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Sochi is a city that attracts thousands of tourists every year. This is the only place in Russia where you can warm yourself in the sun almost all year round, bathe in the warm Black Sea, study the ancient architecture and monuments and simultaneously attend modern entertainment. Hot weather here lasts until October, and even during the most fierce winter, the temperature keeps around 8 degrees of heat. Moreover, Sochi is the ideal city for the 2018 World Championships.
Firstly, the Olympic Games were held recently and most sports facilities are ready. Secondly – it’s a paradise for tourists here because of the favorable climate, and the warm sea, and the magnificent mountains, and many historical sites. Rest really calculate for any purse, because many beauties can be seen absolutely free of charge, a lot of affordable housing and tasty food.
People come here both to relax and get medical treatment. For this, there are all the benefits: fresh sea air, mineral waters and healing springs. And the local sanatorium-and-spa complex is recognized as the largest in the country. Now Sochi is making its way to become the TOP of the best resorts in the world, so here you will find both well-off guests and budget tourists.
Head of Tourism in the city of Sergei Domorat said that in total it is planned to meet about 1 million tourists. Some of them plan their visit through travel agencies, some want to get by themselves. To help the second group decide on housing and settling in the city, 10,000 people have been trained in volunteering and are ready to help everyone in everything. Also, the call center has already begun its’ work, its’ main mission is to settle all the guests.
As been said above, in 2014, Sochi has already met a large flow of tourists at the Olympic Games. On the development of infrastructure, the authorities spent more than 500 billion rubles, and to the World Cup 2018, continued reconstruction. New hotels were built, new railway interchanges were laid, the airport and the sea station were renovated.
It is worth recalling the mandatory registration of all the city guests in the relevant service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs – such security measures were taken by the city authorities to ensure order during the World Cup 2018. The procedure itself will take about 15 minutes, you will be registered the same day.
Where will the matches be hosted?
In Sochi, it was scheduled to hold 6 matches – 4 group, 1/8 and 1/4 finals. All of them will be held at the stadium Fisht. Its construction began in far 2007, and ended in 2013 – it was here that the opening and final of the Olympic Games was held. But the organizers of the games and members of the FIFA put forward different requirements for the stadium, so soon it was again closed for reconstruction.
Initially, the whole field and stands were covered with a roof of special translucent material, but it was decided to remove the central part of the structure and now there are only two side stands under the roof, but the rest of the audience can enjoy the view of the sea and mountains. Treadmills and other objects that were necessary for the Olympic Games were also removed. Thanks to this, the number of seats increased up to 43,700.
The most comfortable conditions were created for the viewers – comfortable chairs, special seats for people with a high weight and for people with disabilities. For those who have visual problems, a special system of audio-descriptive commenting is equipped. If at any time you need the help of any kind – you can ask the volunteers.
Also, there is one of the best security systems at the stadium: there is a registration point for children for them not to be lost if you need to leave the stroller – there is a special store for them. The security of the viewer is monitored by 2,000 CCTV cameras. There is a lost property on the territory.
Organizers do not recommend going to the stadium by your personal car. The fact is that the roads near the stadium are blocked, and the parking lots will be closed. The best option will be to use the public transport. Guests and residents of the city who have tickets for the match can travel free of charge on special buses, shuttles. They travel through the whole city on three different routes.
The main transport, which gives the fans rides – “Swallows”. These are such high-speed trains that run all over the city. A new schedule will be compiled for the city transport with a frequency of 10-15 minutes especially for the 2018 World Cup.
In addition, if you have a fan’s passport, you can get to the stadium free of charge by city buses that go to the wrong side. The interval between them is no more than 5 minutes.
Where to live?
Sochi is a resort city, so there is a large abundance of hotels and hostels for every taste and purse here. For today 95% of all numbers have been already reserved, but this is only official data. In the resort city, you can always rent accommodation from private traders, you should only look at websites with ads and choose the right option.
At the time of the 2018 World Cup, the average cost of a double room in a hotel with 2 stars is within 1500 rubles. The truth is unlikely that the apartment will be equipped with air conditioning, refrigerator, hairdryer and other amenities.
If you go to rest on a broad foot, for a luxury apartment will be asked from 4000 rubs. The price can go up much higher, depending on the class of the hotel and the level of service. For such amount of money, you will receive a designer renovation in the room, new furniture, spa and fitness facilities on site, a swimming pool, babysitting services and more. If you want to have panoramic windows with a view to the sea, a private jacuzzi, a cabinet for working as a representative class, be prepared to pay from $ 200 per night. A cot in budget hostels in Sochi will cost about 350-500 rubles, inexpensive – 800-1000 rubles.
By the way, almost all hotels have fresh renovation and absolutely new furniture. It should be noted and the level of customer service – experienced staff who speak several languages will always come to your rescue. These are the consequences of the Olympic Games in 2014 when hoteliers had the opportunity to practice in the international arena.
Where to go?
The upper sea embankment. With a walk in this place, you better begin to explore the city. This street is 2 km long, on one side there are cozy restaurants and shops, and on the other – the sea. It is an ideal place for unhurried walks and a delicious dinner overlooking the sea. The embankment begins from the sea station and leads to the central beaches. And in the evening music plays everywhere, local singers sing in every restaurant. People often simply choose the best singer, sit down on the bench in front of the cafe and enjoy the view of the sea under a pleasant musical accompaniment.
By the way, you can go further and climb up to 30 meters to get to the seaside embankment. Almost at the very end of the path, there is a cliff, on which there are many shops overlooking the sea. On the same street, there is a monument to Pushkin and the library with the same name.
The central embankment. This is the heart of Sochi. A narrow path separates the city and the seashore. Here you can get to paid and free beaches, relax with the whole family in the water park, try delicacies at local cafes, their tables are lined with a narrow line near the shore – it’s a romantic place of solitude with a beloved one.
There is a concert hall “Festival” on this embankment, it places 2500 people. There are popular artists in mid-season almost every day.
The Rosa Khutor. The venue of the Olympic Games opens Sochi, on the other hand, it’s not only possible to bask on the beach, but also to engage in active sports. The Rosa Khutor is a year-round holiday in the mountains. In winter, they ski here on slopes, developed by the best experts of the world for Olympic athletes. In summer it is popular to walk, cycle, horse ride, ride a quad bike on scenic places here. There is an extreme rope park, buggy tours and many other entertainments for the whole family.
The Arboretum Park. More than 1800 plant species from all over the world were harvested at 49 hectares here. The territory is divided into geographical areas – America, China, the Caucasus, Australia and the rest. On each one, you can thoroughly study the plant world of the country. The park is located on the mountain. There is a large aquarium for 150 cubic meters of water in its’ lower part, the most unusual and interesting marine inhabitants live there. There is also an exotarium with all sorts of reptiles and insects.
There are many animals on the territory: ducks bathe in ponds, turtles, and muskrats float. Nearby you can meet a pelican, a stork, a porcupine. You can admire the natural world in arbours. Each is a separate work of architecture with its own history. For example, local believe that if you make a wish in the Moorish arbor – it will come true, and if the newlyweds go to the Arbor of Love – a joint life will be long and happy.
There are beautiful alleys, many fountains, sculptures, shops, lakes in the park. Another property is the cable car, which brings tourists to the uppermost part of the Arboretum. First, it saves forces, because to start a survey of the park from top to bottom is much easier. Secondly, rising, in front of you will admire a breathtaking view from a height to the sea, mountains and the whole city.
An adult ticket to the park costs 350 rubles, children under 14 are able to enter for 120 rubles, and up to 7 years – free of charge.
The oceanarium. Exciting place! Just imagine – aquariums with a total capacity of 5 million liters of water were placed here in an area of 6000 square meters. Here are compositions from freshwater and marine inhabitants. Zest – a 44-meter tunnel among the aquarium for 3 million liters! You will be surrounded on all sides by water and you will feel yourself at the bottom of the ocean, where the schools of fish will be cut from all sides.
There is an opportunity to dive underwater and spend half an hour in the world of fish in the park. This entertainment will cost you 4000 rub. The usual ticket for adults costs 600 rubles, for children – 400. In addition, you can use the audio guide, for this, you will have to pay another 200 rubles. For permission to take photos and video filming, they will ask you for another 100 rubles.
The Olympic Park. Everyone who came to Sochi simply must visit this place. It amazes with its’ size, some tourists allocate a whole day of rest to see all the buildings. All the key objects of the Olympic Games are located here: two ice arenas, a small ice arena, a curling field, a skating center, as well as an Olympic village, hotels and a large screen. Every fan of the World Cup 2018 will visit this place as the stadium “Fisht”, which will host the match is located here.
Be sure to look at the singing fountains, their repertoire is constantly changing, the compositions are selected depending on the time of the year, holidays or other flag days. The fountain is built in the form of a feather-bird and bears the name of “The Bowl of the Olympic Fire”. All the tourists who were in this place, like one, are amazed at this amount of glass and concrete. True, from their words, there is no life. Objects look useless to nobody.
Mount Ahun. The attraction is not even the mountain itself, but an observation deck on it. This is the most favorite place not only for tourists but also for local people. Located at an altitude of 700 m above sea level, it overlooks the entire coastline. Some guides say that in clear and sunny weather, even a Turkish shore can be seen from this tower.
On the way to the mountain, you can visit the Ferris wheel, go to souvenir shops or eat at a restaurant. Here the most fragrant teas on the coast and natural honey are sold.
But getting to this place might be problematic – public transport stops 12 km from the mountain, and if you go by your own car, you need to be extremely accurate – the whole road is a steep serpentine, that is why it could be too difficult for an unprepared driver to drive.