Welcome to the Russian World Cup 2018!
One of the biggest sporting events in the world is here! This year the World Cup is held in Russia and England is already lusting after the coveted trophy. To do this, our team must first face our rivals in group B: Belgium, Panama and Tunisia.
If you are thinking travelling to Russia to enjoy the world’s greatest football show, you will want to know the different venues, how to get from one city to another, travel tips and much more; and that’s what we are here for! As you know, we love to travel and we have enough experience in the subject, so do not miss our little guide with everything you need to know to enjoy this unique event celebrated from June 14 to July 15. Currently, it is still possible to get tickets for some of the matches.
Attendees of the World Cup matches do not need a visa, which means saving some money when planning your trip. Another great advantage is that the organiser offers free transportation between the different match venues.
The Fan ID Card
What is the Fan ID card? Once you have obtained entry for one of the games, you can get to work on obtaining your Fan ID. Among other things, the Fan ID will allow you to travel by train to the different venues completely free of charge. This also applies to the urban public transport.
To obtain your FAN ID, wait until you receive an email from FIFA with your match ticket and register on this page.
Russia and the Venues
Russia is a truly untouchable country, which stretches across two continents, with different time zones, a wide range of different nationalities and cultures, and which has truly incomparable natural spaces. We are facing a vast geographical region that bathes in no less than twelve different seas, is rich in natural resources and that has been the birthplace of countless recognized personalities from the world of art, science and culture. Given the enormous size of the territory occupied by Russia, the distances between the different host cities can be considerable. However, the organization has foreseen everything! Therefore, the connections between the venues are reasonably comfortable, as well as free of charge, as we have indicated previously.
Transport between Moscow and St. Petersburg
If you want to know how to get from Moscow to St. Petersburg, the most frequent route of those attending the World Cup, these are the main connections to take into account:
Plane: 1 hour and a half
Day train: 4 hours
Night train: 8 hours
Undoubtedly, one of the most frequent trips during the World Cup will be the one that separates the two main Russian cities. These cities host two of the most important stadiums, including where the final will be played: Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. At the St. Petersburg stadium, one of the semifinals and the match for third place will be played, among others. The vast majority of tourists visiting Russia concentrate their trip between these two large cities, with St. Petersburg perhaps the most attractive for travellers, thanks to its old buildings and impressive museums.
It should be noted that flights between Moscow and St. Petersburg are usually not expensive. The duration of this particular flight is approximately one and a half hours. There are several airlines that make the trip, such as Aeroflot, Rossiya Airlines and S7 Airlines.
If you prefer to travel by train, there are two options, the day train and the night train. The first takes 4 hours to complete the journey, while the second takes more or less double the travel time, although it offers the possibility of travelling in a sleeper. Through the official Russian Railways website, RZD, it is possible to take a quick look at all the travel combinations available.
England’s World Cup games
Tunisia – England, Volograd, 18th June, 19:00 (UK time)
England kicks off its competition hopes by taking on Tunisia on Monday, June 18 at the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd. The Volgograd Arena was recently under construction, built with the purpose of holding some of the World Cup 2018 games. It will become the new home of Rotor Volgograd after the competition has concluded. The stadium will hold 45,000 people.
Volgograd is a historic city, once known as Stalingrad. When football matches aren’t taking place, it is worth exploring the city’s history, especially as this is the location where the Germans were halted and made turn around during WWII in February 1943. Some of the top attractions in the city are Rossoshka Memorial Cemetery, Volga-Don Canal and the Panorama Museum of the Battle of Stalingrad.
England – Panama, Nizhny Novgorod, 24th June, 13:00 (UK time)
England’s second match will take place 6 days later against Panama in the city of Nizhny Novgorod. Nizhny (to use its shortened name) is a large western city on the Volga River. It’s most iconic attraction is the 16th-century Kremlin, with the amazing Dmitrovskaya Tower and the Cathedral of the Archangel Michael. Nizhny is home to many wonderful museums, including the former apartment of banished Soviet scientist-dissident, Andrei Sakharov. If the weather is good, it is worth taking a river excursion in the area.
England – Belgium, Kaliningrad, 28th June, 19:00 (UK time)
The last game of the group stage is against Belgium. The meeting will take place in Kaliningrad, the Russian city that is geographically closest to Europe. In particular, Kaliningrad is an enclave on the shores of the Baltic Sea, between the borders of Poland and Lithuania. Historically it passed through different hands until it was incorporated into the former USSR in 1946, just after WWII. Far from Moscow on the shores of the Baltic Sea, this small territory has a different air to that of the west.
The main World Cup venues – see and do
If you come to Russia, you can not leave here without seeing its impressive capital: Moscow. The city is more than accustomed to receiving tourists from all over the world. Although sometimes chaotic or overwhelming, with its gigantic squares and avenues, there is no doubt that you will find entertainment everywhere. Write down some of our recommendations so as not to lose sight of those places that are worthwhile. Of course, when it comes to accommodation, at Wimdu we are experts, so be sure to take a look at the apartments that we have in Moscow, so you can enjoy this great city as if you were a Muscovite.
There is an area of the city that every tourist has to visit, the Red Square, where you can visit the Kremlin (remember that on Thursdays it remains closed to visitors), the picturesque and colourful St. Basil’s Cathedral, the mausoleum of Lenin (where the remains of the communist ideologist are buried) and other museums and galleries. Besides St. Basil’s, another of the religious buildings in the area worth visiting is the Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan.
Along this central street, one of the best known in the city, you can admire some of the oldest buildings, which house some luxury shops and high-end restaurants that will surprise with their stately and ancient interiors. There are also establishments of great tradition and renown. We recommend the Pushkin Café, a meeting place for the Muscovite aristocracy over many years.
In this same part of the city is the mythical Bolshoi Theatre, a whole temple of the performing arts in which the world’s best dancers have delighted the audience throughout history. Lovers of ballet and opera will find very few stages in the world that have the prestige and tradition of the Bolshoi.
Among the museums worth visiting is the Pushkin Museum, where you can admire one of the largest art collections in Europe, from great masters of painting and sculpture, not only from Russia but from all over the world, to archaeological or numerous artefacts of incalculable value. The Kremlin Armory is another museum that cannot be missed in Moscow. There you can review the political and military history of the Russian Empire and many others of the East and West.
A city of museums
Saint Petersburg can boast some of the best museums in the world. Perhaps the best known public museum is the Hermitage Museum. It houses a vast historical and artistic collection that holds its own against other galleries such as the British Museum in London or the Pergamon in Berlin. To fully enjoy the Hermitage Museum, you will have to book almost a whole day of your time in the city.
Lovers of art cannot be satisfied with the Hermitage Museum alone; and there are other important places to visit, such as the prestigious Kunstkamera. Here you can enjoy the largest collection in the world in terms of ethnographic objects, from Chinese porcelain to artifacts from the culture of the North American Indians. There is even a room dedicated to authentic rarities that are well worth visiting.