A Soviet-style city in every sense, located 240 mi/390 km southeast of Kiev, Dnipropetrovsk consists mostly of coal dust, noise and an industrial skyline, but that look is changing. New shopping malls, hotels and restaurants are opening, and the city center has been given a face-lift.

It's not exactly a picturesque city, but it does provide a fascinating window into Soviet life in the past. Visit some of the many parks and recreation areas, including Komsomolsky Island, in the middle of the river, which has several white-sand beaches.

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