Donetsk is a city in Ukraine that was once a place many travellers thought to be dreary, industrious and coal mines but this is so not the case now. Donetsk, while a major industrial city, is a city of green parks, nature reserves, history, culture and picturesque in places.
There has been a lot of development and investment in the city which has put Donetsk on par with many other beautiful European Cities. When you take a private guided tour, you might be surprised with what you find here.
There are sightseeing tours, guided tours, city tours but there is also plenty of fun and adventurous things to do too. Horseback riding, for instance, is very popular in Donetsk and there are lots of horseback riding tours, some involve riding through the city, others riding through the nature reserves.
The new modern buildings and hotels with amazing architecture are amazing to see and they blend surprisingly well with the older buildings which you can see on fascinating city tours. Read More...
There's Lots to Figure Out on Guided Tours of Forged Figures Park
The guided tours available in Donetsk are plentiful and a popular one is to the Forged Figures Park. There are approximately 200 figures in this park that have been beautifully crafted such as figures of folktale heroes or animals.
Even walking the main pedestrian street of the city is like going on a sightseeing tour with wooden benches, pristine flower beds, sculptures and smooth sidewalks.
It is from this street that you can find the smaller alleys which have traditional and very tasty restaurants. It is definitely recommended that when you are in Donetsk, you sample at least one of these restaurants
Top 10 Things to See and Do in Donetsk
Forged Figures Park
A wonderful place to visit on a sightseeing tour of Donetsk is the Forged Figures Park. This park opened on the initiative of Victor Burduk, the Masters of Arts and Crafts in 2001. This park has become a must see place when in Donetsk but also in a world that has no analogues anywhere; it is a unique park. The Park is full of unique pieces such as benches, arches, sculptures of fairy-tale characters and so much more.
Artem Street Walking Tour
With a private tour guide wander the street of Artem in Donetsk on a walking tour. This street is 9 kilometres long and full of shops, beautiful architectural buildings and hotels. Starting from the Railway Station, it runs all the way to the Steelworks. There are lots of places to stop off at and many interesting building to explore on additional tours but more importantly get shopping!
Donetsk Regional Museum of Local History
The regional Museum of Local History is located near the Donbass Arena Stadium in Donetsk. On a guided tour you are shown the remains of animal fossils, large collections of archaeological tools, ornaments, weapons and amulets. Also, the most valuable exhibit in the museum is that of rare old books. There are 24 halls to be explored with approximately 120 thousand exhibits so make sure you have time to spare!
Donbass Arena Stadium
The Donbass Arena Stadium has the honour of being the first stadium built in Ukraine for the European Football Championship 2012 under the standards of the UEFA Elite Category. The unusual design mainly the effect of the floating roof makes the stadium look like a ‘flying saucer’. On a guided tour take a look in the museum of FC Shakhtar and then go to see the 'soccer ball' fountain in the front square.
Museum of Art
With a tour guide, see the amazing collection of all forms of art in the Museum of Art located on Pushkin Boulevard. There are approximately 11,500 works of sculpture, painting, decorative art and drawings. The majority of the art being done by Russian, Italian, German, French and Dutch artists. You can also admire the Ancient Greek and Rome collection of crafts including glass, lamps, vases, various designs of dishes and bronze ware.
The Palm Tree of Mertsalov - Donetsk
Another popular attraction in Donetsk to see on your sightseeing tour is The Palm Tree of Mertsalov. This is a replica sculpture of the original which is found in the Museum of the Mining Institute in St. Petersburg. Located in the Pushkin Boulevard this filigree sculpture is in the form of a palm tree and was forged by A. Mertsalov, a local 19th-century blacksmith, It was done using one steel rail and is fascinating to see.
The Holy Transfiguration Cathedral of Donetsk
The Holy Transfiguration Cathedral located in the city of Donetsk was consecrated in the late 19th century in honor of Transfiguration of God apparition. The original cathedral was destroyed in 1931 and work began on the one that you can now see on a guided tour in 1991. It is made up stylistic motifs of Russian classicism and Ukrainian architecture with wonderful features and majestic images to see.
Donetsk Botanical Garden
May to October are the only months of the year when you can visit Donetsk’s Botanical Garden. In 1964 these gardens were founded, and in Ukraine, it is the leading research institute of biological specialization as well as the centre of educational activities for the east of the country. The stunning blooms are a wonder to see when you visit here and there is flora unique to Ukraine everywhere.
Donetsk Horseback riding Tours
An extremely popular sport/activity in Donetsk is horseback riding, and there are many varied horseback riding tours to do here. No matter which tour you are brought on, if you have not been on a horse before, the trainers will teach you the bare necessities and stick close by you during the tour. There are tours through the city streets as well as one that are done on the outskirts of the city.
There is one street that you will pass through almost every time you go anywhere in Donetsk, and that is Pushkin Boulevard. It happens to be the most beautiful street in Donetsk with flower beds and sculptures, therefore a pleasure to walk through. Many of the top attractions and landmarks are on this street or very close by, so at least one of the guided tours you go on will lead you here.
Travel Tips for Donetsk
Best Time To Visit Donetsk
The best time to visit Donetsk varies depending on what you are looking for out of your trip. All year round is ideal for sightseeing tours or city tours or any type of tour. However, it is very cold, in fact, freezing, from mid-November to mid-February so keep that in mind. Christmas and New Year anywhere in Ukraine is great fun and Donetsk is no different. Summer months are busy, but the weather is nice and mild.
Typical Costs in Donetsk
The prices in Donetsk are very good, especially to a foreign tourist as almost everything is less than other European holiday destinations. Accommodation prices range from US$15 per night per room in a basic hotel and rises to whatever you can afford. An evening meal for two people, on average, will cost US$18 and this includes 3 courses, wine and dessert. Local transport and taxis are very reasonable too.
Know Before Visiting Donetsk
The tips when travelling to or in Donetsk are the same as other cities in Ukraine. Book in advance hotels and major attraction guide tours for better prices. Do not carry around your passport or valuables when out and about on tours or shopping. Like all places in the globe, there are pickpockets just waiting for their chance to rob you, Never stray from a tour group and it is advised not walk alone at night.
Weather in Donetsk
The weather in Donetsk during the summer months are warm and possibly partly cloudy. The winters are freezing and seem to last a long time. Spring and Autumn are the weather conditions in between. The hottest time of the year is normally end of July and start of August with temperatures around 28 degrees Celsius. The wettest month tends to be June and the month with the most snowfall is on average January.