Welcome to Simferopol Ukraine – capital and of Autonomous Crimean Republic and main transportation hub of the peninsula.
Simferopol train station and symbol of a city. By Vaniev J.
Not the Northern steppes nor the Southern sunny beaches, the city of Simferopol is located on the intersection of the trade, economic and cultural interrelations of the whole Crimean region. But simultaneously it keeps its own independency among the ages not only because it is the capital of the Region.
In the past times during the history of Crimea Romans, Greeks or Germans tried to capture the city. After Aqmesjit (Medieval Simferopol) was the residence of the kalga-sultan (Khan’s counselor) but he did not obey to the last.
Today Simferopol represents well-mixed center of different culture, religions and nations.The name Simferopol (from Greek “Simferopolis” – “the city of usefulness,” or “the gatherer-city”) is not only nice metaphor but true indeed.
Crimean capital is the best place to start discovering the peninsula’s beauty and rich history.
All roads in Simferopol Ukraine head towards bustling train station. Just next to it is the chaotic bus terminal serving routes mainly to Southern coast. Simferopol International Airport (SIP) has direct link there with numerous buses. Trip takes 15-20 minutes. Check out Crimea travel guide page to get more information about gettign around the peninsula.
Things to do and to see in Simferopol
Most travellers use Simferopol Ukraine as the transit points from the bustling train station or airport further onto other destinations throught Crimea.
However if you feel like relaxing after a long trip and would like to explore the city for a few hours there are some places worth visiting.
Museums and Galleries in Simferopol
Central Museum of Tavrida. One of the peninsula’s largest and most interesting museums, whose extensive collection from the 1913 year depicts the centuries-old history of the Crimea, the culture of local citizens, and the tremendous nature of the region.
Crimean ethnographic museum is recommended as well with it 3.500 picturesque exhibits.
Republic Crimean tatar art museum reflects life and rich heritage of Crimean Khanate times.
Close to the Gagarin’s park there are also unique Museum of Crimean electric transport that represents among others the longest in the world Crimean trolley-bus path 75 km totally in length. Additionally, only here you can order trolley bus with the bar.
Standard entry to almost all museums is 20 UAH. Workign hours from 9:00 am till 17:00, Tuesday – closed.
Churches and Mosques
Beautiful St.Peter and Paul cathedral and Alexander Nevskiy cathedral would not leave you indifferent.
The Kebir-Djami Mosque is the oldest building in Simferopol, founded in 1580.
Not far from the Mosque, on Karaimskaya st., is located former building of Karaite kenasse, now Crimean broadcasting company located there. All the buildings were well preserved and opened for visitors for free.
Tip: During Ramadan Month (muslim fast Month) there are each evening the feast in the Mosque for free)
If you like walking
There are three quite pleasant parks: Gagarin’s , Detskiy (Children’s) and Salghirka. All of them are pretty cozy but The Salghirka park includes also the only free in Crimea botanical garden where you can find former buildings of the governor and endemic plantings.
Close to the Salghirka park, on the Petrovskaya balka (hill) district is located Neapol the Scythian – remains of the ancient settlement and fortress, a place where Simferopol was founded.
Places to eat in Simferopol
There are plenty exclusive places where you can try typical Crimean cuisine. All these places below are mostly known among locals so you probably won’t find them in standard guidebook. Mayority are of them are located in the city centre.
Divan (Horkogo st., close to Lenina sq.). Here you can try traditional Crimean tatar cuisine: a tasty Yantyk, tender Kebabs, special Crimean soups shorba.
On another side of the street you may visit (on the 2nd floor of the Circus) Cafe Bufet andTeapara that is popular not only among locals for it is pretty cozy atmosphere and good prices but also among foreigners that arrange meetings here each Friday at 6 p.m.
For those who feel himself peckish close to Salghirka park I would recommend student cafes in Taurida National University where you can find a lot of pretty delicious food on student’s budget.
For those who wants unforgettable dinner in a cozy park district close to Salghir river I would suggest as well Platan cafe ( 32, Frunze st., close to Central bus station).
For outdoor activities I strongly recommend Taigan safari park on the way to Belogorsk town. Lions , giraffes, zebras and other inhabitants walk freely on the huge park area.
On the way to safari-park you can try horse-riding, Crimean bathhouse in family run camping round Burulcha.
You get to safari-park by bus (30 min, 10 UAH) heading to Belogorsk from the Eastern bus station. However Burulcha camping ground I would recommend to hire a car cause there are no regular buses.
Getting there and around
Memorable building on the Central railway station with a neat clock tower became a symbol of the city. From here you can get everywhere you want by bus, train or taxi.
Taxi drivers are always ready to drive you wherever you wish but of course as eslwhere price tend to be more expensive the closer you are to the station.
Numerous buses or marshutkas (minibuses) and trolleybuses are waiting near McDonald’s just right if you’re facing train station. They serve all destinations throught the Southern coast.
To get to Western bus station (Bakhchisaray, Evpatoria and Simferopol region) take marshutkas 36, 89, 52. While to get to the Central bus station (for Sevastopol and Kerch) take numbers 64, 60 and 85. Eastern bus station is a short ride by marshrutkas 102, 104, 36 from the Simferopol train station.
See more about transportation to and around the peninsula in Crimea travel guide page.