Origin of the town
First settlements on the territory of present day Simferopol were formed in prehistoric times, Napels-Scythian is the most famous among ancient ancestors of the city.
It was the capital of late Scythian state formed in the 3rd century B.C. and presumably destroyed by Goths in the 3rd century A.D.
There was no large town on this territory in early medieval epoch.
During Crimean khanate, a small town Akmesdzhit (known as Ak-Mechet in Russian sources) which was a residence of kalga - the second person in the state after khan. The quarters built at those times are called the Old Town now.
The Old Town differs in its design with narrow and crooked streets - typical for oriental towns.
More Historical Facts…
The Russian Empire times
After Crimea was included into the Russian Empire, it was decided to form Tavricheskaya oblast (later – gubernia) on the most of the khanate territory and to found its center on the place of Ak-Mechet.
In 1784, construction of administrative and apartment buildings and an Orthodox church began close to Kebir-Dzhami mosque. This district differs by its regular design (direct streets crossing each other at the right angle) and mainly 2-storeyed buildings.
The city including both newly built quarters and the territory of Ak-Mechet received the name Simferopol - it is translated from the Greek as “the town of benefit”.
The Greek name was chosen due to the fact that at Catherine II time there was a fashion to give Greek names to new towns on the southern joined territories. It was a kind of memory of Greek colonies existing there at ancient and medieval times.
The Soviet period and present time
During the Russian Civil War (1918-1920), the city was occupied by foreign troops.
In 1945, Autonomous republic was abolished and Simferopol became the center of Crimean region of Russia. It was granted to the Ukrainian SSR in 1954.
After the declaration of Ukrainian independence in 1991, the city became the capital of the movement (Sevastopol was another important center) for separating Crimea from Ukraine.
The historical and actual closeness of Crimea to Russia is an important reason for this movement: till 1954, Crimea administratively was a part of Russia, most part of Crimean population is Russian-speaking.
Simferopol is an important transportation juncture of Crimea. Most of the ways from the republic to outer world cross the city. Simferopol, Alushta and Yalta are connected with the longest in the world trolley-bus line (86,5 km).
Most part of Crimean universities are located in the city, among them - the main university of the republic, one of the 10 classical universities in Ukraine - Tavrichesky National University named after V.I. Vernadsky, founded in 1918.
The city has teacher-training, medical and agricultural institutes and several research establishments.
It has a wide range of food-processing industries and makes wine, tobacco and cigarettes. There are also light engineering and consumer-goods industries, producing machine-tools, armatures, television sets, clothing and footwear.
Crimean Ethnographic Museum. The collection of the museum has four thousand artifacts that characterize traditional culture of ethnic groups of Crimea.
The collection includes exhibits of the material culture, customs and rituals, traditions and holidays of thirteen ethnic groups of the peninsula. Pushkin Street, 18. Opening hours: 9:00-17:00, day off - Tuesday.
Chocolate Museum. The permanent exhibition “The history of chocolate made in chocolate” is opened in Salon Du Chocolat. All exhibits are unique and made by hand in one copy.
The exhibition opens with the cocoa tree, near which there are figurines of the American Indians who first learned to make chocolate. Chocolate portraits of famous people are also presented. The pride of the exhibition is a chocolate Eiffel Tower. Kirov Street, 66. Opening hours: 10:00-18:00.
Art Museum. The museum has more than six thousand works of the Crimean artists.
Departments of the museum:
- Domestic and foreign paintings of the 16th-20th centuries;
- Hall of graphics;
- Hall of battle-painting;
- Art of the 20th century;
- Hall of religious painting;
- Hall of Western European paintings of the 16th-19th centuries.
Karl Liebknecht Street, 35. Opening hours: 10:00-17:00, day off - Monday.
Central Museum of Tavrida. Crimean Republican Museum of Local History was founded in 1867. The collection has more than 100 thousand exhibits, among them - a large archaeological collection from the Paleolithic to the Middle Ages, a collection of coins, unique graphic works of the 18th-19th centuries with views of the Crimea.
The museum holds interesting historical household items, decorative and applied art, a collection of porcelain, ethnographic materials.
Exhibitions: “The landscapes of the Crimea”, “The Past of Tavrida”, “Crimea in the Second World War”. Gogol Street, 14. Opening hours: 9:00-17:00, day off - Tuesday.
Museum of Simferopol history. The museum was opened in 2009. The exhibition includes household items, documents, photos, pictures, and coins. Pushkin Street, 17. Opening hours: 10:00-17:00, day off - Monday.
Republic of Crimea Parliament
Simferopol railway station
Vorontsov Palace. One of the earliest monuments of classical architecture in the Crimea built in 1826-1827. The palace is situated in a landscape park “Salgirka” founded in the early 19th century. Today, it is a botanical garden of Tauric National University. Yaltinskaya Street, 2, park “Salgirka”.
Scythian Naples. The ruins of the ancient capital of late Scythian state are located at the top of Peter’s Hill in the center of the city. You can see reconstructed tower, the remains of the wall. There is an excavated area with the foundation of a large public building with columns, a granary. Neapolskaya Street.
Kebir-Jami Mosque. The main spiritual center of Muslims of Crimea and architectural monument of the time of the Crimean Khanate. It is the oldest building in the city that gave it the first name of Ak-Mosque (“white mosque”). The mosque was built in 1508.
In 1907, the mosque was reconstructed and received its current forms of Turkish religious architecture. The mosque is open to tourists (you have to take off your shoes at the entrance). Kurchatov Street, 4.
Other places of interest
The chestnut with five trunks. The tree planted in 1829 reaches 25 meters in height and about 5 meters in circumference. Frunze Street, 30.
Chokurcha Cave. The site of Paleolithic man, one of the oldest monuments of human life in the Crimea. The cave is located on the eastern outskirts of Simferopol, in the valley of the Maliy Salgir River.
Among the archaeological finds are flint tools, bones and tusks of mammoths, figures carved on the limestone. Lugovaya Street, 77.
Obelisk of Dolgoruky. The monument was erected in honor of the capture of the Crimea by Russian army under the command of General V. Dolgoruky in 1771. Zhukovsky Street.
- Merchants’ rows of the late 18th - the early 19th century (shops with columns) - Odesskaya Street, 12;
- The house where A.S.Griboyedov lived (1825) - Kirov Street, 25;
- The house where L.N.Tolstoy lived (1854-1855) - Tolstoy Street, 4;
- The building of former gymnasium for boys where D.I. Mendeleyev began working in 1855 and I.V. Kurchatov studied in 1912-1920 - Karl Marx Street, 32;
- House-museum of Ilya Selvinsky;
- Scientific library named after I.Franko
- 500-year-old oak “Tavrida’s Hercules” - in Detsky (“children’s”) park. The trunk of the tree is about 6 meters in circumference, the top crown - 30 meters in diameter. Near it, there are several 300-500-year-old oaks of smaller size.
There are several theaters, philharmonic society and circus in the city.
There are not a lot of hotels in the city. According to some visitors’ reviews, the following hotels offer quite good level of service.
Hotel “Moskva”. This modern seven-story hotel is located close to the business and cultural center of Simferopol. 189 comfortable, modern rooms. Two all-day cafe-bars.
Additional services include a conference room, business center, translation services, safe, car rental, transfer and parking. Kyivska Street, 2. Phones: +38 0652 620 615 (reservation), +38 0652 620 600 (reception), +38 050 397 73 12 (cell).
Hotel “Ukraine”. The hotel is located in the historical, cultural and business center of Simferopol. It was built in the late 50’s of the 20th century. Recently, the building has undergone a complete renovation. There is a conference room for 50 people. In the health center, you can find a Finnish sauna, Turkish bath, swimming pool, jacuzzi.
128 comfortable rooms with air conditioning, TV, fridge, phone, Wi-Fi. Restaurant “Ukraine” (European cuisine).
Additional amenities include a beauty salon, business center, translation services, legal services, currency exchange, transfer, car rental, parking. Nevskogo Street (R. Luxemburg Street), 7 A. Phones: +38 0652 53 22 53 (administrator), + 38 050 393 95 58 (cell), reservation: +38 0652 63 88 95, +38 050 399 77 54.
Hotel “Sport”. The hotel is located 1.5 km from the city center. 88 comfortable rooms. There is a cafe on the ground floor - a wide range of Russian and European cuisine.
Additional amenities include a conference room, sauna, car rental, taxi call. Zhelyabova Street, 50. Phones: +38 0652 27 23 11, +38 0652 620 615 (reservation), +38 050 397 67 68 (cell).
Hotel “Victoria”. This modern four-story hotel is located in a central district of Simferopol. 16 rooms. The bar on the ground floor (European cuisine).
The price includes breakfast, luggage storage, gym. Additional services: sauna, swimming pool, conference room, internet access , parking. Dekabristov Street, 17-a. Phones: reservation +38 0652 60 00 64, +38 0652 54 72 94, +38 0652 54 72 95, +38 095 381 49 11 (cell).
Hotel “Europe”. The hotel is located in the center of Simferopol. It is an architectural monument of the 20th century.
14 comfortable rooms with all the amenities. Restaurant (European cuisine). The price includes breakfast, Wi-Fi. Additional amenities include a conference room, transfer, laundry, parking. Multilingual staff. It is not allowed to smoke in the hotel. Oktyabrskaya Street, 16. Phones: +38 0652 25 46 21, +38 066 621 98 36 (cell).
Hotel “Salgir”. This new luxury hotel is located in one of the most prestigious districts of Simferopol, close to the train station. 16 rooms. Cafe- bar (Ukrainian cuisine). Lenin Blvd, 9. Phone: +38 0652 521 920.
Hotel “Marakand”. The hotel is located in the historic part of the city, next to the old Tatar quarters across from the park and the river Salgir. All-day billiard room, parking.
16 rooms, every room has a mini-bar, hydromassage box, TV, air conditioning. Eastern cafe-teahouse (traditional Tatar and European cuisine). Vorovskogo Street, 17. Phones: +38 0652 500 656, +38 050 936 70 18 (cell), +38 099 100 51 11 (cell).