2018 FIFA World Cup FAQs

Nov 21, 2017 — 11:00
— Update: Dec. 11 2017 — 09:22
Nov 21, 2017 — 11:00
— Update: Dec. 11 2017 — 09:22
Moskva News Agency / MT

What is a Fan ID?

A Fan ID is your official identification as a fan and match attendee at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. It looks like a medium-sized photo identification card with a lanyard attached for convenience. Obtaining a Fan ID is essential for entering stadiums and attending matches, but also extremely helpful in making your trip to Russia cheaper and more comfortable.

The Fan ID has three main functions:

  • — Identification for entry into stadiums on match days

  • — Visa-free entry into Russia

  • — Free public transport in host cities on match days

In addition, the Fan ID brings with it many other tourist bonuses during your stay in Russia, including free city tours and other discounts.

For more information, visit the official Fan ID website

Visa-free entry into Russia? What’s the catch?

Fortunately, there is no catch here. You're really given visa-free multiple entry into Russia, from the period of 10 days before the first match until 10 days after the last match of the World Cup (not just the matches you bought tickets for). Of course, like with any other country, you still have to show a valid passport upon entry into Russia.

I bought tickets, why do I need a Fan ID?

Both a valid ticket and matching Fan ID are required for entry into the stadiums on match days. Without the ID, you won't be allowed in. This also means you should never buy tickets from any source other than the official FIFA website, as they will not be matched with your Fan ID.

Where can I get my Fan ID?

Before receiving your Fan ID, you must have bought at least one valid FIFA World Cup match ticket. Having bought your tickets from the official ticketing site, you must then apply for your Fan ID and pick it up at a special distribution center, or have it securely posted to your address in your home country.

For more information, visit the official Fan ID website.

Where can I get tickets?

Tickets for the 2018 FIFA World Cup can only be purchased on the FIFA ticketing website or at physical ticket centers located in the host cities closer to the tournament dates.

When will tickets go on sale?

FIFA is selling tickets in several phases, alternating between a Random Selection Draw and First Come First Served systems of selling. The first round has already finished.

Further information on the ticketing schedule can be found on FIFA’s ticketing information website.

I want to start applying for tickets and planning my trip to Russia. Where and when will my country's national team be playing?

The draw took place on Dec. 1. You can find the schedule here.

What is the best way to travel between host cities?

Russia is vast, so how you choose to get to each host city depends heavily on which city you need to get to, and how much time you have. 

All host cities of the 2018 FIFA World Cup are well connected by air, rail and road (with the exception of Kaliningrad, where air is the only option from within Russia). 

Flights are faster but often more expensive, whereas trains are slower, but offer a truly authentic Russian experience, and deliver you to the center of the city. For more budget-wary fans, long-distance buses are also an option. 

When traveling by train or bus, be sure to check out travel times and arrival dates. In Russia, many train and bus services will be overnight. To buy tickets and find timetables, check out www.rzd.ru and www.tutu.ru.

How can I get to the stadium in my host city on match day?

In most host cities, stadiums will be directly connected to existing public transport lines. For example, in Moscow, both Luzhniki and Spartak stadiums have adjacent metro stations. In addition to public transport, there will also be shuttle buses from the center of the host cities to the stadiums.

Where will matches be held in Moscow?

The flagship venue of the World Cup will be Moscow’s newly-renovated Luzhniki Stadium, which will be the host of the opening match and the final, as well as other games. In addition, Spartak Stadium, home of Moscow’s famous club of the same name, will be used.

What part of Moscow should I stay in during the tournament?

Both of Moscow’s stadiums, Spartak and Luzhniki, are located adjacent to metro stations of the same name (Spartak Station on Line 7 and Luzhniki Station on the Moscow Central Circle line). As such, finding accommodation near a metro station is the best start to ensure easy travel to the stadium. Of course, a central location is always preferable since it'll allow you to reach both stadiums with ease as well as experience Moscow’s energy to the fullest.

What travel times can I expect to the stadiums on public transport?

In Moscow, starting from Red Square, you can expect a 10-minute metro and 30-minute walk to Luzhniki Stadium, and around a 20-minute metro to Spartak Stadium.

In other host cities, like Kazan, where the stadiums are further out and not as well-connected to the center, you will likely need to rely more on the shuttle buses provided especially for match day. These can take a long time, and may not drop passengers off directly outside the stadium, so allow plenty of time to get there.

How will I be able to get around with public transport if I can’t read Russian?

The Russian government is making great efforts ahead of the tournament to make public transport in all host cities more accessible for foreigners, with more translations, transliterations, and international helpdesks, especially in Moscow’s expansive metro system. However, it is still very useful to take an hour or two to learn the Russian alphabet before you come to Russia. It will make a huge difference in getting around the cities and is not difficult to learn, with many useful guides found all over the Internet

What is the best way to watch matches that I am not attending?

FIFA’s official broadcaster in Russia, Match TV, has not yet released its planned broadcasting schedule and will not do so until the draw on December 1. In any case, it is safe to say that all matches will be shown live on television. The best place to watch them will be at any one of Moscow’s many sports bars and pubs. As with any proper sports bar, these places usually switch to any match of the tournament on request, so you’ll never miss a moment of the action. The Welcome 2018 committee has compiled a great list of sports bars in Moscow here.

Speaking of bars, what are the rules in Russia regarding drinking?

You must be 18 years of age to purchase any kind of alcohol in Russia, so if you look younger, be prepared to be asked for your passport at all times, even when simply buying a beer at a supermarket. Drinking in public is strictly prohibited in Russia, and is punishable by heavy fines, but more importantly, involvement with the police, which is highly undesirable in Russia to begin with. Be sure to follow all the rules at all times, including in and around the stadiums. Bringing your own alcohol into official venues on match days is strictly prohibited.  

What are my options for accommodation in Russia?

All host cities of the 2018 FIFA World Cup have a wide range of traditional hotels, from budget-friendly to luxury options. Here, you can usually expect services such as free internet and breakfast, but make sure to check the details on your booking site. Many cities also have numerous hostels, but make sure to book early and understand what exact facilities are included there (bedding, internet, towels, lockers).

Another popular option is the apartment-sharing site Airbnb.com, where you can rent whole apartments at prices far cheaper than hotel rooms. This option is great if you are staying longer and would like a working kitchen, and from experience, while these apartments are often located in drab Soviet-era buildings, they ooze charm on the inside. 

Another option for penny-pinchers is couchsurfing.com, where people let out a spare bed or couch to travelers for free. This can be a fantastic opportunity to get to know some locals, but be very aware of the inherent risks involved in staying with strangers.