Kharkov is the second largest city in Ukraine and is populated by just under 1.5 million people. Founded in 1654, Kharkov is a cultural, educational, industrial, scientific and transport hub for Ukraine. The city is famed for its unique architecture and monuments such as the spectacular Annunciation Cathedral, the Violinist on the Roof and its beautiful botanical gardens.
Cheap flights to Kharkov are now available for a limited period of time, so prepare to be blown away by this beautiful, historical city! Kharkov is home to the Kharkiv International Airport (HRK), which is a 30-minute drive from the city centre. HRK mainly serves LOT Polish Airlines and Turkish Airlines. There are no direct flights from South Africa to Kharkov. Connecting flights depart from Johannesburg and Cape Town. Flight duration from Johannesburg to Kharkov is approximately 13 hours and 30 minutes.
Popular flights to Kharkov
* Please note that the prices are subject to availability and block out dates do apply over peak season.
Why visit Kharkov
Explore Kharkov city and visit the magnificent religious monuments it is famed for, like the Neo-Byzantine styled Annunciation Cathedral and the beautiful Temple of the Holy Myrrh-Bearers.
Art and Monuments
This art and cultural hub is home to many monuments to visit and see like the famous ‘Violinist on a Roof’ and the striking ensemble monument of renowned poet, Taras Shevchenko.
Scattered throughout this vibrant city are lush parks and beautiful gardens with green vegetation in the summer and traditional art pieces. Stroll through the Kharkov Botanical Gardens or explore the sprawling Maxim Gorky Central Park.
Essential details you need to know before your trip
1 ZAR = 2.04 UAH
Kharkiv International Airport (HRK)
Ukraine International Airlines
Type C and F
Best time to visit Kharkov
The best time to visit Kharkov is between the summer months of July and September. The warm and pleasant temperatures attract local and international visitors making this the peak tourist season in the city. The sunshine and warm air are perfect for sightseeing and exploring this beautiful city.
October is the off-peak travel month in Kharkov. Minimal rainfall, mild temperatures, cheaper air fares and accommodation rates make this the perfect time to plan your trip if you want to save a bit of money. If you find yourself in Kharkov in early October, be sure to attend the Kharkiv Assemblies classical music concert.
Weather & Climate in Kharkov
Average temperature (°C) & rainfall (mm) per month
Kharkov is the second largest city in Ukraine and a major art and culture centre in the country boasting 20 museums, 10 theatres and quite a few art galleries.
Kharkov is renowned for its large amount of unique architecture and monuments such as the spectacular Annunciation Cathedral, the Violinist on the Roof and the famous Freedom Square. It is the 8th largest city centre square in Europe and a popular site for protests, rallies and more exciting events like traditional festivals, holiday celebrations and music concerts.
In addition to the lush parks and the beautiful botanical gardens you can explore, Kharkov is home to the most popular zoo in the country, the Kharkiv Zoo. With over 385 animal species, there’s much to explore. Go and feed the cute baby llamas or see the zebras. After a long day of exploring, relax at a restaurant in the city square and enjoy the flavours of traditional Ukrainian cuisine, or grab a refreshing beer nearby one of the scenic parks.
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South Africans do require a short term visa to enter Ukraine. Ensure your South African passport is valid for at least six months beyond the date of return and has at least two blank pages available for stamps. For further information, the Embassy of Ukraine in South Africa can be found at 398 Marais St, Brooklyn in Pretoria.
Make sure your routine vaccines that include the MMR vaccine, DPT, chickenpox, polio and yearly flu shots are updated before travel. As an additional precaution you should get vaccinations for hepatitis A and B, as well as rabies, as you may be exposed to infected stray dogs and other mammals while on holiday.
Kharkov is a fairly safe city, however, you should still practise normal safety precautions such as keeping your valuables and important documentation safe and watching out for petty crimes like bag-snatching or pick-pocketing, especially in crowded streets and busy transport hubs. There is some concern regarding racially-motivated attacks, so be cautious and keep an eye out for these situations.