Dnipro is often overshadowed by other Ukrainian cities. Kyiv, Lviv and Odesa receive millions of tourists every year. Dnipro, on the other hand, is often visited only by insiders. This is a pity, because there are many things to to see in Dnipro, which are even unique. It’s time to take a look at what you can see and do in Dnipro.
Top 10 best things to see in Dnipro
What would Dnipro be without the river of the same name? At 2201 kilometers, it is the third longest river in Europe after the Volga and the Danube. And in Dnipro the river is so wonderfully wide that sometimes it almost feels like being at the seaside. That is why there is a promenade along both banks of the Dnipro. Especially the promenade on the inner city side invites you to take a walk. Here are not only some beautiful Dnipro sights gathered, but there are also piers of excursion cruise boats (more on this below).
Along the shore there are also some intact or dilapidated buildings, such as the Hotel Parus. Near the circus, a little northeast of the central bridge, there are also some restaurant boats, where you can have a wonderful dinner at sunset. Often photographed are also the sculptures on the shore, such as the wishing ball. It is 7 meters in diameter and is supposed to represent the earth. The people of Dnipro claim that wishes you make here will be granted. Want to try?
Monastyrsky Island is directly connected to the waterfront along the Dnipro shore. It is connected with the city by a cable car and a bridge. However, the cable car is often out of service. On the island there is a large monument in honor of the Ukrainian national poet Taras Shevchenko and some attractions such as an aquarium and a Ferris wheel. It is also home to an artificial waterfall over which you can walk at the top. On the northeast side of the island runs the Merefa-Kherson-Bridge, a 1.2 kilometer railroad bridge. Under it there is a sandy beach where Dnipro people like to sunbathe.
Transfiguration Cathedral is the most important Orthodox church in Dnipro. It was built after the Russian. Tsarist Empire defeated the Turks in the 5th Turkish War and the city planners needed a central cathedral for the city then called Ekaterinoslav. The foundation stone for the cathedral was laid by Catherine the Great herself together with the Emperor of Austria Joseph II.
However, the church was built more than 40 years later, between 1830 and 1835, when Catherine had already passed away. During the Soviet period, the church was a museum of atheism, as they had set up everywhere in the Soviet Union. It was not until 1988 that church services were held here again.
The Menorah Center is the most significant modern building in Dnipro, but not the tallest. It was largely financed by Jewish businessman Ihor Kolomoyisky, a native of Dnipro. However, it is the largest Jewish cultural center in the world and includes a hotel, a concert hall and the Dnipro Jewish Museum. The shape of the seven-block building is based on a Jewish menorah, the seven-branched candelabrum. The ensemble of buildings surrounds the historic Golden Rose Synagogue of Dnipro. There are guided tours of the building and together with the tour or separately you can go to the observation deck on the 18th floor and enjoy a great view of Dnipro.
Dnipro was once the most important center of rocket construction in the Soviet Union and sealed from the outside world. It was here that the most important launchers for Soviet spaceflights were developed by Yuzhnoye Design Office and built by Yuzhmash machine-building plant. The citizens of Dnipro are proud of this history to this day. You can see a little of this pride in the Dnipro Rocket Park. Here three of the rockets are erected, which were developed and built in Dnipro. In an information center next to it you can learn more about the history of rocket building in Dnipropetrovsk.
Diorama for the Battle of Dnipro
The diorama of the Battle of the Dnipro includes, firstly, a huge circular building, which houses the diorama of the Battle of the Dnipro. It was inaugurated in 1975, on the 30th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany. The huge painting depicts the heroic feats of Soviet soldiers who fought here from August to December 1943 to cross the Dnipro River in the face of fierce opposition. The Soviets won the battle and gradually (re)conquered Ukraine. The memorial complex also exhibits equipment from the battle and other more modern military technology.
Museum of the Anti-Terrorist Operation
Right next to the diorama, after the hot phase of the war in Ukraine, which has not officially ended to this day, a museum was set up in Dnipro to commemorate the War in Eastern Ukraine. On display are vehicles, such as shot-up ambulances and other equipment destroyed in the fighting. Photos and information boards provide information about the war. Ammunition finds from Russian production, which Ukraine does not have, are also shown. Also impressive is the collection of town signs of localities that were occupied by the separatists and some of which are still occupied.
Street Art in Dnipro
One of the real surprises in Dnipro that I had during my visit was the street art that can be found in many places throughout the city. Some of the artwork is really extremely good. My favorite was three huge murals that are on the outside wall of three residential buildings on the other side of the Dnipro. They are so big that you can easily see them even when taking a boat ride. They can be super combined with a walk across the Central Bridge (see activities).
When Catherine the Great wanted her newly conquered territories in New Russia to be settled more intensively, she sent her lover Grigory Potemkin who served as governor and was also responsible for the foundation of Dnipro. Therefore, in addition to the Transfiguration Cathedral, a residence palace for the count and governor was to be built, and so from 1787 to 1790 the Potemkin Palace was erected in the style of classicism. However, Potemkin died shortly after. After the death of his patroness, the tsarina, the palace initially fell into disrepair, but was purchased by locals merchants around 1840 and turned into a museum. In Soviet times it was a palace of culture of the university, which is why it is also called the Student Palace. Today it houses the Dnipro Historical Museum.
Technology Museum Time Machine
The Museum of Technology Time Machine collects all kinds of objects from past decades, but especially from the Soviet era. Already at the entrance, visitors are greeted by still functioning water dispensers, which could be found everywhere in the Soviet Union. In the museum there are many retro vehicles, especially from Soviet production, but also all kinds of everyday objects and even propaganda posters. For fans of retro things definitely a must!
Other interesting Dnipro sights
House of Organ Music
The House of Organ Music used to be the Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas. The neoclassical building with its onion domes is one of Dnipro’s very own sights. During the Soviet Union the building was nationalized and used as a warehouse. It was not until the 1970s that the church was renovated and converted into an organ hall. Since then it has functioned as the central organ concert hall. There have been 21 court cases between the city and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate over the retransfer of the church since Ukraine’s independence. In the end, the church won, but it must continue to hold the concerts. Meanwhile, the church’s services take place in the basement of the church.
Lazar Hloba Park
Although the Dnipro riverbank with its view of the river is already a nice place for a walk, Lazar Hloba Park can also offer a welcome break from the big city. In the largest city park there is a summer theater where concerts are often held and there are food stalls offering all kinds of delicacies. Especially nice, however, is a ride on the pioneer railroad, today also called the children’s railroad. It is operated by children and is a relaxing experience with or without children.
Kodak Fortress was originally commissioned in 1635 by Stanislaw Koniecpolski, who was one of the richest people in Poland and Europe at the time. The fortress was intended to keep the Zaporozhian Cossacks at bay as they continued to gain influence. It was of little use and the fortress was conquered and destroyed by the Cossacks, then rebuilt and conquered again by the Cossacks. In 1710 the fortress was abandoned by a peace treaty with Russia and ground down. Today, little reminds of the former bulwark.
The 5 best activities in Dnipro
If you don’t want to just go sightseeing, there are a few ways you can combine sightseeing with some activities in Dnipro. We have compiled the best tips for you.
Take a short river cruise on the Dnipro
If you visit a city that is located on a navigable river, you should take a boat trip. For visitors to Dnipro, this is no problem at all, because there is a boat trip for every taste. From the short cruise along Monastyrsky Island, to the party boat for party people, to the romantic trip at sunset or at night. The trips cost little and are therefore an absolute must do for Dnipro.
Walk across the Central Bridge
If instead of the boat trip you would rather have solid ground under your feet, then a walk across the central bridge next to the circus is just right for you. Because from the bridge you get a great view of downtown Dnipro, which is otherwise only available from the boat. And on the other side the street art is waiting for you, which I have already described above.
See art by Olafur Eliasson at Interpipe Steel plant
Most of the large plants in Ukraine belong to oligarchs. And Interpipe Steel is not excluded from this either. It belongs to the holding of Viktor Pinschuk. Pinschuk is a great friend of art and has therefore also financed the Pinschuk Art Center in Kyiv as a patron, which is one of the best museums for contemporary art in Eastern Europe. And he has also had his steel plant in Dnipro designed by artists such as Olafur Eliasson. On a works tour you can see the artwork and also the process of steel casting. Both very exciting.
Make a trip to the Holy Trinity Church in Novomoskovsk
It is the highest and largest wooden church in Ukraine, the Trinity Cathedral of Novomoskovsk. The 60-meter high building was built by Cossacks completely without the use of nails in the 18th century. This tradition of building wooden churches dates back to Jesus being nailed to the cross with nails. The church has nine towers, the tallest of which is about 65 meters high. It is enthroned in the center and there are four towers at each corner and four more in between, all built symmetrically. The church is really unique in Southeastern Ukraine and should be a part of any visit to Dnipro, as it is quite easy to get to from here.
Moose watching in the national park
If you want it to be quiet and you still want to see something exotic, more Scandinavian, then the Dniprovsko-Orilskyi Nature Reserve is the right place for you. Just a few kilometers from Dnipro, you can immerse yourself in the flora and fauna of the region and, with a little luck, you might even see some moose that have been released into the wild here. You can book a tour at the reserve administration, but when asked, it was only available in Russian and Ukrainian. So invite a Ukrainian acquaintance or try hands and feet. Entering the reserve alone is forbidden, so you need a guide.
Eat and drink in Dnipro
Eat dinner at the Dnipro river
One of the most beautiful activities in Dnipro is to find a cozy spot in one of the restaurants on the banks of the Dnipro at sunset and enjoy the sunset here. We did this almost every evening during our visit and it was worth it every time. We especially liked the Horets na Naberezhnii, where they had Ukrainian and Georgian cuisines and we sat right on the water in a sort of bay window.
However, when it comes to the restaurant and the food, you can’t avoid a visit to the Reporter. The service is among the best in the city. The food, whether breakfast, lunch or dinner tastes wonderful. Always a recommendation!