Now that football fever is in full swing, I would like to shell out some advice to people travelling to Moscow to see the football world cup. As you all are aware, I did a 15-day whirlwind tour of Moscow, Siberia and St.Petersberg recently and gained enough knowledge of Moscow to advice football fans about Russia and Moscow in specific when they travel to see their favourite football teams.
Make sure your passport is valid for more than a period of 6 months. Otherwise, you could have problems. As you land in Moscow, register yourself as a tourist traveller. The hotel where you stay can also do the needful on your behalf. Be safe on the streets as there are a lot of muggings, thefts and robberies near Gorge Park and Red Square area. Do not immediately get friendly with locals and strangers. Foreign football tourists have been in danger before and many have been drugged, attacked and robbed by local criminal gangs. Keep your passport at all times with you, not in your jacket pocket or suitcase in the hotel. Also, carry your Fan ID card and number as it is as good as an entry and exit visa for you.
Do not take prostitutes to your hotel to make love until you are sure that the lady has a valid passport or local ID. Otherwise, she will not be allowed to enter the hotel with you. Stay out of trouble by not getting involved in fights, slogans or hooliganism. You could be thrown out and deported for your behaviour. Drink less, drink right.
Russia is a ‘no gay’ country, so LGBT people might find their rights restricted. So no kissing and hugging on the street as it is against the law. You do not have to gloat that you are gay, at least, not while watching football.
Apart from these, Russia is a great place to party and enjoy and has some amazing cathedrals to see. The food and liquor are fantastic and most people, especially in the hospitality industry, speak good English. Smoking in hotels and public places is prohibited. You can only smoke in designated smoke corners or sheds.
Be sober and be safe, dasvidaniya…