The 25 best sights of Bakhchysaray – descriptions and photos

Bakhchisaray 2022: Going to see the cave cities and palaces of khans in the heart of Crimea

The vast majority of visitors to the Crimea are sure that the most valuable thing on the peninsula – the sea and beaches, and go necessarily in one of the seaside towns or villages. Coastal resorts – it’s great, but not everyone knows that the main beauty is hidden not on the coast, and in the heart of Crimea.

Just imagine: picturesque gorges, bizarre shapes of rocks, mountain plateaus, from the tops of which opens mind-blowing beauty of the panorama, the forest, where ripe wild pears, honey dogwood and medicinal hawthorn, fast rivers with cold water, from which you can drink water, and of course the ancient cave towns, whose history dates back to antiquity. This is Bakhchisaray, the medieval capital of the Crimean khans.

Where to go in Bakhchisaray

History

When people first settled here is very difficult to say, but the fact that the cave cities were built in ancient times, it is a fact. And the first known inhabitants of the mountain valleys of the Central Crimea were Greek iconoclasts, who fled here from Byzantium persecution of the iconoclasts. Here they founded many cave monasteries. Also inhabited this area and the Goths, ancestors of the Germans. So it is not by chance that employees of the occult organization of the Third Reich “Ananerbe” conducted excavations during the occupation of the Crimea – they were looking for mystical artifacts.

The very city of Bakhchisaray, whose name is translated from Turkic as “palace-garden”, was built by the first Crimean khans in the XVI century. The appearance of the old town hasn’t changed much in three hundred years: the same narrow streets, typical for the medieval Crimea clay houses in the shadow of vines and fanciful rocks, the same mosque domes and arrows of minarets. And, of course, countless coffee houses, caravanserais and teahouses, where you can taste the excellent Crimean cuisine.

Photo: commons.wikimedia.org Photo: Dmitry Metelkin Photo: Alexander Kotz

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Where to go, what to see

It will take more than a day or even a week to see all the sights and beauties of Bakhchisaray and its surroundings. So if you decided to spend your vacation in these places, you’d better have enough time and comfortable shoes, because you are going to have to walk a lot.

Khan Palace

Being a residence of the Crimean khans for many centuries, this palace has been a true gem of Crimea. Once it was called Emerald, since the roofs of all the palace buildings were covered with tiles of green glass, which sparkled in the rays of the southern sun all shades of green. Only part of the palace has survived, but it is still breathtaking in its beauty, Oriental coloring, and the taste with which it was designed and decorated. You can see arbors for rest, throne room, khans’ chambers and harem and palace mosque.

Price: 300 rubles.

Working schedule: 9 am – 8 pm

Getting there: On the bus station Bakhchisaray take bus №2 with the note “Old town” and ask the driver to stop near the palace.

Cufut Qale

This is probably the most famous cave town of Crimea. The heyday of Cufut Qale, or as it was originally called, Kyrk-Yer (Kyrk-Or), reached in the Middle Ages, when it became part of the Crimean Khanate. The ascent here is quite long (about 2.5 km), but uncomplicated – abruptly up the road takes away only on the very last segment, and look at what is there to see. This is a whole complex of once inhabited man-made caves and Karaite kenasa (houses of worship), and the mausoleum of the daughter of Khan Tokhtamysh Princess Dzhanyke Khanim, and of course, the incredible beauty of the scenery that opens with a plateau, where the ancient Chufut Kale is located.

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Cufut Qale is the most famous medieval fortress city in Crimea. Photo: Anastasia MEDYNTSEVA

Price: 200 rubles.

Cash desk working hours: from 9 am to 3 pm.

Getting there: from the bus station in Bakhchisaray take a bus number 2 marked “Old City” and go to the bus terminal, then climb in the direction of the Holy Dormition Monastery (a stone cross at the beginning of the ascent is a landmark), pass the monastery and follow the road that leads to the Western Gates of Cufut Qale.

Holy Assumption Cave Monastery

When Byzantine Greeks, persecuted by iconoclasts, fled from their homeland to Crimea, they began to settle in cave towns, founding Orthodox monasteries around them. The Holy Dormition Monastery was founded in the 7th century near the Greek cave city of Mariampol (people from there later founded the modern city of Mariupol). For most of its history, the monastery peacefully co-existed with the Muslim Bakhchisaray and the Karaite Chufut Qale.

Here to this day there is a priceless, miraculous icon of the Virgin, which was found in a miraculous way. Also on the territory of the monastery there is a healing spring that anyone can drink from.

Nowadays the Holy Dormition Cave Monastery is the largest monastery in Crimea. photo: commons.wikimedia.org

Price: free of charge.

Getting there: Take a bus №2 from the bus station in Bakhchisaray and get to the bus terminal marked “Old City”. Walk up to the Svyato-Uspensky Monastery (a stone cross at the beginning of the road is a guide).

Zıncırlı madrassah .

Or madrassah with chains. Madrasah is a Muslim school, where children received both secular and spiritual education. In 1500 one of the first Crimean khans Mengli I Giray opened such a school. It was not named by chance: there is a heavy steel chain over the madrasah’s door. It was made for everyone who enters it to bow before the greatness of science and knowledge. The building has survived unchanged to this day. Located nearby there is also luxurious mausoleum (durbet) of Khadzhi Geray, the founder of the Crimean khans’ dynasty.

The religious school was named after the chain, hanging over the door. Photo: commons.wikimedia.org

Price: 100 rubles.

Getting there: Take a minibus № 2 from the bus station in Bakhchisaray and get to the terminal point marked “Old town”. The entrance is on the left from the beginning of the road up to the Uspensky monastery (there is a sign).

The hermitage of St. Anastasia Azoresitelnitsa

In the ancient cave monastery of the VI century there is a unique “beaded church”: a small church from floor to ceiling is decorated with garlands, pendants and panels of beads, beads, semiprecious stones and multicolored glass. As you cross the threshold of the church, you think you’ve found yourself in a fairytale cave: everything here sparkles and shimmers like a Christmas tree. The tradition of decorating this church with beads appeared recently, but the church has already become famous throughout the country as the only one of its kind.

The “Bead Church” in the hermitage of St. Anastasia is the only one of its kind. Photo: skitanastasii.church.ua

Price: free of charge.

Getting there: At the bus station in Bakhchisaray take a bus going to the village Synapnoe, get out in Predschelnoye and walk about a kilometer to the beginning of the ascent to the cave town Kachi-Kalon that is on the left side of the road. The hermitage is located on the top of the mountain between the villages of Predschelnoye and Bashtanovka.

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Where to go with children

Miniature park

The first part of the park is an open-air museum, where the exact copies of all the main sights of Crimea are on display. The size of the models does not exceed a couple of meters in width and a meter in height. The models are so skillfully made that it is impossible to tell them from the originals on the photo. So if you haven’t managed to see all the wonders of the Crimea, you can make up for that here. Behind the miniatures begins a large zoo, where children and adults can admire the most different, including exotic animals. Kids will love the multipark with plaster sculptures of all their favorite cartoon and movie characters.

The park of miniatures features copies of all the main sights of the Crimea. Photo: minibah.ru

Price: 700 rubles, children under 3 years old free of charge.

Working hours: from 9 am to 11 pm, every day.

How to get there: from the bus station of Bakhchisaray take a minibus № 2 to the stop “Park of Miniatures”.

Riding on jeeps

You have to walk a lot in the mountains, and sometimes kids can’t do it, especially if you have to make a very steep climb. But what a delight they will ride an open jeep on the mountain roads! Experienced drivers will take everyone to the tops of the most picturesque mountains and the most interesting cave towns. Impressions will be enough for a long time. You can take a jeep (it’s actually a military UAZ) and ride to Cufut Qale, and the cave city of Kachi-Kalon, and just along the picturesque mountain valleys.

Steep rises of Cufut Qale will not be afraid of a jeep ride. Photo: Irina Milovidova, commons.wikimedia.org

Price: from 3000 rubles per car depending on the length and complexity of the route.

Entertainments and sights of Bakhchisaray

Bakhchisaray is a relatively small town of the Crimean peninsula which is especially popular with tourists. Due to the presence of a huge variety of attractions, entertainment centers, and just beautiful places. Below I’ve briefly described the most interesting places and possible entertainments. So, where to go and what to see.

The cave city of Mangup-Kale.

The cave city of Mangup-Kale.

In the Crimea, it is the largest cave city, which is officially recognized as a monument of history and architecture. The fortress Mangup-Kale is located 25 km from Bakhchisaray, near the village Hoja Sala. It is a unique place with an unusual architectural ensemble. The separate parts of the defense walls and the citadel are not badly preserved. But the cave complexes are in better condition. In the south of the plateau operates Annunciation Monastery. From this place opens a unique landscape, which everyone would like to admire, even those who are not interested in the ancient architecture. Read more at

The Annunciation cave monastery

The Annunciation Monastery on the Mangup Mountain

Not far from the ancient cave city of Mangup-Kale there is no less unique religious object – the functioning Annunciation Monastery. The shrine was founded in the XIV-XV centuries. At one time it was in disrepair. Today the church complex consists of a church, a bell tower and outbuildings. Cells of monks are equipped with everything necessary for living. On the walls there are some ancient frescoes. Two sepulchres are carved in the floor of the temple. A unique object that is popular with pilgrims and ordinary tourists.

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Martian Lake

Martian Lake

This is one of the most beautiful places not only in Bakhchisaray, but in the whole Crimea. The lake with the unusual name has the same unusual appearance. Especially the color of the water is striking at first glance. Once there was a quarry, but underground sources “kicked out the man” and formed an amazingly beautiful water body. Today, a huge number of tourists seek to visit this place. Many risk jumping into the water from a height, while others descend along the gentle bottom. You should be careful with bathing here, because the water, thanks to the recharge of underground springs is always cool. In principle, it is a good option to escape from the worst heat. Read more at .

Khan Palace

Khan Palace

This remarkable sight of Crimea is situated in Bakhchisaray, at 133, Riverside Street. The unique architectural ensemble, a unique example of garden art, does not leave any visitor indifferent. The palace complex was built in the 16th century and for a long time was owned by the Girey dynasty. The huge open-air museum consists of several parts: the Northern Gate, the palace square, the khan’s mosque, the baths complex, the beautiful Fountain of Tears. There are also the harem building and the front gates. The complex became a museum of history and culture of the Crimean Tatar people in the early 20s of the last century. Since 1979 it is a Historical and Architectural Museum.

More about the palace Address: River Street. 133, Bakhchisaray Phone: +7 36554 5-08-05, +7 978 835-48-51 GPS coordinates: 44.748974, 33.882578 The most beautiful place in town. Adult ticket price 300 rubles. I recommend lunch in a cafe Degirmen (Lenin St., 71) or in the restaurant Pushkin (Lenin St., 106) – not far from the palace.

Holy Dormition Monastery

Holy Dormition Monastery

Allegedly acting today monastery was built on a steep cliff in the VIII century. Of particular interest and awe is the oldest and most beautiful building of the monastery complex – Assumption Church, hanging over the cliff it has a regular rectangular shape. And at first sight is fascinating. You can reach the church by high stairs of sufficient width. Opposite the church are the cells of the monks and the household premises. At the bottom of the stairs is the Chapel of Gethsemane, erected in 1867. Nearby is one of the surviving fountains. Remarkable: all this used to be located in the middle of a luxurious garden. A few trees are left of it. Read more at .

Address: Crimea, Bakhchisaray, Staroselie quarter GPS coordinates: 44.744823, 33.910484

Tahtali Jami Mosque

Makhtala-Jami Mosque

One of the most notable, in the literal sense of the word, sights of Bakhchisaray. It is a functioning mosque. It was built back in 1707 by the heiress of Khan Haji-Selim Geray. It was made of wood, but lined with stone, which is one of its main features. Simple forms, austere outlines attract attention no less than pretentious buildings. By the way, it is not by chance that I called the mosque “noticeable”. It really can be seen from almost anywhere in Bakhchisaray. Some tourists see nothing interesting in this place, but in my opinion without the Tahtali Jami Mosque the city would lose its eastern flavor. Read more

Address: Bakhchisaray, Gasprinskogo street GPS coordinates: 44.748474, 33.886640

Sphinxes of Churuck-Su

Sphinxes of Churuck-Su

A small river Churuck-Su flows through Bakhchisaray, and in its valley there is a unique natural monument – the stone sphinxes. Formations of limestone in the form of stone columns of bizarre shapes really resemble figures created by human hands. This amazing place enjoys increased popularity among tourists. Here are obtained excellent photos, and views of the neighborhood and the city are fascinating at first glance. If you will be in these parts – do not miss the opportunity to enjoy these unique landscapes. Learn more at .

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Address: Bakhchisaray, Old Town Quarter GPS coordinates: 44.749469, 33.890094

Cufut Qale

Chufut Qale

Many tourists come to Bakhchisaray to see the remnants of the once impregnable fortress Chufut Qale located 2.5 km from the city. Before the foundation of Bakhchisaray there lived Crimean khans. Later they moved to Bakhchisaray, and only Karaites remained in the cave complex. Today this cave fortress city is striking with its grandeur, even in spite of its desolation. The structures of the Fun Fortress (second name) are in excellent condition and are of great interest not only to tourists, but also to archaeologists. Perhaps for the latter category the local landmark is even more important. Read more at .

Address: Bakhchisaray GPS coordinates: 44.741117, 33.923600

Cave monastery “Kachi-Kalon”

Kaci-Kalon

Unfortunately, on the territory of the settlement, founded around the 4th century, not a single structure has survived. But there is a healing spring, unique views and the most positive energy. Each of the grottoes of the complex is of particular interest. For example, the first two grottoes housed premises for wine-making and grape processing. In the third grotto there was a temple and burial complex, in which today only some remains of three churches are preserved. On the way from Grotto 3 to Grotto 4, the biggest one, one finds a mass of small caves. Apparently these were the monks’ cells. It is impossible to reach the fifth cave without special equipment. Read more at .

Address: Crimea, Bakhchisaray area GPS coordinates: 44.695305, 33.884753

Miniature park

Park of Miniatures

This is not a historically significant place and not an architectural monument, but a new complex that deserves no less attention than all the aforementioned objects. In Alushta there is also a park “Crimea in Miniature”, but the Bakhchisaray park is considered to be the largest on the peninsula. Only here you can see all the historical monuments, architecture of the Crimea and the sights. True, the scale of 1:25, but still. Here you and the most interesting places in Yalta, the same “Swallow’s Nest”, Simeiza, Sevastopol. You can even see the international airport of Simferopol and the wind power station of the Black Sea. And also the famous Mount Mithridates in Kerch. Read more

Address: Lenina str. 4, Bakhchisaray Phone: +7 (978) 729-01-61 GPS coordinates: 44.753915, 33.859129

Eski-Kermen – a cave city

Eski-Kermen in the Crimea

The ancient settlement on the rocks, appeared presumably in the 3rd century and existed until the 8th century. Today it is one of the most popular sights in Crimea. It is famous not only for incredible views from the plateau. Most tourists come to Eski-Kermen to see unique cave shrines, such as the Assumption of Mary. There is also an impressive siege well with stone stairs and a small pond at the bottom. In the process of visiting should follow the rules. It is not advisable to walk alone because it is easy to get lost in the numerous caves.

More information about Eski-Kermen GPS coordinates: 44 ° 36’22.3″N 33 ° 44’18.8″E (44.606191, 33.738567) Minus: far to walk, about 6 km, but you can take a quad tour or horseback riding. The entrance fee is 100 rubles.

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Naturally, there are other no less interesting and significant places in Bakhchisarai. But not all tourists come to the resort just to enjoy the sights. And in general, it is better to combine a useful thing with a pleasant one, so let’s see further where you can spend your time interestingly.

Entertainment

Entertainment in the city is enough. Each vacationer will find something to his liking even during the day, even at night.

5D movie theater attraction “Oriental Tale”.

This object is located in the old part of the city. At first glance, the building itself, made in the form of an oriental castle, attracts the attention of tourists. The construction and opening of the first of its kind movie theater in the Crimea was made possible thanks to Chinese investors. The interior design is pleasant and modern, and the prices are available to every vacationer. Emotions on the session is just off the scale. You feel as if you yourself are a participant in the events. Pictures about nature, racing and, of course, flying are especially popular.

Address: 3 Spai Street, Bakhchisaray

RED NIGHT Club

This place is perfect for active nightlife lovers. The club is located on Frunze Street, 32. Nice interior and atmosphere, fiery music and delicious dishes of European and Japanese cuisine will not leave anyone indifferent. And if we add to the list qualitative service, huge choice of cocktails, theme parties and entertainment programs, then “RED NIGHT” will be unequalled not only in Bakhchisaray, but also in its suburbs. Everybody who was here even once will come back again.

Address: Bakhchisaray, Frunze street, 32. 32, cafe “Deniza”, 2nd floor.

Equestrian Club “Gamma”.

Equestrian club is located on Simona Street, 32. It is chosen by lovers of outdoor activities and horses. Experienced instructors select a horse for each client depending on his experience. Riders with experience may be offered a skittish horse, and children – an easy-going. Everyone has the opportunity to walk around the racetrack, to learn how to communicate with horses, learn a lot of new and interesting things about them. If you have enough experience in equestrian sports – you can order a walk on the beautiful places around Bakhchisaray.

Address: Bakhchisaray, Simon Street, d. 32

Salachik Cafe

Initially I did not intend to describe cafes and restaurants in this article. But after getting acquainted with this institution I could not resist the temptation. The main feature of the cafe is not even the stylistics of the interior, cozy summer arbors with low Tatar benches. The abundance of dishes of national cuisine strikes, but even this is not the main feature – here you will not find any alcohol at all, none. There is a big choice of tea. Even there are hookahs, and different ones. Will be in Bakhchisarai, be sure to go to the outskirts and visit this amazing cafe.

Address: Bakhchisaray, 43 Basenko Str. Phone: +797 88 13 13 55 GPS coordinates: 44.747753, 33.902886

Recommendation: if you want to find a good restaurant or cafe anywhere in the world, use this service (I always do)

In Bakhchisaray there are still many sights, interesting places, but I think the above is enough for a few days of fascinating pastime. And if you have something to add, liked something in this city – share with us in the comments. Have a great holiday!

Stanislav recommends:

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Hi friends. My dream has come true, now I have to go to work and have some free time to travel. Now work on the Internet and investing.

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