Poltava is also called a cultural capital because of its colourful history and many famous Ukrainians who were born in Poltava. Native citizens often follow this idea, being proud of their city and calling it "a city where one wants to live in". Off course, trying to keep this rate: there are many sites of architecture, museums, universities, elementary schools, cinemas, theatres and so on. Apart from that, city is often referred as "green" as there are many parks, gardens and other recreational areas. In the recent years the municipal administration considered itself as being responsible to make the city centre clear and looking more like a European rather than Soviet city.
Languages spoken are Russian and Ukrainian. (Latter is official and first is more widely spoken). However most people understand and are able to talk both. English isn't widely known, but many people (especially young people) would make their best attempt to understand you. You may be glad to know that some people you talk to are quite fluent in English (or German, French), as these languages have been studied at school.
Train and bus are the only reasonable ways to get to Poltava (unless you have your own car), and ticket price is roughly equal.
Four railway lines coming out west, east, south and southeast from Poltava. Usually there would be a few trains per day to your selected destination, see the website of Ukrzaliznytsia (Ukrainian railways) for timetable and ticket prices.
- Kiev Station or Poltava-Kyivska railway station (Київський вокзал / Залізничний вокзал Полтава-Київська), Stepana Kondratenka str.(вул. Степана Кондратенка), 12, ☎ +380 532 107101, +380 532 51-41-01. Opened in 1901. Connect it with Kyiv (7$, 3½ hours); Kharkiv (5.5$, two hours) and other Ukrainian cities.
- Poltava-Pivdenna or Southern Station (Полтава-Південна, aka (Південний вокзал), Russian: Южный вокзал), Slavy sq. (площа Слави), 1 (To get to the centre from Pivdenniy Vokzal, take trolleybus 1, 2, 4, 6 or 11), ☎ +380 532 512035. Watch your timetable/ticket carefully, as train may stop only at one of those stations, or both. It is a good idea to buy tickets for your next train (if you haven't bought them in advance) immediately upon your arrival. Both railway stations are well connected with city transport (bus/trolley). However, between 10PM and 6AM taxi is the only option.
- Bus station (Автостанция), Shevchenka str., 65 (Connected with municipal bus/trolley routes. Note again, that between 10PM and 6AM you'd need to get a taxi), ☎ +380 532 274410.
- Inter-city bus station (Автовокзал), vul Velikotirnovska ( вул. Великотирнівська), 7 (about 7km east of the centre). You need to buy ticket at the bus station, and then better keep it with you, ticket control is possible. The most useful buses are to Kharkiv (13uah, 2½ to three hours, eight daily) and Dnipropetrovsk (15uah, three to four hours, eight daily).
Bus connection with other cities is fine, especially along E40 road (Poltava is midway between Kyiv and Kharkiv): buses usually arrive/depart every hour or a few. It will take you 5 hours to get from Kyiv or 3 hours from Kharkiv. There are a few different carriers on these routes:
- Avtolux, Günsel bus service, which provide more comfortable buses, and cost a bit more (from Kyiv - up to 100 hryvnas ~ 13 US$).
- National and various private bus services. Some of them have less comfortable buses (e.g. old Ikarus), for cheaper price. Other are more comfortable, though ticket price is somewhat 20-25% higher. Station charge included in ticket price.
- Shuttle-bus services, which use Mercedes Sprinter or similar. (Don't confuse them with "marshrutka" which is city transportation, never mind localscan call both a marshrutka). They stay in the middle in terms of passenger's comfort, however are faster (4.5 hours from Kyiv, 2.5 hours from Kharkiv). You can find these minibuses standing at railway stations or (even better) reserve places by phone (see advertisements at bus/train station), optionally a day or a few in advance. Be sure to find your minibus in at least 10-15 minutes before departure, because your reservation may be cancelled. Then pay money directly to driver, he would write down your surname (as no tickets are usually provided). As of September 2010, it costs around 85 hryvnas (10.5 US$) from Kiev.
Poltava has fine road connection in most directions: west (E40 to Kiev), east (E40 to Kharkiv), southwest (E577 to Kremenchuk), north (to Hadyach), northeast (to Kotel'va and Russian boundary) and southeast (to Krasnograd, connection with E105 Moscow-Kharkiv-Simferopol road).
- From Kyiv: 330km single/dual carriageway, of average quality, however seems to be intensively improving (as of October 2010)
- From Kharkiv: 140km single/dual carriageway, of average quality. Be careful not to exceed the speed limits, as there are some hazardous parts.
- From south: go along E105 road to Krasnograd, turn left to Poltava, then after ~60km of straight road you'd reach E40 and turn left to Poltava again.
- From southwest (Kremenchuk): 110km along E577, single carriageway, including some hazardous areas (e.g. limited visibility, narrow bridges, railway level crossing).
- From north, NW, NE: prefer a straight north-south road across Opishne and Dykan'ka - average quaily single carriageway. Other road (NE-SW direction) from Kotel'va to Poltava is in worse condition and crosses many villages.
Do not go along other minor roads indicated on the map unless you know it's fine (otherwise you may experience bad road quality or get lost somewhere in rural area).
Not possible (there is an airport in Suprunivka, 5km west of Poltava, however no regular passenger service is available).
It would be a good idea to have an acquaintance with a bilingual local person who will give you advice on how & where to go around Poltava. But if you don't have one, you can ask for help at local English-speaking message board en.poltavaforum.com
Notice that most of city transport is operating between 6AM and 10PM on major routes, and only until 8-9PM to suburbs. During hours different from this, prefer taxi. There are crowdy routes, where you may not be able to take a seat. During rush hours (6-9 AM, 5-6PM and possibly throughout the day on suburb routes) you may loss up to 1 hour of your time due to municipal transport being filled up. Be aware of suburb routes as well as of the dates of holidays/other celebrations, where serious delays are likely. In trolleys, buses and marshrutkas you pay a single fixed price for each trip at each vehicle, no matter how far away you go (within city limits).
Poltava is relatively small city, where it is possible to cross it one border to another in 1.5 hours. If you're walking around down-town & historical centre, you are 30 min away from any destination within it. So if you know where to go across centre, you may not use transport at all. However, for safety reasons, don't walk by foot to distant suburbs, if you don't know your way or if it is late evening/night.
Bear in mind that the Lower City (Podol/Podil, Russian: Подол, Ukrainian: Поділ) near Vorskla river and Pivdenna Train Station is situated really deep down, so walking up to the train station can be very tiresome.
By bus / marshrutka
There are 62 bus routes, connecting most districts of the city. Most often it is an optimal way to get around. Both bus and marshrutka cost 1.75 hryvna ($0.22), no matter how far you go. The difference is that buses are larger (yellow minibuses are considered buses too) and you pay money to conductor who asks you; marshrutkas are small minivans where you pay directly to the driver. Don't rely on the fact that you can enter/exit marshutka outside from official bus stops: it is sometimes possible, but actually prohibited by law.
- Routes 19,20,21 ("Кільцевий") makes good connection round across the city (clockwise and counterclockwise), connecting downtown with main residential districts and the bus station (Avtovokzal). Large buses (Man, Volvo etc.) provide the best service.
- Other routes are listed here
There are 11 trolley routes across the city. This is the cheapest kind of transport, however particularly slow and often crowded, sometimes delayed. Ticket costs 1 hryvna ($0.12), paid to a conductor, who will ask you soon after you enter the trolley.
- Route 1 goes directly between two railway station - Kyivsky & Pivdenny vokzal.
- Route 15 ("Кільцевий") goes round across the city, connecting downtown with main residential districts and the bus station (Avtovokzal).
It is recommended to order a taxi by phone, not to hire somewhere on the street. This way you'll be safer, and meet better service and possibly lower price. See for phone number and car number written down on the car - so you will differ between taxi service and unlicensed individual. Costs from 15 to 35 hryvnas (2-4 US$) across the city, or more if you go to several locations. You pay for kilometers, not minutes, however additional costs include waiting time, distant areas.
- Svyato-Panteleymonivska Church (Свято-Пантелеймонівська церква), Street Frunze, 64 (Trolley 2, 6, 15 to stop Park imeni Ivana Petrovycha Kotlyarevskoho), ☎ +380 532 532158. - Built in 1999 to the 1100-years-old anniversary of Poltava.
- Voznesenskaya church (Вознесенська церква), Street Zoriana, 2 (On territory of former suburb of Pushkarevki - West), ☎ +380 532 661623. Built in 1762.
- Khrestovozdvyzhenskyi (Holy Cross) monastery (Хрестовоздвиженського монастиря), Street Sverdlova, 3 (East). Founded in 1650. There is the Свято-Троїцька церква (Sviato-Troits'ka church)+380 532 561125
- Samsonovskaya church (Самсонівська церква), Street Shvedska Mohyla, 16 (N). TThe church was sanctified in 1856.
- 'Light of Life' church (Церква Світло Життя), Street Biriuzova Marshala ( Бірюзова Маршала вул.), 63 (NW), ☎ +380 532 530902.
- Panteleymonivska Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Пантелеймонівська українська православна церква), Talalykhina ln.(Талалихіна пров.) (NW), ☎ +380 532 566409.
- 'Flag of Khrysta' church (Церковь Флаг Христа), Street Kondratenka Stepana ( Кондратенка Степана вул.), 6 (Next to Kiev Station), ☎ +380 532 508050.
- Synagogue (Синагога), Street Gogolya ( Гоголя вул.), 6 (Center).
- Former Chorale synagogue (Хоральна синагога), Street Gogolya (Гоголя вул.), 10 (former Ivanovskoy) (Center). Built in 1856. Burned out in 1911. Rebuilt, functioned to the end of 1930th, was after closed, and the nationalized building is reconditioned under a club. In 1943 the club burned.
- Aircraft Museum (Полтавський музей дальньої авіації), Street Kharchovykiv (Харчовиків вул), 27 (NW), ☎ +380 532 678183. In a museum the airplanes of distant aviation are kept An-22, An-22 M3, An-160, educational-battle airplane of Su-15, airplanes TU-134 UBL, An-26, model engines etc.
- Poltava Battle History Museum (Державний історико-культурний заповідник Поле Полтавської битви), Street Shveds'ka Mohyla (Шведська Могила вул.,), 32 (5 km north-east of city. There are several marshrukta buses going via Zygina Square, as well as buses 4 and 5 right to the bus stop «The museum of the history of Poltava Battle»). Su, Tu-Th 09.00-17.00, F 09.00-16.00, M closed. There are a museum and the Swedish cemetery. The restricted territory of historical field consists of 1 906 acres. -There are 4 old settlements and more than 30 burial mounds (1000 B.C. and 1000 A.D.) on the reserve territory.
- Poltava Art Museum (Gallery) (Полтавський художній музей (галерея мистецтв)), Street Frunze (Фрунзе вул), 5 (Center), ☎ +380 5322 563540, +380 5322 560731. 10.00-18.00 Day-off:Mon.
- Firestaton Technical Exhibition (Пожежно-технічна виставка головного управління МНС), Street Biriuzova Marshala( Бірюзова Маршала вул.), 26. (N), ☎ +380 532 503789.
- Library and museum (Будинок бібліотеки та земського музею), Street Pushkyna/Hoholya( Гоголя вул.), 24/18. Built in style of modern in 1901.
- Museum of history of organs of internal affairs of Poltava region (Музей історії органів внутрішніх справ Полтавщини), Street Lidova, 6 (Center), ☎ +380 5322 24929. Countain almost three thousand objects: the archived documents, photos, original standards of fire and cold weapon, personal things of veterans of organs of internal affairs, dioramas and artistic models.
- There are many other museums, mainly dedicated to famous writers and cultural workers
- Former Peasant Land bank (Будинок Селянського банку), Street Zhovtneva (Жовтнева вул.), 39 (Center). The building special picturesqueness is given by multicoloured mosaics. A central entrance on cut corner building is decorated to the decorative pictures with fire-birds and sculptures of sirens.
- 'Lions' mansion (Міський особняк (з левами)), Street Pushkina (Пушкіна вул.), 52 (Center). Only from outside.
- Building of Petrovs'kyi cadet school (Будівля Петровського кадетського корпусу), Street Zhovtneva (Жовтнева вул.), 42 (Center). Only from outside. Built in 1835-1840 in style of late classicism
- Former vice-governor mansion (Будинок віце-губернатора), Street Zhovtneva (Жовтнева вул.), 40 (Center). Only from outside. Built in 1808-1811.
- Monument to Glory (Монумент Слави), Korpusnyy garden (Center). Opened on June, 27, 1811 in the city center. The height of monument about 17m.
- House of general-gubernator (Будинок генерал-губернатора), Street Zhovtneva (Жовтнева вул.), 37 (Center). One of the most attractive tourist-excursion object of the city. The length is 42m.
- The former Post Office of the 'Little Russia' regio (Будинок Малоросійського поштампту), Street Zhovtneva (Жовтнева вул.), 35 (Center). Only from outside. The general post-office was complete in 1809. In 1943 was burned out. Rebuilt in 1961. Building is a brick, plastered, two-storeyed. Now school
- Former House of Nobiliary Assembly (Будинок Дворянських зборів), Street Zhovtneva (Жовтнева вул.), 31 (Center). The Noble House completed in 1810. - Now is cinema
- Former Alms house (Богодільня), Street Shevchenka (Шевченка вул), 23. Founded in 1804. - Now is the Meedical Academy
- Mansion of Daragan (Особняк Дарагана), Street Gogolya (Гоголя вул.), 3 (Center).
- House of Rabbi (Будинок Рабина), Street Gogolya (Гоголя вул.), 8 (Center).
- Trofymenko Mansion (Особняк Трофименка), Street Krychevskoho (Кричевського вул.), 11.
- General Petrash Mansion (Особняк генерала Петраша), Street Komsomolska, 20.
- Former State Bank (Будівля Державного банку), Street Zhovtneva (Жовтнева вул.), 21 (Center).
- Tokarev Trade house (Торговий дім Токарєва), Street Lenina (Леніна вул), 9/17 (Center).
- Former Dokhman shop (Магазин Дохмана), Street Kotliarevs'koho (вулиця Котляревського), 22 (Center). Built end of XIX century. Dohman. I.A. was a merchant, owner of the paper and printing shop.
- House of Michael .V. Gogol (Просвітницький будинок им. М.В.Гоголя), Street Gogolya (Гоголя вул.), 2.
- Mansion Baliubasha (Особняк збирача картин Балюбаша), Street Spaska (Спаська вулиця), 11 (Center-South). There lived the collector of pictures Baliubasha. The building was erected in 1912., Designed by architect P.F. Aloshina. Now - Poltava branch bank of Energіya.
- Brewery (Пивоварний завод з пивною Приют друзів), Street Spaska (Спаська вулиця),10 (Center-South).
- Kotliarevskyi's Memorial Mansion (Museum-estate of Ivan Kotlyarevskogo, Меморіальна садиба І.П. Котляревського), Sobornyi sq.(Соборний майдан), 3. (SW), ☎ +380 5322 72073.
- Dykan'ka (Диканька) (30km north of Poltava). a small town, easily reached by road. Some historical sites and fine restaurants. Also famous as a site mentioned in Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka (Vechory na khutori blyz Dykan'ky), a story by Nikolai Gogol. If you want to see some landscapes typical for Poltavs'ka oblast, apart from crops, an ancient oak wood is just next to Dykan'ka.
- Opishne (ua:Опішне, ru:Опошня), Vul. Partizhanska (вул. Партизанська), 2 (50km north of Poltava). another small town, famous for its pottery. See the National Museum of Ukrainian Pottery.
- Vilhivschynskyy reserve (Вільхівщинський заказник) (29km East of Poltava). Reserve is located in the vicinity of villages Vilhivschyna and Vasilevka. Reserve covers an area located in the floodplain river Kolomak and a meadow-marsh complex
- Botanical Garden of the Poltava State Korolenko Pedagogical University (Ботанічний сад П ім. В. Г. Короленолтавського державного педагогічного університет), Morhuna Fedora str., 16. (NE 1 km), ☎ +380 5322 22829.
- City Park (Dendropark, Полтавський міський парк), Bakynskykh Komisariv St and Yakivchanska St (Bus 10, 33 to stop 'Dedndropark' - N 2 km from Center).
- Kyіvskyi and Pavlenkivs'kyi Markets and Malls (Ринок Київський, Ринок Павленківський), Zinkivska str., 4-6B (Near to Train Stn), ☎ +380 532 511173.
- Yurivskyi Market (Ринок Юрівський), Polovky str.(Половки вул.), 45 (Northwest), ☎ +380 532 661939.
- Central Market (Центральний ринок), Shevchenka (Шевченка вул.), 29 (Center), ☎ +380 532 612952.
- Mimino Hotel-Restaurant (Ресторанно-готельний комплекс Міміно), Biriuzova Marshala str.( вул. Бірюзова Маршала), 15. (Near to Train Stn.), ☎ +380 532 275012, +380 532 509883.
- Riviera Hotel (Ресторанно-готельний комплекс Ривєра), Rybalskyi lane.(пров. Рибальський), 16, ☎ +380 532 572344.
- Vivat Hotel (Готель Віват провінція), Tahtaulove suburb, Zonkovska str.(Тахтаулове),3-A (9km North), ☎ +380 532 655556, +380 532 559353, +380 67 5321550. dbl 32-58$.
- Tourist Hotel (Гостиница Турист), Myru str.(вул. Миру ), 12 (From the city centre (10 minutes by bus or 30-40 minutes by foot), ☎ +380 532 572577, +380 532 572761. Soviet-built hotel, but may improved since then. Situated at the bank of Vorskla river. sgl. from 25$, dbl. 30-35-68$.
- Ukraina Hotel (Гостиница Украина), Zhovtneva (Жовтнева вул.), 41A (Center), ☎ +380 532 224343. ул.Октябрьская, 41а. 25-35 $ (2011).
- Hotel Almaz (Гостиница Алмаз), Kievskoye shosse (ул. Киевское шоссе), 60 (SW 4km), ☎ +380 532 681168, +380 532 631881, +380 532 631884. 25-32$ (2011).
- Hotel IntouristPoltava (Гостиница Интурист-Полтава), Grushevskovo str., (ул. Грушевского), 1, ☎ +380 532 230024, +380 532 605710.
- Gold Hotel (Гостиница Голд), Pershotravnevyi ave. (Первомайский проспект,17б), 17B, ☎ +380 532 613157. 35-62$ (2011).
- Palazzo Hotel (Палаццо), Hoholia (Gogolya, Гоголя вул. ) str.,33, ☎ +380 532 611205, +380 532 610850. 4-star. 90-150 $.
- Turbinst Hotel (Гостиница Турбинст), Repina str., (ул. Репина), 4, ☎ +380 532 25928, +380 532 181036. From 35$ (2012).
- Gallery Hotel ("Галерея"), Frunze str.(вул. Фрунзе), 7 (Central location), ☎ +380 532 561666. 70-140$.
- Alleya Grand Hotel (Алея Ґранд), Zhovtneva str. (Жовтнева вул.),57 (Central location), ☎ +380 532 579737. 55-150$ (2012).
- Kyiv Hotel (Гостиница Киев), Sinna st.(вул. Сінна), (Center), ☎ +380 532 224281. Four star. +380 532 224286 From 55$..
- Lubny three hours by bus. Tha main sight here Savior-Transfiguration Monastery Mgar. Also good base to visit [http://nppns.at.ua/
Nyzhnosulskyy National Park] and Pyriatyn National Natural Park
- Myrgorod three hours by train or bus. Enjoy the Resort Myrhorod (Миргородкурорт) and the Ukrainan rural town charm