This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Donetsk. To help you make friends with Donetsk before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Built as a small, industrial coal mine and steel base in the middle of the nineeenth century, Donetsk is the main industrial city in Ukraine now. This means Donetsk is not a very popular touristic destination, but visitors have the chance to see the “real” Ukraine (other big Ukrainian cities -- Kyiv, Odessa, Kharkiv -- have a significant foreign population). Travelers have a narrow choice of Donetsk hostels, despite the size of the city. The few hostels in Donetsk are located in the center of the city, not very far from the train station. However, a few years ago, there were no hostels in Donetsk, so things have improved a bit.
Despite its heavy industry and significant ecological problems, Donetsk has interesting cultural and architecture offers. You can visit the Donetsk Opera and Ballet Theatre, the First Line Avenue and the Pushkin Boulevard and see the Statue of Artem. There is also a statue of John Hughes, a Welshman, who founded the city -- a fact that was not very welcomed during the Communist regime.
Sports are very popular in Donetsk; there are very strong hockey, basketball, and volleyball teams. The famous athlete, Serhiy Bubka, was born in Donetsk -- a statue in his likeness was built several years ago. FC Shakhtar Donetsk, which plays its home matches at the Donbass Arena, is one of the strongest teams in Europe; Donbass Arena is one of the most modern stadiums in the world (it hosted several Euro 2012 matches). Donetsk hostels normally increase their prices on dates when there is a football match.
Donetsk is a nice city to visit if you like sports, want to see more of Ukraine, or just want to go out as there are enough good clubs and pubs with many young people (many of them are not far from Donetsk hostels located in the center of the city).
Written by local enthusiast for Donetsk hostelsGeorge Traveller