Train or plane? A quick or slow journey? You can get to Sochi every way you want to. Especially in summer: during the tourist season, the number of passenger trains and planes doubles, they are also supplemented by traditional for the coastal cities boats and ferries.
By planeRussian airlines, such as Aeroflot, S7, Red Wings and UTair offer daily flights to Sochi. Flights from Moscow take around 2 hours 20 minutes, and flights from St. Petersburg take approximately 3 hours 10 minutes.
By trainIf you choose the Russian railway, make sure your train will travel along the 145 km long Black Sea coast during the day, preferably in the morning. It is then that you will almost certainly spot dolphins swimming in the sea, whilst you have breakfast in your carriage. This is an amazing sight, as we can say from experience.
At least ten trains per day travel from Moscow to Sochi. The trains leave from different train stations so check carefully at www.rzd.ru. The fastest train – which is also the most expensive and luxurious – brings you to Sochi in less than 24 hours. Other trains will take up to 40 hours. From St. Petersburg there are two direct trains to Sochi during summer, and one in winter. The journey from St. Petersburg takes between 35 and 48 hours.
By busCentral Sochi bus terminal is an important interchange station that lies nearby railroad station. Tourists can go to other Sochi districts from here, and long-distance bus routes are used mostly by residents of southern cities of Russia such as Anapa, Astrakhan, Krasnodar, Maikop, Makhachkala, Stavropol, Novorossiysk and some other towns.
By carSochi can be reached by car as well. City connects with Moscow by the M4/E115 highway. The distance to Russian capital is about 1660 km, and normally it takes two days to reach the final destination. You'd better plan your departure time to spend the night in a big city, Krasnodar is the best for it. Then the rest part of road will take about 6-8 hours.
Be careful and extremely attentive, because the quality of the road is different along the entire route. The most difficult part is the serpentine from Dzhubga to Dagomys, which is about 200 km. And give the road to all local 'racers'.
Going to Sochi from Europe you can use transit roads through Ukraine or Turkey. But keep in mind that it is impossible to drive via Georgia and Abkhazia — the border between these countries is closed, therefore you will have to get to Sochi by ferry from Turkish Trabzon.
By boat and ferrySochi has Sea communication with Crimea, Novorossiysk, Abkhazian Gagra and Georgian Batumi. There are also marine crossings to Trabzon (Turkey). But that kind of journey is more like a risky venture: you can book only cruises with inconstant seasonal schedule, and the travel time depends on the weather conditions.
However, cruise passengers can stay in Russia for 72 hours without visas if they have booked tours through the companies officially licensed by the Russian government.