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Mariupol is a truly unique place. If you don't mind swimming in rather polluted water, there are stunning views from the sea of the steelworks and port, and in summer a pleasantly carefree vibe on the beach, where it's easy to forget that the frontline in Europe's only active war is just a few kilometres away. It's a traditionally pro-Russian, working class city where a very active Ukrainian patriotic minority are working to try to change mentalities. Every time I go there a more European atmosphere seems to be creeping in. Plus there are really a lot of old-buildings, pre-Soviet, that have survived, though they're all quite low-rise and ramshackle. Then the pre-war Soviet city centre is very elegant, though marred by more recent construction in the part that is today the most commercially active. It's also got surprisingly good restaurants. I think it's fair to say Mariupol is the most underrated city in Ukraine - though to understand what is meant by that you have to realise how unfavourably is is generally rated. It's not Odesa, obviously. But I actually kind of prefer it to Odesa. The air quality, though, is a serious problem.
I stayed 2 days in Mariupol, if its not summer, this seems to be a good duration sine the city is not that big. I enjoyed walking around the Drama Theatre and looking at the (restaurated) architecture. I walked down to the sea, there is a boulevard along the sea (close to the train station). There is a small city beach an a pier. However, this is not the nicest spot at Mariupol to see the ocean, at its close to the fabrics and the place is not so clean and lacks a bit of infrastructure. I can recommend to take a bus a bit out of the city center to enjoy the beaches there. However, same critique here. Due to the factories Mariupol has not so clean air and maybe also not so clean sea. Mariupol has a good public transport system.
+ nice reapired historical centre, theatre, churches + beaches of Azov sea and possibility of swimming - sidewalks outside the centre in the bat condition - insufficient and pure density of public transport (including marshrutkas)