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Allianz Global Assistance gives Olympics enthusiasts a practical guide to making the most of their trip

The Winter Olympic Games in Sochi officially kicks off today amidst great excitement around the Globe.  For Games enthusiast that have decided upon a last minute trip to Sochi, Allianz Global Assistance is offering some practical but essential tips to ensure that their visit is as worry-free and as enjoyable as possible.

• Document Requirements: in addition to a visa which is essential, a passport needs to be valid for a period of 6 months after entering Russia. There are services available to help visitors obtain a visa within 24 working hours of receipt of the paperwork, but these will cost more than the standard 7 day turnaround.  In addition visitors must also provide proof of travel insurance valid for the entire duration of the stay – medical costs in Russia are very expensive.  Visitors must remember to have their insurer’s contact details on them at all times, in case there is a problem.

• Upon arrival: There are numerous taxis and shuttle services available at the airport.  However, the least expensive option is to take the Sochi Aeroexpress.  It should take about 45 minutes to reach the central part of the city. A one-way ticket costs approximately £4.00.

• Attending the sporting events: The system is quite simple. Visitors simply need to connect to the website tickets.sochi2014.com, select the event they would like to attend and buy their tickets.  Prices vary according to the seating and the event itself, and can range from 500 rubles (£8.83) to 50,000 rubles (£883).

• Attention: a ticket on its own will not give access to the games. Visitors must also have a Spectator Pass, which can be obtained online at pass.sochi2014.com.

• Getting around: There is a spectator transport system, ensuring easy journeys between the locations of the sporting events and the main areas of Sochi’s city centre. Spectators who have a ticket to the Olympic Games will be able to use this system free of charge, on the days when competitive events take place.

• Organise travel in advance: The Olympic complex is divided into two sites, which are 48 kilometres apart. One is on the coast and the other in the mountains. As the two sites host different competitions, it is strongly recommended that visitors organise their trips in advance of the events they have chosen

• Where to stay: After a day of taking in the Games, visitors will be ready to  relax.  Accommodation in Sochi ranges from classic hotel lodgings or apartment rentals. As Sochi is located on the coast of the Black Sea, the city’s Olympic organisers have used cruise ships to welcome more visitors. All information can be found on Svoy-Sochi.ru.

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