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England fans to travel more than 4,000 miles and spend up to £5,000 to watch Southgate’s team in Russia

29 May 2018




Saints fans grace the hallowed turf of St Mary’s thanks to Main Club Sponsor Virgin Media
  • England fans could clock up more than 4,000 miles to watch their side in action
  • It could take England fans nearly a day just to travel between group matches
  • Peru, Australia and Uruguay fans will endure the longest travel times, travelling nearly 11,000 miles and taking more than a day to reach Russia
  • The average fan in each competing country will cumulatively travel nearly 160,000 miles and 516hrs and 19mins – equivalent of watching 374 football matches – in order to follow their team in Russia

England fans heading to Russia in June are set to spend up to £5,000 on their trip and could clock up more than 4,000 miles watching their side in action in the group games alone. This is according to research carried out by Virgin Media and the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF).

The analysis looked at the total distance fans, from all 32 nations taking part in the tournament, will travel by air and road to reach their first game and then to the other matches in the group stage.

For England fans specifically, train travel was also calculated as well as expected costs for flights between host cities. In addition, a survey of England fans was carried out to discover their travel plans and estimated budget for their trip. To help England fans heading to the tournament, the FSF has published a fan guide.

Focus on England fans


In the group stage England will play matches in Volgograd (vs Tunisia) on June 18, Nizhniy Novgorod (vs Panama) on June 24 and Kaliningrad (vs Belgium) on June 28.

The total journey from London to each host city will be 3,402 miles and 12hrs 15mins by air, or a more troublesome 4,008 miles and 73hrs and 40mins by car. Compared with the other nations taking part, England is 22nd in the table by air (including the flight to Russia) and 19th for journeys made by car to their second and third matches. By rail it will take more than 120 hours – five days – to reach all group matches.

Travel by air: Due to the distances between each host city, fans might prefer to fly between matches - but this will come at a price. The research showed that flights from London to Volgograd for England’s first game (6hrs 20mins) would cost £450; £200 between Volgograd to Nizhniy Novgorod (1hrs 35mins); and another £103 to reach Kaliningrad (4hrs 20mins) for the last group game.  All-in-all this will cost fans £753.

Travel by road: For those die-hard fans who might prefer to travel by road, to reach Volgograd for the first match it would take 42 hours (2,391 miles) from London – equivalent to four return trips between London and Newcastle upon Tyne.

This would require fans to travel through the Channel Tunnel into France then via Belgium, Holland, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and, finally, Russia. For the second game it will take 12hrs 20mins (614 miles) to reach Nizhniy Novgorod and then a further 19hrs 20mins (1,003 miles) to get to Kaliningrad for the final group game against Belgium on June 28.

Travel by train: Travelling by train gets more complicated for fans. Reaching Volgograd from London by train could take approximately 68hrs, with plenty of changes and passing through more than six countries to reach the game.  Free trains are available for all fans between host cities providing they have reserved a space.  However, many routes are already full and only some trips are still available from Moscow to other host cities. This means fans will have to pay extra to complete their journeys if they want to travel from one host city to another without going via Moscow.

The only direct train England fans can get during the group stages is between Volgograd to Nizhniy Novgorod for the Panama game and this will take 27hrs 3mins - but it is not free. If England fans want to travel for free for this game they will have to head back to Moscow first before getting on a 4 hour train to Nizhniy Novgorod. 

For England’s final group game against Belgium, there is no direct train service from Nizhniy Novgorod to Kaliningrad, meaning fans will have to travel back to Moscow first (4 hours) before taking a train of 20hrs 24mins to reach their destination.

Survey data


A snapshot survey of football fans travelling to Russia from England revealed that almost a quarter (23%) anticipate that their trip will cost more than £3,000. With widely varying hotel prices, match-day tickets for group games priced at £79 - £157, travel – flying to England’s group matches will cost £753 – as well as food and drink, it all adds up.

Fans will have to use a range of different transport options from game-to-game. Travelling by air is the most popular method of transport while in Russia, with 57% indicating that they would make at least one journey by plane. This is followed by train (48%) with only 5% opting to drive. For accommodation, 65% of fans will be staying in hotels, followed by 19% opting for rented apartments.

More than two thirds (66%) said that their trip to Russia will last between one to three weeks: more than a third (39%) said they had one or two tickets to watch games, with 36% having tickets to three to five matches.

When asked if any England fans had learned any Russian ahead of their trip, 95% answered that they had practiced only a couple of words or none at all.


Others nations’ travel compared


Combining the average fan’s travel time and distance from each of the 32 nations during the group stages of the tournament reveals a cumulative travel time of 561 hrs and 19 mins by air and a distance of nearly 159, 876 miles.

Peruvian fans will spend the most time travelling by plane to reach Russia and their team’s group matches at around 36 hours. Uruguay fans will endure the most miles by air, clocking up 10,907 miles. It will take 25hrs 39 mins alone just to reach their first game in Ekaterinburg from Montevideo. Both Uruguay and Peru fans’ trips throughout the tournament are nearly five times further than those from Germany (7hr 5mins).

When you discount the long flights to reach Russia, Japan will spend the most time in the air to get to their second and third matches, totalling 11hrs 10mins. This includes travelling from Saransk to Ekaterinburg to Volgograd. Tunisian fans will spend the least time flying while in Russia, spending only 3hrs 5mins airborne.

When it comes to travelling by car to reach host cities for their second and third games, Sweden fans will be the most affected, travelling 2,865 miles and spending 60hrs 20mins on the road. This will take nearly six times as long as Colombia fans’ journeys (11hrs 13mins and 468 miles), which is the least of any country competing.

Sweden fans’ drive between Sochi to Ekaterinburg is 1,742 miles and 37 hours alone and this is the longest single journey undertaken by any set of fans throughout the tournament. The shortest drive in the group stage will be made by Australian fans for their game against Denmark when they will drive 5hrs 30mins to reach Samara from Kazan, a distance of 223 miles.

Kevin Miles, Chief Executive, FSF said: "England fans are renowned for their fantastic support at tournaments, and even across the vast distances between Russian cities the die-hard fans will be there, following the Three Lions.

"Whether by road, rail or air, thousands will be there every step of the way supporting Gareth Southgate's men this summer, hopefully all the way to the final in Moscow on July 15th."

Brigitte Trafford from Virgin Media said: “This research shows the huge financial and travel commitments England fans are prepared to make to support their team. We applaud their passion and support as, without the fans, football wouldn’t be what it is.”

Key findings from the research:

England summary




Longest and shortest time to drive and reach second and third group matches

19hrs 20mins and 1,003 miles

England v Belgium – June 28

Nizhniy Novgorod to Kaliningrad

12hrs 20mins and 614 miles

England v Panama – June 24

Volgograd to Nizhniy Novgorod

Longest and shortest time to fly to second and third group matches

4hrs 20mins and 921 miles

(change at Moscow)

England v Belgium – June 28

Nizhniy Novgorod to Kaliningrad


1hrs 35mins and 525 miles

England v Panama – June 24

Volgograd to Nizhniy Novgorod

Longest and shortest train journey to reach second and third group matches

27hrs 3mins

England v Panama - June 24

Volgograd to Nizhny Novgorod


25hrs 7mins

England v Belgium - June 28

Nizhny Novgorod to Kaliningrad (via Moscow)

Total air miles and time from London to all three group games

3,402 miles and 12hrs 15mins




Total miles and time to drive from London to all three group matches

4,008 miles and 73hrs 40mins



Total time to reach all group matches by train (including London)

120hrs 10mins




Travel by air (all 32 nations)




Time and air miles to reach first game in Russia


Uruguay vs Egypt - June 15

Montevideo to Ekaterinburg

25hrs 39mins (three changes)

9184 Miles


Poland v Senegal  – June 19

Warsaw to Moscow

1hrs 55mins

715 miles

Longest and shortest time to reach second and third group matches by air in Russia

South Korea

South Korea vs Mexico - June 23

Nizhniy Novgorod to Rostov

5hrs 55mins

620 miles


Argentina vs Croatia - June 21

Moscow to Nizhniy Novgorod

1hrs 10mins

247 miles

Total time to reach all matches (including flight to reach Russia)


36hrs 10mins

10076 miles


3hrs 35mins

1275 miles

Total time to reach second and third group games


11hrs 10mins

1502 miles


3hrs 5mins

885 miles

Overall total time to reach Russia and other group games for all nations

159,790 miles

561 hrs and 19 mins




Travel by car while in Russia (to second and third matches for all 32 nations)




Longest and shortest time to drive and reach second or third group matches


Sweden vs Mexico - 27 June

Sochi to Ekaterinburg


1,742 Miles





Peru vs Australia - 26 June

Ekaterinburg to Sochi

38hrs - 1,742 Miles


Australia vs Denmark - June 21

Kazan to Samara

5hrs 30

223 Miles

Most and least miles to drive to second and third matches in Russia

Sweden – 2,865 miles


Sweden vs Germany – June 23

Nizhny Nizhniy Novgorod to Sochi
23hrs 20mins and 1123 miles

Sweden vs Mexico – June 27

Sochi to Ekaterinburg

37 hours and 1742 miles

Colombia – 468 miles


Columbia vs Poland – June 24

Saransk to Kazan

5hrs 45mins and 245 miles

Columbia vs Senegal – June 28

Kazan to Samara

5hrs 28mins and 223 miles

Total miles driven by fans to watch second and third matches

54,277 miles

1,154 hrs and 40 mins




Note to editors

Research - All research conducted is for the group stages only.

  1. Flights: Distances calculated for air travel is measured from city to city and was taken from For example, distance in miles between London to Volgograd, Nizhniy Novgorod to Kaliningrad etc. Flight journey times were taken from SkyScanner and used the fastest flight available on either the day prior or two days before the respective match. For some countries, the largest city rather than the capital was used when calculating distance to first host city in Russia. This included Australia, Brazil, Morocco, Nigeria and Switzerland. Prices only calculated for England fans. This was undertaken on 28 March 2018. Combining the average fan’s travel time and distance from each of the 32 nations during the group stages of the tournament reveals a cumulative travel time of 561 hrs and 19 mins by air and a distance of nearly 160,000 miles.
  2. Car travel: All journeys by car were calculated from city to city using Google Maps. All routes were taken the day after the respective match for each team and travelling to the next host city. Fastest route taken and total distance (miles) to destination. Distances were only calculated reaching second and third matches in the group stages as some driving routes weren’t possible from some capital or large cities to reach Russia. This was undertaken on 28 March 2018.
  3. Train travel: Research only undertaken for England games. It was not possible to find a direct train route between all of England’s host cities using the free train service for fans. Only direct train between host cities is Volgograd to Nizhniy Novgorod (27hrs 3mins) and this was taken from with prices from £35. Free trains for England fans meant having to start their journey in Moscow and some other locations. Route from London to Volgograd was taken from Google Maps.

Train times and booking available at

  1. Survey: The FSF and Virgin Media conducted an online survey of England fans between 14th and 22nd May 2018. 188 fans indicated they had already made plans to travel to Russia, or were likely to travel to the tournament, and the data is based on their responses.