Of all the streets in all the host cities at this summer’s World Cup in Russia, Nikolskaya in Moscow is the one that has truly captured the essence and imagination of the tournament.
A riot of color and noise day or night, Nikolskaya Street has become the beating heart of the World Cup celebrations sweeping Russia. Thousands of fans from each of the 32 nations have passed along it, mingling, celebrating, commiserating – giving this half-mile stretch of the Russian capital an almost magical quality as the World Cup progresses.
Bookended by Red Square to the south and Lubyanka Square to the north, the pedestrianized street would not have been top of many World Cup fans’ must-see lists for a trip to Moscow. Even Muscovites themselves probably wouldn’t include it in the rankings of the beguiling sights their city has to offer.