If Saint Petersburg is often nicknamed the Capital of the North, or the Russian cultural capital, Sochi, on the other hand, is often called the Capital of the South, or the leisure capital of Russia. It is the biggest resort city in Russia with the native population of around half a million that increases many-fold in the summer season. More then 5 million vacation visitors come to Sochi annually in the search for sun and sea in the summer or good skiing in the winter.
In the communist time it was the most popular resort in the huge country and a dream for every Soviet vacation goer. Since that trends had somewhat changed and many Russian tourists preferred to spend holidays in Turkey or Egypt.
The city has hundreds of hotels and spa, many sports objects. The unique landscape provide unique diversity of climatic zones – subtropical along the sea shore and alpine in the mountains. Those were among the reasons why the city was chosen as the capital the XXII Winter Olympic Games that were hosted there in 2014.
More then $50 billion was spent during preparation to the Olympics making it the most expensive Games in history. About four fifths of this budget was spent on the city’s infrastructure which turned the area into modern all-year round beach and skiing resort. Dozens of new hotels, restaurants, sports facilities were opened, railway stations and airport reconstructed, new roads, power lines and the advanced sewage treatment system built. This become one of the biggest urban redevelopment projects in post-Soviet Russia.
Nowadays Sochi once again has become one of the favorite trendy resorts among the Russian tourists and a great starting point for the foreigners who want to explore Southern Russia, enjoy the winter sports or simply want to spend vacation in a brand new seaside resort with competitive prices.