Matches: Group Stage x 4, Last 16 x 1, qf x 1
flight time from moscow: 2h 20m
Stadium: Fisht olympic Stadium
Local Team: FC Sochi (Amateur)
Fun Fact: Kazan's population is half Muslim, half Russian Orthodox.
Optimistically known as the ‘Russian Riviera’, Sochi has undergone a transformation in recent years from a spa town on the shores of the Black Sea to a built up holiday resort.
For many years, Sochi has been a playground of the elites, many of whom have residences nearby to enjoy the heat in summer and the snowy peaks in winter. The city received huge financial boosts to improve its infrastructure ahead of staging the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The Fisht Stadium holds 35,000 spectators and is about 30 minutes from the city centre, which fans should bear in mind. It is perched on the shores of the Black Sea and the Formula 1 track snakes around it.
The town has a very ‘holiday’ feel to it. There are several lively areas with plenty of bars and restaurants, offering visitors a wide variety of options. The temperature will be around 30˚C throughout the tournament and the cool waters of the Black Sea are perfect for a refreshing dip.
Visitors might also enjoy taking a boat trip around the harbour, past all the yachts and out into the sea. Even in summer, some mountains retain their snow-capped peaks and there are plenty of activities on offer.
Sochi was used as a venue during the 2017 Confederations Cup, hosting group games and a semi final.