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City guide: Dnipropetrovsk

Written by Ian Bearder

A native’s guide to Dnipropetrovsk

By Yulia Pentko

Introduction

I would be happy to tell you more about my hometown Dnipropetrovsk. Although it has very long and difficult to pronounce name Dni-pro-pet-ro-vsk a long time ago it used to have a shorter one: Ekaterinoslav.  It was named and founded in honor of Ekaterina the Great (Catherine the Great) who was a  Russian empress more than two centuries ago. Dnipro (this is a short little name for my beautiful city) is situated in the heart of central Ukraine, exactly in the middle of the country. And the river Dnipro takes its long way through the city.

Dnipro is big industrial and business center.  You can find a lot of highly developed industrial plants and a few government classified institutions, such as “Yuzhmash” (The A.M. Makarov Yuzhny Machine-Building Plant) which specializes on space technologies.

I was born here over twenty years ago and I still live here. Why?  Because I have been traveling abroad and I have seen another completely different cities, but the fun is here. It is also a good place for business.

What you should defiantly know about Dnipropetrovsk is that it has such a funny and chaotic type of transportation – the Marshrutki (mini-buses). You should always tell the driver when and where you need to stop before you arrive there.

Also, our Dnipro citizens like beer very much and there are plenty of places where you can buy a drink. If someone takes you for a beer somewhere you should expect some adventures.

And don’t underestimate “babushkas” (old grannies), they can always overtake, fight, kick and swear you. It’s not a joke it’s a caste!

I don’t advise you to eat on the streets alone, but if you still want to, try to find a local friend to tell you what the best place is. We have a joke about it: “Buy four shaurmas (special meal) and collect a cat!”

What to see

If you are going to spend some time in Dnipropetrovsk there are a few places which would be interesting for you:

First of all it is our riverside. It is the longest embankment in Europe and it is very beautiful.  Many citizens prefer to spend their time on the riverside on warm summer, spring and autumn days, evenings and afternoons. You can meet many different types of people there. Such as bikers on their Harley-Davidson and Yamaha, hip-hop dancers, yoga masters doing their exercises on fresh green grass,  guys with slack line and poi, fish men, musicians and usual walkers.

Europe's longest embankment - Dnipropetrovsk

Europe's longest embankment - Dnipropetrovsk

You also have to see Monastirsky island. Different from Dnipropetrovsk, it has thousands of years of history.  Starting from the ancient Skiff tribes and ending with a story about Potemkin’s treasures inside the Island.  Nowadays there is a big park with many different attractions.  And on the park side above the Island there is a very beautiful view on the riverside.

If you go over the bridge to this Island, exactly under the bridge (you have to climb down to get there) you will find another very beautiful view of the river.  If you go below the bridge you will also find a nice climbing wall, where climbers and tourists practice.

Our city has a very good theater for an act called “Krik”, they perform ones a week. And I haven’t met anyone who was unsatisfied with it. The actor Michael Melnik is the only actor and director of the performances. He has won many theater awards.  Among his famous performances you can see “Lolita”, “Mollis”, “Taras Bulba”, “Perfume” etc.

If you are a football fan you would be  very happy to visit our new Stadium, which we have built for Euro 2012. It is exactly in the downtown and it has a name “Metallurg”.

The next place is not famous by any means, but I really like Barikadnaya str., it is in the downtown, next toKarla Marksa Central Avenue. There are many Tilia trees and a big rose supermarket. If you walk along the street when Tilia blossoms you can smell all the wealth of flavor of them around you. I really enjoy such walks.  By the way there is a very nice small restaurant “Pastoral” where you can have a cup of very nice coffee and some sweets.

If you go further along the street you will meet the biggest Jewish culture center in the world “Menorah”. It has the form of seven-branched ancient lamp stand Menorah.

The botanical gardens, many wild beaches, and an old pinewood on the city line, – all these places are awesome to visit during summer. I would also take you to “Balka”, this is a huge deep gorge not far from center, my friends and I use to have picnics there, camp and walk on slack line above the valley. It is a very quiet and wild natural place.

Balka

If you come in winter you can go skiing or snowboarding at “Lavina” sport center.

Finally, if you want to have a cup of a good coffee you better go to “Coffee room” café. It is small and nice place with very delicious coffee. But if you want to feed yourself well go to Puzata Hata. They serve traditional Ukranian dishes.

Transport

If you want to visit Dnipropetrovsk, you can always use the railway and bus services. Trains and buses come here from any big city inUkraineand few cities abroad, such asWarsaw,Moscow,Baku, Kishenev etc. Indeed, you can fly by plane. But the easiest way would be to travel here fromKiev.

Good luck in your journey and enjoy Dnipropetrovsk!

Yulia.

Dnipropetrovsk central train station

Dnipropetrovsk central train station

About this guide

Our city guides are written for you by Ukrainian’s who live, or have lived in the guide city. If you would like to write a guide to your city or become a city ambassador, please write to Ian at: ian@bluetoyellow.com

     

About the author

Ian Bearder

Ian has been living in Kyiv on-and-off since 2009 and he launched Kyiv.Cool in 2014 to promote the lighter side of life in Ukraine's crazy capital. He doesn't just love Kyiv - he feels genuinely sorry for people who don't live here.
If he's not out on his bike, he's normally wandering in Podil or exploring some forgotten corner of the city.