Nikolaev city, Ukraine (Mykolaiv)

The capital city of Nikolaev oblast.

Nikolaev overview

Nikolaev or Mykolaiv is a city located in the south of Ukraine, at the mouth of the Ingul River where it flows into the Southern Bug, 65 kilometers from the Black Sea, the administrative center of the Nikolaev region.

The population of Nikolaev is about 488,000 (2016), the area - 253 sq. km.

The phone code - +380 512, the postal codes - 54001-54058.

Nikolaev city flag

Nikolaev city flag

Nikolaev city coat of arms

Nikolaev city coat of arms

Nikolaev history

The first known settlements on the banks of the Southern Bug and Ingul appeared at the end of the late Paleolithic (about 20,000 years ago). In the Late Bronze Age, in the 12th-13th centuries BC, on the site of present Nikolaev for about 300 years, there was a fortified settlement of Cimmerians, the only known port in the north of the Black Sea during the period of the Trojan War. This is the oldest town on the territory of Ukraine, which is mentioned in written sources.

During the Mongol invasion, the region was devastated and for a long time remained sparsely populated. From the end of the 15th century the history of the lands along the Southern Bug River was closely connected with Zaporozhye Cossacks and became the basis for the formation of the Ukrainian ethnos in this region.

In the first half of the 18th century, most of the Southern Bug River region was still sparsely populated. The impetus for the further development of the region was that the Russian Empire gained access to the Black Sea, as a result of the Russian-Turkish wars. According to the Kuchuk-Kaynarca Peace Treaty of 1774, the lands between the Dnieper and the Southern Bug became part of the Russian Empire.

In 1788, according to the decree of Prince Grigory Potemkin, at the mouth of the Ingul River, a shipyard was built around which a town began to form. It was named Nikolaev in memory of the capture of the Turkish fortress of Ochakov in December 1788 - on St. Nicholas Day, the patron saint of seafarers.

More historical facts…

In 1790, the first ship was built in Nikolaev - the 46-gun frigate “Saint Nicholas”. Shipbuilding became the main industry of the town. Since the construction of “Saint Nicholas”, local shipbuilding plants produced more than 2,000 various military and civil vessels.

In 1792, the population of the town was 1,566 people. In 1796, the Black Sea Admiralty Directorate was transferred from Kherson to Nikolaev. In 1821, the first observatory in the south of the Russian Empire was built in Nikolaev.

During the Crimean War, Nikolaev became the main rear base of the Black Sea Fleet. The Paris Peace Treaty signed after the Crimean War forbade all Black Sea powers to have naval fleets, arsenals, and fortresses on the Black Sea. However, the shipyards in Nikolaev were not destroyed, because from a formal point of view, the town was not a port standing on the shore of the Black Sea, since it was located on the Southern Bug River, a few dozen kilometers from the sea.

In 1862, permission was received to open the port of Nikolaev for foreign ships, customs, and foreign consulates. Due to it the transformation of Nikolaev into a large commercial port began. In 1873, a railway connected the town with Kharkov. In 1889, a river yacht club was opened in Nikolaev. In 1891-1893, a large grain elevator was built. In 1910, it was the third largest grain elevator in Russia (28.5 thousand tons).

At the end of the 19th century, the port of Nikolaev ranked third after St. Petersburg and Odessa in terms of trade with foreign countries and for grain exports, the suppliers of which were steppe regions - the first place in the Russian Empire. Nikolaev became a large industrial center in the south of the Russian Empire.

In 1907, an original water tower designed by the engineer Vladimir Shukhov was constructed. In 1914, the Nikolaev Art Museum named after V. V. Vereshchagin was opened. In 1918-1920, power in the town changed several times. Before the Second World War, the city was again an important industrial center. In 1937, Nikolaev received the status of a regional center.

August 6, 1941, Nikolaev was occupied by German troops. During the occupation, active underground hindered the full use of the industrial potential of the city. March 28, 1944, the city was liberated by Soviet troops. By 1948, all shipbuilding plants were completely restored, construction of ships began. Nikolaev became one of the largest shipbuilding centers in the USSR.

In 1987, on the yacht “Ikar”, designed and built by students and employees of the Nikolaev Shipbuilding Institute, the team of 7 people from Nikolaev traveled around the world for the first time in Ukraine.

September 26, 1997, the present coat of arms of Nikolaev was approved. The new coat of arms is almost an exact copy of the coat of arms adopted in 1883. July 2, 1998, the city council approved the new flag of Nikolaev. Today, Nikolaev is a large industrial, business, political, and cultural center of the south of Ukraine.

Nikolaev streets

Nikolaev city street

Nikolaev city street

Author: V.Kulik

Nikolaev architecture

Nikolaev architecture

Author: O.Kuchin

Nikolaev street view

Nikolaev street view

Author: O.Kuchin


Nikolaev features

Nikolaev is located in the south of the steppe zone of Ukraine, on a peninsula washed by the waters of the Southern Bug and Ingul rivers.

The climate of the city is moderately continental with cool winters and hot summers. The average temperature in January is minus 3.1 degrees Celsius, in July - plus 22.3 degrees Celsius.

The structure of the local industry is dominated by machine building and metalworking, especially shipbuilding and power engineering. Industrial enterprises of Nikolaev produce about 50% of ships in Ukraine, over 90% of gas turbines, 80% of alumina.

During the Soviet period, Nikolaev was the largest center of military shipbuilding in the USSR. The city was closed to tourists. Here such famous ships as the battleship Potemkin, the space ship Akademik Korolev, the aircraft carrying cruiser Kiev, and the aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, one of the most powerful ships of the Russian Navy, were built. Nikolaev became open to visiting after 1991.

Urban transport in Nikolaev is represented mainly by mini-buses, trolleybuses, trams.

How to get to Nikolaev

There is an international airport located near Nikolaev but there are no regular flights at the moment, the airport is being reconstructed. There are several trains running from Kyiv railway station to Nikolaev. The trip takes about about 9-10 hours, the ticket price starts from about 10 USD.

You can fly from Kyiv (Boryspil International Airport) to Odessa (1 hour). It takes about 4 hours to go from Odessa to Nikolaev by train and Odessa itself is a place worth visiting. The distance between Odessa and Nikolaev by roads is 133 km. You can go from Odessa to Nikolaev by taxi, it takes about 3 hours and the price starts from about 50 USD.

Nikolaev - The City of Brides

There is an opinion that Nikolaev is not interesting for tourists because there is nothing interesting here. And indeed the city doesn’t have any sights that are known all over the world.

But despite this Nikolaev is known far beyond Ukraine and tourists coming to the city seek for a different experience. “The City of Brides” attracts them because of the beautiful women living here. A lot of local marriage agencies are involved in the organization of the so-called “wedding” tourism.

According to one of the girls, this works as follows. It all starts with the exchange of emails, chat, and then a tourist comes to Nikolaev and continues communication or doesn’t do it. It happens that some couples get married (about 5-10%). But most tourists prefer just to have a good time and leave the city afterwards.

The girls are mainly students, who want to enjoy themselves, go to restaurants, etc. or ladies of thirty-year age, who want to get married. Although, students sometimes get married too. Tourists, mostly from the US and Western Europe, usually come for one week.

This business involves a lot of local people: photographers, students, programmers, owners of apartments, hotels, restaurants, clubs, saunas, and other entertainment venues.

Nikolaev pictures

Nikolaev view

Nikolaev view

Author: Vlad Krupskij

Chapel of St. Nicholas in Nikolaev

Chapel of St. Nicholas in Nikolaev

Author: V.Kulik

Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin in Nikolaev

Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin in Nikolaev

Author: O.Kuchin


Nikolaev sights

Churches

Cathedral of Our Lady Mother Kasperovskaya (1872-1915) - a beautiful cathedral built in Old Russian style. In Soviet times, the building was used as a shipbuilding plant club. It was returned to believers in 1992. Sadova Street, 12.

St. Nicholas Cathedral Church (1813-1817) - a stone church built in the style of classicism, an architectural monument of national importance with preserved ornaments and wall paintings of the 19th century. Fal???vs’ka Street, 4.

Cathedral of the Nativity of the Virgin (1800) - the oldest preserved church of Nikolaev. The height of this building in the style of classicism is 38 meters. The bell tower of the cathedral with a huge bell weighing more than 8 tons was built in 1876. Lyahina Street, 10.

Catholic Church of St. Joseph (1886). In addition to divine services, concerts of organ music are held here. In the courtyard you can see a collection of old stone sculptures. Dekabrystiv Street, 32.

Museums

Museum of Shipbuilding (Fleet Headquarters). The building of the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet in Nikolaev was built in the style of Russian classicism in 1794. Since 1978, the building is occupied by the Museum of Shipbuilding and Fleet.

The exposition shows the development of shipbuilding in the Northern Black Sea coast from ancient times to the present - more than 100 models of ships of the 18th-20th centuries and other interesting exhibits. Admiralska Street, 4. Opening hours: 9:00-17:00. Day off: Monday.

Nikolaev Regional Art Museum named after V. Vereshchagin. In total, the museum has more than 9,000 works of art. 148 paintings created by the artist V. Vereshchagin are the basis of the exhibition.

The museum is located in one of the best buildings of Nikolaev, an architectural monument of the second half of the 19th century. Velyka Morska Street, 47. Opening hours: 9:00-17:00. Days off: Monday, Friday.

Local History Museum (Fleet Barracks) - part of the complex of buildings of the Admiralty, built in the style of classicism for the maritime administration in the middle of the 19th century. The exhibition has items found during the archaeological research of Olbia, tools of Kievan Rus, weapons of the Cossacks, etc. Naberezhna Street, 29. Opening hours: 10:00-18:00. Day off: Friday.

Architectural monuments

Admiralty. Most of the original buildings of the Admiralty in Nikolaev were destroyed during the Second World War. Today, the Admiralty means the main administrative building constructed for the shipbuilding plant in 1951, which is distinguished by a high spire. In front of the entrance there is a monument to Prince G. Potemkin, the founder of Nikolaev and the Admiralty. Admiralska Street, 38.

Nikolaev Yacht Club (1904). The building of the yacht club is located in a coastal recreation area on the Yuzhny Bug River in the north-western part of the city. Sportyvna Street, 7.

Shukhov Tower (1907). In one of the highest places in Nikolaev, on the top of the Spassky hill, there is a beautiful 25 meter water tower known for its hyperboloid structure built by the well-known Russian engineer Vladimir Shukhov. Today, it is not used for its intended purpose. Ryumina Street, 9.

Nikolaev Observatory (1821-1827) - a historical scientific institution, the oldest observatory on the territory of Ukraine. The observatory provided the Black Sea Fleet with navigation information and instruments, trained navigators. There is a museum with a unique collection of astronomical instruments, clocks, old books, photographs, paintings, maps. Observatorna Street, 1.

Naval Officers Club (1824) - a two-story building constructed in the style of classicism, an example of civil architecture of the 19th century. The building still retains its purpose. Today, it is the House of Officers of the Navy. Artyleriiska Street, 7.

Nikolaev places of interest

Nikolaev Zoo

Nikolaev Zoo

Author: Kotlyarov

Frigate in the playground Fairy Tale in Nikolaev

Frigate in the playground Fairy Tale in Nikolaev

Author: Vlad Krupskij

T-34 tank in Nikolaev

T-34 tank in Nikolaev

Author: V.Kulik


Other places of interest

Nikolaev Zoo - probably the best zoo in Ukraine and one of the best in Europe. The greatest success among visitors is enjoyed by large animals: lions, tigers, bears, hippos. In total, the zoo is home to almost 5,690 animals of 460 species, many of which are listed in the Red Book.

The enclosure for domestic animals “The Grandfather’s Hut” is decorated in folklore style, being a kind of museum of rural life in the south of Ukraine. Mikolay Leontovich Square, 1. Opening hours: 9:00-18:00 (in summer), 9:00-17:00 (in winter).

Flots’kyi (Naval) Boulevard - a shady pedestrian embankment over the Ingul River with monuments dedicated to the history of the Black Sea Fleet and shipbuilding, an excellent place for walking.

Children’s Town “The Fairy Tale”. This playground is sometimes called the Ukrainian “Disneyland”. Every building of this cultural and gaming complex is associated with some famous fairy tale or folklore character. Dekabrystiv Street, 38.

Nikolaev theaters

  • Theater of Russian Drama. The building of the theater, constructed in the historical part of Nikolaev in 1881, is an architectural monument. Admiralska Street, 25
  • Ukrainian Theater of Drama and Musical Comedy. Dunajeva Street, 59
  • Puppet Theater. Potomkinska Street, 53
  • Philharmonic. Robocha Street, 2?.

Best hotels in Nikolaev

In Nikolaev, there are about two dozen hotels. The following English friendly hotels offer a relatively good level of service according to visitors’ reviews.

Hotel “Reikartz River Nikolaev”. The hotel is located on the river bank, about 3.5 km from the city center. 86 rooms of different categories with views of the river. Air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and parking, shuttle service, beachfront, private beach area, swimming pool, bar, restaurant, pets are allowed on request. Sportyvna Street, 9. Phone: +380 512 701 430.

Hotel “Astoria” - a comfortable hotel is located about 3 km from the center of Nikolaev. Air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and parking, fitness center, shuttle and ticket services, bar, restaurant, elevator, pets are not allowed. Nikolska Street, 7. Phone: +380 512 768 165.

Hotel “Reikartz Continent Nikolaev”. The hotel building, an architectural monument, is located on a pedestrian street in the center of Nikolaev. 67 rooms with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and parking, safe, shuttle service, bar, car rental, pets are allowed on request. Admirala Makarova Street, 41. Phone: +38 044 536 12 11.

Hotel “Pylyhrym 1” - a relatively cheap small hotel located in the center of Nikolaev. Air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, parking, safe, shuttle service, bar, pets are allowed on request. Velyka Morska Street 102/7. Phone: +380 512 476 188.

Hotel “Korall” - a small two-story hotel located in the central part of Nikolaev. 11 rooms with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and parking, safe, shuttle service, bar, car and bicycle rental, beauty salon, pets are allowed on request. Admirala Makarova Street, 22. Phone: +380 512 489 837.

Nikolaev city, Ukraine photos

Nikolaev sights

Shukhov water tower in Nikolaev

Shukhov water tower in Nikolaev

Author: Vlad Krupskij

Catholic Church of St. Joseph in Nikolaev

Catholic Church of St. Joseph in Nikolaev

Author: V.Kulik

Cathedral of Our Lady Mother Kasperovskaya in Nikolaev

Cathedral of Our Lady Mother Kasperovskaya in Nikolaev

Author: V.Kulik


The questions of our visitors

Jamie asks: I am trying to get from Kyiv to Mykolaiv. I have not been able to find any flights there. I know that there is an airport in this city. Are there any flights?
Expert's answer:
You are right that there is an airport in Mykolaiv. However, as of August 2017, it is in the process of reconstruction. So you should better go by train (booking).
Walt asks: How much does it cost by taxi from Mykolayiv to Odessa round trip?
Expert's answer:
I have checked several sites, the average cost is 7 Ukrainian Hryvnias per 1 km (the distance between Odessa and Nikolaev is 150 km). The the round trip will cost about 2100 Hryvnias or 100 USD.
Ray asks: Distance between Nikolaev and Melitopol?
Expert's answer:
The distance between Nikolaev and Melitopol is 298 km.

The comments of our visitors

Ali
love city
I have a girlfreind in Nikolaev. I have never been in Nikolaev. But when I read comments. I have plan to trip there. She is very nice and respectful.

Wayne Rose
Nikolaev visit and love it!!!!!!

I have only been in Nikolaev for 5 days of a 12 day stay and must admit travelling here alone I was wondering what was awaiting for me, but now I love this place it is 100% different to what I would say most of the western world would imagine, from glorious food and fine food establishments this really if a great place to visit.

It also helps when you have come to meet one of the most beautiful woman on this planet!!! I say thank you so very much Tanya for inviting me to your amazing city, but most of all thank you Tanya for admiring me and given my life the boost it needed as I am sure I have done the same for you!!!!!!


stefano piccini
nikolaev

Mykolaiv is a beautiful city, you forgot to show Olbia, the yacht club, 4 beautiful museums, the Zoo, the slide on the river, the airplane close to the new market, the monument in Mir square, the light houses, Victory park, Namiv beach, the old church in Stepove, the beautiful square with Lenin monument, the theater, the old railway station, Mykolaiv airport.

Mykolaiv is a beautiful city for summer holidays, the restaurants are good and cheap and also hotels are very good and there is a fantastic big swimming pool in the city and if you want the sea there are Ochakov and Koblevo very close. In the evening in Sovietskaya there is a very very good night life, with a lot of bars and restaurants.


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