The FIFA World Cup in Russia will be held between the 14th of June and the 15th of July 2018 and will take place in 11 different cities in Russia.
I have secured tickets for the quarterfinals, which will take place on the 6th of July in Kazan and I’m VERY excited to experience this event!
I have made this practical guide to all those who plan to travel to Russia this summer. Here you will find all the information you need to prepare your trip: purchase of tickets, FAN ID cards, host cities, transportation and practical things to plan your trip. Will I see you at the FIFA World Cup in Russia?
In which cities will the FIFA World Cup be held in Russia in 2018?
The matched will be played in 11 cities in the western part of Russia from the cultural St. Petersburg in the north to the seaside town of Sochi in the south. The 11 host cities are:
- St. Petersburg
- Nizhny Novgorod
Of course, Moscow will be the center of world cup, where both the opening and final match will take place.
Do I need a visa to travel to Russia?
Well that depends where you are from. There are about 40 nationalities that do not require visas to enter Russia (primarily countries in the former Soviet Union and the South American countries), it is necessary for the rest of the world’s citizens (including the EU) to get a visa, which implies submission of documents and payment of consular fees.
In connection with the FIFA World Cup in Russia in 2018, however, the Russian government introduced a law in July 2016 so travellers can go to Russia without a VISA during the FIFA World Cup period between the 14th of June and the 15th of July 2018.
To be able to do this, two conditions must be met:
- You must have a ticket to at least one of the FIFA World Cup matches
- You must have a FAN ID issued by FIFA.
Let’s look into these two conditions.
You must have a ticket to at least one of the FIFA World Cup matches
Ticket sales for the FIFA World Cup matches in Russia take place on FIFA.com and are divided into several sales phases:
|Sales Phase (1)|
|Random Selection Draw (1)||14 September 2017 – 12 October 2017|
|First Come First Served (1)||16 November 2017 – 28 November 2017|
|Sales Phase (2)|
|Random Selection Draw (2)||05 December 2017 – 31 January 2018|
|First Come First Served (1)||13 March 2018 – 03 April 2018|
|Last Minute Sales Phase||18 April 2018 – 15 July 2018|
The last sales phase starts April 18th and runs until the match days start. Here you will be able to buy the last tickets available by the First Come First Served principle. You will also be able to buy tickets that have been returned from someone who bought them earlier and thus still be able to get tickets for some great matches.
First of all, you must register as a user at www.fifa.com. Then you can apply for permission to buy tickets.
The tickets from FIFA will be delivered to your mailbox in April and May 2018, unless you have purchased tickets from Round of 16 matches and further. These tickets will be able to be picked up at selected ticket sites when it is decided which teams will play the matches in question.
You must have a FAN ID issued by FIFA
Once you have purchased a ticket and received your confirmation along with a confirmation number, you can apply for a Fan ID, which gives you a number of benefits:
- Free public transport in host cities.
- Access to free train transport between host cities.
- It acts as a “multiple entry” visa to Russia during the FIFA World Cup plus 10 days before and after.
You can apply for the FAN ID at www.fan-id.ru.
Remember to have a picture of your face with a completely white background ready. It is a required to get the image approved. I have not yet made my FAN ID for this particular reason …
And maybe you can try to look a little more happy than stone-face Peter below. No thanks to racism … and smiling.
How do I get a visa to Russia if I do not have a FIFA World Cup ticket?
Maybe you do not care about the football matches themselves, but you want to experience the atmosphere of the FIFA World Cup in Russia or you just want to experience Russia with some of your football friends, then you should apply for a regular tourist visa.
Check with the Russian Embassy in your country what documentation you need.
Hop on the train between the host cities
If you are going to see several matches and travel from city to city in Russia, you can travel for free by train. The free train service solves two major issues in connection with the FIFA World Cup in Russia:
- How do you house the many fans coming to the FIFA World Cup in Russia?
- How do you ensure easy transport between host cities?
Most of the trains run at night and arrive in the morning so fans can sleep and arrive at their destination. In order to obtain tickets for the night trains between host cities, you must have a ticket to one of the matches and a FAN ID. You can find tickets for the free train on this website.
Rumors say that there are no more tickets left.
If you have not gotten the free train tickets or you simply want to plan your trip differently, you can fly from host city to host city or take the train. Personally I would recommend taking the train. Trains are the most common form of travelling across the long distances of Russia, and there is something special about experiencing Russia by train. Russian trains have beds instead of seats and there are usually three different classes available on all trains:
- “Platzkartny” (3rd Class) are open sleeping couches with 54 beds. Here are no departments so you travel in a large dormitory.
- “Kupe” (2nd Class) are 36 beds in 4-bed units, which are very similar to the European trains.
- “SV” (1st Class) 18 beds in 2-bed units.
The trains will undoubtedly be filled with tourists from all over the world during the FIFA World Cup in Russia and it will be a unique opportunity to meet happy and exciting people. There will no doubt also be local Russians in the trains that commute between cities in connection with work or to visit family. It will therefore be a great opportunity to talk to local Russians and learn more about Russian culture.
A good tip is always to bring some snacks on the trip and share it with your fellow passengers in the coupé. Food is always a great icebreaker;).
Where will I sleep in Russia?
There are tons of options for finding hotels and hostels that you can book online at for example Booking.com in the 11 host cities. You can also find apartments on Airbnb, and of course, please check if the hosts have a certain number of good reviews.
Shoot me an email if you’re in my hood!
If you are planning to go to Kazan, please contact me if you need help with booking, translation, tips on what to see in the city or if you just want to have a cup of coffee with me 😉
My contact info:
+45 50 82 04 37
+7 (917) 925 94 28
I hope you will have a FANTASTIC trip to the FIFA World Cup in Russia!