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Rostov-on-Don: A fan's guide to the Russia World Cup host cities

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Here's what football fans can expect if they visit the Russian city of Rostov during next summer's World Cup

Manchester United fans will be familiar with Rostov-on-Don after Jose Mourinho’s men played here during their successful Europa League campaign.

Visiting players will be happy to hear that the pitch and stadium that so infuriated the Manchester United manager will not be used during the 2018 World Cup. The new 45,000-seater Rostov Arena is close to completion, and the new grass has already been planted.

Despite fears over United fans' safety ahead of their meeting in Rostov, supporters were greeted with a 'warm welcome' in Russia, and look set to be at the World Cup too.

July temperatures can reach as high as 40 degrees Celsius in Rostov-on-Don, which lies on the Kuban Steppe in southwestern Russia, not far from the border with Ukraine.

Conditions, therefore, may be tough for both players and crowds. The Fan Zone at Theatre Square, a place that regularly holds local events, is vast, exposed and likely to be very warm.

Fortunately, fans can find shade nearby under the trees on the pedestrianised Pushkinskaya Street, which also hosts a wide variety of bars and restaurants. Down by the banks of the Don, there are more restaurants to choose from and a welcome breeze from the river.

How to get there...

Visitors to the city can look forward to a brand new airport, but will most likely have to fly via Moscow if coming from abroad. 

Another place worth visiting in Rostov is the central market, where vast chambers of locally-sourced produce are on sale. This region is fondly known as the bread basket of Russia and it is easy to see why as so much fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, nuts and bread pass through this market every day.

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Flying into Rostov, fans will see an expanse of flat plains that stretches over the steppe, bearing the fruits that make their way to market. Visitors to the city can look forward to a brand new airport, but will most likely have to fly via Moscow if coming from abroad.

Rostov-on-Don is a welcoming and vibrant city, ready to host five games at the World Cup. It will give visitors an altogether different experience of Russia to what one might find in cosmopolitan Moscow or St Petersburg.

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