The City of Nikolaev (Ukranian) is not a well-known tourist destination, and it was closed to foreign visitors during the Soviet era due to its importance as a ship-building center. The Port of Nikolaev is largely viewed as a stop on the journey between Kherson to Odessa. Yet, the Port of Nikolaev offers several interesting and enjoyable attractions including the Nikolaev Theater of Ukrainian Drama and Musical Comedy, the Museum of Arts, and the Church of Nicholas. In the evenings, throngs of people crowd the main streets, proud of their beautiful city and their European style.
The Port of Nikolaev enjoys a relatively dry continental climate, with almost 300 sunny days per year. It has short mild winters and long hot summers. Temperatures range from an average high of 28 °C (74 °F) in July to an average low of -4 °C (24 °F) in January.
The most popular attraction in the Port of Nikolaev is the Museum of Shipbuilding and Fleet. Opened in 1978, the museum is housed in one of the city's historic buildings. The only ship-building museum in Ukraine, the museum contains 12 exhibition halls that tell the story of shipbuilding in the Northern Black Sea region from ancient to modern times. Over 50 thousand visitors come each year to see the museum's eight thousand pieces. One of the most interesting exhibits is devoted to the development of the Port of Nikolaev's shipyards. Visitors will also enjoy the model of the first Soviet yacht to travel around the world, the Ikar.
The Nikolaev Zoo is one of the biggest in Ukraine, and many say it is the best one. Founded in 1901, the Port of Nikolaev zoo is home to a wide variety of some 3777 native animals and exotic creatures. In the spring and summer, the zoo is green with grass and trees, and the animals are out enjoying the beautiful weather. The first Ukranian zoo to become a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the zoo contains a small café.