Amidst all the travel warnings for those headed to Sochi, Russia for the Winter Olympics, the resort town remains a popular destination for a multitude of activities. Whether you're headed overseas for the Games, or at some other point, here are the top 10 attractions in Sochi, as decided by TripAdvisor users. Next
1. Dendrary Botanical Garden
"A proper visit to the Dendrary begins with a gondola ride to it's summit," one TripAdvisor user wrote. "Take advantage of the beautiful view of the Black Sea on one side, and the mountains on the other, to snap some nice pictures. Disembarking at the top, you will immediately feel like you've stepped into a relaxing natural setting, akin to a hike in mountains, with fresh air and plenty of greenery. Numerous species of flora are on display here, with their names prominently displayed, and additional information available via QR codes (to be scanned using a mobile phone and be redirected to a website, presumably. Wanting to avoid roaming charges, we didn't try).
"A few steps away, a few ostriches were waiting for us, with something of a fierce look in their eyes. Luckily, they are kept safely penned away in spacious lots, with plenty of room to exercise those long legs of theirs. Further down the hill still is a pond with ducks and other fowls in liberty, accompanied by a few flamencos strolling around, obviously looking for a bite. A mutual respect seems to be the norm at Dendrary, because the animals all seem very relaxed and used to human company."—sochitravel.blogspot.com/2013/01/dendrary-botanical-garden-park.html Next
2. Khostinsky Tisosamshitovaya Grove
One TripAdvisor user wrote (translated via Google Translator): "One of the untouched corners of nature. The trail runs between the fabulous view yew tree, boxwood, mossy. Layered white rocks around. Place glacier in ancient times, thus formed a nature trail-rock maze. There is an observation deck overlooking the Caucasus Mountains and the river at the bottom of the gorge. It is easy to breathe. Really want this place to remain untouched by civilization, preserving its natural beauty."—www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g298536-d4889281-Reviews-Khostinsky_Tisosamshitovaya_Grove-Sochi_Greater_Sochi_Krasnodar_Krai_Southern_Dis.html Next
4. Krasnaya Polyana Mountain Cluster
"Krasnaya Polyana is more like a region or city in Russia. I wouldn't really consider a 'Thing to Do' in Sochi, but more like another place to stay near Sochi," one TripAdvisor user wrote. "Krasnaya Polyana is up in the mountains about 10 miles north of the airport where Sochi is located on the Black Sea about 10 miles West of the airport.
"We visited over Christmas for skiing. Lots and Lots and Lots of Construction going on. Pretty amazing size to see. I'm a little skeptical that it will all be done before the Olympic Games in 2014, but we shall see.
"I hear there are 3 ski resorts in Krasnaya Polyana, although I only saw 2. I heard the 3rd is closed for construction right now. I visited Rosa Khutor and it was a nice mountain. Very small right now, but also undergoing construction for new hills.
The mountain was challenging. The Greens were closed and the Blues were basically aggressive cat-walks with switchbacks. The Reds and Blacks were basically untouched terrain and very fun. Definitely for experienced skiers and snowboarders. I had a lot of fun thought. The mountain was somewhat busy, but nearly everyone stays on the catwalks. So if you like the reds and blacks, you've got untouched terrain all to yourself. Be careful on the blacks though, I would highly recommend going with a partner for safety reasons. The blacks can get a little dangerous at times if you don't know what you're doing (like me!)." Next
5. Stalin's Summer Residence
"I visited this as part of a Black Sea cruise excursion. I was taken to this somewhat hidden "dacha" by a coach," one Trip Advisor user wrote. "The whole building was painted green and quite hidden among the trees around. Most of the building was being used a hotel and not opened to the public. The rooms that were opened were Stalin's study and billiard room. My Russian tour guide gave a good history of the family members of Stalin. There was a life size wax figure of Stalin sitting in the study with a bed next to the desk and a bullet-proof leather sofa for him to watch movies. Although there was not much else to see, it was certainly an interesting glimpse into the private life of a famous Soviet leader. Washroom facilities were very limited and it took twenty minutes for everyone one the coach to go through the comfort stop."—englishrussia.com/2013/07/26/summer-house-of-stalin/ Next
6. Agura Waterfalls
"Excellent day trip!" one TripAdvisor user wrote. "At the start you will board an open top Russian military truck and set off on a bumpy ride along the mountain river Shahe, which looks harmless enough, however each spring it swells massively fed by the water coming down from the mountains and becomes a hazard to cross.
"By the entrance to the waterfalls there are cafe's serving the best freshly cooked chebureki's ( pork minced meat in deep fried pastry) and you can also purchase souvenirs from the local artisan stalls.
The waterfalls are beautiful and you can ascend via wooden steps until the waterfall 22 i think and descend on the other side. If you brave enough you can stand under some of the waterfalls. The water is ice cold and in the heat of the day its brilliantly refreshing. On the way back there is an option to stop off for a local wine tasting and/or a traditional dinner ( shashlik ) and a show depending on a type of tour you decide to take." Next
7. Riviera Park
"I spent all my first day in Sochi in this park," one TripAdvisor user wrote. "I had a lot of fun! There are different amusements, cafes, lots of beautiful places to take photos! It’s pretty close to the beach, though I didn’t like that water much. I should say it’s a rather costy place, but anyway I have very good memories about it."—www.park-riviera.ru/ Next
8. Winter Theatre
One TripAdvisor user wrote (translated via Google Translator): "The theater was built in monumental style Pseudoclassical 30-40s (columns, porticos, etc.). Do not be surprised if he also designed Zholtovsky. One of the attractions of Sochi. In the foyer—a pretty interesting (or funny) collection of paintings of the period. The hall was present only once, and some comments about the quality of the room do not have."—www.kulturasochi.ru/concert Next
9. Amfibius Aquapark
One TripAdvisor user wrote (translated via Google Translator): "If the sea is stormy, and bathe you want, you need to go to the water park. In Amfibius several pools of different depths, including—children. Many different slides for every taste, even for those who do not like extreme. Outside pools—comfortable chairs, umbrellas. You can safely sunbathe, swim if you are tired-skate. In the water park is better to go for the whole day in the morning. On the territory there are several cafes—you will not hungry ostanetes.My bought pizza, kebabs, fries, ice cream, cocktails—all tasty, fresh. Me and my daughter liked it very much."—www.vesna-sochi.ru/razvlecheniya/akvapark/ Next
10. Hall of organ and chamber music
"Behind Sochi Hall of Organ and Chamber Music you will find a tranquil and quiet place," one TripAdvisor user wrote. "A pine grove, which is home to birds and red squirrels, is a little treasure adjacent to Villa Vera. It was once a part of the grand landscaped gardens designed by Reingold Garbe in the early 20th century."—www.kulturasochi.ru/concert Back to the beginning
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