POLTAVA, UKRAINE - TOP 9 THINGS TO DO & SEEBY ALEKS KRAVCHENKO
If some 7 years ago someone had asked me to come up with top 9 things to do and see in Poltava, I would have ended up naming 9 monuments they taught us about in high school (including that to Lenin lol). Having visited a few foreign countries since then, only a couple of cultural sights land my list of top 9. Can it be that I am not that much of a culture vulture? It is possible, but I noticed that the following places tend to wow the most those visiting our beautiful city of Poltava, Ukraine.
POLTAVA BATTLE MUSEUM
The Great Northern War took place in 1700, and lasted for more than 2 decades. Poltava is the city where the course changing battle took place. For those of you who are history buffs, check out this Wikipedia article to learn more about the event. Better yet, consider squeezing a visit to Poltava in your busy travel itinerary. Reading an article cannot be compared with the chill you get from gazing at the actual battle fields of that massacre event.
The museum and the battle field are located on the outskirts of Poltava. An inexpensive 10 minute ride in a taxi is the best way of getting there.
A must-visit for theater lovers, Gogol Theater offers you a wide array of Ukrainian literature masterpieces. It is a worthwhile experience even for those of you who don't speak the local language. It is the only place in Poltava where you can see authentic Hopak (aka Gopak), the national dance of Ukraine.
Heard of Ukrainian Cossacks? They used to dance Hopak, a lot!
Sorochyntsy Fair is the largest Ukrainian fair; and it takes place every year (in August), in the village of Velyki (Grand) Sorochyntsy near Poltava, Ukraine. Its first mention dates back to the XIX century. Since then, the fair has become a large showcase for embroidery, rugs, ceramics and tons of other interesting handicrafts.
Velki Sorochyntsy is a Poltava region village located 91 kilometers away from Poltava. Taking a bus from the local bus station is your best option if you are traveling on a budget. Otherwise, one hour ride in an air-conditioned taxi cab, and you are there (August is the hottest month in Ukraine!).
Don't feel like spending the whole day in Sorochentsy Fair. Fret not! The central Bazaar conveniently located near the city center is a great place to shop for apparel, shoes, souvenirs and just about anything else. Note though, the central bazaar is not open on Mondays!
'EQUATOR' SHOPPING MALL
Do you happen to be in Poltava when it rains 'cats and dogs'? Check out the 'Equator' shopping mall. Some 15 minutes away from the city center, the mall has an indoor ice-skating rink, tables for billiards, a place for bowling and a number of places to eat.
Equator shopping mall is located at Kovpaka Street 26. Ride in a taxi from Poltava city center will set you back US $4 or less.
EXCURSION ALONG THE VORSKLA RIVER
Poltava is located right near the Vorskla River. Reachable with public transport, the place is a perfect getaway from the city lifestyle. Having a picnic, getting a bit of a physical exercise on a rowing boat or just spending a lazy day on one of its beaches make it a worthwhile experience!
SKIING IN POLTAVA
Do you happen to be in Poltava in winter? Petrovka is a village located 17 kilometers south of Poltava, and is perfect for skiing beginners and aficionados. No need to bring your skiing gear though. The place has a choice of skis for beginners and aficionados alike!
Tip: A passport or any other ID is a must-have to be able to rent skiing gear.
Zhovtneva (aka Oktyabrskaya) is by far the most popular street in Poltava. Packed with stores and terrace cafes, this street is perfect for those looking to feel the pace of the local life. Print out our map of Poltava to find your way to this street.
Built in 1909 to commemorate 200th anniversary of Poltava Battle, the White Rotunda, also known as the Monument of Friendship, is one of the most recognized landmarks of Poltava. Easily reached from the city center (15 minute walk down the Zhovtneva Street), this place is by far the best viewing point in the city. Overlooking half of the city, this sight cannot be more perfect to end your visit to this beautiful central city of Ukraine.
Have you set your mind on visiting Poltava yet? We hope you do soon! Getting to and around Poltava cannot be easier with us, your local Poltava travel agency. Please contact us for any questions or feedback. And don't forget to check out these great pictures of Poltava.