Travel Warning WARNING: Crimea is a war zone, and is targeted by bombardment due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. As in other territories controlled by Russia, police oppression against perceived opposition is harsh. Many countries cannot give consular assistance, as their Russian presence does not cover Crimea. Many governments advise against travel to the region. See war zone safety.
Government travel advisories
(Information last updated 30 Apr 2024)

Crimea (Russian: Крым, Ukrainian: Крим, Crimean Tatar: Qırım, Къырым) is a peninsula jutting into the Black Sea south of Ukraine. Long known for its idyllic and luxurious beach resorts, it was once a playground for the Imperial Russian and Soviet elites.

Russia's long-time summer playground, Crimea has seen various expressions of holiday spirit. Here is the fanciful 1912 Swallow's Nest between Yalta and Alupka: summer retreat of an early oil baron.

The political status of the Crimea is a controversial and sensitive issue; Russia has controlled the region since March 2014, annexed it and considers it Russian territory, but Ukraine still claims it. The United Nations and most other governments support Ukraine's claim.

Wikivoyage does not take a position on this dispute; we aim to deal only with the practical issues of travel. Some governments have travel advisories for the area:
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Map of Crimea
Map of Crimea
  • The Coastal Beach Cities — The coastal beach cities are very hospitable to tourists if you speak Russian or Ukrainian. Accommodation is plentiful and prices range widely, depending on location and accommodation type. Despite there being nothing particularly cheap listed online, touts offering cheap rooms and apartments are a good way to find budget accommodation. Also look for houses advertising accommodation: they will usually have a large white sign stuck on the door that has about three words written in Cyrillic (unfortunately wording varies). During summer expect the beaches to be packed with mostly Russian tourists. Behind the beaches the Coastal Mountains tower up to 1,500 m above the towns.
  • The Coastal Mountains — The mountain area that stretches from the coast to about 70 km (43 mi) inland contains some very pristine untouched nature. The mountains are formed by ragged limestone that has been shaped into high peaks with canyons, cliffs and valleys transecting them in all directions. Expect a great adventure if you want to go hiking here, but also expect to rough it. Camping sites are few and far between so you'll probably have to just find one of the many secluded fields to camp in. The area has numerous caves as well as small lakes. There are almost no marked trails
  • The Sea of Azov and Kerch — Gateway to Russia across the Kerch Strait.
  • The Inland Plains — Fairly flat farm land like much of the rest of Ukraine and Western Russia. Looks nice while passing through it by train.


  • 1 Simferopol — The capital. The train station is very clean and beautiful. 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 of 86 km (53 mi).
  • 2 Alushta — The first beach city on the way to Yalta from the west, this city does not have much in it except old boat docks that have been transformed into beaches.
  • 3 Bakhchysarai — A former Crimean capital, in a canyon between Simferopol and Sevastopol, with a wealth of interesting sites to see including the Crimean Tatar Khan's palace, the cave cities (Kachi-Kalion, Chufut-Kale, Eski-Kermen, Shuldan) and the Armenian monastery, built in a cave.
The abandoned Jewish cemetery in Feodosiya
  • 4 Feodosiya — Feodosiya is 100 km (62 mi) to the east of Simferopol. From the outskirts it looks like an urban industrial disaster but once past the factories it has a very nice old town. Very similar to Odesa in architecture but just on a smaller scale. Home to the Ayvazovsky Picture Gallery.
  • 5 Kerch — former Panticapaeum, capital to the Kingdom of Pontus. Its archeological site features ruins from the 5th century BC up to the 3rd century AD. The last stop before reaching the eastern edge of the Crimea and heading across the straits into the rest of Russia.
  • 6 Novyi Svet
  • 7 Shcholkine
  • 8 Sevastopol — The headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Given the title 'Hero City' for its resistance to the Nazis during World War II. Numerous monuments to the past's military exploits. Nice shops.
Sevastopol in Cyrillic on the railroad station
  • 9 Yalta — A very beautiful city containing many of the Russian Czar's palaces and other great monuments. Twinned with Margate in England amongst other places. Yalta is a tourist hotspot, which contains a mixture of Soviet hotels and modern high rise apartments. Yalta was once the main holiday destination for many Russians before they were allowed to travel outside the Soviet Bloc.
  • 10 Yevpatoria — an ancient city with more than 2500 years of history, named after King Mithridates VI "Eupator" of Pontus, a contemporary of the Roman Empire.

Other destinations

  • The Bolshoi (Grand) Canyon
  • 1 Alupka — Rocky beaches, home to a number of dachas and the magnificent Vorontsov palace, where Churchill stayed during the Yalta Conference in 1945.
  • 2 Balaklava — famous for the Crimea War of the 1850s, the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade, and home to a former secret Soviet submarine base.
  • 3 Koktebel — Located between Feodosiya and Sudak, this small town has a great beach area that has a carnival type environment. It sits below a spectacular wilderness area to the west that you can only visit on a guided tour.
  • 4 Sudak — A beautiful coastal city with the remains of a very old Genoan fortress.
  • 5 Massandra Massandra on Wikipedia — Small city near Yalta with the Massandra Palace and the famous winery "Massandra".
  • 6 Livadia Livadiya, Crimea on Wikipedia — Small city near Yalta where the Yalta Conference that divided Europe into spheres of influence was held in the Livadia Palace in 1945.



This region features many landscapes: Crimean steppe (or prairie) to the East and North, Feodosia's sandy beaches, undulating hills of vineyards and fruit trees, castles reminiscent of Bavaria cling to cliffs plunging into the warm sea and there are forested mountain ranges with fabled cave cities to the West.

Crimea observes Moscow Standard Time (MSK).



Ruth Maclennan's film Theodosia [dead link] is a good introduction to the place of Crimea in the Russian psyche.

When you get to Crimea you can buy the local guide book Time to Come to Crimea! (in English and Russian) at one of the many small booths on the street.

Weather and water


The weather in Crimea during the summer season is very much Mediterranean. Expect relatively hot weather and lots of thunderstorms that come and go. Hot and very humid at night. In the winter snow can cover the mountains and make the roads almost impassable

The water is fairly warm, although not as warm as the Adriatic, which shares a similar latitude. The water is clean and clear, although also a bit less than the Adriatic.



The Crimean peninsula has a strategically dominant location inside the Black Sea — the Sevastopol naval fortress is frequently compared to Gibraltar and Halifax in this context — and has been forever subjected and partially colonized by foreign empires such as Ancient Greece, the Persian Empire, the Roman Empire, the Goths, the Huns, the Bulgars, the Khazars, and the Mongolian Empire, of which the Crimean Khanate was a successor state. Crimea was conquered to the Russian Empire in 1783; the Taurida Oblast was created by a decree of Catherine the Great on 2 February 1784.

In A.D. 988, Kievan Rus king Vladimir the Great, also known as St. Vladimir of Kiev, was baptized at the Byzantine outpost of Chersonesus Taurica, went back to Kiev, baptized his people in the Dnieper River, and thus was born the Russian Orthodox Church. The spot of Vladimir's baptism is marked nowadays by the Vladimir the Great cathedral outside Sevastopol.

During the Crimean War between 1854 and 1856, Britain and France invaded the Crimea to support the Ottoman Empire in a dispute with Russia. During this war, Florence Nightingale more-or-less invented modern nursing, and William Howard Russell, modern war reporting. The most famous battle was at Balaklava, near where the invasion force landed; part of that was the infamous "Charge of the Light Brigade" (Russell's phrase), a nearly suicidal attack of cavalry against cannon. A woolen head garment is named for the town, as is the Balaclava melee, a cavalry training exercise using wooden swords. A historical novel set during this war is Flashman at the Charge.

On 19 February 1954, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union issued a decree transferring the Crimean Oblast from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic to the Ukrainian SSR. This transfer has been described both as a "symbolic gesture", marking the 300th anniversary of Ukraine becoming a part of the Tsardom of Russia, and as Nikita Khruschev's personal gesture toward his favorite republic. With the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1992, Crimea remained part of independent Ukraine, though the Russian Black Sea Fleet continued to be based in Sevastopol, and its population remained predominantly ethnic Russian and largely politically aligned with Russia. After the pro-Russia Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych was toppled by pro-European Union protesters in 2014, the peninsula was occupied and annexed by Russia.

Genealogical research


All historical documents, including birth records, for all nationalities (Russians, Tatars, Jews and Germans), are kept in the National Archive in Simferopol.

You may contact them by email at [email protected] although the best way to receive a response to your email will be to send it in Russian. The archive is open from 08:00 to 17:00 Monday through Friday. Individual access to much of the archive is not permitted, although for USD30 you can pay someone to who works in the archive to do the work for you. Nobody in the archive speaks English so either be prepared to speak Russian or bring along a translator.

The archive is at No. 3 Keckemetckaj, which is the main street running directly east from the train station, in Simferopol (about 1 km).

The archives and its staff are not accustomed to foreigners, so be prepared to explain to the guard at the front desk what it is you want to do.

The Lutheran Church in Simferopol supposedly has a list going back to the early 1800s of all German families who emigrated to Crimea under Catherine the Great, or so it was said at the Archive. This information has not actually been confirmed at the Lutheran Church. For that matter, finding the Lutheran Church, though mentioned in the guide book, is actually a quite difficult task.

The city of Feodosiya has a Jewish Community Centre that is very active in doing research on the Jewish community of Crimea. You may contact them at [email protected], they can communicate in basic English (so you can send the email in English) but more than likely the response back will be in Russian.



The three official languages are:

Russian is the lingua franca, and the overwhelming majority of the local people are, or define themselves as, ethnic Russians. Try to learn a little before you come, even if it's just getting familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet, as few people speak or understand English.

Ukrainian — around 15 percent of the population are ethnic Ukrainians.

Crimean Tatar (of which the Yalıboylu dialect is mutually intelligible with Turkish) is widely spoken by the indigenous Crimean Tatars, who constitute about 12% of the population. Given the mass deportation during Stalin's rule, older Crimean Tatars may also speak Uzbek.

If you don't know Russian or Ukrainian well, you may not be able to tell the two languages apart. Still, given the situation, what language you use may be sensitive.

German was the main foreign language taught to Soviet school children and many people will know a few words.

Some of the street signs in Yalta are in English from the time of the Yalta Conference in 1945.

Get in

Caution Note: Road connections from Russia to Crimea are either via Kherson Oblast or over the Crimean Bridge. The battlefront is through the former and is not stable; you could be caught in a battle. The latter has been partly destroyed and may be a target for future attacks. Military transport may be prioritised on any road, ferry or flight.
(Information last updated 02 Nov 2022)

Crimea is under the de facto control of the Russian Federation. Any visit will require a Russian visa, and the only feasible way to reach it is via Russia.

Russian immigration and custom agencies operate in the peninsula's ports of entry, and foreign citizens need regular Russian entry visas to visit Crimea. Since December 2014, it has not been possible to travel from Ukraine to the Crimean peninsula by public transport. Unless you hold a Ukrainian passport, you will need a special permission from the Ukrainian State Migration Service[dead link] in order to cross the "Ukraine-Crimea" border by foot. You would also need to get through the battlefront between Ukrainian and Russian troops; there are few ceasefires and they tend not to be respected.

To the Ukrainian government, entering Crimea on a Russian visa is illegal entry to Ukrainian territory. If you later try to visit Ukraine and show any evidence of your travel to Crimea, you could be refused entry or arrested and fined. But since there is no special Crimean border control stamps that will be put in foreign citizen's passport if they get to Crimea via the bridge, crossing mainland Ukrainian border anywhere else should be OK.

By land


The Crimean Peninsula is connected to the mainland of Kherson Oblast by two narrow necks of land. The coast is under Russian control, but Ukraine is doing their best to disrupt communications here.

In addition, the Crimean Bridge (or Kerch Bridge) was built in 2018 over the 5-km-wide Kerch strait, to connect the Taman Peninsula in mainland Russia to Crimea. The bridge has repeatedly been attacked by Ukraine.

By train


The railway bridge opened for trains on 23 Dec 2019. A burning train severed the bridge in the 2022 incident and it is unclear whether there are passenger trains over the bridge. There were routes from Saint Petersburg and Moscow to Sevastopol and Simferopol. Travel from Moscow to Simferopol took around 33 hours and from Petersburg to Sevastopol 43 hours. Also it is possible to take a suburban train from Anapa (Krasnodar Krai) to Kerch.

By plane


There is an airport in Simferopol (SIP IATA), but since the start of the war in Ukraine, no commercial flights operate to Simferopol. The closest operating airport would be Sochi (AER IATA) or Mineralnye Vodi (MRV IATA)

By bus


Frequent bus service connects Crimea to mainland Russia. The buses operate to various destinations in Krasnodar Krai including Krasnodar, Anapa, Novorossiysk, and Sochi. All buses did cross the Strait of Kerch by the Crimean Bridge from the Taman Peninsula, but may not be able to do, depending on the situation. Passengers should expect disembarkation at the security checkpoints before entering the bridge from each side.

By ferry


Frequent passenger and vehicular ferries [dead link] operate across the narrow Strait of Kerch, between Kerch's Port Krym and Port Kavkaz on a spit of the Russian mainland. (Schedules and fares in Russian [dead link]).

As of April 2014, the one-way passenger ticket is 162 руб for adults and 81 руб for children; transporting a car costs 1190-1688 руб. (Ferry info updates for 2014[dead link], in Russian) Ferry service is subject to weather conditions and can be interrupted for 1-2 days in a row because of bad weather. Expect queues and long waiting times during high season, especially in the end of August.

Freight services run between several major Crimean ports and the harbors of Krasnodar Krai (Anapa, Novorossiysk, Feodosiya). Most of these ferries will not accept personal cars or individual passengers.

Get around


You can get anywhere in Crimea by mini bus. You can also go by taxi. Prices vary; be prepared to haggle a fare as you will always find someone to do a deal with. Many private citizens also work as pseudo taxi drivers; sometimes it is difficult to tell. Taxis range from modern comfortable cars to 1950s gas-powered Soviet cars!

Map of Crimean railway (2020, UZ lines are not shown)

Frequently while travelling in the country if you look like a foreigner (for example with a backpack) and you are standing on what passes as a 'major' road people will stop and ask if you want a ride – for a price. Fortunately that price is usually quite small to go some very long distances.

The road system of the Crimea is being modernized at a rapid pace. Therefore, the quality of the road surface can be very different. The main regional highways are in good condition (as of June 2021). However, a large number of small roads are still in poor condition. There is a very strict tolerance policy for drinking and driving (0.16 mg of alcohol per liter in exhaled air). Police patrols are frequent as well as roadside checks for documents, but the death toll on the roads remains very bad.

As of June 2021, the construction of the federal highway Tavrida, from Kerch and the Crimean Bridge on the east coast to Simferopol, Bahkchisaray, and Sevastopol on the west coast, is almost finished (work continues on the section between Simferopol and Sevastopol). Many streets, junctions, and local and intercity roads have seen extensive repair and widening work in the past several years.


The Khan's palace
  • The Khan's Palace — The Khan's palace is in the small mountain village of Bahkchisaray half-way between Simferopol and Sevastapol. The Khan's palace was the seat of the Tatar rulers of Crimea dating back to 1443. With the Ottoman conquest of Crimea in 1475 the Khan's became a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire but were left as the rulers. After the Crimean war with the victory of Russia all of the Khan's were made Russian nobility but the capital of Crimea was moved to Simferopol. The palace grounds include impressive gardens, several old mosques including cemeteries, a harem and of course the palace itself. You can take a guided tour of the palace but only in Russian.
  • Chufut Kale Cave City — An hour and a half walk up a beautiful canyon from the town of Bahkchisaray you will find the Chufut Kale cave town dating back to the 6th century. It is high up in the cliffs so the walk is a bit strenuous but not overwhelming. It is a city of what appears to have been several thousand people who built/dug their homes into the limestone rock. The city was abandoned in the 19th century. There are some other cave cities (about 14), completely different as far as size and picturesqueness concerned
  • The Bolshoi Canyon — The Bolshoi Canyon is on the opposite side of the mountain range that Yalta sits below. It will take about an hour and a half to get there by car from Yalta. It can also be reached from Bahkchisaray by hitch hiking or minibus. Bolshoi means 'grand or large' in Russian. After reaching the entrance to the park you will have to pay a small fee (USD2) to start down the trail. From there it is about an hour hike into the canyon along a small mountain stream. You never actually end up getting a perfect view of the canyon as you are also down in the middle of it surrounded by lush vegetation but it is impressive all the same. The trail ends at a small picnic area where a local man is selling awful wine and really good fried food. There is a small waterfall and a pool where you can do some minor diving/jumping. You can continue further up the stream without the trail but it is a bit more rough going.
  • Caves — There are three caves equipped for easy access: Krasnaya, Mramornaya, Emine-Bayır-Hosar. And there are a lot of undeveloped caves attractive to speleologists.
  • The Swallow's Nest an architectural folly, now an Italian restaurant.
  • Livadia Palace — A former summer palace to the Russian tsars and famous setting for the Yalta Conference.
  • Massandra Palace — Another former Tsarist palace, which looks a bit like a French chateau, once visited by Stalin who declined to stay there as he did not feel very safe.
  • Gurzuf, a small pretty coastal town that retains (perhaps has regained) its old Ottoman characteristics. Close to Yalta off the road to Alushta, its climate is very similar to French Riviera. Gorgeous views and clean warm sea.
    Indoors of Inkerman Cave Monastery
    Balcony of Inkerman Cave Monastery
  • Inkerman Cave Monastery — A cave monastery in a cliff rising near the mouth of the Black River, in the city of Inkerman, administered as part of the sea port of Sevastopol. It was founded in 1850 on the site of a medieval Byzantine monastery where the relics of St. Clement were supposedly kept before their removal to San Clemente by Saints Cyril and Methodius.
  • Chersonesus — An ancient Greek colony founded in the 6th century BC in the southwestern part of the Crimean Peninsula, known then as Taurida or Taurica. Nicknamed the "Ukrainian Pompeii" and "Russian Troy", the ancient city is on the shore of the Black Sea, at the outskirts of Sevastopol. Locally known as Khersones, the site is part of the National Historical-Archeological Museum Zapovednik. (In Russia and the former Soviet Union, a zapovednik is a protected area which is kept "forever wild" for conservation purposes.)
Amphitheatre of Chersonesus
Pillars of Chersonesus


Splendid mountain views of Eklizi-Burun (1,527 m) from a spot between Alushta and Simferopol.
  • Hiking in Crimea is wonderful. There are very few other backpackers and almost no clearly marked trails (as in posted signs) so you're going to be roughing it. The trails themselves though, appear to be well used. In the mountainous region though you can pretty much pick any two small towns and hike between them and be assured of an adventure. Campsites are few and far between but there is lots of open space for camping; be environmentally sensitive of course about the place you choose to camp. For a brief description of a hike see Bahkchisaraj
  • Koktebel Jazz Festival. Takes place each year in August/September, with some of the acts performing on the nude beach. Day ticket around USD12.



The Russian ruble has replaced the Ukrainian hryvnia as the legal currency of Crimea.

Choices are limited for banking. All Ukrainian banks have had to stop operations on the peninsula; as of 2023, Visa and Mastercard are not accepted, and no major Russian banks operate in Crimea, due to the risk of being targeted by international sanctions. It may be possible to withdraw money from Visa card issued by Russian banks.

Sberbank, the Russian state-controlled bank, has stayed out of Crimea but is backing a new Russian-domestic credit card "Pro 100" (pronounced “pro-sto”) which is slowly being introduced. Most often, the only practical means of doing business is with cash.



Street food can be delicious in Crimea, if somewhat heavy. Definitely try some local Tatar specialties such as chebureki (Russian: чебуреки), from an outdoor stand or a cheburechnaya (Russian: Чебуречная, "chebureki joint"). These are succulent half-moon shaped meat pies, usually filled with lamb or beef (Crimean Tatars, being Muslim, do not eat pork), and deep-fried in aromatic sunflower oil. Samsa are also good, hot pastries filled with mince meat and chopped onions.

Try manti (Russian: манты), which are steamed lamb-filled dumplings, often served with adjika (Russian: аджика), which is a very hot red chilli pepper paste.

Try lyulya-kebab and shashlik (Russian: люля-кебаб and шашлык), which are kebabs and charcoal-grilled skewered meat. If you can find pork shashlik, definitely try them. You will have more success with this in a Russian-run restaurant, as pork is not served in Tatar restaurants.

Find a good Tatar restaurant and try the lagman (Russian: лагман). It's an incredibly rich, thick lamb soup with vegetables and long homemade noodles.

The ice cream sold at the beach includes a simple one called molochnoye (Russian: молочное, "made of milk"). It's white, but it's not vanilla-flavoured. It tastes like sweet milk.

If you see women walking up the beach selling something from buckets, it's probably paklava (Russian: паклава, baklava). This paklava is like nothing you have ever had before. It's thin layers of homemade dough, put together to resemble big flowers, deep-fried and covered with nuts and honey. It's absolutely heavenly.

Find a pastry shop and try the trubochki (Russian: трубочки, "little trumpets"). A trubochka is a cornucopia shape of short pastry filled with meringue and sometimes dipped in nuts. Delicious with chai (Russian: чай, tea).



The beer in Crimea is outstanding and cheap.

Crimea is a wine-producing region. Most of the wine produced here, at the famous Massandra Palace winery and in Koktebel', is dessert wine in the style of Port or Madeira. Unwary foreigners might buy a bottle of what looks like red or white wine in a kiosk and find it undrinkably sweet. That's because it's meant to be sipped, in very small quantities, not drunk like a Merlot. If it's regular wine you're looking for, avoid anything labelled Портвейн (Portwine), Мадейра (Madeira), Мускат (Muscat), Токай (Tokay). For table wines, ask for sukhoye vino (dry wine) or look for labels such as Совиньон (Sauvignon), Каберне (Cabernet), and Ркацтели (Rkatseteli), or look for Georgian wines, which are delicious and plentiful.

Try the regional sparkling wine, produced at Noviy Svet (Russian: Новый Свет, "New Light"), near Sudak. It's labelled "Шампанское" (Shampanskoye, champagne). Try to buy it somewhere reputable, though, because there are knock-offs. Noviy Svet is a very beautiful spot; you can tour the caverns where the wine is aged.

If you're not going anywhere else in Russia and Ukraine, try kvass (Russian: квас). It's a very refreshing non-alcoholic drink made of fermented wheat, the traditional drink of farmworkers in the bread-basket of Ukraine, prized for its restorative properties.

Try the local kefir (Russian: кефир), a cultured-milk beverage. When ice-cold, it's extremely refreshing on a hot day.

If you're feeling adventuresome, you might look for kumys (Russian: кумыс or кымыз), which is fermented mare's milk, a traditional drink of the Tatars and nomadic peoples of Central Asia.

Beware, some of the local mineral waters taste very salty. Look for a Western European brand, especially if you're going to be exercising.

Vodka is cheap and plentiful, some of the supermarkets have the best prices and the widest choices.



Germany's Deutsche Post (DHL) does deliver packages to Crimea (as of Apr 2021).

SIM cards differ between carriers, even if the companies are under common ownership.

Mobiles from non-Russian providers do not receive a signal on the peninsula, a result of international sanctions. Many Apple and Google applications are no longer accessible in the region.

Stay safe


Security is tight throughout the region. Visitors should exercise caution in dealing with police and officials, and should avoid photographing anything with military significance.

Consular services are unavailable for voyagers from most nations. Western embassies in Moscow are accredited to cover Russia, but they exclude Crimea on the grounds that it legally belongs to Ukraine. Western embassies in Kyiv may have no means to reach or help you in an emergency.

Some nations have sanctions in place against Russia which may affect travellers. Don't expect Western payment cards or mobile telephones to work in Crimea. Anyone considering doing business in the area should check their own government's rules first. Also check Russian rules; they block some things such as import of Western foodstuffs.

There is high military presence due to Russia's war on Ukraine, and the situation can deteriorate quickly. See War zone safety.

Motor vehicles are a big safety hazard. Drivers tend to stick to speed limits as there are many militsyia (police), but the road surfaces are poor which leads to some unsafe overtaking, even on the curvy coast and mountain roads. Pedestrians cross roads at their own peril. Be particularly careful if a car has stopped for you at a marked pedestrian crossing; check around the car before you venture past it farther into the crossing, because another very well may swing around it and go right through... right where you would be walking. Most cars ignore pedestrians!

Crimea does not have a major problem with crime. However, foreigners are at risk of being robbed if they are not careful about flashing wealth, except in Yalta during the summer which is filled with rich Russians. Foreigners should not hitchhike or take unmarked cabs unless they are travelling in a group. The safest way for a foreigner to travel alone is to take a bus or a marshrutka (a microbus that follows the regular bus routes). Moreover, beware of drunk men at night, especially if your skin is coloured. Beware also of the police, who may be corrupt and ask you for "presents", i.e., bribes.

Discrimination by authorities against LGBT minorities is on the increase as Russian laws now apply to Crimea. The same warnings about anti-gay discrimination which apply to Russia must now also be applied to Crimea.

The countryside, which is extremely poor, is very safe. You are more likely to get kicked by a wandering horse than robbed. Crimeans on the whole are very polite, except when lining up for a bus or service at a shop when pushing to the front has been perfected into an art form. Standing in line is not an option!

There are plenty of ATMs and, as always, be careful around them. At night avoid lonely places where numerous drunks hang out, they are not really a danger except they might fall on top of you.



Although the Russian invasion and annexation of Crimea is widely condemned in the West, feelings among its residents are more mixed. Avoid referring to the Crimeans as "Ukrainian", so as not to upset those who identify as Russian.

The Crimean Tatars have a tense relationship with Moscow due to the mass deportations under Stalin and their current treatment; they generally support Ukraine.

Go next


Direct travel to neighbouring Ukraine is not possible.

The Crimean Bridge brings you to the Taman Peninsula, where you can continue toward the following Russian destinations:

  • Taman — ancient Turkish fort town with the Cossack ethnography museum
  • Novorossiysk — major port on the Black Sea

Moscow can be reached directly by plane, and Sochi, one of Russia's primary seaside resorts but better known abroad for hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics, is a 12- to 18-hour bus journey away.

This region travel guide to Crimea is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!