Crimean Trolleybus Line – Simferopol, Crimea - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

Simferopol, Crimea

Crimean Trolleybus Line

The longest trolleybus route in the world, from Simferopol and Yalta. 

 Despite its political troubles, Crimea has always had a place of relaxation and beauty–the Crimean Peninsula along the Black Sea.

The seaside resort of Yalta has been a desirable vacation destination on the peninsula for decades. Once only accessible to the Russian aristocracy, and literary celebrities such as Tolstoy and Chekhov, in 1920 Lenin decided that the tired proletarians deserved a little R&R too, and made a decree “On the Use of Crimea for the Medical Treatment of the Working People”.

The working people happened to work (for the most part) in the city of Simferopol, which happened to be a good 50-plus miles away from Yalta. Looking over the different transportation options, it was decided that the rock in the area was too soft to support a railway, and buses would be unpleasant and produce too much pollution. So they decided to build an electric trolley route. A 54-mile long trolley route, the longest in the world. 

Built in 1959, the trolleybus line efficiently weaves through the Crimean mountains, rolling through beautiful vineyards and romantic villas. Ocean views and lovely, varied landscapes fill the two to three hour ride, but if scenery isn’t your thing, the trolleys are also equipped with Russian TV. The trolleybus is said to have transported six billion people since its construction.

Some may say that the Czechoslovakia-built trolley is a little rough on the eyes, but many feel it matches the decaying yet colorful resorts that litter the peninsula that was once the private playground of Tzars and luminaries, and now belongs to the people.