Europe’s second-largest country Ukraine is one of the continent’s most untouched destinations. Its diverse landscape ranges from forested mountains to the Black Sea coastline and features abundant historical elements and outdoor activities. With friendly people and great food, Ukraine is a great destination in Eastern Europe.
Ukraine’s capital Kyiv is one of the cheapest cities in Europe. Even though it is inexpensive, you don’t compromise on quality here. Be it restaurants, bars or accommodation options – you will get the best value for your money. Kyiv’s skyline is dominated by golden-domed churches and cathedrals. The UNESCO world heritage listed St. Sophia’s Cathedral is the most popular and the oldest church in the country and features outstanding mosaics and frescoes, which dates back to the 11th-century. Climb to the top of its bell tower to enjoy a mesmerizing panoramic view of the Kyiv. Kyevo-Pecherska Lavra is another example of the city’s iconic golden domes. Revered as the holiest site in Ukraine, the monastery is home to a cluster of churches. With history dating back to the early-12th-century, the current building of St Michael’s golden-domed monastery was built as recently as 2001, and the adjacent museum is a good place to learn about its fascinating history. Apart from the churches and monasteries, other interesting sites to explore in Kyiv are Maidan Nezalezhnosti – Kyiv’s central square and the city’s meeting point, Andriyivsky Uzviz – a historic cobbled street with cafes, art galleries and vendors, the 102 meter tall iconic Rodina Mat (the Motherland Monument) and Mezhyhirya – residence of former Ukrainian Prime Minister and President, Viktor Yanukovych, now a museum.
From Kyiv, you can arrange a day-trip to Chornobyl (also known as Chernobyl) – an exclusion zone in Ukraine and the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster. The nuclear meltdown occurred back in 1986, but it was recently made famous by the HBO mini-series of the same name, and has become a renowned tourist attraction. Most people visit the area to experience its apocalyptic vibe and to see the ghost town.
Located in the western Ukraine, close to the border with Poland, Lviv is a historically wealthy city with a UNESCO world heritage listed Old City. The city feels less Soviet compared to other Ukrainian cities, and has a genuine Central European charm. With its wide range of food and accommodation options, the city is visited by around two million visitors annually.
Kamyanets-Podilsky, about 275 km from Lviv is known for its namesake medieval fortress. The city’s well-preserved Old Town, which was built inside the Smotrych River canyon, offers a medieval punch and is one of the city’s must-visit sites. In Kamyanets-Podilsky, you can also explore the country’s largest nature conservation area – Podilski Tovtry National Park. Located in Southern Ukraine on the Black Sea coast, Odesa is the country’s biggest commercial port and is popular for its beaches and neoclassical buildings. Odesa’s white-sand beaches have become the main domestic holiday destination in the country and have started drawing big crowds.
When it comes to natural beauty, the Ukrainian Carpathians are the undefeated superstar of the country. Located in the country’s south-western region along the borders with Romania and Slovakia, the forested hill region houses many picturesque villages.This is the best place in the country to experience the rural way of life in Ukraine. The well-planned ski resort in Bukovel is flocked by winter-sports enthusiasts, which in summer turns into a wellness and spa centre. The protected area of Carpathian National Nature Park has great hiking and walking trails where you can hike to the highest point in Ukraine – Mount Hoverla. It is quite an easy peak to climb and thousands of people climb it every year.
With huge Orthodox churches and forest-clad mountains, Ukraine is a lovable destination where you can explore beautiful nature, dive into history at numerous historical monuments, experience the colourful traditions of the Ukrainian people and click amazing photographs.
The world’s worst nuclear disaster site Chornobyl can be visited as a day-trip from Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.