours of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017.
A huge number of passengers will be able to enjoy these trains, as the metro – Moscow's main transportation artery – is capable of carrying close to 2.5 billion people every year. Even so, one piece of advice is not to plan excursions during rush hour.
Entertainment to suit any taste
One thing that won't be a problem in Moscow is finding places to celebrate your team's victories. The Russian capital boasts a wide variety of bars, pubs, restaurants and nightclubs. The nightlife here never switches off.
"Everyone will find what their heart desires in Moscow: restaurants, nightlife, football or museums," said CSKA Moscow and Sweden defender Pontus Wernbloom in an interview with FIFA.com. "This is a city that really never sleeps."
You can walk around this ever-active city at night-time as well or take a trip down the Moskva River on the river tram.
Recently, new and unusual pastimes have begun to pop up in Moscow as well. Virtual reality centres, labyrinths of fear, underground entertainment clubs, shooting ranges, museums of Soviet arcade games and the so-called escape quests are particularly popular among Muscovites. In the latter's case, you are locked in a room for an hour and you have to find a way out of the building, like in a video game only it is happening to you in real life.
Of course, it will not be possible to see and try everything this city has to offer. Just make sure you do not forget to visit Red Square!