Matches: Group Stage x 4, Last 16 x 1, QF x 1
flight time from moscow: 1h 15m
Stadium: Nizhny novgorod stadium
Local Team: FC olimpiyets nizhny novgorod
Fun Fact: The Chkalov Staircase is the longest set of stairs in Russia.
Nizhny Novgorod stands at the convergence of two rivers, the Oka and the Volga. Founded in 1221 and bursting with history, this city is perfectly suited to hosting World Cup matches, and will give visiting fans plenty to explore.
The new 45,000-seater stadium is still under construction, due for completion in the Autumn. The wavy mosaic facade will be various shades of blue, in homage to the two rivers that slice through the city.
In recent years, several bridges and a long cable car have made crossing the water far easier, reducing traffic and congestion. These infrastructure improvements, along with a new international airport should make travelling to and around Nizhny, as it is locally known, easy for travelling fans.
During the Soviet Union years, Nizhny was closed to foreigners due to its armament factories, and renamed after the writer Maxim Gorky, who was born there. He is one of many famous Russian figures to have lived and worked in Nizhny, a source of pride for local residents.
Fans will gather on the central pedestrian boulevard, a long, wide expanse of bars, restaurants and shops that spill out onto the street. Those looking to take a souvenir home, may be interested to know that the largest factory for painting Russian ‘matryoshka’ dolls is in the Nizhny Novgorod region.
Organisers will close the busy intersection at the end of this street to make way for a 15,000 capacity Fan Zone. From there, visitors can nip into Nizhny’s old, fortified Kremlin, which houses government buildings and a World War II monument.
The Kremlin overlooks the rivers, affording lovely views of the stadium on the far side of the Oka. The walk from Fan Zone to stadium is about half an hour, down Russia’s longest staircase and along the banks of the river.
Organisers have ensured that Nizhny’s fan locations are all within walking distance, and as one of the most central host cities, it will be very accessible for any fans that come to visit.