"A formerly closed city trying to get it's sea legs" Top 5 Page for this destination Sevastopol' by Dabs

Sevastopol' Travel Guide: 161 reviews and 411 photos

The start to our Crimean adventure in Balaklava

After arriving at the laughably small airport in Simferopol, we located our hotel arranged driver and headed to our hotel in Balaklava, 12km from Sevastopol. This driver was even crazier than the driver in Kiev, he swerved in and out of lanes, passed on up hills and down hills, all with Euro technopop blaring in the background.

Our Bradt Ukraine guidebook said about Balaklava that "Ukraine's rich and famous have recently discovered" it and that "they have their eyes on making this their own elite hideout". So you can imagine our surprise when we check into our room at the nicest hotel in town, having splurged on a balcony room and finding that our view was of a small inlet filled with Ukrainian military ships and the gravel mine across the street! I think there's a bit more work to do before anyone mistakes this for Cabo San Lucus....

In hindsight, I would not stay again in Balaklava, instead I would stay in Sevastopol and make Balaclava a daytrip. Balaklava's dining options were extremely limited, we spent a lot of time taking marshutkys and buses to get where we needed to go.


On our 2nd day in the Crimea, we hopped on a #9 marshutky and headed to 5km which is about halfway between Balaklava and Sevastopol. As it was a Sunday, the market area around 5 km was swarming with people and the entire market area was open, anything and everything you could possibly want to buy. After wandering through most of that, we hopped on a bus and headed towards the city center, with the help of a local we got off the bus near the Panorama, visited that, walked to Traktir, a local Ukrainian restaurant for lunch. We continued walking towards the harbor area, viewed some of the monuments, went on a 1/2 hour cruise through the Ukrainian and Russian ships that are docked there, walked back to Celanteno's for pizza and then caught a bus to get back to Balakava.


Our third day in Crimea was spent visiting the Khan's Palace and Chufut Kale cave city in Bakchysaray, about 1 hour away. Three days in this area was just about right, 1 day for Balaklava, 1 day for Sevastopol and 1 day for Bakchysaray. Once you are finished with your visit here, it's very easy to catch connecting buses to the rest of Crimea, we caught a bus from Sevastopol to Yalta which took about 1 1/2 hours.

  • Last visit to Sevastopol': May 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (25)

Comments (12)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Jan 28, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    Your description made me want to travel there.....

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Aug 10, 2009 at 10:33 AM

    Excellent page! I also know Celentano! And the bus journey between Sevastopol and Yalta is awesome! I would very much like to return to Crimea.

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Jul 20, 2009 at 5:06 AM

    Great page Kristi - very thorough tips and a strong sense of "being there with you". I loved the "Irish" breakfast, and was fascinated by your local customs tips, especially the water machine!

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Jul 13, 2009 at 10:25 AM

    First of all, what is my Gizmo doing in the Ukraine?? Kristi, I don't know how you do it - what with Uah's, Marshrutkys, Bakhchysardy, Kvas and Hrvina and to top it off - squat toilets!!!

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo
    Jul 4, 2009 at 8:18 AM

    Your tips for getting around the city of Sevastopol are very thorough, Kristi. You sound like an old hand at this even though you don't speak the language....charades come in very handy at the most surprising moments!

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Jul 2, 2009 at 7:51 AM

    Wow, Ukraine! Excellent tips - I thought they were avout my favourite dessert - Baklava, hehehe...but what a great trip you had! So enviable and happy for you...

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Jun 29, 2009 at 2:22 PM

    Kristi, fabulous page with outstanding photos. Although I haven't been to Crimea yet, your page brings back many memories of our trips through the Ukraine. I also like Pizza Celentano and I think we once saw one of these water machines still in operation.

  • bugulma's Profile Photo
    Jun 27, 2009 at 7:58 AM

    useful tips, i hope to use some soon

  • Jefie's Profile Photo
    Jun 23, 2009 at 3:55 AM

    I was looking forward to reading one of your Ukraine travel pages, thanks for the very interesting tour! I hope you'll get a better Irish breakfast in Dublin ;o)

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Jun 14, 2009 at 9:03 PM

    Wonderful page and thanks for the great tips. Looks like you had a good time exploring.


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