The biggest event of the year — the football World Cup — is barely six months away. Here’s a primer on how much you may spend if you want to catch the action live in Russia.
The mascot for the 2018 World Cup in Russia is a wolf named Zabivaka, which in Russian means ‘the one who scores’. And you will have to turn into Zabivaka if you wish to score tickets for the football festival.
The demand for tickets for the tournament — to be held from June 14 to July 15 — is huge. Fifa, the sport’s governing body, has made close to 159,402 tickets available. All tickets are being sold online on the Fifa site.
The tournament comprises 64 matches played at 12 venues located in 11 cities across the Eurasian country. The ticket sales so far have been via random selection draws. The next sales window is between March 13 and April 3. Last-minute sales will also be offered between April 18 and July 15, the day of the final.
These tickets are on a first come, first sold basis. Though India will not figure in the World Cup, it is in the top 10 when it comes to demand for tickets, as per Fifa’s survey of ticket sales.
The prices of the tickets as per the Fifa site range from $105 for the cheapest seats at group stage matches to $1,100 for the most expensive ones at the final at the Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow.
Russia has made several tweaks to their visa policy to help fans attend the World Cup. People will be able to visit Russia without a visa before as well as during the World Cup, regardless of citizenship. But they will need an official identity document known as a FAN ID that will be issued by the Russian authorities free of cost.
There are three ways to get a FAN ID. It can be delivered to your place of stay or can be collected from issuing centres or stadiums. After you have bought the match ticket, apply for a FAN ID. The application will need to be approved first. The application can be made through a portal or at one of the issuance centres.
Expected to be warm and sunny by Russian standards.
Electricity throughout the country is 220 volt/50Hz with a European standard two-pin plug. Fans will need a converter for Indian plugs.
One Russian ruble is approximately Rs 1.15.
Bengaluru-Delhi-Moscow and back — Rs 60,000. Average fare one way is Rs 15,000 to Rs 35,000 and Rs 35,000 to Rs 70,000 for a round trip.
Rs 3.5 lakh for a round trip to Moscow. One way is about Rs 1.7 lakh.
Rs 8 lakh for a round trip to Moscow. One way is about Rs 3.4 lakh.
Average hotel stay cost:
Five-star hotels in Moscow, like the Ritz-Carlton, Sheraton Palace or Marriott Courtyard cost $300-$350 per night. Four-star ones cost $185-$200 per night. Five-star properties in St Petersburg cost $250-$300 per night. Some of the leading premium hotels in the city are the Four Seasons Lion Palace, The Hermitage and Corinthia. Four-star hotels range between $175-$200 per night.
PLACES TO SEE
The Grand Palace (Peterhof):
An architectural marvel, this has been the crown residence of the Russian emperors.
St Isaac’s Cathedral:
The biggest Orthodox Cathedral in St Petersburg is an outstanding example of late classicism.
The heart of the Northern capital is one of the most beautiful architectural ensembles in the world.
Peter and Paul Cathedral:
The oldest church in St Petersburg has a monument of the Petrine Baroque. Top party destinations: Lomonosov, Tipplers, Mishka.
The centre of the Russian state and the residence of the President of Russia, it symbolises the country.
St Basil’s Cathedral:
This holy place is a wonder of architecture and has nine altars that are spread out on a single foundation.
The most famous theatre in Moscow shows around 3-4 different operas and 2-3 ballets every year.
Moscow’s most visited attraction and the centre of Russian history.
The largest and best known flea market is the perfect place for souvenirs and Soviet antiques. Top party destinations: City Space, O2 Lounge.
A Russian soup stew made either of fish, meat, or mushroom with finely cut pickles, onions, herbs and spices all mixed with sour cream in a pot. Available in all restaurants and eateries that serve authentic Russian food.
Both black and red salmon caviar are a must try. Available at supermarkets and restaurants across Russia.
A fermented drink made of rye or bread that contains malt. In summers, rusty trucks drive around selling these in cups for petty change.
The country is known for this drink and there are bars all across the country that offer a large peg of the drink. There is even a vodka museum in St Petersburg.