The 2018 FIFA World Cup is due to be held in Russia and, as with every major sporting event, football (soccer) fans from all over the globe will travel thousands of miles to watch their country compete in the sport’s biggest event. It’s bound to grab sporting headlines across the world, just as last year’s Brazil tournament did.
The majority of matches will be held in western Russia and, therefore, it should be relatively easy to find a location that is accessible to a number of host cities.
Here we take a look at a couple of the major cities and best locations to stay during the tournament, while also considering a few of the implications of traveling around Russia.
There are 11 host cities that will see a number of matches at each individual location throughout the tournament. The Russian capital Moscow will be an incredibly popular choice for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is hosting the opening match of the tournament – which will feature hosts Russia – as well as the second semi-final on July 10th and the final on July 15th.
Furthermore, the capital has two stadiums that will be in use throughout the competition. The Luzhniki Stadium, which hosted the 2008 Champions League final, and the Otkrytiye Arena will both host matches and will be very popular venues, with both expected to sell out their games.
Moscow also has the advantage of being arguably the most accessible city in Russia, with good links to most of the other major cities in the country that make it a good central base for fans.
However, you have to be realistic. Due to the sheer size of Russia as a country, it won’t be that wise to travel from Moscow to areas such as Yekaterinburg and Sochi, as they are incredibly long journeys.
Kazan is also accessible and, although it doesn’t have the history of Moscow, is still a lovely location to stay during the tournament. As well as witnessing matches at the Kazan Arena, it is possible to attend fixtures in surrounding cities, including Samara, Saransk and Nizhny Novgorod. Each of these stadiums have capacities of over 40,000 and tickets should be easier to get hold of as they are located a fair distance away from Moscow.
The main drawback of staying here is that no matches will be staged in this region after the quarter-finals have taken place. Still there’s plenty of fun to be found in the group matches and that makes this an excellent choice to enjoy the wonders of the 2018 World Cup.
No matter where you end up, here are a few things to consider before you head out:
You will need a Visa: The majority of visitors require a Visa so you will need to contact the Russian authorities in advance to arrange this.
Weather will be mild: You may associate the Russian climate with it’s famously harsh winters but the weather during the World Cup period is typically fairly warm, with average temperatures in the mid-20s (centigrade).
Keep track of the time: Time zones vary across the country, with GMT+2 in Kaliningrad, GMT+3 in Moscow, GMT+4 in St Petersburg and GMT+5 in Yekaterinburg.
Bring a voltage adapter: Electricity throughout the country is 220 volt/50hz with a European standard two-pin plug, so you will need to take a converter.
Note the currency exchange: The currency is the rouble. A US Dollar is worth roughly 60 roubles and a UK Pound about 90. It is not advised to use Traveler’s Checks in Russia.
Are you planning on attending the 2018 World Cup in Russa? Tell us about it! Leave us a question or comment below.