The most authentic country in Europe
Welcome to Ukraine
Ukraine has had a tumultuous history. Once part of the Soviet Union, it was led by the Bolsheviks and born out of the October Revolution of Russia. You probably know it for Chernobyl or the war with Russia, but Ukraine is so much more! Today, Ukraine is an independent state, modernised and thriving. A wide expansive land of mountains, bustling cities, and quiet rural towns. As the largest country in Europe, Ukraine has a lot to explore and discover!
Visit UNESCO sites and go to the beach
Kyiv, capital of Ukraine, has multiple UNESCO World Heritage sites, from Lavra to St. Sophia’s Cathedral. Lavra (or Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, otherwise known as Kyiv Monastery of the Caves) is a grand and picturesque cathedral whose history can be traced back to 1051! St. Sophia’s Cathedral was likewise built in the 11th century and is a living collection of catholic art and artefacts from across medieval Ukrainian history. If you’d prefer beaches to history, Odessa is a famous beach destination that’s a surprising and perfect summer getaway. Ukraine’s third largest city is lined with gorgeous beaches which are peppered with places to eat, drink, and relax.
Chernobyl is an irresistible part of any visit to Ukraine. The disaster site is a terrifying, humbling and intriguing experience. It’s not dangerous to visit today – as long as you take all the safety precautions.
Depending on when you visit, the Carpathian Mountains (and Carpathian National Park) are a dream for hikers and skiers. An endless white expanse of dramatic and rugged mountains that stand strong like a challenge for anyone daring to ski or climb or hike.
Europe’s most charming city: Lviv
THIS is reason enough to visit Ukraine! Lviv is far from being the largest city in Ukraine, but it might be the country’s best city. It boasts a historic old town in the centre, as well as a gorgeous opera house for history and architecture lovers. In fact, this historic centre has been designated UNESCO World Heritage status for good reason: Lviv is charming, peaceful, and alive with fantastic bars and cafes. I loved Lviv!
Amazing experiences in Ukraine
What’s it like today?
The cultural capital of Ukraine
Tank driving and shooting
Best sights in Ukraine
Kyiv is an ancient city with a medieval vibe and some epic historic and religious architecture to explore. The people are kind and you can spend day wandering its labyrinthine streets.
Chernobyl (100km from Kyiv)
The site of the nuclear disaster of 1986 is now an untouched and abandoned town that’s eerie and unsettling in its untouched morbid beauty.
Lviv (540 km from Kyiv)
A rustic and charming historic city with an incredible medieval old town at its heart. There’s so much untouched architectural beauty to explore and so much relaxation to be done, Lviv is worth the trip.
Odessa (475 km from Kyiv)
Ukraine’s third largest city is a beach-lover’s paradise and a very chill second choice for those looking to escape the bustle of Kyiv. A beach resort town that still retain’s the rustic charm of Ukraine.
Kharkiv (489 km from Kyiv)
During its time as a member state of the USSR, Kharkiv was the capital of Ukraine. Back then it was a place full of Soviet Russian history and brutalist architecture, which makes it a unique place to explore today!
Tunnel of Love (350 km from Kyiv)
One of the world’s most famous abandoned places is an old railway line overgrown with lush foliage that’s a favourite romantic walk. It’s a sight to behold and best experiences in the summer and autumn months.
How to get around
I always use Rome2Rio for traveling Europe. This site/app is so easy to use. It quickly comes up with a variety of transport options to suit your time and budget. All costs are shown, even taxis.
Map of Ukraine
Best time to visit
Ukraine is mountainous and gets particularly cold. The best time to visit is pretty much any season except winter. The Carpathian Mountains is perfect for skiers through the spring and autumn months, so you don’t need to worry about missing the snow. But during winter, the entire country is dark and cold and a lot of the best things to do (like The Tunnel of Love) are off limits or spoiled.
So make sure to visit Ukraine from April to October.
- Language: Ukrainian
- Currency: Hryvnia
- Plugs:Ukraine uses European two-prong plugs at 220V and 50Hz. Get yourself a universal adapter before you travel!
- Population: 44 million
- Important telephone numbers: 101 – fire brigade, 102 – police, 103 – ambulance
- Visa: A US or EU citizen can stay in and travel through Ukraine visa-free for 90 days or less with just a passport.
- Hotel: $20-60 per night
- Food: $5-15 for a meal
- Activities: $100 for a Chernobyl tour
- Transportation: $2-5 for a bus
Basic Ukrainian Phrases
- Hello: Dobrohanraku (good morning), dobryden (good afternoon), dobryivechir (good evening)
- Thank you: Dyakuyu
- Yes: Tak
- No: Nie
- Bye: Dopobachenya
- Cheers: Budmo