The FIFA World Cup is one of the world’s biggest sporting events, capturing the imagination of millions of people worldwide. So whether you’re following your team, watching just for the love of the game or maybe you’ve got some money on a bet from one of the World Cup betting sites – here are five countries to look out for which could be potential destinations for your next trip.
We’re kicking off the list with the capital of the host nation. Moscow will be hosting the opening match of the World Cup as Russia take on Saudi Arabia in Group A, and in addition to other matches the final will be held at the city’s Luzhniki Stadium.
But if you’re looking for one of Europe’s premier city break destinations look no further than Moscow, with instantly recognisable sights such as the colourful, onion-domed Saint Basils Cathedral, or the tall towers and imposing walls of the Kremlin. The great thing about Moscow is that it’s both cheap and devoid of the tourist crowds which plague European counterparts such as Paris, Rome and London.
While London is more the traditional English destination, we look to Liverpool. Not only is it the home of football’s most successful footballing city with neighbours Everton and Liverpool boasting a combined 83 major honours, but it is also a city steeped in both history and tradition.
Still fresh from being the 2008 European Capital of Culture head to Liverpool One for first-class shopping, take your camera down to Albert Dock to snap some waterside photos, find out all about the city’s most famous sons at The Beatles Story Museum and party on into the early hours and take advantage of Liverpool’s world-class nightlife.
While powerhouses on the African continent, Egypt’s football team have rarely been global contenders. Yet with the emergence of star player Mo Salah this season, The Pharaohs are being touted as the tournament’s dark horses.
While still in a tourism downturn, there isn’t a much better time to visit capital Cairo, with low prices and less tourists equating to a better experience for travellers who decide to make the trip. Explore Cairo’s old-world charm and marvel in the vastness of the urban sprawl, and don’t miss the chance to check out the nearby Great Pyramid of Giza and Great Sphinx.
Although they aren’t tournament favourites, that doesn’t mean Serbia isn’t a fantastic travel destination. Its capital Belgrade is an often overlooked destination for European city breakers, but it seems a harsh tag for it to bare.
Belgrade Fortress serves up fantastic views across the city and River Danube and is one of Europe’s best places to watch the sun set, while Skadarlija is the main bohemian quarter of Belgrade. This is where a collection of fantastic bars and restaurants can be found on cobbled, pedestrianised streets, alongside some of the city’s most beautiful buildings.
Surprisingly, Japanese has a fervent footballing fanbase who are sure to make the trip to Russia to cheer on their team.
One of the best things about visiting Japan is discovering its unique culture, and nowhere is this more evident than Kyoto. Wander through countless temples and shrines, gaze upon historically priceless structures and try the best of Japanese cuisine in Kyoto.