Travel advice to Russia for the FIFA World Cup 2019

Moscow Saint Basil Cathedral

FIFA World Cup 2019, starting today 14th of June 2019 in Russia, will require visitors to observe the usual travel advices in Russia, but will also offer simplicity for the expected 1 million visitors of the games, in all 11 host cities : Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Kazan, Sochi, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Rostov-on-Don, Ekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Saransk

Passports and Visa

Citizens of more than 30 countries, mostly CIS and some South-American countries, do not need a visa for a short stay.

However, for most of the countries, a visa is usually required to enter Russia. They will all be able to enter the Russian territory visa-free between 25th of May and 25th of July, providing they are in possession of a FAN ID, a personalized spectator card issued by the FIFA federation, a valid piece of identification, passport for most people, and either a ticket to one of the matches or a valid document permitting to obtain such ticket.

Local registration

Moscow: Find local activities

For most people usually subject to visa possession for territory entry, do not forget that registration at the local authorities is required within 72h after arrival at a new place within Russia. If staying in a hotel, they are usually doing this formality on your behalf.

However, if you are using more private means of stay, like AirBnb or Couchsurfing, you have to make sure that your host will register you, or support your registration, either at the Ministry of the Interior of the Russian Federation or at the Multipurpose Center for Public and Municipal Services.

Failing to register might lead to fines upon departure, or future visa refusal, which might be problematic.

Travel arrangements

To plan your trip to one of the host cities, see below our travel links to book your flights and hotels. We however recommend you to use mostly large international airlines, and recognized hotel brands, in order to avoid bad surprises.

Once in the country, spectators in possession of a FAN ID will be able to travel for free between the host cities, in special trains. Prior registration to benefit of the free trips is necessary.

For local trips, it is recommended to call taxi companies, or use Uber application, than to take random street taxis, anytime of the day and night. Ask the host for local trusted taxi phone numbers.

When driving, do not forget that alcohol legislation is strict with a zero tolerance. Controls are frequent.

Local recommendations

The local currency is RUB Russian ruble, which is the only currency that can be used in the country. Have a look beforehand at the current exchange rate for your own currency, and make sure the prices make sense. In largest cities prices are generally comparable to other international places.

However, do not hesitate to come with some of your local currencies, as it is extremely simple to change them in one of the many exchange office. Simply walk around your accommodation place for half an hour, and compare the prices. Most of them take a really small commission. It is also easy to take cash at an ATM machine, in which case, never accept to have the conversion done locally, but ask to be charged in the local currency, you will surely have a better exchange rate that way.

Another way to not get troubles with local currency, if available for your country, is to open a  BorderLess ‌  account with WISE, setup an account in Russian ruble, transfer some money, and use the  BorderLess ‌  credit card in Russia, so you won't be charged any exchange fee.

WISE, formerly TransferWise: Get the real exchange rate and fair fees

By loading up your local currency account before traveling, or whenever the exchange rate is favorable, you will save money on both bank conversion fees and ATM hidden fees.

Just as anywhere, do not leave your wallets or other valuables unattended or too visible, to avoid possible pickpockets.

Always watch your drinks, and never leave them unattended, even in bars or clubs, as some of them might distract you for a short instant to drug and rob you. Also, do not get involved in any drug activity there, as the penalties are severe.

Only drink bottled water, and, if using tap water, boil it for 60 seconds before using it for cooking.

In short

Russia is generally a safe country, and you should have a great experience there. There are many things to see inside and outside of the host cities. Wishing you a lot of fun enjoying a great competition !

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