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ul. Akhtyamova, 7, Kazan, Respublika Tatarstan, Russia, 420021

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+7 843 293-07-38


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  • World Cup 2018: We've Got Just The Deets For Your Trip To Russia This Season Part 2

    Alright! So this is Part 2 of the Muslim Travel Guide to Russia. If you haven't seen the World Cup 2018: We've Got Just The Deets For Your Trip To Russia This Season Part 1 article, go check it out now! Then come back! 6. Rostov-on-Don Picture Credit: Rostov-on-don Guide 2018 What You Need To Know Rostov-on-Don is slightly warmer than the other cities so sunscreen, sunglasses and hats are advisable.  Sights To See Picture Credit: Pinterest H2O Aquapark is the biggest water park in the city and is definitely great value for money. In addition to pools and slides, they also have a spa area where you can have a fancy ethnic bath – Russian, Roman, Turkish, Austrian, Scandinavian, salt bath, and many more – as well as cafés to take a breather and get a shot of caffeine. KidBurg allows children a peek into the life of an adult by letting them try different professions all in one area. It piques their interest, gives them responsibility and lets them play at real life. They will be occupied for hours here! Don River rafting is a beautiful way to see the city and life around its banks as well as put those arms to work. There are a dozen rafting routes to choose from, the standard one taking 5 days. Before the journey, travellers will be assisted in picking their equipment and gear. Schepkinsky Forest is best explored on bicycle. It has a peaceful setting that lets you be one with nature, and if you’re lucky, you might spot some wildlife like wild ducks, pheasants, hares, foxes and wild boars.  Halal Food Country Chicken Picture Credit - Euro Gunzel Note that this restaurant seves beer. Cuisine: Fast food, burgers, chicken, wrapsAddress:Prospekt Siversa, 1А, Rostov, Rostovskaya oblast', Russia, 344082Operating Hours: 8AM to 10PM (Everyday)Contact: +7 918 513-51-35 Prayer Facilities Rostov-on-don Cathedral Mosque Picture Credit: Russia For Me Address: Russia, Rostov-on-Don, Furmanovskaya Ulitsa, 131Contact: 8(863)264-05-20, 8 (863) 264-31-11Website: Transportation Picture Credit: Railway Gazette Cabs, buses, marshrutkas and trolleybuses can take you from the airport around town, while buses and marshrutkas are your best bet around the city, the tram and trolleybus might be a cheaper option. You can also use the electric train to get about as it covers the entire city including the suburbs, with the exception of the northern side. 7. Kazan What You Need To Know Kazan is no stranger to international sports. The city has hosted four different international sporting events prior to FIFA. It is the perfect multi-ethnic pot housing Muslims, Christians and Jews in harmony. This compatibility attracts tourists to all the festivals celebrated here as the happiest city in Russia. Sights To See Kazan Kremlin is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a symbol of the city. Built in the 16th century on the ruins of a fortress, it houses the Kul Sharif mosque as well as the Christian Orthodox Annunciation Cathedral nearby. Immerse yourself in history taking in the Taynitskaya Towers, Museum of Islamic Cultural, the Governor’s and Artillery Courtyards, and the remains of the khan palace, mosque and tombs of the Kazan khans. The Kremlin also offers spectacular views of the rivers Volga and Kazanka. The Kul Sharif Mosque requires a visit in itself. Burnt to the ground in 1552, the new structure took eight years to build – from 1997 to 2005. It has a stunning structure and the monsque shows an insight into Islamic architecture. Not just a place to pray, the mosque also houses the Islamic Culture Museum. The Islamic Cultural Museum features the Islamic religion, going back more than 1000 years ago. Visitors are educated about the religion and women’s struggles in the area. Visitors are allowed to interact with the Holy Qur’an – especially the self-flipping one – which gives them more insight into the sacred text, and can see versions of the manuscript as well. Another place you should visit is the Suyumbike Tower. The tower is as iconic to Kazan as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris or the Tower of London. Ideal for families with children, the Kazan Circus and the Forsazh Karting Centre are two places you should definitely visit. The Kazan Circus is not just a circus, it is also a school for children who want to learn circus acts. Four of its alumni participate in Cirque du Soleil which speaks for itself when it comes to standard.   Halal Food SofraKebab (aka Kebabso) Picture Credit: Kebab Sofra Cuisine: TurkishAddress: Ul. Chistopol, 61 A, / tel. 203-34-34               Ul. Bauman 51 TC GUM (3rd floor) / tel. 248-69-55               Ul.Prospekt Pobedy 91 Shopping Center Yuzhny (2nd floor) / tel. 248-69-56               Ul. Etc. Yamasheva, d. 97 TC "XL" (4th floor) / tel. 239-36-16Contact: 203-34-34, 89274777481 Website: Vkontakte | Instagram Pizza House Picture Credit: Pizza Kazan Address: Russia, Kazan, prospekt Ibragimova, 61Contact: +7 (843) 212-22-10 / +7 (843) 523-47-77Website: Vkontakte | Instagram Roll-House Picture Credit: Halal Eda Address: Russia, Kazan, Gvardeyskaya ulitsa, 42Tel: +7 (927) 039-10-59, +7 (843) 258-58-18Website: Vkontakte | Instagram SushiShok Picture Credit: Sushi Shok Address: Chistopolskaya ulitsa 55, Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia, 420124Operating Hours: 10AM to 11PM Vkontakte Chak-Chak Picture Credit: The Global Hobos Cuisine: Tatar family cafeAddress: Bauman St, 7/10, Kazan, Respublika Tatarstan, Russia, 420111Tel.: +7 843 292-51-41Operating hours: 9AM to 9PM Tatarskaya Usabda Picture Credit: Deborah Norman Soprano Cuisine: Tatar and European cuisineAddress: Russia, Republic of Tatarstan, Kazan, ul. Shigabutdin Mardjani, 8Tel.: +7 (987) 225-04-33Operating hours: 11AM to 12AMWebsite: Vkontakte | Facebook | Instagram Dom Tatarskoi Kulinarii Picture Credit: House Of Tatar Cooking Cuisine: TatarAddress: Bauman St, 31/12, Kazan, Respublika Tatarstan, Russia, 420111Opening Hours: 11AM to 11PMTel. : +7 (843) 292-70-70 / +7 (987) 297-77-29Website: Vkontakte | Instagram Prayer Facilities Qolşärif Mosque Picture Credit: Photo by Daniil Silantev on Unsplash Kazan is home to the most mosques in a Russian city so you don’t have a problem when looking for a place to pray. Qolşärif Mosque was one of the largest mosques in Russia and Europe at the time of its construction. Äcem Mosque, Anniversary Mosque, Bornay Mosque, Bulgar Mosque, Iske Tash Mosque, Märcani Mosque, Nurulla Mosque and Sultan Mosque making it nine prayer places in total. Transportation Picture Credit: Rusmania You can take the bus or Aeroexpress train from one of the finest airports in Europe, but note that the Aeroexpress timings are rather far apart. The bus is the most convenient way to travel as it covers the entire city, but trolleybuses, electric trains, commuter trains and the tram are also options. You can also take a riverboat to get about or simply for sightseeing purposes. Anytime other than a Sunday evening is better as it is most crowded at that time. 8. Ekaterinburg Picture Credit: Audley Travel What You Need To Know Also known as Yekaterinburg, the city is known to produce rain frequently so carry an umbrella. It is named one of twelve ideal cities by UNESCO which perfectly mirrors its natural treasure trove of oil, gas, gold mines, and Europe’s largest emerald deposit. Downtown Ekaterinburg is surrounded by woodland parks that turn into forests at the edge of the city. Sights To See Picture Credit: Welcome 2018 Mayakovsky Central Park of Culture and Leisure hosts concerts and cuisine festivals in the summer, and has a railway for children and amusement rides to keep them busy. The scenic beauty makes for a lovely picnic spot. Kharitonov Garden Kharitonov Garden is a beautiful place to take a walk and appreciate nature. A pond lies at the centre of the garden with an artificial island in the middle of the pond, a suspension bridge connecting the garden to the island. A great place to stroll and take pictures to fill your Instagram feed! Dzerzhinsky Club Building or Urals History and Archaeology Museum is worth a visit even if you are not a fan of history. What is most appealing is the spiral staircase inside the building with its vertical windows that is built anti-clockwise and makes for great pictures. In the centre of the staircase from the roof is a five-point star that can be seen if you look up while climbing. Halal Food Café Zam Zam Address: Ekaterinburg, Avenue of Cosmonauts, 102к1Opening Hours: 8AM to 11PM Café at the Ramazan Mosque Address: Dimitrova street, 15, Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk oblast, Russia, 620010Opening Hours: 10AM to 11PM Halal Café on the Minometchikov Address: Ulitsa Minometchikov, 1 korpus 1, Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovskaya oblast', Rossiya, 620050   Prayer Facilities Rahman Mosque Address: Prospekt Kosmonavtov, 182, Ekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk oblast, Russia, 620058 Mawlid Mosque Address: Voronezhskiy pereulok, 34, Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk oblast, Russia, 620146 Ramadan Mosque Address: Dimitrova, 15, Yekaterinburg 620010, Russia Transportation Picture Credit: Pinterest The tram, trolleybus and bus routes cover the entire downtown area with only buses and marshrutkas reaching the outskirts. You can also use the electric train or metro to get about. 9. Sochi Picture Credit: Yachting Lifestyle 365 What You Need To Know Sochi is not just a city, but a whole region. Greater Sochi consists of mountains and coastal villages that lay by the sea, and due to the excellent infrastructure, connecting it to the rest of the region. Sochi has hosted plenty of summer and winter games in the past three years, allowing the city to develop beautifully. It also offers a range of gastronomical delights. Sights To See Agura Waterfall Picture Credit: Sochi If you’re looking for a peaceful trip, head to Sochi’s waterfalls. Agura Waterfall is the most popular, with Orekhovsky Waterfall and Zmeykovskiye Waterfall stunning beauties too. Sochi Park Picture Credit: Sochi Park Sochi Park is Russia’s version of Disneyland. Compared to international standards, it is pretty small, but according to Russian standards, it is fantastic. Children will be occupied with the rides offered. The fact that the Black Sea is 3 minutes away means you can enjoy a glorious sunset at the end. Sochi Discovery World Aquarium takes up 6000 square metres and holds up to 5 million litres of water spread across 30 aquariums. Take your family and yourselves to another world and discover the weird and wonderful things that share our planet. Halal restaurants Café Halal House Address: Ostrovskogo str, 27/2, Central SochiContact: 89181241919Opening Hours: 10AM to 2AM Café Uzgen Address: Street Makarenko, 32, Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, RussiaContact: 89631614309Opening Hours: 9AM to 12AM Café Lebanon House Address: Novaya Zarya str., 7, Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, RussiaContact: 89284597522Opening Hours: 10AM to 10PM Humus  Address: Donskaya str, 3, SochiContact: +7-862-291-2425Opening Hours: 10AM to 11PM   Prayer Facilities Tkhagapsh Mosque  Picture Credit: Welcome 2018 Address: Rovnaya Ulitsa, 30, Tkhagapsh Village, Lazarevskoye District Transportation Picture Credit: Russian Rail High-speed electric trains, also called Lastochka trains, are the most affordable way to travel between the districts of Sochi quickly. Since they stop at major districts only, they might skip a few stops so be sure to enquire about that beforehand. Since there are no trolleybuses, tram or metro lines in Sochi due to the mountainous terrain, bus and marshrutka are the only way to get about. Since the marshrutkas follow a fixed route too, ask the driver if he can stop where you need to get off as it is not allowed to stop at some places. 10. Saint Petersburg What You Need To Know Saint Petersburg’s weather has a mind of its own, so even though the days are generally cooler in the summer, rains and wind are unpredictable. Come prepared with sunscreen, sunglasses, a jacket, umbrella, and shoes fit for the rain. The second largest city in Russia maintains a vintage look which makes it a delight to walk through, and is called the cultural capital of Russia with its plentiful offerings of art, history and more. It was also known to be the best destination for tourism in Europe in 2016, and its nearly 100 water bodies are just a tip of the iceberg of what Saint Petersburg has to offer. Sights To See Nevsky Prospekt Picture Credit: Saint Petersburg If you want to get a taste of Saint Petersburg, just stroll along Nevsky Prospekt. It is the main street of Saint Petersburg and was planned to be the beginning of the road to Nizhny Novgorod and Moscow. The hub of the city now, most of its life happens right off the Prospekt. People sporting the latest fashion, expensive cars, shopping stores, aged architecture, music and culture are all melded here to be enjoyed. State Russian Museum Picture Credit: Saint Petersburg Walking along the Nevsky Prospekt will give you an insight to Saint Petersburg’s history and bring you to many buildings that have remained that way for centuries. Kotomin House, Stroganov Palace which is now a branch of the Russian Museum, Mertens Trade House, St Peter’s School – also known as Petrischule – who had a famous architect and composer amongst its graduates, and the Meteorological Weather Pavilion are just some of the wonders. City Duma Tower was a five-tiered tower that was used as fire tower from the 18th century. Colour coded balloons would be hung on a metal frame fastened to its roof so that firefighters would know which parts of the city were on fire. Eliseyev Emporium was built in 1903 and has all its original fittings and interiors restored, with the detail in aging done to perfection. Walking into it is like walking into another era. Picture Credit: Welcome 2018 PitStop Chain of Go-Cart Clubs has four outlets in several districts in Saint Petersburg, while Grand Prix Carting Club is also a good option for your go-carting needs. Halal Food Teahouse Khan Address: Sofiyskaya Ulitsa, 54, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia, 192241Contact: +7 812 380-16-16Opening Hours: 8AM to 10PM (Mon-Thu), 9AM to 12AM (Fri-Sun) Obedov Address: 19 K 2 Kashirskoe sh 142, Moscow 115230, RussiaContact: +7 495 775-47-44 Khalal kafe Address: Tamanskaya St., 55V, Vozrozhdeniye, RussiaContact: +7 928 255-55-22Opening Hours: 9AM to 11.30PM Alo Teahouse Address: 52 neberezhnaya kanala Griboyedova, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia 190031Contact: +7 (952) 353 50 12Opening Hours: 24/7 Navruz Address: Leninskiy Ave., 125, St. Petersburg 198216, RussiaContact: +7 812 372-11-21  Brat Cafe Address: 31 Mytninskaya Ulitsa, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia 191144Contact: +7 (921) 977 33 77Opening Hours: 10AM to 12AM Café Bistro Address: 13 Malaya Balkanskaya Ulitsa, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia 192281Contact: +7 (812) 953 50 33Opening Hours: 11AM to 9PM   Prayer Facilities Saint Petersburg Mosque Saint Petersburg Mosque is the only mosque in the city. It was the largest mosque in Europe (not counting Turkey) when it opened in 1913, accommodating up to 5000 worshippers. It is a sight in itself with its beautiful architecture. Transportation Picture Credit: St Petersburg Smart Free Tour Metro stations in St Petersburg are clearly marked with an “M”. Announcements are made in Russian while stop signs are marked in Russian and English, so keep your eyes peeled if you take the metro. Marshrutkas can be taken to metro stations and stop on request. Buses, trolleybuses and trams run through the city and have clear designated stops. You can also call a cab to get about. It is safer to call a taxi or hire them through an app than to hail them off the street. Meteors are the form of river transport that is quite popular with locals and tourists. Boats leave every half hour during the high season and every hour during the low season. Tickets are cheaper when bought as a roundtrip. The bridges across the river open every night so keep that in mind if you are out late. The sight is spectacular, and you can take a boat to get across the river if you need to. 11. Moscow What You Need To Know Temperatures in Moscow differ greatly between day and night, so light clothing is advisable with layers for the night. Moscow is the largest city in Russia and the hub for many festivals, exhibitions and fairs to inspire people of all passions – as the capital should be. Sights To See Moscow Kremlin Picture Credit: ArchiGeek The Moscow Kremlin is the heart of the city and one of Russia’s main attractions. A Kremlin is a fortress where life was concentrated in centuries ago, which is why it is home to many historical sites. Explore the Kremlin and learn the history of this capital city. It is also currently the residence of the President of Russia, which is why the public does not have complete access to it. Tsar Bell Picture Credit: Sputnik News The Tsar Bell and Tsar Cannon are two major tourist attractions even though the reason why Empress Anna Ioannovna ordered its making is unsure. The bell weighs 200 tonnes and is 6 metres high and took 18 months to make, in addition to the 2 years it took chisellers to carve a design onto it. Soon after, a big fire caused it to fall into the pit it was standing on and a large part to break off it, which is where it spent the next 100 years before engineers could figure out how to get it out. The bell and cannon are purely structures as their size makes it impossible for them to be used. The barrel of the cannon has a diameter of 4 feet, and the cannon balls seen next to it don’t actually fit inside. Halal Food Tajj Mahal Address: Ulitsa Arbat, 6/2, Moskva, Russia, 119019Contact: +7 495 107-91-70Opening Hours: 10AM to 5AM Bardak Address: ул. Маросейка, 6/8 стр. 1, Moskva, Russia, 101000Contact: +7 495 624-88-78Opening Hours: 12PM to 11AM Mister Livanets Address: Glinishchevskiy Pereulok, 3, Moskva, Russia, 125009Contact: +7 495 692-99-23Opening Hours: 12PM to 12AM (Sun-Thu), 12PM to 2AM (Fri-Sat) Farsi Address: Kutuzovsky Ave, 2/1, Moskva, Russia, 121248Contact: +7 499 243-20-20 Vai Me! Address: Мясницкая ул., 11, Moskva, Russia, 101000Contact: +7 495 646-02-20Opening Hours: 10AM to 11PM   Prayer Facilities Moscow Cathedral Mosque and Old Mosque Moscow are the two mosques in the city. Transportation Picture Credit: The Atlantic The Moscow Metro is organised into rings and lines to familiarise yourself with the route before hopping onto a train. Announcements are made in Russian and English to make it easier for tourists to get about. The Monorail is more like a landmark than an actual mode of transport, but you can use your same metro pass to transfer onto the monorail without having to pay extra, as it is a part of the metro. Commuter trains link the major cities or districts in Moscow, while buses, trolleybuses and trams are a better way of getting around in the city. The 2018 FIFA Russia World Cup makes it the best time to visit this vast country with its varying landscape and rich culture. Check out the World Cup ticket categories, book your tickets, plan a Muslim-friendly trip to Russia, and enjoy the season. The Muslim population in the country makes for a fairly easy Halal trip to Russia, especially with places like Moscow and Kazan, the latter having plenty of prayer places in Russia that you can locate. You might want to read up on basic cultural ethics and tourist phrases in the local dialect before you travel to Russia....

  • How To Watch FIFA World Cup 2018 On Malaysian Channels

    The 2018 World Cup in Russia presents a unique opportunity to visit the largest country on earth while it is in a celebratory mood, hosting the biggest sporting event on the planet. The 2018 FIFA World Cup is happening right now in Russia. The Russian cities and towns where the matches of FIFA World Cup 2018 will take place are St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kazan, Sochi, Nizhniy Novgorod, Ekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Samara, Rostov-On-Don, Saransk. This is definitely the biggest sporting event of the year that should not to be missed! Malaysians, don't panic if you cannot be in Russia. We have made a list of free-to-air channels and the paid channels in Malaysia to watch the FIFA World Cup. There are two types of broadcasting rights for the tournament – Free-To-Air rights or FTA and Pay TV. Astro, as the official broadcaster, is taking it to the next level, bringing World Cup experience on all screens and in VR. Free-to-Air (FTA) Picture Credit: Wikipedia FTA rights are given to TV networks, such as RTM. Malaysians can watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup for free on Malaysia RTM Mobile App – RTM Mobile App Fixtures, Schedule, Matches And Timing.  RTM will broadcast 41 out of 64 matches for free. 27 matches will be shown live while 14 matches will be delayed. If you’re not near a TV, you can also watch the World Cup live on your smartphone without any paid subscription. Here’s all you need to do. Head over to Google Play or the App Store and download the free RTM Mobile app. Once the download is complete, fire up the app and click on TV2. The stream quality is not bad and it can go up to HD 720p resolution. No registration is required and you can tune in to TV1 or TV2 immediately to start watching. Pay TV Picture Credit: Wikipedia Pay TV operator Astro, meanwhile, has obtained the full broadcasting rights from football governing body FIFA, allowing it to air all 64 matches live. It is also offering the broadcast both in standard and high definition resolutions, and there’s even a standalone app that lets you watch the matches in virtual reality with the Stadium Astro VR app – the first time Astro has done so for the World Cup. Astro customers who are already subscribed to the Sports Pack, SuperPack, or SuperPack Plus packages will automatically get access to the dedicated World Cup 2018 channels for free. Other Astro subscribers and NJOI prepaid customers can purchase the World Cup Channel Pass for RM100. Finally, non-Astro customers can purchase this pass for RM120, and can watch the matches via Astro GO, which can be accessed via its website and its Android and iOS apps. On top of that, Astro provides accurate real-time match team stats and results directly from FIFA If you are a Maxis or Hotlink subscriber, it makes perfect sense to purchase these passes compared to buying a World Cup Channel Pass from Astro, which costs RM100 for non-Sports Pack customers and RM120 for non-Astro subscribers. Astro's World Cup Channel Pass offers 24-hour access to its dedicated World Cup 2018 channels, which airs highlights and other exclusive content in between matches. Details of Passes for the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Astro GO: World Cup Channel Pass RM100(Astro)RM120(Non-Astro)              Enjoy all 64 LIVE matches on Astro GO via two dedicated FIFA World Cup channels. Knockout Stage Pass RM30 Watch all matches in the Round of 16, Quarter Finals, Semi Finals, 3rd Place Match and Finals Group Pass RM24 Gain access to LIVE matches of one selected Group Match Pass RM6 Pass to watch one LIVE match   Watch with a crowd If the idea of sitting in your living room hearing yourself cheer does not sound like much fun, check out mamak shops or even your favorite restaurant may be showing the World Cup matches on TV (sometimes on the big screen!) for football fans. Different football fans have different ways of enjoying the beautiful game. With the many options available, and thanks to the generous contribution of sponsors, all Malaysians will be able to enjoy World Cup 2018.​...

  • 7 Best Halal Food Restaurants in Taipei

    Taipei is a living, breathing museum; this 300 year old city is a kaleidoscope of colours and smells. With a mix of Japanese and Chinese culture, Taipei has a lot to offer to all travellers. In Taipei most apartments do not have kitchens as eating out is very common due to food being cheap and easily accessible. It’s a true foodie's paradise! With its lanes lined with street food joints and restaurants, you have a variety of food and cuisines to choose from. And guess what?! There’s an assortment of Muslim-friendly restaurants throughout the city! So don’t worry, you can take that Boomerang of yourself slurping on some good hearty noodles! via GIPHY Follow our Taipei city guide Find things to do in Taipei Here are the 7 best restaurants in Taipei!   1. Chang’s Beef Noodle Soup Restaurant Picture Credit - You cannot leave Taipei without trying its most iconic dish yet – the Taiwanese beef noodle soup! The country has a festival dedicated to the dish and the best place to get it is at Chang’s Beef Noodle Soup Restaurant. The restaurant has an understated air of charm about it due to its wooden furniture and traditional interior. They serve generous bowls full of wheat noodles, swimming in hearty clear beef broth, with chunks of tender beef and a sprinkling of spring onions. You can order a side of vegetables for that extra crunch, as well as steamed or fried dumplings as a side dish. You can end your meal with a refreshing soya bean drink. Cuisine: TaiwaneseAddress: No. 21, Yanping South Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan.Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 10:00am – 8:20pmPrice: NT$70 – NT$170Contact: +886-2-2331-2791   2. Hui Guan Picture Credit - 陳奕安, This restaurant offers the Ningxia cuisine, unique to the North Central China region. The colourful and welcoming restaurant is run by a Muslim lady so the food served is Halal-friendly! Their mutton dishes are a real hit, two recommended dishes are the cumin-flavoured mutton served with bread which is ideal to have while waiting for your mains to arrive and the other is the succulent Ningxia braised mutton, served with their fiery lentil noodles. Cuisine: Ningxia CuisineAddress: No.9, Alley 51, Lane 12, Section 3, Bade Road, Songshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan.Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 5:30am – 11pm / Sat – Sun: 11:30am – 2pm, 5:30pm – 11pm (Closed on first and third Sun of every month)Price: NT$140 – NT$280Contact: +886-2-2577-9851   3. Ding Xian 101 Picture credit - Craving some seafood? Head over to Ding Xian 101 for some Halal-friendly, authentic Taiwanese seafood. They offer six set menus tailored to Halal requirements, so you'll have a variety to choose from. Each set menu is priced differently, but not lacking in between each other in taste and presentation. Every set menu is sure to entice you with their rich Taiwanese flavours. Some of their mains are steamed king prawn with garlic, chicken soup, stewed abalone, snow lotus, Taiwanese oyster omelette and simmered golden lobster with basmati rice. Cuisine: TaiwaneseAddress: 86F, No.7, Section 5, Xinyi Road, Taipei City, Taiwan.Operating hours: Mon – Sun: 11:30am – 2:30pm, 5:30pm – 10pmPrice: NT$1380 – NT$2880 (per set meal)Contact: +886-2-8101-868Website:   4. Toko Sakura Picture Credit - Nora Azmia, You can find Indonesian cuisine in Taipei, just hop on over to Toko Sakura. It’s a cosy restaurant tucked at the back of an Indonesian mini-mart. It’s a humble little eatery that serves up authentic Indonesian food for affordable prices! Beware that their menus are written in Bahasa Indonesia and Chinese, so might have to use a translator app on your smart phone! A recommended dish is the Soto Ayam, a chicken soup bursting with flavour and served with white rice. This dish is quite mild in spiciness, so if you want to add some flare to the dish ask for some Sambal (Chilli paste). Cuisine: IndonesianAddress: 106, Taiwan, Taipei City, Da’an District, No. 78, Section 2, Xinsheng S Rd, 106Operating hours: Mon – Sun, 8.00am – 6.00pmPrice: NT$100 – NT$150Contact: +886-2-2391-6011   5. Khana Kazana Picture credit - Who can say no to good ol’ Indian food? If you are craving that Naan or Tandoori chicken head over to Khana Kazana, where they serve authentic Indian fare. You can also get some Bollywood-meets-Hollywood magic here as Khana Kazana provided the Indian dishes for the ‘Life of Pi’ movie! Their food was also enjoyed by the cast and crew behind the scenes. They serve every type of dish in the Indian cuisine and everything is prepared according to Halal requirements. You can never go wrong with these recommended dishes - Chicken Tikka, Chicken Tandoori and Naan. Cuisine: Indian CuisineAddress: No. 366, Section 1, Keelung Rd, Xinyi District, Taipei City, Taiwan 110Opening hours: Mon – Sunday, 11:00am – 2:30pm, 5:00pm – 10:00pmContact: +886 2 8786 9366Website: Facebook   6. Yunus Halal Restaurant Picture Credit - We can't get enough of spicy Thai food, and luckily for us, you can find good Thai food at Yunus Halal Restaurant. Head over to this family-friendly restaurant that serves a variety of dishes and a humble selection of desserts. The recommended dishes are Tom Yum soup (a must when having Thai food,) stir-fried Kangkong, and Steamed Seabass. The presentation is great, with orchid flowers added in with the garnishings. Cuisine: Thai cuisineAddress: No. 36, Beining Rd., Songshan Dist., Taipei City 105, Taiwan (R.O.C.)Opening hours: Mon – Sat, 10.00am – 09.00pmContact: +886-2-2579-528 Facebook   7. Ice Monster Picture Credit - Last but not least, the most important course, dessert! And what better way than to end your day with some shaved ice? Picture Credit - This dessert is sure to leave you craving for more, and it’s Halal-Friendly! A favourite amongst tourists and locals alike, Ice Monster serves up shaved ice churned with different flavours. They offer a variety of toppings. Feeling fruity?  Go for fresh mango, strawberries or, pineapple. Feeling adventurous? Go for their other flavours, such as sweet peanut, pearl milk tea, coffee, and sweet red beans. This dessert is enjoyed by children and adults alike! AddressZhongxiao Flagship Shop: No. 297, Section 4, Zhongxiao East Road, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan (Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall Exit 1)Breeze Song Gao: No. 16, Song Gao Rd., Xin-Yi District, Taipei, Taiwan (Taipei City Hall Station Exit 3)Opening hoursZhongxiao Flagship Shop: Sun to Thu - 10.30am to 10.30pm / Fri to Sat 10.30am to 11.30pmBreeze Song Gao: Sun to Thu 11am-9.30pm / Fri-Sat 11am - 10pmPrice: NT$30 – NT$280Contact: Flagship Shop (旗艦店)​ +886-2-8771-3263 / +886-2-8771-3092, Headquarters (總公司) +886-2-2627-5686Website: Zhongxiao Flagship Shop Breeze Song Gao Facebook Taipei is an exciting city with great historical buildings, beautiful parks and a buzzing lifestyle. It’s sure to keep you on your toes, and will leave you ravenous, so be sure to drop by these restaurants for some good food! via GIPHY Find mosques near you in Taipei Find Halal Restaurants near you in Taipei...

  • World Cup 2018: We've Got Just The Deets For Your Trip To Russia This Season Part 1

    Are you getting ready for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia? The quadrennial international football tournament, the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be hosted across eleven cities in Russia. Whether you were already planning your next trip to Russia or it’s a fairly new addition to your travel list, there's nothing like World Cup fever to accompany you on your travels there. Plan your Halal tour to Russia, where from the 14th of June to the 15th of July 2018, you can experience the sights, sounds and tastes of Russia in their pleasant summer temperatures of 18 to 23 degrees Celsius. Check World Cup 2018 schedule dates so that you can prepare for travelling between host cities, where intercity buses are the most affordable option with bus rides taking 6-12 hours, or you could travel by train, or by aeroplane. Read the Ultimate Muslim Traveller's Guide to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Stadiums 5 Interesting Facts about the FIFA World Cup Here is our ultimate tourist's guide to the 2018 FIFA World Cup host cities, what you can do there besides attend the games, how to get around within the city, how to find mosques and prayer places near you in Russia, and of course, how to find Halal food near you in Russia: 1. Kaliningrad What You Need To Know Summer in Kaliningrad is pleasant with temperatures ranging between 15 to 18°C. A light jacket is handy for the occasional rains and general windy climate. Sights To See Faraway Kingdom Amusement Centre is an indoor game centre for children whose painted walls take them to another world like the jungle, under the sea or even a princess’s palace. They offer video games, video simulators, a creative studio, a cinema and more to keep your child entertained all day. The Yunost Park is also a great way to see the most scenic part of Kaliningrad from the top of a Ferris wheel. It also has a go-karting centre, a boat station, an Upside-Down house and a labyrinth of mirrors, in addition to great picnic spots. If you are a beach lover, don't miss a chance to check out the Yantarny Town! Amber Castle Museum is a must-visit as Kaliningrad used to be a major amber mine, and still holds a lot of that history. However, there's a lot more to discover than just the amber mining process at the museum - Amber Lake, formerly known as Walter Mine, used to be an amber mine, and is now an artificial lake. There is a diving centre there where beginners can go for test dives with instructors and view a world that once was – with the mining machinery, railroad tracks and more – now submerged. Halal Restaurants The Teahouse Kaliningrad – Tashkent is assured to be Halal by the staff. They currently have 2 branches. They offer main dishes and beverages like soup, kebab, tea and coffee.  Teatralnaya branch Photo credit - Chaihana Cuisine: UzbekAddress: Teatralnaya street, 21, Kaliningrad, Kaliningrad oblast, Russia, 236006Operating Hours: Sun - Thu 9am to 2am / Friday to Sat - 10am to 6amContact:  39 99 39Website:  Ul'yany Branch Photo credit - Chaihana Address: Ulitsa Ul'yany Gromovoy, 4А, Konigsberg, Kaliningradskaya oblast', Russia, 236011Operating Hours: Sun - Thurs 10am to 12am / Friday - Saturday 10am to 2amContact: 33-78-82Website:  Facebook Prayer facilities While there is no mosque yet in Kaliningrad, there is a 100, 000 strong Muslim community whose help you should be able to avail yourself of, in locating a place to offer your prayers. Transportation Trams are concentrated in the centre of town, while trolleybuses get you to the outskirts. Buses and marshrutkas (minibuses or shuttle taxis) cover the entire city. 2. Volgograd What you need to know Bring a hat and sunglasses if you’re going to Volgograd, as it can get quite sunny. Volgograd is place with unique ecosystems, so nature lovers will appreciate the protected sanctuary that is home to many species of birds and animals. Sights to see The Volga-Akhtuba Catchment Route is an amazingly beautiful nature park that has a microclimate which allows it to breed multiple types of plants, birds and animals. One day is not enough to spend exploring this region, and know that there are still some parts of it that have not been seen by man. There are plenty of campsites for you to truly immerse yourself in its glory and take a breather. Also check out the Tsaritsyn Synagogue Former Building. The first stone synagogue to be built in Tsaritsyn and is now a cultural landmark. It has undergone restoration works since it miraculously survived the Battle of Stalingrad, and is now a piece of history. Prayer facilities Sahabah Mosque Picture Credit: Halal Guide Address: Lavrovaya Ulitsa, 16, Volgograd, Volgogradskaya oblast', Russia, 400023 Volgograd mosque Picture Credit: Welcome 2018 Address: Povorinskaya Ulitsa, 22, Volgograd, Volgogradskaya oblast', Russia, 400120 Transportation You can reach the airport by cab, train or bus.  To get around the city, take the Metro Tram, trolleybus or bus, or an electric train in the south of the city where the Metro Tram does not run. Buses are the most convenient and cheap option, however. You can also cycle around if you prefer, as it isn't uncommon in Volgograd. 3. Saransk Picture Credit: Russia IC What you need to know Saransk is home to a lot of museums, which is the best way to learn about the city's rich history. Sights to see Forever With Russia monument and fountain is one of the many fountains present in Saransk. An impressive 20 metres in height, the monument symbolises the fertility of Mordovian soil, and the fountain complex covers twenty thousand square meters. It is also a spectacular sight at night, all lit up. Millennium Square hosts musical shows in the evenings when the weather is warm outside. It is also home to Zvezda Mordovii (Star or Mordovia) fountain, so called because of the eight-point star at the heart of the fountain, the base of the fountain spanning 60 meters in diameter. Enjoy the musical shows at Millenium Square itself, or enjoy the view of the fountain from a height. The roof of the National Library is a great vantage point where you can see not just the fountain, but also the Tree of Life – a bronze sculptural composition which resembles an oak tree, weighs 30 tonnes, and has Mordovia’s map etched onto its base. Take a walk around the picturesque town of Saransk and see the many places of worship – church, cathedral, temple, chapel, Mordovian Erzia Museum of Visual Arts, Mineralogy Museum and National History Museum. Halal Restaurants Burger Boom Picture Credit: Halal Guide Cuisine: BurgersAddress: площадь 1000-летия., ul. Bogdana Khmelnitskogo, Saransk, Respublika Mordoviya, Russia, 430000Operating Hours: 24 hoursContact: +7 927 275-31-52 Halal Food Café Picture Credit: Halal Guide Cuisine: Pizza Address:  ul. B. Khmelnitsky 28, Ogarev Plaza Operating Hours: 10am to 9.30pm Contact: +7(951)054-02-02 Website: Prayer facilities Aal Mansour Mosque Picture Credit: Таковар, Live Internet Address: Ulitsa Titova, 5/1, Saransk, Respublika Mordoviya, Russia, 430011Contact: +7 (8342) 55 58 17 Uskudar Mosque Picture Credit: Turizmrm Address: Prospekt 60 Let Oktyabrya, 4, Saransk, Respublika Mordoviya, Russia, 430023 Contact: +7 927 183-64-63 Transportation Buses, marshrutkas and trolleybuses cover the city limits, while buses and marshrutkas reach the suburbs. There are four stops for the electric train within the city as well. 4. Samara Picture Credit - What You Need To Know Due to the sunny skies and sometimes rainy days, a hat, sunglasses and umbrella are advisable. The esplanade – the banks of the Volga in Samara – showcases local culture in all its splendour in the summer. It is a great spot to swim, sunbathe, or enjoy a boat ride along the river. Sights To See Galileo Edutainment Park is just as its name states: A fun way for children to learn, experiment and explore. Tarzania Rope Park focuses on the physical aspect of challenging children in a safe environment with different games and obstacle courses based on their age and height. They even have something for adults, making it a great place for some family fun. Park Druzhby has the only roller coaster in Samara, so adrenalin junkies will surely head for it. It also has a children’s playing area, electric cars, trampolines, and grounds to play football and basketball, as well as an equestrian club. Nikolay Shchors Childrens’ Park offers plenty of amusement for children, as well as a serene place for adults to picnic or take a walk, as does Park Pobedy or Victory Park, the latter sporting fountains, playgrounds, cafés and a Ferris wheel. Halal Restaurants Chaykhana ‘Dolina’ Khalyal, Tea House, Tubatay, Lagmannaya and Shawarma in the Volga are some of the Halal food places. Chaykhana 'Dolina' Khalyal Picture Credit: Halal Guide Cuisine: Tea House Address: ul. Buyanova, 135Б, Samara, Samarskaya oblast', Russia, 443030 Operating Hours: 8am to 11pm Contact: +7 947 114-00-19 Lagmannaya Picture Credit: Otzyv Cuisine: Russian and Uzbek cuisineAddress: Rossiya, Samara, Nekrasovskaya ulitsa, 48Operating Hours: 8am to 7pmTel.: +7 (960) 830-29-02Website: Prayer facilities Samara Cathedral Mosque Picture Credit: Beautiful Mosque Address: Ulitsa Stara-Zagora, 54, Samara, Samarskaya oblast,'Russia, 443081Contact: (846) 951-95-53Website: Transportation Samara’s Metro system is a single line with ten stations, and can be reached by trolleybuses. Buses, trams or trolleybuses can be used within the city. Electric trains are used to reach the more remote parts of Samara. 5. Nizhny Novgorod Picture Credit: Rukaba, What You Need To Know Nizhny Novgorod is the closest city to Moscow being only 3.5 hours away by train. It is also the third largest city in Russia after Moscow and St. Petersburg. Sights To See The Strelka (or “Spit”) is where the rivers Oka and Volga meet each other and is one of the most scenic natural observation decks. Besides the fact that you can see the distinct difference between the two rivers on a clear day, the Strelka is a land rich in historical significance. Its area is so great that it was once like a town itself inside Nizhny Novgorod. The FIFA World Cup match in Nizhny Novgorod will be played in Strelka, not to mention that the new metro station opening up right next to it will bear the name proudly, too. Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin is the most important landmark in the city. The founder of the city built it high on the banks of the Volga – for the view and security reasons – and today it serves as a landmark for every resident’s life. They come there after weddings to celebrate love, they bring their children there for New Year’s parties, and more. The Kremlin has 13 towers, none of which are built alike, which is an interesting architectural point for those who wish to see the difference. Picture Credit: Wikimedia Commons If you feel like you’re missing out your regular workout while on holiday, you can always head for Chkalov Staircase – an impressive figure 8-shaped staircase – and sprint up its 560-plus stairs. It was built to honour a local hero, and is a monument in itself. Nizhny Novgorod Fair Exhibition Complex is an important place because the city made its name through its fairs and trading. The saying goes: “St. Petersburg is Russia’s head, Moscow is its heart, and Nizhny [Novgorod] is its pocket.” Viewing such a location is to be a immersed in a part of history. The Metro Bridge only opened in 2009, but what is under it, a mill complex that belonged to the wealthiest family in the city, is a picturesque site that many filmmakers favour, and feature in their films. There are a number of museums and religious places to be seen too, for those with an interest. Halal Restaurants Halal Café Uzbechka Halal Café Uzbechka's halal status was confirmed by the staff. The cafe usually opens from 8am to 11pm. Patrons mostly come in for lunch that the cafe offers. The cafe centralises on the Uzbek cuisine such as the Mampar Soup, Lyulya Kebab and a variety of salad to choose from. If you're popping by this cafe, give the Pilav Tashkent a try. The dish consist of traditional Uzbek rice and lamb, topped with carrots and chickpeas. Prayer Facilities Cathedral Mosque Picture Credit - Daryal, Address: Kazanskaya naberezhnaya 6, Nizhny Novgorod 603024, RussiaOperating Hours: Mon to Sun, 8am to 8pm Contact: +7 (831) 436 00 39 Taub Mosque Picture Credit: Inspirock Address: ul. Melnikova 7, Nizhny Novgorod 603053, RussiaContact: +7 831 253-36-33 Transportation The best way to travel around is by bus, marshrutka, tram or trolleybus as Nizhny Novgorod was the first place in Russia to get tram service. They cover almost all the parts of the city, while the metro has 14 stations should you wish to visit near them, and the electric train is mostly used to get to the suburbs. The Nizhny Novgorod Cableway is the perfect way to get to the town of Bor from downtown Nizhny Novgorod, and it's also a great way to sightsee over the river. Find Mosques and Prayer Places Near You in RussiaFind Halal Food Near You in Russia...

  • Ultimate Muslim Traveller's guide to 2018 FIFA World Cup Stadiums

    Football fever is creeping in, with the FIFA World Cup being held this year in Russia and the commencement being just months away! It’s time to rally up your fellow supporters and start making travel plans because watching the game on a T.V. screen isn’t the same as actually being at the stadiums with the massive crowds! It’s a euphoric, powerful experience and besides you get to see your favourite players in the flesh! The FIFA experience may be overwhelming with all those matches and stadiums to get to and all the keeping up to do, as well as where to find proper prayer facilities and Halal restaurants. Don’t worry we’ve got you covered with this ultimate Muslim traveller’s guide to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia!   The FIFA World Cup The FIFA World Cup, also simply referred to as the World Cup is a tournament organized by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), which is the sport’s global governing body. The championship’s inaugural tournament was held in 1930 and has been awarded every four years since – except in the years 1942 and 1946, the tournaments were not held due the Second World War. The current World Cup champion is Germany; they won their fourth title at the 2014 tournament which was held in Brazil. The World Cup Finals is a three year long qualification phase and determines which teams will qualify for the tournament phase. The 32 selected teams as well as the automatically qualifying host nation/nations compete for the title in the different venues within the host nation/nations for about a month. As of now, 20 World Cup tournaments have been held, and the title has been won by eight national teams. Brazil was the reigning champion for five World Cup wins, and is the only team to have qualified for every tournament. The World Cup is the most watched and followed sporting event in the world! The overall audience of the 2006 FIFA World Cup was an estimated 26.29 billion people, while the final match garnered a staggering audience of 715.1 million which is a ninth of the entire population of the planet! Due to it being one of the world’s most prestigious sporting events, it is no stranger to scandals and hooliganism. The media has often revealed many corrupt officials of FIFA and reported many acts of violence performed by fans themselves, which has tarnished the name of the World Cup. However, fans are not giving up on the World Cup yet, because at the end of the day, it brings people together to enjoy the sport loved by the world over. The 21stFIFA World Cup will be held in Russia, with the opening ceremony to be held on 14th June 2018 and ending on the 15th of July 2018.   Moscow Moscow is Russia’s largest city and capital with a population of 12, 380 664, it is also the country’s main cultural hub. Football is a major part of the city’s history with four clubs - CSKA, Spartak, Dynamo and Lokomotiv – which were placed in the top division of the 2015/16 Premier League championship of the country. Two stadiums in Moscow would be hosting the tournament for the 2018 FIFA World Cup - Luzhniki stadium and Spartak stadium. Moscow’s Luzhniki Olympic Complex is the biggest stadium in Russia and will host the opening ceremony and closing ceremony as well as the first match and final match, along with four group matches, one round of 16 final and one semi-final. The stadium first opened in 1956 and is situated by the Luzhnetskaya Embankment of the Moskva River across from Vorobyovy Hills. Luzhniki hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the 22nd Olympic Games of 1980. The 1999 UEFA Cup final was hosted by this stadium. It was at this stadium during a Euro 2001 qualifier that Russia beat England 2-1. Luzhniki was reconstructed in preparation for the 2018 World Cup, it was completed in 2017. The expanded stalls can accommodate 81,000 spectators instead of only 78,000, which was its previous capacity. Before the recent remodelling, the seating arrangements caused poor visibility from some sections of the stalls, however, now the stalls have been moved as close to the pitch as possible fixing the visibility issue. From the total number of seats, 300 have been equipped for people with disabilities, 1,700 seats are reserved for VIP spectators and 2000 seats for the media. A little fun fact about the stadium; state-of-the-art technology has been used to equip the goals. Several cameras watch the goals, while an electronic bracelet alerts the referee. Find Halal restaurants near you in Moscow  Find Mosques near you in Moscow   The second stadium to host matches is the Spartak stadium; it is the arena of Russia’s No.1 football club, FC Spartak Moscow. The stadium can accommodate 45,000 spectators and has its own metro station, the Spartak Metro station, which makes it easier for football fans to reach the stadium. Moscow is home to 2 million Muslims, therefore finding restaurants serving Halal food would not be too difficult, and restaurants can easily be found by searching on the net. Due to the city’s large population of Muslims finding a mosque won’t be a hassle. Moscow is home to the city’s largest mosque – Moscow Cathedral Mosque – it has a capacity of 10,000 worshippers. While visiting the city to watch the World Cup matches, make sure to visit Moscow’s most famous attraction, the Kremlin. The city has other delights to offer, like the Moscow Zoo, circuses, and a cat theatre! Find Halal restaurants near you in Moscow  Find Mosques near you in Moscow   Ekaterinburg Picture Credit -   Ekaterinburg is the fourth largest city in Russia, it was named after Russian Empress Catherine I. The Trans-Siberian Railway ran through the city across the vast expanse of Siberia into China, making Ekaterinburg Russia’s gateway to Asia. The FC Ural is Ekaterinburg’s football team, it was founded in 1930. The team is placed in the top national football division of Russia’s premier league. They are two-time winners of the Football National League Cup, which is the second most influential division in Russian football. The Ekaterinburg Central Stadium will host four group stage matches, for the duration of the tournament the stadium will be referred to as Ekaterinburg Arena. The stadium is located in the Verkh-Isetsky district, which is the central part of the city. The Polschad 1905 Goda is the nearest metro station; there are four bus stops from here to the stadium. The city was named one of the twelve ideal cities to live in by UNESCO. Ekaterinburg is full of natural resources such as oil, gas, gold mines, and Europe’s largest deposit of Emeralds! Though Ekaterinburg has a population of 200,000 Muslims, the city lacks Mosques. There are two Mosques, the Congregational Mosque, which is the main Mosque in the city, and the Ramadan Mosque. Finding Halal restaurants may be challenging, there is only a scattering (around four restaurants) of Halal friendly restaurants in the city. One of the known restaurants is Halal Cafe Ramazan. However, there are many Halal friendly grocers in the area. Find Halal restaurants near you in Ekaterinburg    Saint Petersburg   Saint Petersburg is the cultural capital of Russia.  Once referred to as Petrograd and Leningrad, the current name “Saint Petersburg” comes from Latin-Dutch word-formations. The locals of refer to their city as Piter. The city has a population of 5,281,579 people. The center of the city is an open-air museum. Some of the city still looks like it did in the 1900s, it is an eclectic mix of neo-classical architecture and modern buildings. It boasts 200 museums, 70 theatres, 50 cinemas and 1100 libraries. Saint Petersburg’s local football club is FC Zenit Saint Petersburg, the team was founded in 1925. The squad plays in the Russian Premier League, and were the champions in 2007, 2010, 2011-2012, and 2014-2015. They won at the 2007-2008 UEFA Cup as well as the 2008 UEFA Super Cup. The stadium is located on Krestovsky Island, which you can access through the new Novokrestovskaya Metro station, and the new pedestrian bridge linking the island with the southern coast of Primorsky District. The stadium was designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kuroko, and is one of the most technologically advanced stadiums in Europe. It has a retractable roof which takes 15 mins to open or close, and a roll-out pitch. The stadium has a capacity of 68,000 spectators, and will host two matches. The easiest way to travel to the arena is by metro.  The closest station - Krestovsky Ostrov – is only a 2 minute walk away from the stadium (Metro line no. 5). There may be some restrictions on traffic close to the stadium however, shuttle buses will be provided on game days. The buses will stop at two locations the Krestovsky Ostrov bus station and the intersection of Sportivnaya Street and Morskoy Prospect. The Saint Petersburg Mosque is a must visit, when it was first opened in 1913, it was the largest Mosque in Europe. This is also the only Mosque in the city, however certain Halal restaurants offer prayer facilities. There are quite a few Halal friendly restaurants in the area, so you won’t have a problem with finding the right restaurants. Navruz is a good restaurant to visit while in Saint Petersburg. Find Mosques near you in Saint Petersburg Find Halal Restaurants near you in Saint Petersburg   Sochi   Sochi became famous for hosting the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, whose preparations caused the city to experience great improvements in infrastructure. Among the many new facilities is the Fisht stadium, which will play host to the 2018 World Cup matches. The stadium is named after one of the peaks of the western part of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range. In the Adyghe language “Fisht” means “white head”. The stadium has been designed in a unique way to give spectators a mountain view on one side and a sea view on the other side. The stadium can house 40,000 people. The best way to get to the stadium is by cab or bus, and travelling is easy due to the many renovations made to the city for the Winter Olympics. Unfortunately, in spite of all the money spent on the Olympics, the city has still not managed to build a Mosque. The only available Mosque in the region is a 2 and a half hour drive to the Adyhge village of Tkhagapsh. There are a few Halal friendly restaurants in the region namely, Cafe “Halal House”, Cafe Uzgen and Cafe Lebanon House. Find Halal Restaurants near you in Sochi   Kazan Photo credit - Maksim Tumanov/TASS   Kazan was founded a thousand years ago and is one of the main cities in Russia. The city is a port located on the left bank of the Volga River – a religious, economic and cultural center – it is the third capital of Russia. The city has a population of 1,231,878 people. In 2009 Kazan was chosen as the Sports Capital of Russia. The structure of the stadium is reminiscent of a water lily, giving it an almost ethereal look. The stadium was built for the 2013 Summer Universiade, and hosted both the opening and closing ceremonies. The arena is the only football stadium where 12 world records in swimming was set. It will play host to two matches for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. During the match days traffic around the Kazan Stadium will be restricted. Public transport will be provided from the airport to the stadium via shuttle buses. Spectators can also get buses at the Adoratsky Street and Yamasheva Prospect intersection, and even use the Kazan-1 Railway route from Fan Zone to stadium or the route from Kazan-2 Railway station to the stadium. Kazan is a predominantly Muslim city therefore finding Mosques and Halal restaurants will not be difficult. Kazan has its own distinctive cuisine – Tartar Cuisine – which is Halal, so be sure to try some dishes in the many restaurants available in the city. One of the most important heritage sites in Kazan is the Kul Sharif Mosque, it is located in the Kazan Kremlin. Find Mosques near you in Kazan Find Halal Restaurants near you in Kazan   Saransk Photo credit -   Saransk is situated on the banks of the Insar River, which is joined by the Saranka and Tayla Rivers within the city limits. The city is full of myths and legends, with many landmarks in its vicinity. The city has a population of 300,000 people. FC Mordovia is the local football club which was founded in 1961. The team won at the 2009 Pro Football League, going on to win the National League Championships in the 2011/2012 and 2013/2014 seasons. The Mordovia Arena will host 4 matches for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The stadium has a capacity of 45,000, and can be reached by car in 10 minutes from the airport, and 5 minutes from the railway station. Shuttle buses will run between the stadium and railway station, airport, as well as hotels. Saransk has three Mosques, the Ikhsan Mosque, Aal-Mansur Mosque and the Uskudar Mosque. You can easily find Halal friendly restaurants in the city by doing a quick search online, one of the recommended restaurants is BurgerBoom.   Kaliningrad Photo credit -   This city is the westernmost regional capital of Russia, parts of Lithuania and Belarus lie in between the Kaliningrad region and Russia. Kaliningrad is an important shipping hub where many international routes interconnect, such as rail lines, and sea and air routes. The Kaliningrad region boasts of the largest field of amber in the world, 90% of the world’s prospected stocks of amber. Kaliningrad has their own football club – Club Baltika – founded in 1954. The team is one of the leading clubs on the National Football League. The Kaliningrad stadium will host four group stage matches for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The stadium has been built on the shore of an island, October Island. The stadium has five storeys and will be able to hold 35,000 spectators. As of now, there are public transport routes to the stadium, the nearest stop is a 20 minute walk away from the arena. As stated on the official website, access roads will be built in time for the World Cup. There are very few Halal friendly restaurants in this area, with just a very few speckled across the city and only around two Mosques for the whole city. Find Halal Restaurants near you in Kaliningrad   Samara Photo credit -   Samara is the main economic centre, transportation hub and cultural magnet for the whole Volga basin. The city celebrated 45 years in aerospace engineering by opening a museum and exhibition centre in 2001, the museum houses Europe’s only Soyuz booster rocket in launch position. The museum hosted the Wings of the Future exhibition in dedication of the city’s preparations for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup. Samara also has Russia’s first public football museum, most of the exhibits are devoted to the local team – FC Krylya Sovetov. The team was put together during the Great Patriotic War of 1942, marking its 75th jubilee earlier in 2017. The squad has their own stadium, the Metallurg stadium which was Eastern Europe’s best attended arena in the year of 2004. The club has played in top division for over 45 seasons of the Soviet national championships, also going on to the USSR Cup finals in 1953 and 1964. FC Krylya Sovetov scored a bronze at the Russian championship and played at the 2004 Russian Cup finals. The team went competed in the 2005 UEFA Cup and also played at the UEFA Europa League in 2009. The Samara Arena will host four group stage matches in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, including one match with the Russian national team. The stadium has been designed to look like an object from space, it is symbolic of Samara’s role in the world history of space exploration. Samara is the location of one of Russia’s largest Mosques, the New Mosque. It was built in the 1990s with red brick, and has an apple orchard by the walls. The Mosque was designed by Rasim Walshin, a local architect. It will not be easy finding Halal fare in Samara, there are very few restaurants that serve Halal food. Cafe Al-Halal and Lagmannaya, are recommended restaurants in the area. Find Halal Restaurants near you in Samara   Rostov-on-Don Photo Credit -   Rostov-on-Don is a major transport and industrial hub as well as cultural centre in southern Russia. Rostov-on-Don is also the unofficial “southern capital” of Russia and one of the gateways to Caucasus. The city has a football club, FC Rostov, which was founded in 1930. The team was placed second in the Premier League competition in the 2015/2016 tournament, they made it into the 1/8 finals of the European League in 2016/2017, and they were placed third in the group stage match of the UEFA Champions League. The Rostov stadium will host four group stage matches as well as a 1/8 final for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The Rostov arena has a seating capacity of 45,000. The stadium was built in 2012 in the Kirov district. After the World Cup, the stadium will become the official arena for the FC Rostov. The stadium can be reached by bus number 591 if travelling from the northern areas of the city. When arriving from the southern areas of the city, travelling by train is the best option. The closest railway station is the Zarechnaya station which is two bus stops away from the stadium. Rostov-on-Don has only one functioning Mosque, the Rostov-on-Don Cathedral Mosque. Halal food is not readily available in this city however you will be able to find a few groceries and markets that sell Halal products.   Nizhny Novgorod Picture Credit -   During the 18th and 19th centuries Nizhny Novgorod came forward as a regional economic, industrial, scientific and educational hub. The railway connecting Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod, built during the 1850s and 1860s, was one of the first railways to be built in Russia. Nizhny Novgorod is 3.5 hours away from Moscow by train, making it the closest host city to Moscow. Nizhny Novgorod has a population which exceeds 1.3 million; it is the largest city within European Russia after Moscow and St. Petersburg. Located in Upper Town is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin. It was built in the 1500s and houses the City Hall and the regional government. A football club was only recently founded, the FC Olympiets, the official squad was put together in 2015. The team will compete in the 2017/2018 National Football Championship, this will be their first match. The Nizhny Novgorod stadium construction commenced in 2015, the stadium will be able to accommodate 45,000 spectators. The stadium will host four group stage games, including one match of the 1/8 and ¼ finals during the 2018 World Cup. The arena is built on Strelka, offering a picturesque view of the Oka River meeting the Volga River. After the World Championship the stadium will be utilized as a multifunctional sports complex as well the home field of the local football club. The nearest metro station is said to be situated in Strelka, it will be opened in time for the World Cup. The stadium is a five-minute walk away from the station. There are two recommended Halal restaurants in the area, Uzbekcha Halal Restaurant and Гарцующий пони (Gartsuyushchiy poni). However, ask around for other Halal restaurants that may be in the area. There are three Mosques in Nizhny Novgorod, the Nizhny Novgorod Mosque, the Taub Mosque and the Nizhegorodskaya Sobornaya Mosque. Find Halal Restaurants near you in Nizhny Novgorod   Volgograd Photo Credit -   Volgograd’s original name was Tsaritsyn, it was renamed to Stalingrad in the 1920s and was given its current name in 1961. The city has been a regional industrial capital since the 18th century, Volgograd is full of industrial enterprises, which played a defining role in the city’s history. The population of Volgograd is said to be more than one million. Volgograd was one of the cities that pioneered Russian football. The city’s first ever football team was formed in 1909 and comprised of steel works and oil industry workers. The present day team, FC Rotor, is the winner of the 2016/2017 Pro Football League Championship (South Zone). FC Rotor was founded in 1929, their greatest achievements were a Soviet Cup semi-final, a Russia Cup final, one National Championship bronze and two silvers. The Volgograd Arena replaced the Central Stadium, which was the home field of the Rotor-Volgograd football club. The Central Stadium was opened in 1962 and in 1963 Fidel Castro delivered a speech to a crowd of 60,000 people. The stadium was dismantled in 2014 to be replaced with the new Volgograd Arena. The stadium is shaped like an overturned truncated cone and is able to accommodate 45,000 spectators. The stadium will host four group stage matches for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and will become the home field of the FC Rotor football club after the World Cup ends. It is set to be opened in 2018. The Volgograd Arena can be accessed by bus, trolleybus, high-speed tram or commuter train, the closest station is the Mamaev Kurgan station. There aren’t many Halal friendly restaurants in the Volgograd city, however there a few restaurants scattered around the surrounding districts, a quick search on the internet should help you locate them. Two recommended restaurants are Khalyal and Халяльa which serve Halal fare. Volgograd has one functioning Mosque, the Volgograd Cathedral Mosque. Find Halal Restaurants near you in Volgograd   So book those match tickets and flight tickets! And don’t forget to check hotel availability; this is an opportunity that’s not to be missed, also take as many photos as you can! The World up may be the main highlight of your Russia trip, but Russia is a great country with lots to offer so don’t forget to do some sightseeing. 5 Interesting Facts About the FIFA World Cup  ...

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