Kharkiv, just 40 miles from the Russian border, is home to a growing IT industry, a buzzing rock music scene, and a hipster culture that’s not too common in this part of the world. This city is most frequently defined, however, by its abundance of beautiful cathedrals. The most famous are the Assumption Cathedral, St. Tamara, St. Annunciation, St. Vladimir, and St. Valentine, all colorful houses of worship accented with gold-topped towers.

Make your way to Freedom Square in the city center, one of the largest squares in Europe, where you’ll find the constructivist Derzhprom building. Head to Gor’ky Park for a leisurely stroll through one of the city’s most beautiful parks, filled with blooming flowers, serene ponds, and well-kept recreational facilities. At night, visit the Mirror Stream fountain to see the lights of the city play off the surface of the water in a dazzling display.

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