Ukraine: Ukraine is a large country in Eastern Europe known for its Orthodox churches, Black Sea coastline and forested mountains. Its capital, Kiev, features the gold-domed St. Sophia's Cathedral, with 11th-century mosaics and frescoes. Overlooking the Dnieper River is the Kiev Pechersk Lavra monastery complex, a Christian pilgrimage site housing Scythian tomb relics and catacombs containing mummified Orthodox monks. Kiev is the capital city of Ukraine, bisected by the Dnieper River and known for its religious architecture, secular monuments and history museums. The 11th-century Kiev Pechersk Lavra is a monastery and pilgrimage site encompassing several gold-domed churches. It's known for its catacombs lined with the burial chambers of Orthodox monks, and a collection of gold objects from ancient Scythian times.
Trip Planning: The planning stage of your trip can be instrumental in its success and an enjoyable part of the experience itself. You have a world of options...and plenty to consider.
Entry and Exit formalities: Visitors must hold a passport valid for at least six months & beyond at the time of entering the country. Some nationalities can obtain visa on arrival and for nationalities who requires visa please refer to Ukraine consulate website: https://visa.mfa.gov.ua
Transportation: Figuring out how to get around is one of your biggest pre-trip decisions. Get our holiday expert best advice on deciding between your options.
Based on your trip itinerary, our experts will help you choose wisely. You'll also find a wealth of practical travel tips.
Money: Use your money wisely. Know the best time to use cash or card — and how to avoid unnecessary fees either way — as well as tipping etiquette.
Phones and Technology: Phones and other smart devices can be huge time-savers...or expensive distractions. Get our tips for making the best use of technology during your trip, and for calling home with or without your own phone.
Packing Light: On your trip you'll meet two kinds of travelers: those who pack light and those who wish they had.
Sleeping and Eating: Your hotel and restaurant choices can be a matter-of-face chore…or they can provide rich opportunities to connect with locals and their culture.
Health & Hygiene: Take comfort: Doctors, hospitals, launderettes, and bathrooms aren’t that different. Dealing with them can even be part of the fun of travel.
Sightseeing & Activities: Once you're on the ground, the real fun begins…but it pays to have a thoughtful plan. Our experts will help you get oriented to your surroundings, use your sightseeing hours wisely, and find your way off the beaten path.
Things to see & do:
Kiev – The capital of Ukraine, this bustling city is home to nearly three million people. The art and architecture here is stunning. There’s an odd mix of Soviet area communist housing and baroque buildings and cobblestone streets. It’s a beautiful town! For theater lovers, the Kiev Opera House is host to world-class operas and ballets or the Ivan Franko Theater for dramas, comedies, and musicals. There is a unique blend of old and new to absorb throughout the city.
Odessa- is a port city on the Black Sea in southern Ukraine. It’s known for its beaches and 19th-century architecture, including the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater. The monumental Potemkin Stairs, immortalized in "The Battleship Potemkin," lead down to the waterfront with its Vorontsov Lighthouse. Running parallel to the water, the grand Primorsky Boulevard is a popular promenade lined with mansions and monuments.
Kharkiv- is a city in northeast Ukraine. Sprawling Freedom Square is home to the constructivist Derzhprom building. Shevchenko Park features botanic gardens and a zoo. Kharkiv State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre stages regular performances. Southwest is the huge Annunciation Cathedral, with 5 domes and a bell tower. Northeast, Maxim Gorky Central Park has a giant Ferris wheel and a cable car.
Ivano-Frankivsk- is a historic city located in Western Ukraine. It is the administrative centre of Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast. Administratively, it is designated as a city of regional significance within the oblast, and together with a number of rural localities, is incorporated as Ivano-Frankivsk Municipality.
Chernivtsi- is a city in western Ukraine. It's known for the 1875-founded Chernivtsi National University, which features Romanesque and Byzantine architecture and the Chernivtsi University Botanical Garden. At the heart of the old town is Central Square, with the blue, neoclassical City Hall. Nearby, the Chernivtsi Museum of Art exhibits 17th- to 20th-century art from the historic region of Bukovina in a former bank.
Uzhhorod- is a city in western Ukraine. Medieval Uzhhorod Castle is home to the Museum of Regional History, with artifacts from the 14th–20th centuries including coins and weapons. The open-air Museum of Folk Architecture and Life features reconstructed traditional buildings with folk art. The turreted Catholic Church of St. George dates from the 17th century. To the west, Bozdos'kyi Park has children's play areas.
Mariupol-is a city of regional significance in south eastern Ukraine, situated on the north coast of the Sea of Azov at the mouth of the Kalmius river, in the Pryazovia region. It is the tenth-largest city in Ukraine, and the second largest in the Donetsk Oblast with a population of 449,498.
Zaporizhia- is a city on the Dnieper River in southeastern Ukraine. It's home to Khortytsia Island, a former Cossack stronghold with the Khortytsia National Reserve and the open-air Museum of Zaporizhian Cossacks. Riverside Dubovy Gai park has children’s rides and a lake. Nearby, the Regional Lore Museum explores Cossack, Scythian and medieval history. Boguslayev Museum of Technology has jet engines and motorbikes.
Ternopil- is a city in western Ukraine, located on the banks of the Seret. Until 1944, it was known mostly as Tarnopol. Ternopil is one of the major cities of Western Ukraine and the historical regions of Galicia and Podolia. It is served by Ternopil Airport.
Vinnytsia- is a city on the Southern Bug River, in west-central Ukraine. Set in the river, the large Multimedia Fountain Roshen emits sound and colored light. The landscaped Gorky Park has a skate park, sports stadium and planetarium. The Pirogov Estate Museum complex, commemorating surgeon Nikolay Pirogov, includes a house, pharmacy and burial vault. The vast Friendship of Peoples Park has a lake and forested areas.
Lutsk- is a city on the Styr River in northwestern Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Volyn Oblast and the administrative center of the surrounding Lutsk Raion within the oblast, though it is not a part of the raion. Lutsk has the status of a city of oblast significance, equivalent to that of a raion.
Dnipro- is a city on the Dnieper River in central Ukraine. Missiles in Rocket Park mark the city's role in the Soviet-era space and defense industries. The Jewish Memory and Holocaust in Ukraine Museum is part of the Menorah Center, a Jewish cultural and business complex. The Art Museum includes paintings and sculptures. Nearby, the D.I. Yavornytsky National History Museum explores archaeology and Cossack history.
Kamianets-Podilskyi- is a city in western Ukraine. It's known for its well-preserved Old Town and Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle, a medieval fortress featuring several original towers. Castle Bridge, which leads to the city proper, also dates from the Middle Ages. The open-air Museum of Miniatures presents replicas of Ukrainian castles. Podilski Tovtry National Park is a huge nature preserve home to historical monuments.
Mukachevo- is a city located in the valley of the Latorica river in Zakarpattia Oblast, in Western Ukraine. Serving as the administrative center of Mukachevo Raion, the city itself does not belong to the raion and is designated as a city of oblast significance, with the status equal to that of a separate raion.
Pereiaslav- is an ancient city in the Kyiv Oblast of central Ukraine, located near the confluence of Alta and Trubizh rivers some 95 km south of the nation's capital Kyiv. From 1943 until 2019 the city name was Pereiaslav-Khmelnytskyi also referred to as Pereyaslav-Khmelnytskyy.
Kolomyia, formerly known as Kolomea- is a city located on the Prut River in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, in western Ukraine. It is administratively incorporated as a town of oblast significance and serves as the administrative centre of the surrounding Kolomyia Raion, which it is administratively not a part of.
Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi, formerly known as Akkerman- is a city and port situated on the right bank of the Dniester Liman in Odessa Oblast of southwestern Ukraine, in the historical region of Bessarabia. Administratively, Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi is incorporated as a town of oblast significance.
Mykolaiv, or Nikolaev- is a city near the Black Sea in southern Ukraine. Displays at the Mykolaiv Regional Museum of Local History include prehistoric artifacts, ceramics and photographs. The Mykolaiv Observatory, founded in 1821, includes a museum with antique astronomical instruments. The Mykolaiv Zoo has tigers and polar bears. The Museum of Shipbuilding and Fleet traces the history of the city's main industry.
Donetsk- formerly known as Aleksandrovka, Hughesovka, Yuzovka, Stalin and Stalino, is an industrial city in eastern Ukraine located on the Kalmius River in the disputed Donetsk region.
Chernihiv- is a city in northern Ukraine. In its historic center, Dytynets Park is home to churches like the 11th-century Transfiguration Cathedral. The Cathedral of Boris and Gleb features silver Royal Doors, and St. Catherine's Church is topped with gold cupolas. Near central Red Square is red-brick Pyatnytska Church. Southwest, near Trinity Monastery, the tunnels of Anthony Caves hold centuries-old monks’ tombs.
Nizhyn- is a city located in Chernihiv Oblast of northern Ukraine, along the Oster River, 150 km north-east of the nation's capital, Kyiv. It is the administrative center of Nizhyn Raion, though the city itself is incorporated as a city of oblast significance and does not belong to the raion.
Kalush- is a city set in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, in the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast of western Ukraine. It is administratively incorporated as a town of oblast significance and serves as the administrative centre of the surrounding Kalush Raion, which it is administratively not a part of.
Myrhorod or Mirgorod- is a city in the Poltava Oblast of central Ukraine. Serving as the administrative center of the Myrhorod Raion, the city itself is administratively incorporated as a city of oblast significance and does not belong to the raion. It is located on the Khorol River.
Lysychansk- is a city in the Luhansk region of Ukraine. It is incorporated as a city of oblast significance and located on the high right bank of the Siverskyi Donets River, approximately 115 km from the oblast capital,
Kryvyi Rih or Krivoy Rog- is a city in Central Ukraine; it is the 8th-most populous city in the country. It lies within a large urban area, administratively incorporated with Kryvyi Rih Municipality as a city of regional significance.
Cherkasy, also known as Cherkassy- is a city in central Ukraine. Cherkasy is the capital of Cherkasy Oblast, as well as the administrative center of surrounding Cherkasky Raion within the oblast. The city itself is designated as a city of oblast significance and does not belong to the raion
Sievierodonetsk, Sieverodonetsk or Severodonetsk- is a city in the Luhansk Oblast of Ukraine. Sievierodonetsk has the status of a city of regional significance, It is located nearby the Seversky Donets River, approximately 110 km to the north west from the Oblast capital, Luhansk.
Horlivka, also known by its Russian name Gorlovka or Gorlowka- is a city of regional significance in the Donetsk Oblast of eastern Ukraine. Economic activity is predominantly coal mining and the chemical industry.
Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant or Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station is a decommissioned nuclear power station near the city of Pripyat, Ukraine, 14.5 km (9.0 mi) northwest of the city of Chornobyl, 16 km (9.9 mi) from the Belarus–Ukraine border, and about 110 km (68 mi) north of Kiev. Reactor No. 4 was the site of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 and the power plant is now within a large restricted area known as the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Both the zone and the former power plant are administered by the State Agency of Ukraine of the Exclusion Zone (Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources).
St. Sophia's Cathedral- As a UNESCO World Heritage Site since the 1980s, St. Sophia's Cathedral (also called Saint Sophia Cathedral) is a favorite of visitors. With an elaborate Baroque exterior consisting of 13 golden domes, this cathedral stands out among the other historic buildings. Its beauty draws you into a jaw-dropping interior.
L'viv's Historic Center- One of the most charming and well-preserved Ukrainian destinations for visitors is the city of L'viv. The entire historic center has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status, and tourists will love walking the cobbled streets taking in the sights.
Odessa Opera and Ballet- The Odessa Opera and Ballet is located in a historic building in the center of town and is the oldest theater in Odessa, opening in 1810. Visitors can take in shows like Swan Lake or Madame Butterfly, all for about the price of a cup of coffee here in the United States. The unique horseshoe hall allows for excellent acoustics and gives the audience a full view of the performers on the stage.
Borscht- With the explosion of gastronomic tourism of late, many feel there's no better way to dig deep into a new culture than through their food. Traditional Ukrainian borscht can be found in restaurants all over the country. Available either hot or cold, it's a perfect example of the citizens stretching ingredients when times were tough, and if you're lucky, the very best versions will inspire you to find a recipe to make once you're back home.
Sunflower Field- Sunflower oil is one of Ukraine's largest exports; as a matter of fact, the country is the 2nd largest producer of the oil in the world. Tourists will find enormous fields of the flowers all over the country. With shades ranging from buttercup to golden orange, these platter-size beauties thrive in the area's soil and climate.
Kamenets Podolsky Castle- Located in Kamianets-Podilskyi, a short walk from the old town, Kamenets Podolsky Castle is a striking landmark. This fortress, which has been in existence since before the 14th century, is the perfect place in the canyon to take pictures and explore. It's reminiscent of a fairy-tale castle.
Carpathian Mountains – One of the most popular destinations in the country, these mountains are a magical collection of forests, meadows, and quaint villages. There are lakes for swimming and good trails for hiking.
Vorontsov Palace – Located inside a park reserve in Alpuka, this 150 room palace is an amazing piece of history to explore. It was built from 1830-1848 and there is a treasure trove of architectural and artistic discoveries to see.
Tunnel of Love in Klevan – About 7km from the city of Klevan, a private railway has turned their railroad track into a natural tunnel by lining it with trees. The tunnel is at its lushest during the spring and summer when the green leaves form a seemingly impenetrable barrier. It’s also beautiful during the fall as the leaves change color. It’s very beautiful and romantic.
City beaches – If you are looking for a quick sunbathing or water sports fix, heading down to a river island might be the thing for you. In Kiev, the Dnipro River is riddled with islands, and on most of them you can buy food and drinks, enjoy some beach, and even work out. Hydropark is host to an outdoor gym.
Chernobyl Power Complex – Lying 130 km north of Kiev, this nuclear plant had a critical meltdown in 1986. It was one of the worst nuclear disaster in human history. The radiation is weak enough now that people can take short trips to visit the complex and the abandoned, ghost like town nearby.
Ski at Drahobrat – This snowy resort is 4,300 feet above sea level and boasts perfect skiing and boarding conditions year-round. The place is somewhat remote, lying 18km outside of Yasinya, and it is a site best suited for the experienced winter sports enthusiast.
Sports at Olympic/Respublikansky Stadium – If you are wanting to catch some local sports, this is a popular place for various European matches. The stadium holds up to 100,000 people and can be thrilling when full. The final match of the Euro 2012 football championships was held here.
Chernivsti University – Founded in 1875, this university is the most fascinating piece of architecture in Chernivsti. Constructed from a mass of beautifully-laid, red bricks, and decorated with thousands of colored tiles, it sticks out like a sore thumb. The various wings are striking and seem to be influenced by a pseudo-Byzantine-Hanseatic-Moorish style.
Akadia beach – Many of the beaches in Odessa are crowded and dirty in the summer time, but this hotspot is a great place to check out the ocean while staying out of the sand and water. There are a multitude of bars, clubs, cafes here too.
Dyzha – This is a dual café-art gallery in Lviv, and a local hotspot for youthful, alternative types. This is a great place to grab a coffee, a postcard, and relax for an hour or three. There are often musicians playing here.
Chufut-Kale – This 200m high bluff and cave system is the highlight for many people that travel to Bakhysaray. For centuries, many people took refuge here, leaving behind them, burial chambers and casemates
Dance on the Dnipro Party Boat – If you are feeling really adventurous and a little goofy, this is probably the thing for you. These boat rides are about an hour and a half long, and all about having drinks and dancing to disco-tech, Russian-pop music.
Bohdan and Varvara Khanenko Museum of Arts – Located in Kiev, this museum has an impressive collection of European art. The interior of the museum is decadently coated in frescoes, intricately carved woodwork, priceless antique furniture, and an array of masterful art.
Ploshcha Svobody – The second-largest square in the world and Kharkiv’s most unique sight, this is an awesome place to check out. At the western end stands the first Soviet skyscraper, complete with geometrically-set concrete and glass blocks and bridges.
Wildlife at Askania-Nova Reserve – This vast plain is home to a plethora of animal life: buffalo, deer, antelope, horses, zebras, camels, gnus, rare Central Asian Saiga antelopes, and a huge array of birds.
Lutsk Castle – One of many Ukrainian fortresses, this one lies in Lutsk’s old quarter and dates back to the 14th century. It is 13 meter-high and is topped with three tall towers. The structure is in fairly decent shape and there are even archeological remains dating back to the 12th century nearby.
Former Presidential Palace, Kiev- Mezhyhirya is situated on the banks of the beautiful Dnieper River and is the former residence of ex-president of the Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. There is no shortage of things to do here, and it may be the most interesting and over-the-top place you have ever visited.
Tarakaniv Fort, Dubno- located just outside the village of Dubno and about two hours from Lviv, near the Ikva River in the west of Ukraine. It was originally built to protect the Lviv-Kiev railroad route, and visiting it is a one-of-a-kind experience. This ruin has a tunnel entrance and is not for those with claustrophobia. Dating back to Imperial Russia, there are centuries-old tunnels and passages to explore.
Tunnel of Love, Klevlan- Just outside of the town of Klevan, the Tunnel of Love is another popular spot to visit in Ukraine. For lovers and singles alike, the Tunnel of Love is a two-mile stretch of private railway that gives the illusion of a never-ending tunnel. A canopy of trees over the tracks are actually what makes the "tunnel.