Euro 2012 Travel Guide – Part 2
Part 2 – Ukraine
We previously looked at the feasibility of travelling to Poland for EURO 2012 this summer so it’s now time to take a look at Ukraine and the host cities that will house thousands of fans from across Europe.
Ukraine is a country in Central and Eastern Europe which borders Russia to the east, Belarus to the northwest, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia to the west, Romania and Moldova to the southwest, and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south and south-east. It is the second largest country in Europe after Russia.
As with Poland, 4 cities in Ukraine will help to host the tournament:
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city in Ukraine. Located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River, it is also one of the largest cities in Europe with a territory of 839 km². Historically, Kiev is one of the most ancient and important cities of the region, and indeed many of the historical and architectural landmarks have been preserved or reconstructed in the city. The NSC Olimpiyskiy stadium only opened in October 2011 and was built specifically for the tournament with a capacity of 70, 050.
Stadium: The NSC Olimpiyskiy
Lviv is a much smaller city in the west of Ukraine, and is the capital city of Halychyna, the area around the border between Poland and Ukraine. Seen as the cultural centre of Ukraine, the historic city also features on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Additionally, Lviv has an international airport just 7km from the city centre.
Stadium: The Arena Lviv
Donetsk is a regional centre of Ukraine, and the heart and soul of the industrial hotbed of Donbass. The 5th largest city in Ukraine, Donetsk is nicknamed “The City of Million Roses” and was actually founded by a Welsh businessman in 1869. The city is surrounded by woodland, hills, rivers and lakes and although it previously had a troubled past, it has now been heavily modernised by large companies that are based there.
Stadium: The Donbass Arena
Kharkiv is a city in the North-East of Ukraine. As the administrative centre of the Kharkiv region, Kharkiv is a major cultural, scientific and industrial centre of Ukraine. The famous freedom square in Kharkiv is the sixth largest city square in Europe, and the 12th largest square in the world, which will undoubtedly make it a hub for fans during the EURO 2012 tournament.
Stadium: The Metalist Stadium
Much like in part 1, were we highlighted the advantages of staying in a hostel over Euro 2012, the same can be said here. Although officials have stated that they believe hotel prices should level out towards the end of April, it is still going to be difficult to find hotel accommodation at this late stage, and so we strongly advise you to deal with that as quickly as possible or try the alternatives. One such alternative is camping – it is apparent that Euro-2012 host cities Kyiv, Donetsk, Lviv and Kharkiv are preparing camp parks to place thousands of fans from – and all should be available at fair prices.
By the end of April, work will be completed on on the introduction of high-speed trains on the Ukrainian railway system, meaning that travel across the country should not be a problem.
Wiz air, British Airways, KLM all provide cheap fares from the UK. Although obviously the quicker you get your flights booked then the cheaper they are likely to be.