Contents of the article
The FIFA World Cup is one of the most exciting and expensive sporting events in the world.
No wonder, that a lot of fans who plan to travel to 2018 World Cup, are interested how expensive it is to visit and how much to budget for the upcoming trip to Russia.
I lived in Russia for many years, and I’m very familiar with pricing during the top international sporting events like the Olympic Games or the FIFA World Cup.
Below, I’ll give you a piece of information with some tips on budgeting the trip and approximate numbers that you can expect when traveling to Russia for the World Cup.
As an example, we will take a look at an estimated cost of going to the 2018 World Cup from the USA, UK, and Australia.
I’ll assume going to Russia for ten days (four days in Moscow and six in St. Petersburg) to attend two World Cup games in group stage.
Are you ready?! Let’s do this!
As I already mentioned, travel to World Cup is not something you can do for cheap. You have to expect to pay a few thousand dollars a person at its very least even if you visit for a short amount of time.
If you are planning to travel to the 2018 World Cup on your own (no travel packages), the budget of your trip will consist the following spendings:
- Round-trip flight to and from Russia;
- Accommodation (hotel, hostel, Airbnb);
- Game Tickets;
- Food, drinks;
- Transportation within Russia (getting to/from the airport, taxis, Uber, trains, subway);
- Entertainment, sightseeing, souvenirs.
Let’s talk over each of these categories.
Flight to Russia
Round-trip flight to Russia is going to be one of the biggest expenses of the upcoming trip, especially if you travel from the overseas (USA, Australia or New Zealand).
If you travel from the UK, you can consider yourself lucky, because flights to Russia from Europe are pretty cheap. I highly recommend you to check out another post of mine with the tips on getting cheap flights for 2018 World Cup.
Estimated cost of the round-trip flight to Moscow in Economy class (considering you get tickets in advance; includes airfare inflation):
- from New York, USA – $800;
- from London, UK – $300-$400;
- from Sydney, Australia – $1200.
Tip: the cheaper flight will most likely not be a direct one to Moscow, which means you might have to make one or two connections on the way. To fly straight to Moscow without connections will usually cost you more than the price you see above.
The most expensive city to stay at during the World Cup in Russia is going to be St. Petersburg, with the cheapest rooms at 2-star hotels starting at 4,600 Rubles ($80) a night. I recommend you to take a look at my other post about 2018 World Cup accommodation.
For our example itinerary, I’ll assume getting a 2-3 star hotel in both Moscow and St. Petersburg for $100 a night. For ten nights of stay in Russia, it will total to a $1000.
Tip: make sure to book the accommodation way in advance if you don’t want to overpay. Do it at least 3-4 months before you leave for the World Cup – the sooner, the better. You can also look into private stay or Airbnb to find a better deal.
Everything there is to know about the game tickets you can find out here. There are you’ll find answers to all of your questions about the tickets, such as when will the tickets go on sale, how much they are and what Fan-ID is.
For our example, I’m assuming to go to the 2 World Cup games in the group stage and getting the cheapest Category 3 tickets for $105 each. So you know, the more expensive Category 2 tickets are $165 a ticket, Category 1 – $210.
Two Category 3 tickets will add $210 to our projecting budget.
Food and Drinks
Here are a few examples of what you should expect to pay for food during the 2018 World Cup in Russia:
- a Big-Mac at McDonald’s – 150 Rubles;
- a breakfast sandwich/roll at McDonald’s – 100-150 Rubles;
- an average lunch at the buffet style Russian restaurant with a drink, soup, salad and a dish – 500 Rubles;
- pizza in cafe-pizzeria – 500 Rubles;
- a beer at the bar or restaurant – 150-200 Rubles.
If it were me, I’d feel pretty comfortable with 1800 Rubles ($30) daily budget on food during the 2018 World Cup. It’s enough to eat out three times a day and have a few drinks at the bar or restaurant.
For the projecting budget, I’ll count $40 a day (to have more room) of spending on food for one person, which will make it $400 for ten days that we are going to be in Russia.
Tip: you’ll go over this budget if you eat at the hotel restaurant or other restaurants of the higher end.
Tip: if you are on tight budget, you can pretty much cut this amount in half and still survive. Free breakfast at the hotel will be a big help in this case. To save some money, you can also buy pre-made food at the grocery store instead of eating out at the restaurants.
Once you land in Moscow, the very first thing you are going to pay for is transportation to the hotel.
The best and cheapest way to get from the airport in Moscow to the city center is to take an Uber. An Uber ride from the airport (Domodedovo or Sheremetyevo) in Moscow has a fixed priced of 850 Rubles. Both airports in Moscow have a free Wi-Fi inside the terminals, so you should be able to request an Uber even if you don’t have data.
Taxi is another option, but be prepared to significantly overpay. Taxi drivers in Russia (a lot of them are illegal as well) really like to rip people off. Once
they smell a fresh blood see that you don’t speak Russian, they’ll try to charge you as much as you’ll let them. Just walk away from them or try to bargain until you are comfortable with the asking price.
If you are going to attempt games in the other cities besides Moscow (like we are in our example; we are planning to stay in St. Petersburg for six days), you need to keep in mind transportation expenses to get there.
As we know, Russia will offer free ground transportation (by bus or train) between host cities during the 2018 World Cup for ticket-holders. It’s an awesome news for the fans, which will help to cut expenses a little bit. If we look back at the 2014 World Cup, ground transportation between host cities in Brazil was a headache for the fans.
Considering all said, for our situation, I’m assuming to budget $250 for ground transportation during the 2018 World Cup.
We will get a free transportation on the way to the game in St. Petersburg, but going back to Moscow we’ll have to pay on our own unless we buy another game ticket. Getting from St. Petersburg to Moscow will cost you something around $100 one way, which is not horrible. The rest of the money will be spent on Uber, taxis, and subway (Metro) in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Entertainment, sightseeing, souvenirs, other
There are lots of things you might going to want to do in Russia besides the World Cup tournament. Do you like to party? Check out some of the best places to go out in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Or maybe you are interested in the Russian history and culture? Then you cannot miss one of the largest museums in the world – the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.
No matter where your interest lies, you’ll find plenty of it in Russia. It will even be nice and warm in the summer, so don’t forget to bring your bathing suits ^_^.
What else you might spend on… You will probably want to bring home some souvenirs and gifts from Russia. There will be a lot of cool stuff to choose from besides the World Cup souvenirs.
The budget here depends on how much stuff you are going to do in Russia. Let’s say if you are thinking to go the world-famous Bolshoi theater you have to budget at least $150 extra.
I am going to budget $200 for this category. It will be enough to go to one of the nightclubs for a few drinks, pay the entrance fee’s at the Hermitage and Peterhof and get a fair amount of small souvenirs.
If it’s not enough of action for you, make sure to budget more.
What is the Total Cost of Traveling to the 2018 World Cup?
At the end we got these numbers (it’s an estimated budget to go to Russia for the World Cup for ten days):
- from the US (New York) – $2860;
- from the UK (London) – $2460;
- from Australia (Sydney) – $3260.
I cannot guarantee you that it’s exactly what it will cost you to travel to 2018 FIFA World Cup. The final cost will mostly depend on the time of booking. Obviously, if you are going to book a flight and hotel a few weeks before the World Cup starts, you’ll go way over my budget. The same applies to purchasing match tickets. But if you’ll book everything 5-6 months in advance or even earlier, it’s possible.
What I wanted to achieve here by writing this, is to show you that it is possible to travel to Russia for the World Cup without going broke. You don’t need to buy an expensive $10.000 World Cup packages. And it’s doable with a budget under $5000.
I hope it helps.
I’ll be happy to hear your feedback or answer to your questions. Don’t hesitate to comment on my blog!
Daniil Timin, Russianblogger.me.