Donetsk, the capital of the Donbass oblast’, is a large industrial city with more than 1 million of inhabitant and a very short history: the city was founded less than 2 centuries ago.
For all these reason you will not find it among the main places to visit if you travel to Ukraine for leisure unless you are a football fanatic.
Donetsk is the hometown of the 2009 UEFA cup winner: Shakhtar. In the same time it will be also one of the main cities during the Euro championship 2012.
This is also the hometown of the world famous pole vault Olympic record men Sergey Bubka.
One of the thing you will notice immediately coming by plane are the artificial hills result of all the open mines which are in this area.
In the main square, plosha Lenin, you will not miss to see the traditional statue of Lenin, which was almost in every city during the Soviet Union and here it is still at its place.
Despite the fact to be an industrial city (with all the consequences coming from this) there are some very nice green areas where it is pleasant to walk and have rest.
Located the city center, parallel to plosha Lenin and Artema street, Pushking boulevard is a beautiful place where to walk and have rest in the day or even better during the evening.
Another beautiful park is located a bit more far. For to go there, it is better to take any trolley that goes in the direction of the railway station.
This park is characterized by its particular buildings
Here you will find statues with the shape of zodiac signs or fairly tales personages and very particular benches where to sit.
On Saturday you will see different just married couples coming to make photos in this place.
In the opposite direction, not far from the beginning of Pushkin boulevard, there is probable the main area where to spend the free time.
This park is located along a lake crossed by a pedestrian bridge.
In this place there is an entertainment area where the main attraction is a small roller coaster.
Nice is the old ferries wheel which give the possibility to see a panoramic view of the city. (anyway is it rather old and so maybe not very safe).
One of the best thing is to rent a boat or a catamaran and spend 1 hour of peace in the lake.
All these places are very beautiful to visit only at the condition that you are in Donetsk non in Winter, late Autumn or the beginning of Spring.
During this time you will probable see a totally different environment. The temperature can fall in winter at -20 C (not in the night but during the day!) and very seldom is +0 degrees.
Anyway Donetsk is, as we said already, a large city and for this reason don’t miss places, such as cinemas, trade – leisure centers, theaters, restaurants and so on where you can have fun without dieing for the cold.
A particular place worthy of a visit is the local planetarium, considered to be the main one in Ukraine and more in general in the region.
Before to close this guide, we remember that in Donetsk there is still no metro even if exist for already many years a project for to build one.
Where to stay in Donetsk
This is hotel is own by the same owner of the football team Shakhtar which is also the richest man of Ukraine: Rinat Akhmetov.Another hotel with a good location is the Central hotel (Artema ul. not far from Lenin square).
If you prefer you can try to find a flat for rent, it is not as easy as in Kiev or in Lviv but you can try to give a look at:
How to arrive in Donetsk
You can get there by plane using Austrian, Lufthansa or Turkish airline. (If you come from Russia there also other flights).
Sometimes it is cheaper to fly to Kiev and then from there take the Donbassaero / Aerosvit to Donetsk.
If you are already in Kiev or in another Ukrainian city you can take the train. (the same if you are in Russia or Bielorussia)
These are not all the possibilities but just some of the most convinient. There is also a train coming from Berlin that goes to Donetsk but maybe it is not the easiest way to get there unless you like to travel in train for days.
For to know about the Donetsk airport:
For to know about the trains in Ukraine: