Sochi

Not your typical Russian town, Sochi is a city of endless contradictions and surprises. Lodged between the sea and lush Caucasus Mountains, Sochi is a sprawling coastal metropolis with a wealth of Soviet-era palatial sanatoriums, ultra-modern skyscrapers, and an emerging food scene. Its subtropical climate with very mild winters and warm Black Sea by the side guarantees a constant flow of visitors all year round.

For many generations of Russians, Sochi has been the synonym of a summer resort, known as the Russian Riviera. The first hotels and health resorts opened here in the second half of the 19th century. Tsar Nicholas II had a palace built nearby, where he would stay with his family every summer. Fyodor Shalyapin and the likes would come here to perform and recharge their energy and spirit. The Russian Revolution destroyed many of the palaces but new, Soviet ones, began to spring up. Stalin set the example by building his dacha here. Others followed, and little by little, Sochi became the most luxurious Russian health resort with a variety of sanatoriums and recreation centres. The next construction boost came after 2007 when Sochi was selected to host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. 

POPULATION429 070

DISTANCE FROM MOSCOW1700 km

FOUNDED IN1838

UTC+3

Eat & Drink

CORKs Wine Bar & Kitchen

Baran-Rapan

Shop

Krasnopolyanskaya Cosmetics

Get There
By Air:
Major Russian airlines including Aeroflot, S7, Utair, Rossiya and Pobeda operate regular flights to Sochi. A flight from Moscow takes just over 2hrs. There're also regular flights to Sochi from St Petersburg (3hrs), Kazan, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Ufa, Krasnodar. International destinations include Minsk, Yerevan, Istanbul and Tel-Aviv. 
The airport is located in a nearby city of Adler which forms a part of Greater Sochi. Adler is 30km away from the centre of Sochi, and can be reached by train, bus, or taxi.
A taxi ride to Central Sochi will take 30-45min depending on the traffic. Do not take taxis at the airport, they'll overcharge you. Both Yandex Taxi and Uber operate in Sochi, and have apps in English. The ride to central Sochi costs 700-900₽.
There're new Lastochka trains which run from the airport to the Sochi railway station 4 times a day. The travel time is 45min. All trains call at Adler railway station, Matsesta, and Khosta. The tickets cost around 250₽, and can be bought at the station.



Bus is the slowest option, but unlike trains, they run every 10-20min from the bus stops in front of the airport. Also, it's a good option if you're not going to the central Sochi, and need to get to some place on the way. Catch bus 124 to the Sochi railway station, the travel time is between 1h and 1h20min.





Regular service from Moscow (23h), St Petersburg (37h), Rostov-on-Don (7-10h), Krasnodar (4h) and other Russian cities.



The Sochi railway station is situated right in the centre of Sochi, 15min walk from the coast, and 10min walk from Kurortny Avenue. If you travel from Moscow, the best option would be the new double-decker train which goes to Adler railway terminal, and calls at Sochi.



Tickets can be purchased online or at the station. Note that during the high season (which lasts from May until the end of September) it may be hard to buy tickets at short notice. Make sure you buy them in advance. 
Get Around

Sochi is the longest city in Russia, stretching along the Black Sea Coast for more than 145km. The area between the Sochi railway station, Riviera Park, the sea port and the Winter Theatre is considered the centre of Sochi. Greater Sochi includes Lazarevsky district, Khosta and Matsesta resorts, Krasnaya Polyana ski resorts and the city of Adler. Kurortny Avenue stretches all the way from the Riviera Park in the centre of Sochi to Adler, connecting many neighbourhoods and resorts of Greater Sochi on the way.

The centre of Sochi is relatively small, and can be explored on foot. However, for longer distances, it's best to either catch a bus on Kurortny Avenue, a train from the Sochi railway station, or a taxi.