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Simferopol

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Europe : Ukraine : Crimea : Simferopol
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Simferopol [1] is the capital city of the Crimea, in Ukraine.

Understand

For the most part this is a place of transit to the coast or to the mountains. It is famous for having the world's longest trolley bus service 56km.

Get in

All roads coming to Crimea leads to Simferopol, it is the undisputed transport hub of the region.

By plane

Simferopol International Airport (IATA: SIP) [2] is a major hub and have both domestic connections and several international, mostly with Russia and CIS-countries. The most popular route is from Kiev which have several flights each day. Popular international routes include Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Istanbul. There are no flights from western Europe, an option might be to fly via Riga which has daily connections.

Marshrutka buses leave from across the car park outside the arrival area, look for the large Krimtrolleybus sign. Buses leave for city centre and the railway station every few minutes. Bus №49 connects with Central Intercity Bus Station, №115 or №98 with the railway station and the Kurortnaya bus station which have connections to sea-side cities such as Sevastopol, Yalta, Sudak and Yevpatoria. Also, there are lots of annoying private taxi drivers at the airport, if you take a taxi always agree on a rate before you board a cab and make sure that the price is for the entire route (not for each kilometer).

By train

Simferopol has very good train connections with all major domestic destinations and several international routes too. There are several daily trains from Kiev (15 h) via Dnipropetrovsk (6 h). Dontesk (10 h), Lviv (25 h) and Odessa (12 h) also have daily connections. International connections are mostly with Russia, there are daily overnight connections with Kaliningrad (44 h) via Minsk (30 h), Moscow (23 h) and Saint Petersburg (38 h). There is also a daily night train service from Yekaterinburg (68 h) in the Ural. Direct trains from central Europe have now disappeared with the twice-weekly night train from Berlin via Warsaw being withdrawn in September 2011.

Domestic trains are handled by Ukrainian Railways [3] while international connections with Russia are handled by RZD [4]. Notice that domestic trains not always carry a restaurant wagon, be sure to supply yourself with food and drink.

By bus

You can get anywhere in Crimea as long with some major Ukrainian and Russian cities by bus. Online booking can be done using state-operated electronic ticket system.

  • There are about a dozen a day bus and marshrutka rides from Sevastopol each day. They get busy, particularly at weekends, and it is best to book some time in advance. If you are unable to take public transport, taxis will take you there; from Sevastopol station to Simferopol airport, do not accept a fare of more than 300 UAH.
  • There is a Euroclub-bus [5] from various destinations in Germany to Simferopol.

By trolleybus

The Crimean Trolleybus connects Simferopol to the cities of Alushta and Yalta on Crimean Black Sea coast. The line is the longest trolleybus line in the world with a total length of 94km. The trolleybus line's route departs from Simferopol Airport and passes through the Crimean Mountains across the Angarskyi Pass, reaching 752 metres at the road's highest point, then descends down to the resort town of Alushta on the coast. The remaining distance to Yalta is 41 kilometres and winds around the mountains above the sea, providing breathtaking views. Furthermore, it is the cheapest way to get to these cities: Simferopol-Alushta 9UAH (1.5hrs), Simferopol-Yalta 15UAH (2.5hrs).

By car

Get around

A convenient way to get around is by public transport, and Simferopol has a wide range of it! The most popular is called marshutka or a minivan, minibus, or taxi. Taxi of course is most expensive but is a fastest alternative. A ride on the minivan or the bus however, will cost you only 2.75 UAH ($0.3). The public transportation will bring you almost all around the city.

Taxi - always agree on a rate before you board a cab. If driver offers you a cheap price make sure that this price is for the entire route not for each kilometer. Be warned that it's difficult to communicate with drivers, as they speak virtually no English or any other foreign language.

Taxi cost of 1 journey to any place of the city can be between 30 to 50 UAH. To order taxi by phone is a way to save money. Some numbers: +380 (63) 250-3350, +380 (652) 547200, +380 (652) 710071 from mobile phone or 1504, 1567, 1568 and some others from local phone.

See

Landmarks

  • Train Station, ul. Gorkogo, 5. This is the first building you'll see arriving to Simferopol and at the same time this is one of the best architectural structures in Ukraine. If you climb its 42m clock tower, you can enjoy one of the hidden attractions of Simferopol. This is a copy of an ancient temple, which crowns the building. This temple has all the features of ancient architecture, including white columns.
  • Lenin Square (Площадь Ленина - Ploshchad' Lenina). the city's main square where occur live concerts, skateboarders skating in the evenings, a place where locals usher in the New Year, a politician party campaigning site.
  • Simferopol reservoir (Симферопольское водохранилище - Simferopol'skoye vodokhranilishche), southern suburb of Simferopol, st. Yaltinskaya. It is located in a picturesque valley and offers wonderful scenery.

Religious sites

  • Holy Trinity Cathedral (Свято-Троицкий женский монастырь - Svyato-Troitskiy zhenskiy monastyr'), ul. Odesskaya, 12. This is a Russian Orthodox Cathedral. It is one of the three important churches in the city center.
  • St. Peter and Paul Cathedral (Свято-Петро-Павловский кафедральный собор - Svyato-Petro-Pavlovskiy kafedral'nyy sobor), ul. Oktyabr'skaya, 16.
  • Three Saints Church (Церковь Трех Святителей - Tserkov' Trekh Svyatiteley), ul. Gogolya 16. The five-domed church.
  • Kebir-Jami Mosque (Мечеть Кебир-Джами - Mechet' Kebir-Dzhami), Kurchatova st. 4. This small mosque dates back its origin to 16th-century, after that it was rebuilt and changed its appearance many times, but in its current state it is designed in the style of the Turkish architecture. It is located in a part of town where at the beginning of the XVI century there was a Tatar settlement Ak-Mechet (White Mosque).
  • The Church of St. Alexander Nevsky (Собор Александра Невского - Sobor Aleksandra Nevskogo), Rozy Luxemburg st. Once being the main temple of Simferopol, it was then blown up in 1930 by communists. And only a few years ago it was rebuilt. Now becoming one of the most beautiful and magnificent buildings in Simferopol

Museums and Galleries

  • Simferopol Art Museum (Симферопольский художественный музей - Simferopol'skiy khudozhestvennyy muzey), Dolgorukovskaya str.35, 380 652 662630 (), [6]. 10:00 - 17:00 (closed Monday). There are more than 7,000 paintings, drawings, sculptures and other type of artwork in its collection. There are as well 87 pictures from Aachen museum. 20 UAH (10 UAH for students and senior citizens).
  • Museum of the History of Simferopol (Музей истории города Симферополя - Muzey istorii goroda Simferopolya), ul. Pushkina,17, 380 652 621242; 621247, [7]. 10:00 - 17:00 (closed Monday). It has large collection of artifacts collected from the residents of Simferopol. It includes paintings, old photographs and postcards of the city, made by famous artists and photographers of 19-20 centuries. As well as safe deposit room belonging to St. Petersburg International Commercial Bank that used to be located here in the years 1908-1915. Part of the museum has been stylized to reproduce once destroyed hotel "European".
  • Crimean Ethnographic Museum (Regional Museum of Local Lore) (Крымский Этнографический музей - Krymskiy Etnograficheskiy muzey), ul. Pushkina 18, 380 652 255223 (), [8]. 10:00 - 17:30 (closed Tuesday). There are 4000 artifacts describing the traditional household culture of Crimean ethnic groups. The collection tells about material culture, customs and rituals, traditions and holidays of 25 nationalities and ethnic groups of the peninsula. It also has a 3-D relief map of Crimea, populated with nearly 50 colourful statues representing the peninsula’s different peoples throughout history. 10 UAH single exposition ticket, 40 UAH all expositions.
  • Central Museum of Tauris (Центральный музей Тавриды - Tsentral'nyy muzey Tavridy), ul. Gogolya, 14, 380 652 252511, [9]. 10:00 - 17:00 (closed Tuesday). The museum's collection includes more than 100,000 items, including a significant archaeological collection from the Paleolithic to the Middle Ages, collection of coins, unique graphics XVIII-XIX centuries with views of Crimea, personal archives of famous explorers of the nature and history of the peninsula P.I. Koppen, A.H. Steven, A.L. Berthier-Delagarde, lots of photos and documents. 20 UAH. Golden Treasury exposition ticket - 30 UAH.
  • The house-museum of Ilia Selvinsky (Дом-музей Ильи Сельвинского - Dom-muzey Il'i Sel'vinskogo), ul. Odesskaya 15, 380 652 270083. 10:00 - 18:00 (closed Tuesday). Museum of outstanding poet of the first half of XX century Ilya Selvinsky. Museum itself in the house where poet was born and lived during 1899-1906. Also this is the first Literary Museum in Simferopol which was only recently opened in 2009.
  • Republican Crimean Tatar Museum of Art (Республиканский крымско-татарский музей искусств - Respublikanskiy krymsko-tatarskiy muzey iskusstv), ul. Chekhova, 17, 380 652 249532, [10]. 9:00 - 17:00 (closed Sunday). It will tell you about the history, culture and traditions of the Crimean Tatars. 7UAH.
  • People's Museum of Archaeology of Crimea (Народный музей археологии Крыма - Narodnyy muzey arkheologii Kryma), ul. Gavena 101, 380 652 246907. 10:00 - 18:00 (closed Saturday and Sunday). The museum displays ancient pebble tools, anthropomorphic steles, stone box III millennium BC, a unique collection of stone tools (250-300 thousand years old). It contains materials about Tauris, Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, Polovtzy, Pechenegs, Khazars and other nationalities who once inhabited the Crimea.
  • Public Museum of History (Общественный музей истории - Obshchestvennyy muzey istorii), ul. Karla Marksa 32, 380 652 272337. 10:00 - 17:00 (closed Sunday). This rather small museum(2 rooms only) is located on the premises of gymnasium #1. It exhibits rare and unique items that tell about remarkable people at different times associated with gymnasium #1.

Historic sites

  • Scythian Neapolis (Неаполь скифский - Neapol' skifskiy), (Take bus #4 or #101 from Simferopol's train and bus stations. Go to the terminal stop 'Ulitsa Tarabukina'), [11]. This is a ruins of an ancient town which sit on the outskirts of the present-day Simferopol and offers great views over the city. Scythian Neapolis was a settlement that existed from the end of the 3rd century BC until the second half of the 3rd century AD. This city was the center of the Crimean Scythian tribes. The town ruled over a small kingdom, covering the lands between the lower Dnieper river and Crimea. It was a city with a mixed Scythian-Greek population, strong defensive walls and large public buildings. (44°56?34?N,34°07?14?E)
  • Vorontsov Palace (Summer House of Vorontsov), ul. Yaltinskaya 2, Salgirka park. One of the earliest monuments of classical architecture in Crimea
  • Manor of Pallas (Усадьба Палласа - Usad'ba Pallasa), ul. Yaltinskaya 2, Salgirka park. Manor of the famous academician P.S. Pallas.
  • Mansion of Dintsera (Особняк Динцера - Osobnyak Dintsera), ul. Nabaerezhnaya, 29. Fancy building built in the style of neoclassicism in the beginning of XX century, which gives it a certain appearance of mystery and magic.

Parks and gardens

  • 'Salgirka' city park, ul. Yaltinskaya 2. It's a very nice park and botanical garden, pleasant place to walk.
    • Botanical Gardens of Tauride National University (Ботанический сад Таврического национального университета - Botanicheskiy sad Tavricheskogo natsional'nogo universiteta), ul. Yaltinskaya 2, Salgirka park. It has rose garden, large exhibition of ornamental crops, solar clock, fountains and lots of flowers.
  • Gagarin Park (Гагаринский парк - Gagarinskiy Park). Large park with artificial pond and an island in the middle. Favorite place among locals. There are a few cafes (may be not of the best quality though), playgrounds, attractions. You can ride on catamaran, go around the park on a horse or donkey.
  • Children's Park (Детский парк - Detskiy Park). Not very big although quite decent park. It houses zoo, small amusement park, ferris wheel, children's observatory, aquarium. And also Giant oak "Hercules Tauris" of the age of 600-750 years."
    • Simferopol's Zoo (Зоопарк - Zoopark), Children's Park. 07:00 - 20:00 daily. Not particularly big, but still there are even some big animals like lion, camel, bear, jaguar. They sell food for feeding zoo's animals. 10 UAH (5 UAH children).

Do

  • Stroll along Salhir river. One of the best possible walks you can do in Simferopol is to stroll along the Salhir river which crosses the city. One can start it in the area nearby railway station (ask for a direction to Salhir river or Cosmos cinema) and then just follow the river. It's a very nice and refreshing walk, and it's a paved pathway. By following this path you can reach Simferopol Reservoir with a nice and picturesque surroundings. It might about 2hrs.
  • Take a ride on the longest trolleybus line in the world with a total length of 94km to nearby mountains, Angarskyi Pass, Alushta or Yalta. Some of these trolleybuses also provide audio tours when the guide tells about what you're passing by (conducted in Russian only though).
  • Skating rink, Kuibyshev market -Куйбышевский рынок (in front of Pioneer bowling club). Operates only during cold months (approx. from December till March). Open air Skating rink in the city center.
  • Park of Y.Gagarin (Гагаринский парк). You may take a stroll in the park. There are horse riding activities, boating, feeding ducks.
  • Dive Center 'Captain', Lenin boulevard 5/7, pool building - 2nd Floor, Office 23, 380 50 3132957, 50 3242044 (), [12]. Dive Center prepares everyone for independent dives on the education system - PADI.
  • Dream Town, Pobedy Ave. 165/1, 380 652 534004. 10:00 - 24:00. The bowling club with a restaurant.
  • Pioner, Kievskaya St. 54, 380 652 610601. 11:00 - 01:00. The bowling club with restaurant and bar.

Theatre

  • Crimea Russian Drama Theater (Крымский Академический Русский Драматический Театр им. М.Горького), Pushkina St. 15, 380 652 276702, [13]. Box office hours: 10:00 - 19:00. It is the oldest theater on the peninsula, and its main building is the monument of architecture designed in the Neoclassicism style with elements of art nouveau. The repertoire of the theater constitutes of mainly Russian and international Classic.

Buy

  • Central Market (Centralny Rynok), (Centralny Rynok bus stop). Everything from fresh food to clothes to hardware is easily available here. Generally the best place for shopping, and for getting skidkas (Ukrainian for "discount")
  • Silpo, (Silpo bus stop). Its quite a big supermarket with all essential items and food stuff. There are also several boutiques in it.
  • There are also supermarkets like 'Furshet' and 'Rainford' located around the city. Best would be to ask a taxi driver to take you to these places, or get familiarized with the names of the roads, and you can easily take a minivan there. Minivan No. 62, 10 and 74 can take you to the newly built shopping place called "Foxmart".

Eat

The number one must eat food in Simferopol is the Plov. It's a local version of the Indian Biryani or the Spanish Paella. This rice dish is oily, so those with a heart problem may want to abstain from it. One plate of plov cost 7 UAH, approx €1 at the Central Market.

Number two must eat food is meat on skewer, cooked over charcoal. It's called Shashlik by the locals. Goes very well with raw onion with vinegar and with Lepeoshka ( round bread).

Number three on the list is Lagman. A local version of Noodle soup.

In fourth place is the local's favourite Borsh. It's a vegetable soup, generally ate with bread. Solenka, is also a local soup that is worth trying.

Drink

Crimean wine, best to buy in supermarkets or in a company outlet shops. Also drink Ukrainian vodka - horilka. "Hortitsa" brand of horilka is recommended.

Sleep

There are many women at the railway and bus stations offering rooms/flats at quite low prices. However, be warned that rooms/flats are of a very different quality. If possible, ask beforehand for pictures.

  • Artek Hostel, 5 Gagarina st. (across the street from railway station), +38 0652 226204, 226403. Communist style building. 290 UAH for a double room, 30UAH for dorm.
  • Ukraina, Rozy Luksemburg st. 7 (Alexandra Nevskogo st. 7) (In the centre of the city), +380 (652) 53 22 53, [14]. Arguably the best 4-star hotel in the city. Especially after recent renovation and its current royal appeal. However, some drawbacks happen. They have restaurant with good food, although it's a bit pricey. Double 640 UAH. (44.959879,34.084482)
  • Moskva, 2 Kyivska st., +380 (652) 620 615, [15]. A Soviet-style hotel refurbished in 2010. Double 640 UAH. (44.945025,34.125158)
  • Imperial, 22 Kyivska st., +380 (652) 547-488, [16]. Double 100 USD.
  • Salgir, 9 Lenin Blvd, +380 (652) 521920, [17]. close to the train station. Double 360 UAH.
  • Valencia, 8 Odesskaya st., +380 (652) 51-06-06, [18]. In the very heart of Simferopol. Valencia houses the office of FedEx. Double 300 UAH.
  • Victoria, 17A Dekabristov st., +380 (652) 60-00-64, [19]. In one of the most quiet central parts of town and surrounded by the green trees of two parks where you can find attractions for both children and adults. From US$60 double.
  • Apartments Simferopol (Simferopol Apartments), 0664156797, [20]. checkin: 13.00; checkout: 11.00. Luxury type Simferopol apartments, centrally location, Internet Wi-FI, Design renovation, Jacuzzi. Travel services, Interpreter, Travel information and help 50.
  • Apartments for rent in Simferopol (short & long term rental), 30+ apartments in central area, [21]. A choice of central apartments, from budget to luxury, with Internet. Free airport pickup! from $29/night.

Get out

  • Caves - located around 17km from the city. Take a minibus from the railway station to the end stop Perevalnoe for 3h, and then either walk 3km to the Red Cave or take a taxi 11km up a nearby mountain to the tremendous Marble Cave, discovered in 1987. A full tour takes 80 minutes and costs 70hr. Shorter tours are cheaper but the full one is well worth it.
  • Bakhchisaray
  • Evpatoria
  • Saki
  • Sevastopol
  • Sudak
  • Yalta
  • Skiing in Ai Petri [22] is a great getaway from the city.




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