7 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Sochi

Sunset in Sochi. cocoparisienne (c)
Sunset in Sochi. cocoparisienne (c) | Pixabay
Yulia S.

Contributor / Journalist

Arriving for the World Cup 2018 in Sochi might be a tricky thing to some visitors, especially those who have never been to Russia before and know just a little bit about this country based on popular clichés. So to help you out in more realistic situations, here are the seven main tourist traps in Sochi you definitely should try to avoid.

Don’t buy expensive souvenirs in the kiosks of Adler and near Fisht stadium

Believe us, they know that you’re a foreigner and came here for the World Cup 2018, and the vendors raised the prices on purpose. All the locals know this, but definitely tourists do not. Take a walk in the city centre instead – you may be surprised, but it’s full of souvenir shops and kiosks with the same gifts at more affordable prices.

Do not tip at the restaurants in Sochi if you’re not satisfied with the service

Do not take a non-official taxi from the airport when you arrive

We highly recommend you use the official taxi service at the Sochi airport, or use Uber and recognisable local Yandex taxi, otherwise you’ll pay double, or even triple price because you’re a foreigner.

Do not wear your most expensive items while travelling on public transport

Right, we all know that you’re here for the World Cup 2018. So act like a local and wear an ordinary outfit while riding the public transport. Otherwise you’ll stand out as a target for thieves and robbers. Local pickpockets know their business, so be very alert.

Do not flash your cash when you’re buying something at the market

Never show how much money you’re worth while you’re shopping at the public market, or when you’re buying something at a local souvenir kiosk – vendors will see you coming and raise the price for you, or you’ll get robbed in 10 minutes and won’t even notice. Instead, put a smaller amount of money in your pocket, but access your stash of cash discreetly and out of sight of prying eyes.

Do not think that Sochi is a cold city just because it’s in Russia

Absolutely not! Sochi is located in the southern part of the Russian Federation, and the climate here is more or less the same as in Rome, Italy. Surprised? You’d better not be! You should only get ready for snow if you’re visiting mountain resorts – just check the weather forecast before your departure.

Do not believe stereotypes about the southern culture of Russia in Sochi

Instead, when in Sochi, do as locals do. Don’t let old clichés to bother you. Many things have changed in Sochi in just a couple of years, you’ll be surprised – it’s incredibly far removed from what you’ve learned about the area before your arrival for the World Cup 2018. It’s modern and very welcoming, especially since the Olympics back in 2014.

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