Russia //

Sports and activities

Spectator sports centre on football, with Moscow’s biggest teams being Dinamo (Leningradskiy prospekt 36 t 495/612-7172, w http://www.fcdynamo.ru; Dinamo) and Spartak (Luzhniki Stadium, Luzhnetskaya nab. 24 t 495/168-2173, w http://www.spartak.com; Sportivnaya), while Petersburgers support Zenit (Petrovskiy stadium, 2nd Petrovskiy Island t 812/535-4613, w http://www.fc-zenit.ru; Sportivnaya).

Skating is as much part of Russian culture as drinking vodka or eating blinis – everyone knows how to. Moscow has plenty of spots for a skate in winter, including the frozen-over paths at the vast Gorky Park, Krymskiy Val ul. 9, Park Kultury or the smaller, more intimate Hermitage garden at ul. Karetniy Ryad 3, Pushinkskaya. You can also skate year-round at the covered rink in Gorky Park. Winter sledging in Moscow benefits from good verticals on the Sparrow Hills (Vorobyovye gory; Universitet), where you can overlook Moscow State University, the largest of the “seven sisters”, the city’s collection of 1950s Stalinist-Gothic skyscrapers. Summer or winter, swim in the open air at Chayka, Tuchaninov per. 1/3, Park Kultury, or Luzhniki, Luzhnetskaya nab. 24, Sportivnaya. Cycling enthusiasts can see St Petersburg year-round with a bike tour (Skatprokat Rent a Bike, Goncharnaya ul. 7, Pl. Vosstaniya) or walking tour (Peter’s Walking Tours, through International Youth Hostel, w http://www.peterswalk.com; R650 for 4–5hr).