THE CITY AND THE SURROUNDING MOUNTAIN NATIONALLY FAMOUS THANKS TO THE WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES THAT TOOK PLACE THERE IN 2014.
Sochi is Russia’s main year-round resort, located on the northeast coast of the Black Sea in the Krasnodar Territory, a distance of 1,700 km from Moscow. With a population of 400,000, Sochi is an important transport hub, and a major economic and cultural centre of the south of Russia. The city and the surrounding mountain slopes of the North Caucasus became internationally famous thanks to the Winter Olympic Games that took place there in 2014. The tourist infrastructure in Sochi and its surrounding resort complexes is well-developed, with several aquaparks, aquariums, zoos, museums, sports and entertainment centres, and amusement parks.
Schedule of matches
Sochi will host six World Championship matches. Games involving teams from groups B, C, F and G and H will be held on June 15, 18, 23 and 26. In addition, there will an 1/8 final on June 30, and a 1/4 final on July 7.
Teams will play at the “Fisht” stadium, which in February 2014 hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games. Before the World Championship, the arena underwent large-scale reconstruction and has already hosted several important football matches featuring the Russian national team and clubs of the Russian top division, and matches of the Confederations Cup of FIFA were held there in summer 2017. The stands hold 45,000 spectators. Address: Olympic Park, Nizhneimeretins-kaya Street.
How to get to the stadium
The easiest way to reach the stadium is by the “Lastochka” (Swallow) train, which makes two stops near the Olympic Park on its way from the centre of Sochi to Krasnaya Polyana and back.
The organizing committee will also organize fan transportation to the stadium by shuttle buses from different places in Greater Sochi. For match ticket holders, travel is free.
The fan zone in Sochi, designed for 10,000 people, will be located on the seafront. It will include territory from the South Mall of the Sochi Sea Port to the “Festival” concert hall.
Where to stay
Following the Winter Olympic Games 2014, the Greater Sochi region now offers a huge choice of accommodation. In the Olympic Park itself you can stay in the “Azimut”, “Radisson” and “Boga-tyr” hotels, located within walking distance of the stadium, where rooms cost from $45 for a standard room up to $1,500 for an apartment. There is also a large selection of rooms in the hotel complexes in the mountain villages of Krasnaya Polyana and Rosa Khutor. Budget tourists can rent a room, an apartment or a cottage from locals from $16 per day. You can arrange that on your arrival in Sochi.
Where to eat
The Adler district of Sochi, where the World Cup matches will be held, has a wide choice of places to eat such as an Irish pub and other cafes next to the stadium, where an average dinner bill is $12-16, and in Adler itself you can eat a full meal in cafeterias for $5-7 per person. The top five restaurants and cafes of the city, according to tourists, are “Khmeli & Suneli” (Russian and Caucasian cuisine, seafood), “La Luna” (Mediterranean, Russian and European cuisine), “Seli-Poeli” (vegetarian dishes), “Nippon House “(Japanese and European cuisine) and “Khinkalnaya” (Caucasian and Eastern European cuisine).
What to see
The simplest way to explore is to walk around the Olympic Park, looking over its unique sports facilities and the grandstands of the track which stages the Formula 1 World Championship. Nature lovers can visit the famous Arboretum (from $5 for adults) or ride a mountain bike on the hill slopes. Fans with children may be interested in the attractions of Sochi Park. An adult ticket there costs about $30, a child ticket $25. From the observation tower on Mount Ahun you can enjoy a stunning view of the sea and the city. Those interested in history will certainly want to visit Stalin’s dacha, which has been turned into a museum, while nature-lovers should not miss Sochi’s ancient yew-boxwood grove and the Agur waterfalls. Sochi’s beaches, of course, offer many types of water sports and activities.