Crimea Stories and Tips

Getting Private Accommodation

In the height of summer the more touristy areas of the Crime - like Yalta and Sudak - can get very busy. There are lots of hotels but these tend to be on the pricey side. Many Ukrainian and Russian holiday makers - usually families - use private accommodation comprising usually the spare rooms of locals, sometimes small flats built in the gardens of local people. It's easy for backpackers to pick up this type of accommodation - owners approach you as you alight at train or bus stations. As you approach Yalta, there are even people sitting in their parked cars with signs, hoping to flag down people arriving by car. In Sudak head for the area towards the beach where houses have signs by the front door or the gate offering rooms. Always check what you'll get before you hand over any money. Is there a curfew? Will you get a key to the building? How far is it from town? Any buses? Own bathroom? Cooking facilities? Ask, too, about hot water - some people may be reluctant or unable to offer hot water outside certain hours which may not suit your needs.

Be sure to ask about a key. Some people do not take kindly to being woken up at what you consider a reasonable time to let you in. Also consider security. Does the room have a lock, are there other guests? How safe is it?In the height of the season in Yalta you can get a good double room in an nice old lady's flat, 5 minutes from the centre for $5 a night per person. A bargain and a great way to see how Ukrainians live!

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