Located on the banks of the Dnieper River, Zaporizhia has an interesting history. The city is famous for its fascinating islands including the prominent island of Khortytsia. The island offers numerous water sports activities like swimming and boating. You can also relax on the small sandy beaches. The island also houses a military museum featuring weaponry and period reconstructions of famous battles. This natural park actually attracts visitors year-round. There are many places to visit in Zaporizhia with your family in 2021. We have listed down for your easy reference.
Zaporizhia’s fame comes from the Zaporizhian Cossacks – autonomous warriors who existed by the Dnieper rapids from the 16th to the 18th centuries. These Cossacks are the heart of Ukrainian national identity and made a home on the island of Khortytsia beside modern Zaporizhia. You will also find their “sich”, a fortified wooden village restored as an open-air museum.
Top 10 places to visit in Zaporizhia
- Zaporizhian Sich Historical and Cultural Complex
- Dnieper Hydroelectric Station
- Zaporizka Square
- Sobornyj Prospekt
- Phaeton Antique Retro Car Museum
- Zaporizhia Oak
- Holy Protection Cathedral
- Motor Sich Aviation Museum
- Regional Lore Museum
The largest River Island on the Dnieper and an important historical site, Khortysia was named one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine in the year 2007. Therefore, the island’s value holds in its traditional associations with the unruly Zaporizhian Cossacks. They built a “sich” (a wooden fortress settlement) here in the 16th century. Perhaps, the most compelling piece of trivia is that they are assumed to have composed their mocking reply to the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV on the island. There is also a museum on Khortytsia, which we will visit in the below pointers. The whole island is a national reserve, featuring 50-metre granite cliffs, large swathes of steppe and oak and spruce forest. No doubt, it is on the list of top 10 places to visit in Zaporizhia.
2. Zaporizhian Sich Historical and Cultural Complex
Coming to the place which takes the second spot in the top 10 places to visit in Zaporizhia. The big visitor attraction on Khortystia is a restoration of a Zaporizhian sich. The strong wooden village was a few years in the making and built-in the year 1983. In a faithfully-designed sich from the 1500s, there are displays in the village’s wooden huts and halls on themes like Khortytsia in the Stone Age, the story of the Zaporizhian Cossacks and Zaporizhia at the advent of socialism. There are also miniature theatre to check out. In this, you will find two dealing with pivotal battles fought by the Zaporizhian Cossacks and one for the construction of the Dnieper Hydroelectric Station. In the summer, you can also watch feisty battle re-enactments by actors in 16th-century dress.
3. Dnieper Hydroelectric Station
Between Dnipro and Zaporizhia, there used to be over 100 kilometres of obstructed rapids on the River Dnieper, one of the main reasons why empires could not control. Plans to make the river navigable were declared in the 1890s, and it would be another three decades before the city’s famous hydroelectric dam was built. A few years after its initial launch in 1932, they rebuilt the whole structure almost from scratch after being demolished in the Second World War. The dam is almost 800 metres long with a height of 61 metres and has a capacity of 1,569 megawatts. You could also cross it via the footbridge, but it is a trip to make at quiet times when the traffic is not much.
4. Zaporizka Square
This square facing the Dnieper Hydroelectric Station at the western end of Sobornyj Prospekt reflects the recent changes that have taken place in Ukraine. It used to be called as Lenin Square and in the centre was the largest statue of Lenin in Ukrainian territory. But the name was changed in 2016 and the monument was demolished in line with Ukraine’s “decommunisation” efforts. Now, in 2017 there’s a traditional image of a Zaporizhian Cossack, and plans are up to replace the old monument with a park with an observation deck allowing complete views of Khortytsia.
5. Sobornyj Prospekt
One of Europe’s longest urban streets begins at Zaporizka Square and crosses through the centre of the city for approximately 10.2 kilometres. For tourists, the most important parts are in the older quarter of the city, approximately from Zaporizka Square down to the Ukraine Shopping Mall. There are also many shops, restaurants, imposing landmarks to visit. Historians might be excited by the sight of one of these constructivist buildings playing host to a branch of McDonald’s.
6. Phaeton Antique Retro Car Museum
A museum which deals with Ukrainian and Soviet automotive history. There is a large collection of vintage vehicles, both inside and out. Outside you will be able to see a yard full of military hardware like tanks (T-34), artillery, oilers and personnel carriers dating back to the Second World War. In the main hall, you will find some 60 vintage cars mostly by Soviet brands. All of these vehicles look fresh and the museum makes it a point of keeping them in running condition. This must be in your top places to visit in Zaporizhia, if you are an antique car lover.
7. Zaporizhia Oak
You have to cross the Dnieper into the Dniprovsky District to reach this strange and nationally notable site. The Zaporizhia Oak recently named as Ukraine’s national tree and dates back to more than 700 years. It has long been a place of travel and in 2001, they set up a visitor centre in front of the tree, complete with a chapel and theatre stage. The oak is 36 metres high, and also has a few branches that still produce leaves. You will find the dead parts of the trees covered up by cables.
8. Holy Protection Cathedral
Destroyed in Soviet times, Ukraine has many churches reconstructed and the Zaporizhia’s Holy Protection Cathedral was one of the most difficult and challenging projects. Originally dedicated as St Cyril’s Cathedral in 1886 but met an untimely end when it was pulled down in the 1930s. The project to rebuild the cathedral started again in 1993. Archive design plans and photographs of the building were tracked down in St Petersburg. This is one of the most top 10 places to visit in Zaporizhia.
9. Motor Sich Aviation Museum
Zaporizhia is the home city of Motor Sich, an aviation manufacturer building motors for Soviet and now Russian aircraft. One of these planes was the Antonov An-225, the heaviest and longest aircraft ever built. Moreover, If you are into Soviet technology or aviation, you definitely need to visit this museum. Besides, there is a host of other engines that have technical specifications provided on information boards and a couple of early aircraft hanging from the ceiling. The first floor has some excellent vintage motorcycles and you can view an array of vintage military hardware outside.
10. Regional Lore Museum
The Regional Lore Museum makes it to the top 10 places to visit in Zaporizhia. You will still be excited to know more about the Zaporizhian Cossacks and this museum has all the background you could wish for. You will be able to get a glimpse of the highlights of the collection such as Zaporizhian weapons and everyday items unearthed on Khortytsia and other sites in the region. Furthermore, there are also much older artefacts from local Bronze Age barrows and Scythian jewellery from the Iron Age. Beyond this, there is also a large coin collection while the museum also explores the natural history of the Zaporizhia Oblast with some interesting paleontological specimens from the Neogene period.
With this, we come to an end of the top 10 places to visit in Zaporizhia. Are you excited to visit all the above-listed places to visit in Zaporizhia? If yes, plan a trip to Europe with Pickyourtrail and head to Ukraine right away and head out on an exploration of the intriguing history of the country. Also, enjoy some of the most enchanting designs. Leave a Whatsapp inquiry for more options. Check out our uniquely curated Europe packages too!