Automobiles will be the biggest hazard to your safety in Crimea. Drivers tend to stick to speed limits as there are many militsyia police but the road surfaces are poor which leads to some unsafe overtaking, even on the curvy coast and mountain roads. Pedestrians cross roads at their own peril. Be particularly careful if a car has stopped for you at a marked crosswalk; check around the car before you venture past it farther into the crosswalk, because another very well may swing around it and go right through... right where you would be walking. Most cars ignore pedestrians!

Crimea does not have a major problem with crime. However, foreigners are at risk of being robbed if they are not careful about flashing wealth, except in Yalta during the summer which is filled with rich Russians. Foreigners should not hitchhike or take unmarked cabs unless they are travelling in a group. The safest way for a foreigner to travel alone is to take a bus or a marshrutka a microbus that follows the regular bus routes. Moreover, beware of drunk men at night, especially if your skin is colored. Beware also of the police, who may be corrupted and ask you for "presents", i.e. bribes.

The countryside, which is extremely poor, is very safe. You are more likely to get kicked by a wandering horse than robbed. Crimeans on the whole are very polite, except when lining up for a bus or service at a shop when pushing to the front has been perfected into an art form. Standing in line is not an option!

There are plenty of ATMs and as always be careful around them. At night avoid lonely places where the numerous drunks hang out, they are not really a danger except they might fall on top of you.

The teenagers in Ukraine outside of Kyiv appear to be some of the best behaved.


In Crimea, Russian is the universal language of communication Stalin imported Russian families into the Crimea, whilst exporting the local Tatars to Uzbekistan, Tatar a Turkic language, closely related to Turkish is also widely spoken by the Crimean Tatars. Few people speak or wish to speak Ukrainian. In decidedly and staunchly pro-Moscow Crimea, some might be met with a degree of hostility if spoken to in Ukrainian.

Memorize your phrase book as you most likely will be communicating with Russian speakers.

Few people speak or understand English.

Spoken English in the Crimea is of a low standard. Few people have more than a passing knowledge of English. A lack of exposure to the language and the relatively low number of foreign tourists, coupled with a continued Soviet-style education means that the population is decidedly monolingual.

Be prepared to memorize words in Russian and to become familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet. A few select older people have some familiarity with German, which may be of some use. Those proficient or familiar with Turkish will have a great deal of success in communicating with Tatar speakers.

Some of the street signs in Yalta are in English from the time of the Yalta Conference in 1945.