Donetsk Ukraine is one of the major towns of the administrative region of Donetsk Oblast, in Eastern Ukraine not far from the border with Russia. Although it is one of the larger cities in the area, it is small enough for tourists to walk through the most interesting section of the old town on foot. A day or two in Donetsk is a pleasant experience, and though Donetsk Ukraine is an industrial town, it is one of the cleanest of its kind. The town is also home to the FC Shakhtar Donetsk, a football team that won the UEFA Cup in 2009. Catching a match might be the goal or at least one of the highlights of your visit. Hotels in Donetsk are well developed with high capacity due to the numerous visitors for the soccer games, and you will have a choice of luxurious accommodation as well as some interesting historical hotels.
Donetsk Ukraine was founded in 1869 by a Welsh businessman named John Hughes. The city had a population of about 500,000 prior to the Second World War, when it was devastated by Nazi occupation. Upwards of 92,000 Jews were murdered in a concentration camp located in the center of the city, and the population of the town was subjected to vicious reprisals for any resistance shown. Today, the population of Donetsk is primarily made up of Russian-speaking Ukrainians as well as ethnic Russians.
Historic buildings in the southern part of the city were mostly built in the English style of the nineteenth century, with rectangular facades, and balconies and large windows. One of the oldest hotels in Donetsk, the Great Britain Hotel, which was built in 1883, is a good example of this style. Many of these historical buildings can be glimpsed from the main street that leads from the railway station up to the northern industrial part of town. Those planning Donetsk travel will want to see the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Christ, a very stately cream-colored building with a pleasing symmetry and many dome-topped towers. The stained-glass windows are particularly beautiful.
Travelers who are interested in football may want to visit the Donbass Arena, an UEFA elite stadium that houses Donetsk's premier home team, the FC Shakhtar Donetsk. The Donbass Arena's architects designed the soaring roof to resemble a flying saucer, and when lit up at night, it certainly does look like one. Football fans may want to schedule their trip to coincide with a FC Shakhtar Donetsk game, or with the UEFA Euro 2012, which will be hosted by Donetsk.
For those in search of some outdoor activity, the Kalmius River, which runs through the city, is a beautiful place to picnic or take a walk, and in the summer, sailboat competitions are held on the river itself. An extensive waterpark in Donetsk is slated to be completed in 2011. It will feature a retractable roof, and will be one of the tourist attractions promoted in Donetsk.
Many hotels in Donetsk are available to cater to your comfort as you visit the city. The Donbass Palace is on the upper end of the scale, with prices in the hundreds of euros. However, the Donbass Palace is undoubtedly one of the most luxurious hotels in the city, with hundreds of magnificently furnished rooms. It is also modern, providing wireless Internet, flat-screen televisions, and a restaurant and bar. It is conveniently located for access to the downtown historic area, as well as to entertainment venues such as the Donetsk Opera House, where you can take in a concert or ballet before heading back for drinks in the hotel bar. Other, more affordably priced hotels in Donetsk include the Hotel Eva and the Victoria Hotel, both mid-size hotels that are more affordably priced but still clean and comfortable.