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Kharkov, Ukraine|©Vladimir Khalev/WikiCommons
Kharkov, Ukraine|©Vladimir Khalev/WikiCommons

The Top 10 Things to Do and See in Kharkov, Ukraine

Picture of Maria Sibirtseva
Updated: 16 January 2018

Kharkov is a relatively young city, which is 360 years old. Despite this, the city is one of the most interesting destinations. The Soviet era left Kharkov with unique architecture as well as sculptures and works of art scattered throughout the city. In addition, it was the first capital of Ukraine (1919-1934) before Kiev received the present status. 

Cross the Freedom Square

Freedom Square is striking in its size and is known as the sixth largest in Europe and the 11fth in the world. It was built in the 20th century when Kharkov was proclaimed the first capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (1919). Five years later, Kiev became the new capital of Ukraine, but Freedom Square in Kharkov remained the main host of all the mass festivities such as circuses, theatres, sand and ice sculptures, skating and ice rinks or amusement parks.

Freedom Square, Kharkov, Ukraine

Relax in Botanical Gardens

The picturesque Botanical Gardens is located on the territory of the National University of Kharkov. It is one of the oldest parks in Ukraine, established in 1804 at the same time as the opening of the university itself. The gardens can also boast the collection of coniferous plants. In the greenhouse, tropical nature lovers can delight in the 2,400 kinds of exotic plants all year round. Moreover, one can just come here to relax on the grass or have a lovely picnic.

Be amazed by The Derzhprom

The Derzhprom is translated from Ukrainian as a State Industry Building or the Palace of Industry. It was built in the 20th century when the government of the USSR considered the appointment of Kharkov as the capital of Ukraine. Since the capital had to be worthy in architectural terms, the splendid building of The Derzhprom was constructed on the main square of the city. It is 63 meters (2,006 feet) high. The best advice for tourists is: come and see the institution during the sunrise. Its facade is directed to the east, and every morning the rising sun is reflected in the windows.

Svobody majdan 5, Kharkov, Ukraine

Get stunned inside the Annunciation Cathedral

Kharkov Annunciation Cathedral is made in Byzantine style, with many decorative elements. This is the oldest temple in the city. Since the 17th century stood a wooden church; the cathedral itself was built in 1907. The interior of the temple is also amazing with its wealth and beauty. The motifs of icons and wall paintings overlap with the themes of the St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral in Kiev. It can definitely be called the gem of the Kharkov’s and Ukraine’s cathedral architecture.

Karla Marksa pl. 1, Kharkiv, Ukraine

Take a picture of the Cascade Fountain

The name of the fountain directly reflects its functions; the water rushes down along steps, cascading from one to the next. There are steps for pedestrians on both sides as well. Don’t miss a chance to go up and take a picture; a beautiful panorama opens from the top viewing platform of the Cascade. Moreover, the sight is situated in the Taras Shevchenko Park, which is a great place to have a walk and enjoy the green landscape around.

Have fun at Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure

Recently, Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure was the most visited attraction in Kharkov. It is the most modern and beautiful park in the country, called by locals Kharkov’s Disneyland. You can find a dizzying roller coaster, a cheerful 55-meter (180-feet) Ferris wheel, a house of horror with a unique theme and much more. The territory is divided into quarters, so if you’re not a fan of extreme pastime activities, you can sit on the terrace of numerous cafes and have a cup of fragrant coffee.

Sumska St, 81Kharkov, Ukraine, +380 57 725 27 79

Attend the Assumption Cathedral

When strolling the city, the bell tower of the Assumption Cathedral is clearly visible almost from everywhere, especially the embankment. Its height is 90 meters (300 feet). The cathedral was built in the 17th century, however, it faced a lot of reconstruction. For almost 30 years, the Assumption Cathedral has served the city’s House of Organ and Chamber Music. It often hosts a lot of concerts, popular among Kharkov residents and visitors of the city.

See a match at Metallist Stadium

Metallist Stadium is the main sports arena of the city. Its dimensions are quite impressive, as the total capacity is more than 40 thousand seats. In most cases, it hosts exclusively football matches. Not surprising, that it was one of the major locations during the 2012 European Championship, held in Ukraine. If you are a football fan visiting Kharkov, try to get a ticket to any game. Metallist Stadium is famous for its incredible sports atmosphere and crazy fans.

Gawp at Mirror Stream fountain

The Mirror Stream fountain is considered to be the main symbol of the city. It is located in the Victory Park and was originally called the Victory Monument, built in 1947 after the Second World War. The image of its gazebo can be seen throughout the city and on packages of souvenir sweets, trinkets and magnets. In addition, it is a favourite photoshoot place for all the newlyweds. The beautiful scenery of the park serves as a great background for pictures.

Ride the aerial ropeway

One of the best attractions at Gorky Central Park of Culture and Leisure is the aerial rope-way. Its length is 1.5 kilometers (1 mile). The journey lasts around 15 minutes on the height of 26 meters (85 feet), what is enough to see the landscape of the city. The price to ride the rope-way is also very affordable — UAH$10 ($0.40). So, if you are travelling with kids or just want to get some rest from walking around the city, the aerial rope-way is the perfect alternative.

Sumska St, 81Kharkov, Ukraine, +380 57 725 27 79