Allianz Global Assistance’s guide to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games
- Requirements and formalities before departure: in addition to a VISA, which is essential, your passport needs to be valid for a period of 6 months after entering Russia, and you must also provide proof of travel insurance valid for the entire duration of your stay – medical costs in Russia are very expensive. Remember to have the phone number and contact information of your insurer on you at all times, in case there is a problem.
- Upon arrival: You will find numerous taxis and shuttle services when you arrive at the airport. The least expensive option is to take the Sochi Aeroexpress. It should take about 45 minutes to reach the central part of the city. A one-way ticket costs 4€.
- Attending the sporting events:
The system is quite simple. Connect to the website tickets.sochi2014.com, select the event you would like to attend and buy your tickets. Prices vary according to the seating and the event itself, and can range anywhere from 500 rubles (11,40€) to 50,000 rubles (1140€).
Attention: a ticket on its own will not give you access to the games.
You must also have a Spectator Passport, which you can obtain online at pass.sochi2014.com.
- Getting around while you’re there: A spectator transportation system is in place to ensure a liaison between the locations of the sporting events and the main areas of Sochi’s city center. Spectators who have a ticket to the Olympic games will be able to use this system free of charge on the days when competitive events take place.
- Organise your travels in advance:
The Olympic complex is divided into two compounds, which are 48 kilometers from one another. One is situated along the coast and the other in the mountains. As the two compounds host different competitions, it is strongly recommended that you organise in advance your trips to and from according to the sports events you have selected.
- Where to stay: After an emotional day of spectating, now it’s time to relax. Housing in Sochi ranges from classic hotel lodgings or apartment rentals that you can find on Sochi’s official lodging site, to more original solutions (boats). As Sochi is located along the coast of the Black Sea, the city’s Olympic organisers have docked cruise ships to increase its capacity to welcome more visitors. All information can be found on Svoy-Sochi.ru. And if you can’t find accommodation via the more traditional channels, you can also be more adventurous and consider couch surfing as a way to discover Russian culture from the inside!