Football World Cup Russia 2018: top travel tips & weather guides

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Are you a football fanatic hoping to go to the 2018 World Cup in Russia? If you're planning to visit Russia during the upcoming tournament, you might want to prepare by seeing what the weather is like in each of the host cities, ensuring you aren't caught out by weather you weren't prepared for.

Palace Square in St Petersburg, Russia
Palace Square in St Petersburg, Russia © Iryna1 -

Read on to discover more about the weather in World Cup 2018 destinations, as well as match schedules, travel arrangements, travel deals on flights and hotels, and so much more.

World Cup Russia 2018 weather guide

Welcome to your ultimate guide to the weather in Russia during the 2018 Football World Cup. Prior to the tournament commencing, we're sharing the weather averages for every host city in the country, so you know what to expect and what to pack. Closer to kick off, we'll include the latest weather forecasts so you know exactly what the weather will be like from Moscow to Sochi, Samara to Kaliningrad.


Russia's vibrant and historic capital, Moscow, has two stadiums which will host matches during the World Cup. The Luzhinki Stadium will be the main venue for major World Cup and Russian matches while the relatively new Otkrytiye Arena (also known as the Spartak Stadium as home of FC Spartak Moscow) will host other games within the capital throughout the tournament. You can fly direct to Moscow from the UK* and other cities across Russia.


The weather in Moscow in June and July is warm and summery with temperatures in the low to mid-twenties (°C), sunny with around nine hours per day, and only a slim chance of encountering any rain. Evenings are cool however, so remember to take an extra layer or two.

Moscow (Luzhniki)

Date Match
Thu, 14 Jun @ 18:00 Russia vs Saudi Arabia
Sun, 17 Jun @ 18:00 Germany vs Mexico
Wed, 20 Jun @ 15:00 Portugal vs Morocco
Tue, 26 Jun @ 17:00 Denmark vs France

Moscow (Spartak)

Date Match
Sat, 16 Jun @ 16:00 Argentina vs Iceland
Tue, 19 Jun @ 15:00 Poland vs Senegal
Sat, 23 Jun @ 15:00 Belgium vs Tunisia
Wed, 27 Jun @ 21:00 Serbia vs Brazil
Moscow is the host city for the Football World Cup Russia 2018 final
Moscow is the host city for the Football World Cup Russia 2018 final © f11photo -

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St Petersburg

  • Stadium: Krestovsky Stadium (Saint Petersburg Stadium); capacity: up to 67,000
  • Distance from Moscow: 400 miles
  • Nearest airport: Pulkovo Airport (LED)*
  • Time difference: UTC+3

The romantic, cultural former capital of Tsarist Russia, St Petersburg continues to draw city breakers all year round to its incredible architecture, museums, and shops. During the 2018 World Cup, St Petersburg's Krestovsky Stadium (also known as the St Petersburg Stadium) will host matches held in the city. This all singing, all dancing new stadium has a retractable roof and a sliding pitch, among other hi-tech features. You can fly direct to St Petersburg from the UK*, and from other cities across Russia.


Sitting some 440 miles northwest of Moscow, St Petersburg also enjoys sunny summer days but cooler temperatures in the low twenties (°C) from June into July. It's by far the sunniest time of year, which guarantees long, bright days, and there's only a small chance of seeing any rain. Best pack a waterproof just in case, and extra layers for after dusk, as evenings are positively chilly.

Date Match
Fri, 15 Jun @ 18:00 Morocco vs Iran
Tue, 19 Jun @ 21:00 Russia vs Egypt
Fri, 22 Jun @ 15:00 Brazil vs Costa Rica
Tue, 26 Jun @ 21:00 Nigeria vs Argentina

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  • Stadium: Kaliningrad Stadium; capacity: up to 35,000
  • Distance from Moscow: 680 miles
  • Nearest airport: Khrabrovo Airport (KGD)*
  • Time difference: UTC+2

The Baltic Sea-coast city of Kaliningrad is set to host a number of important matches during the Football World Cup 2018. Kaliningrad Stadium is a new project, built on Oktyabrsky Island for the World Cup, ensuring you're never far from the action. The easiest way to get to Kaliningrad from the UK is to fly via Moscow or Warsaw, Poland.


June and July are two of the warmest months in Kaliningrad, with temperatures in the low twenties (°C), and plenty of sunshine. As with Moscow and St Petersburg, go prepared with an extra layer or two for evenings, and a waterproof for any passing showers.

Date Match
Sat, 16 Jun @ 21:00 Croatia vs Nigeria
Fri, 22 Jun @ 20:00 Serbia vs Switzerland
Mon, 25 Jun @ 20:00 Spain vs Morocco
Thu, 28 Jun @ 20:00 England vs Belgium

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The Kul Sharif Mosque in Kazan, Russia
The Kul Sharif Mosque in Kazan, Russia © Rifat Ziyatdinov -


Kazan sits to the east of Moscow on the banks of the Volga River in the semi-autonomous region of the Republic of Tatarstan. The Kazan Arena, which opened in 2013, was designed by the same architects who designed Wembley and the Emirates Stadium, and is said to resemble a water lily from above. You can reach Kazan by flying via Istanbul, Moscow and other cities in Russia.


While winters are fiercely cold and dark in Kazan, summers are warm and sunny, with as much as 10 hours of sunshine per day in June, and daily highs of up to 25°C in July - the perfect recipe for enjoying a football match or two. As with each host city in Russia in summer, best pack a warm layer for evenings, and a waterproof just in case.

Date Match
Sat, 16 Jun @ 13:00 France vs Australia
Wed, 20 Jun @ 21:00 Iran vs Spain
Sun, 24 Jun @ 21:00 Poland vs Columbia
Wed, 27 Jun @ 17:00 South Korea vs Germany

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Nizhny Novgorod

Nizhny Novgorod is relatively close to Moscow in comparison to some of the other host cities. It's also set to offer one of the tournament's most picturesque stadium locations, as the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium is located at the confluence of the Volga and Oka rivers, promising some seriously scenic views for those attending World Cup 2018 football matches. You can fly to Nizhny Novgorod via Moscow and other cities in Russia.


If you're heading to Nizhny Novgorod for the football World Cup in 2018, you can look forward to long, sunny days with up to 10 hours of sunshine in June, and temperatures in the low to mid-twenties (°C) by day. Evenings are a little cooler, so you'll need an extra layer.

Date Match
Mon, 18 Jun @ 15:00 Sweden vs South Korea
Thu, 21 Jun @ 21:00 Argentina vs Croatia
Sun, 24 Jun @ 15:00 England vs Panama
Wed, 27 Jun @ 21:00 Switzerland vs Costa Rica

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Samara is Russia's sixth largest city, and also resides alongside the Volga River, southeast of Moscow. The brand new Samara Arena's futuristic design gives a nod to the region's famed aerospace industry, and it set to become the home of FC Krylya Sovetov after the 2018 World Cup. You can fly to Samara via Moscow and other cities in Russia.


Samara's climate really showcases the seasons, with freezing winters and delightfully warm summers. If you're visiting the city for the Football World Cup in 2018, you can expect daily highs up to 26°C with lots of lovely sunshine (up to 10 hours of sunshine on average each day in June and July). Once again however, it's worth taking a coat for evenings when things cool down even at this time of year.

Date Match
Sun, 17 Jun @ 16:00 Costa Rica vs Serbia
Thu, 21 Jun @ 19:00 Denmark vs Australia
Mon, 25 Jun @ 18:00 Uruguay vs Russia
Thu, 28 Jun @ 18:00 Senegal vs Columbia

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The enormous 'The Motherland Calls' monument, Volgograd, Russia
The enormous 'The Motherland Calls' monument, Volgograd, Russia © ElenaMirage -


Volgograd, formerly Stalingrad, lies southeast of Moscow, and is known for its enormous statue commemorating the many who died in the Battle of Stalingrad during World War II. The city has a brand new stadium on the site of the old Central Stadium, a name Russian football fans hold in high esteem thanks to notable victories over the years. Volgograd Arena is also set to become the home of FC Rotor after the Football World Cup. You can reach Volgograd via Moscow and other Russian cities.


As for the weather, Volgograd doesn't do things by half: while daytime highs in winter don't tend to surpass the freezing mark, summer it's a hot and sunny, with temperatures in the high-twenties to low-thirties, 10 hours of sunshine each day in June and July, and low rainfall figures. Just take a jacket for evenings, especially in June.

Date Match
Mon, 18 Jun @ 21:00 Tunisia vs England
Fri, 22 Jun @ 18:00 Nigeria vs Iceland
Mon, 25 Jun @ 17:00 Saudi Arabia vs Egypt
Thu, 28 Jun @ 17:00 Japan vs Poland

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  • Stadium: Saransk Stadium (Mordovia Arena); capacity: up to 44,000
  • Distance from Moscow: 320 miles
  • Nearest airport: Saransk Airport (SKX)*
  • Time difference: UTC+3

Just over 300 miles southeast of Moscow you'll find Saransk, which is the capital of the Republic of Mordovia, an autonomous region within Russia. The Saransk Stadium (also known as the Mordovia Arena), is a colourful affair, said to represent the joining of the Mordovian people with the other ethnicities found in Russia. You can reach Saransk via Moscow and other cities in Russia.

Date Match
Sat, 16 Jun @ 19:00 Peru vs Denmark
Tue, 19 Jun @ 18:00 Columbia vs Japan
Mon, 25 Jun @ 21:00 Iran vs Portugal
Thu, 28 Jun @ 21:00 Panama vs Tunisia


Sochi secured its place in history when it hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics, and it'll be back in the spotlight in 2018 thanks to the Football World Cup. The Fisht Stadium is in the city's Olympic Park, and hosted both the opening and closing ceremonies of the event. It has had a bit of a revamp since then, with tweaks made to its design and layout. Sochi is one of the host cities furthest from the capital at over 800 miles south of Moscow. You can fly to Sochi via Moscow and other cities within Russia, as well as via Warsaw, Poland.


Sochi's location on the Black Sea is further south than any other host city location in Russia. This means the average temperature throughout the year is a little warmer, with winters that aren't as cold as its northern counterparts. In June and July, Sochi enjoys warm days in the mid-twenties (°C) with nine hours of sunshine and the outside chance of seeing any rain. Pack a jacket for evenings and a waterproof just in case.

Date Match
Fri, 15 Jun @ 21:00 Portugal vs Spain
Mon, 18 Jun @ 18:00 Belgium vs Panama
Sat, 23 Jun @ 18:00 Germany vs Sweden
Tue, 26 Jun @ 17:00 Australia vs Peru

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  • Stadium: Rostov Arena; capacity: up to 45,000
  • Distance from Moscow: 600 miles
  • Nearest airport: Rostov-on-Don Airport (ROV)*
  • Time difference: UTC+3

Rostov-on-Don is a port city in the south of Russia. Its stadium, the new Rostov Arena, is another venue offering match goers exceptional views, with the chance the see the city and the River Don from its tiered stands. You can reach Rostov-on-Don via Moscow and other cities in Russia.


Much like other cities in Russia, Rostov-on-Don has a humid continental climate, which is why you see such significant differences in seasonal temperatures. Winters are, again, very cold while summers are thoroughly pleasant. During the 2018 Football World Cup, you should look forward to warm days with lots of sun - up to 10 hours each day - and little rain. Of course, a jacket and waterproof is advisable.

Date Match
Sun, 17 Jun @ 21:00 Brazil vs Switzerland
Wed, 20 Jun @ 18:00 Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia
Sat, 23 Jun @ 21:00 South Korea vs Mexico
Tue, 26 Jun @ 21:00 Iceland vs Croatia

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  • Stadium: Central Stadium (Ekaterinburg Stadium / Yekaterinburg Arena; capacity: up to 35,000
  • Distance from Moscow: 900 miles
  • Nearest airport: Koltsovo International Airport (SVX)*
  • Time difference: UTC+5

Taking the top spot as the host city furthest from Moscow is Yekaterinburg. Famous as a stop on the Trans-Siberian Railway and for the bloody end of the Romanovs during the Russian Revolution in 1918, it's the fourth largest city in Russia, and home to the Central Stadium (also known as the Ekaterinburg Stadium and Yekaterinburg Arena). It is the base for FC Ural, one of the oldest clubs in the country, and the stadium was founded in 1953, although it's had many renovations since then.


The weather in Yekaterinburg promises to be warm and likely sunny during the Football World Cup. While winters are well below freezing, summer daily highs sit in the low to mid-twenties (°C) with lots of sunshine and little rain. As with each host city, remember to take a layer or two for evenings, and a waterproof for luck.

Date Match
Fri, 15 Jun @ 17:00 Egypt vs Uruguay
Thu, 21 Jun @ 17:00 France vs Peru
Sun, 24 Jun @ 20:00 Japan vs Senegal
Wed, 27 Jun @ 19:00 Mexico vs Sweden

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Plan your World Cup 2018 trip

Start planning your Football World Cup 2018 trip today. Discover when the next round of tickets for the World Cup will be released, search for flights, and research the latest deals on hotels, transfers, car hire, and more.

Ticket prices for Football World Cup Russia 2018

The first phase of ticket sales has been and gone. The second phase is split into two periods: the first is a ballot that will run from 5 December 2017 to 31 January 2018. The second is on a first-come, first-served basis, and will run from 13 March 2018 to 3 April 2018. There is said to be a third phase, which will commence on 18 April 2018 and run right up to the start of the tournament, which will also be first-come, first-served.

Match Cat 1 Cat 2 Cat 3 Cat 4*
Opening match £413 £293 £165 £42
Group stage £158 £124 £79 £17
Last 16 £184 £139 £86 £29
Quarter finals £274 £191 £131 £49
Semi finals £563 £360 £214 £58
3rd/4th play-off £274 £191 £131 £49
Final £825 £533 £341 £92

*Category 4 - Russian residents only

All prices shown have been converted to GBP with exchange rates valid on 27 November 2017.

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Travel to Russia

You can fly to Russia direct from the UK with British Airways and Aeroflot, the national flag carrier of Russia. Fly from London Gatwick and London Heathrow to Moscow with Aeroflot*, or with British Airways to Moscow and St Petersburg from London Heathrow.

There are also plenty of other options for flying with airlines via European hubs, such as KLM, Air France*, Lufthansa* and Turkish Airlines*. Meanwhile, Austrian Airlines* and LOT Polish Airlines* offer routes via their hubs to some of the harder to reach host cities for the Football World Cup.

Search flights to Russia >>

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Staying in Russia

The secret to planning a successful World Cup trip to remember is to get as much booked up in advance as possible. While tickets are dictated by their release dates, once you know where your respective team is playing and when, get booking flights and accommodation as soon as possible. Check out the table below to see which leading hotels can be found in each city.

Location ALL-Accor Live Limitless Hilton IHG Marriott Park Inn Radisson Blu
Nizhny Novgorod    
St Petersburg

Search hotels to Russia >>

You can find out more about visiting Russia, including top tips and things to do in the various host cities, via the official 2018 Football World Cup website.

World Cup 2018 fixtures

The draw for the 2018 Football World Cup took place at 3pm (GMT) on Friday 1st December 2017. The full fixtures' tables shows which teams are kicking off the event, where, and when. Stay tuned for more information on the World Cup 2018 fixtures.

  • Pot 1 - Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Russia
  • Pot 2 - Colombia, Croatia, England, Mexico, Peru, Spain, Switzerland, Uruguay
  • Pot 3 - Costa Rica, Denmark, Egypt, Iceland, Iran, Senegal, Sweden, Tunisia
  • Pot 4 - Australia, Japan, Morocco, Nigeria, Panama, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, South Korea

World Cup 2018 groups & schedule

All times below are in local standard time.

Group A

  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Egypt
  • Uruguay
Date Venue Team #1 Team #2
Thu, 14 Jun @ 18:00 Moscow (Luzhniki) Russia Saudi Arabia
Fri, 15 Jun @ 17:00 Yekaterinburg Egypt Uruguay
Tue, 19 Jun @ 21:00 St Petersburg Russia Egypt
Wed, 20 Jun @ 18:00 Rostov-on-Don Uruguay Saudi Arabia
Mon, 25 Jun @ 17:00 Volgograd Saudi Arabia Egypt
Mon, 25 Jun @ 18:00 Samara Uruguay Russia

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Group B

  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Morocco
  • Iran
Date Venue Team #1 Team #2
Fri, 15 Jun @ 18:00 St Petersburg Morocco Iran
Fri, 15 Jun @ 21:00 Sochi Portugal Spain
Wed, 20 Jun @ 15:00 Moscow (Luzhniki) Portugal Morocco
Wed, 20 Jun @ 21:00 Kazan Iran Spain
Mon, 25 Jun @ 20:00 Kaliningrad Spain Morocco
Mon, 25 Jun @ 21:00 Saransk Iran Portugal

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Group C

  • France
  • Australia
  • Peru
  • Denmark
Date Venue Team #1 Team #2
Sat, 16 Jun @ 13:00 Kazan France Australia
Sat, 16 Jun @ 19:00 Saransk Peru Denmark
Thu, 21 Jun @ 17:00 Yekaterinburg France Peru
Thu, 21 Jun @ 19:00 Samara Denmark Australia
Tue, 26 Jun @ 17:00 Moscow (Luzhniki) Denmark France
Tue, 26 Jun @ 17:00 Sochi Australia Peru

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Group D

  • Argentina
  • Iceland
  • Croatia
  • Nigeria
Date Venue Team #1 Team #2
Sat, 16 Jun @ 16:00 Moscow (Spartak) Argentina Iceland
Sat, 16 Jun @ 21:00 Kaliningrad Croatia Nigeria
Thu, 21 Jun @ 21:00 Nizhny Novgorod Argentina Croatia
Fri, 22 Jun @ 18:00 Volgograd Nigeria Iceland
Tue, 26 Jun @ 21:00 Rostov-on-Don Iceland Croatia
Tue, 26 Jun @ 21:00 St Petersburg Nigeria Argentina

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Group E

  • Brazil
  • Switzerland
  • Costa Rica
  • Serbia
Date Venue Team #1 Team #2
Sun, 17 Jun @ 21:00 Rostov-on-Don Brazil Switzerland
Sun, 17 Jun @ 16:00 Samara Costa Rica Serbia
Fri, 22 Jun @ 20:00 Kaliningrad Serbia Switzerland
Fri, 22 Jun @ 15:00 St Petersburg Brazil Costa Rica
Wed, 27 Jun @ 21:00 Moscow (Spartak) Serbia Brazil
Wed, 27 Jun @ 21:00 Nizhny Novgorod Switzerland Costa Rica

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Group F

  • Germany
  • Mexico
  • Sweden
  • South Korea
Date Venue Team #1 Team #2
Sun, 17 Jun @ 18:00 Moscow (Luzhniki) Germany Mexico
Mon, 18 Jun @ 15:00 Nizhny Novgorod Sweden South Korea
Sat, 23 Jun @ 21:00 Rostov-on-Don South Korea Mexico
Sat, 23 Jun @ 18:00 Sochi Germany Sweden
Wed, 27 Jun @ 19:00 Yekaterinburg Mexico Sweden
Wed, 27 Jun @ 17:00 Kazan South Korea Germany

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Group G

  • Belgium
  • Panama
  • Tunisia
  • England
Date Venue Team #1 Team #2
Mon, 18 Jun @ 18:00 Sochi Belgium Panama
Mon, 18 Jun @ 21:00 Volgograd Tunisia England
Sat, 23 Jun @ 15:00 Moscow (Spartak) Belgium Tunisia
Sun, 24 Jun @ 15:00 Nizhny Novgorod England Panama
Thu, 28 Jun @ 20:00 Kaliningrad England Belgium
Thu, 28 Jun @ 21:00 Saransk Panama Tunisia

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Group H

  • Poland
  • Senegal
  • Columbia
  • Japan
Date Venue Team #1 Team #2
Tue, 19 Jun @ 15:00 Moscow (Spartak) Poland Senegal
Tue, 19 Jun @ 18:00 Saransk Columbia Japan
Sun, 24 Jun @ 20:00 Yekaterinburg Japan Senegal
Sun, 24 Jun @ 21:00 Kazan Poland Columbia
Thu, 28 Jun @ 18:00 Samara Senegal Columbia
Thu, 28 Jun @ 17:00 Volgograd Japan Poland

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When is the 2018 World Cup?

The 2018 World Cup will be held over 32 days from the 14 June 2018 until 15 July 2018.

Where is the 2018 World Cup being held?

The 2018 World Cup is being held in Russia, with matches taking place in 12 stadiums across 11 cities, including the capital Moscow.

Do I need a visa to visit Russia?

If you have purchased tickets to the Football World Cup, you can avoid the usual visa requirements by applying for a FAN ID card. You can only do this once you have received confirmation of your tickets. Otherwise, all UK nationals visiting Russia will require a tourist visa. The current fee is £175 for a single entry visa, and £225 for a double entry visa. You must make sure you have organised your visa before you travel to Russia for the World Cup in 2018. You can find out more and apply via VisitRussia.

What is the best way to travel around?

The best way to travel around Russia between Football World Cup matches is either by flying or getting the train. Aeroflot and S7 Airlines offer good reliable routes internally, while Russian Railways has a good network, although distances are long and tickets should be booked well in advance.

Should I change money in advance?

Save yourself a few extra roubles by changing money once you arrive in Russia. Exchanges at airports and banks are competitive, and sterling receives good rates in Russia.

Russia is a big country, and planning your 2018 Football World Cup is no mean feat. Get ahead of the game by booking flights and hotels in advance, and be aware of what the weather will be like when you're there to ensure you pack the right items of clothing. Check back for the latest 2018 World Cup match fixtures, and for weather forecasts in host cities nearer the time.

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Kirsten Henton

Kirsten Henton

Kirsten Henton is's editor. Kirsten writes, commissions and edits our travel features, liaising with our contributors and ensuring copy is spick-and-span. A member of the British Guild of Travel Writers, Kirsten also freelances writing articles on travel, history and the outdoors for titles such as Scotland Magazine and BBC Travel.

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