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Coat of arms
Yalta is located in Crimea
Location of Yalta within Crimea, Ukraine
Yalta is located in Yalta
Location of Yalta
Coordinates: 44°29′58″N 34°9′19″E / 44.49944°N 34.15528°E / 44.49944; 34.15528
Country  Ukraine
Territory Crimea
Region Yalta municipality
Elevation 40 m (131 ft)
 - Total 80,552
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 98600 — 98639
Area code(s) +380-654
Former name Yalita (until 15th cent.)
Website official website

Yalta (Ukrainian and Russian: Ялта, Crimean Tatar: Yalta) is a city in Crimea, southern Ukraine, on the north coast of the Black Sea. The city is located on the site of an ancient Greek colony, said to have been founded by Greek sailors who were looking for a safe shore (γιαλός – yalos in Greek) on which to land. It is situated on a deep bay facing south towards the Black Sea, surrounded by wooded mountains. It enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate with many vineyards and orchards in the vicinity.

The term "The Greater Yalta" is used to designate a part of the Crimean southern coast spanning from Foros in the west to Gurzuf in the east and including the city of Yalta and multiple adjacent urban settlements (the area of the Greater Yalta is marked dark blue on the map).



12th-19th centuries

The existence of Yalta was first recorded in the 12th century by an Arab geographer, who described it as a Byzantine port and fishing settlement. It became part of a network of Genoese trading colonies on the Crimean coast in the 14th century, when it was known as Etalita or Galita. Crimea was captured by the Ottoman Empire in 1475, which made it a semi-independent subject territory under the rule of the Crimean Khanate but the southern coast with Yalta was under direct ottoman rule forming the Eyalet of Kefe (Feodosiya). Yalta was annexed by the Russian Empire in 1783, along with the rest of Crimea, sparking the Russo-Turkish War, 1787-1792. Prior to the annexation of the Crimea, the Crimean Greeks were moved to Mariupol in 1778; one of the villages they established nearby is also called Yalta.

In the 19th century, the town became a fashionable resort for the Russian aristocracy and gentry. Leo Tolstoy spent summers there and Anton Chekhov in 1898 bought a house ("Belaya Dacha" - The White Mansion) here, where he lived till 1902; Yalta is the setting for Chekhov's short story, The Lady with the Dog and such prominent play as "The Three Sisters" was written in Yalta. The town was also closely associated with royalty. In 1889 Tsar Alexander III finished construction of Massandra Palace a short distance to the north of Yalta and Nicholas II built the Livadia Palace south-west of the town in 1911.

In the 20th century

During the 20th century Yalta was the principal holiday resort of the Soviet Union. In 1920, Lenin issued a decree "On the Use of Crimea for the Medical Treatment of the Working People" which endorsed the region's transformation from a fairly exclusive resort area into a recreation facility for tired proletarians. Numerous workers' sanatoria were constructed in and around Yalta. There were, in fact, few other places that Soviet citizens could come for a seaside holiday, as foreign travel was forbidden to all but a handful. The Soviet elite also came to Yalta; the Soviet dictator Stalin used the Massandra Palace as his summer residence. NKVD shot all prisoners in city prisons on November 4, 1941.

View of Yalta from the coast of the Black Sea.
Naberezhnaya of Yalta
Yalta's Sea Promenade (Naberezhna), containing a great number of hotels, restaurants, and cafés.
The front façade of the Livadia Palace, located in the town of Livadiya, used for the Yalta Conference during World War II.
Swallow's Nest near Yalta; built in 1912 in Neo-Gothic style by the order of German baron Stengel according to a design by Russian architect A.Sherwood.

The town came to worldwide attention in 1945 when the Yalta Conference between the "Big Three" powers - the Soviet Union, the United States and the United Kingdom - was held at the Livadia Palace.

Modern Yalta

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Yalta has struggled economically. Many of the nouveaux riches started going to other European holiday resorts, now that they had the freedom and money to travel; conversely, the impoverishment of many ex-Soviet citizens meant that they could no longer afford to go to Yalta. The town's transport links have been significantly reduced with the end of almost all passenger traffic by sea (on conditions for 2009 sea passenger lines return to Yalta. New line Yalta - Novorossiysk (Russia) is operating in July and August. + line Yalta - Sinop (Turkey) ). The longest in Europe trolleybus line goes from train station in Simferopol to Yalta (almost 90 km). Yalta is really overcrowded in high season (July-August) and prices for accommodation are very expensive. Most of tourists here are from former Soviet Union countries. Foreigners (this would be approximately 7% to the total number of tourists visiting Yalta) are mostly from Europe and United States.

Yalta has a beautiful embankment along the Black Sea. People can be seen strolling there all seasons of the year, and it also serves as a place to gather and talk (actually the place "to see and to be seen"). There are several beaches on left and right sides from embankment. Yalta has a movie theater, drama theater, plenty of restaurants, open-air market.

Main sights

Famous attractions within or near Yalta are:

  • Yalta's Sea Promenade (Naberezhnaya), housing many attractions and being recently renovated (2003-2004);
  • Armenian Church, built by V. Surenyants;
  • A Roman Catholic Church built by N. Krasnov, a famous Russian architect
  • Yalta's Cablecar, taking visitors to the Darsan hill, from which one can see Yalta's shoreline;
  • Renovated Hotel Taurica, the first hotel in the former Russian Empire with elevators;
  • Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, constructed by the architect Krasnov, which also constructed the Livadia Palace and the architect P. Terebenyov;
  • Former main building of the Ministry of Defence hotel, built in the style of a Gothic castle;
  • Palace of Bukhara Emir;
  • Yalta's Zoo;
  • Yalta's Aquarium, housing small dolphins;
  • Park-museum Polyana Skazok (Glade of Fairytales);
  • House-museum of Anton Chekhov;
  • House-museum of Lesya Ukrainka;
  • House with Caryatids, where the composer A. Spendiarov lived

Moreover, Yalta's suburbs house:

View of Yalta and the surrounding Crimean Mountains, as seen from the "Tsar's Path".


As Yalta lies to the south of the Crimean Mountains and within an amphitheatre of hills, the climate is very mild. In February, the average temperature reaches 4°C. Snow is rarely seen and the city's thin layers of snow thaw quickly. In July, the average temperature reaches 24°C. The sun shines approximately 2,250 hours per year. Since the city is located on the shore of the Black Sea, the weather rarely becomes extremely hot due to the cool sea breezes. The average year temperature for Yalta is + 13 C.

Weather data for Yalta
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6
Daily mean °C (°F) 4
Average low °C (°F) 2
Avg. precipitation days 16 13 12 11 10 8 6 6 7 8 11 16 124
Source: Weatherbase[1]


As of the Ukrainian Census conducted on January 1, 2001, the population of Yalta is 80,500. The main ethnic groups of Yalta are: Russians — 65%, Ukrainians — 25.7%, Crimean Tatars — 4%, Belarusians — 2%. The absolutely predominant language in the streets of the city is Russian. This total number doesn't comprise the population of neighboring villages and small towns. The metropolitan area population is about 125,000.

Twin cities

Yalta is twinned with the following cities:


External links

See also

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Europe : Ukraine : Crimea : Yalta
The Swallow's Nest, one of the Neo-Gothic châteaux fantastiques near Yalta, Ukraine.
The Swallow's Nest, one of the Neo-Gothic châteaux fantastiques near Yalta, Ukraine.
Livadia Palace near Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine
Livadia Palace near Yalta, Crimea, Ukraine

Yalta is a resort town on the Crimea peninsula in Ukraine.


Yalta is a kitschy place, with memories from 19th century VIPs who came to cure their illnesses, as well as from communist-era citizens who got the privilege to go there and take it easy. Today it's a tourist trap in beautiful surroundings. Yalta is twinned with Margate in England.

In the summer months it can get very crowded, in the autumn the weather can still be warm and pleasant.In October for example, the temperature can still get to the high 20's. Winter's are not as cold in Yalta as the rest of Ukraine. Protected from the North by the mountains and warmed by the Black Sea, there is never a lot of snow in the winter, but beware of the winds as they can be bitingly cold.

English is not widely spoken in the Crimea, but it is understood by most young people. Russian is the main language spoken in the Crimea, as well as Ukrainian and Tatar. The people are very friendly and crime in this city of over 80,000 people is low. Tourists are safe as long as they follow sensible rules, don't flash your cash, avoid unlit pathways at night (if only to avoid the drunks), and don't let strangers buy you drinks, in places you do not know.

Get in

Kiev airport (Boryspil) is usually the first stop on the way to Yalta. Please note this airport is not very big (more the size of a regional airport) it is always crowded and some staff do not understand English. If, you want to transfer from Kiev to Simferopol, you need to turn left out of Terminal B's (the International Terminal) doors and walk about 200 metres to Terminal A (internal connections). Terminal A is small, cold in the winter and boiling hot in the summer.

You can fly to Simferopol from Kiev on Aerosvit or Ukraine Airlines(there not many flights a day 3 at the most - so be prepared for a long wait in Terminal A)There are a number of airlines that fly directly to Simferopol (from Frankfurt, Tanin, Istanbul etc). You can also take a train from Kiev to Simferopol. Much cheaper than flying if you are on a tight budget and have a lot of time on your hands. Take the usual precautions if you go by train, lock your cabin doors at night, keep all your valuables with you, don't invite strangers into your cabin. The train journey takes about a day. If you are planning on staying the night in Simferopol there is a western style hostel there Simferopol Crimea Travelers Hostel.

From Simferopol Airport in the north of the city (Simferopol is the capital of the Region of Crimea) you can go the scenic way on the trolley bus to Yalta - this is the longest trolley bus route in the world (it takes about 3 hours and is very slow and uncomfortable, but you get wonderful views of the mountains). Please note that these trolley busses are very old so it might be better to take a mini bus, which is faster, more comfortable but a bit more expensive (2 Euro). The quickest, but most expensive way to get to Yalta (10 to 20 Euro is a typical one way fare)) is by taxi, it takes just over an hour depending on the age of the taxi or the skill of the taxi driver in avoiding the potholes in the roads.

Get around

Most people use the local mini buses, very cheap and lots of them. Some you pay for when you get on board and some when you get off, slightly confusing at times! There is really just one main street in Yalta and the trolleybus is cheap. It goes from the main bus station (avtovagzal) to the Spartak cinema. If you wind up going the wrong way, just get off, cross the street, and go back !!! Taxi's are everywhere some are genuine, and some are just people offering you a ride for a fare. Speaking English means the fare goes up, but it is still very reasonable, learn to haggle - if the price is too high walk away there will always be someone else to barter with.

Yalta is a city that is spread out over a large area (Greater Yalta). The centre and harbor is a great place to walk around, just beware of the local drivers, they tend not to give way for pedestrians. Traffic in the city in the summer months is heavy and you can be stuck in a jam if you go by a motor vehicle, sometimes you may find it is much quicker to walk. The locals always dress up and walk around the harbor front at night, its a great way to pass the evening away, or you can watch the people go by by enjoying a drink at one of many cafes. The waterfront is well over a mile long - from McDonald's on the East end to the Hotel Oreanda on the West. Walk the length to choose your beach, which will be somewhat "rocky".

You can also use the ferries to visit better beaches or Swallows Nest (famous folly perched on a cliff and now an Italian restaurant). Luxury cruise ships visit Yalta during the summer, on their way around the Black Sea, certainly a nice way to travel.

  • Armenian Church - (Armianski Tserka) was built in 1909-1919 as a reflection of S. Hripsime Church built over a thousand years ago in Armenia. Above the center of town, at the top of a mini-Potemkin stairwell, the beautifully detailed church is well worth visiting. There are many carvings, arches and nooks, making this a very nice place to spend a little down time.
  • Roosevelt Street (Russian: "Улица Рузвельта" /Ulitsa Ruzvjelta/) Not a tourist draw in and of itself, but interesting to see the plaque with Roosevelt's profile in relief and a short dedication in Russian and English. Add it to your list if you are walking around Yalta's old town.
  • Chekov's house - Checkov wrote a woman and her dog here and many of his other short stories. The house is small and there is a museum nearby dedicated to the writer, well worth a look if you enjoyed his work. Sadly, Checkov's house is falling into disrepair, due to lack of funds. The good news is a fund has been started to raise a large sum of money to full restore the house in the future.
  • Nikita Botanical Garden, [1]. Founded in 1812, one of the world's oldest operating scientific botanical gardens. A lovely place to sit under the cherry blossoms and read Checkov.
  • The beach does not contain sand, but instead consists of smooth pebbles more closely resembling river rock than anything else. The beaches are similar to the pebble beaches of the French Riviera. Some beaches are better than others and for a small entrance fee, you can get access to a nice beach close to the Hotel Yalta. In the summer it can get very hot 32C+, If, you buy a drink from the cafe on some of the beaches, you get a free umbrella to keep you in the shade!
  • Livadia Palace This was the last Tsar's vacation residence. It was host to Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt for the Yalta Conference in 1945, in which they reportedly planned the division of Europe at the end of World War II. You can go inside and walk past the hall where the meetings took place, which has been set up to correspond with the historical photos of the meeting. You can also see the imperial family's private chapel, which is beautiful. The Palace itself is about 100 years old, though the gardens on the grounds were planted long before the Palace was built. There is a good view of the Black Sea and Yalta from the palace grounds.
  • Massandra Palace, which is outside of town, in the hills. It was built as a summer picnic palace by Alexander III, and is supposed to look like a romantic French chateau. The grounds are very pretty, with bucolic countryside surrounding it. It is situated a longish walk from the main road and uphill, so make sure you wear appropriate footwear.
  • Lenin's Statue, Situated on the waterfront opposite McDonalds, the perfect East meets West landmark.


Learn some Russian before you visit, even simple phrases will be very useful. Make sure you visit Ai-Petri (St Peter) the peak that overlooks Yalta. Take the cable car to the top of the mountain (one of the longest cable car rides in Europe). The views are great and the mountain top is home to Tartar's the orignal occupants of this land, who will offer you food and a chance to ride their horses.

Understand this is a developing country, not long out of Soviet control, so many of the services etc are not up to Western standards. Banks and ATM's are plentiful and exchange rates are pretty good.

Explore the region around Yalta it is steeped in history and there are many interesting places to visit within an hour's mini bus ride from the city.

Do be aware in the summer months Yalta is one of the main destinations for Russian and Ukrainians to take their holidays, so it becomes very crowded.


All areas of Crimea are famous for their red onions. It is said that they used to be much sweeter than they are now, but they are still a delicacy that are quite expensive elsewhere in Ukraine.

Vodka is very cheap and plentiful - you will be amazed at the many varieties available. Take a trip down to the souvenir shops located on the farside of the harbor (the other side from McDonalds), for numerous trinkets and other interesting reminders of Yalta. Beware if you speak English the prices tend to go up!

Honey It is the best honey from Ukraine! in this region you can buy almost everywhere fresh honey from apiary the best prices during the summer time.


There are several very nice little cafes at the main market (Ovoshnoi Reenuk). They are not expensive, and are cleaner and serve fresher food than many in other areas. They have quite a good selection of food and it is well prepared. Best though to only eat HOT food, for safety's sake.

Try shopping in the many markets for local produce. There are great bargains to be had on meat and vegetables. You might have to overlook some of the health standards, but as long as you wash and cook the food well - you should not have a problem. The local water can cause some people stomach problems so stick to the plentiful supply of very cheap bottled water.

  • There's a nice cafe located just over the little bridge at the McDonalds (at the port). You need to enter a building and go to the highest floor to reach it. It's not something most people dare, but if you do it you're rewarded with a great view of the town, and nice cocktails.

To get the best Vodka, take a visit to one or two of the supermarkets outside the city centre and you will find a great selection at prices you will not believe.


In Yalta during the summer the city is packed with tourists, mainly from Russia or other parts of the Ukraine. You will find a lot of Germans and Italians too. This means there are lots of apartments for rent, and some very nice hotels too. Apartments come in all shapes and sizes. Do not expect Western standards a lot of the time.

You will often find some of the best apartments are housed in buildings which look pretty shabby from the outside but inside are well furnished, and with air conditioning, this is must for the summer when it can become very hot and humid.

A word of warning if you rent an apartment in the summer, make sure you always put out the garbage (in one of the street garbage collection points) or you will attract giant roaches! Trust me they are big and persistent!

Prices vary from $50 a night up to $200+ per night for apartments with all the mod cons. The closer you are to the beach the more expensive prices become. Apartments further away from the centre might also have their water turned off at night - its a common thing in the Ukraine, be warned! You might also suffer power cuts, but this all adds to the local flavour.

Get out

Take a trip to Balaklava (about 1 1/2 hours from Yalta). This beautiful harbor town overlooked by a Genoese fortress towers and walls, was hidden from visitors up to 1996 because of the Soviet submarine base that was buried in the hillside across the bay. The base was operational until 1991 and the last submarine left in 1996. This relic of the Cold War now contains a small museum which is worth a visit. Balaklava is best known for the ill fated British - Russian war of the 1850's and the famous "Charge of the Light Brigade" which took place in the valley about 4kms from the town. Balaklava is just waking up to its tourist potential with some new hotels and some great restaurants.

There are some 50 monuments in Balaklava to the heroic exploits of its soldiers, worth searching for if you can find them all!

Sevastopol is another place worth a visit. It is a busy bustling city of over a half a million people, famous for its many war monuments of the Second World War when the occupants held out against overwhelming Nazi troops to gain the name "City of Russian Glory". Home to the Ukrainian and Russian Black Sea fleets (a nice collection of rusting hulks). Make sure you visit the large markets for fantastic bargins on just about anything you can think of!

Simferopol the gateway to the Crimea Region. Not a lot to see except the wonderful Railway Station. Nice shopping areas, great bargins and plenty of places to eat.

Vorontsovsky Palace and park in Alupka is about 30 mins away by mini bus from Yalta and was home to Prince Mikhail Semyonovich Vorontsov, Russian Field Marshal known for his exploits during the Napolonic Wars. The Palace is a mixture of Scottish and Moorish design which actually works really well. The Palace is overlooked by Ai-Petri.

Yalta Zoo - Well worth a trip out to see the animals. The Zoo is actually quite large and spread out with various types of animals from Lions to Bears to Monkeys. Some of the cages are a bit small, but the animals appear to be well looked after.

There is a small aquarium opposite the Zoo. Do not waste your time, you can be in and out of it in a blick of an eye, and not worth the entrance fee.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

YALTA, a seaport of Russia, in the government of Taurida, on the S. coast of the Crimea, at the foot of the Yaila Mountains, 32 m. S. of Simferopol. Pop. 13,269. It is the Galita or Jalita of the Arab geographers. Its roadstead is open, and the annual mean temperature is 56.5° F. The town is a fashionable summer resort.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



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Proper noun




  1. A city in Crimea, Ukraine.



  • Anagrams of aalty
  • Tayla

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