According to the article published in «Rossiyskaya Gazeta» newspaper, the police in Russian resort cities will patrol streets and beaches on bicycles, patrol boat, and light flying vehicle (whatever that is) during summer season.

The police force will increase by 20% on the resorts to counter average 18% crime hike during summer tourism season. Increased security measures in trains, airports, seaports and surrounding buildings, mandatory emergency police button in all big hotels and spas, more road police posts are among other ways making people’s travel and stay safer. Every bus with children will be escorted by police car. Video surveillance and direct phones to police will be installed in places with large number of people.


  1. 1
    July 1st, 2007 at 8:57

    Hi Erik – my wife and I will be on a cruise ship coming to Sochi for one day in September. We prefer to just get off and wander around ports of call rather than take organized tours. But since we don’t know much about Sochi, we are wondering if we should get visas to do this or stick to the organized tours with the ship. First off, we are there on a Sunday – is there much to see or do on Sunday? We’d like to visit the Russian Orthodox church – would it be possible to catch a taxi to the church from the port? How far is the port to the center of town? How far is Stalin’s dacha from the port? Can we get to Stalin’s by ourselves? We are concerned about security, too. Is it safe for two Americans to take off on their own in Sochi during the day? Finally, if we needed some assistance, do you know anyone in Sochi (or will you be there in September) who could take us around for 4 or 5 hours? We are in port from 8AM to 4PM. Thanks for your wonderful web site . . . it has the best info on Sochi I’ve been able to find. Allen

  2. 2
    July 2nd, 2007 at 23:08

    Hey Allen!
    Let me see if I get this right – you’re comming to Sochi, and they are actually let you of the ship without visa?! How does that work?

    Anyways, im gonna start with Stalin’s Dacha, since that’s seems to be your major point of interest. I haven’t been there since my middleschool road trip there, so I can’t tell you if its worth visiting. I can also say that its not the most popular tourist destination among domestic tourists, and I think it may be due to the fact (and im not 100% positive on following info, but thats the feeling i gather from reading about it on Russian tourist sites) that “Dacha” is not an independent museum, but a part of a “Zelonaya Rosha” health center/hotel complex. From what I understand there is still an original “Dacha” – a museum part, but one can actually rent a room and stay in the same complex. Again, im not sure about this. Also, I understand that you CAN take a tour there, but i have no information on weather you can actually drive there and go in, or you have to be with a group. Im sorry Im not any usefull with this Dacha thing :(

    Sunday in Sochi is like any other day, meaning nothing is closed just because it is Sunday. Considering September is still tourism season you’re ok. As far as September goes, when in September are you arriving? Usually first week or two of september in Sochi gets colder, maybe even some rains, but then the “velvet” season starts (warm, but not super hot, water is still great, most students and families with kids are gone (school), so the city is not overloaded with people and cars), and its very nice.

    The Sea Port (assuming you’re arriving to the Sochi’s main Port in Central district) IS the center of the city! However Sochi, unlike most cities, is streched out along the sea, so the distances can be long. But the good news are that the stuff you said you wanna see is all in the center.

    There’s is an Orthodox church (i think the biggest in Sochi) right next to the Sea Port, i’d say 10 minutes walk max. As you walk in – guys take hats off, ladies cover hair with a headscarf (if you don’t have one they often have ’em at the entrance).

    Oh and the Stalin’s Dacha is NOT far from the center. On taxi 15-20 minutes if no traffic (which is rarely the case in Sochi), and you’ll need a taxi, as Dacha is not in the city’s center. Which means you want to have someone (Taxi) pick you up when you’re done; i’d make arragements in advance. Thats is if you find out you can go in by yourself. I’d try getting a tour, though – transportation + guide, and cheaper.

    Security… I think the biggest danger you’ll be in is getting seriously ripped of on prices, mostly by Taxi drivers (and trust me, foregners are NOT an exception). There’s not need to worry about security (any more then you’d usually would in any new place). Just make sure to have your documents on you all the time – passport with visa, migration card, and ticket (or some paper proof that you just came to the city). And, as in any tourist location in the world, keep an eye on your stuff when you’re in places where there are a lot of people :) So, is it safe for Americans to wonder around Sochi without supervision :)? Yes. But remeber, most people in Russia (read Sochi) do not speak English, you may have problems getting around based on that :-/

    And i probably won’t be of much help with getting you assistance. I, myself, most likely won’t be there in September, just in August, and maybe July. And i don’t have any friends who speak any english in Sochi. But I will go ahead and make a post in one Russian forum where some small tour operators hang out, explain the situation, mabe any of them can help (i’ll ask to reply right here). Also, try writing to , i believe they maybe able to help, they speak english.

    And one last thing, what is on your organized tour plan for Sochi? Do you know what they want o to show you? Maybe its not a bad plan! Post is here, i’ll let you know what i think :)

  3. 3
    July 4th, 2007 at 22:44

    Hi Erik – first off, congratulations on the 2014 Olympics. You must be very excited! We look forward to our visit to Sochi more than ever now. As for our cruise, we are only able to get off the ship if 1) we are on an organized tour (no visas are necessary – I assume some deal is worked out with the Russian government as long as we are supervised) or 2) have our own passports and visas – then we are free to come and go as we please. The organized tours are Sochi highlights and a tour of a tea plantation, or Sochi highlights and Stalin’s Dacha, both are around 3-4 hours long. Sochi highlights include a bus ride around Sochi, the Matsesta Spa, the Botanical Gardens, and the Riviera Park. While we would not mind seeing these places, they do not sound very exciting in a bus with 50 other people. So getting our own visas and seeing Sochi ourselves would be preferable. We really want to see the Orthodox church (since my wife is Russian Orthodox) and stay for a service since it will be Sunday. We also like to shop for Russian souvenirs. So any suggestions as to what we should do, how to plan our day in Sochi, and how to get around, is much appreciated. I would also like to get my hands on a good map of Sochi. Thanks, again, for your help. Allen

  4. 4
    July 8th, 2007 at 22:33

    Hey Allen! I think that the bottom line is there so much you can see in one day, especially if it’s not a full day. If you can, try to substitute a visit to a tea plantation for anything else, i’ll tell you their secret right now without any fear of ruining any experiences – Sochi is most northern place on Earth where tea is grown. That’s it, there’s nothing else to it. The second option looks more appealing. By “the Botanical Gardens” I assume they mean “Dendrary” Park, deffinately worth visiting, so is Riviera Park – both of these places have plenty of sports for nice photo shots. I’m not sure what they’ll show you in Matsesta Spa, but Matsesta waters is one of Sochi’s pride, I guess they’ll have something there to show. Also, Matsesta Spa is not far from Stalin’s Dacha. If you can get to Stalin’s Dacha together with this, i’d say its it’s pretty good for one day trip. My only consern is ammount of time, 3-4 hours, i’d say its not a lot at all to see everything on this list. For example, in “Dendrady” par alone you can wonder for three hours, if you visit both parts of it, upper (bigger part) and lower.

    Im still confused about the no-visa deal. If they let you on the ground without visa, you must have some sort of rights of movement, in case someone gets lost or whatever. Even if its for one day. You not gonna have a supervisor for every tourist, and you’re not all going to be chained together :) If I were you, i’d try to find out exactly with details what you can do once you’re on the ground – maybe it’s some sort of one-day visa?! In wich case you can take a walk to the church with is very close. Maybe you won’t stay for service, but hey, you can’t hvae it all in such a short time. Just have fun with what’s reasonable. Thats my logic.

    As for the maps, here are links for a couple of interactive maps (in russian only). I don’t have scans of Sochi maps. (Ctrl = Zoom In, Shift = Zoom Out)

  5. 5
    July 8th, 2007 at 23:16

    Hi Erik – thank you, again, for the great information on Sochi. I think you have convinced us to just get our own visas and tour by ourselves instead of taking the ship’s tours. Hopefully, we will be able to find a cheap taxi and, with our Russian phrase book, get to the church and Stalin’s dacha by ourselves. We love to explore on our own and had a lot of fun in St. Petersburg last year. I am sad that you will not be in Sochi to show us around. But we will be thinking of you and dreaming of what it will be like in 2014. If you think of anything else, please post it. And when we get home, I’ll let you know about our experience in Sochi. До свидания, Allen

  6. 6
    JonManique Peters
    July 10th, 2007 at 16:36


    I am an American who lived in Sochi in 2004 and 2005. Drop me an email and we can chat. See my site also at for some sochi photo’s…. there is a bunch, but MANY more to come if I get the time to edit them all! jonpeters1 at gmail dot com

  7. 7
    January 20th, 2012 at 17:25

    Hi Allen

    I am an English-speaking Russian who lived in the U.S. till 2012 permanently (still live there but go back and forth). I just moved back in Sochi for a few months so I think I could help you with your tour. I myself am taking a tour guide class at this time so I would assume I could be quite a professional help. If you can’t pay no biggie I’ll just do a promo tour :) to practice. Email me at

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