Red square, Moscow cityscape - Valerii Tkachenko - Wikimedia commons Red square, Moscow cityscape - Valerii Tkachenko - Wikimedia commons

Country of the month: Russia

Thu, Oct. 12, 2017
CAIRO – 12 October 2017: This month Egypt celebrates qualifying to the Football World Cup in Russia 2018, after 28 years of last qualifying to the tournament in 1990’s World Cup which was hosted by Italy. Russia is enormous and the reasons to visit it are just infinite.

If you have been always meaning to visit Russia, the time might have finally come.

Russia is the biggest country in the world! Stretching over 17 million kilometer square, insuring that the Eurasian country shares borders with 14 countries, which is more neighbors than any other country. With one of the richest natural surroundings and histories in the world, formally the Soviet Union and before that the headquarters of many empires which thought to rule the world, Russia has just too much to offer:

The nature: you can only imagine how much diversity a country that huge embraces, with natural sites of all types including numerous UNESCO protected sites such as Lake Baikal in Siberia and so many national parks and protectorates.

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1- Russia - 12019 - Pixabay

The art: if you are an art lover, Moscow can guarantee you an experience of a life time, for ballet lovers there is the globally acclaimed Bolshoi Ballet Theatre. And if you are a spectator of the fine arts you cannot miss out on the Pushkin Museum and its vast collection of Russian masterpieces. As for the book worms, the place is practically a paradise on Earth, you have: Tolstoy’s estate, Chekhov’s country house, Dostoevsky’s apartment and much more!

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2- The Pietà (Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts) - Cons Ph - Wikimedia commons

The history and architecture: Moscow and Saint Petersburg are covered with buildings that are astonishingly colorful as if they came out of a fairytale, in Moscow, such as Cathedral of Christ the Savior, Saint Basil's Cathedral and generally the rest of the Red Square Amusement Palace in the Kremlin. In Saint Petersburg you will find Peter and Paul Fortress museum, Saint Isaac's Cathedral, and Saint Michael's Castle.

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3- Cathedral in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Photo by DEZALB - Good Free Photos

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4- St.Petersburg Russia White Night – Victorgrigas

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5- St.Petersburg Russia Summer Palace - Victorgrigas - Wikimedia Commons

Transportation: the Moscow Metro is not merely an efficient way to travel through the crowded city but it is also a feast for the eyes, with spectacular breathtaking designs which you can stare at for hours. But before anything keep in mind that Russia is not the nicest country in the world and you might actually be robbed so always be careful, pay attention to your personal belongings and try to learn some basic Russian or stay in touch with someone who knows it while moving through the streets or mains of transportations.

When and How to get to Russia?

If you are intending to visit Russia during the 2018, we prefer you go during the Fifa World Cup tournament in June/July. In that case you would need to submit and application for a free Fifa Fan ID (

from here

), which grants you a Visa-free access to the country, facilitates many of your movements within the country, allow you to enter the stadiums to watch the games, travel free of charge between the cities which host the tournament, using the specified trains and public transportations during match days.

Just remember to keep your passport with you at all times and get the tickets printed into your passport at the Russian embassy before leaving. Another reason to go to Russia in June/July is that you obviously do not want to be there in the winter, these months are warmer and you can have much more fun outside.

In case you are going to attend the matches go to Fifa’s

website

to book the tickets (the second phase for purchasing is between the 16th and 28th of November and the third phase is between the 5th of December and the 31st of January).

According to Fifa’s website match tickets will cost (for non-Russians) at least $105(LE1851) per match, while the final match’s ticket will cost $1110 (LE19570).

One thing to keep in mind is that there are no direct flights between Cairo and Moscow at the moment, so make sure to find suitable round-trip tickets, which costs average $800 (LE14095) for a 3 day trip in June 2018, according to CheapOair.
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