10 best places to visit in Ukraine before WAR

Many argue that Ukraine is under-visited and less touristy than other parts of Europe, but Ukraine is one of Europe’s largest countries.

This is a vibrant and beautiful country perched on the black sea, full of beaches, ancient castles, wild forests, stunning countryside, and a friendly attitude from its friendly people.

Ukraine has a number of beautiful tourist attractions, including traditional villages and vibrant modern cities, many of which have UNESCO world heritage sites and well-preserved historical artifacts. 

The gold-domed St. Sophia’s Cathedral in Kyiv, with 11th-century mosaics and paintings, is a highlight.

Furthermore, large festivals celebrating its rich culture and history of folk traditions and diverse cultural influences are held on an annual basis.

It is also a very affordable travel destination. Despite its political problems, all of this makes Ukraine a unique destination.

There are so many places in this country that will make you fall in love with this Eastern European gem.

10. UMAN

This city in central Ukraine on the banks of the Umanka River offers a relaxing stopover between the popular cities of Odesa and Kyiv. 

Uman was first mentioned as a fortification against Tatar raids in 1626, when it was under Polish rule, and has since gone through many stages of occupation.

It is best known for the tragic Haydamak rebellions of the 1700s, but it is now a popular Hasidic Jewish pilgrimage site. The tourist attractions in Uman are well-marked, and you’ll have no trouble finding your way around this laid-back town.

Visit Rabbi Nachman, Sofiyivka Park, the town obelisk, the Pearl of Love fountain show, or the daily market.

For history buffs, the Basilian monastery (1764) is the city’s oldest structure. If you enjoy green spaces, Uman is a great place to visit. It is a major gardening research center, and Sofiyivka Park is ideal for a leisurely afternoon stroll. 

Nature lovers can sign up for a tree tour at the Dendrological Research Center. Uman also has some colorful architecture, a museum, World War 2 memorials, and a beautiful pastel-colored church. 

9. RAKHIV

While its self-proclaimed title as the geographical center of Europe may not be accurate; Rakhiv is unquestionably Ukraine’s highest city.  This mountain town, nestled in the lush Carpathian forests of western Ukraine, is the ideal playground for nature lovers and hikers. 

This location is ideal for adventurers looking to explore the southern Carpathians, as it offers stunning scenery such as picturesque slopes and  Swinging footbridges leading across the rushing Tysa River.

There isn’t a whole lot going on here, but that’s the appeal of Rakhiv. Head to the peaceful Dilove village for a quiet escape in the mountains, and swap the hive of the city for the serenity of the outdoors.

For a taste of the local culture, don’t miss the Hutsul Brynza festival held in September. This fiesta honors the shepherd who returns from the Carpathian each winter with cheese, Wurda, Brynza, Folk song, and dance. 

8. CHERNIHIV

Chernihiv is a city in Ukraine’s northwestern region. Churches such as the 11th-century Transfiguration Cathedral can be found in Dytynets Park’s historic center. 

This location is one of Ukraine’s oldest cities. It was first mentioned in the Rus-Byzantine treaty between Prince Oleg and Byzantium in 1907, but the exact date of establishment is unknown. 

Chernihiv was designated as the second most important Ukrainian center after Kyiv in this treaty. Chernihiv is the administrative center of The Chernihiv Oblast province in northern Ukraine and is located on the banks of the Dean River.

It has beautiful medieval architecture, particularly Catherine’s church with its golden cupolas and the five-domed Transfiguration Cathedral from the 12th century.

If you like beer, you’ll love this place because it’s home to Chernihiv, a popular Ukrainian beverage.

Don’t miss out on visiting the two ancient cave monasteries on the city’s outskirts or strolling around the 18th-century Kachanivka palace with its beautiful neoclassical architecture, lovely gardens, and lake. 

7. BUKOVEL

Bukovel, Ukraine’s main skiing destination is an idyllic wintertime destination.

In fact, it is the largest ski resort in Europe, surrounded by three mountains, including the highest peaks of the Carpathian Mountains, and the views from this luxury alpine ski resort are simply breathtaking.

Bukovel, located high on the slopes of western Ukraine, promises a ton of fun for all ages. With over 50 kilometers of Groomed pistes and playgrounds, caters to all skill levels.

When you’re not testing the powder, visit the snow park, Bicycle Park, or ski school to learn some new tricks. December to April is the best time to plan a skiing vacation to Bukovel, but January has the most snow. 

6. CHERNIVTSI

This city is located in western Ukraine, at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains. Little Vienna, as it was once part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, has similar architecture to the Austrian city.

But the city is more than just a pretty face; it also has significant historical and cultural significance. This city, according to archaeological discoveries, dates back to the Neolithic era.

During the reign of the principality of Halych, a fortified city stood on the northeastern shoreline.

It was dubbed the “Black City.” Because of the dark color of the city walls, it was most likely destroyed during the Mongol invasion. Some parts of the fortress are still standing today.

Its cobblestone streets are lined with laid-back cafes, Baroque buildings, bookshops, and parks, making it the ideal place to unwind and soak up the no-frills, no-fuss atmosphere. 

Don’t miss a visit to the National University, which is one of Ukraine’s largest universities.

5. KAMIANETS – PODILSKYI 

Kamianets-Podilskyi is a Ukrainian city located in western Ukraine.  It’s famous for its well-preserved Old Town and the medieval fortress Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle, which has several original towers.

Castle Bridge, which leads to the city center, was built in the Middle Ages as well. The open-air Miniature Museum displays replicas of Ukrainian castles.

The Podilskyi Tovtry National Park is a vast nature preserve that includes historical monuments. It is, in fact, one of the primary reasons tourists visit this fairy-tale city.

The fortress, which towers over The Smotryc River, is truly magnificent. It is without a doubt one of the most picturesque fortresses in Eastern Europe.  But the city is more than just the fortress.

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.

Take to the skies on a one-of-a-kind hot air balloon ride, see one of the city’s highlights waterfall-watching along The Smotrich sky Canyon, and try your hand at archery on the Castle Bridge. Don’t miss the incredibly hot air balloon festival in the spring! 

4. CHERNOBYL

For those interested in history, Chernobyl promises a dark exploration. It’s the site of the infamous nuclear disaster that led to the premature deaths of thousands of people in 1986.

Recently revisited in an HBO documentary, the city exclusion zone is currently an eerie ghost town in northern Kyiv Oblast. It is set to become a major tourist attraction.

Make sure you go as soon as possible. Inside this city, you will be able to witness the destruction for yourself, the demolished buildings, and the abandoned possessions of those who had to escape for their lives.

There are guided tours available, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about the tragedy firsthand. While filming is currently prohibited in the exclusion zone, Ukraine’s president has promised to lift the ban as part of a major overhaul of the area to make it safer for tourists. 

3. ODESSA

Odessa, in southwestern Ukraine, Has an interesting history that is told through its many excellent museums.  It was first held by the Greeks, then by the Ottomans, and finally by the Russians.

Odessa Is now a modern city with stunning Art Nouveau architecture, charming people-watching cafes, and beautiful beaches.

It is known as the “Pearl of the Black Sea” because it is located on the black sea’s northwestern shore.

In Arcadia, Odessa has a thriving nightlife scene with Ibiza-style nightclubs, enviable shopping, and fantastic wineries. Put all of this together, and you have the ultimate summer vacation destination.

All of this is without hordes of international tourists. In Odessa, there is so much to do. Relax at one of the many beach club pools, attend a theater performance, or stroll along the seaside promenade.  

It’s not just what’s on the ground level that draws people to Odessa; the city also has a series of intriguing underground catacombs that stretch thousands of kilometers beneath the city. 

2. LVIV

Lviv is the largest city in western Ukraine, Located about 70 kilometers from the Polish border, and it has a historic center that is well worth exploring.

The capital was established in 1240 and named after Leo, the oldest son of Ruthenia’s king, before changing hands several times between the Polish and the Russians before finally becoming independent in 1991.

Lviv is jam-packed with monuments, museums, and historic buildings, as well as archaeological finds dating back to the 5th century.  

The city, dubbed one of Ukraine’s most popular cultural hubs, is brimming with art galleries, including the Lviv National Art Gallery, which houses over 50,000 works of art. 

From opera and ballet performances to charming cafe culture, there is no shortage of activities for a cultural day out. Tucked down narrow side streets are a plethora of quirky bars and kipas. 

1 . KYIV

The capital, Kyiv, Is unquestionably the most popular tourist destination in Ukraine. It is located in north-central Ukraine. This European city packs a punch with its striking Soviet architecture, Monasteries, golden-domed churches, and charming streets.

Furthermore, it is still very underrated, so there aren’t many tourist traps here. Kyiv is one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, dating back to 482 AD.

It is now distinctly Ukrainian, having faced both Russian and German occupation.  

Indeed, Kyiv played an important role in the development of both the medieval east Slavic civilization and the Ukrainian nation as we know it today. Modern Kyiv is a whirlwind of activity.  

To learn more about Eastern Europe’s fascinating history, visit one of the city’s many bars, people-watch at a sidewalk café, or visit one of the museums. One of Europe’s largest open-air museums is the Museum of Folk Architecture and Ethnography.

The most popular attraction in Kyiv, however, is unquestionably Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, one of Ukraine’s oldest and most important monasteries. Don’t pass up the opportunity to walk down Andriivskyi Descent, a steep cobblestone street lined with Art Nouveau-style houses with gargoyles.

I hope you would like this blog and pray for Ukraine in the ongoing war and rest assured in the almighty god.

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