Before Crimea changed hands you used to be able to take a sleeper train from Kiev to Simferopol. I have tried using the Ukrainian train website and the Russian train website neither return any results for the route. Is the route still operated and if so where can I get a time table and prices.

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    That train has been shutdown in 2015 :(
    – JonathanReez
    May 9 '16 at 11:26
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    @JonathanReez I suspect you are correct, would be great if you had an official source for an answer :)
    – Stuart
    May 9 '16 at 11:48

All trains to Crimea have been shutdown on December 27, 2014:

From December 27, 2014 services to Crimea terminate at stations in Novooleksiyivka and Kherson.

The measure is designed to ensure the safety of railway traffic.

Kyiv-Simferopol train No. 11-12, Kyiv-Sevastopol train No. 28-27, Kovel-Simferopol train No. 88/87, Lviv-Simferopol train No. 86/85, Dnipropetrovsk, Kryvy Rih-Simferopol trains No. 90/144-143/89, and Kremenchuk (Poltava), Kharkiv-Simferopol train No. 92/81-82/92 will terminate at Novooleksiyivka station

The following trains will terminate at Kherson station: Odesa-Simferopol No. 310/209 and Khmelnytsky-Simferopol No. 132/131.

Same applies to direct flights from Ukraine to Crimea. Your only options are to cross the border on foot or fly to Crimea via Russia.

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    Note: flying to Crimea via Russia (as stated in the last sentence) is considered illegal crossing of the international border. This is respected by 100 countries of the UNGA, so this act may lead to legal consequences in these 100 countries. May 9 '16 at 12:37
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    @bytebuster I wouldn't overthink it. Hundreds of thousands of Russians (and plenty of foreigners) do it every year with zero consequences. In addition, no country except Ukraine could prosecute one for illegally crossing the Ukrainian border.
    – JonathanReez
    May 9 '16 at 13:10
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    @bytebuster Also note that crossing into Crimea from Ukraine will leave a paper trail (stamps in the passport, potentially not being admitted by the Ukrainian authorities, etc), while entering Russia in, say, Moscow, then flying a domestic flight to Crimea will not leave info that you may have illegally entered Crimea.
    – LLlAMnYP
    May 9 '16 at 13:22
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    There are consequences. At least for some russians and ukrainians that visiting continental Ukraine after crossing crimea border illegaly. It's not published in foreign press. I would highly recommend follow legal routes finland.mfa.gov.ua/en/press-center/notices/…
    – V.G.
    May 9 '16 at 14:48
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    @rumoku there is no way for the Ukrainian border guards to know you've been to Crimea, unless you tell them.
    – JonathanReez
    May 9 '16 at 14:52

Although no trains go directly to Crimea, it is possible to get very close to the de facto "border" by train and then traverse the remaining distance by bus.

One such option is to take a train to Novoalekseyevka from Kiev, then take a shuttle bus or taxi to the de facto "border" (checkpoint Chongar). Upon crossing the "border" and traversing the buffer zone on foot or by bus, you will be able to take another bus or taxi to all major Crimean locations.

Another option is taking a train from Kiev to Vadim by way of Kherson, but you will also have to take another shuttle bus to the "border" or walk on foot for 2 hours.

This page gives a breakdown of all possible options of getting to Crimea from other Ukrainian regions.

Please note that the above information was provided only for reference purposes to clarify the train situation. Crossing the border this way has plenty of drawbacks as well, such as having to procure a special permit from the Ukrainian government, falling prey to dishonest drivers and militia or raising suspicion at the Crimean border. Unfortunately, I'm unaware of a tourist-friendly way of getting to the Crimean peninsula as of 2018 that would leave both countries claiming its ownership happy.

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    Only Ukrainians (and perhaps Russians residing in Crimea) can cross the border, as far as I know. Anyone else has to enter Crimea from elsewhere in Russia, and avoid the border with Ukraine, as they'd be penalised by Ukraine
    – Crazydre
    Sep 20 '18 at 15:02
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    – Crazydre
    Sep 20 '18 at 16:02
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    And yes, it applies even if you have both visas, because the Ukrainians won't let you exit for Crimea as a foreigner without a special permit (not obtainable for tourists) and conversely, even with a Ukrainian visa you must enter Ukraine legally, and the Moment you enter Crimea from elsewhere in Russia, you've illegally entered Ukraine according to Ukraine
    – Crazydre
    Sep 20 '18 at 16:04
  • @Coke Thanks a lot for the clarification, I've added this bit into the answer. Can't believe it is that difficult to legally visit it.
    – undercat
    Sep 20 '18 at 16:16
  • OTOH, unless you run your mouth to the Ukrainians, or try entering Ukraine from Crimea, then unless you're a celebrity, there's virtually no way for the Ukrainians to know if you enter Crimea from elsewhere in Russia
    – Crazydre
    Sep 20 '18 at 16:29

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