Ukraine, Europe’s largest nation, has numerous tourist attractions, including festivals honoring its rich culture and a beautiful collection of centuries-old buildings.
Ukraine’s people are as diverse as its surroundings, ranging from rolling farmland to cobblestone alleys in historic city centers, and they are among the friendliest people in Europe.
Ukraine actually means “borderland,” and the nation has been an excellent invasion territory from its inception. The territory has been shared at various times by Russia, Poland, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Romania.
Today, you’ll discover an unknown Eastern European jewel in quest of its own identity and creating a distinct impression in the world of tourism.
Do you know what the term “Dark Tourism” means? It refers to visits to locations connected with death and terrible events. Popular examples are the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York City, Alcatraz in San Francisco, Pearl Harbor, Pompeii, and The Killing Fields of Cambodia.
Visitors to Ukraine can include the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, the disaster’s epicenter, in their itinerary.
The Chernobyl exclusion zone, which is today an eerie ghost town in northern Kyiv Oblast (also known as Kiev Oblast) and was recently revisited in an HBO documentary, is likely to become a big tourist destination.
Make plans to leave as soon as feasible! Inside Chernobyl, you’ll be able to see the devastation for yourself, including wrecked buildings and abandoned belongings of individuals who had to flee for their life.
There are guided tours available, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about the tragedy firsthand.
Odesa, in southern Ukraine, has an intriguing history, which is told via its numerous great museums. It was first occupied by the Greeks, then by the Ottomans, and ultimately by the Russians.
Odessa is now a contemporary city with breathtaking Art Nouveau buildings, charming people-watching cafés, and beautiful beaches.
It is known as the “Pearl of the Black Sea” since it is located on the Black Sea’s northwestern shore. The Odessa Opera and Ballet is housed in a historic structure in the city center and is the city’s oldest theater, having opened in 1810.
Visitors may see performances such as Swan Lake or Madame Butterfly for the price of a cup of coffee in the United States. The one-of-a-kind horseshoe hall allows for exceptional.
In Odessa, there is so much to do;
- Relax at one of the numerous beach club pools, attend a theater performance, or wander along the beachfront promenade. It’s not just what’s on the ground level that draws tourists to Odessa.
- The city also has a labyrinth of amazing underground tunnels that stretch hundreds of kilometers under the city!
- Odessa has a lively nightlife culture in Arcadia with Ibiza-style nightclubs, amazing shopping, and superb vineyards.
- Restaurants you can find at Odessa include ‘Kumanets‘, ‘Bernardazzi,’ ‘Texas BBQ’ and much more.
Put it all together, and you have the ideal summer vacation resort – without the hordes of foreign tourists.
#3 Kamianets-Podilskyi Fortress
The Kamianets-Podilskyi Fortress is the most recognized landmark in western Ukraine. It’s one of the primary reasons people come to this fairy-tale city.
The stronghold, which towers above the Smotrych River, is incredibly spectacular — it is undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous fortifications in Eastern Europe!
But the city is more than simply the fortification. Explore the cobbled streets of the well-preserved medieval Old Town, which is lined with pretty pastel-colored houses, and admire the excellent street art that tells the city’s story.
Kamianets-Podilskyi has retained the essence of the Middle Ages while significantly growing its tourism potential.
Kamianets is the largest town in Western Ukraine that is not a regional center; yet, it has the third-highest number of architectural monuments in Ukraine after Lviv and Kyiv.
All of this contributes to the city’s status as one of the top locations to visit in Ukraine. Podillia’s Pearl, Kamianets-Podilskyi:
Lviv is the largest city in western Ukraine and has an interesting historic core. Established in 1240 and named after Leo, the King of Ruthenia’s eldest son, the capital changed hands multiple times between the Poles and the Russians before gaining independence in 1991.
If you’re planning a trip to Lviv, you’re probably wondering what attractions are nearby. I recommend a one-day excursion to Zhovkva if you want to explore another place, learn more about Ukraine, and get new experiences.
The fortress of Zhovkva is an ideal spot for a day excursion. Zhovkva is a popular location for one-day trips from Lviv. Zhovkva is a royal city in the province of Lviv.
Kiev’s capital is unquestionably the most popular tourist attraction in Ukraine. It is located in north-central Ukraine. This European city delivers a punch with its spectacular Soviet architecture, monasteries, golden-domed cathedrals, and charming lanes.
Furthermore, it is still completely undervalued thus there aren’t many tourist traps here! Kyiv has piqued the curiosity of a global audience in recent years. The city had 1.5 million international tourists in 2019, the greatest amount ever.
More visitors are discovering Ukraine’s capital thanks to improved air connections and increased tourism infrastructure. Kyiv as the origin and core of Eastern European culture as shown by countless historical buildings and historic neighborhoods astounds them.
Furthermore, the city boasts a thriving cultural life with several venues for;
- and Sports.
One of Europe’s largest open-air museums is the Museum of Folk Architecture and Ethnography. The most popular site in Kiev, however, is unquestionably Kiev Pechersk Lavra, one of Ukraine’s oldest and most important monasteries.
Don’t pass up the opportunity to go down Andriyivskyy Descent, a steep cobblestone lane surrounded with Art Nouveau-style mansions with gargoyles.
Bring your cultural A-game since Kiev is a popular location for theater, opera, and musical acts.
Chernivtsi is located in western Ukraine at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains. As part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the city is affectionately known as “Little Vienna,” and its architecture is comparable to that of the Austrian capital.
Welcome to Chernivtsi, a city full of European beauty, Ukrainian passion, and surprises! You will always find Chernivtsi in a new light no matter how many times you visit.
It is also historically and culturally significant. Chernivtsi, according to archaeological findings, dates back to the Neolithic age. During the Principality of Halych’s reign, a fortified city stood on the northeastern seashore.
It was dubbed the “Black City” – possibly due to the black hue of its city walls – and was extensively devastated during the Mongol invasion. Some sections of the fortification are still standing today.
#7 Tarakaniv Fort, Dubno
located on the Ikva River in western Ukraine, right outside the settlement of Dubno and roughly two hours from Lviv. It was initially constructed to safeguard the Lviv-Kyiv railroad corridor, and seeing it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
With its elegant lines, the same flow of the shape, a large number of arcades, and architectural embellishment, the aristocratic Tarakaniv fort (the new Dubno castle) evokes British colonial architecture.
A superb example of 19th-century fortification art located in the outskirts of Tarakaniv village, Rivne oblast, is now abandoned and hence the most mysterious site in Ukraine. Tarakaniv fort — the sought-after location.
This ruin has a tunnel entrance and is not suitable for individuals who are afraid of heights. There are centuries-old tunnels and corridors to explore, dating back to Imperial Russia.
Visitors should arrive early in order to visit the attraction before the crowds. It’s a terrific site for photographers, history fans, and explorers, but wear decent shoes and keep an eye out for the occasionally dangerous terrain.
Bukovel is a Carpathian mountain ski resort located at an elevation of 900 meters above sea level. Because of its contemporary infrastructure and high level of service, this resort is regarded as the best in Ukraine.
You will learn about the culture of Hutsults (a Ukrainian ethnic group that dwells in the Carpathian highlands), their distinctive foods, dynamic Hutsul folk entertainment, and the therapeutic freshness of mountain air.
It is, in reality, the largest ski resort in Eastern Europe! The views from this premium alpine ski resort are just breathtaking since it is surrounded by three mountains, including the highest peaks of the Carpathians.
Bukovel, located high on the mountains of western Ukraine, provides a ton of enjoyment for all ages.
It caters to all ability levels with almost 50 kilometers of groomed pistes and playgrounds. When you’re not testing the powder, visit the snow park, cycling park, or ski school to learn some new techniques.
Chernihiv is one of Ukraine’s oldest cities. The Rus’-Byzantine Treaty between Prince Oleh and Byzantium initially mentions it in 907, although the exact date of foundation is unknown.
Chernihiv was designated as the second most significant Ukrainian center after Kiev in this pact. Chernihiv is the administrative center of the Chernihiv Oblast province in northern Ukraine, located on the banks of the Desna River.
It has stunning antique architecture, notably Catherine’s Church with its golden cupolas and the five-domed Transfiguration Cathedral from the 11th century.
Don’t miss out on seeing the two old cave monasteries on the city’s outskirts or strolling around the 18th century Kachanivka Palace with its gorgeous neoclassical architecture, lovely gardens, and lake.
Rakhiv is, without a doubt, Ukraine’s highest city. This mountain village, nestled in the beautiful Carpathian woods of western Ukraine, is the ideal playground for nature lovers and hikers.
Rakhiv is ideal for adventurers exploring the southern Carpathians, with magnificent slopes and swinging footbridges crossing the flowing Tysa River.
There isn’t much going on here, but that is part of Rakhiv’s attraction. For a tranquil getaway in the highlands, head to the calm Dilove hamlet, and trade the bustle of the city for the serenity of nature.
The primary event during which you may learn about the cuisine of Hutsuls — an ethnic group of Ukrainians who live in the Carpathian highlands – is the Bryndza Festival.
Bryndza, by the way, is a white cheese with a distinct aroma and flavor. Bryndza. Don’t miss the Hutsul Brynza Festival in September for a sample of the local culture.
#11 St. Sophia’s Cathedral
St. Sophia’s Cathedral (also known as Saint Sophia Cathedral) has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since the 1980s. This church distinguishes out among the other ancient structures due to its ornate Baroque facade, which has 13 golden domes. Its beauty entices you into an awe-inspiring interior.
Inside, the room is packed with stunning paintings, antique mosaics, and centuries-old frescoes. To get the full experience, take a tour or attend a service.
St. Sophia’s, named after Hagia Sophia, has been one of Kiev’s most notable landmarks since its erection in 1037. The view from the bell tower is one of the nicest in Kiev, and it’s definitely worth the climb to the top!
Aside from the main construction, the cathedral has a number of ancillary structures, including a bell tower and the House of Metropolitan. The historic site was transferred from the Ministry of Regional Development of Ukraine to the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine in 2011.
#12 Kamenets Podolsky Castle
The Kamenets Podolsky Castle is a prominent feature in Kamianets-Podilskyi, just a short walk from the ancient town. This stronghold, which has been in existence since before the 14th century, is an excellent location in the canyon for photography and exploration. It has the appearance of a fairy-tale castle.
The various peoples and civilizations who have resided in the city have each contributed their own culture and architecture. Polish, Ruthenian, and Armenian marketplaces are a few examples.
The historic castle and the various architectural monuments in the city center, such as the cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, Holy Trinity Church, the city hall building, and the numerous defenses, are popular tourist destinations.
Since the late 1990s, the city has evolved to become one of the most important tourist destinations in western Ukraine.
The annual Cossack Games (Kozatski Zabavy) and festivals, which feature the Ukrainian open ballooning championship, automobile racing, and a variety of music, art, and theatrical events, draw an estimated 140,000 tourists and help the local economy.
More than a dozen privately owned hotels have lately developed in the area, which is unusual for a regional Ukrainian city.
Mezhyhirya is located on the banks of the magnificent Dnieper River and was the former home of Ukraine’s ex-president, Viktor Yanukovych. There is enough to do here, and it may be the most intriguing and out-of-the-way spot you have ever visited.
Mezhyhirya is now used as a museum in Ukraine that displays Viktor Yanukovych’s lavish lifestyle. He resided there while Prime Minister and subsequently President of Ukraine.
Yanukovych stayed on the estate from 2002 until February 21, 2014, when he fled the country as part of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution. Today, the opulent structure stands as a symbol and reminder of institutional greed and corruption.
There are tennis courts, a shooting range, and an equestrian center within its secure gates.
There are tennis courts, a shooting range, an equestrian club, a helicopter pad, an ostrich farm, a dog kennel, a golf course, and hunting grounds within its closed gates
This settlement on the banks of the Umanka River in central Ukraine provides a relaxing stopover between the major towns of Odesa and Kiev.
Uman was first documented in 1616, while it was under Polish administration, as a defense against Tatar attacks and has subsequently gone through various periods of occupancy.
It is most known for the disastrous Haidamak rebellions of the 1700s, but it is now a popular pilgrimage place for Hasidic Jews.
Uman’s attractions are well-signposted, and you’ll have no trouble making your way about this laid-back town. Visit Rabbi Nachman Sofiyivka Park’s grave, the obelisk in the town center, the Pearl of Love fountain show, or the daily market.
Uman is a city in the Cherkasy Oblast of central Ukraine, east of Vinnytsia. The city is situated on the banks of the Umanka River in the historical area of eastern Podolia. It is well-known among Ukrainians for representing the Haidamak rebellions in Taras Shevchenko’s longest poem, Haidamaky.
#15 Odessa Catacombs
The Catacombs are a must-see if you wish to experience Odessa in a different light. These subterranean tunnels, which were initially produced by mining a rock called coquina, a soft off-white limestone, are said to be larger than Rome’s and Paris’ underground passages.
A network of basements, bunkers, storm drains, and drainage tunnels provide tourists with access to Odessa’s underworld, resembling the remains of a subterranean metropolis.
With almost 1,600 kilometers of tunnels, it is one of the world’s greatest urban labyrinths. Deep in the Moldavanka area, under an inconspicuous garage along a major road, is a secret entrance to one of the world’s largest urban labyrinths: the Odessa Catacombs.
Visitors are given a helmet and a headlamp upon entering before descending around 25 meters (82 ft) into the darkness. When contrasted to the catacombs of Rome and Paris, which cover 300 and 500 kilometers, respectively, its scale is particularly awe-inspiring.
These underground corridors, however, were never utilized to bury the deceased, as they were in French and Italian towns. Visitors are faced with frigid temperatures of roughly 13 Celsius (57 F) upon traveling down, with just a feeble light path to follow.
There are rusted bits of Soviet-era equipment cages and cables inside the unit, but the pièce de résistance is its creepy engine room, which is nearly fully immersed in water. We may never know everything because many portions remain undiscovered to this day.
Vinnytsia is a lovely city in west-central Ukraine, situated along the Southern Bug River. The city’s significance has grown as a result of its one-of-a-kind attraction, the massive Multimedia Fountain Roshen.
Tourists include this location on their list of places to visit in Ukraine in order to see this unique fountain performance and explore the many historical sites.
The city’s charm stems from its location alongside the Southern Bug River, which has been accentuated by the presence of the multicolored fountain. Vinnytsia’s main feature is the stunning Multimedia Fountain Roshen, which is located in the river.
Feel enchanted by the lovely fountain that emits sound and brilliant lights. Other attractions include Adolf Hitler’s military headquarters, the National Pirogov’s Estate Museum, Gorky Park, and others.
If sightseeing isn’t enough for you, you could enjoy viewing a performance at Vinnytsia State Academic Music and Drama Theater. Children and adults alike would enjoy a visit to Roshen, Ukraine’s largest candy plant.
Spend some time relaxing at Martynov with a cup of aromatic coffee and light food from the well-known Artynor Bus. You could also enjoy some traditional cuisine at the Biblioteka Cafe.
In the summer months of May to September, Vinnytsia has beautiful weather with little rain. The winter months of the city are bitterly cold and windy. The lowest temperature in January is -3°C.
Mukachevo is a city in the western Ukrainian region of Zakarpattia. The city is well-known for the Palanok Castle, which is one of Ukraine’s must-see tourist attractions. The 10th-century Palanok Castle, with its historical museum and art gallery, is the town’s main attraction.
The castle is situated on a hilltop, providing visitors with a panoramic view of Mukachevo. Other points of interest are:
The chimney Sweeper monument, St. Martin of Tours Cathedral, Orthodox church, Ratusha Mista Mukacheve, and others. Mukachevo visitors usually go sightseeing and enjoy wandering about Rakoczi Schonborn Palace.
You’ll enjoy mixing with people at the Chimney Sweep Monument and spending time admiring nature at Komsomol’skyi Park.
Ukraine, at the time of writing this post, is under siege from Russia, and there would be no inbound flights to Russia at the moment. Hopefully, these beautiful sights don’t get destroyed during the conflict. Ukraine has a beautiful landscape and gaping architecture.
It also has mysterious sites like Chernobyl and the Odessa catacombs that are worthy of a visit. Hopefully, the gates to Ukraine would be opened sooner than later.