Poltava is also called a cultural capital because of its colourful history and many famous Ukrainians who were born in Poltava. Native citizens often follow this idea, being proud of their city and calling it "a city where one wants to live in". There are many sites of architecture, museums, universities, elementary schools, cinemas, theatres and so on. Apart from that, city is often referred as "green" as there are many parks, gardens and other recreational areas. The municipal administration has been cleaning up the city centre clear and makihg it look more like a European city than a Soviet one.
In the 1709 battle of Poltava, Russian czar Peter the Great defeated Swedish king Charles XII. In the following treaties, Russia annexed most Swedish territories east of the Baltic Sea including Saint Petersburg, marking the rise of the Russian Empire as a great power.
Languages spoken are Russian and Ukrainian (the latter is official and first is more widely spoken). However most people understand and are able to speak both. English isn't widely known, but many people (especially young people) would make their best attempt to understand you. Some people you talk to are quite fluent in English (or German, French), as these languages have been studied at school.
Train and bus are the only reasonable ways to get to Poltava (unless you have your own car), and ticket price is roughly equal.
Four railway lines coming out west, east, south and southeast from Poltava. Usually there would be a few trains per day to your selected destination, see the website of Ukrzaliznytsia (Ukrainian railways) for timetable and ticket prices.
- 1 Kiev Station or Poltava-Kyivska railway station (Київський вокзал / Залізничний вокзал Полтава-Київська), Stepana Kondratenka str.(вул. Степана Кондратенка), 12, ☏ , . Opened in 1901. Connect it with Kyiv (US$7, 3½ hours); Kharkiv (US$5.5, 2 hours) and other Ukrainian cities.
- 2 Poltava-Pivdenna or Southern Station (Полтава-Південна, aka (Південний вокзал), Russian: Южный вокзал), Slavy sq. (площа Слави), 1 (To get to the centre from Pivdenniy Vokzal, take trolleybus 1, 2, 4, 6 or 11), ☏ . Watch your timetable/ticket carefully, as train may stop only at one of those stations, or both. It is a good idea to buy tickets for your next train (if you haven't bought them in advance) immediately upon your arrival. Both railway stations are well connected with city transport (bus/trolley). However, between 22:00 and 06:00 taxi is the only option.
- 3 Bus station (Автостанция), Shevchenka str., 65 (Connected with municipal bus/trolley routes. Between 22:00 and 06:00 you'd need to get a taxi), ☏ .
- 4 Inter-city bus station (Автовокзал), vul Velikotirnovska ( вул. Великотирнівська), 7 (about 7 km east of the centre). You must buy ticket at the bus station, and then better keep it with you, ticket control is possible. The most useful buses are to Kharkiv (13 hr, 2½-3 hours, 8 daily) and Dnipro (15 hr, 3-4 hours, 8 daily).
Bus connection with other cities is fine, especially along E40 road (Poltava is midway between Kyiv and Kharkiv): buses usually arrive/depart every hour or a few. It will take you 5 hours to get from Kyiv or 3 hours from Kharkiv. There are a few different carriers on these routes:
- Avtolux, Günsel bus service, which provide more comfortable buses, and cost a bit more (from Kyiv - up to 100 грн).
- National and various private bus services. Some of them have less comfortable buses (e.g. old Ikarus), for cheaper price. Other are more comfortable, though ticket price is somewhat 20-25% higher. Station charge included in ticket price.
- Shuttle-bus services, which use Mercedes Sprinter or similar. (Don't confuse them with "marshrutka" which is city transportation, never mind localscan call both a marshrutka). They stay in the middle in terms of passenger's comfort, however are faster (4½ hours from Kyiv, 2½ hours from Kharkiv). You can find these minibuses standing at railway stations or (even better) reserve places by phone (see advertisements at bus/train station), optionally a day or a few in advance. Be sure to find your minibus in at least 10-15 minutes before departure, because your reservation may be cancelled. Then pay money directly to driver, he would write down your surname (as no tickets are usually provided). As of September 2010, it costs around 85 грн from Kiev.
Poltava has fine road connection in most directions: west (E40 to Kiev), east (E40 to Kharkiv), southwest (E577 to Kremenchuk), north (to Hadyach), northeast (to Kotel'va and Russian boundary) and southeast (to Krasnograd, connection with E105 Moscow-Kharkiv-Simferopol road).
- From Kyiv: 330 km single/dual carriageway, of average quality, however seems to be intensively improving (as of October 2010)
- From Kharkiv: 140 km single/dual carriageway, of average quality. Be careful not to exceed the speed limits, as there are some hazardous parts.
- From south: go along E105 road to Krasnograd, turn left to Poltava, then after ~60 km of straight road you'd reach E40 and turn left to Poltava again.
- From southwest (Kremenchuk): 110 km along E577, single carriageway, including some hazardous areas (e.g. limited visibility, narrow bridges, railway level crossing).
- From north, NW, NE: prefer a straight north-south road across Opishne and Dykan'ka - average quaily single carriageway. Other road (NE-SW direction) from Kotel'va to Poltava is in worse condition and crosses many villages.
Do not go along other minor roads indicated on the map unless you know it's fine (otherwise you may experience bad road quality or get lost somewhere in a rural area).
Not possible (there is an airport in Suprunivka, 5 km west of Poltava, however no regular passenger service is available).
It would be a good idea to have an acquaintance with a bilingual local person who will give you advice on how & where to go around Poltava. But if you don't have one, you can ask for help at local English-speaking message board en.poltavaforum.com
Most of city transport operates between 06:00 and 22:00 on major routes, and only until 20:00-21:00 to suburbs. During other hours from this, take a taxi.
There are crowded routes, where you may not be able to get a seat. During rush hours (06:00-09:00, 17:00-18:00 and possibly throughout the day on suburb routes) you may loss up to 1 hour of your time due to municipal transport being filled up. On suburban routes and during holidays or other celebrations, serious delays are likely. In trolleys, buses and marshrutkas you pay a single fixed price for each trip at each vehicle, no matter how far away you go (within city limits).
Poltava is relatively small city, where it is possible to cross it one border to another in 1½ hours. If you're walking around down-town & historical centre, you are 30 min away from any destination within it. So if you know where to go across centre, you may not use transport at all. However, for safety reasons, don't walk by foot to distant suburbs, if you don't know your way or if it is late evening/night.
Bear in mind that the Lower City (Podol/Podil, Russian: Подол, Ukrainian: Поділ) near Vorskla river and Pivdenna Train Station is situated really deep down, so walking up to the train station can be very tiresome.
By bus or marshrutka
There are 62 bus routes, connecting most districts of the city. Most often it is an optimal way to get around. Bus and marshrutka cost 1.75 hr, no matter how far you go. The difference is that buses are larger (yellow minibuses are considered buses too) and you pay money to conductor who asks you; marshrutkas are small minivans where you pay directly to the driver. Don't rely on the fact that you can enter/exit marshutka outside from official bus stops: it is sometimes possible, but actually prohibited by law.
- Routes 19, 20, 21 ("Кільцевий") makes good connection round across the city (clockwise and counterclockwise), connecting downtown with main residential districts and the bus station (Avtovokzal). Large buses (Man, Volvo etc.) provide the best service.
- Other routes are listed here.
There are 11 trolley routes across the city. This is the cheapest kind of transport, however particularly slow and often crowded, sometimes delayed. Ticket costs 1 грн, paid to a conductor, who will ask you soon after you enter the trolley.
- Route 1 goes directly between two railway station - Kyivsky & Pivdenny vokzal.
- Route 15 ("Кільцевий") goes round across the city, connecting downtown with main residential districts and the bus station (Avtovokzal).
It is recommended to order a taxi by phone, not to hire somewhere on the street. This way you'll be safer, and meet better service and possibly lower price. See for phone number and car number written down on the car - so you will differ between taxi service and unlicensed individual. Costs 15-35 грн across the city, or more if you go to several locations. You pay for kilometers, not minutes, however additional costs include waiting time, distant areas.
- 1 Svyato-Panteleymonivska Church (Свято-Пантелеймонівська церква), Street Frunze, 64 (trolley 2, 6, 15 to stop Park imeni Ivana Petrovycha Kotlyarevskoho), ☏ . Built in 1999 to the 1100-year anniversary of Poltava.
- 2 Voznesenskaya church (Вознесенська церква), Street Zoriana, 2 (On territory of former suburb of Pushkarevki - West), ☏ . Built in 1762.
- 3 Khrestovozdvyzhenskyi (Holy Cross) monastery (Хрестовоздвиженського монастиря), Street Sverdlova, 3 (east). Founded in 1650. There is the Свято-Троїцька церква (Sviato-Troits'ka church) +380 532 561125
- 4 Samsonovskaya church (Самсонівська церква), Street Shvedska Mohyla, 16 (N). The church was sanctified in 1856.
- 5 'Light of Life' church (Церква Світло Життя), Street Biriuzova Marshala ( Бірюзова Маршала вул.), 63 (NW), ☏ .
- 6 Panteleymonivska Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Пантелеймонівська українська православна церква), Talalykhina ln.(Талалихіна пров.) (NW), ☏ .
- 7 'Flag of Khrysta' church (Церковь Флаг Христа), Street Kondratenka Stepana ( Кондратенка Степана вул.), 6 (Next to Kiev Station), ☏ .
- 8 Synagogue (Синагога), Street Gogolya ( Гоголя вул.), 6 (Center).
- 9 Former Chorale synagogue (Хоральна синагога), Street Gogolya (Гоголя вул.), 10 (former Ivanovskoy) (center). Built in 1856. Burned out in 1911. Rebuilt, functioned to the end of 1930th, was after closed, and the nationalized building is reconditioned under a club. In 1943 the club burned.
- 10 Aircraft Museum (Полтавський музей дальньої авіації), Street Kharchovykiv (Харчовиків вул), 27 (NW), ☏ . In a museum the airplanes of distant aviation are kept An-22, An-22 M3, An-160, educational-battle airplane of Su-15, airplanes TU-134 UBL, An-26, model engines etc.
- 11 Poltava Battle History Museum (Державний історико-культурний заповідник Поле Полтавської битви), Street Shveds'ka Mohyla (Шведська Могила вул.,), 32 (5 km north-east of city. There are several marshrukta buses going via Zygina Square, as well as buses 4 and 5 right to the bus stop «The museum of the history of Poltava Battle»). Su Tu-Th 09:00-17:00, F 09:00-16:00, M closed. There are a museum and the Swedish cemetery. The restricted territory of historical field consists of 1 906 acres. -There are 4 old settlements and more than 30 burial mounds (1000 BC and 1000 AD) on the reserve territory.
- 12 [formerly dead link] Poltava Art Museum (Gallery) (Полтавський художній музей (галерея мистецтв)), Street Frunze (Фрунзе вул), 5 (Center), ☏ , . Tu-Su 10:00-18:00.
- 13 Firestaton Technical Exhibition (Пожежно-технічна виставка головного управління МНС), Street Biriuzova Marshala( Бірюзова Маршала вул.), 26 (N), ☏ .
- 14 Library and museum (Будинок бібліотеки та земського музею), Street Pushkyna/Hoholya( Гоголя вул.), 24/18. Built in style of modern in 1901.
- 15 Museum of history of organs of internal affairs of Poltava region (Музей історії органів внутрішніх справ Полтавщини), Street Lidova, 6 (Center), ☏ . Countain almost three thousand objects: the archived documents, photos, original standards of fire and cold weapon, personal things of veterans of organs of internal affairs, dioramas and artistic models.
- There are many other museums, mainly dedicated to famous writers and cultural workers 
- 16 Former Peasant Land bank (Будинок Селянського банку), Street Zhovtneva (Жовтнева вул.), 39 (Center). The building special picturesqueness is given by multicoloured mosaics. A central entrance on cut corner building is decorated to the decorative pictures with fire-birds and sculptures of sirens.
- 17 'Lions' mansion (Міський особняк (з левами)), Street Pushkina (Пушкіна вул.), 52 (Center). Only from outside.
- 18 Building of Petrovs'kyi cadet school (Будівля Петровського кадетського корпусу), Street Zhovtneva (Жовтнева вул.), 42 (Center). Only from outside. Built in 1835-1840 in style of late classicism
- 19 Former vice-governor mansion (Будинок віце-губернатора), Street Zhovtneva (Жовтнева вул.), 40 (Center). Only from outside. Built in 1808-1811.
- 20 Monument to Glory (Монумент Слави), Korpusnyy garden (Center). Opened on June, 27, 1811 in the city center. The height of monument about 17 m.
- 21 House of general-gubernator (Будинок генерал-губернатора), Street Zhovtneva (Жовтнева вул.), 37 (Center). One of the most attractive tourist-excursion object of the city. The length is 42 m.
- 22 The former Post Office of the 'Little Russia' regio (Будинок Малоросійського поштампту), Street Zhovtneva (Жовтнева вул.), 35 (Center). Only from outside. The general post-office was complete in 1809. In 1943 was burned out. Rebuilt in 1961. Building is a brick, plastered, two-storeyed. Now school
- 23 Former House of Nobiliary Assembly (Будинок Дворянських зборів), Street Zhovtneva (Жовтнева вул.), 31 (Center). The Noble House completed in 1810. - Now is cinema
- 24 Former Alms house (Богодільня), Street Shevchenka (Шевченка вул), 23. Founded in 1804. Now it is the Medical Academy.
- 25 Mansion of Daragan (Особняк Дарагана), Street Gogolya (Гоголя вул.), 3 (Center).
- 26 House of Rabbi (Будинок Рабина), Street Gogolya (Гоголя вул.), 8 (Center).
- 27 Trofymenko Mansion (Особняк Трофименка), Street Krychevskoho (Кричевського вул.), 11.
- General Petrash Mansion (Особняк генерала Петраша), Street Komsomolska, 20.
- 28 Former State Bank (Будівля Державного банку), Street Zhovtneva (Жовтнева вул.), 21 (Center).
- 29 Tokarev Trade house (Торговий дім Токарєва), Street Lenina (Леніна вул), 9/17 (Center).
- 30 Former Dokhman shop (Магазин Дохмана), Street Kotliarevs'koho (вулиця Котляревського), 22 (Center). Built end of 19th century. Dohman I.A. was a merchant, owner of the paper and printing shop.
- 31 House of Michael .V. Gogol (Просвітницький будинок им. М.В.Гоголя), Street Gogolya (Гоголя вул.), 2.
- 32 Mansion Baliubasha (Особняк збирача картин Балюбаша), Street Spaska (Спаська вулиця), 11 (Center-South). There lived the collector of pictures Baliubasha. The building was erected in 1912. Designed by architect P.F. Aloshina. Now it is the Poltava branch bank of Energiya.
- 33 Brewery (Пивоварний завод з пивною Приют друзів), Street Spaska (Спаська вулиця),10 (Center-South).
- 34 Kotliarevskyi's Memorial Mansion (Museum-estate of Ivan Kotlyarevskogo, Меморіальна садиба І.П. Котляревського), Sobornyi sq.(Соборний майдан), 3 (SW), ☏ .
- 35 Dykan'ka (Диканька) (30 km north of Poltava). a small town, easily reached by road. Some historical sites and fine restaurants. Also famous as a site mentioned in Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka (Vechory na khutori blyz Dykan'ky), a story by Nikolai Gogol. If you want to see some landscapes typical for Poltavs'ka oblast, apart from crops, an ancient oak wood is next to Dykan'ka.
- 36 Opishne (ua:Опішне, ru:Опошня), Vul. Partizhanska (вул. Партизанська), 2 (50 km north of Poltava). another small town, famous for its pottery. See the National Museum of Ukrainian Pottery [formerly dead link].
- 37 [dead link] Vilhivschynskyy reserve (Вільхівщинський заказник) (29 km east of Poltava). Reserve is in the vicinity of villages Vilhivschyna and Vasilevka. Reserve covers an area located in the floodplain river Kolomak and a meadow-marsh complex
- 1 Botanical Garden of the Poltava State Korolenko Pedagogical University (Ботанічний сад П ім. В. Г. Короленолтавського державного педагогічного університет), Morhuna Fedora str., 16 (NE 1 km), ☏ .
- 2 City Park (Dendropark, Полтавський міський парк), Bakynskykh Komisariv St and Yakivchanska St (Bus 10, 33 to stop 'Dedndropark' - N 2 km from Center).
- Watch football ie soccer at FC Vorskla Poltava, who play in the Premier League, the top tier of Ukrainian football. Their home ground is Oleksiy Butovskyi Vorskla Stadium, capacity 25,000, just north of city centre.
- 1 Kyivskyi and Pavlenkivs'kyi Markets and Malls (Ринок Київський, Ринок Павленківський), Zinkivska str., 4-6B (near Train Stn), ☏ .
- 2 Yurivskyi Market (Ринок Юрівський), Polovky str.(Половки вул.), 45 (Northwest), ☏ .
- 3 Central Market (Центральний ринок), Shevchenka (Шевченка вул.), 29 (Center), ☏ .
- 1 Mimino Hotel-Restaurant (Ресторанно-готельний комплекс Міміно), Biriuzova Marshala str.( вул. Бірюзова Маршала), 15 (Near to Train Stn.), ☏ , .
- 2 Riviera Hotel (Ресторанно-готельний комплекс Ривєра), Rybalskyi lane.(пров. Рибальський), 16, ☏ .
- 1 Vivat Hotel (Готель Віват провінція), Tahtaulove suburb, Zonkovska str.(Тахтаулове),3-A (9km North), ☏ , , . dbl US$32-58.
- 2 Tourist Hotel (Гостиница Турист), Myru str.(вул. Миру ), 12 (from the city centre (10 minutes by bus or 30-40 minutes by foot), ☏ , . Soviet-built hotel, but may improved since then. At the bank of Vorskla river. single from US$25, double US$30-35-68.
- 3 Ukraina Hotel (Гостиница Украина), Zhovtneva (Жовтнева вул.), 41A (Center), ☏ . ул.Октябрьская, 41а. US$25-35 (2011).
- 4 Hotel Almaz (Гостиница Алмаз), Kievskoye shosse (ул. Киевское шоссе), 60 (SW 4 km), ☏ , , . US$25-32 (2011).
- [dead link] Hotel IntouristPoltava (Гостиница Интурист-Полтава), Grushevskovo str., (ул. Грушевского), 1, ☏ , .
- 5 [dead link] Gold Hotel (Гостиница Голд), Pershotravnevyi ave. (Первомайский проспект,17б), 17B, ☏ . US$35-62 (2011).
- 6 Palazzo Hotel (Палаццо), Hoholia (Gogolya, Гоголя вул. ) str.,33, ☏ , . 4-star. US$90-150.
- Turbinst Hotel (Гостиница Турбинст), Repina str., (ул. Репина), 4, ☏ , . From US$35 (2012).
- 7 Gallery Hotel ("Галерея"), Frunze str.(вул. Фрунзе), 7 (Central location), ☏ . US$70-140.
- 8 Alleya Grand Hotel (Алея Ґранд), Zhovtneva str. (Жовтнева вул.),57 (Central location), ☏ . US$55-150 (2012).
- 9 Kyiv Hotel (Гостиница Киев), Sinna st.(вул. Сінна), (Center), ☏ . Four star. +380 532 224286 From US$55.
- Lubny three hours by bus. Tha main sight here Savior-Transfiguration Monastery Mgar. Also good base to visit [http://nppns.at.ua/
Nyzhnosulskyy National Park] and Pyriatyn National Natural Park [dead link]
- Myrgorod three hours by train or bus. Enjoy the Resort Myrhorod (Миргородкурорт) and the Ukrainan rural town charm