Kharkiv Travel Guide

  • Kharkiv
    by Herwig1961
  • Things to Do
    by Viktosha
  • Things to Do
    by Viktosha

Kharkiv Highlights

  • Pro
    hunterV profile photo

    hunterV says…

     Broad avenues and old paved streets, lots of cafs, restaurants and niteclubs 

  • Con
    stor_oksen profile photo

    stor_oksen says…

     Taxi drivers, the winther, 

  • In a nutshell
    Viktosha profile photo

    Viktosha says…

     The local population is peaceful and most hospitable. :) 

Kharkiv Things to Do

  • Kharkiv, New Rooftop Sculpture on...

    We just returned from a wonderful trip to Kharkiv. We went with a list in hand, of many sites we wanted to see, and stumbled across an even greater multitude of unplanned visual gems. We found this rooftop sculpture on a building right by the Radianska metro corner. (Across Sumskaya St is the building with the Fiddler On The Roof Sculpture)...

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  • 50th Parallel

    Another sight to look out for on the eastern fringes of Shevchenko Park is this marker line for the 50th Parallel. It is claimed that Kharkiv is the largest of all the cities situated on this parallel worldwide (others include Krakow, Prague and Mainz). The parallel passes through 12 countries, among which are the Czech Republic, Poland, Mongolia,...

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  • Ploshchad' Svobody (Freedom Square)

    You cannot read more than a couple of sentences about Kharkiv before Freedom Square (sometimes also translated as Liberty Square) is mentioned. It is clearly one of the prides of the city, not least because of its size. It claims to be one of the largest squares in the world, at almost 12 acres, and I have seen suggestions that it is the largest in...

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  • Statue of Lenin

    It is sometimes mistakenly said that the impressive and autocratic statues of Lenin that were a feature of every major city in the Soviet Union were all pulled down when the Union was dissolved in 1991 or soon after. Not so. Many remain, especially in Russia, Belarus and here in Ukraine. Wikipedia has what it claims is a complete list.The one here...

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  • Shevchenko Park

    Shevchenko Park lies immediately south of Ploshchad' Svobody (Freedom Square) and is a popular spot for locals to stroll and relax. It is also home to the botanical garden, a dolphinarium and the city’s zoo (the oldest in Ukraine), although we didn’t visit any of these (it wasn’t really the weather for botanical gardens!).The park was established...

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  • Taras Shevchenko monument

    South of Ploshchad' Svobody (Freedom Square) on Sumskaya Street, on the eastern edge of Shevchenko Park, you can hardly fail to miss the imposing monument to Ukraine’s national poet. The large bronze statue, 5.5 metres tall, stands on a round pedestal of natural silicate giving an overall height to the monument of 16.5 metres. The work of Soviet...

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Kharkiv Hotels

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Kharkiv Restaurants

  • Sports bar ambience

    Although we didn’t realise it at the time of our visit to Kharkiv, when we came here twice, I have since discovered that this is one of a small Ukrainian chain. Websites list the Kharkiv branch as being in Kvitku-Osnovianenka Street, but it must have moved (or a second branch been opened) as it is definitely on Sumskaya.Our first visit was on the...

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  • Good Italian food

    While we usually look for the local cuisine wherever we go, we’re never averse to tracking down good Italian food too, and when we found that Patrick’s wasn’t serving beer on match day we decided to try the nearby Paprika restaurant for lunch. It proved to be an excellent choice – a lovely space with interesting wall decoration (a cute cat painted...

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  • Cosy coffee spot

    Strolling around the city on a chilly February day soon makes you dream of coffee – or at least, it does me. Others in our party were more interested in beer! Gogol Mogol proved to be the perfect place for both. It’s a cosy place in the semi-basement of a typical 19th century building about halfway up Sumskaya. The menu was all in Russian but you...

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Kharkiv Nightlife

  • The inevitable Irish bar

    Every city these days must have an Irish bar it seems, and although not usually our first choice of drinking spot (we prefer more local colour), on a football trip such “rules” go out of the window as the Irish bar is where we are most likely to encounter our fellow Toon supporters and enjoy some good conversation and maybe singing over a few...

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  • rock n roll bar sometimes with live...

    Zeppelin bills itself as a rock n roll bar. When I was there a rock bar would have seemed a better description. There is a big picture of Led Zeppelin behind the stage and the music being played was the likes of Guns n Roses. However I am told that earlier in the day starting from noon they play things like 50s rock n roll music and then Beatles...

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  • Diverse Relaxation

    This place has bowling, “Treasure Island” casino, billiards, “Mask” disco, a coffee-house, it holds beauty contests and "Europop" parties... normal & casual, but tidy

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Kharkiv Transportation

  • The Metro

    Kharkiv has a fairly small but very efficient subway system, the Metro, and if you’ve used similar systems elsewhere in the world you should have no trouble getting to grips with it. We were helped on our first attempt at buying tickets by one of the inspectors who monitor each station (and help with change) but really we could have worked it out...

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  • Getting to (and from) Kharkiv

    We flew to Kharkiv with Austrian Airlines, via Vienna. This meant a very early departure from Heathrow (6.00 AM flight) but was far more reasonably priced than later flights, and it meant that we were in the city in time to do a little bit of sightseeing on our first day.The outward flights went smoothly and I was impressed with the service on...

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  • “Austrian Airlines”

    “Austrian Airlines” in Kharkiv: Tel. 0572 14 89 51, 14 89 52; Fax. 0572 14 89 54; 1 Romashkin St.; on the picture: the building of the city railway station built in 1952.

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Kharkiv Shopping

  • Football souvenirs

    There had been no time on match night to go in the shop at the Stadium, but several of our group were keen to get a souvenir of our visit so we went back the following afternoon to see what was available. My own wish was for one of the specially-made scarves with both the Metalist and Newcastle colours, but unfortunately these had all been sold....

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  • The biggest marked in Europe

    Barbashoya is the biggest out door marked in Europa and maybe in the world. It is just huge!! You can get lost here. So many peoples trying to sell you differendt stuff. Peoples from Ukraina, from Vietnam, yes peoples from everywhere. Here you can buy whatever you want, food , clothes, jewelery, you name it and you will find it at Barbashoya. But...

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  • Buy food in the markets

    As with all markets there isn't just the main market hall but also lots of stalls and little shops surrounding it.

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Kharkiv Local Customs

  • NEVER SHOW THAT YOU HAVE MONEY!"!!!

    My experiences ( been about 5 times to Kharkov , Kiev and Lvov) show me that if you always count your fingers after shaking hands to make sure you still have five , is a good mental state to have. They are all very poor and will sell their Mothers and daughters for money. The whole system is corrupt...remember that always.

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  • What’s in a name?

    I must say that I got very confused when trying to plan for and research this trip, simply because the city’s name has so many variations! Here on VT it is Kharkiv which seems to be the most commonly used spelling (Ukrainian), but often you will find Kharkov which is the Russian spelling. And there are more – the city’s information website...

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  • Cyrillic alphabet and other language...

    Being in the eastern part of Ukraine, Russian is widely spoken in Kharkiv alongside Ukrainian. If you speak the former you should get along fine without any language problems, but if not, it helps to at least learn something of the Cyrillic alphabet which both Russian and Ukrainian employ. With this you will at least be able to decipher road signs...

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Kharkiv Warnings and Dangers

  • Changing money

    The Ukrainian currency is the hryvnia (abbreviation UAH), introduced in 1996 when the country achieved independence and therefore stopped using the rouble. It is highly unlikely that you will be able to obtain any from your bank or currency exchange before travelling to the country (although our friend Pete got hold of some through a Luxembourg...

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  • Money stealer

    I was in Kharkov in 2007, with 2 friends of mine, and we had a very bad experience with an agency, that seems to be good, but after, we had a very bad surprise.We talked with a woman called Elena S. , that showed us all stuff of apartment she was going to rent us, so we decided to pay. They have not given us recipt, and after 3-4 days, Elena called...

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  • Rules of behave..

    When in Kharkov you are probably untouchable and respected by Police but a right person to treath by their power. Try to keep away from police, they're really hungry of your money, and every things they say to treath are just ***s to make you feel fear. Give them money proportional to your infraction (do it if they take too much time even if you...

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Kharkiv Tourist Traps

  • Giovanni_ITA's Profile Photo

    by Giovanni_ITA Written Jan 7, 2009

    When you are in Ukraine keep away from police, and from possible ways to let them stop you, especially to drive a car there. They're always look for a way to pretend you are in trouble, even if you are perfect and regular with documents. They keep you outside in the cold winter and wait, until you ask them "how you can exit from this situation". The penalty is related to your infraction, no infraction (they invent something you aren't ok when control your documents for ex): 10 to 50 grivnas, small infraction (stop in wrong place) 50-100, medium (miss a document): 100-500, high: (drink even a bit of alchol) pay them in dollars, they ask more than 100.
    For all the above cases you can be sure they will not bring you to any police station, or hospital. They threat you about keep your car,documents,driving licence, but finally they will ask you MONEY (if they keep you to a police station they won't have nothing! But you maybe pay more in the end). In Kharkiv the police can be always around, not too much in winter time.

    Unique Suggestions: Say them you have just a small amount of money (always have that small amount in the wallet and the rest hide in a pocket), they will ask you to go home and bring more money or go in a bank. Say them you don't have! It's a long deal, but even if you are drunk, when you give them money finally you can drive your car home without they take more care about you. The Police in ukraine is the worst thing you will see, it's simply disgusting.

    Fun Alternatives: No alternatives, if you have a small accident with a local car, it's even better that you give money to that person for repair instead of call the police!! The car insurance works only if there is a rapport from police, but if you call them they can ask you more money, invent infractions, and keep your driving licence. Big problems.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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Kharkiv Off The Beaten Path

  • On Moskovskiy Avenue

    Our hotel was located a little out of the very centre of the city, on Moskovskiy Avenue. This is a long artery road leading east out of Kharkiv. Nearer the centre it may have some grand buildings but around the Mirax Boutique Hotel and Ploshcha Povstannya Metro station it is a not especially (on the whole) attractive residential district. But if a...

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  • Kharkiv Champagne

    Taste Kharkiv champagne – one of the well-known Ukrainian brands!There are different sorts of champagne: dry, semi-dry (“Vistory Day”, “Flamingo”), sweet, semi-sweet; sparkling wine such as “Old Kharkiv”, “Lyubava”, “Golden Champagne”. Kharkiv champagne factory also produces liquors such as “Cossack”, “The Amazon Girl”, “The Red Rooster”,...

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  • Kharkov's synagogue. The city...

    Kharkov's synagogue. The city used to have strong Jewish community but in the last 10 – 15 years many of the Jews emigrated to the other countries.

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Kharkiv Sports & Outdoors

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Arriving at the stadium 4 more images

    by toonsarah Updated Mar 5, 2013

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The reason for our visit to Kharkiv was football, specifically the Europa League match between local team FC Metalist and our beloved Newcastle United. The teams had already played the first leg in Newcastle, which was a goalless draw, so there was all to play for! We didn’t expect to go through the round, but we knew we had a chance. So match-night saw us wrapped up against the cold and heading for the stadium in good spirits (Newcastle fans are always in good spirits away from home, even after a defeat!)

    The FC Metalist Stadium lies a little south of the city centre and is a modern one, having been completely remodelled when Kharkiv was a host city for the Euro 2012 Championships. We had been warned that security would be tight and we should arrive at least an hour before the game. We were able to walk from our hotel (about 1.8 kilometres) but in any case there are two Metro stations near the away end of the ground.

    We actually found the security to be no tighter than anywhere else – and less so than some places. Apart from one over-zealous female security guard who searched my handbag and seemed unable to believe that I didn’t have smoking materials (they were confiscating matches and lighters), we had no problems. There was a stand near the away end entrance selling beer so the lads had a quick drink, but a Geordie security guy who’d travelled over with the team to help out asked us to go inside early. He explained that soon the home fans would arrive and some would use the same turnstiles. Sure enough they did, and we were very surprised to see that our area wasn’t fully segregated as is normal on these occasions. In some ways it was nice to be sharing entrances, loos etc with the home fans as we were able to meet a few and chat before the game (see photo three), but we did notice one scuffle break out soon after our goal – fortunately some distance from where we stood.

    Ah yes, “our goal”! Newcastle scored the only goal that evening (a penalty by Shola Ameobi, for those who are interested in such things) so we had plenty to celebrate. The closing stages though were very tight as Metalist tried very hard to score the two they needed to progress in the competition (our goal counted double as being an away one), and our goal-keeper Tim Krul was most Toon fans’ Man of the Match. When not agonising over the tense action on the pitch we occupied ourselves by watching the home fans in the section immediately to our right. We were very surprised that not only was beer being sold, but it was being served to several guys who were clearly way past being capable of rational behaviour. One spilt a large beer all over the person in front of him and immediately went off and bought a replacement. Such drunken conduct at a match in England would result in expulsion from the stadium for sure, and possibly a ban for future matches.

    When the game ended we had to stay behind while the home fans left, as is usual for security reasons. But we didn’t mind as we had that victory to celebrate, although it did get pretty cold by the end of the 30 minutes or so (it was about minus eight degrees that night I think). The Metro station seemed still full of home supporters and as we knew they wouldn’t be too pleased at the result, and not too fond of us at that moment, we decided that the sensible thing to do would be to walk back to the hotel, which we did. A few beers purchased from the next-door Spar were consumed in the lobby area, with the graceful permission of the receptionist, before those friends who were staying elsewhere called a cab and departed into the night. One final beer for Chris, Pete and me, and it was the end of a pretty much perfect football evening!

    Equipment: Wrap up warm for a winter match here - time to get out the thermals and thick socks!

    Next tip: the stadium shop

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Kharkiv Favorites

  • Liberty Square

    explore Liberty Square – the central square in the city and one of the largest ones in Europe. You will see “Kharkiv” hotel, lots of stores, cafes, etc. Walking in Shevchenko Park in downtown Kharkiv and visiting the zoo and the Botanical Garden.

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  • Slobodsko-Ukrainian province...

    Slobodsko-Ukrainian province was reformed in Kharkov's province in 1835. By the middle of the 19th century Kharkov transformed into a big industrial, scientific and cultural center. There were a lot of small trade shops all over the city and some large metallurgy factories. Most of the main roads - from Moscow, Kiev and Petersburg to the Crimea ran...

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  • Bell-tower of the Uspenski...

    Bell-tower of the Uspenski Cathedral, built in memories of the victory in the 1812 war.There is a legend that the first church was built on this place in the 16th century. Cathedral we see today was built in 1770th.

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Explore Deeper into Kharkiv
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