Travel Guide Europe Ukraine Kharkiv



Kharkiv is a major city in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine and is the second largest city in Ukraine with a population of over 1.5 million inhabitants. The city is located in the northeast of the Ukraine. The site of the city is a hilly plain - more than half of the total area of the city is situated about 100 metres above sea level. There is three rivers’ confluence: the Lopan, the Udy and the Kharkiv. The city has 9 administrative districts.

In 1654, Kharkiv was founded on a hill between the Lopan and Kharkiv Rivers. Ten years later Kharkiv became a separate province. In 1689, the construction of the Holy Shroud Cathedral was finished, this is the oldest stone building that preserved in the city. The Holy Shroud Monastery was founded, just 30 years later. In 1765 became the centre of the Province of Sloboda Ukraine. In the 1780s the city development plan was conceived by architect P. Yaroslavky. In 1791 the first city theatre was opened. The Kharkiv Emperor’s University starting operation 1800's. In 1816, the first magazines in Ukraine were published, the “Kharkivsky Democrit”, a magazine of satire and humor. In 1869, the first train arrived in Kharkiv, and in July regular traffic started along the Kursk-Kharkiv-Azov Railway. The first water system of the city was laid. The Kharkiv Technological Institute was opened for engineers for industry, mining and construction. At the end of the 1880s the first city state telephone station started. The first electric tram has operated since 1906. In 1917, the Soviet power was proclaimed and Kharkiv was the first capital of Ukraine until 1934. In 1924, regular flights on the routes Kharkiv – Kiev and Kharkiv – Odessa were launched. In 1927, the Metallist Stadium was built and soon became the main sporting arena of the city. In the 1930s, the construction of the flagships of Soviet industry, including Tractor Plant, Turbine Plant, and Lathe Contraction Plant was finished.



Sights and Activities

There are twelve official symbols of Kharkiv. They were approved by the Resolution of the Executive Committee of the Kharkiv City Council No. 384 dated April 12, 2000. Here is a list of those official symbols of Kharkiv:

  • No.1 - Mirror Stream;
  • No.2 - Annunciation Cathedral (built in 1888-1909, consecrated in 1909 as a city cathedral);
  • No.3 - Constitution Square: it is 550 m long. It was founded in 1659 as the first city square. At first it was called Fair Square since traditional annual fairs were held there. Then it was called St.Nickolas Square after St.Nickolas Church that stood there until 1930. Then the Bolsheviks renamed it into Tevelev Square. From 1975 till 1996 it was called Soviet Ukraine Square.
  • No.4 - City Council building built in 1885;
  • No.5 - Assumption Cathedral built in 1646 and was originally made of wood, and in 1685 was rebuilt in stone. In 1773 the temple was burned during the great fire. In the modern form of the Assumption Cathedral with a bell tower - a monument of national importance was built in 1821-1844 years the means of the clergy and Kharkov in honor of the victory in the war of 1812. The church boasted a gilded icon screen, carved from limewood to Rastrelli's Rococo design.The free-standing Alexander Bell Tower was built in the aftermath of Napoleon's expulsion from Russia "to express the people's gratitude to Alexander I". It used to be the second tallest building in Ukraine after the Great Lavra Bell Tower. The seat of the local bishop was moved from the older Intercession Cathedral to the Dormition Church in 1846. A large French clock was installed in the bell tower in 1856. The belfry damaged by a tornado in 1975. Restored in the late 1970s and reverted to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in 2006. A Rieger–Kloss organ installed in the building back in 1986.
  • No.6 - Liberty Square;
  • No.7 - The State Industry Center built in 1925-1928;
  • No.8 - Shevchenko monument (16 m high, the statue is 4.5 metres high; the monument was unveiled on March 24, 1935);
  • No.9 - Southern Station;
  • No.10 - Cathedral of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God with a men’s monastery;
  • No.11 - Ukraine Concert Hall dedicated in 1963;
  • No.12 - The National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater (built from 1970 until 1991).


  • Museum of Nature, Archaeology and Ethnography of the Sloboda Ukraine (Музей природы, Музей археології та етнографії Слобідської України), Trinklera str., 8 (Derzhprom( Держпром) station), ☎ +380 57 705-1242. In 23 halls, 4,000 m², more than 250,000 artifacts can see the collection of archaeological finds relating to the Bronze Age, the Scythian period, antiquity, chernyakhivska Saltov and cultures, as well as items collected during ethnographic expeditions in Sloboda Region (around Kharkiv). There are stuffed animals and carcasses, skulls, skeletons, eggs, birds, wet and dry preparations of various animals, insects, specimens of rocks and minerals, fossils and skeletons, plaster casts, plaster casts of extinct animals. At the Kharkiv National University. In 1807 the university was created by Cabinet of Antiquities, in the that year received the artifacts from Olbia and Voronezh. The collection is enriched slowly and sporadically, mostly through donations. Excavations carried out at this time findings of these expeditions, as well as from private collections of antiquities were presented, the majority of these items went to the Museum of Fine Arts and Antiquities. This collection based the establishing in 1919, the Archaeological Museum. A collection of the Archaeological Museum has grown to nearly 200,000 exhibits. The museum and numismatic collection contain about 40,000 coins and medals.
  • History Museum (Исторический музей), Universitetskaya str., 5 (M2 Istorychnyi Myzei (Історичний музей) station), ☎ +380 57 731-3568. Founded in 1920 as the Museum of Sloboda Ukraine Skovorody, in former pawnshop building, built in 1908. There archaeological finds from excavations of Bronze Age settlements, set things from Donetsk county from Old Ruthenian period, 11-12th century. Also there exhibits of coins, ethnographical material, collection of weapons, flags and so on. Outdoors exposed tanks Mark V (used British during the First World War) a T-34 and three guns (Soviet Union during the Second World War).



Events and Festivals

  • New Year’s Eve (December 31–January 1). Locals go out to dancing in Svobody Square, fire squibs and launch fire works. Christmas Trees are installed in many neighbourhoods of the city, but the one in Svobody Square is certainly the most beautiful and impressive.
  • Shrovetide or Carnival (it is an ancient Slavic holiday of seeing the winter off). This holiday usually occurs in late February — early March. This is the time for openair merrymaking in the Gorky Park, Shevchenko Gardens and in Svobody Square.
  • End of March, Kharkiv held the Za Jazz Fest what is a jazz festival on a variety of locations. At that time showing performances of world-famous musicians and young rising stars from many countries.
  • May 1, the International Workers’ Day. Locals spend these spring days out of town,having picnics with family and friends.
  • Victory Day, May 9, an openair exhibition of the WW II military equipment takes place. A solemn procession of veterans marches down Sumska Street to the Memorial of Glory in Lissopark (Woodland Park).
  • In mid July, there is the Pechenizke Pole (The Pecheneg Field) Ethnic Festival on the bank of Pecheneg Lake.
  • In Kharkiv City birthday on August 23 are especially festive and jolly. On this day, sports competitions and concerts are in Svobody Square, Konstytutsii Square and in the city gardens and parks.
  • The Independence Day is on August 24. This is the day for ceremonial laying of flowers to the Monuments of Independence of Ukraine, and finished with amazingly beautiful fireworks over Svobody Square.
  • In September take a big sci-fi festival, called Zirkovy mist (Star Bridge) caming here fans of this genre from many countries of the world.
  • The Kharkiv Assemblies International Music Festival organised in September. Peoples can enjoy musical masterpieces of the past.
  • Several weeks before the New Year is one of the most favorite holiday is the Christmas. The city is decorated with festive street lights, and the major Christmas Tree of the city is put on Svobody Square.




Moderate continental weather. In winter, it is very changeable. The coldest months are January and February sometimes can so low as -15 or even -25°С, but the average ~-6°С in these months. The warmest and rainiest months are July and August. An average temperature of July is 20°С.



Getting There

By Plane

Kharkiv International Airport (HRK IATA Міжнародний аеропорт "Харків") (12.5km south-east of the central city), ☎ +380 572 431985, +380 572 433643. Direct flights from Kiev, Minsk, Warsaw, Wrocław, Katowice, Gdańsk, Dortmund, Tel-Aviv and Istanbul.

By Train

Central railway station, 'Kharkiv-Passazhyrskyi' (The metro station Pivdenny Vokzal (метро Пiвденний вокзал) links to the railway station. At the railway station you can also take a tram, a route taxi, a bus or an ordinary taxi.). It has daily trains to all major cities and towns in Ukraine. It is recommended to buy railway tickets in advance at Ukrainian railways' website (press "English" button at the top of the page) . You will need to print booking form from the site and then fetch tickets form any Ukrainian railways' ticket office. The person receiving Internet-ordered travel documents in the ticket office must present an identifying document to the booking-clerk. - Railway tickets can be purchased at the booking offices at the railway station, at the Service Centre or at the advance booking offices. The Service Centre is open 24 hr at the ground floor. Here you can purchase tickets, book a room, order a taxi or hire a luggage porter, as well as get all the necessary information, make a photo copy or use a PC. The U Samovara (At the Samovar) Tea Pavilion is located in the central hall of the railway station. The biggest samovar in Ukraine of 305 kg and 360 liter is installed there. - There is a waiting room is on the first floor & a conference room on the second floor. From here depart express trains to Simferopol 7 hr, Kiev, 5 hr via Poltava 2 hr. - To Kiev is a direct overnight train service (87 грн, 8½ to 10 hr). To Donetsk (70 грн, 6½ to 8 hr, 6 a day) and 1 so-called ‘fast elektrychka’ (electric train) with airplane-style seating (38 грн, 5½ hr). There’s also a fast elektrychka to Dnipro (25 грн, 4½ hr) along with a host of regular trains (35 грн, 6 hr), Odesa (100 грн, 14 hr, twice a day).

By Bus

Central Coach Station No. 1, 22, Gagarina Av (Train Station 'Levada'), ☎ +380 57 732-6502. 24 hr. Buses following international (Rostov-on-Don, Moscow, Germany) and interregional routes (Poltava, Krasnograd, Izyum directions). The most useful lines are to Poltava (11 грн]], 2½ hr, at least eight a day), Dnipro (18 грн, 4½ hr, 20 a day) and Zaporizhia (24 грн, 6½ hr, at least 2 a day). Many regional lines also depart from here.



Getting Around

Kharkiv can seem very foreign for western travelers, mostly because of Cyrillic letters. It would be very useful to learn to read the Cyrillic alphabet before coming to Ukraine. Most Kharkivians speak Russian, as Kharkiv is 40 kilometres from the Russian border. Though there will be a big possibility that the locals will not understand the Russian which comes from the travelers’ phrasebook. But it is worth trying to practice as there are only a few people who speak and understand English, mostly young Ukrainians.

By Public Transport

As of today, there are about 150 bus routes in Kharkiv. The city bus traffic is serviced by 1,200 buses on a daily basis. Those buses belong to 68 bus transportation companies, the majority of which are private ones. Most of the bus routes are linked to this or that subway station. Those buses are called marshroutka or micro autobus. They are also called green buses since the majority of them are green. The bus fare is usually UAH 5-7. The minibus transport passengers and baggage on the specified routes. Passengers have an advantage: they can board and disembark in any location that is not prohibited by traffic rules. Under this mode of operation of buses and minibuses, the fare is high and travel benefits (those of pensioners and veterans) do not apply.

There are thirteen tram routes in Kharkiv, among them eight are regular ones: 1, 7, 8, 12, 20, 23, 26 and 27. Route No.26 (Leo Tolstoy Square – Forest Park) is 25 km long (43 stops). We used Tram 23 during our stay in Kharkiv. The tram fare is UAH 2.5.

The Metro is the fastest and easiest way of getting around. Every day it carries nearly 1 million people; it is the most convenient public transport in Kharkiv. There are three metro lines (red, blue and green).

To enter the Metro you must buy a token from the automats you'll see at the entrance. One token is valid for one trip, no matter how far you go and how long it takes. A token costs 5 грн. You must put the token into the turnstile to your right to enter and pass it. But make sure that you walk through the correct side of the turnstile otherwise there is the possibility that you will be hit by the metal gate!

A card system is also in place; a card can be bought at an automat for 10 грн and it can be recharged for an amount of up to 500 грн. To use the card just place the card on top of the turnstile to your right, make sure that the light is green and proceed.

The way the Kharkiv Metro is designed allows you to choose the direction of travel after you have paid for you trip.




  • Sweet World (Sladkiy mir) Confectionery Cafe (Кафе-кондитерская "Сладкий мир"), Kooperativnaya str., 6, ☎ +380 57 771-0104. (updated May 2018 | edit)
  • Familia, 14-A Skrypnika (In the heart of old Kharkiv), ☎ +38 057 760 15 06, toll-free: +38 095 455 93 96, e-mail: 11:00-23:00. The menu is a unique take on French, Italian and Ukrainian cuisine, complemented by the restaurant’s wine list. The restaurant touts its fresh and high-quality ingredients and good service.
  • Adriano (Адриано), Petrovskogo st., 35-А (metro Pushkinskaya), ☎ +380 57 700-4892. 11:00-23:00. Not a bad pizza chain, the cozy atmosphere is guaranteed, but there are 2 more cafes on prospekt Traktorostroiteley, 59/56 and on Pushkinskaya st. 79/1. Budget.
  • Buhara, г. Харьков, ул. Пушкинская, 32 (metro Architektora Beketova), ☎ +380 57 716-2045. 12:00-00:00. US$30-100.
  • Fortuna, Kultury str. 6 entrance from Trinklera str, ☎ +380 57 702-17-72. You will be surprised by the interior (very Soviet "Stolovka" style!) But the food is really really great and cheap. Traditional Ukrainian cuisine. You should try soups: borsch, solyanka, okroshka (cold soup), pelmeni, fried eggs with salo.
  • Dom Khleba (Bread House) Confectionery (Кафе-кондитерская "Дом Хлеба"), Liudvika Svobody ave., 35 (M3: Oleksiivska station), ☎ +380 57 336-9882. edit

Biskvit Confectionery (Кафе-кондитерская Бисквит), Danilevskogo str., 10 (Derzhprom( Держпром) station), ☎ +380 57 705-1104.

  • Paris, Petrovskogo st. 30/32. A great place for people who like desserts, to go on a date or just want to relax in a cozy atmosphere to enjoy fondue. It is amazingly popular; sometimes it is not easy to find a seat there. They have just opened their own theatre where French films or performances takes place every evening.
  • Puzata Khata (Пузата хата), Sums'ka st. 2, ☎ +380 44 3914699. 08:00-23:00. It is very popular with locals for low prices and quick service. The food here is usually great and cheap, mostly traditional Ukrainian dishes. Being a huge place it is always quite busy. You will be completely full for US$6 per person there.
  • Zhili-byli Fast Food restaurant (Ресторан Жили-были), Sumskaya str., 37/1 (Universytet (Університет) station), ☎ +380 57 717-2003.




Buy beer from a kiosk and sit and drink in Schevchenko Park. It's what everybody does. If you drink beer in the park you may be fined by local police.

  • Pivobar, Bakulina St, 14, Kharkiv, Kharkivs'ka oblast, 61000 (On the right coming from the centre of the city, down a residential street.). 11AM-11PM daily. Counterintuitively not a huge selection of beer, but they do serve three Kharkiv brews. Heavily meat-based (but extensive) menu. Large selection of spirits and cocktails. Nice atmosphere, restaurant inside. Half-litre of draft beer: 28 грн.




There are plenty of hotels in Kharkov, but the quality of them is very often far from what westerners expect. Most of hotels are not in the online reservation systems which makes it difficult to find them.

  • 4 komnaty Mini Hotel (Мини-гостиница 4 комнаты), Mayakovskogo str., 5, ;a (Tram 12, next to Central Library), ☎ +380 57 702-2925, +380 57 700-4841. Single from US$62, double from US$74.
  • Aurora Hotel (Аврора), Artema Street 10/12, ☎ +380 57 7524040, e-mail: In the center of the city. It offers 28 modern rooms, free Wi-Fi and a nice-looking restaurant. The transportation options are metro or car.
  • Berloga Restaurant and Motel, Mala Danilovka suburb, Koltsevoi puti, 5 (пгт. Мала Даниловка, Кольцевой путь, 5) (N-NW 15 km from centre), ☎ +380 57 760-0638. One of the best out-of-town bathhouses.
  • Chichikov Hotel (Готель Чичиков), Gogolya Street 6/8 (M: Arkhitektora Beketova), ☎ +380 57 752-2300, e-mail: Just a year older than Aurora hotel and also in the centre. The rooms correspond to western standards though they are quite small. Wi-Fi.
  • City Club Hotel (Сити Клуб), Gagarina Ave. 145, ☎ +380 57 730-1700, e-mail: Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. 10 minutes from downtown and within a walking distance of the Metalist Stadium.
  • Club - Hotel Arkada, Sovhoznaya st. 3, (Near to Alekseevsky Park), ☎ +380 57 763-1995. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. 17 rooms US$75-150.
  • Cosmopolit Hotel (Готель Cosmopolit), Proskury Akademika str., 1 (tram 12 to Lisopark terminus), ☎ +380 57 754-6886. Cafe, bar, Wi-Fi.
  • Druzhba Intour Business Centre, 185, Gagarina Av., ☎ +380 57 50-7919, +380 57 775-1070.
  • Hostinyy Dvor hotel (Готель "Гостиный Двор"), Rymarskaya str., 28 (M2 Istorychnyi Myzei station), ☎ +380 57 705-6087.
  • Hotel 19 (Гостиница 19), Sumskaya str., 19 (M2 Istorychnyi Myzei station), ☎ +380 57 754-4061.
  • Kievska Hotel, 4, Kultury St, ☎ +380 57 714-3100.
  • Kharkov Hotel (Готель Харьков), Svobody sq., 7 (Derzhprom( Держпром) station or University (Университет) metro station), ☎ +380 57 758-0024. In downtown. The hotel is quite old so it is best to be sure that you will get a nice room. Prices of the rooms are too high for the look and service you get.
  • La Fuente Hotel (Міні-готель La fuente), Gvardeitsev-shironintsev str., 91, ☎ +380 57 756-6446.
  • Mir Hotel (Готель Мир), Nauky ave., 27A, (M3: Botanichnyi Sad), ☎ +380 57 340-2330, +380 57 340-2217, e-mail:
  • Natsional'Hotel (Готель Національ/Гостиница Националь), Nauky ave.,(пр.Науки) 21 (M3: Botanichnyi Sad), ☎ +380 57 702-16-24, +380 57 349-53-85. Check-out: From US$32.
  • Nasha Dacha Hotel (Загородная усадьба Наша Дача), Batumskaya str., 4, 4A (NE 5 km, tram 12 to Lisopark terminus), ☎ +380 57 714-0929. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. US$110-190.
  • Park Hotel (Готель "Park"), Shevchenko str., 79 (M: Pushkinska station), ☎ +380 57 730-1717, +380 57 730-1718.
  • Slavianka (Rent company), Sumskaya, 13 (metro Sovietskaya), ☎ +380 67 8429675. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. We have a lot of apartment from budget to luxurious in the very centre. US$35-300.
  • Smart Hotel (Готель Smart Hotel), Traktorostroitelei ave., 79/42, 1st fl. (M2: Akademika Pavlova ( Академіка Павлова) station), ☎ +380 57 362-1102, +380 63 453-6199.
  • Station Hostel, Poltavskyi Shliakh St, Kharkiv, Kharkivs'ka oblast, 61000 (Coming from the centre, the hostel is behind the McDonalds and next to the tram terminal, on the second floor of the large cylindrical building.), ☎ +380 68 865 0047. 24h. Check-in: after 14:00, check-out: until 11:00. Clean hostel with a kitchen, curtained beds and a good social area. Next to the station and above a supermarket; nonetheless, the hostel itself is quiet. Comfortable beds and helpful staff. From 160 грн.
  • Temp Motel (Лыжная база Темп), Batumskaya str. (ул. Батумская,), 16 (Next to Nasha Dacha Hotel), ☎ +380 57 315-2018, +380 57 315-1058, e-mail: 50 rooms: apartments, luxury, deluxe, business, superior, standard and economy US$10-170/night.
  • Teremok Hotel, Belgorodske Shosse, village of Lisne, 21, International St, ☎ +380 57 750-6120.
  • ZS CLUB Hotel, 10, Lissoparkovy Ln (tram 12 to Lisopark terminus), ☎ +380 57 719-2744.
  • Viktoria Hotel. 10 minutes drive from downtown and offers nicely done, modern, well-equipped hotel rooms, free Wi-Fi and a spa-center. Travel options are tram and car.
  • Mirax Boutique Hotel (Миракс), Moskovskiy prospekt 86a, ☎ +380 93 360 09 79, e-mail: Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. 4-star hotel offers 10 rooms, free Wi-Fi and a nice-looking restaurant.




Every person who wants to occupy a good position and earn money on the territory of Ukraine should follow the law on registration. This means that you need to collect a certain package of documents to the migration service, and officially register there. After completing all the requirements, these citizens of other countries can obtain a work permit. Here is a list of documents for obtaining a work permit in Ukraine, FYI:

  • Statement by the employer that he or she needs to hire a foreigner for a specific position.
  • A certificate that this work has nothing to do with state secrets.
  • Document confirming the level of education of the foreigner with translation into Ukrainian.
  • A copy of this person's passport, certified in due order.
  • Certificate that this foreigner has no criminal record.
  • A mental health record.
  • Employer receipt for payment of duties.

In order to become a full-time employee in Ukraine, it is important to follow clear procedures established by government bodies, such as:

  • contact the employment services no later than fifteen days after the vacancy report has been submitted;
  • the employment service may decide to issue a work permit fifteen days after the registration of the documents;
  • as soon as a positive decision has been made, the employer must transfer four minimum wages to the employment service;
  • when the necessary sum for the issuance of the decision has been calculated, the territorial authority shall issue the document to the employer within ten days.



Keep Connected


Internet develops quickly in Ukraine, and therefore, today it is no problem to get access to the world wide web - both wired and wireless. There are more access points in big cities, nevertheless there are also some in small settlements. The majority of Ukrainian hostels and hotels of different level have Wi-Fi points, which allow visitors to use high-speed Internet. Most Ukrainian restaurants and many cafes are equipped with internet access points, there are also Wi-Fi zones in terminals of the international airports. You may also access Internet from your cell phone, if your device supports GPRS or one of the 3G standards. All cellular carriers in Ukraine offer access to the mobile internet. Moreover, it's usually no problem to find Internet-cafe in Ukrainian cities. "Ukrtelecom" company offers Internet access as well. Its offices are easy to find in any town of Ukraine. The cost of one hour of Internet access usually doesn't exceed €1-2.


See also: International Telephone Calls

The international phone code for Ukraine is 380. The general emergency phone number is 112 and there are special ones for fire -(101), police (102), ambulance (103) and even gas leaks (104).

Although cell phones are becoming more and more popular, a lot of people still use phonecards and this might be a good and cheaper option for travellers as well. If you are here for any length of time it is worth investing in a local sim-card for your mobile. No major international mobile operators exist in Ukraine (yet) so if you have Vodaphone or T-mobile (etc) your phone may not work here. Kyivstar and MTS are the biggest Ukrainian operators.


Ukrposhta is the national postal service of Ukraine. Unfortunately, the postal service in Ukraine is unreliable or at least inefficient and slow. Packages may get stolen or searched for things that can be sold.

Post offices exist in all cities and towns and postcards can be sent quite safely, but the service may be slow. Like many other businesses, post offices are open from around 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with a lunchbreak between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., although opening times may vary. Smaller ones in rural towns keep shorter hours, while the largest ones in Kiev are usually open very late, during weekends or even 24 hours!
If you want to send a letter or postcard and buy stamps, just queue up at the line where you see envelops and cards. Be prepared to wait a while, also regarding the time it takes to send a postcard to Europe (a week) or the USA (two weeks), let alone places further afield.
Always send letters by airmail (avia in Ukrainian). For faster (but more expensive) sendings of parcels, try companies like TNT, DHL, UPS or FedEx.


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This is version 38. Last edited at 14:04 on Dec 6, 19 by Vic_IV. 1 article links to this page.

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