Excitement is growing in football circles as the 2018 World Cup in Russia looms large on the horizon.
Five-time winners Brazil and holders Germany are amongst the favourites with fans to claim the trophy, but numerous other nations hold a realistic chance of securing football’s top prize.
There are 11 cities hosting the tournament with Moscow, St Petersburg and Sochi amongst the most popular venues.
Hosts Russia will kick-off the competition in the capital city on June 14, while the second semi-final on July 10 and final on July 15 are also scheduled to take place there.
Read on for our top three tips for travelling to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Compare hotel prices
Try not to leave your hotel bookings until the last minute, as demand will be high with tens of thousands of fans travelling to Russia.
Authorities have tried to clamp down on price gouging but a recent survey by Cheaprooms.co.uk, suggests that in some areas hotels have increased their rates by more than 1,000% for the early stages of the competition, so make sure you shop around.
Larger places such as Moscow and St Petersburg have not seen the same levels of price increases, as they have far more hotels than many of the other host cities.
Make sure you regularly check sites like Cheaprooms.co.uk to secure the best possible rates for your trip to this summer’s top sporting extravaganza.
Plan your local travel in advance
If you’re planning on getting around the capital the Moscow Metro will be crucial to your plans, so conduct some research to familiarise yourself with the system before travelling.
Take a colour map written in both English and Russian, just in case you need to ask for help whilst you are there.
Count the number of stations you need to travel, as some of the signage around the network isn’t up to scratch.
Allow yourself extra time to work out you’re heading in the right direction, as there might not be staff on hand to help you.
Don’t ignore safety warnings
Russian hooligans caused plenty of problems at Euro 2016 in France and there have reportedly been threats of further violence at the World Cup.
England’s presence at the tournament will see security ramped up, but the home nation have insisted the event will be safe.
Due to heightened political tensions between the UK and Russia, there have been rumours of the possibility of anti-British sentiment or harassment – but Arsenal fan experiences in Moscow recently suggest English fans will get a warm welcome from Russian people.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has a travel section for the World Cup entitled ‘Be on the Ball‘, including visas, healthcare and security which is worth checking out.