Planning A Budget Trip To The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia (Part 1: Introduction)

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Hosting an event that culminates in the most widely viewed sporting championship game in the world is no small feet and the largest country in the world is not taking it lightly. With a budget of $9.6 million, plans for 12 all-football stadiums, designs and posters to take over each city, and infrastructure are all moving forward at full speed to unveil what they hope to be the most incredible World Cup yet!

The majority of matches will be held in western Russia and, therefore, it should be relatively easy to find a location that is accessible to a number of host cities. In this blog, we are going to focus on some general information to get you excited. The next article will cover plans for two different budgets - one below INR 1 lakh/USD 1500 and the other around INR 1.5 lakh/USD 2300.

Crucial question - When do the tickets go on sale?

Short Answer: They will be sold in three phases starting end of Aug 2017

Sales Phase 1: Will start with the random selection draw period (World Cup ticket lottery) soon after the Confederations Cup – probably at some point at the end of August. If you are a lucky winner, FIFA will inform you and you’ll be charged for the tickets. It happens before the draw – at the time you won’t know who will play with whom in the group stage. But you could already apply for the opening game of the tournament and playoff matches including the World Cup Final.

Sales Phase 2: Will be happening after the Final Draw in December of 2017. Once again, it will start with the ticket lottery and will be followed by the “first-come-first-served” period.

Sales Phase 3: Last Minute Sales will be happening a month prior to the start of the World Cup in April of 2017 and it will only be the “first-come-first-served” leftover tickets.

How much does a ticket cost?

Ticket prices for non-Russian residents (Categories 1-3). Category 1 is the highest priced individual tickets with the price range from $210 to $1100.

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Category 1 seating is located in prime areas on the sides of the venues as you can see on the picture below. Category 3 seating is located behind the goal and is twice as cheaper than Category 1.

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Travel Tips

1. You will NOT need a Visa: The country has already taken a massive step forward by announcing that visa requirements, which currently pretty much apply to anyone not from a former Soviet republic, will be scrapped for the duration of the tournament. Russia is planning to provide a so-called fan passport called the Fan ID for the people who are going to visit the 2018 World Cup

2. Free internal transport: It is also announced that a Fan ID holder will enjoy free public transportation both between and within the host cities

3. Weather will be mild: You may associate the Russian climate with it’s famously harsh winters but the weather during the World Cup period is typically fairly warm, with average temperature in mid-20s

4. Keeping track of the time: Time zones vary across the country, with GMT+2 in Kaliningrad, GMT+3 in Moscow, GMT+4 in St Petersburg and GMT+5 in Yekaterinburg

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The 11 FIFA World Cup 2018 Cities. There are 2 stadiums in Moscow and 1 at each of the other 10 venues.

5. Bring a voltage adapter: Electricity throughout the country is 220 volt/50Hz with a European standard two-pin plug, so you will need to take a converter for Indian plugs

6. Note the currency exchange: The currency is the ruble. A ruble is worth approximately 1.15 Indian rupees

How to get a Fan ID?

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There are three ways to do it: by ordering your ID to be delivered to your place of stay, by collecting it at one of the issuing centers, or by getting the card at the stadium.

After you have bought your game ticket, apply for your Fan ID. Your application will need to be approved first. You may apply through the portal or at one of the issuance centers (in the latter case you will have to visit the center twice).

Once you have applied, you will be contacted twice with text messages and via e-mail. The first message will confirm the receipt of your application, the second one will inform you whether or not your application has been approved. The organizers promise to decide on each application within 72 hours.

After you have received the confirmation, collect your Fan ID at one of these addresses. You may also collect a Fan ID for your relative or friend on their behalf. In this case you will need to produce a photocopy of that person's ID, the original of your own ID, and a document identifying you as the proxy.

Exact planning details will be covered in the next article. Stay tuned!

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