Places to Visit in Ukraine

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

There are a lot of beautiful and exciting places to visit in Ukraineinfo-icon despite its political situation. Ukraine is a vast country in Eastern Europeinfo-icon, with a splendid coast at the Black Sea, mountains, and forests, very old Orthodox churches, colorful traditions, and customs. Pay attention to traveling conditions and check with your embassy to be sure you are well prepared for this journey. Then book your tickets and on your way to discovering the best places to visit in Ukraine.

Kiev, the Capital of Ukraine

Places to visit in Ukraine

It is one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, founded in the 5th century. By the 10th century, the city was already the capital of the first Ukrainian state. Later on, the city became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and Russiainfo-icon. It was in 1991 that Ukraine reclaimed its independence. Throughout all this history, the people of Kiev did not forget that they are Ukrainians and today they are proud to be citizens of one of the largest European capitals.

Amazing Things to Do in Kiev

Awesome things to do in Kiev

The first thing you should definitely visit in Ukraine is St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev. The cathedral is built at the beginning of 11th century and it served as a social, political, and cultural center. Several princes are buried here. In the old times, the church was used even to receive ambassadors, as a library, and to record chronicles. Besides its rich history, the cathedral is admired for its mosaics and frescoes made by Byzantine artists. The mosaic of Virgin Mary praying is about 6 meters high and mixes stone and glass of different colors and hues. The frescoes represent not only religious themes but also historical ones.

St. Sophia Cathedral is not the only example of Orthodox architecture. Kiev is full of beautiful old churches. And churches are not the only ones that deserve a visit. Buildings of Kiev are colorful, shiny, and impressive. They like to build big. Get to the top of Motherland Monument for a stunning view of the city. The monument is 102 meters high and was built in 1979. It is part of The National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War.

Pay a visit to Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square). All major political events of Ukraine happened here. The Maidan saw the tsars, the Soviets, and independent Ukraine. Here beats the heart of the city.

Like in many other European capitals, the best way to get around Kiev is by subway. 52 stations are waiting for you, and you can easily find maps in English. You should also try local foods and drinks because the nightlife in Kiev is absolutely amazing!

Odessa, a Pearl at the Black Sea

Odessa at night

One of the best places to visit in Ukraine is Odessa, the center of Ukrainian tourism. The city lies on the Black Sea, Odessa was founded by Empress Catherine the Great in 1794. The city is an important port and transport hub. But on its records, there are also military life, commerce, and tourism. Odessa has been a favorite resort for upper classes since the 19th century. The quality of free port brought to Odessa people from all over the world. There are still communities of Moldavians, Albanians, Armenians, Bulgarians, Crimean Tatars, Frenchmen, Germans, Greeks, Italians, Jews, Poles, Romanians, Turks, and Russians. The most famous governor was a Frenchmen, Duc de Richelieu. His statue guards the city.

Odessa was a cultural destination, and it still is. Visit Opera and Ballet Theater, a neo-baroque building that has been hosting events for more than a century. Some say it is the best opera in the world. Take advantages of the seaside and visit as many beaches as you can. Don't miss the parks, because everything here is taking care of. A plan of regenerating the gardens surrounding Potemkin Steps is almost finished. This year the Istanbul garden was completed, and the Greek garden isn't far away.

Odessa has so many influences that it seems an unreal movie scene. Even the cuisine is a mix of everything. The city invites you to visit its museums, palaces, and theaters. It offers you beaches, blossomed parks, eternal promenades.

Catacombs of Odessa

Catacombs of Odessa

On the list of places to visit in Ukraine, there is a haunted one. Under Odessa, there is the enormous labyrinth in the world. 2, 500 km of tunnels, reaching a depth of 60 meters, is the result of stone mining from the XIXth century. Today, the catacombs are full of legends and stories. They were home to partisans during the World War II, but accidental deaths have built a different atmosphere.

You can visit the catacombs in a regular group or a private one if you like. There is a time for technology even in haunted places. In search of a ghost, now you can book tickets online.

Chernobyl and the Lost City of Pripyat

Chernobyl amusement park

On 26th of April 1986, the most prominent nuclear accident in the world happened at Chernobyl. The entire world was affected, especially Ukraine and its neighbors. Nobody knows precisely how many victims the radioactive cloud has made. Pripyat, the closest city to Chernobyl, became a ghost. All clocks stayed at 11:55 when the electricity was cut.

After so many years, the area is still affected, empty, and mourning. But some of the places can be visited, in very specific conditions and only in guided tours. Pripyat is one of them. Nature reclaims its rights and slowly takes back the city. Wildlife returns home. For people is still too early. 100, 000 people were evacuated from the region and didn't come back. They didn't forget. Some of the buildings are not safe, so listen to your guide and stay away from them.

Lviv, the Capital of Sweet Chocolate

Lviv is the capital of chocolate

With Polish, Austro-Hungarian, Italian, and German influences, Lviv deserves a place on the list of best places to visit in Ukraine. The feeling of Central Europeinfo-icon is all over the town. Beautiful architecture, green domes, graceful cathedrals, occidental elegance are some of its features. A castle from the 14th century, situated on a hill, fulfills a tourist day.

Lviv is a city to visit as a pedestrian. From Potocki Palace to Boim Chapel and its Renaissance art, from the High Castle Park to Market Square, every meter of this city deserves to be a memory. That is also the place with the highest density of chocolatiers and romantic cafes. That is probably the only city in the world with a Coffee, Chocolate, Cheese and Whine Holiday! Within Ukraine, Lviv is a famous tourist attraction for all generations. The old city center is packed with Ukrainians enjoying a steaming coffee or melting piece of chocolate.

Many places to visit in Ukraine

There are significant differences between the places to visit in Ukraine. This country has been witness to empires and wars. It has memories of beauty, culture, and arts, and memories of the world's most tragic disasters. Ukraine is a courageous country, with many battles to fight. But its great history and bravery will help it go through the good times and the bad ones. For a tourist, the experience of Ukraine is sophisticated and daring.

Monica Radulescu a freelance writer for
Travelling is a joy. It's a way to become a better and wiser person. Mountain paths and road trips are my favourites.