Sochi is a city in Krasnodar Krai, Russia, located on the Black Sea coast near the border between Georgia/Abkhazia and Russia. With the alpine and Nordic events held at the nearby ski resort of Roza Khutor in Krasnaya Polyana, Sochi hosted the XXII Olympic Winter Games and XI Paralympic Winter Games in 2014, as well as the Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix from 2014 until at least 2020. It will also be one of the host cities for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Sochi is often called the unofficial 'Summer Capital' of Russia, or the Black Sea Pearl. This is the country's biggest and busiest summer sea resort, attracting more than four million visitors annually with its amazing mountainous coastline, endless shingle beaches, warm sunny days, and bustling nightlife. 

Things to do in Sochi!




As a municipal division, the City of Sochi is incorporated as Sochi Urban Okrug. Sochi is administratively subdivided into four city districts: Tsentralny City District, Lazarevsky City District, Khostinsky City District, and Adlersky City District.

Tsentralny City District/ Central Sochi District:
Tsentralny City District, or central Sochi, covers an area of 32 Sq Km. Attractions include:


Lazarevsky City District:
Lazarevsky City District lies to the northwest from the city center and comprises of several microdistricts:

  • Lazarevskoye contains a delphinarium, Lazarev’s Fort and a couple of churches. Lazarevskoye is a popular place for beach tourism with a couple of waterparks - Nautilus Water Park  & Morskaya Zvezda Water Park.
  • Loo district contains the ruins of a medieval church, founded in the 8th century, rebuilt in the 11th century, and converted into a fortress in the Late Middle Ages.
  • Dagomys  has been noted for its botanical garden, established by order of Nicholas II, as well as tea plantations and factories.
  • Golovinka is a historic location at the mouth of the Shakhe River. Formerly marking the border between the Ubykhs and the Shapsugs, the settlement was noted by Italian travelers of the 17th century as Abbasa.
  • Fort Godlik , of which little remains, had a turbulent history. It was built at the mouth of the Godlik River in the Byzantine period (5th to 8th centuries), was destroyed by the Khazars and revived by the Genoese in the High Middle Ages.


Khostinsky City District:
Khostinsky City District, sprawling to the southeast from the city center, is traversed by many rivulets which give their names to the microdistricts of Matsesta ("flame-colored river"), Kudepsta, and Khosta ("the river of boars").

  • Matsesta: Matsesta  has been a spa since 1902. A 1,316-meter (4,318 ft) long tunnel, constructed between 1996 and 2000, connects it to Kurortny Avenue,a street running along the coast between Khosta and Sochi proper. Matsesta hosts a major part of all resorts in Sochi. Some of those have been built in the 1930s and considered as good examples of early Soviet architecture. There is an aquarium in Novaya Matsesta.
  • Khosta is an old village, containing the ruins of a medieval church, going back to the 14th century, and the comparatively modern Transfiguration Church, consecrated in 1914. Khosta has an array of tourist attractions:
    • Khosta Fortress is perched on the top of a 100-meter high cliff within six kilometers (3.7 miles) from the sea coast. The fortress stands on the grounds of an ancient grove of yews and boxwood, which may be up to 30 million years old. The grove as been affiliated with the Caucasus Zapovednik (Caucasian State Nature Biosphere Reserve) and is the World Heritage Site as a part of the Zapovednik.
    • Akhun massif: The Akhun massif comprises Greater Akhun Mtn. (663 m), Lesser Akhun Mtn. (501 m), and Eagle Bluff (380 m). Greater Akhun is crowned by a Neo-Romanesque limestone tower (1936) that offers glimpses of Pitsunda and Gagra across the border in Abkhazia. There is also a chain of twenty karst caves in the massif.
    • The Summer Theatre is a rather ordinary Neoclassical structure, erected in 1937 and extensively renovated in 2001.
    • Agura Waterfalls: The three Agura River waterfalls  count among the top natural attractions in Sochi. They are located in the Khosta District, about two and a half miles (four kilometers) from the seashore.
    • Kudepsta: At the border with Adler, Kudepsta is another seashore resort, notable for the Vorontsov Caves.


Adlersky City District:
Adlersky City District is the southernmost district of the city, located just north of the border with Abkhazia.

  • Among the natural wonders of the district is the Akhshtyr Gorge with a 160 m long cave that contains traces of human habitation from about 30,000 years ago.
  • The upland part of the district includes a network of remote mountain villages (auls), the Estonian colony at Estosadok, and the ski resort of Krasnaya Polyana which hosted the events (Alpine and Nordic) of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Getting around

General info

Getting to the city from Sochi/Adler International Airport

  • The Sochi/Adler International Airport is approximately 27.9 Km from the Soch.
  • You can use the following services to reach the Sochi:
    • Train:
      • A high-speed railway, the Aeroexpress, connects Sochi with the Adler airport.
      • For schedule and fares, refer here.
    • Bus: The following buses are available from Sochi International Airport:
      • #51 Airport-Torgovy center Adler (market)
      • #124 Airport-Sochi (railway station)
      • #130 Adler-Airport-Forelevoe Hozaistvo (s.Moldovka)
      • #131 Adler-Airport-s.Golitsino
      • #131 Adler-Aeroport-s.Lipniki
      • #135 Airport-Krasnaya Polyana
    • Mini-van: The following Mini-van service is available from Sochi International Airport:
      • #51/130 Forelevoe Hozaistvo (s.Moldovka)-Airport-Torgovy Center Adler (market)
      • #105 Forelevoe Hozaistvo (s.Moldovka)-Airport-Sochi (railway station)
      • #124 Airport-Sochi (railway station)
      • #144 Airport-Dagomys
    • Taxi:
      • Upon arrival at the Sochi Adler Airport you must be ready to negotiate taxi prices to reach the city.
      • There will be taxi drivers everywhere but, not all will be willing to take you for a reasonable price. Make sure to settle the price before you get in the car. A ride to Adler costs RUB 300.00-500.00, to Cental Sochi – RUB 800.00-1,000.00, to Krasnaya Polyana – RUB 1,200.00-1,600.00.
    • Car Rental:
      • The car rental agencies available at the airport are:


  • The Russian Railways coordinates the operation of the train service.
  • Sochi has two major rail terminals in Central Sochi and Adler. However, most trains make short stops at small transit stations of Great Sochi: Lazarevskaya, Loo, Dagomys, Matsesta and Khosta.
  • Tickets can be purchased via Russian Railways website, at RZD counters, or via travel agencies.


  • Sochi main bus terminal is located right near the main train terminal in Central Sochi. The second important terminal is in Adler.
  • The Autotrans coordinates the operation of the bus service.
  • Refer here for details.


  • As is usual in Russia, if you put your hand out in the street, you'll gather several cars willing to be hired, and only a few of them will be licensed taxis. Such unofficial ways of transportation are still popular in the country because it is usually cheaper and faster than the official taxi service.
  • The minimum taxi fare is RUB 179.93 and increases by RUB 22.49/every km
  • Taxi agencies with their contact numbers:
  • You can refer to the numbeo website for taxi fares in the city.


Tipping is expected in Russia.

  • Restaurants: Typically in Russia the etiquette is to tip anywhere between 10% and 15% of the bill. Tip in cash, and give it directly to the waiter. Many restaurants don’t accept credit cards.
  • Bars: Tipping at bars is unusual but appreciated. You may leave an additional amount if you are happy with the service.
  • Taxis: You can round up the fare or tip no more than 10%.
  • Hotel Porters/Concierge: In Russia, it is common to tip the porter or bellboy between RUB 30.00 and 90.00 for each bag. It is normal to tip the housekeeper between RUB 60.00 and RUB 120.00 per day (you can leave the change in the ashtray or on the bedside table). Tip the concierge RUB 300.00 if he provides extra service.

Staying connected

  • Russia uses GSM 900and 1800 frequency bands. The phone must be “unlocked” to accept the Russia’s SIM card. For 3G, carriers use the 2100 frequency band.
  • MegaFon, Beeline, Rostelecom, Tattelecom and Vainakh Telecom BUCD are providing 4G services in the country now.
  • The important thing to understand with Russia and its mobile phone network is that each city is on a different network and once you leave the city where you have purchased your sim card, you go onto roaming tariffs, which can be as expensive. The solution is that for any city where you will staying for any extended period of time, purchase a new sim card (at RUB 150.00 basic price, it is not expensive) so that at least incoming calls are free of charge and you can call out on local rates.
  • You can buy the SIM card at airport, online, super markets etc.
  • You can recharge the SIM online, super markets etc.
  • The following are service providers in Russia for Prepaid SIM cards and Other Pay As You Go Options:

Eat / Drink


  • Russian cuisine is a collection of the different cooking traditions of the Russian people and derives its varied character from the vast and multi-cultural expanse of Russia.
  • Its foundations were laid by the peasant food of the rural population in an often harsh climate, with a combination of plentiful fish, poultry, caviar, mushrooms, berries, and honey.
  • Crops of rye, wheat, barley and millet provided the ingredients for a plethora of breads, pancakes, pies, cereals, beer and vodka. Soups and stews full of flavor are centered on seasonal or storable produce, fish and meats.
  • Russia's great expansions of culture, influence, and interest during the 16th–18th centuries brought more refined foods and culinary techniques, as well as one of the most refined food countries in the world. It was during this period that smoked meats and fish, pastry cooking, salads and green vegetables, chocolate, ice cream, wines, and juice were imported from abroad. The result is extremely varied in technique, seasoning, and combination.
  • Popular dishes:
    • Shish kabobs: No outdoor picnic in Russia is complete without kebabs. Kebabs can rightly be called the king of the Sochi cuisine. These cubes of meat are marinated in a special way, put on skewers and roasted on a grill over an open fire.
    • Solyanka soup: Georgian style Solyanka is for those who like it hot and spicy. This nourishing, thick, hearty and flavorful soup is the second favorite after kebabs in all Sochi eating establishments. Solyanka is prepared from choice cuts of meat that are cooked for several hours, then onions, carrots, garlic, tomatos and pepper are added.
    • Khinkali: In Russia it is called pelmeni, in Italy, ravioli, and in Japan, gyoza - a thin piece of dough wrapped around a stuffing and boiled in salted broth. Khinkali is filled with minced beef, pepper, salt, and finely chopped green coriander and served with tomato sauce and Tsakhton sauce (a white sauce based on sour cream, herbs, and garlic).
    • Khachapuri: This is another masterpiece of Georgian cuisine that still prevails in Sochi. Khachapuri is a traditional Georgian dish of cheese-filled bread. You certainly need to try the boat-shaped khachapuri! This traditional form is filled with butter, a raw egg, and cheese.
    • Magnolia Cheese Balls: This hot appetizer "cheese balls" remains a favorite snack of the locals to eat with beer and wine.
    • Homemade Cheese: There are as many varieties of cheese in Sochi as kebabs or wine. Most common are Suluguni and Adygea.
    • Borsch: Borsch is a soup of Ukrainian origin that is made with beetroot, meat, cabbage, and optionally, potatoes. You must add a little sour cream to your borsch. Also try some salty bacon, green onions, fragrant rye bread and, of course, 150 grams of vodka - it's a tradition!
    • Blini (Russian crepes): Another traditional Russian dish is blini. Blini are thin pancakes made with yeasted batter which are often served in connection with a religious rite or festival. Try them with red or black caviar, or salted salmon, meat, cheese, honey, jam, cream ... You can try different toppings every day.
    • Caucasian pickled vegetables: Cucumbers, cabbage and carrots – these are the main vegetables that locals pickle and salt in a special way. Another salted dish is tursha. Tursha is ordinary green beans which have been salted in accordance with a local recipe.
    • Ajapsandal: The main ingredients of any variant of ajapsandal are eggplants, tomatoes and sweet Bulgarian pepper. Some add a bit of carrot, others add potatoes.
    • Lobio: The main ingredient is red beans, which are cooked on a slow fire for many hours. The spiciness is achieved by adding a little bit of red hot pepper which is cooked together with the beans for a few hours. When the beans are almost ready, add onions, carrots, garlic and herbs.
    • Ossetian pie: It's made with all kinds of stuffing – cheese, potatoes, or mushrooms. However, you should be on the lookout for Ossetian pie with beet tops. This is a really rare stuffing, even in Sochi.
    • Mamaliga: Mamaliga is a special kind of porridge. It is made out of either maize grits or flour, cooked on milk or water, with dairy butter or vegetable oil.
    • Vareniki (dumplings) - Vareniki are vegetarian pelmeni. Russians like their vareniki with potatoes and mushrooms, with cottage-cheese and with cherries.
  • Some notable restaurants serving the local specialties include:


  • Red Fox
    • Cuisine: French and Russian cuisine


  • 2200
    • Cuisine: Continental
    • Awards : Michelin star






  • Surpisingly, Russia is the 11th-largest wine producer in the world. 60% of all Russian wine is manufactured in Krasnodar Krai.
  • In Sochi and its surrounding areas, it is possible to buy many kinds of wine, starting from home-made and market-sold wine in no-brand plastic bottles (looks dangerous, but is spoken to be the best one), finishing with premium-class aged wine and brandy in souvenir boxes.
  • The factory in Temryuk town located near Taman makes the best brandy in Krasnodar Krai, including the aged and souvenir collection.
  • Some of the major breweries, distilleries and wineries in Sochi are:
  • Other notable beverages of Sochi include:
    • Krasnodar tea: This is the only tea type grown in Russia. Tea plantations of Greater Sochi are located in Dagomys, Solokhaul (Lazarevskoe district) and Adler. Baloven tea brand by the Dagomys Tea Plant is available at Sochi shops.
  • Popular pubs, bars and dives of Sochi include:

Banner image credits: Miro on/off