The first recorded settlement in the area, called Kerkinitis, was built by Greek colonists around 500 BC. Along with the rest of Crimea, Kerkinitis was part of the dominions of Mithridates VI, King of Pontus, from whose nickname, Eupator, the city's modern name derives.
From roughly the 7th through the 10th centuries AD Eupatoria was a Khazar settlement; its name in Khazar language was probably Güzliev (literally "beautiful house"). It was later subject to the Cumans (Kipchaks), the Mongols and the Crimean Khanate. During this period the city was called Kezlev by Crimean Tatars and Gözleve by Ottomans. Russian medieval name Kozlov is a Russification of the Crimean Tatar name.
For a short period in 1478 - 1485 the city was administrated by the Ottoman Empire. In 1783 with the whole Crimea Kezlev was captured by the Russian Empire. Its name was officially changed to Eupatoria in 1784. The city was briefly occupied in 1854 by British, French and Turkish troops during the Crimean War, when it was the site of the Battle of Eupatoria. Adam Mickiewicz visited the town in 1825 and wrote one of his Crimean Sonnets here; it was later translated into Russian by Mikhail Lermontov.
Today Eupatoria is a major Ukrainian Black Sea port, a rail hub, and resort town. The main industries include fishing, food processing, wine making, limestone quarrying, weaving, and the manufacture of building materials, machinery, furniture manufacturing and tourism. The National Space Agency of Ukraine has ground control and tracking facilities here.