The 2018 FIFA World CupRussian: Chempionat mira po futbolu or Чемпионат мира по футболу will take place in Russia from 14 June to 15 July in 11 cities. The final will be played in Moscow at the Luzhniki StadiumRussian: stadion «Luzhniki» or стадион «Лужники». Moscow’s second stadium to host World Cup matches will be Otkrytiye ArenaRussian: Открытие Арена. In addition to Russia’s best-known tourist destinations, visitors are able to attend matches that will take place in other historic Russian cities, such as Kazan and Nizhny Novgorod.
Fans who hold tickets and are registered on the FIFA website will be able to travel visa-free to Russia during the competition. The list price for tickets begins at $105.
Thirty-two national teams will take part in the final tournament. Qualifying competitions in European Russia will take the longest – matches played by European teams will last until 10 October 2017, followed by a series of playoffs from 9 to 14 November. These determine the teams that will participate in the final tournament.
Round of 16:
30 June – Kazan and Sochi
1 July – Moscow (Luzhniki) and Nizhny Novgorod
2 July – Rostov-on-Don and Samara
3 July – Moscow (Otkrytiye Arena) and St. Petersburg
6 July – Kazan and Nizhny Novgorod
7 July – Sochi and Samara
10 July – St. Petersburg
11 July – Moscow (Luzhniki)
The final list of host cities includes Moscow, St. PetersburgRussian: Санкт-Петербург, SochiRussian: Сочи, KazanRussian: Казань, Rostov-on-DonRussian: Ростов-на-Дону, VolgogradRussian: Волгоград, SamaraRussian: Самара, YekaterinburgRussian: Екатеринбург, Nizhny NovgorodRussian: Нижний Новгород, KaliningradRussian: Калининград and SaranskRussian: Саранск. The World Cup is a great opportunity for fans to visit these cities and get familiar with local landmarks. What follows is a brief overview of these cities.
Moscow is the capital and most populous city of Russia, with over 12 million residents. It is said to have been founded in 1147, becoming Russia’s capital city in the late 15th century. Moscow’s chief landmarks, the stone-walled KremlinRussian: Kreml' or Кремль with its impressive church complex and the Red SquareRussian: Krasnaya ploschad or Красная площадь, so named in the 17th century, date back to this period too. Lenin’s MausoleumRussian: Mavzoley V.I. Lenina or Мавзолей В.И. Ленина in Red Square has been the resting place of Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin since 1924. St. Basil’s CathedralRussian: sobor Vasiliya Blazhennogo or собор Василия Блаженного, with its world-famous multicoloured domes, is also located in the Red Square. https://www.moscovery.com/red-square-and-its-history/
As well as the Red Square, visitors to Russia’s capital city gravitate towards the Kremlin. https://www.moscovery.com/kremlin-and-its-history/ Once a fortress, it is now the official residence of the President of the Russian Federation. On the territory of the Kremlin there are many cultural and architectural monuments, such as the Dormition CathedralRussian: Uspenskiy sobor or Успенский собор, the Cathedral of the ArchangelRussian: Arkhangelskiy sobor or Архангельский собор and the Cathedral of the AnnunciationRussian: Blagoveschenskiy sobor or Благовещенский собор, the Tsar BellRussian: Tsar-kolokol or Царь-колокол and the Tsar CannonRussian: Tsar-pushka or Царь-пушка, the Palace of FacetsRussian: Granovitaya palata or Грановитая палата, the Grand Kremlin PalaceRussian: Bolshoy Kremlyovskiy dvorets or Большой Кремлёвский дворец, the Ivan the Great Bell TowerRussian: Kolokolnya Ivana Velikogo or Колокольня Ивана Великого, the Kremlin ArmouryRussian: Oruzheynaya palata or Оружейная палата housing the Russian Diamond FundRussian: Almaznyi fond or Алмазный фонд and many more. Near the Kremlin is the beautiful Alexander GardenRussian: Aleksandrovskiy sad or Александровский сад and the historic Kitay-gorodRussian: Китай-Город.
Among other popular landmarks is one of Moscow’s oldest streets, ArbatRussian: Арбат, on which every house is steeped in history. When in Moscow, be sure to visit the Teatralnaya SquareRussian: Teatralnaya ploschad or Театральная площадь, named after the theatres located on it, including the Bolshoi TheatreRussian: Bolshoy teatr or Большой театр, one of the best-known opera and ballet theatres. The Bolshoi dates back to 1856. Have a look at our list of the top 33 tourist destinations in Moscow and the cities surrounding it.
St. Petersburg is Russia’s second largest city and the capital of imperial Russia. Known as the cultural capital of Russia, it abounds with theatres, palaces, museums and other architectural landmarks dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Situated in the estuary of the NevaRussian: Нева River, on the banks of the Gulf of FinlandRussian: Finskiy zaliv or Финский залив, St. Petersburg was founded by Tsar Peter Iruled from 1682 until 1725 in 1703. In 1924, the city was renamed Leningrad, eventually going back to its original St. Petersburg in 1991. During World War II, the city withstood an 872-day siege. Its current population is 5,200,000.
Today, St. Petersburg is Russia’s major economic, scientific, cultural and tourist city. People come here to visit the HermitageRussian: Ermitazh or Эрмитаж, one of the largest and most visited museums in the world, located in the Winter PalaceRussian: Zimniy dvorets or Зимний дворец on the Palace SquareRussian: Dvortsovaya ploschad or Дворцовая площадь. Other places of interest include the Russian MuseumRussian: Russkiy muzey or Русский музей, the Peter and Paul FortressRussian: Petropavlovskaya krepost or Петропавловская крепость, the Church of the Saviour on BloodRussian: Sobor Spasa na Krovi or Собор Спаса на Крови and Saint Isaac’s CathedralRussian: Isaakiyevskiy sobor or Исаакиевский собор, as well as the sumptuous imperial residences in PeterhofRussian: Петергоф and PavlovskRussian: Павловск. The impressive Nevsky AvenueRussian: Nevskiy prospekt or Невский проспект is the city’s main thoroughfare. It’s possible to just stroll around the city’s historic streets and embankments all day. The beauty of St. Petersburg is truly something special to witness.
St. Petersburg is about 700 km from Moscow. The best way to get to St. Petersburg from Moscow in just 4 or 4.5 hours is by taking a high-speed train such as SapsanRussian: Сапсан or Nevsky EkspressRussian: Невский экспресс. If you’d like to take the slower route by regular train, it will take 8 or 9 hours (or even longer) to get to St. Petersburg. You can also travel by air to St. Petersburg’s PulkovoRussian: Пулково Airport, but you won’t save any time by doing this. Getting to St. Petersburg by bus will take you up to 12 hours. The 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place at St. Petersburg’s newly built stadium, Sankt Peterburg ArenaRussian: Санкт-Петербург Арена.
Sochi is Russia’s southern capital and a major destination year-round. Founded in 1838, it is located on the shores of the Black Sea, in a subtropical zone. With a population of over 400,000, Sochi is an important transportation hub and an economic and cultural centre of Russia.
Pay a visit to the Olympic ParkRussian: Olimpiyskiy park or Олимпийский парк, the site of the main sports facilities built for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Of great interest are Sochi’s arboretumRussian: Sochinskiy dendrariy or Сочинский дендрарий with its rare flora and fauna, the Riviera ParkRussian: park «Riviera» or парк «Ривьера», Mount AkhunRussian: Ахун featuring a tower, dolphinariums, waterparks and much more.
Sochi is 1,700 km away from Moscow. You can get there from Moscow by train, but plane is definitely the quickest way. The airport is located in AdlerRussian: Адлер, a district of Sochi 30 km from the city. Getting to Sochi by train will take you a day or a day and a half. The FIFA World Cup matches will take place at Sochi’s FishtRussian: stadion «Fisht» or стадион «Фишт» Stadium.
Rostov-on-Don is a city situated on the banks of the picturesque DonRussian: Дон River, located 1,092 km from Moscow. Founded in 1749, it is the administrative centre of the Southern Federal DistrictRussian: Yuzhnyi federalnyi okrug or Южный федеральный округ of Russia. With a population of over one million, it is the tenth-largest city in Russia and a major transportation hub of Southern Russia; several highways run through it, including the Don M-4 Highway linking Moscow and the Caucasus.
Bolshaya Sadovaya StreetRussian: Bolshaya Sadovaya ulitsa or Большая Садовая улица is said to be the city’s main historic thoroughfare, featuring a number of local landmarks such as the Musical TheatreRussian: Muzykalnyi teatr or Музыкальный театр, Margarita Chernova’s HouseRussian: Dom Margarity Chernovoy or Дом Маргариты Черновой and TsUMRussian: ЦУМ (the Central Department Store). Don’t forget to visit the ‘Rostov SeaRussian: Rostovskoye more or Ростовское море’, a beautiful water storage basin in the northern outskirts of Rostov-on-Don, and the embankment.
It will take you 15 to 16 hours to get to Rostov-on-Don from Moscow by train or by bus. The fastest way to get to the Rostov-on-Don airport is by plane. Driving to Rostov-on-Don along the Don M-4 Highway will take you about 13 hours. The World Cup will take place at the Rostov Arena StadiumRussian: stadion «Rostov Arena» or стадион «Ростов Арена».
Russia’s westernmost regional centre, Kaliningrad, was the East Prussian provincial capital Königsberg until 1946, when it became part of the USSR. Situated on the coast of the Baltic Sea, the city is an important transportation hub and a sea and river port. Its population is over 460,000. Kaliningrad Oblast is an enclave and shares no common borders with the rest of Russia, which is why you will need a Schengen visa if you are traveling by land to Moscow from Kaliningrad.
Kaliningrad is an ancient city boasting a beautiful old town. Among Kaliningrad’s landmarks is the 14th-century Königsberg CathedralRussian: Kafedralnyi sobor or Кафедральный собор, which is neighboured by Immanuel Kant’s grave. Don’t forget to visit the Fish VillageRussian: Rybnaya derevnya or Рыбная деревня, a district built to resemble the old city, the Kaliningrad Amber MuseumRussian: Muzey yantarya or Музей янтаря, the Museum of the World’s OceansRussian: Muzey Mirovogo okeana or Музей Мирового океана and the Kaliningrad ZooRussian: Kaliningradskiy zoopark or Калининградский зоопарк, which is one of the oldest in Europe.
The easiest way to get there from Moscow is by plane, landing at KhrabrovoRussian: Храброво Airport. It will take you over 20 hours to get to Kaliningrad by train, as you will need to cross Belarus and Lithuania. The World Cup will take place at the Kaliningrad StadiumRussian: stadion «Kaliningrad» or стадион «Калининград».
If you are fascinated with Moscow sports and active rest, if the main event of the year 2018 for you is the World Cup in Moscow, then you can learn about Russia World Cup mascot, World Cup final stadium Moscow), various opportunities for sports tourism in Moscow and sport events in Moscow on our website pages.
Yekaterinburg is the capital of the Ural mountain district. It is a major administrative, cultural and educational centre. Founded in 1723 on the banks of the IsetRussian: Исеть River, it was renamed Sverdlovsk in Soviet times. Back in the 18th century, the Siberian highwayRussian: Sibirskiy trakt or Сибирский тракт passed through this city linking Central Russia to Siberia, and from that time on, Yekaterinburg became Russia’s main ‘window to Europe’. The current population of the city is close to 1,500,000. Yekaterinburg is a major Russian industrial city, with the Trans-Siberian HighwayRussian: Transsibirskaya magistral or Транссибирская магистраль and six federal highways running through it.
Yekaterinburg is located 1,667 km from Moscow. The easiest way to get there is by plane (KoltsovoRussian: Кольцово Airport). It will take you over 24 hours to get there by train. The World Cup will take place at the Yekaterinburg Arena StadiumRussian: stadion «Ekaterinburg Arena» or стадион «Екатеринбург Арена».
Situated on the VolgaRussian: Волга River, Volgograd was known in Soviet times as Stalingrad. Its tragic history is forever associated with World War II and the Battle of Stalingrad. The city is located in Southeastern Russia and has a population of over one million. During the Battle of Stalingrad (1943), the city was literally wiped off the map. It took years to restore and rebuild it. Volgograd’s main place of interest is the Mamayev KurganRussian: Мамаев курган, which is dominated by a giant sculpture The Motherland CallsRussian: Rodina-mat' or Родина-мать, the world’s ninth tallest statue – it is the symbol of the city and of victory over fascism.
Volgograd is located 970 km from Moscow. It will take you 18 hours to get there by train and 15-16 hours by bus. You can also get there in 12-14 hours by driving along the Don M-4 Highway. Another convenient way to get to Volgograd is by plane (GumrakRussian: Гумрак Airport). The World Cup will take place at the Volgograd Arena StadiumRussian: stadion «Volgograd Arena» or стадион «Волгоград Арена».
Kazan is the capital of the Republic of TatarstanRussian: Татарстан, a region with a predominantly Muslim population. The city is located on the bank of the Volga River and has a population of over 1,200,000. This is one of Russia’s major economic, educational, cultural, religious and sports centres. It is often referred to as ‘the third capital of Russia’. In 2005, the city celebrated its millennium. Western and Eastern cultures blended in this ancient city, mosques are side by side with churches, and signboards are written in both the Russian and Tatar languages. Kazan’s major landmark is its Kremlin made up of historical and architectural monuments dating back to various periods from the 12th century onwards. In the 15th century, the Kremlin was the center of the Khanate of Kazana medieval Bulgarian-Tatar Turkic state that occupied the territory of former Volga Bulgaria. After the Russian army led by the Muscovite Tsar Ivan the Terribleruled from 1533 to 1584 conquered the city in 1552, the Kremlin was reconstructed and became a regional centre of the Russian Tsardom. One of the world’s few leaning towers, the Soyembika TowerRussian: bashnya Syuyumbike or башня Сююмбике, is located here, along with the magnificent Qol-Şarif mosqueRussian: mechet Kul-Sharif or мечеть Кул-Шариф. The height of each of its four main minarets is 58 metres, so it truly dominates the landscape.
Kazan is located some 800 km from Moscow. It will take you 11 hours to get there by train, 11 to 12 hours by car along the Volga M-7 Highway and 13 to 14 hours by bus. You can also fly into the Kazan International Airport. The World Cup will take place in the Kazan Arena StadiumRussian: stadion «Kazan Arena» or стадион «Казань Арена».
Located at the confluence of the OkaRussian: Ока and Volga Rivers, Nizhny Novgorod is a major administrative centre of Volga Federal DistrictRussian: Privolzhskiy federalnyi okrug or Приволжский федеральный округ. The city’s population is over 1,200,000. Nizhny Novgorod was founded in 1221 by Prince Yuri II of Vladimira city, located on the Klyazma River, 200 kilometers to the east of Moscow. In the 16th century, a stone-walled kremlin was built here, which has never been breached. Russia’s largest fair was transferred here in 1817, turning the city into one of Russia’s major trading centres. The old town abounds with over 600 architectural and historical monuments.
Nizhny Novgorod is located some 400 km from Moscow, so getting there is easy no matter what means of transportation you choose. It will take you 5 hours to drive there along the Volga M-7 Highway. If you prefer traveling by train, choose the high-speed LastochkaRussian: Ласточка or StrizhRussian: Стриж trains that depart from the Kursky Railway TerminalRussian: Kurskiy vokzal or Курский вокзал and get to the Nizhny Novgorod railroad station in 3.5 to 4.5 hours. You can also take an airplane to Strigino Airport. The World Cup will take place at the Nizhny Novgorod StadiumRussian: stadion «Nizhniy Novgorod» or стадион «Нижний Новгород».
Samara is located at the confluence of the Volga and SamaraRussian: Самара Rivers in the Mid-Volga regionRussian: Sredneye Povolzhye or Среднее Поволжье. Its population is over 1,000,000. This is a major transportation, economic, research, educational and cultural centre. Samara was founded in 1586 as a fortress. Today, Samara boasts Russia’s longest river embankment and the Kuybysheva SquareRussian: ploschad im. Kuybysheva or площадь им. Куйбышева, the largest square in Russia. Europe’s tallest railroad station building (over 100 metres high) is also located here.
Samara is about 1,000 km from Moscow, so the best way to get here is by plane (KurumochRussian: Курумоч Airport). A fast train will take you to Samara in 13 hours, but it will take you up to 20 hours if you travel by other trains. Trains depart from the Kazansky Railway TerminalRussian: Kazanskiy vokzal or Казанский вокзал. Travelling by car along the M-5 Highway will take you over 14 hours. The World Cup will take place at the Samara Arena StadiumRussian: stadion «Samara Arena» or стадион «Самара Арена».
Saransk is the capital city of the Republic of MordoviaRussian: Мордовия. It is located in the Volga basin on the banks of the InsarRussian: Инсар River. The Saransk Fortress was founded in 1641 to protect the borders of the Russian Tsardom. Later, it lost its military significance and, in the 18th century, became a provincial trading town. Today, on the contrary, it is an actively growing city – new stadiums, hotels, residential areas and ring roads are springing up everywhere and monuments and old buildings are undergoing rapid restoration.
The distance between Saransk and Moscow is 500 km (or 640 km, if you are driving along the highway), because the city is situated far from federal highways. It will take you 9 hours to get there by train, 12 to 14 hours by bus and 9 to 10 hours by car (along M-5 or M-7 Highways). There are no direct flights from Moscow to Saransk, but you can try to get there by plane via PenzaRussian: Пенза, which is very inconvenient. The World Cup will take place at the Mordoviya Arena StadiumRussian: stadion «Mordoviya Arena» or стадион «Мордовия Арена».
2018 World Cup in Moscow
The 2018 World Cup in Moscow will take place at two stadiums, Luzhniki and SpartakRussian: Спартак.
Russia’s largest stadium was built in 1956 to host the First All-Union Summer Spartakiadan international sports event that was sponsored by the Soviet Union. The stadium also hosted the 1980 Summer Olympics (both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies), the 1986 Goodwill Games, the 1999 UEFA Cup Final and the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final, along with various world sports championships. The stadium is to be reconstructed for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, while preserving its historical façade. As for the arena, it is expected to undergo large-scale reconstruction. Its total seating capacity will be 81,000, the stadium will also feature brand new lighting and a natural grass football field. During the planned reconstruction, the incline of the stands will be changed in such a way so as to get it as close to the playing field as possible.
The World Cup’s opening and closing matches will take place here on 14 June and 15 July respectively. The Luzhniki Stadium will also host group-round matches (17, 20 and 26 matches), Round of 16 (1 July) and the semi-final (11 July).
SportivnayaRussian: Спортивная and Vorobyovy GoryRussian: Воробьёвы горы Metro Stations, as well as LuzhnikiRussian: Лужники Metro Station on the Moscow Central CircleRussian: Moskovskoye tsentralnoye koltso or Московское центральное кольцо, are the metro stations closest to the stadium.
The Spartak stadium is also known as Otkrytiye Arena, as it is named after its sponsor. This is the home venue of Spartak Moscow. It contains a museum and the Hall of FameRussian: Zal slavy or Зал славы of this popular Russian football team. Construction of the stadium equipped the latest in modern facilities was completed in 2014 and it is now a kind of architectural landmark of Northwestern Moscow. The arena’s façade is reminiscent of the gladiator’s mail armour and changes its colour depending on the colours of the team playing on the field. A sculpture representing a gladiator stands near the stadium. The latter consists of the football field and the 45,000-spectator stands. Group-round matches will take place here on 16, 19, 23 and 27 June, and the Round of 16 on 3 July.
The stadium is situated in the proximity of Tushino AirportRussian: Tushinskiy aerodrom or Тушинский аэродром. To get there, you can take the metro and get off at SpartakRussian: Спартак Metro Station.
FIFA World Cup ticket sales began in June 2016, but FIFA is only selling tickets for VIP lounges. For example, the Tsar’s LoungeRussian: Tsarskaya lozha or Царская ложа package, including a one-match ticket for the 40-person lounge at Luzhniki, St. Petersburg, Fisht and Kazan Arena stadiums, is sold for $24,900 (Kazan and Sochi) and for up to $49,900 (Luzhniki, Moscow).
The Random Selection Draw Period began on 14 September (tickets were sold upon preliminary application). Individual tickets went on sale on 1 December 2017. VISA card holders will be able to purchase tickets at an earlier date, from 8 to 17 November 2017, as VISA is sponsoring the FIFA World Cup. Tickets are sold online on FIFA’s official website, www.fifa.com. To limit issues, one user is allowed to purchase tickets for no more than 7 matches and is restricted to a maximum of 4 tickets per match. For the first time in history, the price of standard (not VIP) tickets for the final will be over $1,000 and it will cost $1,100 for a good seat in the stands. Discounted rates apply to residents of Russia. The ticket price for overseas visitors will be $220 to $550 for the opening match, $105 to $210 for group matches, $175 to $365 for quarter-finals, $285 to $750 for the semi-final and $455 to $1,100 for the final.
All ticket holders may enter Russia visa-free to attend the 2018 FIFA World Cup matches. Remember that customs is located after leaving the baggage claim area. You have to declare valuable objects and cash over USD 10,000. Make sure you have your valid passport, your Fan ID and medical insurance. https://www.moscovery.com/customs-and-border/. This expedited entry is offered to international visitors from 72 hours before the first FIFA World Cup match and ending on the day of the final match.
Fans arriving at one of Moscow’s airports will be able to get downtown using the high-speed AeroexpressRussian: Аэроэкспресс train or by taxi (you can get a taxi from the taxi booking area at the airports). https://www.moscovery.com/airports/ Тhose intending to travel to Russia by train will disembark at one of Moscow’s nine railroad stations. All of these have direct access to metro stations. https://www.moscovery.com/stations-and-trains/
2018 FIFA World Cup ticket holders will be able to use any means of public transport for free. Free rides are available 18 hours before and 18 hours after the matches. Urban and railroad transport, as well as bus rides between host cities will be free of charge.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com