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Slow Progress

A fun if slow method of getting to Yalta from Simferopol is by trolleybus. Powered by electricity, those ancient dinosaurs used to be the pride of Soviet Crimea, since they began plying the world's longest trolleybus route long before clean transport became an issue in the West. They have no other virtues we can think of. Seats are cramped and trolleybuses get jam-packed as drivers collect passengers, stopping every 50m in central Simferopol. Yet looking at the long queues at the Kurortnaya bus station, you might be really tempted to get a ticket from a booth across the road and board the trolleybus with no hassle. Trolleybus 52 serves Yalta (15uah, 2½ hours, every 20 minutes from 5.30am to 8pm). Trolleybus 51 only goes to/from Alushta (9uah, 1½ hours, every 20 minutes). Both buses stop at Luchistoye (6uah, one hour). Large bags need a separate ticket.

Air

Every second plane from Simferopol International Airport leaves for Moscow or other Russian cities. Turkish Airways has at least three flights a day to Istanbul. Ukraine International Airlines has at least four flights to Kyiv's Boryspil International Airport, while local Air Onix flies to the more convenient Zhulyany airport.

Kiyavia sells both international and domestic air tickets.

Bus

There are three main roads originating in Simferopol. One leads to Sevastopol via Bakhchysaray. Another one crosses the main ridge near Alushta before turning west towards Yalta. The third road heads east to Feodosiya and Kerch, branching off for Sudak.

Buses to pretty much anywhere in Crimea leave from the chaotic Kurortnaya bus station, located on the train station square (look out for McDonald's). There are frequent services to Yevpatoriya (20uah, 1½ hours, every 15 minutes), Sevastopol (30uah, two hours, every 20 minutes), Yalta (30uah, 1½ hours, every 10 minutes), Sudak (30uah, 2½ hours, hourly), Feodosiya (40uah, three hours, every 20 minutes) and Kerch (70uah, 4½ hours, five daily).

More buses for Kerch (half-hourly), as well as long-distance buses to the Ukrainian mainland depart from the main bus station on the other side of town.

Locals usually catch marshrutky (fixed-price minibuses) to Bakhchysaray (10uah, one hour) from the west bus station; they leave every 20 minutes. For newcomers, it's easier to hop on a Sevastopol-bound bus at the Kurortnaya bus station. It will pass Bakhchysaray bus station on the way.

Train

Simferopol is Crimea's main railway junction and has five trains daily to/from Kyiv (300uah, 14 to 17 hours). Daily services by modern Intercity trains have reduced travel time to Dnipropetrovsk (150uah, five hours) and Kharkiv (220uah, seven hours). There are many more slower trains to Kharkiv, which stop at Zaporizhzhya (150uah, five hours). Many Kharkiv-bound trains continue onwards to Moscow. Tickets are often in short supply in summer, especially at the end of August.

Local elektrychky (electric trains) run regularly along the Crimean peninsula to/from Yevpatoriya (12uah, two hours, seven daily) and Sevastopol (12uah, two hours, seven daily). The latter service stops en route in Bakhchysaray (7uah 40 minutes).