WARNING: As of May 2014, the political situation in Ukraine remains critically unstable, with violent public protests in many towns. Many countries have issued warnings to their citizens against all non-essential travel into Ukraine. This includes Kharkiv. While tourists are unlikely to be targets of violence, current protests cause complications to visitors, since services are disrupted.
Kharkiv (Ukrainian: Харків = Kharkiv, Russian: Харьков =Kharkov) is a major city in the Kharkiv region of the Ukraine and is the second largest city in Ukrain] with a population of over 1.5 million inhabitants. The city is located in the northeast of the country.
Kharkiv's central railway station, Kharkiv-Passazhyrskyi, is located close to city centre. The metro station "Pivdenny Vokzal" (метро "Пiвденний вокзал") links to the railway station. It has daily trains to all major cities and towns in Ukraine.
It is recommended to buy railway tickets in advance at Ukrainian railways' e-Kvytok site  (press "english" button at the bottom right of the page). You will need to print booking form from the site and then fetch tickets form any Ukrainian railways' ticket office. Note that the person receiving Internet-ordered travel documents in the ticket office must present an identifying document to the booking-clerk. If you are traveling to or from Kiev on one of the Intercity+ "High Speed" trains you can print your ticket at home, there is no need to pick your ticket, just print it and go straight to your train.
Kharkov can seem very foreign for western travellers, mostly because of Cyrillic letters. It would be very useful to learn to read the Cyrillic alphabet before coming to Ukraine. Most Kharkovians speak Russian, as Kharkov is situated only 40km from the Russian border. Though there will be a big possibility that the locals will not understand the Russian which comes from the travellers’ phrasebook. But it is worth trying to practice as there are only a few people who speak and understand English, mostly young Ukrainians.
The Metro is the fastest and easiest way of getting around. Every day it carries nearly 1 million people; it is the most convenient public transport in Kharkov. There are three metro lines (red, blue and green).
To enter the Metro you need to buy a token from the cash desk, Kassa (Ukrainian: Каса)(since 2010 the tokens are sold by the automats you'll see at the entrance). One token is valid for one trip, no matter how far you go and how long it takes. A token costs UAH2 (c. €0.17). You need to put the token into the turnstile to enter and pass it. But make sure that you walk through the correct side of the turnstile otherwise there is the possibility that you will be hit by the metal gate!
Once you enter the platform you will notice that there are usually two directions the train goes.
Kharkiv Zoo (Зоопарк), Sums'ka 35 (Metro station Universytet), ☎ +380 57 705-4490, . 08:00-20:00. Kharkiv Zoo is one of the biggest and most famous in Ukraine. It’s located in the very centre of the city in Shevchenko Park. This zoo occupies a large area of 22 hectares.UAH30, child 5-13y UAH10, 0-4y free. (50.002221,36.230099)edit
Children's railway (Детскаяжелезнаядорога), Park Gorkogo (Trams 13 and 22, trolleybuses 2 and 40 to stop Detskaya zheleznaya doroga), . Works from May, 1 till October, 31. Length of the road - 3km.edit
Adriano (Адриано), Petrovskogo st., 35-А (metro Pushkinskaya), ☎ +380 57 7004892. 11:00-23:00. Not bad pizza chain, the cozy atmosphere is guaranteed, but there are 2 more cafes on prospekt Traktorostroiteley, 59/56 and on Pushkinskaya st. 79/1.Budget. edit
Buhara, г. Харьков, ул. Пушкинская, 32 (metro Architektora Beketova), ☎ (057) 716-20-45. 12-00. $30-100. edit
Fortuna, Kultury str. 6 (actually located on Trinklera str http://maps.yandex.ua/-/CNxZjDP9), ☎ 702-17-72. You will be surprised by the interior (very soviet "Stolovka" style!) But the food is really really great and cheap. Traditional Ukrainian cuisine. You should try soups: borsch, solyanka, okroshka (cold soup), pelmeni, fried eggs with salo.edit
Paris, Petrovskogo st. 30/32, . A great place for people who like desserts, to go on a date or just want to relax in a cozy atmosphere to enjoy fondue. It is amazingly popular; sometimes it is not easy to find a seat there. They have just opened their own theatre where French films or performances takes place every evening.edit
Puzata Khata (Пузатахата), Sums'ka st. 2, ☎ +380 44 3914699, . 8:00-23:00. It is very popular with locals for low prices and quick service. The food here is usually great and cheap, mostly traditional Ukrainian dishes. Being a huge place it is always quite busy. You will be completely full for $6 per person there.(49.993324,36.232384)edit
Buy beer from a kiosk and sit and drink in Schevchenko Park. It's what everybody does.
Be aware that now if you drink beer in the Park you have the possibility to be fined by local police.
Coffee life, Pushkinska 43, ☎ +380 67 4835948. 8:00-23:00. Named as the first Starbucks in Kharkiv, this place is open from 8 o'clock in the morning what is quite unusual in Ukraine and offers free WiFi. It is extremely popular with Kharkiv expats, a nice place to visit, have a drink and browse the net.edit
There are plenty of hotels in Kharkov, but the quality of them is very often far from what westerners expect. Most of hotels are not in the online reservation systems which makes it difficult to find them.
Aurora Hotel**** (Аврора), Artema Street 10/12, ☎ +380 57 7524040 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . is situated in the center of the city and offers 28 modern rooms, free Wi-Fi and a nice-looking restaurant. The transportation options are metro or car.edit
Chichikov Hotel**** (Чичиков), Gogolya Street 6/8, ☎ +380 57 7522300 (email@example.com), . Just a year older than Aurora hotel and also located in the centre. The rooms correspond to western standards though they are quite small.edit
City Club Hotel**** (СитиКлуб), Gagarina Ave. 145, ☎ +380 57 7301700 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Only 10 minutes from downtown and within a walking distance of the Metalist Stadium.edit
Kharkov Hotel***. Located in downtown right by the University (Университет) metro station. The hotel is quite old so it is best to be sure that you will get a nice room. Prices of the rooms are too high for the look and service you get.edit
Viktoria Hotel****. 10 minutes drive from downtown and offers nicely done, modern, well-equipped hotel rooms, free Wi-Fi and a spa-center. Travel options are train and car.edit
Slavianka* (Rent company), Sumskaya, 13 (metro Sovietskaya), ☎ 0678429675, . checkin: 13; checkout: 12. a lot of apartment from budget to luxurious in the very centre.$35-80. edit
AN-2 Hotel*** ((ОтельАН-2)), Plekhaninivska Street 8, ☎ +380 57 732 49 54 (email@example.com), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Perfect location (10-15 min by car to city center, boutiques, night clubs, football stadium "Metallist") good prices, new rooms and stufedit