15 Best things to do in Dnipro (Ukraine)

Founded by Catherine the Great at the end of the 18th century, Dnipro (formerly Dnipropetrovsk) is a city that developed behind a booming manufacturing industry. Foundries, car factories, weapons manufacturers and later the aerospace industry have been the backbone of Dnipro’s economy. The opulent mansions of 19th-century industrialists and the longest promenade in Europe illustrate the city’s undulating prosperity.

Until World War II, Dnipro had a rich Jewish heritage: a hundred years ago, more than a quarter of Dnipro’s population was Jewish, and in the past few years there have been bold Jewish mixed-use developments. Menorah is unlike anywhere else in Europe, it is a huge complex of shops, hotels, museums and synagogues.

Let’s explore the best things to do in Dnipro:

1. Dmytro Jawornyzkyj Avenue

Dnieper Central Station

For 84 years up to 2016, Dnipro’s record-breaking avenue was named after Karl Marx.

But under a law banning “Nazi and communist propaganda,” the honor went to respected historian and lexicographer Dmytro Jawornyzkyj.

Flanked by rows of buckeyes, this wide six-lane artery stretches five kilometers in length, starting at the Monument to Eternal Glory to the east and ending at Dnipro Central Station.

If you’re ready to go the full length, you’ll get a concise summary of Dnipro.

This boulevard has all of the city’s major historical monuments, parks, shopping areas, cultural facilities, universities, and plenty of cafés if you need to make a pit stop.

2. Candlestick Center

Dnipro Candelabra Center

Europe’s largest Jewish cultural center opened in Dnipro in 2012, a dazzling complex of hotels, banquet halls, art galleries, Jewish shops and restaurants, a synagogue and a museum.

The project was co-led by the chairmen of the Dnepr United Jewish Community and the Ukrainian Jewish Community, while the Grand Rabbi of Spain and the Israeli Minister of Information and Diaspora were present at the opening.

On daily visits, the main destination will be the Ukrainian Museum of Jewish Memory and the Holocaust.

The largest museum of its kind in the former Soviet Union, it traces the events of the 1930s and 1940s and studies their impact using cutting-edge multimedia displays.

3. Monastirsky Island

monastirsky i.

The city’s own river island has been occupied for at least 2,000 years and was a staging point for early Christians and medieval merchants.

You can reach it on foot via the elegant metal arched pedestrian bridge or the panoramic cableway.

If you do walk, keep an eye out for the Soviet stars on the deck as you cross the bridge.

Step on the island and you’ll enter Taras Shevchenko Park, which we’ll discuss below.

On the other side of the island, there is a beach that stretches for over a kilometer to the southern end and is crowded with sunbathers in summer.

You’ll find several bars here, while nearby is a freshwater aquarium and a center for renting rowboats and kayaks.

4. Taras Shevchenko Park

Taras Shevchenko Park

The park at the top of Monastyrsky Island deserves another entrance because of how much stuff is squeezed into such a small space.

You’ll first see a Ferris wheel and a kitsch Soviet-style amusement park for the youngest members of the family.

After crossing the bridge, turn left and you will see the statue of Taras Shevchenko.

The 19th-century poet is considered Ukrainian Shakespeare for his lasting influence on the Ukrainian language.

Finally, on the urban side of the park is a striking man-made waterfall, built under a cross.

According to legend, St. Andrew stopped here in the 1st century while sailing along the Dnieper.

5. National History Museum

Dnipropetrovsk Historical Museum

In a stately neoclassical mansion, the Dnipro National History Museum traces the story of the city and region back to the Stone Age.

In addition to prehistoric tools, there are riveted artifacts from local Scythian tombs that are 3,000 years old.

Where the museum really shines is in its galleries showing the history of Dnepr industry and the 20th century.

You can peruse the achievements of Dnepr manufacturing, such as weapons, minecarts and tractors.

There is also a fascinating exhibition of propaganda posters, most disturbing of the man-made famine of 1932-33 that killed as many as 10 million people.

6. Transform into a Cathedral

Transfiguration Cathedral, Dnipro

The cornerstone of the Dnipro Cathedral was laid by Catherine the Great at the city’s inauguration in 1787. But it turned out to be a false start, as construction didn’t begin until 1830. The church’s final proportions are larger than the spiritual center designed by Count Gregory Potemkin, but it is no less beautiful and is a national monument of Ukraine.

In the story of many churches in the country, the decoration of the Cathedral of the Transfiguration was destroyed by Soviet troops, although the building did survive World War II unscathed.

A comprehensive restoration has restored the iconostasis and frescoes to their former glory, and you can see the cornerstone of Catherine the Great on the right side of the nave.

7. Battle of the Dnieper Diorama

Battle of the Dnieper Diorama

A modern concrete hall on Dmytro-Jawornyzkyj Avenue has the largest diorama in Ukraine.

It depicts the crucial Battle of the Dnieper between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in the fall of 1943. In the largest battle of World War II, some 4,000,000 soldiers fought across the Dnieper River.

The massive battle is depicted as a diorama that provides a 230-degree view of the battlefield and is outfitted with real military artifacts such as weapons, river crossing equipment and fortifications.

The front also shows military hardware from the battle, such as howitzers, tanks and anti-aircraft guns.

8. Dnieper Pier

Dnieper Pier

The Dnieper Pier is 23 kilometers long and covers the entire city’s waterfront, and is said to be the longest pier in Europe.

For citizens and tourists of the Dnieper, this is a great place to meet and walk along the Dnieper.

During the second half of the 20th century, the riverside was strengthened when piers were laid and trees were planted to provide road buffering.

Before that, it was a bit of a post-industrial wasteland, but when you’re sipping coffee at a coffee table or taking pictures of the public art and monuments here, those times can feel far away.

The most popular is the White Swan Fountain, just off the right bank, where moving jets create the impression of a swan with outstretched wings.

9. Lazar Universal Park

Dnipro Lazar Universal Park

The oldest park in the city, next to Dmytro Jawornyzkyj boulevard, is a great place for recreation for Dnipro residents.

In addition to lawns and long tree-lined walkways, there is another small amusement park.

The exhibit is a Ferris wheel with a complete view of the city and the Dnieper.

In warm weather, you can rent pedal boats for the park’s pond, and the striking concrete “Summer Theater” provides entertainment for the kids.

Also see if you can find the Little Prince Fountain, which was inspired by the character of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, installed in 2002.

10. Monument to Eternal Glory

Monument to the Eternal Glory of Dnipro

On the eastern border of Dmytro Jawornyzkyj Boulevard is a mighty Soviet-era monument dedicated to soldiers who died during the Great Patriotic War (World War II). The top of the column is a stainless steel sculpture representing the motherland. It is seven meters high and weighs five tons.

There is an eternal flame underfoot.

Completed in 1967, the monument is still full of passion, especially after the events of the past few years.

As recently as May 2017, during WWII Victory Day celebrations, there were scuffles and arrests.

11. Holy Trinity Cathedral

Holy Trinity Cathedral, Dnipro

The Holy Trinity Cathedral is the central church of the Orthodox faithful in the Dnieper region, built in the mid-19th century after the Transfiguration Cathedral.

It started out as a rather unremarkable monument until around the 1860s, when a new bell tower made it the tallest building in Dnipro.

The church was later closed by Soviet authorities and turned into a warehouse until World War II.

The damage it suffered in that time has been repaired and everything is back to its glory a century ago.

Many of the 19th-century frescoes, covered in plaster and stucco, are as radiant as ever.

12. House of Organ and Chamber Music

Dnipro Organ and Chamber Music House

This attraction requires a trip to the western outskirts of Dnipro, but if you’re a big fan of classical and horror music, you won’t regret coming to the show.

Choir, chamber orchestra and soloists gave a lively recital in a desecrated church.

The former St. Nicholas Church, built in 1915 in an eclectic style, is notable for its unusual rotunda.

It suffered throughout the Soviet era but is preserved as a national monument.

The Sauer organ was installed in the 80’s and the church became a music venue for its superlative acoustics.

13. Potemkin Palace

Potemkin Palace

It may be confusing, but there is another park named after Taras Shevchenko on the river and on the mainland opposite Monastirsky Island.

Known as the shortened “Shevchenko Park”, this green space has the oldest building in the city.

It was commissioned by Count Gregory Potemkin, who had great influence under Catherine the Great.

The neoclassical palace was built in the 1790s, but Potemkin died suddenly in 1791 and he never stayed in it again. The palace has undergone many changes over the past two centuries, including a fire in World War II.

But it quickly reverted to Dnipro’s “student house”, and if you want to check it out, there’s a calendar of events and exhibitions here.

14. Kodak Fort Ruins

Kodak Fort Ruins

During a day trip, you can drive along the Dnieper River for about 20 minutes until you reach the remains of a 17th-century Polish fortress.

Built in 1635, the star-shaped fort only existed for 80 years, but during that time witnessed incredible violence between Poles and Cossacks.

In the year it was completed, some 200 German mercenaries who fought against the Poles were executed by the Cossacks.

After the Treaty of Prussia in 1711, the fort was demolished and demolished.

It was later used as a quarry, but the natural riverside setting, earthworks, information panels and obelisks give it a former feel.

15. Rocket Park

Rocket Park, Dnipro

Dnipro was once the center of the Soviet aerospace and armament industries, a legacy that is very proud in a new park with outdated hardware.

Each of the three long-range missiles on display represents a leap in 20th century weapons technology.

The oldest is the 8K11, which evolved from a German V-2 rocket.

Next up is 8K99, which is significant because it’s the first that can be launched from a vehicle.

Then there was the third-stage Tsyklon-3, introduced in 1977, at an altitude of nearly 40 meters.

This rocket model remained in service until 2009. In addition to the hardware, there is a pavilion showing the rocket in action.

Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Dnipro, Ukraine
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