From Russia with Love

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News: From Russia with Love

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As a preparation for the biggest football event in 2018, the host country announces VIP policies to welcome visiting World Cup fans. Find out more about passport regulations, the important FAN ID and other helpful travel facts.

You don’t have to be a special agent to get special treatment in Russia. All you need is a personalized Fan ID (required for access to any World Cup match) to receive VIP privileges—including the right to enter the country without a visa.

Russia is also waiving medical check-up and insurance requirements for Fan ID holders. That means a cost savings versus those who arrive during the games on ordinary tourist visas.But there will be nothing ordinary about the experience of visiting this remarkable country as a World Cup fan. In addition to the sports spectacular itself, you’ll have access to exceptional arts, culture, and outdoor activities.

At the same time, a visit to Russia holds some practical differences from visiting most EU countries. To simplify preparation and avoid logistical challenges, refer to this trip planning checklist:

International travel
  • Your passport must be valid for six months beyond your date of departure from Russia, and you must have two blank pages in your passport per stamp.
  • All foreigners are fingerprinted on arrival and are required to carry their passports, migration cards, and World Cup Fan ID with them at all times.
  •  For details about obtaining Fan ID and getting full benefits from it, visit the official Fan ID website
In-country travel
  • Your base of travel is likely to be Moscow or St. Petersburg. Both cities’ airports offer convenient schedules of flights to all other host cities.
  • However, in Russia, even some national airports are small and unaccustomed to handling a high volume of travelers.
  • To ensure that you don’t miss any matches, plan to arrive in each destination city as early as possible before the game you’re attending. Schedule your onward or outbound flight for as late as possible after the match.
  •  For more information about airports in each host city, refer to our Airport Fact Sheets, which will be useful for trip planning. Take a look at our first sheet of the series, starting with detailed information about the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow.

As with any trip, it’s always a good idea to learn a bit of the language spoken in the country you’re visiting. Omniglot offers sound files that help you master the art of speaking Russian. You won’t become fluent, but knowing even a few phrases can help you get around more easily and perhaps even connect with some local fans.


This is the first in a series of newsletter articles that we’ll be publishing in connection with the 2018 World Cup. Be sure to follow our continued coverage, including a Destination Guide with more information about how to make this a memorable visit to Russia. This article series is being designed to support your plans for successful meetings and events organized around the games.


As for Brazil 2014, our experienced colleagues aim to find the most suitable travel options for you and your group.