You will find essential information about venues, ticketing and teams at the FIFA official site. The best information site is probably Welcome 2018. There are also guides being issued by the international media and some participating countries such as Germany are producing Fan Guides.
The Russian language is not easy but it will make things smoother during your time if you can speak a few words and phrases. It really is as easy as going to a language site and learning 5 things. Try this one.
First things first: Getting in. Once you have your match ticket and receive your Fan ID, either electronically or delivered to your address, you can start the journey to Russia and enjoy visa-free entry – but only if you have a confirmed Fan ID with you.
Any fans who want to come to Russia but do not manage to secure tickets to a game will have to apply for a regular Russian tourist visa at the nearest Russian embassy or consulate. If you book a big hotel they can send you an electronic voucher that can be used to apply for a visa; it gives you an address in Russia around which you can focus your application.
- You have to register with Russian authorities within 3 days of arrival. If you stay in a hotel, the reception staff can do this for you (sometimes for a small additional fee). If you stay with a private host or rent an apartment – always ask your host to go with you to the ‘Управление по вопросам миграции полиции’ (Police Department for Migration) or the nearest post office, and register you.
- Registration is mandatory and although we expect some regulations to be less strictly observed for World Cup visitors, failure to register may result in a 7 000 RUB fine and can lead to deportation for foreigners.
- At the Russian border, you will be given a Migration card to fill out (filled by the border officers at major airports) – do not lose this small piece of paper. You will need it for the registration and to check in at hotels.
- If you are travelling from one city to another, always keep the registration slips and ask your hotel or host to provide them from your previous city. In some cities – in Kazan and Rostov, for example – the hotels might refuse to check you in or make your stay more difficult if you do not have a registration slip and migration card with you.
There is some general advice when taking cabs:
- Never get a taxi from the street, even if it is clearly marked as a taxi. It may be less likely to happen during the World Cup but there have been cases of robberies, rip-offs, and worse.
- We suggest you use taxi apps: UBER and Gett Taxi are available in many cities. The biggest local provider is Yandex and Taxovichkof is also very popular. All of these apps have an easy to use English-language interface.
- Given the size and the number of drivers, both UBER and Yandex have had some incidents involving drivers, so even when using their services you are advised to check the route on your phone and late at night, or in remote locations, inform someone where you are going. As always, this advice applies especially for women travelling on their own.
For the duration of the tournament the host cities will provide free transport to and from airports on matchdays, as well as free transit around cities.
Train travel is a quick, safe and a scenic way to get around Russia’s vast landscape. Russian railways are putting on additional trains for spectators travelling to and from the host cities. Welcome2018 has good information on getting around cities.
Cities with a metro system such as Moscow and St. Petersburg will also offer free transport at certain times on match days. In Moscow and St. Petersburg the metro system is very efficient and the stations themselves are magnificent. Given Russia’s incredibly heavy road traffic, using the metro is your best bet.
Fans will be eligible for this free transport only if they have a valid match ticket and FAN ID. The service is offered on a first come first serve basis.
To register and book free train travel see the official website: tickets.transport2018.com
For specific enquiries surrounding FAN ID and free travel you can also contact: email@example.com.
All three classes of travel are generally comfortable, and safe. But do take due precautions. If travelling overnight we advise that you book as high a class of travel as possible for comfort.
The buses and mini-buses in most cities are difficult to navigate as most have the destination only in Russian. On match-days use the special shuttle buses between the World Cup venues and the city will be a convenient way to get around. Welcome2018.com has numbers for buses that go to stadiums from points in city centres.
- Get a local SIM card – either right at the airport or in the city upon arrival. Most local providers offer pre-paid SIM cards with enough mobile internet and local calls for 5-10 Eur that should be enough for your entire stay even considering there is roaming inside Russia between different regions.
- Check if your phone is unlocked and supports the Russian GSM standard in advance. Getting a second phone for the local SIM card and a powerbank can save you a lot of hassle during your stay.