The 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place in Russia from 14 June to 15 July 2018. Games will take place in Moscow, St Petersburg, Kazan, Sochi, Rostov-on-Don, Saransk, Samara, Volgograd, Nizhny Novgorod, Kaliningrad and Ekaterinburg. Each team will play three group matches, in three different cities. For more information on the host cities and games, visit the 2018 FIFA World Cup website.
The Socceroos (Group C) will be playing against France in Kazan on 16 June; Denmark in Samara on 21 June; and Peru in Sochi on 26 June. If the Socceroos qualify for the round of 16 game, they will play in Kazan on 30 June or Nizhny Novgorod on 1 July. The finals start on 6 and 7 July and will be held in various cities across Russia.
If you get to celebrate a Socceroos win, make sure you party safely!
Read and subscribe to the travel advice
This bulletin should be read alongside our travel advice for Russia. The travel advice provides up-to-date information on safety and security risks, entry and exit requirements, local laws and health issues.
Subscribe to the travel advice for Russia and this travel bulletin to ensure you receive email notification each time these are updated.
Passports and visas
Russia operates a very strict visa regime and Australians must have a visa to enter Russia.
Australians attending a World Cup match can enter Russia using their Fan ID, which will act as a multi-entry visa for the duration of the tournament. You must present your FAN ID with the passport it is registered to on entry into Russia. More information: Fan ID and match tickets.
Australians not attending 2018 FIFA World Cup matches must obtain the appropriate visa before entering Russia. It isn't possible to obtain a visa on arrival. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Russia to arrange your visa.
All foreign visitors receive a migration card on arrival in Russia. If provided a migration card in paper form, keep the stamped exit portion of the card with your passport, as you'll need to provide it to passport control on your departure. The migration card is electronic at most international airports, but in smaller airports you will need to complete it manually.
Ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the date you intend to return to Australia and is in good condition. Travellers have been refused entry to Russia when their passport has less validity or is in poor condition.
Fan ID and match tickets
A Fan ID is a personalised visitor pass, and allows you stadium access, entry to and exit from Russia and to apply for free train travel on selected trains during the tournament. A Fan ID replaces the need for a separate visa, and allows you multi-entry to Russia between 4 June and 25 July 2018. However, the last possible day of entry into Russia using a Fan ID will be 15 July 2018 (before 11:59PM). To apply for a Fan ID, visit the official Fan ID website.
- Obtain a Fan ID before you travel to Russia. You can only apply for a Fan ID after purchasing a match ticket.
- Each spectator needs a Fan ID, including children.
- Keep your Fan ID with you at all times. Police officers, hotels and border control officers can request to see it, in place of a visa.
If you lose your Fan ID, you must obtain a replacement as soon as possible from designated Fan ID centres. If you replace your passport while in Russia, you must obtain a new Fan ID as it's linked to your passport.
You must purchase your ticket to individual matches from FIFA. Don't buy tickets through unofficial means as they may not be valid and you may be refused entry. Scalping and re-selling tickets is illegal and individuals caught with forged tickets may be fined.
Electronic Fan ID
If you purchase last minute tickets or your physical Fan ID doesn't arrive before you depart for Russia, you can apply for an electronic Fan ID by email. The electronic Fan ID must be printed for presentation to airline check-in staff and Russian border control officers.
An electronic Fan ID only allows you one entry into Russia. It must be replaced with a physical Fan ID at an official Fan ID Registration Center after arrival as it doesn't give you access to matches and free public transport, or allow you to leave Russia.
Accommodation and registration
Ensure your hotel booking is confirmed prior to departing for Russia. Book early, as there will be an increased demand on hotels during the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Accommodation bookings can be made through the official FIFA accommodation booking service or any other standard means of booking.
You must register with the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs within 24 hours of your arrival in Russia. Most hotels do this on behalf of guests, but you're legally responsible. Confirm with check-in staff on arrival that you have been registered. You must register at every address you stay for longer than 24 hours.
If you're not staying at a hotel, the registration process can be done by the owner of your accommodation. Confirm the owner is aware of this requirement and will assist as the registration process can be complex.
Holders of 2018 FIFA World Cup tickets are eligible for:
- unlimited free travel to and from sporting venues on the day of the match on host cities' public transport
- free travel on the Aeroexpress, which links Moscow's three major airports with Moscow city centre, two days before and after the matches in Moscow
- free travel on intercity trains for spectators attending multiple matches across the various host cities.
To be eligible, you must register and book your train tickets via the Russian Transport Directorate of FIFA World Cup website.
When travelling, you'll need to present your passport and printed boarding pass (for intercity trains), and carry your FAN ID and relevant match ticket.
Smoking, consuming alcohol (apart from in the train restaurant carriage) or being intoxicated is prohibited on all Russian trains and at railway stations. If you fail to obey, you could be denied travel.
Security at railway stations is similar to security inspections at airports. Arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to departure to ensure sufficient time to pass through security. Visit the Russian Railways website for more information on the rules at Russian railway stations.
Russian authorities will introduce heightened security measures in host cities from 25 May to 25 July 2018, including restrictions on entering host cities using private bus services. There will be bans on the purchase or possession of weapons, explosives and certain poisonous substances.
Involvement in unauthorised demonstrations or protests is illegal in Russia and you can be arrested. Avoid rallies and demonstrations.
There is an ongoing threat of terrorism in Russia. Terrorist attacks have occurred in Russian cities, including Moscow and St Petersburg, and are a particular threat in the North Caucasus region. Attacks could also take place in other regions of Russia. Russian intervention in the conflict in Syria has heightened Russia's profile with terrorists linked to or inspired by the conflict.
The terrorism threat is underscored by frequent statements from Russian authorities about planned attacks. In August 2017, authorities reportedly disrupted an alleged plan by Islamic State/Daesh to attack public transport and other sites in Moscow.
For more information read our travel advice for Russia.
Travelling around Russia
Russia is a big country and the distances between some of the 2018 FIFA World Cup host cities are vast. Plan your journeys between cities before you travel.
Exercise a high degree of caution in all parts of Russia. Higher levels of advice apply in some parts of the country and the Australian Government is extremely limited in its capacity to provide consular assistance in do not travel regions. For more information read our travel advice for Russia.
Money and valuables
The currency of Russia is the Rouble (RUB).
Routine police checks are common in public places. Carry your passport with you at all times. Photocopies aren't acceptable. If you fail to provide travel documentation on request, you can be detained and face substantial fines.
Healthcare and medication
Take out comprehensive travel insurance before you depart to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation.
Public medical facilities in Russian cities are significantly below Australian standards and are extremely basic in rural areas. There are a few international standard private facilities in major cities. Private facilities require up-front payment, evidence of adequate insurance or a written guarantee of payment prior to treatment.
If you become seriously ill or injured, medical evacuation to a destination with appropriate facilities would be necessary. Costs for medical evacuation could be considerable.
Make sure you comply with Russia's strict laws concerning the importation and use of medicines. Not all medications available over the counter or by prescription in Australia are available in Russia and some are considered illegal. For more information read our travel advice for Russia.
Where to get help
For more information on the 2018 FIFA World Cup, visit the official website.
Depending on what you need, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, airline, travel agent, tour operator, employer or travel insurance provider. Your travel insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number. Leave a copy of your itinerary and a contact number for when you're away with a family or friend.
Local emergency services can be contacted by calling 112 from a mobile phone. From a landline, call 101 for firefighting and rescue services, 102 for police and 103 for an ambulance.
For consular assistance, contact the Australian Embassy in Moscow.
Australian Embassy, Moscow
Podkolokolny Pereulok 10a/2
Tel: +7 (495) 956-6070
If you're unable to contact the Embassy or Consulate in a consular emergency, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305, or 1300 555 135 within Australia.