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City Guide: Mykolayiv

Written by Ian Bearder

Your guide - Sergiy 'malchik' Prokhorov

A native’s guide to Mykolayiv

By Sergiy Prokhorov

Almost each city in Ukraine is beautiful and worth visiting. Mykolayiv is not an exception, and being originally from this city – I know what I am talking about. Believe me it is the town you will remember after one single day and if you spend there more time you may not want to leave it!

It is located in the South of Ukraine and together with Odesa, Mykolayiv represents the beauty of this part of the country. It is not that big as Odesa, it’s population is a bit less than half million, but it does not have the coast.

In the city centre it feels like you are in a sea resort town. However, we will come to that in good time. First, let’s start with the regular things, the so called ‘classic’ sightseeing.

In Mykolayiv there is the best zoo in Ukraine. It doesn’t have giraffes like Kyiv zoo, but it is the only zoo in Ukraine that belongs to the wolrd zoo association (http://www.waza.org/en/site/zoos-aquariums). So if you ever happen to be in the city, make sure you drop in to this huge zoo. Especially if you have children, that would be so much fun for them.

Bears are especially amazing. Seems like they have worked in a circus before.

Going further, if you heard about the Russian empire’s fleet, Mykolayiv was the place where all those ships were built and kept. To ease the delivery of the wood needed for ship building, the streets in the city mainly run in straight lines and meet at right angles. It a little bit like Manhattan.

The city is located at the mouth of two rivers – the Ingul and Pivdenniy Bug, and in tribute to Mykolayiv’s history of sailing and seafaring we have a large fleet history museum which is well worth visiting. It houses small copies of modern and ancient ships and you can also go to the outdoor part and touch real ship weapons: huge cannons, torpedoes, and also anchors.

Model ship from Mykolayiv Ship Museum

Big guns

Depending upon your ability to be interested in boring things, you might be interested in attending Vereshagin art museum, but if you like sports you can go swimming, iceskating and even skydiving in Mykolayiv! not bad, huh?

Ok, that was the first half of your day. During the second half you may want to visit a big shopping mall called City Centre. It’s not located in the city centre but it is not far and if you locate it, you will find lots of boutiques, a cinema and a couple of restaurants. After that it is time to go directly to the city centre. It is basically represented by one wide pedestrian street called Sovetskaya (Soviet). The legacy of the USSR is still living in the name of this street, though there have been several unsuccessful attempts to rename it. The square is full of shops, boutiques, eating out places, etc. It is also very green and makes feel like you are somewhere at the sea.

When you go to the end of this street you will see a big statue of Lenin – a place where local skaters hang out and one of the rivers mentioned above. If you walk along it you will see the other one. It looks magnificent and it is specifically spectacular because of two bridges over those rivers. Both of them open from time to time to let the ships go to the shipyard. One of the bridges raises up, the other turns around. If you are lucky to see this you will be impressed. Huge soviet built constructions move without a single squeak. Unbelievable!

One goes up

...the other spins around

You may watch it from the brink of the bridge while ships go out or in. You may also go to the yacht-club – a place along the river where local oligarchs keeps their yachts.

Ok, time goes on and night life is the final thing in the city that will make you think about staying more. You definitely have to visit two main night clubs in the city – Illusion and Storm. That’s where you can really realize why Mykolayiv is often called a city of brides. The girls in the city are extremely beautiful. So if you have a wife, make sure she keeps an eye on you while having fun in a night club. If you don’t, then enjoy the time.

As you can see it is relatively well developed and no surprise that Mykolayiv turns out to be the most cost effective city in Eastern Europe beating Riga and Tallin (http://money.msn.com/business-news/article.aspx?feed=PR&Date=20120224&ID=14826772)

Finally the day is over and you may consider spending one more, since there are so much more to see in the city!

     

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.