Sochi, located on the Black Sea in the southern part of Russia, has been a resort city since the time Stalin. With its subtropical climate and proximity to the beach as well as mountains, Sochi has attracted vacationers for decades.
Because Sochi is the host city for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, developers focused on making the city ready for the event, building new hotels and improving infrastructure to increase the city's capacity for tourism and athletic events. With a focus on making the city attractive for both visitors and television viewers, developers and planners have hoped to increase Sochi's popularity with tourists permanently.
If you have basic questions about Sochi and the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, visit the Sochi Travel Planning Faq.
Getting to Sochi
Flights from the United States to Sochi are likely to take visitors through Moscow first. From Moscow, trains also run regular routes. All US visitors to Russia require a visa.
Sochi's airport is Sochi International Aiport, which has undergone renovation in preparation for increased traffic related to the 2014 Olympic Games.Trains run daily from Moscow, but expect a 30+ hour ride. Most likely, you'll want to book a sleeping car if you choose this option for getting to Sochi. However, the Moscow-Sochi line's renovation is a part of Russia's plans to make Sochi more accessible for visitors, so the current train schedule may be adjusted to accommodate line changes and traffic demands.
Staying in Sochi
Hotels in Sochi are plentiful, and they are typically most expensive during the warmest season, May through August. Expect prices to increase for the 2014 Winter Games, to be held in February of that year.
What to Do in SochiSochi, being a resort city, has many nature-focused activities and activities that will appeal to families, as well as shops and clubs. Water parks, aquariums, an arboretum, and a couple of museums will help fill time not spent at the beach.
- View photos of Sochi
Going to a Sochi sanitorium, a tradition begun by Soviet workers, can also be enjoyed. The sanitoriums require a medical referral but can otherwise be likened to an all-inclusive spa experience, complete with meals, health treatments, and relaxation at the beach. Vacationers who visit Sochi with the goal to de-stress may find this to be on their to-do lists.
Those who fancy skiing may also do so. Krasnaya Polyana (Red Valley), the mountain that serves as Sochi's backdrop, has been turned into a ski resort. Attention to the sophistication and safety of ski and other winter-related sports facilities will increase in preparation for the Olympic Games. In addition, a railway to connect Sochi with Krasnaya Polyana is set to be built to accommodate easy transfer between the two locations.