2018 Russia World Cup: A Travel Guide

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.


Host Cities

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.

passport and visa

Travel Tips

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.

5 thoughts on “2018 Russia World Cup: A Travel Guide”


    I am Malaysian. I would like to attend three group stage games in FIFA WorldCup 2018 Russia involving my favorite team Italia. Could you please guide how much it will cost for my entire trip to watch these games? As i tried to calculate by my own i could not get any clear frame of it. Hope you can guide me.
    Thank you.

  2. Ray says:

    I went to World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Here’s what I wrote 2 years ago when I applied for World Cup 2014 tickets: http://bit.ly/1sJOuLU

    The general rule of thumb for World Cup is to see what the average hotel and transportation costs are for the Host nation in the six weeks before and after the tournament and multiple it by 3. Russia won’t be much different.

    So, a two week trip during the Opening Round matches is probably going to cost you around $4000 – $5000 US when you factor in transportation, accommodation, attractions, and World Cup tickets.

    Russia may also waive their strict Visa requirements as Brazil did for both World Cup 2014 and the 2016 Summer Olympics in order to sell more tickets and draw in more fans.

  3. Ray says:

    Also, tickets will go on sale around September/October 2017 time frame in six-week phases up until the start of World Cup 2018. During the first several weeks of each phase, applicants are selected in a random draw. After the draw is completed, tickets go on a first-come, first-serve basis for a month before that Sales phase is complete. Then the next starts in December and runs until end of January. Then the third and final phase will start around early March – late April.

    If you are not particular about which teams you want to watch, like I was for World Cup 2014, then your best bet for getting tickets is in Phase 1 either by random draw in smaller cities of Kazan and Samara or you can purchase tickets on a first-come, first-serve basis in Phase 1. Phase 2 gets a lot of traffic and attention because it usually starts right after FIFA draws each team for the Group Stage round just as an FYI.

  4. I was confused by my ticket application, as well. My Visa bill showed I was only charged for 2 tickets instead of the four I applied for (2 tickets each for 2 Opening Round Matches).

    Then I realized that I was not successful in my application for Match #12 – Nigeria vs. Iran. If you look at the picture I posted, it shows that my Match #12 application was crossed out in red and listed as “Allocated in the Sales Phase.”

    If you go to your “My Ticketing Account” on FIFA’s website, and the Opening Round matches that you applied for are crossed out in red and listed under “Allocated in Sales Phase,” then it means you did not get them.


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