Crimea is a peninsular located in the south of Ukraine in Eastern Europe. It is surrounded by the Black sea, it has a mountainous spectacular coastline, and a fascinating and colourful history. It was the main tourist resort for the entire Soviet union, and finally it is being discovered by Western tourists.
A Brit, I have lived in Crimea for 5 years now, but to this day I am often taken aback by what I see. It is an intriguing place to be, and I feel very lucky to be able to live here.
In this article I will discuss the nightlife in Crimea.
As the day draws to a close, you are sure to come across festive nightlife practically every day of the week in the principal cities of Crimea. As the stereotype would suggest; the nightlife in Crimea; and across Ukraine as a whole is synonymous with drinking. This stereotype is absolutely true. When the weather allows, the streets are packed full of revellers downing bottles of beer and pouring each wine and vodka into plastic cups. During Crimea’s long summer nights, the streets turn into one enormous bar.
In the West, we tend to gather together to socialize in some kind of official establishment such as a bar or restaurant), young people in Crimea prefer to find a pleasantly located bench, and chat the night away under the starry sky.
There are, however, multitudes of clubs and bars around Crimea. They are open all year round in the capital city Simferopol, and to a lesser degree in the navy city of Sevastopol. In the resort towns such has Feodosia, they are open from May-October.
In Crimea and the Ukraine as a whole, you can find cheap and simple bars, with a few plastic tables and chairs, and incredibly well priced vodka and beer. Generally, in these establishments, older men meet up to discuss the days events..and to have a drink or ten.
Crimea is also the host to modern, snazzy nightclubs. They are very popular partly because they are overpriced (and hence prestigious), and are visited by incredibly well dressed young women, and smartly attired men (both young and old). Nightclubbing in such establishments in Crimea, Ukraine and Russia as a whole is a very civilised affair. As a rule, the punters get a table. They order not just drinks but also side dishes; it is obligatory to have food to accompany the drinks. Ukrainians go for the ubiquitous vodka, as well as cognac, beer and champagne.
Nightlife in Crimea goes on until late; 4 or 5 is the norm. The music consists of popular Russian pop/dance songs as well as Western chart music. Some establishments offer a professional DJ and techno music. Others play independent and rock music.
Of-course, not all nightlife in Crimea revolves around drinking. There is also theatre and the cinema. The theatre plays a bigger role in the nightlife of the ordinary Crimean than to the average Westerner. Russia and Ukraine has a great history of theatre. Countless masterful plays have been written over the years by playwrights from these countries that are popular all around the world.
The capital city of Crimea, Simferopol, has 5 theatres, and they are usually full. Theatre in Crimea is an egalitarian affair; subsided by the government and hence accessible to all. The attraction of the theatre in Crimea is not based on fancy sets or special effects, but on the intrinsic quality of the plays, and the accomplished and powerful acting.
The cinema is gradually gaining in popularity, and the younger generation increasingly prefer it to the theatre. The Russian industry has had some great successes in the last few years, with films such as ‘Night Patrol’. Predictably, though, American films dominate the cinema listings.
If you are fortunate enough to travel to Crimea, you’ll be impressed by how lively the streets in the main towns are at night. This is the Ukrainian way. It is a festive country that isn’t afraid to lose sleep and wake up with a hangover before work.