How Much $ Do You Need to Attend a World Cup?

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You want to go to the FIFA World Cup but have no concept on costs and planning?  This page is for you.

Below is an infographic that illustrates our cost breakdown for 2018 and if you scroll below the image, you will find some additional advice and comments as well.

In general, I find that $3,000 – $4,000 USD is plenty to attend for 2 weeks for one person (for me).  Of course, it depends on whether or not you can get free or discounted flights through frequent flyer programs, can stay for free through a friend/host and what your personal preferences are.  I could have easily stayed in a hostel for $9/night in Russia but I preferred to sleep in luxury (i.e. my own room and shower at a clean and safe facility).

From a budgeting perspective, I put $100 every month to an online savings account so that at every 4 year cycle, I have roughly $5,000 and this is more than enough for my goals (7-12 days in the country to explore at least 2 cities, attend a couple matches, and allow room for the everyday randomness of people and experiences).

Full Disclosure: I used Delta Skymiles for the 2010, 2014 and 2018 tournaments and spent between $2,000 – $3,500 total in everything else.  In 2006, I paid for my flight with a credit card but saved on accommodation by crashing on a friend’s floor for a few nights and cramming 3 people into a 1 bed/1 bath room for the rest of the trip. I spent under $2,000 for everything, including the nonstop flight from USA to Germany.

Like anything – we break the costs into buckets:

International Travel

How are you going to get from your hometown to the host country? Can you use points/rewards or do you have to purchase at full price?

In my 4 World Cups, I’ve always used airline points.  That said, the full-price of my flight had I not been so lucky would have cost between $900 – $1500 per person (Note: your itinerary can have dramatic impact to the price)

Interested in saving costs in flights – signing up for Scott’s Cheap Flights is a great way to start!

Domestic Travel

Once you arrive to your host country, how will you travel domestically?

In Germany, I purchased a Eurorail pass and rode subways and hitched car-rides. South Africa was domestic flights, taxis, buses and hitching rides in cars.  Brazil was domestic flights, taxis, metro and buses. Russia was all trains, subways and taxis.

Like for International Travel, Scott’s Cheap Flights can also save on Domestic Travel.

Match Tickets

Ticket prices have increased every tournament and the lowest tickets for Russia 2018 were priced at $105 USD.  Tickets do vary based on round and category.

Looking for more info about ticket prices and acquisition? Visit our detailed article on the topic!


This is the expense with the biggest variation.  It all depends on your style.  Please note that everything is going to be in high demand and the best places will be booked out 4 to 6 months in advance!  I try to have my lodging planned 3-4 months before I leave.

The best place I had was my friend’s floor in Munich.  Cost = FREE.  I have also paid up to $300 (USD) per night for basic living.  Brazil was easily the most expensive but all other tournaments, I have been able to find options for $120 or so per night.

Miscellaneous (Food, Merchandise, Entertainment, etc)

Be as cheap or generous as you’d like! I found that I average about $50 per day for museum tickets, food, drinks, etc when I travel.  Some days I eat nicely and go out for drinks while other days were spent consuming stadium food and on public transportation.

Thank You

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