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Kerch

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Kerch, view from Mount Mithridates

Kerch is a city (population 147000) on the Kerch Peninsula of eastern Crimea.


Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

There are long-distance sleeper trains from Kyiv (19—23 hours to go) and Moscow (24—28 hours).

Also Kerch has regional train connections with Simferopol, Dzhankoy and Mykolayiv (Nikolaev). Though these regional trains are pretty cheap they are also pretty slow.

By plane[edit]

The nearest international airport is located at Simferopol (200 km westward from Kerch). If you prefer air travel you can get to Kerch via Simferopol, follow these steps:

  1. Arrive at Simferopol International Airport. Now you should get to Simferopol Central Intercity Bus Station (Avtovokzal), there are two options:
    • Taxi. Plenty of private cabs in front of the airport, however prices are usually not reasonable and many of the drivers are dishonest. You should always negotiate a price before you board a cab and make sure that this price is for the entire route (not for each kilometer)
    • Public transport. Take marshrutka bus #49 (bus stop is in the middle of the square in front of the airport). Price is written on paper sheets inside the bus (typically 2—3 grivens (UAH)), there are no tickets just pass money to your driver. Usually it takes 25—35 minutes to get to Avtovokzal. Note that Avtovokzal is just an intermediate stop for marshrutka #49, don't miss this stop! Ask driver or passengers if you are not sure where to exit (most of the locals do not speak English, but they should understand what Avtovokzal means). If you have a GPS device you can locate Avtovokzal by coordinates (44°56'55"N, 34° 7'34"E)
  2. Inside Avtovokzal's terminal buy a ticket to the nearest bus to Kerch. At daytime intercity buses to Kerch depart every 30—45 minutes. Ticket costs around 60 grivens as of 2011, if you have lots of luggage you should pay an additional small fee to put your bags in luggage compartment of the bus. Departure time, platform number, bus number and seat are printed on the ticket
  3. Find your bus (it comes to platform 15 minutes before departure)
  4. It takes about 4 hours to get to Kerch from Simferopol, usually buses have an intermediate 5-minute stop at Feodosia

If you have both Russian and Ukrainian visas you can get to Kerch via international airport in Krasnodar. There are international bus routes that connect Krasnodar and Crimea. It takes 4 hours to get from Krasnodar to Port Kavkaz, then up to a few hours (depends on queue size) to traverse Kerch Strait using Kerch ferry line and pass Russian—Ukrainean border, then 30 minutes to get to Kerch Central Bus Station.

By bus[edit]

Kerch has frequent intercity bus connections with other destinations in Crimea and southern Ukraine.

There are also a few international bus routes that connect cities of southern Ukraine with Krasnodar Krai in Russia.

Kerch ferry line[edit]

Kerch ferry line transports cars, passengers and cargo trains across Kerch Strait. The ferry line crosses Ukrainian—Russian border, so you'll have to pass border control procedures on both sides of Kerch Strait.

The Ukrainian harbor is Port Krym, located at eastern outskirts of Kerch. Port Krym is connected with Kerch Central Bus Station (Avtovokzal) by marshrutka bus line #1.

The ferry harbor on Russian side is Port Kavkaz that has an intercity bus connection with Krasnodar. It takes about 4 hours to get to Port Kavkaz from Krasnodar.

If you are travelling on your own car keep in mind that the ferry line is usually overloaded at summer due to a high season, you may spend up to 8 hours in a queue though the ferry transfer itself takes about 25 minutes.

Get around[edit]

All places near the city center are accessible by foot walk. If you need to get to a distant district or a sea beach on the outskirts then marshutka buses are your best friends. The price is usually written on a paper sheet inside the bus. Typical price is 2—3 grivens (UAH).

The are trolleybus lines in Kerch that connect Kerch Central Bus Station (Avtovokzal) with Kerch Train Terminal and Voykov Metal Works factory.

Taxi in Kerch typically costs 20 grivens for taking a cab and then 3 grivens per each kilometer (as of 2011). There are always a few cabs available at Kerch Central Bus Station.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Mount Mithridates — a hill with a picturesque view on the city. The Mithridates Staircase with 428 footsteps leads to the top of the hill. The Monument of Glory (built after World War II) is located on Mount Mithridates
  • Panticapaeum — ruins of an ancient city, a former capital of the Kingdom of Bosporus; it's not in the best condition, as anything of interest was removed to museums in Moscow or Saint Petersburg, but it's still worth a look
  • Church of St. John the Baptist — built in 717, it's the oldest church in Ukraine and has beautiful architecture
  • Yeni-Kale — a fortress built by Ottoman Turks in 1699–1706 on the shore of Kerch Strait. Located at the eastern outskirts of Kerch not far from Kerch ferry line. The fortress is mostly ruined nowadays, however if you have enough time to spend in Kerch you may want to see it

Do[edit][add listing]

At summer season you can take a rest on a sea beach, however most of them are located at the outskirts. Also, there are a few mud-cure sources near the city.

Buy[edit][add listing]

You can choose from a wide range of fresh fish. Smoked gobies (bychki vyalenye) is one of the most popular beings, particularly good with beer. At winter salted anchovy is available on the market.

Eat[edit][add listing]

There is a wide selection of restaurants on the high street although not all of them are open until late.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Crimea region is famous for its wines. Local wine stores offer a wide range of Crimean wines.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are several hotels in the city. A number of summer resorts are located at the suburbs. At summer season many of the locals offer a house or a room for rent.



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