Best Destinations in Kharkiv, Ukraine

Freedom Square

Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, is in the east of the country in the region of the same name. This city is famous for its wide streets, historic buildings, and Soviet-era monuments. Read on to explore some of the best destinations in Kharkiv.

Best Destinations in Kharkiv

1. Maxim Gorky Park

best destinations in Kharkiv: Maxim Gorky Park


A few minutes up from the center is a 130-hectare park that has a few days out rolled into one.

First, it’s a sophisticated and well-maintained city garden, laced with tree-lined avenues, expansive lawns, pond sculptures, a gazebo, and a Temple of Diana. But there are also plenty of family-oriented amusements.

The park has a Ferris wheel that dominates the skyline and has a far-reaching view of the city, along with an aerial ropeway, carousels, a haunted house.

Everything is sheltered in clean woodland and during the summer holidays, there are live shows for kids on the stage.

2. Mirror Stream Fountain

Placed in the heart of the city, the Mirror Stream Fountain is a must-see! The architecture is incredibly romantic and a true symbol of Kharkiv.

It’s also a wonderful place to walk around, get some fresh air and if you’re lucky you might just see a wedding taking place.

Between nature and the cathedral, you couldn’t ask for a more spectacular backdrop. If you think this structure is beautiful in the daytime, you should check it out after the sun goes down.

3. Freedom Square

best destinations in Kharkiv: Freedom Square


One of the best destinations in Kharkiv is Freedom Square. This square is located at the heart of the city. It was built in the early 20th century when Kharkiv became the capital of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine. Freedom Square has been the center of the city since it was built. Today, official festivals, festivals, and concerts are held in this square.

4. Annunciation Cathedral

By the Lopan River, Kharkiv’s Neo-Byzantine Annunciation Cathedral is enormous. And when it was constructed in the late 19th century, it was one of the largest churches in the Russian Empire.

The tallest structure is the bell tower, which crests at 80 meters and was completed in 1888, 12 years before the church was consecrated.

Outside, note the candy-stripe effect of the classic Byzantine rings of red bricks and white stone.

The interior has a capacity for 4,000 worshippers, and a couple of the things to search out are the seated image of Athanasius of Alexandria in the south aisle and the iconostasis made from white Carrara marble.

5. Shevchenko Park

Shevchenko Park


Further down the road, at the center of the city is Shevchenko Park. Filled with meticulous gardens and captivating statues, this is another great spots that are easily one of the best things to do in Kharkiv.

If you’re anything like me, going for a drink and some sweets is always necessary after a long stroll through the park. At Gorodskoe Café 16/54, you’ll find cocktails and sweet treats that look so good you almost don’t want to eat them.

6. Kharkiv Fine Arts Museum

Just the ticket for a rainy day, the city’s art museum is central, between the Mirror Stream Fountain and the Lovebirds Monument.

The venue is a Neoclassical mansion from 1913, but the collection goes back to the start of the 19th century when Kharkiv University purchased a variety of works by European masters like van Dyck and Albrecht Dürer.

The museum took damage in the Second World War, but its most valuable pieces had already been placed in safe storage.

These include masterpieces by Russian artists like the Romantic, Ivan Aivazovsky, the Modernist Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, and the Realist Ilya Repin.

The museum has a version of Repin’s famed Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks, which he painted while working on the original.

7. Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden


If you’re looking to get some fresh air, the Botanical Garden is the perfect place. It is more of a park than a garden and I would definitely recommend getting a tour guide.

One thing definitely worth doing is getting yourself on a guided tour. Walking around some of the statues might not seem like much but a lot of them have some pretty incredible stories which you get to really enjoy on a guided tour.

8. Constitution Square

With a little more life than Freedom Square, this plaza is roughly where the Kharkiv Fortress used to stand in the 18th century. It is a place for public gatherings.

The square is bounded by some 200 years of architecture and the variety of styles reflects the varying age of these buildings.

Where Moskovsky Avenue joins the square there’s a fine four-storey mansion constructed for clergy visiting the Assumption Cathedral.

A few steps from the city’s historical museum is the Freedom Monument, which is newer than its classic design makes it seem, and was unveiled only in 2012.


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