FIFA World Cup
Current events aside, Russia is rife with reasons for a visit this year. As host of both the 2018 FIFA World Cup and an annual Formula 1 Grand Prix, the nation is working hard to remind travelers of the intrigue and appeal that lie beyond the heated headlines.
“Russia has been investing heavily in tourism, infrastructure, and renovations, spending a lot of time and money to get it ready for visitors,” says Jaclyn Sienna India, founder of the luxury outfitter Sienna Charles, which offers bespoke trips to the country. For U.S. travelers attending the World Cup, India notes that Russia’s typically involved entry process will become markedly easier—the country is waiving its visa requirements for attendees of the sporting event who visit between June 14 and July 15. Beyond that, booking with an in-the-know expert who has on-the-ground connections is imperative. Sienna Charles can organize such VIP experiences as after-hours museum and gallery tours, dinners in private palaces, exclusive visits to traditional bathhouses, and, of course, tickets to this year’s sporting events.