Russia is on the top priority lists for travelers because of its beauty, it’s cuisine and heritage, but this year the country will witness the largest number of visitors owing to a simple reason that Russia is hosting the FIFA World Cup 2018. We all know the craze people have for football and India is not far behind. So in this article, we will talk about how one can travel to Russia from India for the FIFA World Cup.

First, we will be talking about how one can go to Russia from India and the documents required to travel there. And then, we will move on to the cities where the matches will take place and how can one go there.

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Airways:

One of the most efficient ways to travel to Russia is by taking a flight. Russia is approximately 5000 kms away from India. You can always book a flight to the city you want to visit in the country in any of the travel apps or by the help of your travel agent. You will have to go through a connecting flight from India and the minimum time in which you can reach the country is approximately 10 hours. That is the average minimum time.

You can minimize your time travel by carefully choosing the city you are travelling from and the city you are living in currently. For example, Delhi to Russia will take a minimum of 6 hours of your time and to travel to the same country from Bangalore will take you a minimum of 11 hours. The maximum time depends upon flight to flight and you can choose the flight according to your convenience.

From India, you can take flights from all the places where an International airport in there that is you can book flights from Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and many other cities. Coming on to how much the travelling to Russia by flight is going to cost you. So this also differs for different flights and your mode of travelling that is if you are choosing to travel in economy mode or first class. The minimum that the one round trip is going to cost you will be a minimum of 15000 rupees for a one-way trip and that too depends upon the city you are travelling from the city you are travelling from and also the class you are travelling in. A round trip will cost you approximately 35000 rupees.

Choose the flights according to your convenience and go get a trip to Russia to enjoy the World Cup. But before you are making up your mind to go and watch the match live from the beautiful stadiums of Russia, make sure you have all the necessary documents with you.

Tourist Visa:

All foreign nationals must have their entry visa with them to travel to the Russian Federation. In case you are going to watch FIFA World Cup 2018 or just travelling to Russia as a tourist, you would need a tourist visa. The following documents should be submitted to the Russian Embassy or Consulate to obtain a Tourist Visa to enter Russia:

1.  Your original passport with at least 2 blank visa-designated pages (passport must be valid for at least 6 months after intended departure date from Russia).

2.  Two copies of Russian visa application form, completed and signed.

3.  Two passport-size photos signed on the back.

4.  If Individual Travel: Confirmation of hotel arrangements from authorized Russian travel company, or directly from the Russian hotel, showing reference and confirmation number for the visa.

The tourist visa will give you the permission to stay in Russia for not more than 30 days. And to get the Visa you should apply with a month in hand as the visa clearance will take atleast 20 days, so make sure you have plenty of time in your hand when you are applying for the tourist visa. And of course, you would need your passport and other identity cards with you to prove that you are the citizen of India.

Roadways:

Another way by which you can reach Russia from India is by travelling through road. Now this is a more complex way of travelling to Russia as you would need to have an international driving licence, multiple visa (for the countries you will be travelling through) in addition to the tourist visa for Russia, different foreign currencies too to spend on different countries you will be staying in.

The multiple visas and different foreign currencies that you will be spending will waste your time as well as money and it will cost you more time and money to travel to Russia by road. Not to forget that the distance from India to Russia is approximately 5000 kms and when you travel by road, this distance is going to increase.

So even if you are travelling with a speed of 70 km/hr and travelling a distance of approximately 7000 kms then it will take you 100 hours to reach your destination. With high mountains to cross and different cities in between, 100 hours seems less and 70 km/hr looks more. But you if you have time on hand and are willing to travel that much distance to enjoy your road trip to the beautiful country then you must take into consideration the fact that you will not be allowed to travel through China. And then you will have to travel through Afghanistan and Pakistan and then to Kazakhstan. It seems like a long long journey with a lot of headaches in between.

Hence, it is better to take a flight than travel by road. But if you are an adventure junkie then make sure to be safe while travelling. So now that we have covered the mode of travel you can choose while travelling to Russia, we would be talking about the different cities you will have to travel to watch the matches. There are 11 cities where the matches will take place that includes Moscow and St Petersburg, both of which have been the favourite destination in Russia for the tourists.

Moscow:

The first match of the FIFA WORLD CUP 2018 will be hosted by Moscow itself. Russia will be playing against Saudi Arabia on 14th June, 2018. The country has two stadiums in the city: Luzhniki Stadium and Spartak Stadium. A total of 12 matches will be played on both the stadiums and Luzhniki will be hosting the opening match as well as the semi-final and final match of the World Cup 2018.

The city provides the tourists with a lot of variety and experience with its finest arts to shopping. There are some favourite tourist destinations located here such as Lenin’s Mausoleum and St Basin’s Cathedral. In case you are a shopping freak make sure you go to the Izmailovsky Market. There is nothing here that you wouldn’t find interesting and the World Cup fever is going to make it more interesting for you.

Travelling to Moscow is easy as all the Indian flights travel to the international airport of the city. And in case you are not aware of the matches that will be taking place in this city, here is the list made available to you. Luzhniki Stadium: Russia v Saudi Arabia (14 June); Germany v Mexico (June 17); Portugal v Morocco (June 20); Denmark v France (June 26); Round of 16 (July 1); Semi-final (July 11); Final (July 15) Spartak Stadium: Argentina v Iceland (June 16); Poland v Senegal (June 19); Belgium v Tunisia (June 23); Brazil v Serbia (June 27); Round of 16 (July 3)

St.Petersberg:

There are seven matches scheduled in this city including an important semi-final clash and this gives you the perfect opportunity to get the feel of the place itself. This city is home to many palaces and has always been on the priority list of the tourists. There are a lot of places to look out for but don’t miss going to the Hermitage Museum and also the famous cathedrals of the city.

Travelling to this city is just as easy as travelling to Moscow as there are international flights from all around the world including India. Direct flights to this city makes you save your time and money so that you can catch the fever just on time. The list of the seven matches goes as following: Morocco v Iran (June 15); Russia v Egypt (June 19); Brazil v Costa Rica (June 22); Nigeria v Argentina (June26); Round of 16 (July 3); Semi-final (July 10); Third place play-off (July 14).

Volgograd:

There is something more exciting than the world cup matches when this city is concerned. There is a lot of history associated Volgograd as it was formerly known as the Stalingrad infamous for its most devastating seize during world war II. Also you would find the Europe’s largest statue here known as The Motherland Calls.

If you are interesting to watch the matches that will be taking place here you can catch a train from Moscow or you can directly take a flight to this city from New Delhi. There are only four matches scheduled to take place in the city and all are the group league ones. The list of the matches are as follows: Tunisia v England (June 18); Nigeria v Iceland (June 22); Saudi Arabia v Egypt (June 25); Japan v Poland (June 28)

Saransk:

You can catch a direct flight to this city from New Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore. You can also travel to Moscow, see the important matches there and then take a train to catch the matches here in the stadium of this city. This city is named after the river Saranka and is rich in culture with all its beautiful mosques and cathedrals.

A visit to the Museum of Mordovia Folk Culture or the triumvirate of beautiful squares—Millennium Square, Victory Square and Soviet Square will be fun. If you are a Cristiano Ronaldo fan, then you must visit this city as Portugal will be playing against Iran here on the 25 June.  Apart from it there are three more matches scheduled here and the list goes as following: Peru v Denmark (June 16); Colombia v Japan (June 19); Iran v Portugal (June 25); Panama v Tunisia (June 28)

Rostov-On-Don:

The new Platov International Airport is just open on time to make travelling easy for the World Cup fans. All the Brazilians and Luis Suarez fans must be grateful to the city as this city will be hosting matches of countries like Brazil and Uruguay. Apart from the two teams, other teams which will play matches here includes, Mexico, Croatia, Switzerland, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Iceland.

A total of 5 matches will be played here with 4 being the group league ones and one match of the Round 16. The list of matches are as follows: Brazil v Switzerland (June 17); Uruguay v Saudi Arabia (June 20); South Korea v Mexico (June 23); Iceland v Croatia (June 26); Round of 16 (July 2) Apart from the World Cup matches, this city is famous for its cafes and parks. The Port city along with the Don river is the perfect destination for holidays.

One can also experience the culture and lifestyle of the city by discovering local delicacies at Rostov’s Central Market. The city also has numerous tourist sites to honour renowned authors like Maxim Gorky and Alexander Pushkin.

Nizhny Novgorod:

This is one of the oldest cities in Russia and was previously known as Gorky in honour of the author. The city has travelled a great distance from when it was closed to the public during the Soviet era as today the tourists and visitors can enjoy the art, architecture, and tasty food along with some crazy football matches lined up here and the great Messi will be all set to score goals in the stadium of this city.

Argentina will be playing their important match with Croatia here and all eyes will be on the magician, Messi. Apart from this match, 5 more matches will be played here including one round 16 and one quarter-final match. The list of the matches is given below:

Matche 6Sweden v South Korea (June 18); Argentina v Croatia (June 21); England v Panama (June 24); Switzerland v Costa Rica(June 27); Round of 16 (July 1); Quarter-final (July 6) As to how to go there, the Strigino International Airport is well connected and you can catch a direct flight to the city from India with different fares and time duration that can be matched according to your convenience.

Kaliningrad

Spain and Belgium are the two countries to watch out for in the World Cup matches lined here in this city. The city will be hosting four matches and they are as follows: Croatia v Nigeria (June 16); Serbia v Switzerland (June 22); Spain v Morocco (June 25); England v Belgium (June 28). You will have to take a train from Moscow or can also travel from the city in case you have reached their earlier. Otherwise you can take a direct flight to the city from New Delhi, Mumbai or Bangalore if you want to reach this city first.

This small city is between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic sea coast. The military zone is also popular as it is UNESCO-protected Curonian Spit, a 98km-long, thin strip of sand dune, which is shared with Lithuania. The renowned philosopher Immanuel Kant’s tomb is at Königsberg Cathedral, is one of the attraction of the city and the one thing that you should definitely take back home is amber, which the city is obsessed with.

Sochi, the city will be hosting 6 matches of the 2018 World Cup and all of them are crucial matches with important teams playing here. CR7 and team will be playing against 2010 World Cup champions Spain. Germany will lock horns with Sweden and key players of both the team should be looked out for. Apart from the group league round, there will be one ROUND 16 and a Quarter-Final Match.

If I would be you, I would not have dared to not see the matches being played in this city especially when Cristiano Ronaldo will be playing against a tough opponent like Spain. The International airport of this city is well connected and you can travel there directly from India or can also go from Moscow.

The city also hosted the Winter Olympics, 2014. You can take a view of the famous Black Sea and can also visit Joseph Stalin’s summer house, Dacha. Sochi’s subtropical climate makes it the unofficial summer capital of Russia and a reminder to all the Foodies, make sure to try the extremely popular Caucasian cuisine of the city. The list of the matched that will be played in the city are as follows: Portugal v Spain (June 15); Belgium v Panama (June 18); Germany v Sweden (June 23); Australia v Peru (June 26); Round of 16 (June 30); Quarter-final (July 7)

 Yekaterinburg:

The Egyptian God, Mohammad Salah will set his foot on the ground of this city when Egypt will take on Luis Suarez and company. Uefa Euro Cup, 2016 finalists France will also take on Peru here and Griezmann will be the man to look out for. The city will host four matches and the list is as follows: Egypt v Uruguay (June 15); France v Peru (June 21); Japan v Senegal (June 24); Mexico v Sweden (June 27).

It is easy to travel to this city as the international airport is well connected with all the other countries and you can catch a direct flight from India too. The tall, clean structure along with its white walls and the golden domes is the most popular tourist site in the city. There is also the Vysotskiy Viewing Platform from where you can choose to enjoy the endless beautiful skyline after a long day of football. Also worth a visit is the Boris Yeltsin Museum. Make sure you visit the city and enjoy your stay there.

Samara

The city will be hosting 6 matches including one Round of 16 and a Quarter-Final match. The host nation will be playing here and will lock horns against Uruguay. Other important teams to look out for will be Colombia and Costa Rica. The matches will take place as follows: Costa Rica v Serbia (June 17); Denmark v Australia (June 21); Uruguay v Russia (June 25); Senegal v Colombia (June 28); Round of 16 (July 2); Quarter-final (July 7).

Samara is not very far from the borders of Kazakhstan and is home to the country’s aerospace centre where the rocket, Vostok 1, that took Yuri Gagarin to space, was built. You can also head out to the Samarskaya Luka National Park to fall in love with nature, or trek the Zhiguli Mountains and enjoy some time away from the city life. Travelling here is easy as you can catch a train or flight from Moscow. You can also travel directly from India as you can get a flight from there. Enjoy you time here.

Kazan

The 2014 FIFA World Cup champions, Germany will be playing against South Korea in this city along with other good football playing nations competing against each other. The city will be hosting 6 matches including one Round of 16 and a Quarter Final match.

The list of the matches are as follows: France v Australia (June 16); Iran v Spain (June 20); Poland v Colombia (June 24); South Korea v Germany (June 27); Round of 16 (June 30); Quarter-final (July 6). The city is full of culture and also called the Sports Capital of Russia.

It was founded in 1005 which makes it an older city than the Moscow itself. If you are an architect, you will surely be enjoying your stay here as this city have some wonderful architecture, mosques and churches. Do not forget to visit the Kremlin once you are here in this city. You can travel here by air or rail transport from Moscow. So these are the cities where all the FIFA World Cup 2018 matches will be conducted. And we have just given you the guide through all of them. Take some time off and enjoy the matches in Russia.

Happy Investing!

Disclaimer: the views expressed here are of the author and do not reflect those of Groww.