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Sochi Introduction

The city of Sochi attracted vast amounts of investment in the run up to the 2014 Winter Olympics, and it's got the facilities and infrastructure to show for it. However, Russians are more likely to associate Sochi with palm trees and hot sun. Its location on the subtropical Black Sea coast means it's long been one of Russia's most popular summer beach resorts, with buzzing nightlife and rows of smart yachts.

Hotels in Sochi

Sochi has a huge amount of hotel accommodation, though much of it is loaded towards the top end of the market. Many luxury hotels in Sochi were newly built for 2014, and feature posh amenities like fine-dining restaurants, multiple pools and full-service spas, plus extras that might include private beach cabanas, tennis courts and ski-in/ski-out access. Cheap Sochi hotels focus more on value amenities like guest laundry facilities and free breakfast, and even discount hotels are often well located near the beach or slopes. Sochi hotels almost always offer free Wi-Fi, and most also provide shuttle services and ski rental where appropriate.

Where to stay in Sochi

Central Sochi is the main beach resort, with a wide range of accommodation mainly geared around the summer months. Most of the events at the 2014 Winter Olympics took place at the nearby alpine resort of Roza Khutor in Krasnaya Polyana, roughly 25 miles from downtown Sochi, and the majority of hotels in this area are at the upscale end of the market, catering to an affluent winter sports crowd. The Adler area was the site of the Olympic Village, and gives travellers the best access to Sochi's excellent transport links, including Sochi International Airport and Adler train terminal.

Things to see in Sochi

Museums in central Sochi include the compact Museum of Sochi History and the ornate Sochi Art Museum. Stalin's former holiday home is located in the Khosta district, between central Sochi and Adler, while there are also 2 ruined Byzantine fortresses in Lazarevskoe district, to the west. Sochi is well known for its green spaces, with Riviera Park and the Arboretum among the most popular. Many travellers will come to Sochi to visit sporting sites, and the Fisht stadium in Adler is among the most famous. Originally built as a closed stadium for the 2014 Winter Olympics, it's since been modified into an open-air football ground for World Cup matches. Most of the other Olympic venues were built in the mountain area of Krasnaya Polyana, including the Roza Khutor skiing and snowboarding resorts, the RusSki Gorki ski jumping centre, and the Sliding Center Sanki at nearby Rzhanaya Polyana.

How to get to Sochi

The main entry point for travel to Sochi is Sochi International Airport, in Adler. It's got great domestic connections, and also gets some international flights. There are also bus and train terminals in both central Sochi and Adler, serving a wide range of domestic and international destinations. In summer, the port of Sochi is busy with passenger ferries and cruise ships, and more relaxed visa rules for cruise ship passengers mean this is a popular way of visiting the city. Travel in Sochi itself is usually by bus or train, though in each of the main areas, most of the attractions are walkable.