Populated by almost 1,5 million residents, Kharkov keeps developing, in spite of the crisis. Apart from the pretty girls and ladies, Kharkov has many sights of interest and a growing list of attractions. It is conveniently located at the confluence of three rivers: Lopan, Udy and the one bearing the same name. The metropolitan area is extended and gathers twenty satellite towns, all served by an airport and the country's biggest junction of railways.
Reaching the downtown, you will find that Svobody Square is the sixth largest in Europe and its name translates to 'Freedom'. It can be considered an architectural landmark in itself and is the place of all events and manifestations known to the city – from meetings to fairs and concerts. In the middle of the round part of the square stands the first 'skyscraper' in Ukraine, Derzhprom, Europe's tallest building in the 1920's. Many modern libraries and art exhibits are to be found around, and these are actually to be found anywhere in Kharkov.
The parts contrasting with the recent date achievements are also well represented. Some fragments of the old fort wall survived – the town used to be a fortress, one also equipped with underground passage ways. A jewel of the skyline is the Assumption or Dormition Cathedral, a white architectural splendor with its imposing slender tower, finishing with a golden dome and cross. Its design is tributary to both Late Baroque and Neoclassical styles. It hosts the Alexander bell tower, built to honor Tsar Alexander I after Napoleon's expulsion after having invaded Russia.
For the romantic ones, there is the Kharkov 'bridge of lovers', like in many other European cities. It is adorned with dozens of locks inscribed with lovers' names. The fountain known as 'The Mirror Stream', Zerkal'naya Struya, is a UNESCO-protected true symbol of the city. It is made of two mirror streams flowing from a pavilion placed in a public garden, and is the favorite picture spot for the newlywed couples. On the list of museums, there are interesting themes: one could visit the maritime museum or the one centered on the Holocaust.
If you wonder how to be entertained in Kharkov, note down the aqua parks, the dolphinarium, and the bowling clubs. For relaxation and something good for the taste buds and the stomach, get around with the metro or by foot in the downtown and spot some of the many coffee shops, breweries, restaurant and fast food facilities. The winter fun will be assured by the skiing facilities and the skating rinks of the city.
Despite the so many renovated and gleaming attractions, Kharkov does not see too much of the touristic agitation. Its special places are peaceful and generally follow the normal pace; you are free to live according to it and to explore by yourself, without being bothered by many restless visitors. You may also mingle with the locals and ask them to make recommendations according to your interests, budget and time. They would be happy to help.