32 best sights of Simferopol – descriptions and photos

32 best sights of Simferopol – descriptions and photos

Crimea is a wonderful place, representatives of different ethnic groups lived here: Greeks, Scythians, Sarmatians, Tatars. But among them stand out and still live on the territory of the peninsula Karaites, who confess a special form of Judaism.

Kebir-Jami Mosque

Kebir-Jami Mosque is the brightest landmark and the oldest building in Simferopol. It is believed that by the color of the walls of the facade of this monument of architecture, Simferopol received its first name – Ak-Mosque – White Mosque.

Scythian Naples

The ruins of the ancient city of Scythian Naples are now a historical and archaeological reserve on the outskirts of Simferopol. You can tour part of the territory, and the buildings, dug out of the ground, are an open-air museum exposition.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Simferopol

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Simferopol literally rose from oblivion. It was laid in 1787 in honor of a visit to Crimea by Catherine II, but the death of Gregory Potemkin, then the Empress, the assassination of Paul I, the war with Napoleon stopped construction.

Archaeological Museum of Simferopol

The Archaeological Museum of Simferopol, opened in 1974, has a vast collection of more than five thousand items, which are distributed over three sections. The first section contains items from prehistoric times, from the Paleolithic Age to the Bronze Age.

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Bogatyr Tavrida

According to some estimations the age of the giant oak “Bogatyr Tavrida” is up to 750 years. And its trunk with a circumference of 6.2 m soars into the Crimean sky as much as 30 m. Now the tree has the status of a botanical nature monument. The ancient giant is surrounded by a metal fence – you cannot get close to the trunk.

Gagarin Park

Gagarinsky Park in Simferopol is a huge green area in the center of the city. Gagarinsky park is considered to be the main recreation place not only in Simferopol, but also the largest in Crimea. The area of the park is 50 hectares. Gagarinsky Park is called the “lungs” of Simferopol.

State Academic Musical Theatre of the Republic of Crimea

Crimean Academic Ukrainian Musical Theater appeared in Simferopol soon after in 1954, when in 1954 the Crimea region was transferred from the RSFSR to the Ukrainian SSR. At that time the Third Regional Mobile Drama Theater, which laid the foundation for the current musical theater, was transferred here from Kiev.

Dolgorukov Obelisk

Dolgorukov Obelisk is one of the main attractions of Simferopol. Earlier the obelisk had a slightly different name – the Dolgorukov Monument. The obelisk was placed in honor of the victory of Russian arms over the Turks led by Prince Vasily Mikhailovich Dolgorukov-Krymsky.

Vorontsov House

The House of Vorontsov is one of the main attractions of Simferopol. It is also called the House on the Salgir – because it is located in a park, which is called Salgirka, less frequently – Vorontsov Park.

Catherine Garden

Catherine’s Garden is the oldest public park in Simferopol. The first trees on the Salgir bank were planted back in 1820, and immediately the gorgeous English-style park became a favorite stroll spot for townspeople. There are still many people here, though today the state of the garden is far from ideal.

Simferopol railway station

The railway station of Simferopol is the first attraction with which visitors get acquainted. Provided the tourist will not be in a hurry to quickly leave the station and find himself on the place of rest, and allow yourself to look around more carefully, he will see a lot of interesting things.

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A concentration camp at the “Krasny” state farm

The German occupiers organized about 180 concentration camps on the territory of Ukraine for prisoners of war, Jews, Gypsies and fighters against the invaders. But only four were officially recognized by Germany as “death factories” similar to Auschwitz.

Museum of local history of Simferopol

Simferopol Museum of Regional History used to be called the Central Museum of Tauris. Its exhibits consist of over 150 thousand items, giving a full picture of the peninsula’s nature and history.

Crimean Academic Theater named after M. Gorky

It is one of the oldest in Ukraine, second only to the Chersonese. Its original name (since 1888) was the Simferopol Nobility Theater, and then it was renamed the Theater of the Tauride Nobility, and in 1920 – the First Soviet Theater… However, in total it was renamed a dozen times.

Crimean Academic Puppet Theater

It is one of the oldest puppet theaters in Ukraine, established back in 1939. Since then, it has enriched its repertoire with all possible genres for a puppet theater – comedy, tragedy, drama, opera, ballet, Commedia dell’arte, cave.

Crimean Museum of Ethnography

In Crimea, a lot of tribes crossed their historical paths. They are depicted in exhibitions of the Crimean Ethnographic Museum, which was opened in 1992 as a branch of the Taurida Central Museum, and became an independent museum in 2009.

Crimean Tatar Academic Theater

This theater has a dramatic history. After all, such a theater is unique not only in Ukraine: it’s the only Turkic theater in Ukraine and the world’s only theater of the Crimean Tatars. And the traditions of this theater date back to the theatrical performances at the court of the Crimean khans in the XIV-XV centuries.

Museum of Smileys

In the Crimea on the way to the sea you can see something unusual – a giant yellow smiley. Don’t be afraid: this is one of the exhibits of the new Museum of Smiley faces. The purpose of the exhibition is to cheer up every visitor. Some of the figures make very funny sounds.

Chocolate Museum in Simferopol

Art-cafe Salon Du Chocolat in Simferopol is famous among the citizens not only for the fact that chocolate lovers can try all kinds of chocolate here, dozens of cakes, desserts, cakes and drinks, but also for the fact that on its basement floor works an unusual institution – Chocolate Museum.

Simferopol is Crimea’s cultural and administrative center. It is a Hero-City with a great and interesting history.

The city traditionally has many tourists: some go specifically to the sights of Simferopol, while others stop by for a while, waiting for the time before the departure of the train or bus to the resorts. Simferopol has always been bustling, lively and at the same time peaceful.

The two cultures – Byzantine and Turkic – are located in Simferopol next to each other and constantly intertwined. This is reflected in the toponymy of the city.

The capital of Crimea has several names. From Greek Simferopol can be translated as “city of benefit”, “city-gatherer” or “city of the common good”. And since the Crimean Khanate period the city had one name – Akmesjit (or Akmechet, Akmechit, Ak-Mechet). Which in translation sounds like a “white mosque”. From the reign of Alexander I and until the revolution on the maps and in official sources, the city was called in the Greek and Crimean-Tatar manner.

Simferopol got its “ancient” name because of the fashion, which existed at the court of Catherine II, to name the new southern territories in memory of the Greek settlements once located there.

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Simferopol is located on the Salgir River. The city celebrates its official birthday in 1784, but the first settlements appeared on this site in the 3rd century BC The ancient city was called Scythian Naples, its ruins are now located near Petrovskaya Balka (on the banks of the Salgir).

Crimean Tatar trace – the city Akmichet – can also be found in modern Simferopol

Now the remains of the “White Mosque” are called the Old City. They can be found in the area of Petrovskaya Balka, the block is bounded by several streets: Lenin, Krylov, Krasnoarmeiskaya and Sevastopolskaya.

Architecture of Simferopol

The quarters of the old city are not like the rest of Simferopol. The curvy and narrow streets, the layout resembles a typical building in the cities of Central Asia.

Quarters built under the leadership of Prince Grigory Potemkin-Tavrichesky look quite different: wide and straight streets, clear layout and beauty of clean lines. The quarter is defined by Rosa Luxemburg, Pavlenko, Mayakovsky, Kavkazskaya, Karaimskaya and Proletarskaya streets. It is from here, from the left bank of the Salgir, was built the provincial city of Simferopol.

Soviet-era buildings and modern buildings occupy large areas, mostly dormitory neighborhoods, with little of note.

In the spring of 1944 Simferopol was nearly blown up by retreating Nazi troops from the city. The theme of the Great Patriotic War and the occupation is depicted in numerous monuments on the streets of Simferopol.

Simferopol is an important transportation hub of the peninsula. The city has two airports, train station (represents considerable tourist value, so the tour can begin immediately after leaving the platform of the train) and bus station. Most residents prefer to move around the city by trolley bus, especially since a couple of routes connect Simferopol with other cities.

The longest trolleybus line in the world connects Simferopol with Yalta and Alushta. Its length is 86.5 km.

You can not come to Simferopol and not go to the House of Count Vorontsov, not to visit the Botanical Gardens, Scythian Naples. Let the capital of Crimea is not on the coast, but close to Simferopol reservoir – a huge reservoir of fresh water and a favorite place to rest.

And there’s plenty to see and do at museums, including the National Museum of Local Lore and the Crimean Tatar Museum, which will tell you a lot about the lives of the Crimean peninsula’s indigenous ethnic groups.

32 best places to see in Simferopol: descriptions and photos

25 places of interest in Simferopol with descriptions and photos. What interesting places you can see, where to go for a walk with children. Entertainment in the city in the evening.

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How to get there

Simferopol is the main and only passenger airport in Crimea. It receives flights from about 40 Russian cities. The schedule depends on the season: fewer planes in winter and more in summer. The flight from Moscow takes about two and a half hours. You can get to Simferopol airport by bus number 49, trolleybuses number 17 and number 20. Hotels near the airport are available for booking.

Direct trains from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Kislovodsk go to the railway station of Simferopol. There are options to get from other cities: read our article about traveling to Crimea by train and choose an apartment not far from the station.

Bus flights go to Simferopol from the Russian capital, as well as from most southern cities. Another way to travel is by car.

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The nearest resort to Simferopol is Alushta. The cities are separated by 45 km and you can get there by shuttle bus or cab in about an hour.

How to get from the airport to Simferopol

  • By public bus-trolleybus 49. The stop is just to the left of the exit on the second road on the account. The fare is inexpensive. Travel time is 40 minutes to 1 hour.
  • By cab. You can book a cab at the counter at the airport or negotiate with private individuals who offer their services at the exit. The prices are around 600 – 1200 rubles. Your time will be 30-40 minutes.
  • Personal transfer. You will be met by a driver with a nameplate and taken to the hotel for only 1000 rubles. You can pay by card online or in cash to the driver. You can order a cab on this site .

Karaite kenassa

Karaite kenassa

Karaite kenassa.

Kenassa is a religious building of the Karaites, a small nation living on the territory of the Crimea. The religion of the Karaites has many features in common with Judaism. The construction of a house of prayer for the community of Simferopol began in 1889, in 1896 the kenassa started to work. In the XX century it was closed several times and the interior was almost completely destroyed, but in 1979 the building was granted a status of architectural monument. At the beginning of the XXI century it resumed religious services, and now the kenassa is under reconstruction.

Why visit .

The original architecture of the building makes it one of the most notable structures in the city. The appearance of the kenassa has features of Eastern and Byzantine styles, which are intertwined with Gothic details. Currently it is only possible to view the building, but after the reconstruction it will become operational again. Moreover, there are plans to open a Karaite museum and a cafe where you can taste the national cuisine.

Address: Karaite Kenesa, Karaite Street, Simferopol.

Archeological Reserve of the Scythian Naples

The history of modern Simferopol began in 1784, when Catherine the Great founded the capital of Crimea. But the settlement in its place existed before. In the II century BC there was one of the Scythian royal fortresses, known as the Scythian Naples. Excavations of the ancient settlement revealed Scythian King Skilur’s mausoleum, fragments of 8.5 m thick defense walls, vaults of the rich, graves of commoners, fragments of statues, gold jewelry and marble bas-reliefs. Despite the efforts of archaeologists, much of the fortress is still hidden underground.

The pavilion above the tomb of King Skilur. Photo: © Oleksandr Mykhaylyk, license CC BY-SA 4.0, commons.wikimedia.org

The pavilion above the tomb of King Skilur. Photo: © Oleksandr Mykhaylyk, license CC BY-SA 4.0, commons.wikimedia.org

Dramatheatre in Simferopol

The main decoration of the center of Simferopol is the Crimean Academic Drama Theater named after A. M. Gorky. Its history began in 1827 thanks to a Moscow merchant Volkov, who moved to the Crimea on the recommendation of doctors. During its existence, the theater has changed its name at least 10 times, but has always remained very popular with local residents and vacationers. The beautiful neoclassical and art nouveau building was built in 1911 specifically for the theatrical troupe.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

One of the most important Orthodox churches in Simferopol opened in 1829 and welcomed parishioners for over a century. However, in 1930 the cathedral was blown up, and in its place was laid out a park. In the early XXI century the restoration of the temple began, and in 2009 it was consecrated in the name of Gury of Tauris and is now active.

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Why visit .

Despite the fact that the reconstructed temple is not a copy of the historic Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, its architecture is noteworthy, so the inspection of the church can be included in the tourist route through the city. The building is crowned with five gilded domes, it is made in a strict classical style. The main entrance has a portico with five columns and a triangular pediment. There is an orthodox educational center at the temple.

Address: Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Zhukovsky Street, Simferopol.

Central Museum of Tauris

The main museum of the city is devoted to the history and nature of the Crimea. Its collection tells about the culture and life of different peoples, peculiarities of landscapes, geology, as well as animals and plants of the peninsula. At the moment there are over 150 thousand exhibits in the museum halls, the oldest of which date back to BC.

Salgirka Park (Vorontsov Park)

Park Salgirka (Vorontsov Park)

The park “Salgirka” (Vorontsov Park).

This large (over 30 hectares) green area, located near the Salgir River, is one of the oldest city parks. It was laid out back in the XVIII century, and some of the trees planted then are still there.

Why visit .

The park is well equipped and suitable for walks. There are many species of Crimean trees and shrubs, including sycamore, cedar, maple, and Crimean pine. Moreover, there are several monuments and historical buildings, built in the end of XVIII – beginning of XIX centuries. Among them are the Vorontsov House, decorated in classical style, and the Pallas country manor with interesting oriental style elements.

Address: Vernadsky Prospect, Vernadsky Crimean Federal University, Simferopol.

Simferopol Reservoir

Simferopol water reservoir

Simferopol Reservoir.

In order to supply the city and its surroundings with fresh water in 1950s a large reservoir was built. Today it remains one of the largest artificial reservoirs in the Crimea and continues to be the main source of water for Simferopol residents.

Why visit .

There is a protective zone around the reservoir, so there is no infrastructure for recreation on the banks. However, locals and tourists still come here: you can sunbathe, admire the Crimean nature and fish. Amateur fishing from the shore is not always allowed, so you should ascertain before visiting if the season is open or not.

Address: Simferopol water reservoir, Crimea.

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Excursions in Simferopol

Thanks to its convenient location, Simferopol has become the starting point for trips around Crimea. There are many tour bureaus in the city, where you can order day trips, weekend excursions with a group or an individual guide:

  1. Simferopol is worth starting with . The sightseeing tour accompanied by a personal guide and a team of 1-4 people will introduce you to local attractions. In 4 hours you will visit the excavations of the Scythian Naples, climb the mountains by car, and visit the old Tatar streets. Then you’ll worship the relics of St. Luke in the Holy Trinity Monastery, go to the Peter and Paul Square and Catherine the Great Square. You shall have a walk on the seafront. Price – 4000 rubles.
  2. From Simferopol to the ancient Bakhchisarai you will take a guide in a private car. The program – Khan Palace, the cave of the Holy Assumption Monastery VIII century, the tract Maryam-Dere, the ancient Karaite cemetery, cave city-fortress Chufut-Cale, the hermitage of St. Anastasia, natural grottoes. Also you can see Bakhchisaray sphinxes and learn the mystery of Suvlu-Kaya mountain. Price 8 hour tour – 8000 rub.
  3. Trekking to the top of Southern Demerdzhi will take at least 12 hours. You will see the pristine nature of the Crimea – the Valley of Ghosts, Sunny Meadow. Then climb the cliff Alenga, enjoy the magnificent views, and walk across the plateau Demerdzhi-Yayla. After lunch near the alpine lake go on the way back past the giant 500-year-old beech trees. The cost of the tour for 1-12 people is 6000 rubles.
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In order not to waste time in an unfamiliar city tours of the Crimea from Simferopol is better to book through the travel site “Tripster”. Reviews: guides help organize an interesting vacation, generously share practical advice, talk about local traditions and mentality.

Musical Theater of the Republic of Crimea

The only musical theater on the peninsula was created in 1955 on the basis of a mobile theater from Kiev. Its playbill is designed for spectators of different ages. The troupe works with both classical works and works of modern authors. In most productions, the musical component is skillfully combined with dance and lyrics.

Photo: © Boris Mavlyutov, CC BY-SA 3.0 license, commons.wikimedia.org

Where to Eat in Simferopol

The Crimean capital has establishments of all popular formats: cafes, diners, taverns, bars, restaurants, pubs, taverns, and other places. The snack bars charge 100-200 rubles per person, the cafeterias and cafes cost from 200 to 500 rubles, and in the restaurants the average bill is around 1500 rubles, including alcohol.

In the streets there are often pavilions which offer a snack on the go – shawarma, pizza, pancakes and chebureks.

In Simferopol you can eat cheaply in a cafe “Starik Hinkalych” (Turetskaya Street, 25), canteen “Plate” (Karla Marksa Street, 34a), cafe “Chef Lunch” (Serov Street, 4), restaurant “Dikanka” (Kirov Avenue, 56), cafe “Bread and Salt” (Gruzovoy Lane, 2).

You can eat oysters in Simferopol in the restaurant “Monroe” (Kirov Avenue, 27), cafe “In Time” (Karla Marksa Street, 14), restaurant “Simfero” (Karla Marksa Street, 28).

How we prepare for a trip

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  • Airport transfers via Kiwitaxi

Observation sites of Simferopol

View from the observation platform of Simferopol

View from the observation deck of Simferopol.

Since the city is located in a hilly area, there are several natural viewing platforms. The most popular places are located on Marshala Zhukova Street, Mate Zalka Street, and the Scythian Naples Reserve. You can also view the neighborhood from the Ferris Wheel in the Children’s Park.

Why visit .

Observation decks are a great way to take a quick, no long walk, look around the neighborhood. On clear weather from some points you can even see the Black Sea, even though it is 30 km from the city. On holidays, the observation points offer the best views of the fireworks.

Address: Petrovskaya Balka, Simferopol.

Balanovskoye Reservoir

Balanovskoye Reservoir

Balanovskoye Reservoir

Balanovskoe Reservoir is located about 15 km from the city. It was built in 1974 to use the water for irrigating nearby fields. The artificial lake is still used as a source of fresh water.

Why visit .

The picturesque surroundings of the reservoir are suitable for a relaxing vacation in nature. The lake is home to bass, carp, pike and other fish, so you can go fishing. During the visit you can also see the nearby parking lot of the primitive people called Kiik-Koba Grotto.

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