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5 things to keep in mind while visiting Russia for World Cup

Written by: Neil Talnikar

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Heeding these suggestions will help make your dream World Cup adventure one to remember.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia will kick-off in just a couple of weeks. The biggest sporting event in the world has already created a lot of buzz among the fans. The spectators must be packing their bags to land in Russia and experience a phenomenal tournament. But, before they do so, here are few things they need to know about their trip.

1.Weather

The travelling spectators must be aware of the fact that Russia is characterised by extreme climatic conditions. June marks the start of summer and the temperature might rise alarmingly high particularly in Moscow, the capital of the country and one of the host cities.

So, fans need to be well prepared for an abnormal change in the climate as sometimes the days are sunny while the nights get pretty cold. The travelling fans from all over the world must carry proper clothes suitable to the Russian climate.

It is exciting to know how thousands of fans travel for each World Cup just to follow their passion for the game, in spite of adverse circumstances.

2. Travel and Accommodation

Being the host country, Russia has made several arrangements to welcome the travelling fans. Special provisions include like free train tickets in the host cities, concessional accommodation facilities and so on. 728 special additional trains will travel between the host cities to transport the spectators to the match venues. On matchdays, the host cities will also have free transport to and from airports as well as public transits.

Since the World Cup is a supreme sporting event, there will be an extremely high demand for accommodation facilities. Thus, even though the government has subsidized the rates of accommodation facilities, due to high demand, the prices are most likely to be high. As a consequence, fans need to book their accomodation before it gets too late. Some Russians are very hospitable and they might offer accommodation in their own homes for fans, but that isn't an optionto bank on.

3. Culture and Traditions



Russian cultural practices are considered weird by many as they baffle many foreigners. Being the largest country in the world, Russia naturally exhibits a great diversity of ethnicities. When addressing someone, it is important to know a little about the Russian names which don’t follow the conventions of the English language. The Russian language uses Cyrillic alphabets which the fans must be well informed with.

Russian culture is often tradition-driven. It is interesting to know the miscellaneousness of the traditions here, such as how many flowers to give to a woman, how to drink a bottle of vodka in the correct way and so on.

It is important for the fans to know that Russians are very particular with their traditions and do not accept any violations. There are several other facts that the fans need to be aware of, such as that taxi drivers do not wave at their passengers. Russians are also very superstitious. For instance, it is considered disrespectful if one doesn’t finish off the food offered on a plate and so on.


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4.Legal Requirements

There are strict rules and regulations for all the visitors. Fans require to have a FAN ID along with the valid match tickets to enter the stadiums hosting the matches. These are the most important documents for each and every travelling fan. All the perks such as free train tickets, accommodation facilities and other allowances are a subject to the presentation of a valid FAN ID, passport and valid match tickets. The fans must compulsorily, at all times, carry these documents as the Russian police have the authority to ask for the same at any time.

An exciting piece of news for the travelling fans is that they will be able to travel to Russia without visas for the event. The window for visa-free travel will last from 10 days before the event to until 10 days after the event.

5.Politics, Law and Order

Many describe the rule of President Vladimir Putin in Russia as ‘harsh but fair.’ Thus, fans need to ensure that they abide by all the laws and legislations as they travel for the World Cup. This is a major consideration for the fans as political factors might make or mar their trip.

This is especially true in the case of fans from the United States due to the tension between the two countries. These fans must, at all times, take every possible safety measure during their trip. This also applies to fans from the United Kingdom as they are advised to be vigilant to any anti-English or anti-British sentiments. The embassies of both countries are expected to be present at all times at the event.

Both, the fans from the US as well as from UK are advised to trust their instinct and avoid being the victims of crime. This is also applicable to the other travelling fans as malpractices such as pick-pocketing, Turkey Drop scam, Airport scam, mugging and so on are very common in Russia. Thus, the fans need to ensure that they do not get involved in any criminal practices or fall victim to the same and be safe throughout the trip.

Published: Mon Jun 04, 2018 05:52 PM IST

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