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Sochi hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia. The city at the Black Sea is known primarily as a destination for a summer vacation in Russia and as a health resort with many medicinal springs. But there are also plenty of sights in Sochi and ski areas for the winter in the mountains of the Caucasus around the city.

Sochi sightseeing – tips for one day in the city

The city of Sochi stretches over 100 kilometers along the coast of the Black Sea and is also known as the Russian Riviera. While many come for a beach vacation, Sochi’s sights also offer plenty to explore. In this article we summarize 9 sights and tips in Sochi for you.

How to get to Sochi

The fastest way to get to Sochi is by airplane. Unfortunately, there are currently not many direct flights from Europe and you will have to change in Moscow or Istanbul. From there the international airport in Sochi will be served. You can find more information and prices at Skyscanner.

An alternative, but one that is very time-consuming, would be to travel by train. Here you can travel from e.g. Germany to Moscow and change trains. There are trains from Moscow to Sochi, but they take approximately 24 hours. For a good overview, we can recommend the website Omio.

Note: Before traveling to Sochi, you need a visa. You can apply for this at the Russian consulate 3 months before departure (also by post).

Accommodations in Sochi – our hotel tip

The Sea Galaxy Hotel Congress & Spa Sotschi is located directly on the sea with a great starting point to explore the Black Sea and the sights of Sochi. The rooms with sea view have a balcony and all other amenities are also available. Another plus is the large and delicious breakfast buffet. If you have any questions about tours, the hotel staff will be happy to help.

You can find another selection of first-class hotels in the overview for Sochi.

Sochi sightseeing: Tours and tickets

1. The port of Sochi

The Marine Passenger Terminal is the most famous building in the port of Sochi. The summer capital of Russia has expanded the port in 2013 for the Olympic Games. Today it welcomes many yachts, cruise ships and of course cargo ships, e.g. from Turkey.

The port of Sochi at the Black Sea
Marine passenger terminal

Sochi’s port is directly connected to the waterfront, which leads you along some of the city’s beaches. If you want to travel on from Sochi, you can also use the ferry connection to Trabzon in Turkey or to Batumi in Georgia.

2. Riviera Park

In the middle of the city you can find the Riviera Park, which is one of the most popular sights of Sochi and is also visited on many city tours. Created in 1898, it is now a recreation and amusement park where you can also find rides. The entrance is free, but you have to pay extra to use the rides, such as the Ferris wheel.

The Riviera Park in Sochi at the Black Sea of Russia

Sometimes the Riviera Park looks a bit chaotic to visitors, as there are many stalls and shops that do not suggest relaxation. One of the most popular photo opportunities is the shell with the clock inside at the entrance to the Sochi Riviera Park. But you can also explore other things like the Fountain of Love or the Glade of Friendship as well as a cafe, the Dolphinarium or various sports facilities. It is open daily from 10.00 A.M. to 8.00 P.M.

3. Dendrarium

The Dendrarium was created in 1892 by Sergej Chudekow and is now one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in Russia. The 50 hectare park is one of Sochi’s top sights and attracts many visitors.

The Dendrarium, the Sochi Botanical Garden in Russia

The botanical garden consists of two parts that are connected by a cable car. On the area of the Dendrarium, you can discover around 2000 different plant species. In the lower part of the garden, you will find many ponds, swans, exotic palm trees, and an Adam and Eve sculpture.

The upper part of the Dendrarium is the slightly larger one. Here you will find many plants from East Asia and North America. In terms of style, the garden is somewhat reminiscent of the Amalfi Coast in Italy. The villa that Chudekow built for his wife Nadezhda is also on site. When visiting, you should definitely see both parts of the Sochi Botanical Garden. Open daily from 9.00 A.M. to 6.00 P.M. The entrance fee is 250 rubles.

4. Winter Theatre

The Winter Theatre, which opened in 1938, is an imposing structure and is also one of Sochi’s sights. 88 columns surround the Winter Theatre and the open foyer also makes an impression on visitors. In 2005, the building was extensively restored, including the interior with the auditorium.

The Winter Theatre of Sochi, Russia

Nowadays the Winter Theatre is used by the Sochi Philharmonic and there are some performances that you can attend if you are interested. In addition to these performances, there are other events in the Sochi Winter Theatre, such as operas or ballet performances.

5. Church of the Holy Prince Vladimir

It wasn’t until 2011 that the Church of the Holy Prince Vladimir, sometimes referred to as the Grand Duke Vladimir, opened. While there isn’t too much history here, the church is one of the most beautiful new buildings in Sochi and is part of private sightseeing tours.

Church of the Holy Prince Vladimir in Sochi

The Church of the Holy Prince Vladimir is a Russian Orthodox church and already striking from the outside with its beautiful facade. You can visit it daily for free from 9.00 A.M. to 6.00 P.M. and get an impression of the imposing construction for yourself.

6. Sochi’s beaches

As mentioned in the introduction, Sochi is considered the Russian Riviera. The coast of Sochi extends for about 146 kilometers along the Black Sea. So it is hardly surprising that you will also find many beaches in Sochi.

The coast with beaches in Sochi, Russia

One beach in Sochi follows the next. Many of them are well-attended, especially in summer. There are many differences between the beaches. Some have fine sand, others are more rocky. Jet skis or banana boat rides are also offered.

If you would like to cool off in the Black Sea and swim a bit, then check out some of Sochi’s beaches. The most popular are Adler Beach, Chaika Beach, Beach Laguna or Central Beach Dagomys. You can always stay on the beach that you like, e.g. if you are walking along the promenade.

7. Olympic Park

On the occasion of the 2014 Winter Olympics, the Olympic Park was built in the Adler district of Sochi. Some of the games from the 2018 World Cup were also played in the Olympic Stadium on the Black Sea.

Top view of Sochi Olympic Park in Russia

Today the Olympic Park in Sochi is still used. The stadium has been the home of the PFC Sochi football club since 2018, Formula 1 races take place here every year and of course you can visit the site and the nearby Olympic village. There is also an amusement park and a beach promenade, which are very popular with travelers.

The Olympic Park is open to visitors every day from 8.00 A.M. to midnight. However, the local museums close earlier. While you can visit the Olympic Park for free, entry to the museums (such as the Auto Museum or Nikola Tesla Museum) costs between 250 and 350 rubles.

8. Stalin’s villa

The former dacha (also called villa) of Stalin is another attraction of Sochi. It is located in the middle of nature, very quiet and secluded. Stalin spent a few months here every year and now his villa is a museum and it seems like you are traveling back in time.

Stalin's villa in Sochi

On a guided tour you can also see the interior of Stalin’s villa and get an insight into his life during the summer months. You can see his workspace, bedroom, and more. A complete contrast to what most people thought of the great dictator Stalin.

Statue of Stalin in Stalin's villa in Sochi, Russia

It is open every day from 9.30 A.M. to 6.00 P.M. Entrance fee (including a guided tour) is 300 rubles per person.

9. Mazesta

As the last stop on the day trip to the sights of Sochi, we take a look at the Mazesta district. It is one of the most famous health resorts in Russia. As the district lies on the Mazesta River, it was named after it.

Mazesta entrance sign in Sochi, Russia

So why is Mazesta a well-known health resort? This is mainly due to the local springs, which have a healing effect, such as sulfur springs. Since 1902, when doctors wrote about Mazesta’s mineral springs in Russia, the place has become increasingly popular. But next to the healing springs there is also a lot of green and nature, which invites you to take a walk.

The Mazesta mineral spring of Sochi in Russia

In 1998 the Natural History Museum opened here, where you can learn a lot about the springs and history of Mazesta. If you are interested in plants, the greenhouses with many exotic plants are also worth a visit.

Conclusion on Sochi’s sights

The city at the Black Sea was definitely different than expected. Sochi’s sights are very diverse and many of them can be explored on a day trip. As Sochi is becoming more and more famous, it is a good alternative to well-known cities like Moscow or St. Petersburg in Russia. Above all, it is a place where you can even spend your summer vacation.

Plan your trip to Sochi now

More hotel recommendations for Sochi:

Popular routes to Sochi:

Have you already visited Sochi in Russia? Do you have any more tips about the sights of Sochi? Leave us your comment.

Photos: Photo 2 (Riviera Park): Grigorii Pisotsckii/shutterstock.com – Photo 3 (Dendrarium): Baturina Yuliya/shutterstock.com – Photo 5 (Church): FromMyEyes/shutterstock.com – Photo 7 (Olympia Park): Zotov Dmitrii/shutterstock.com