This Guide to the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup is not an ordinary guidebook, to which we have gotten accustomed to. Its compilers have refrained from providing direct recommendations, advice on where to stay, in which restaurant to dine, or what excursion to go on. These are the things that ordinary people talk about: the very residents of the cities of Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi and Kazan — those who love and know these cities.
Sharing their advice and impressions are an Italian journalist and a teacher from the United States, a young family from Kazan and a Moscow schoolboy, an Englishman and a New Zealand student, a volunteer from Ecuador and a teacher from Croatia, a Portuguese and St. Petersburg resident, a Chinese student, a doctor from Tunisia and other people now living in Russia. They are in fact the authors of this publication.
This guide is very personal, very emotional. After all, these authors are all in love with Kazan and Sochi, Moscow and St. Petersburg, they do not try to impose anything, but simply share with readers what they know and feel. All of them sincerely wish that the guests of the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup — really see and understand, what everyone already knows who has ever been to Russia — that this is a huge country, very different and very beautiful, modern and hospitable.
Ilya Sadjak, Croatia
Moscow can be loved, first of all, for its diversity. Secondly, for its people: the residents of Moscow and visitors to the capital city, Russians and foreigners, black and white, simply different and interesting. Probably, I'm very subjective, but I've been in love with this city for many years already.
João Mendonso, Portugal
I like Moscow. In this city, life is always bustling. Here you can quickly get to anywhere you want, using the city's ideal network of public transport. Almost at any time of day or night, you can visit some institution or go shopping for groceries, not having to worry about the working hours of the store. In addition, Moscow is a safe city.
Amir Ben Rezheb, Tunisia
How can you not love Moscow? Moscow is not just a city — it's a whole world to itself, with a special atmosphere.
William Maxwell, USA
When I first came to St. Petersburg, during the first few days I simply walked around the city, along its canals, through its parks. Even now, having lived in St. Petersburg for a long time already, I'm still not tired of going on long walks on a sunny day. St. Petersburg is still my favorite place to live and work.
Yan Anqi, China
For me, St. Petersburg is a city of culture, art and inspiration, which is doing a great job on preserving its history. I've been living in St. Petersburg for four years now, and the city still surprises me, with new impressions and feelings. I really love this city.
Espinosa Sigensia Darwin Vinicio, Ecuador
Every Hispanic person dreams of visiting the "Venice of the North" — this is what St. Petersburg is called in Latin America. St. Petersburg is known for its great architectural creations (churches, theaters, museums, bridges, parks), as well as culture (artists, poets, theater, ballet). It is a city that is proud of its customs and traditions, and people who proudly and sadly recall the heroes of the past, who returned peace and defended the country's independence. In addition, this city instills in its inhabitants a love of reading, literature, music, art.
Mark Nichols, UK
What to see in Kazan? Here everything depends on your interests. Being a popular tourist destination, Kazan is a city that offers great choices. The first place you could go to is the Chashi Observation Deck, which offers an amazing view over most of the city, including the Kremlin, the Farmers' Palace and (if you look to the left) the Kazan Arena Football Stadium. And this is not just a place with amazing views — from here you can better navigate in the city.
Oleksandr Vershinin, USA
I like the architecture of the buildings in the city center. I also like the metro (subway) — it's very clean and well organized. I would recommend going for a walk from the Koltso (Ring) Shopping Complex to Gorky Park. You will be out on a stroll, and at same time looking around the city. Gorky Park has several beautiful paths, while its dancing fountains are simply super!
Solange Tyra-Lee De Haas, New Zealand
Sochi is a magnificent city, quite unique. It never seizes to surprise. When you come here, it seems that you are no longer in Russia, because the weather is so great here, all year round, and even the atmosphere of many cultures makes Sochi a special city. People here are very friendly, always ready to help. And do not worry if you don't speak Russian: Russians will easily find a way to communicate with you.
Devin John Froley, Ireland
Be sure to stroll along the Sochi waterfront, with its delightful views of the Black Sea — it's an ideal place to stroll along, take in the views, eat, drink beer or relax on rocky beaches. You should to come here at sunset, from the side of the Riviera, and enjoy all the beauty.