Photo by Karim Abdel Aziz Photo by Karim Abdel Aziz

Ultimate Guide to Russia 2018

Tue, Jan. 30, 2018
CAIRO - 30 January 2018: It’s not every day we qualify for the World Cup—in fact, not even every 25 years. So when Egypt qualified for the FIFA 2018 World Cup after 28 years of hoping, praying and screaming at the screen, many Egyptians, football fans and otherwise, will be travelling to Russia this summer to root for the national team.

The draw was held on December 1 at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow and has put Egypt in Group A, alongside Uruguay, Saudi Arabia and the host nation, Russia.
The Egyptian team will play the group stage games in three different cities. The team’s first game will be against Uruguay on June 15 at Central Stadium, Yekaterinburg. Our second game will be against Russia on June 19 at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg. The team’s third and last game in the first round will be against Saudi Arabia on June 25 at the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd.

So if you’re planning to visit the historically rich and beautiful country this summer, make sure you plan your visit around the dates the national team will be playing.


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A guide to Russia 2018

Booking a ticket to one of the World Cup matches will help you a lot during your stay as it will allow you to register online for your personalized FAN ID. Using your FAN ID, you can enter Russia without a visa, and you can also use all public transportation for free. In other words, this Fan ID will be your visa and your ticket.

The easiest way to travel to Yekaterinburg is booking a flight from Cairo to Moscow. EgyptAir flies from Cairo to Moscow via Larnaca in around six hours. Make sure you book early on to get the best fares. Upon your arrival in Moscow, take a train from there to Yekaterinburg, a journey that is 1,755 kilometers and 22 hours long. Train tickets can be booked through www.RussianRail.com and FAN ID holders ride for free, the tickets would otherwise cost $50 to $200.

Yekaterinburg, founded in 1723, is the fourth most populous city in Russia, with a population of 1.4 million, making it an important center for sport and arts.

The Central Stadium in Yekaterinburg was founded in 1957 and was renovated between 2006 and 2011 in preparation for the World Cup. The stadium has a capacity of 35,696.
Accommodation in Yekaterinburg motels per person costs between $10 and $15 per night. Prices for hotels in Yekaterinburg are running quite high during the World Cup, a three-star hotel costs around $450 per night for a double room. If you’re looking for something cheaper or traveling with family, find an apartment through websites like www.airbnb.com, where you can get a one-bedroom apartment starting $40 a night. Hotels are also running out fast in the small town, so go ahead and book your stay.

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You can spend your time in Yekaterinburg visiting the Church of All Saints, Historic Square and Water Tower on Plotinka before watching the Egypt-Uruguay clash.
After Egypt’s first game against Uruguay, Egyptian fans will travel to Saint Petersburg to watch the game against the Russian team.
There are three nights separating the two games. Egyptian fans will spend about 24 hours on a train to reach Saint Petersburg, and they will have two nights to spend in the city until the game.

Saint Petersburg, 687 kilometers north of Moscow, was founded in 1703 and is Russia’s second largest city, with a population of 5.2 million. It is known for its many tourist attractions, drawing in 5 million tourists a year.

The Krestovsky Stadium has a capacity of 68,134 and was opened earlier in 2017, hosting the 2017 FIFA Confederation Cup final.

Accommodation in Saint Petersburg motels per person costs between $12 and $18 per night, and a double room at a three-star hotel costs around $150 per night and you can get a one-bedroom apartment through Airbnb for around $45 a night.
You can use your time in Saint Petersburg to visit the beautiful sights in the city, like the Hermitage Museum, Peterhof Palace, Church of the Savior on Blood, and St. Isaac’s Cathedral State Museum.

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Egyptians will spend about six days between their second game and their last group stage match against Saudi Arabia, which will be played in Volgograd.
Like the last two trips, it will take about 20 hours to arrive at the city.

Volgograd, founded in 1589, was known as Stalingrad until 1961. The city witnessed the famous Battle of Stalingrad, which played a huge role in the outcome of World War II.
The city is 941 kilometers south of Moscow and is an eco-touristic hub for the country. The Volgograd Arena is one of the venues for the World Cup, with a capacity of 45,568 and you are expected to spend the biggest period of your trip in Volgograd. In your five days there, you should visit The Motherland Calls’ Sculpture, Mamayev Hill Monuments, The Eternal Flame, State Historical and Memorial Preserve The Battle of Stalingrad and the Planetarium before the clash between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Accommodation in Volgograd motels per person costs between $10 and $18 per night, $35 per night in a one-bedroom apartment and $350 per double bedroom, although bedrooms are selling out fast throughout the city.

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How to buy the tickets

Tickets were sold over three phases, with the first one held from September 14 to October 12, 2017. The second phase is a random selection draw and was launched on December 1 and will last until January 31, so apply quickly to get your tickets to avoid black market prices. The third phase will run from March 13 to April 3 and, unlike the first two phases, the tickets will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you didn’t catch the first three phases, you can still opt for the last-minute phase, held from April 18 and until the end of the World Cup.

You can then apply for your FAN ID after receiving your ticket confirmation email following the conclusion of the random selection draw sales period. You can submit an application for a FAN ID only after the FIFA approves your ticket-purchasing application.
FIFA has split the tickets into four categories. The fourth category is reserved for Russian residents. The other categories are available for purchase through online ticket sale.




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