A fans’ guide to Sochi
Some of the cities hosting this year’s World Cup may be unfamiliar to you. But who hasn’t heard of Sochi?
Sochi has always been considered Russia’s principal resort, but hosting the Winter Olympics back in 2014 really brought it to world attention. And the good news is that, in preparation for the Olympics, the city received a huge makeover in terms of infrastructure. A massive amount of money was spent improving Sochi’s hotels, transport systems and tourist facilities, meaning that it’s perfectly equipped to host a number of this year’s World Cup matches. So if you’re heading for this Black Sea resort, you’re guaranteed all the modern amenities you could wish for.
Source: Wiki Commons, RIA Novosti archive, image #166989 / Andrey Babushkin / CC-BY-SA 3.0
Being the furthest-south of all Russia’s World Cup host cities means Sochi is probably the best place to head for if you like a little sun with your football. Nearly 1000 miles from Moscow, its humid subtropical climate means you can look forward to hot days and warm nights, with water temperatures pleasant enough for a quick swim between matches, if you fancy.
Visiting Sochi is the nearest you’ll get to combining a beach atmosphere with a great World Cup Russia 2018 experience. So what are you waiting for? Make Sochi your World Cup destination, and enjoy all the action with RNTO!
Where to stay
Sochi has long been Russia’s premier resort-by-the-sea. And having hosted the last Winter Olympics, the range of places to stay is as modern as you’ll find in this amazing and diverse country.
Thanks to the upgraded transport system and all kinds of tourist facilities, getting around and finding things to do is hardly a problem, either. So whatever your requirements and however big or small your budget, Sochi has the right package for you.
One consideration you might like to bear in mind is the location of Sochi’s Fisht Stadium. Greater Sochi stretches for around 90 miles along the Black Sea coast. The stadium forms part of the Olympic Park, in the Adler region of the city, and some way from central Sochi. Getting from the centre to the stadium is easy, thanks to Sochi’s great public transport system, but if you really do want to stay near the stadium, then the Adler district is the one to go for.
But remember: your FAN ID allows you to travel free on selected routes around Sochi, so don’t miss out on the fantastic amenities on offer in the centre just to be close to the stadium.
Whatever your accommodation needs, we can make all the arrangements for you. For friendly, helpful advice to help make sure you get the most from your World Cup Sochi experience, call us today on 0207 985 1234.
If you saw the Winter Olympics four years ago, you’ll have already had a taste of what’s in store for fans attending any of the matches to be held here during the World Cup. As the location for the Winter Olympics opening and closing ceremonies, this 48 000-capacity stadium is a truly impressive venue for any sporting event.
Source: Wiki Commons, soccer.ru
Located in the Adler district to the south-east of central Sochi and right on the shore of the Black Sea, the stadium was unveiled in 2014 ahead of the Winter Olympics. Originally built as an enclosed facility, it was re-opened in 2016 as an open-air football stadium. The first football match, a friendly between Russia and Belgium, took place in March 2017. It later hosted several of last year’s Confederations Cup matches, including the semi-final, which saw Germany beat Mexico 4–1.
Sochi’s six matches for this summer's tournament include four group games, a round-of-16 tie and a quarter-final.
Fisht Stadium was named after a mountain whose name translates as ‘white head’ (the arena’s roof is covered with a special polymer that creates the effect of a snow-capped mountaintop). You may also be interested to hear that unique grass seeds were brought over from the Netherlands to grow the best turf possible for the World Cup.
Adler is home to Sochi’s international airport and has a major train station. The stadium lies roughly 12 kilometres from the airport and 11 kilometres from the rail station. Bus 57k connects the airport with the stadium, while bus 57 runs from Adler train station to the stadium.
The daily trains that connect the Sochi area with the rest of the country also stop at Imeretinsky Kurort (Olympic Park) station, which lies within walking distance of Fisht Olympic Stadium.
What to see
Sochi is a wonderful destination, with no end of things to see and do. And with its fantastic climate, it’s no wonder that about half the country’s population has visited this excellent resort at some time in their life.
Much of Sochi’s attraction lies in the fact it stands on the shores of the Black Sea. A simple stroll along the seemingly endless promenade can occupy a full day, stopping off along the way to take in the views, enjoy a meal, do a little shopping … the possibilities are many and varied.
Sochi’s port is a great place to start. The former Marina – now a shopping and amusement centre – is well worth a visit. Sochi’s passenger port is the largest in the Black Sea region, welcoming in supersize ships all year round. International cruise expos and regattas take place here on a regular basis.
Then there’s the snow-white Cathedral of St Michael the Archangel, completed in 1890 and built using stones taken from the walls of Alexandria Fort – the first edifice built in what was to become the town of Sochi.
The Upper Embankment stretches from Festivalny Concert Hall to the plaza in front of the Winter Theatre. This is an excellent place for a walk, or you can sit on one of the numerous benches, overlooking the sea and port. Of architectural interest are the Primorskaya Hotel with its sand-coloured façade and white balconies, and the Alexander Pushkin Library, tucked away in the shade of the trees close by, which looks like a miniature castle.
The plaza in front of the Winter Theatre is where town festivals usually happen. All festive processions and Victory Day and May Day parades begin here, and the square is particularly popular during the international Cinetaur Film Festival, when Russian and international film stars walk the red carpet. The square is surrounded by a park – a great place to relax and soak up the sun.
Bars and restaurants
Sochi is awash with great places to eat and drink … and watch the matches, if you haven’t got a ticket. Wherever you are, you’re never far from a bar or eatery to suit your taste and budget. And with its great climate, there’s no better place to watch the games than outside one of the countless bars that line the promenade. For some fantastic suggestions, see the official Russia 2018 website.
Watch for free
All 11 World Cup host cities have their own Fan Fest site, where fans can gather and watch all the matches for free on the giant screen. You’ll find Sochi’s at the South Mall of the Seaport, the most iconic location in the heart of the city, at the famous beach promenade. With a capacity of around 10 000 fans, it’s the next best thing to being in the stadium and cheering on your favourite team in person!