A GUIDE TO SOCHI
Get ready! The first Russian Grand Prix has arrived!
THE CODE 20 has visited the city in advent of organizing the after race party on Sunday October 12th at ‘Oblaka Club By The Beach ‘ and here is all you need to know from A-Z to get around and enjoy the first and much anticipated Russian Grand Prix.
Sochi is a resort destination with a population of 415,000, located along the Black Sea Coast and widely known as the ‘Summer Capital’ of Russia. It’s the country’s busiest and biggest summer sea resort, attracting more than 4 million visitors annually. The city is a very popular domestic destination with most of the Russian celebrities and the political elite of the country owning residences in the region.
Sochi enjoys 300 sunny days annually! October is considered to be the most enjoyable time to visit the city: the Black Sea is still warm, the air is not very hot and the streets are not filled with tourists’ crowds. The daily average temperature is 20C while at night drops to 12C.
The Russian rouble (RUB) is the only currency officially accepted in the city. Money exchange is not a problem but use only official counters and banks. By Russian law, a passport is needed for exchange operations. The approximate exchange rate is €1 = RUB49 or USD1 = RUB39 or GBP1=RUB63. Sochi has many ATMs, especially in Central Sochi and Adler, which are the two major rail terminals. Take into account, that Visa and MasterCard are widespread, but American Express cards are usually not accepted even at major tourist places. Also, paying by credit card at minor shops or restaurants might not be acceptable.
Transportation & Mobile Networks
Sochi’s primary gateway is Sochi International Airport (IATA: AER), which is located in Adler district, only 10 minutes from the Olympic Park. It was totally reconstructed during the preparation for the 2014 Olympics. When you are about to depart from Sochi, you firstly go through security and then you enter the airport to check in. The two major local mobile providers are Megafon (+78003330500) and Beeline (+7 8 800 700 0611) . You can find their stores in Central Sochi or at Adler station and contrary to other countries, a passport is sufficient to get a local number.
The newly built circuit, Sochi Autodrom, is part of the Olympic Park, which underlines its unique features: magnificent Olympic venues, views of the Black Sea and snowy mountain peaks. The track’s facilities are indeed top notch and most of the Sochi Autodrom employees have also worked in Sochi for the Olympics. The transportation network is advanced; there is a quick connection between the Adler station (Olympic Park) and the Central Sochi station that takes you to the city. The infrastructure is convenient while a theme park and a number of newly built hotels are all in walking distance/or a quick drive to the circuit, such as the Azimut Hotel, Radisson Blu, Grand Hotel & SPA Rodina etc. The Russian people are friendly and welcoming and they will go above and beyond to offer you first class service.
The distance to the city, where things are happening and where most of the hype is, is only a 20 minutes ride by taxi. Here you can find the best restaurants and 5 star international hotel chains, such as Swissotel Kamelia, Pullman and Hyatt. Taxis are easy to find with the biggest company being Argo (+788622611111). The language barrier is unavoidable so it is always wise to carry your destination’s address written in Russian.
For dining, check out Blue Sea (Putin’s favorite/modern, Mediterranean cuisine located in Central Sochi by the beach), San Remo (European/ Italian cuisine also located in Central Sochi by the beach) , Le Chef (French cuisine located in the mountains, Krasnaya Polyana), Red Fox (international and Russian cuisine with a mountain lodge décor and an open concept kitchen), La Terrazza (Italian cuisine) and the infamous Stalin’s Dacha, which was the summer villa of USSR leader Stalin) .
For leisure, it’s worth visiting the British Banya Spa with its wooden lodge outdoor space and its breathtaking views. For the nature lovers, one of the most famous places in Sochi is Akhun Mount, where from the top of the mountain you can see the amazing view of the region. When it comes to shopping, the newly built ‘MoreMall’ in Central Sochi is the place to go with 200 retail stores and 40 restaurants and coffee shops.
Nightlife is buzzing in Central Sochi not only because the city is a holiday destination but because you can stay up dancing until the early hours. Check out the Diamond Club at Azimut Hotel, Bar London in Central Sochi for drinks and Oblaka Club by the beach.
The Code 20
Sochi’s hottest nightclub at the moment is Oblaka club by the beach, where it will host The Code 20 on Sunday night after the race. Oblaka Moscow is synonymous to catering a high-spending VIP crowd. In Sochi, it is located just over the water, while the venue’s see-through dance floor leaves you with the impression you dance on water! Don’t miss EROK on the decks and a series of shows brought to you by our creative team from Amsterdam!
Note to tweeps: the official hashtag is #F1Sochi (not #russiangp)
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