Rigged elections and expelled diplomats aside, there’s a little soccer tournament going on here in June that a few people might be attending. The United States won’t be in this year’s FIFA World Cup, which means… fewer American tourists! It also means you’re free to roam the country jumping on whatever bandwagon you feel, partying with Brazilians, Brits, French, Saudis, and everyone else hardy enough to make the trip. You can take the Trans-Siberian Railway across the country to get from match to match, or just post up in one city and become an insta-fan of the home teams.
If soccer is your game but logistics aren’t, Intrepid Travel has an eight-day Russian Highlights trip that traverses this fantastically beautiful country via high-speed Sapsan train, and makes stops is host cities Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Yaroslav. The agenda won’t include tickets, but plan it right and you’ll have your transportation and hotels lined up, with only getting to the game and avoiding hooligans to consider in your vacation planning.