Four years’ worth of wait and excitement has finally led to football extravaganza. Football fever has gripped teams and ardent lovers of the sport from all over the world. As fans are flocking to Russia to witness the biggest sporting event on the planet, they are sure to find sweet deals if they carry the Citi Cards along. Why, you ask? Read on to know more as we bring you five things to do in Russia during the World Cup!
Catch all the action live in Moscow
Moscow hosted the opening ceremony and will also be hosting the closing ceremony of the World Cup, making the capital the bigger crowd-puller this tournament. Not only that, but it has been hosting matches in two stadiums—the Luzhniki and the Spartak–which has already seen some exciting and unpredictable matches. At the Luzhniki, reigning champions Germany were shockingly defeated by underdogs Mexico and now are out of the contest, while Cristiano Ronaldo, after his splendid hat-trick against Spain at the Fisht Stadium, scored another goal in the match against Morocco to help his team advance to the round of 16. At the Spartak, more shockers were unleashed: Lionel Messi-led Argentina drew with world cup debutants Iceland and unconvincingly qualified for the next round, even as Belgium had Tunisia suffered quite a defeat. But that barely means the excitement is over at the stadiums, with Russia pulling off a stunning victory against Spain at the Luzhinki for the round of 16, and more exciting matches coming up. But all eyes will be for the semi-finals at former on 11th July, which, going by the way the tournament is progressing, could be just anyone’s game. One will, of course, need a place to stay so book using your Citi Cards and get exciting cashback. Click here for details.
Apart from catching all the sporting action live, Moscow also offers a host of things for visitors. This bustling city is home to St. Basil’s Cathedral, the expansive mall GUM and The Armory that shows priceless royal treasures and costumes and most importantly, Lenin’s Tomb.
Fall in love with Russia
When in Russia, it only makes sense to travel around the vast country. Each part brings with it different cultures and styles. Second to Moscow, St. Petersburg is the cultural capital of Russia and a favourite among travellers. Apart from soaking in its cultural heritage, one can also enjoy football matches, as many will take place in the city. It is best to use your Citi World Debit Card and enjoy a complete waiver on the foreign exchange markup for your international transactions here, which will surely put a smile on your face. Click here for details.
Make a wish at the Chizhik-Pyzhik statue above the Fontanka River, shop at the Nevsky Prospekt, and visit magnificent holy structures like St Isaac’s Cathedral and Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood. And finally, try the Banya, a traditional Russian sauna or bath to feel rejuvenated in St Petersburg.
Eat and experience
In a country full of delicacies, each meal can be a new experience. The local cuisine is rich in proteins and carbohydrates with strong flavours that complement the long winters in the country. Borscht, made with beetroots, beef broth and meat, is a soup that is widely available and can be a great accompaniment with each meal. A pelmeni served with broth or with loads of butter and sour cream is a must try. Thin pancakes called Blini served with rich apricot jam make the perfect dessert or maybe just indulge in a bar of rich milk Alenka Chocolate. Check out Citi Credit Card World Privileges to find offers and discounts on dining at select restaurants and cafes across Russia when you visit.Restaurant Dieci in Ekaterinburg offers a wide range of Italian dishes while Rosario in St.Petersburg offers patrons a selection of mouthwatering choices. Just what you need to cool down after watching an exciting football match!
See the natural wonders
Russia, stretching from Europe to Asia is vast in its topography with endless wilderness, long stretches of mountain ranges and long winding rivers. While the matches are being held across 11 cities and 12 stadiums, plan your travel accordingly. Visit Sochi on the coast of the Black Sea, Volgograd on the banks of River Volga. River Don provides Rostov-On-Don with the serene and picturesque sandy beaches and unique cuisine, featuring tons of crayfish. Book your flights to these destinations on MakeMyTrip using your Citi Cards and get exclusive cash back which will help you save and travel around the gorgeous country. Click here for details.
Don’t forget to buy souvenirs
While the exciting matches and the gorgeous attractions might fight for your attention, don’t forget to buy a tangible reminder of your trip to Russia. The traditional Matryoshka doll is the obvious choice; however, a floral shawl from Pavlovo Posad, ornate Lacquer boxes or even a Gzhel style tea set will serve as a great memorabilia. And finally, you can use your Citi Cards and get up to 15% cash back when you buy your duty-free chocolates and perfumes from select international airports in India. Click here for details.
Citi Card customers can also avail, 24/7 support by English speaking CitiPhone bankers, etc. Click here to know more.
So, what are you waiting for? Are you packing your bags for Russia yet?