Planning a solo trip to Lugansk? Here’s everything you need to know for your visit:
- The eastern regional center of Ukraine (now Lugansk People’s Republic), with about 400,000 residents.
- Well known in the area for being an industrial city (with a great football team).
- Has a reputation for having very beautiful women – even more so than in Odessa!
- Nicknames: Lugano, Lohansk, Voroshilovgrad (older name, after marshal Voroshilov).
- Currency: Russian Rubles (RUB).
- Spoken languages: majority (95%) speak Russian. Ukrainian also spoken among older generations.
- Best time to visit: from May to July (and in September). Gets very cold in the fall/winter, and summers can be excessively hot.
- Arriving via airport: the airport is just a few kilometers from the city, and transportation is cheap. A train ride from the capital (Kiev) costs 250 hryvnas (about $30) one way.
WHERE TO STAY
- A few hotels are spread all around the downtown – cheaper options can be found at the edges of town.
- Convenient hotel in the center: Druzhba-Plyus Hotel.
- Public transport consists of city buses, private buses, trolleybuses and trams. Cost of transport varies from about 1.25 UAH (most forms of transport) to 2.5 UAH (private buses). Private buses are most commonly used, with routes all over town.
- Taxis are a popular way of travelling around the city. Prices will range from about 17 to 50 hryvnas per ride. It is highly recommended to call the taxi company and order one in advance, as this will be cheaper than just flagging one down.
- Note: don’t lose your ticket when traveling on trolleys, trams and city buses. If a conductor catches you without a ticket, it’s a 25 UAH fine!
- Stay vigilant on public transport – beware of pick-pockets and thieves.
- Drinking age is 18, and last call is 5 AM.
- Warning: you will be fined for drinking in public (on the street). Also, smoking is not allowed in bars or clubs (any crowded areas). Be careful when drinking with strangers or suspicious people – if you are not careful, it could turn into a bad situation.
- Nightlife regions: downtown, the eastern part (“Vostok”, which means East in Russian), and “Myrnyj” (means “peaceful” in Russian).
- Note: nightclubs are located at the corners of town (not in crowded areas). Always call a taxi to take you there.
- Great bars to start your night: ПивБар Берлога, Коктейль-Бар “Мичиган”, and Hookah Bar.
UNIQUE LANDMARKS TO VISIT
- The Avangard Stadium. A beautiful building, it’s in the busy region of town – near the circus, major stores and groceries.
- The OUN-UPA monument. Situated in a spectacular park near town’s center, it was erected to honor the fallen at the hands of the nationalists.
- The Park of VLKSM is a great place to rest and to walk. A great starting point for further exploration of the city. From here, make your way north to the old town center – full of great architecture.
- Note: the area between the city center and the Vostok region is not safe – take a bus or taxi instead of walking between these two areas.
- Check out the bars and cafes on Sovetskaya and Oboronnoya Streets.
- Check out Budyonnogo and Korolyova Streets in the Vostok region.
- Avoid gypsies – don’t talk to them or give them money.
- Also, tipping is completely unnecessary – no one should expect anything extra.
- Always try to find the price for locals – the cost of pretty much anything goes up when being sold to foreigners.
- Dangerous areas: exercise caution anywhere you go at night. Stay in crowded and well-lit areas, and call a taxi to take you between places. Don’t joke around or mess around with the police – this could lead to a bad situation very fast.
Recommended trip duration: 1-2 days