Sochi – Entertainment
Entertainment in Sochi is not like traditional leisure in other cities of Russia. Theatres and concerts here are an important part of life, but not the main one. The startling beauty of its suburbs promotes natural and extreme tourism, while the proximity of the sea and the warm climate (300 sunny days per year, which is nonsense for Russia!) favour relaxing on the beach or having fun in the aqua park. Horse riding and rafting are very popular here. And in winter, people go to Sochi (or, to be more precise, to the nearby mountain clusters equipped for the Winter Olympics) for skiing.
The Winter Theater
A charming old building of the Winter Theater had been erected from 1934 to 1937 in neoclassicism style. The theater has no own company, but it regularly invites Russian and foreign guest performers and hosts musical and cinema festivals. The hall for 977 places is very beautiful – as well as the whole interior of the theater. It often hosts evenings with famous actors, performances by touring companies, and children’s performances. The theater has no uniform style – it offers both classical ballet and opera and teasing kitschy comedies.
Classical music, jazz
Organ and Chamber Music Hall
It has a very good organ made in 1986 and a cosy atmosphere of a “place for insiders”. The acoustics of the hall is above all praise. Talented piano players often come there, concerts of historical and church organ music take place. Jazz is also welcome here: jazz festivals are hosted twice a year.
The tickets cost 200-500 roubles.
Due to its favourable climate and resort atmosphere Sochi often hosts various pop-music, jazz, and cinema festivals, as well as sports tournaments. The latter often takes place at the recently built Olympic Park.
Festival Concert Hall
One of the largest concert venues in Russia and the most famous concert hall in Sochi. The schedule of the Concert Hall has been always very tight and many popular stars come here several times during the summer season. Most performers are Russian pop singers. This is also a venue for various festivals and competitions. The hall capacity is 2500 people. Not all the seats allow good view, so it is better to get a place far from the stage but in the middle. Tickets cost 1000-5000 rubles depending on the concert. A small drawback: as the hall is open you can hear sounds from the street.
The Green Theater in the Rivera Park
This open air concert venue having the capacity of 1500 places periodically receives popular guest performers (especially rock groups). The wooden chairs are rather stiff, but you can feel the atmosphere of a concert in a park – just like in the Soviet times when such events were very popular in resort cities. Tickets: 1000-4000 roubles.
The Summer Theater
The small Summer Theater with 800 places capacity periodically hosts concerts, festivals and evenings with guest actors. It specializes in concerts of folk music and dances. Supersavers can just walk about the park and listen to the performance without buying any tickets. However the latter is quite budget: 500-2000 roubles.
A legendary place that has recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary. It often hosts popular rock-groups (the ticket price is 1000-1500 roubles) and almost every evening there are performances of young teams (entrance is free or up to 300 roubles). Here you will see a lot of somewhat gloomy regular customers dressed in leather and jeans clothes, and brick walls and dark wood add Brutalism to the interior. The prices for beer and snacks are a bit overestimated, but the atmosphere is great. The place is located away from the center – in the Adler district of Sochi.
Sochi night life cannot be called interesting for a tourist. A “raunchy party” here means not dancing till you drop, but mostly vulgar alcohol drinking games and karaoke singing (irrespectively of vocal abilities), so those who love luxury club life and good dancing music have nothing to do in the center of Sochi. Local clubs often close as there are not enough guests.
The situation in the Greater Sochi is not much better: you can visit a couple of places in Adler and in the “luxury” mountain cluster, but generally the club life of the region is not well-developed. The face control quite often does not admit “strangers” including tourists, so it is better to be prepared for a refusal.
One of the few nightclubs in Sochi with long history. A three-storey entertainment complex with a billiard, a restaurant, and a night club. The music varies from dancing techno to pop. The atmosphere is very democratic, there are many students.
A pleasant bar with live music in the evenings, tasty cocktails and a karaoke-room. There is face control, but most customers are intelligent city people without any hint on luxury. The place has a pleasant vanguard design.
Sky Club & Concert Hall
The club is located in the luxury mountain cluster Estosadok 40 km away from Sochi and in the skiing season becomes the center of attraction for local glamour public. The place offers a beautiful laser show, an impressive chill-out zone with a view over the mountains, overestimated prices, and almost complete emptiness in low season.
A popular night club in Adler (the district of the Greater Sochi) with regular dancing parties and performances by variety actors. The place has nice lighting, a huge bar counter, a surround and… extremely loud sound (sensitive people are recommended to bring earplugs). The club works on Fridays, Saturdays, as well as on holidays and during sports events.
FeRoom Entertaining Centre
This is one of the best night clubs of Adler. Inexpensive bowling and billiard adjoin a disco bar that plays various pop melodies in modern adaptation, as well as rap and DJ sets. Often there are alcohol drinking games, costume parties and performances of young and unknown comics.
A sea cruise offers a possibility to view the resort city from an unusual perspective. The guide will tell about the history of Sochi (only in Russian), but if you do not understand you can just take pictures. The excursions take place on an old but still working motor boats from the Sea Port of the city. If you are lucky you will see dolphins.
The duration is 1 hour, the price is 500 roubles.
At the port you can also rent a yacht for an individual sea voyage, but the prices for such service start from 10 000 roubles per hour.
One of the most favourite amusement for tourists in the Greater Sochi. As a rule, the rides start from remote districts of the city agglomeration – Dagomys, Akhun or Hosta but sometimes you can find rides from Adler too. They last from one or two hours (500-1200 roubles) for 7-8 hours (from 3000-4000 roubles) and can be organized around picturesque suburbs (in the fields or along the sea coast) or with visits to some natural attractions like canyons and waterfalls. There are also several day riding tours.
Usually transfers from and back to the hotel are organized for a small charge (and sometimes even free). But in some cases you will have to get to the horse farm on your own.
It is better to ask for information about the nearest horse riding clubs at your hotel. As a rule, they are private agencies working with others and they do not have an official representative office. However, if you have a possibility it is better to book the ride in time as in the hot season the group is full 1-1.5 months before the event.
Horse farm in Baranovka Village near Dagomys
Tel.: +79183024359 ; +79283301409
Both short rides and many-day horse tours are offered. The prices for rides are from 800 roubles (for 1 hour) to 1500-2000 roubles (for 3-4 hours) and 3000 roubles (for 6-7 hours). Several-day tours with accommodation – from 13000 roubles for a five-day tour about the surrounding area to 45000 for a twelve-day marathon with visits to the majority of the area sights.
Stables near Hosta Village
Tel.: +79189070012; +79882379341 (Anatoly Ivanovich)
Generally short horse rides (from 1 hour (800 roubles) to 4 hours (2000 roubles)) with a visit to Akhun Mountain or dolmens.
Stables “Kazachy Brod” in Kamenka Village near Adler
Tel.: +79885014000; +79180034750 (Nikolai)
Rides near the canyons in Adler area perfectly suited for the beginners. You need to get to the bus stop “Forelevoye Khozyaistvo” near Adler from where groups are picked up. To get there take bus No 105 from Sochi or No 135 from Adler. The cost of the ride should be asked on the phone.
Horse rides “Meteor” (Adler)
Tel.: +79183094403 (Ruslan).
A two-hour route for beginners – 500 roubles, bathing with horses in a mountain river – 1500 roubles for 3 hours, a 5-hour ride with a picnic in the mountains (2 hours of riding and 3 hours for rest and BBQ) – 1500 roubles.
Horse club “Favourite” near Matsesta Village.
A ride for beginners (1.5 hours) – 800 roubles. A trip to the mountain river Tsanyk (2.5 hours) – 1300 roubles. A trip to Zmeykovskie Waterfalls (3 – 3.5 hours) – 1800 roubles, a trip to Piket Mountain (4 hours, 650 meters above the sea level) – 2000 rubles.
A small aqua park with an exit to the beach in the heart of the city. There are only 7 slides, but they suit to every taste – there is a wide Family Slide, a risky Kamikaze with a steep slope, and a Twister with sharp turns. There are water and land playgrounds and a café. Many guests are discontent with the low number of slides and absence of swimming pools and think that the price is overestimated. However the 200-meter beach is very nice.
Working hours: daily from 10:00 to 18:00.
A full-day ticket: 1000 roubles
A new aqua park opened in Kurortny Gorodok of Adler attracts tourists with 16 slides for adults and children as well as with large pools. The slides are famous for their sharp turns, but the queues are huge. The ride “Tail” is very amusing. It consists of two tangled pipes where guests can compete who finishes the ride the first. There are two water playgrounds for children and several cafés.
Working hours: daily from 10:00 to 18:00. Working session: From June 1 till the end of September. In July and August the working hours are longer: beside the day shift there is also an evening shift from19:00 to 22:30. From 18:00 to 19:00 there is a technical break.
Tickets: 1000 roubles, children under 7 – 500 roubles. In the evening the adult ticket costs 800 roubles, the child ticket – 400 roubles.
Sochi offers great opportunities for those who like extreme tourism: the local mountain rivers suit both for the novices and for experienced rafters. As a rule, most raft-tours take place in the area of Krasnaya Polyana on the Mzymta River, but other options are available too.
The price for rafting per person is not very high: from 500 to 1000 roubles per 1-3 hours. However, you should honestly assess your capacity in order not to get into trouble.
Rafting down the rivers of Krasnaya Polyana – Mzymta and Shakhe with excursions.
Tel.: +79184418901; +79883880888 (Vladimir Dodoka)
Rafting down the Mzymta River from Ahtsu Mountain Gorge to the Trout Farm. The company offers other extreme amusements: Jeep rides, horse rides, and 4-wheeler rides.
Tel.: +78007009423; +79002291364.
A 4-hour rafting down the Mzymta River with overcoming of rapids and a rest in the Russian bath at the end. The price shall be requested by phone or email.
The main entertainment of a resort city is of course the beaches. There are 131 beaches in Sochi, 30 of which are free of charge. The rest belongs to various hotels or beach restaurants. Almost all beaches are gravel, so beach footwear is recommended for relaxed walking and entering the sea. The beach equipment can be rented (the average rental fee for a sunbed per day is 150 roubles) or bought at the beach shops (a straw mat – 300 roubles).
Most beaches offer standard entertainments – Waverunner rent (from 100 roubles per minute), banana-boating (300 roubles), parasailing (2000 roubles per person), catamaran rental (300 roubles per hour).
There are many traders, offering snacks at the popular sea beaches. Don’t buy anything from them as their food does not pass any sanitary control and there is a risk of food poisoning.
In 2007 the mountain surroundings of the resort capital of Russia transformed completely: the decision to hold the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi was made. In a very short period of time several European level resorts were built and Olympic skiing pistes were established.
Now the mountain cluster Krasnaya Polyana is a luxury, expensive resort popular among the Russian elite. But even common skiers will find what to do there as their levels of pistes differ from easy to professional and the mountain landscapes are beautiful in any season. To keep the occupancy rates of luxury hotels built before the Winter Olympics, various events are held there all year round and tourists are offered other sports outside the skiing season: mountain climbing, rafting, and mountain cycle touring. The main resorts of Krasnaya Polyana are Roza Khutor (this is where 80% of pistes are located), Gorky Gorod (you can go to the height of 2200 meters above the sea level), and Gazprom (the flattest slopes suitable for beginners).
Sochi – Dining
The local cuisine in Sochi is considerably different from classical Russian. Proximity of Caucasian countries has made a bright imprint on it.