Can you drive to the World Cup in Qatar?

by ChooseMyCar Staff Writer

Celebrate the beautiful game with a beautiful journey to the World Cup in Qatar!

Can you drive to the World Cup in Qatar?

Here at, we’re already getting excited for November’s World Cup. There’s nothing better than spending time with your friends and family, cheering on England. Well, apart from actually being there in person…….

We all dream of being pitchside to see England score that winning goal, but with this tournament’s location being Qatar, it doesn’t seem the easiest destination to get to.

But there’s no better excuse to plan a road trip than a World Cup. And what if you made your journey to the tournament as epic as the game itself, by driving with your mates - all the way to Qatar?

While this might sound like hard work, we’ve taken some of the effort off your shoulders, by working out the best route for the most adventurous of road trips. And if you’re after the trip of a lifetime, this might be it!

We’ve mapped out both the routes there and back, taking in different cities each time, so you’ll be returning quite the seasoned traveller. The routes take you through 12 incredible countries, and loads of awesome cities. It’s up to you how long you stay in each place - but we’d recommend checking out at least half of these amazing places.

We’ve suggested some cities to visit, but it all depends on what you’d like to see and do en route to Qatar. For example, Brussels is only five hours once you hit Calais, so you might want to head to Nuremberg instead, 12 hours into your adventure. This could be a quality stop where you could get on the famous race track (though maybe not in the campervan). Likewise, a few more hours and you could be in beautiful Vienna. Istanbul makes the obvious next stop on day two, then onto Damascus and Riyadh. Saudi is a vast country so get prepared for some long highways on the last leg of the journey.  

Sound like an expensive jaunt? Well, you’d be surprised. We calculated the costs based on a group of four hiring a camper van for the trek, and it’s surprisingly affordable for what would undoubtedly be a journey you’ll never forget. To pay for camper van hire, fuel, all VISAs and tolls, and ferry crossings, comes to just £1434.50 per person. 

Hiring the campervan could be seen as the tricky bit, but because it’s out of peak holiday season in the UK, you can grab a bargain. Ensure you hire the right camper, with unlimited miles for the hire and no stipulations with regards to taking abroad. 

Let’s take a look at some of the breakdown of costs:

  • IDP is £22. You need an international driving permit to legally drive abroad, this is essential for all drivers. 
  • VISA costs. You’re fine across most of Europe without a VISA, but you’ll need to pay £472 for the Saudi VISA, £464 for Syria, and £200 for Turkey. 
  • Tolls have been budgeted for £300.
  • Ferry costs are as low as £200 because it is out of season for the UK holiday market.

We’ve budgeted £1,500 for fuel, which is the major cost for this epic trip. What is interesting is the price of fuel during the journey. Crazily, fuel is 14 pence a litre in Saudi and 11 pence in Syria, which helps keep the costs down. The UK is the most expensive price for fuel so you could save costs by being tactical about when you fill up. 

Our founder, Nick Zapolski, said he’d like to do the journey himself.

“I can’t imagine a better way to go and watch the tournament than with a bunch of good mates, travelling across the globe, turning it into an, even more, epic experience.

“And with air travel being the nightmare it is currently, why not plan a driving adventure?”

Tickets for the event are now sold out, as are most of the hotels and accommodation options. But football-loving fans could be in the host cities, soaking up the atmosphere in the fan villages! 

What do you reckon? Are you up for the challenge? Let us know if you plan to follow one of our routes, we’d love to hear from you.

*Please take consideration and advice when travelling via the Gov website. For details see Syria, IraqSaudi and Turkey.  


ChooseMyCar Staff Writer

ChooseMyCar Staff Writer

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