How to travel around Russia for free during World Cup 2018

For fans who are heading to this summer’s World Cup in Russia, now is a crucial time in terms of planning where to stay, how to get to the various cities and what to do once there. As Russia is so vast, the host cities for the World Cup are widely spread out. The three most extreme cities of Kaliningrad in the west, Sochi in the south and Ekaterinburg in the east are all around 3000km from each other – roughly a 3-hour flight between each city.

For fans following their country, they will visit a minimum of three cities during the tournament, perhaps, even more, should their country progress from the group stage.Β With flying typically very expensive and train travel times being upwards of 12 hours, the government and organizers of the tournament have come up with a fantastic scheme to make travel between host cities for fans much cheaper and easier: free train travel for World Cup ticket holders.

That’s right, if you have successfully applied for World Cup tickets and your Fan-ID – a free replacement for visas for foreigners during the tournament, you are eligible to book a free train which will carry fans between host cities during the World Cup.

As the tournament has approached, a large number of fans who have encountered difficulties with the logistics of visiting Russia for the World Cup, and it turns out that a lot of these fans have not heard of this cost-saving option available to them. Well, now you know, and now we’ll show you how to take advantage of it.


Free Train Travel

  1. Assuming you have successfully applied for your tickets and received a confirmation email, as well as your Fan-ID, head toΒ
  2. The page should open in English, but if not change the flag in the top left corner to the Union Jack.
  3. Have an idea of what matches/cities you are looking to travel between. In this example, we will use Portugal vs Spain which is in Sochi on June 15th. Portuguese fans will want to head to Moscow for their next match against Morocco on the 20th.
  4. On the homepage, scroll down the page and you will find the full match schedule (above). Depending on your plans, click on the match you are leaving from or travelling to. At this point, you will be directed to a list of potential trains, under two tabs named “Trains before the match” and “Trains after the match” (as per below).
  5. In our example, we are looking for “Trains after the match”, ideally for a train to Moscow, which is a popular location due to its centrality. For those looking to hop between, for example, Sochi and Kazan, you may have to go via Moscow, and then book a 2nd train from there. In our case, the trains from Sochi to Moscow can take up to 38 hours long, select Book on the service you would like to use.
  6. At this point, you will be prompted to create an account. It’s simple enough to do so we won’t walk you through that.
  7. The next page should now bring up a nice picture of your train, so you can select your carriage and seat. Now in Russia, the trains are double deckers, and your seat could, therefore, be on the bottom or first floor, and your seat is actually a comfy bed to accommodate you on your long journey.
  8. Make your selection, and fill in the details below, including contact information, Fan-ID reference, ticket reference and passport number. Please note, that the details will need to perfectly match the details for your Fan-ID, so you will need to fill in your middle name and all. Click book, and away you go!

So there you have it, free train travel at the World Cup. Free! As the saying goes, all good things in life come for free, and we hope that we have now made it easier for you, the adventurous fan, to take advantage and save a bit of the valuable cash.


Author: David Sansun

Arsenal and Rubin Kazan fan. Possibly too optimistic for Russian football which means I’m left disappointed a lot.

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