Matches: Group Stage x 4, Last 16 x 1, qf x 1
flight time from moscow: 1h 30m
Stadium: Kazan arena
Local Team: Rubin kazan
Fun Fact: Kazan's population is half Muslim, half Russian Orthodox.
Kazan is a melting pot of culture, religion and history. Over 1000 years old, Kazan has survived sieges and occupations throughout history, notably by Genghis Khan and Ivan the Terrible. Today it is the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan.
The fortified Kremlin overlooks the River Volga, and houses the blue minarets and domes of the Kul Sharif Mosque and the Orthodox Cathedral. They stand side by side in a visual symbol of religious harmony. Muslims, Orthodox Christians, Tatars and Slavs all call Kazan their home.
In the Kremlin’s shadow, a wide promenade runs along the the banks of the river. Restaurants, cafes, street stalls and outdoor gyms make this a place of constant activity and will attract large numbers of visiting supporters during the World Cup.
It is a similar story in the centre of town, a short walk from the river, where a long pedestrianised street cuts through the city. Street entertainers and buskers perform alongside the bars and souvenir shops, giving this area a real party feel.
The stadium stands on the other side of the river, a short drive from the centre of town. Already used successfully during the Confederations Cup 2017, the Kazan Arena holds 45,000 spectators and is the home stadium of Rubin Kazan, Russian champions in 2008 and 2009.
A little way down the river, lies an enormous cauldron-shaped structure, surrounded by sculptures of fire-breathing dragons, which will host a 20,000-person fan zone. The top of the building has a viewpoint which offers great views of the city and river.
Kazan is only a short flight from Moscow, and close to several of the other cities in the central cluster. Hot in summer and with so much to see, it will be a great destination for visiting supporters.