Every four years summer turns into a festival. It is that magical time when nations from around the globe compete for the biggest trophy in football. This year the matches will be played in Russia, in 11 locations including Moscow and St. Petersburg, the two Russian cities on our list. We were curious to find out how much it would actually cost a fan to stay for one weekend in either of the two cities and watch a match live at the stadium. *
We analyzed the following goods and services: two nights in a good, centrally-located hotel, two lunches in average local eateries, public transportation tickets (to the stadium and back), and of course entrance tickets (mid-class seats for the round of 16) rounded up with a dinner. What we haven't included are the cost for a Russian visa, the travel cost to the destination and back, and other individual expenses. All prices are in USD.
So how does Moscow fare compared to St. Petersburg? Let's have a closer look.
Whether you arrive at Domodedovo (Moscow) or Pulkovo (St. Petersburg) airport, you need a ride into town. A typical ride-hailing service charges USD 17.59 in Moscow and USD 10.50 in St. Petersburg.
If it's your first time in Russia, you'd want to stay in a centrally-located hotel, perhaps next to a historic landmark, such as the Red Square or Nevsky Prospekt. This will cost more than twice as much in Moscow as in St. Petersburg (USD 268.25 vs USD 129.30 for two nights). You check in and take a quick nap.
After a sightseeing stroll through the neighborhood, you want to get a taste of Russian cuisine. A simple meal will set you back slightly more in St. Petersburg than in Moscow (by USD 1).
The game is about to start and you're taking the famous Moscow subway – line number 7 to the Spartak stadium. The fee is USD 0.97 one way. Today's game is sold out, but luckily you already have a ticket, which cost USD 185 – the same price for all games in this tournament round and category.
After 45 minutes, the score remains 0-0 and you are getting slightly nervous. Ninety minutes pass, then extra-time, and still no goals. Finally, during penalties your team is eliminated. You don't feel like partying, so you go for a solo dinner in the city. (USD 28.63 in Moscow, USD 40.89 in St. Petersburg)
After a good night's sleep, you spend the morning exploring the rich history of one of the cities, by boat through St. Petersburg's many canals or by ferry on the river Moskva. It is Sunday and your plane leaves soon. You take another ride-hailing service back to the airport. With a lot of memories you head home, hoping that your team will make it through next time.
All in all, according to our analysis, a fan weekend in Moscow is roughly 35% more expensive than in St. Petersburg.
*Note that we recorded prices from January through April. During large local events, accommodation prices tend to be inflated.