Kharkiv: Ukraine’s biggest college town
Kharkiv is a not-so-often visited city in the east of Ukraine, lying just 25 kilometers from the border with Russia.
Not only is it the second biggest city in Ukraine by population (1.5 million in habitants), it is also Ukraine’s former capital.
In spite of a more industrial post-Soviet feel than other more popular Ukrainian cities like Kyiv, Odesa and Lviv, Kharkiv still has a lot to offer to the right kind of guy wanting to the visit, in particular for its less touristic nightlife.
Ukraine’s Biggest College Town
Kharkiv is the city of universities in Ukraine. The city pays host to more than a dozen higher educational institutions and the 10s of 1000s of students that attend them.
So as you can guess Kharkiv is teaming with students and the city definitely has a bit of college town vibe to it in spite of its large size.
Winter Party Central
Kharkiv has a vibrant after dark scene. Whilst it does not quite have as many bars and clubs as the current capital, Kyiv, that in fact makes it easier to narrow down where the best party is at.
Summer capital, Odesa, hibernates during the cold winter months and Kyiv can be hit-and-miss but Kharkiv never fails to come up trumps for wild night of Eastern European madness.
To boot, Kharkiv is home to some of the most beautiful women in Eastern Europe and you will definitely be more of a novelty as a foreigner there than in Kyiv, Odesa or Lviv.
Winter White and Ice Cold
On my first trip to Kharkiv, I arrived on the coldest weekend of the year. The warmest it got all weekend was -25C! It was bleak. I remember walking across Svobody Square around noon and being the only person in sight. No one else was mad enough to be walking around the center in that weather!
In spite of the oppressive winter weather and maybe even because of it, Kharkiv has a rough and ready appeal. It’s definitely not for a Ukraine rookie. Everything feels more intense here with the cold: the air, the vodka and the girls. Be prepared for an unforgettable experience.
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