Last season, CSKA Moscow, the reigning Russian Premier League champions, had a disappointing time in the European football scene, finishing a resounding bottom of Group B. This time around they will hope to finish at least third in their group, which will give them access to the latter stages of the Europa League.
CSKA would dearly love a repeat of the 2009/10 season when they reached the quarter finals before being dispatched by Inter Milan. This is the furthest CSKA have ever been in Europe’s premier club competition, but reaching the last 8 looks unlikely for this talented but temperamental team.
The history of the Arena Khimki is an interesting one. The Arena Khimki was originally built to provide the FC Khimki team with a new stadium. It officially opened in 2008 having been constructed on the site of their old ground. Initially, FC Khimki had sole use of the new stadium, but soon after, Dynamo Moscow began renting the stadium as the facilities were superior to those offered by their ageing home ground.
In 2010, a third team, CSKA Moscow, also began using the Arena Khimki while their new stadium was under construction. The development of CSKA’s new stadium has been plagued by legal and financial problems, and the current status of the project is unconfirmed. The result is that CSKA Moscow will start another season with the Arena Khimki as their home ground.
Travelling to Moscow is not as simple as some of the other European cities you might visit during another campaign. Heathrow airport is currently the only UK airport to offer direct flights to Moscow, both to Domodedovo Airport and the Sheremetyevo Airport. The closest airport to the suburb of Khimki is Sheremetyev, which is just 12 miles from the Khimki Arena.
The football stadium itself is located a little more than 20kms north-west of Moscow’s city centre, so depending on you plans, you might choose to travel straight to the stadium from the airport. There are buses that depart from Sheremetyevo Airport for Khimki every 10 minutes, and take about 30 minutes to arrive at the Rechnoy Vokzal station. From the Rechnoy Station, take bus 345 to stop Arena Khimki. Alternatively, taking a taxi straight to the stadium will take around 10 minutes and cost less than £10.
If you’re spending some time in the centre of Moscow, the district of Khimki can be reached from the Leningradskiy Station in the centre of Moscow. The journey will take between 30-40 minutes and will leave you with a short walk from Khimki station to the stadium.
If you’re looking to stay the night in the area, there are a limited number of hotels near CSKA Moscow Stadium. Your best option is either to stay more centrally, or, if want to be close to the Arena, to take a look at the hotels near the Vodny metro station.
Arena Khimki capacity: 18,636
With CSKA Moscow flying the flag in the Champions League this season, and Dynamo, Lokomotiv and Spartak all on their tail, football is a huge part of life in the Russian capital. But away from the city’s many stadiums, there are also plenty of places to visit in Moscow that are well worth exploring as part of your away day adventure.
Moscow, in the far west of the country, is the nation’s cosmopolitan capital and home to the Kremlin, the Red Square, Lenin’s Mausoleum and much, much more. So, which of these Moscow sightseeing are a must? We asked a few leading travel bloggers for their recommendations.
Most Moscow to-do lists will feature the Kremlin, the Bolshoi Ballet, the Tretyakov Gallery, the Pushkin State Museum and the Conservatory. However, there’s also a thriving new art scene, galleries, eclectic music venues, bars, clubs and nightlife that make this city an intriguing mix of the old and the new.
Lenin’s Mausoleum is one Moscow point of interest bloggers Nic and Paul think you won’t want to miss. They describe it as one of “the strangest experiences of (their) lives”, which is probably not surprising given it’s not everyday you see the almost 100 year old corpse of the founder of the Soviet Union. Once you leave the Mausoleum itself, you can then inspect the Kremlin wall where many other historic heavyweights are buried.
If you’re travelling to Moscow with the kids in tow, the Kolomenskoye Park has something for everyone to enjoy. Kolomenskoye, recommended by the gang at Globalmouse Travels, is a gorgeous once-royal estate that overlooks the steep banks of the Moskva River. There are numerous traditional Russian folk festivals in the park over the course of the year and the fascinating Museum of Wooden Buildings to explore. There’s also a unique wooden funfair with traditional Russian games to play with the kids, as well as horse riding in the 390 hectare estate.
Hungry yet? When it’s time for a bite to eat, Cafe Stolle is a great place to head for some local fare. The entire menu at Stolle is excellent, but we highly recommend the particularly delicious pirogi (pies). There’s also a tasty selection of warm sweets and savouries on the cafe’s counter to tempt you into a little pre-match indulgence.