Kharkiv (Ukrainian: Харків - "Kharkiv", Russian: Харьков - "Kharkov") 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 100m above sea level. There is three rivers’ confluence: the Lopan, the Udy and the Kharkiv. The city has got 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 1780's by a rchitect P. Yaroslavky, the city development plan was made. 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. End of 1880's the first city state telephone station started. The first electric tram since 1906 worked. In 1917 Soviet power was proclaimed & 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 built the Metallist Stadium, which became the main sporting arena of the city. 1930s The construction of the flagships of Soviet industry, including Tractor Plant, Turbine Plant, and Lathe Contraction Plant was finished.


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.

Get in

By plane

Getting into the city from the airport

By bus

By train

Get 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 situated only 40 km 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 Metro

Metro network map
Tram system map

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 need to buy a token from the cash desk, Kassa (Ukrainian: Каса)(since 2010 the tokens are sold by 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 UAH 3.00. You need to 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 UAH10 and it can be recharged for an amount of up to UAH500. 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.

By tram

The Kharkiv tram network one of the few left in Ukraine, since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The number 12 tram line is very useful if you wish to visit the far northeastern part of the city.


Religious buildings

Annunciation Cathedral
Assumption Cathedral



Further afield

Sviatohirsk (lit. Holy Mountain)


Holidays and festivals




Buy beer from a kiosk and sit and drink in Schevchenko Park. It's what everybody does. Be aware that now if you drink beer in the Park you have the possibility to be fined by local police.

Beer bars


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.






Post Offices

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, February 03, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.