Real Russia Blog

Things to do in Sochi… alongside the Winter Olympics
30
January
2014

Things to do in Sochi… alongside the Winter Olympics

Firstly there are classical sites and museums that you might expect from any Russian town, plus natural heritage sites, and activity centres to cater to people of all ages, with a variety of interests.

At Stalin’s summer residence, the public are encouraged to wander the halls and the rooms, including a banquet room, billiard room, swimming pool, and of course the study of the leader, plus the courtyard with a large Chess set, which presents both Stalin’s professional and social approach to life. There are even suspicions of the ghost of Stalin wandering the halls, so this not just for an average lover of history!

The Sochi Art Museum is an iconic building with four pillars holding up the centre of this broad neo-classic-esque architecture. The exhibitions rotate frequently, ranging from displays of technical modern art to fine art. We would recommend to check what will be exhibiting whilst you are visiting Sochi, so that you won’t miss out!

Sochi also has fun activities geared for all the family: Sochi Discovery World Aquarium presents a range of sea life to observe and enjoy; Open-Air Animal Complex Laura has hundreds of species of wildlife to walk amongst; and the Singing Fountains, located at the corner of Navaginskaya and Kurortny Prospekt streets, bring life to the town. These activities will be enjoyed as much by adults and parents, as children!

Then to rest from all the excitement and to explore Sochi further, we recommend to visit the beautiful Natural parks: Khostinsky Tisosamshitovaya Grove, Dendrary Botanical Garden, and Krasnaya Polyana Mountain cluster. Not to forget, the Waterfalls and rivers near to Sochi: Agura and Orekhovsky and the Mzymta River are also worth a visit!

Sochi has a wide variety of restaurants and bars, ranging from traditional to modern, so whether you are a family looking for a comfortable place to eat, or a group of friends looking for nightlife, Sochi can accommodate both and will ensure that everyone has a great time!

If you would like more information about the visa options, during the Sochi Winter Olympics, take a look at our full Sochi Winter Olympics page, devoted to providing up to date visa advice for spectators to the Games.

If you have any enquiries, feel free to contact our visa, travel or tours specialists for further information on arranging visas, train tickets, or excursions for this event, or speak to one of our advisors via our live chat web feature.

Real Russia Blog

Airport update for Sochi Winter Olympics 2014
14
January
2014

Airport update for Sochi Winter Olympics 2014

Amongst the liquids banned are gels, aerosols, cosmetics, baby food and medicines. However the Vnukovo airport have advised they will accept medicines aboard as hand luggage as long as an official statement is provided by the passenger. Other measures have also been implemented restricting ground transport in and around Sochi.

Increased security procedures of these airports have been taken ahead of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics to enhance safety, and are expected to last up until 21st March.

Other airports including Domodedovo, St. Petersburg's Pulkovo and Sochi's have said travellers can continue to carry the standard 100 ml liquid in hand luggage in line with current guidelines.

At Real Russia, we recommend to check the latest guidelines from your airport prior to flying.

For more information, please read the article as supplied by the moscow times.

Real Russia Blog

Sport and Travel fans - Sochi Winter Olympics
10
January
2014

Sport and Travel fans – Sochi Winter Olympics

This 22nd Winter Olympics has had a great deal of media attention, as it has been reported as the most expensive in history, with an estimated $51bn spent. It has had the longest torch relay in Winter Olympic history too, with a 40,000 mile route from Moscow to Sochi through 2,900 towns and villages, as well as having been flown into Space!

The XXll Olympic Winter Games will take place between the 7th and the 23rd February. This is followed by the Xl Paralympic events between 7th and the 16th March. There will be 6,000 Olympic athletes and 1,650 Paralympic athletes competing for an overall 170 medals across 12 sports.

With its Imeretinskaya Valley prepared for the ice events and Krasnaya Polyana mountains equipped for skiing events – Sochi is a model setting for winter sports, whether you are an adventurer, participant, or sport enthusiast. Not to mention Russia generally has 25 UNESCO world heritage sites, plus idyllic landscapes such as Lake Baikal – a breath-taking lake that holds 20% of the world’s freshwater – making it a prime destination for travel in 2014!

This marks the first of a series of major sporting events that Russia will host over the next few years and they are keen to show the world what they can do.

In the run up to the start, and throughout the Games, our teams are able to assist with visa applications, plus train tickets from major European cities, as well as excursions in line with your visit to the Olympics Games. Our dedicated visa team, in London, will be working closely with the Russian consulate to provide a fast and accurate service for anyone visiting.

Spectators to the events will require a tourist visa, unless the visitor is otherwise exempt as a participant of, or officially connected with, the Olympic Games. For these tourist visa applications, Real Russia can assist with two application processes: Standard and Express.

If you would like more information about these visa options then take a look at our full Sochi Winter Olympics page, devoted to providing up to date visa advice for spectators to the Games.

If you have any enquiries, feel free to contact our visa, travel or tours specialists for further information on arranging visas, train tickets, or excursions for this event, or speak to one of our advisors via our live chat web feature.

For the full Winter Olympics schedule – this is viewable on the Official Sochi site.

Real Russia Blog

Visa fee-waiver for Moscow 2013 World Athletic Championships
10
April
2013

Visa fee-waiver for Moscow 2013 World Athletic Championships

The Russian Government is hopefully about to approve plans for a simplified visa procedure and possible fee-waiver, ahead of the World Athletic Championships, held in Moscow this August.

The proposal was discussed during a recent meeting between the Moscow 2013 Local Organising Committee (LOC) and the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF). According to the Executive Director of the LOC, Aleksandr Polinskiy, the proposed document “will soon be approved” and all paperwork will be signed. Polinskiy explained they have advised for “all the Consulates to apply a fee-waiver for Moscow 2013 participants and guests”.

At yesterdays IAAF press conference, the president Lamine Diack commented that ‘Moscow will deliver a wonderful championships’. He also praised the level of cooperation between the LAAF and the LOC and said that “technical preparations are on schedule to deliver a great Championship; Luzhniki Stadium which hosted the 1980 Olympic Games is one of the iconic sports venues of the world, and the competition facilities are of the highest level.”

Real Russia Blog

One year to go
19
February
2013

One year to go

Last week marked a year to go until the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics take place. Russia is promising an unforgettable Olympics – starting off with a perfect destination. Situated on the Black Sea, Sochi isn’t only the pearl of the Russian Riviera; but is also at the foot of the Caucasus Mountains, meaning only a short drive to get to the slopes.

Then, in addition to a large amount of infrastructure being built – which is 70% complete, the city is also building 11 sports venues to host the games.

The organisers of these Olympics have also done their best to get the entire country involved – by organising one of the longest torch relays, over 65,000km in 123 days, through 83 regions and 2900 cities and towns; so that 90% of Russia’s population will have a chance to witness the event. The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics torch was unveiled earlier this year and resembles a firebird.

Real Russia is looking forward to the many opportunities and excitement these games will bring and hopes to help many athletes and travellers as they look to be part in this once in a lifetime event.

Real Russia Blog

Moscow to Sochi torch route announced
15
October
2012

Moscow to Sochi torch route announced

In exciting news that has captured the imaginations of many Russians, Dimitry Chernyshenko, President of the ‘Sochi 2014 Organizing Committee’, announced details last week regarding the Olympic torch route. Taking place on the 7th of October 2013, 123 days before the opening ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games, the Olympic torch relay is set to be the longest in history, spanning 40390 miles by foot, car, rail, plane, and troika.

Amongst the talk about the route was the possibility of the Olympic torch’s first visit in to orbit, stopping off at the International Space Station, before parachuting back down to Earth. The torch is also scheduled to visit the Avachinsky volcanoes on the easternmost tip of Russia, the Curonian Spit on the Baltic Sea, and the very foot of the world’s largest freshwater reserve, Lake Baikal.

Travelling across all 83 regions of Russia, the torch’s route is designed to be received by over 90% of Russia’s population as it passes through more than 2,900 towns. The 14,000 torchbearers from all over the country will be contributing along with the regions to this celebration of Russia’s diverse and colourful background.