Well, it's almost here. Four years after England crashed out of the last competition without a win we're ready to put ourselves through it again.
For the majority of fans, sitting at home or down the pub and screaming at the TV for 90 minues would be enough. However, for some die hards, anything other than spending thousands on plane tickets and jetting off to Russia with their fingers crossed is unpatriotic.
While each venue will only host between five and six games, Russia’s vast landscape means that travelling across the country by public transport can take days, and so will only appeal to the most hardcore of supporters.
Therefore, for those heading out to the tournament, the best bet for some consistent World Cup vibes is to stay put in one city, and online lettings platform Urban.co.uk has looked at which location offers the most affordable option based on a mixture of renting for the duration of the tournament, and the price to travel the city for the month, as well as the cost of a beer and a three-course meal.
On average in Russia, a month’s rent for a one bedroom flat in a city centre is just £350, with a monthly travel card costing just over £20. A beer is generally less than £1 and a three-course meal can be had for two for about £25.
Saransk is the best location to soak up the atmosphere on a budget. While Saransk is one of the smaller host cities with a population of under 34,000, it also happens to be one of the most beautiful.
To rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city for the duration of the tournament would set you back around £181, with a travel card to get you around costing less than a tenner. When you add a pint of local beer for 78p and a three-course meal for two for just £18, it’s easy to see why Saransk is our top choice for a World Cup Russian rental.
Kaliningrad lies is a small coastal inlet landlocked by Lithuania and Poland to the east and south and the Baltic Sea to the north and actually lies some 350 miles from the Russian border.
The stadium for the tournament is being built especially and England fans will be able to check it out in the match against Belgium on the 28th June. Although geographically the closest venue to home, renting an apartment in the city would cost just £194 for the month, with a monthly travel card costing £25. Like Saransk, a beer will set you back less than £1 and a meal for two just £22
The former city of Stalingrad, famous as a fierce battleground in WW2, is the third best bet for an affordable stay in Russia. While the stadium is still under construction, renting a one bedroom flat will set you back £235, travel costs for the month are just £10, a beer is marginally over £1 and a meal costs just under £20. Still a great location from which to watch the World Cup battle commence!
Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Kazan, Samara and Ekaterinburg
Nizhny Novgorod, Rostov-on-Don, Kazan, Samara and Ekaterinburg are all also home to below average rental costs and while the cost of travel food and drink varies, each city comes in below cost when compared to the wider Russian average.
Sochi, Saint Petersburg and Moscow
As perhaps the three of Russia’s best-known cities, it’s no surprise that Sochi, St Petersburg and Moscow don’t provide the best options for bargain-seeking football fans.
Rents are on the higher side with a one-bedroom flat costing between £420 and £700 a month, although travel food and drink remain fairly affordable for any budget. There’s also plenty of sightseeing opportunities should an England fan find themselves with a lack of matches to watch, should, for any reason, we not make it all the way to the final…
Adam Male, Director of Lettings at Urban.co.uk, commented: “While property prices differ depending on geographical location the affordability of homeownership is relative to the local market and is largely beyond reach for many. The great thing about the rental market is that it can offer options for all budgets, all within the same town or city and by doing your research you can find the place to suit your needs and your wallet.
For those heading out to Russia, there will no doubt be options in each host city, but we’ve highlighted which are the most budget friendly, but with plenty of World Cup atmosphere.”