Housed in a former school building with neoclassical architecture, the Resort City Sochi History Museum is a culturally important institution with thousands of items on display. Among the exhibits are documents and important artifacts related to the city's history, including photographs and archeological objects. You will learn about the ancient history of the area, the foundation of Sochi in the 19th century, the Civil and Great Patriotic Wars, and Sochi's past as the resort capital of the Soviet Union. The museum organizes excursions for schoolchildren, dedicated to topics such as "Astronauts in Sochi," "Black Sea and Its Inhabitants," "Nature of the Western Caucasus," and "The Archaeological Sites of the Sochi region."
Sochi National Park is 190,000 hectares (469,500 acres) of natural and cultural wonders. There are mountains, canyons, rivers, waterfalls, gorges, and caves. Among the park's main attractions are Akhun Mountain, the Zmeyka Cascade, the Vorontsovskiye Caves, and the Khosta Yew and Boxwood Grove. Cultural attractions include the ruins of a Byzantine temple, a Bronze Age dolmen, and the watchtower on top of the Akhun. The national park is home to various kinds of rare flora and fauna, including several leopards that live in open-air cages.
The three Agura River waterfalls count among the top natural attractions in Sochi. They are located in the Khosta District, about two and a half miles (four kilometers) from the seashore. You can get there by bus or marshrutka (share taxi). You will have to catch your ride in the center of the city, get off at the Sputnik stop, and then cross the Agura River and follow the signs for a little bit more than half a mile. The entrance to the Agura Gorge is situated near Kavkazsky Aul, a local restaurant. The first and lowest waterfall is considered the most splendid, so there are often a lot of tourists there. Stairs lead to the next two waterfalls. After you see them, you can either visit the Orliniye Skaly (Eagle Rocks) or take a longer route to the majestic Akhun Mountain. Orliniye Skaly are said to be the rocks to which Prometheus was chained, and fittingly, there is a statue of him on top. Prometheus was watched by a god called Akhyn, who lived on the Akhun mountain. When Akhyn saw a local girl named Agura giving Prometheus water, he turned her into a river. On top of the Orliniye Skaly you can not only enjoy the view and take pictures with Prometheus, but also buy some snacks and drinks at the nearby kiosk. From here, you can descend to the Matsesta microdistrict, famous for its balneotherapy resort.
This museum is housed in a former Communist Party City Committee building. Established in 1971, the institution boasts a collection of around 5,000 objects that illustrate the evolution of art and culture in Russia. Permanent exhibitions are dedicated to Russian and Soviet art of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, Russian crafts, and the 2014 Sochi Olympics (the latter features plans and maquettes). The painting collection includes works by beloved masters such as Ivan Shishkin and Ivan Aivazovsky.
Founded in 1898, the Riviera Park counts among Sochi's most beloved tourist attractions. Here, you can feast your eyes on rare and exotic plants, see a rock or pop gig at the Zeleny Theater, or relax at one of the park's many bars and cafes. For children, there is a variety of amusement rides. Located close to the sea, Riviera Park truly has something for everyone.
If you are really into Russian literature, the Ostrovsky museum is a must-visit. Part of this museum is dedicated to the life of Nikolai Ostrovky, a famed socialist realist writer who wrote one of the quintessential literary works of the Soviet period, the novel "How the Steel was Tempered." The street the museum is on is named after the novel's protagonist, Pavel Korchagin. Another part of the museum tells the story of Sochi's literary life. In addition to all that, the museum organizes fine art exhibitions. Please visit the museum's website for the opening hours.
Locals call this park "green Hermitage." It has an astonishing collection of rare plants from all over the world. The park is especially gorgeous during spring, when the sakura is in full bloom. Yuzhniye Kultury is located in the Adler District, where the coastal Olympic facilities are located.
Brilliantovaya Ruka, or The Diamond Arm, is one of the most popular Russian movies ever. Released in 1968, it is a comedy that tells the story of a kindly oaf named Semyon Semyonych who inadvertently became a diamond smuggler. Part of the movie was shot in Sochi, so it is no wonder that the city would have a monument dedicated to it. The sculptural composition is located close to the Morvokzal (Seaport Building). It depicts Semyon Semyonych with his family as well as the smugglers Gesha and Lyolik.
Aptly monikered the ‘Summer Capital’ of Russia, Sochi boasts a coruscating coastline bejeweled with beaches and swaying palm trees. Gracefully sprawling for miles along the Black Sea, this bright and beguiling city once served as a summertime retreat to the ancient Russian elites, while today, it beckons citizens from every part of the country, and tourists from across continents, with wide, open arms. Having especially burgeoned after hosting the prestigious 2007 Winter Olympics, Sochi proffers an unparalleled wealth of beach activities, upscale shopping and a scintillating nighttime revelry. However, the city is as much historic as it is contemporary, harboring a wealth of ancient landmarks within its aegis. Tsentralny Raion comprises the city's historical district, its winding thoroughfares brimming with restaurants, nightclubs and boutiques. The heritage Sochi Rail Station, the Cathedral of St. Michael the Archangel and the Sochi Winter Theater are some of its most prized landmarks, whereas Krasnaya Polyana is the newest addition to the city’s urban landscape, a massive Olympic snow-sport park that offers outstanding infrastructure to sports enthusiasts. Nature abounds at the Sochi National Park, a verdant oasis which is mottled with waterfalls, wildlife and enchanting forests, while the teeming Port of Sochi, with its assemblage of charming historic buildings, is the very locus of the city’s marine transportation system.
St. Michael the Archangel is said to be Sochi's heavenly protector. Therefore, it is no wonder that the city would have a monument dedicated to him. This statue on a 66-meter high column decorates Sochi's main street, Kurortnyy Prospekt.
This peaceful little square is named after the Komsomol, a Soviet youth organization. Its centerpiece is a fountain composition with two 19th-century anchors that were found on the seashore in 1967. The square is located close to the Morvokzal (Seaport Building) and the Riviera Park.