Travelling to Sochi
The Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games will be held from March 7 to 16, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. The 2014 Olympic Winter Games were held from February 7 to 23.
In July 2013 Imarat Kavkaz leader Doku Umarov called on militants to derail the Sochi Olympic Games using any necessary means, and lifted his previous moratorium on actions of militants in Russia outside the North Caucasus. On January 19, 2014, the Ansar Al-Sunna terrorist group took responsibility for the December 2013 attacks on Volgograd (see below) and threatened further attacks if the Olympic games were to take place.
On December 29, 2013, an explosive device was detonated inside the main railway station of the city of Volgograd; on December 30, another explosive device was detonated on a public bus in the same city. These incidents caused deaths and injuries. Security measures have been reinforced throughout Russia, specifically in the Volgograd region. The Domodedovo International Airport and the Moscow subway system have also been targeted by terrorist attacks.
Any high profile international event is vulnerable to the risk of a terrorist attack. If you are planning to travel to the Games, take sensible precautions. Maintain a high level of personal security awareness at all times and in all places. Avoid demonstrations, monitor local developments and follow the advice of local authorities.
Russian authorities have announced that special security arrangements will be in place at Olympic venues, airports, border crossings and other sensitive areas. Whenever possible, limit your use of public transportation that is not affiliated with the Games. If you must use public buses or trains, be particularly vigilant and remain aware of your surroundings at all times. Russian authorities have also placed special security measures and restrictions on various items and materials, including prescription medications and medical supplies, at Olympic venues. Bring a copy of your prescription and be prepared to show it to officials.
If you are planning to travel outside of Olympic sites, be particularly cautious. There remains an ongoing insurgency in the North Caucasus, located approximately 150 kilometres from Sochi; consult our Advisories against travel to the North Caucasus republics of Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan.
You should make your travel arrangements, including accommodation, transportation and purchase of sporting events tickets, well in advance using genuine and reliable sources.
Since January 7, 2014, demonstrations, assemblies, rallies, marches and picketing not associated with the Olympic and Paralympic Games in and around Sochi must be held in places or along routes approved by the Interior Ministry. This order will be in effect until March 21, 2014.
Although homosexual activity is not illegal in Russia, a federal law has been passed that prohibits public actions that are described as promoting homosexuality and “non-traditional sexual relations”. This law could render any homosexual and pro-homosexual statements punishable. Public actions (including dissemination of information, statements, displays or conspicuous behaviour) that contravene or appear to contravene this law may lead to arrest, the imposition of a fine and deportation.
If you plan to attend the Games as a participant or to support Canadian athletes
- Please read our Travel Advice and Advisories for Russia before you leave Canada for important updated information on Russian security conditions, entry and exit requirements, health, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate.
- If you plan to travel to other countries in the area, please consult the Travel Advice and Advisories for each destination, such as neighboring Georgia for which a regional Travel Advisory is in effect.
- You will require a tourist visa if you are staying at a hotel or other commercial establishment. Make sure the hotel registers your visa.
- Be sure to respect the validity period of your Russian tourist visa.
- Avoid demonstrations and protests.
- A team of Canadian consular experts will be deployed in Sochi for the duration of the Games to provide assistance to Canadians in distress.
- Don’t forget to register with our free Registration of Canadians Abroad service and stay connected to Canada in case of an emergency abroad or at home.
- When in Russia, dial 01 for fire, 02 for police and 03 for ambulance in case of emergency.
- Travel Health Notice on the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia
- Homosexual, bisexual and transgender travel
- Travel advice and advisories for Ukraine
- Exchanging your money
- Travelling and money
- New restrictions in place for direct flights to Russia, Canadian Air Transport Security Authority