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Kharkov (Kharkiv)

Country Ukraine
Population 1.6 million
Area Code 0572
Weather forecast
Time GMT +3

Due to its geographic location close to the Russian border Kharkov (the Ukrainians spell it Kharkiv) has been nicknamed 'the capital of the Russian Ukraine'. Indeed, the Russian population in the city substantially outnumber Ukrainian residents, Russian is spoken everywhere, most publications appear in Russian etc. Waves of the official Ukrainization had little impact on these easternmost parts of the country.

As if to live up to its nickname of the second capital, Kharkov strives to imitate Kiev in every aspect, including the gay and lesbian presence. In fact, there has not been many changes in the gay life of Kharkov since the Soviet time: it is still centered around cruising areas in parks, railway stations and public WCs, and limited to specific time slots in public cafs and saunas. It is alleged that local gay 'activists' care more about money and their own publicity than about human rights of gays and lesbians. Still and all, local boys are cute and if you happen to be in Kharkov, be sure not to miss the fun!

Address 52-47 Poltavsky Shlyakh, 61052 Kharkiv.
Phone 12 23 48.
Notes The foundation officially exists since 6 May 1996, but, apparently, it has never engaged in any activities aimed at the protection of gays and lesbians, nor funded any related projects. President - Mr Oleg Ovdeyenko.

Address 120 Akademika Pavlova vulitsa (Metro Akademika Pavlova), in the building of Era supermarket, entrance from the side opposing the gas station.
Phone 26 97 63
Opening time Gay parties every Friday at 21.00.
Notes The club is rather cheap what makes it attactive for younger gays (16-20 yo). Drag queen show, bar contests, dancefloor. Warning: the club is located in a bad neighbourhood, it is advisable not to walk around alone in the dark.

Address 37 Sumskaya vulitsa, in the Regional Scouts' Hall (Oblastnoy Dvorets Pionerov), the cafe itself is dubbed "Pionyer" (Pioneer).
Opening time Daily, 12.00-22.00, the gay crowd is more dense in the evening.
Notes The oldest gay cafe (inofficially, though) of Kharkov located at a stone's throw from the main cruising area (see below).

Address 7 Lermontovskaya vulitsa (Metro Pushkinskaya).
Phone 47 65 65.
Opening time 9.00-21.00, gays gather around 18.00.


  • Ploschad' Svodoby - main cruising area (from the metro station Universitet take the exit leading to 'Gosuniversitet', then go towards the police booth with dark-toned side windows; gays gather around the stationary stand 'Loksi' daily from 18.00 to 21.00);
  • Yuzhny vokzal (Southern Railway Station) (Metro Yuzhny Vokzal, from the new booking hall take the moving staircase downwards and go to the public WC near the luggage office; mostly crowded around midnight);
  • Gosprom Building (2 Svobody vulitsa, take the first entrance (podyezd), then go through the door across the entrance and turn right to the public WC, the prime cruising time is between 13.00 and 15.00);
  • Kharkov University (4 Svobody Ploschad', take the central entrance and then the lift to the 7th floor pretending that you are heading to the library, cruise in the WCs on 6th, 7th and 8th floors between 12.00 and 15.00);
  • Gorky Central Park (benches along the central path in the evenings; mostly older gays);
  • Hydropark (only in summer) (Schevchenko vulitsa, take Tram 15, 16 from Metro Kievskaya or Tram 26 from Metro Geroyev Truda; cruise near the main entrance to the park and in the neighboring WC in the dusk);
  • Gay Beach in Hydropark (turn left after the second bridge, round the young sailors' station and keep going along the beach for 500-600 meters, stop when you see nude older men)


Kharkiv Gay Site - Russian only site about Kharkiv gay dish etc.

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