Ukraine is one of the largest countries in Europe, and with its vastness comes diversity in culture, lifestyle and things to do in Ukraine. Each of the nation’s five regions is attractively unique, probably more due to the foreign invasions of the bygone era. Also, the nation is blessed with natural beauty and friendly locals. These factors have made the country a major tourist destination for travellers from around the world.
Kyiv, the capital of the country, is the most favoured city amongst tourists. It tops the list of things to do in Ukraine. If you are a history buff, Kyiv has a treasure trove of historical gemstones. Kyevo-Pecherska Lavra, the famous landmark of the city, is divided into two parts: Lower Lavra and the Upper Lavra. Lower Lavra, created in 1051 by St. Antony, is a network of catacombs for monks to live and pray. Upper Lavra has the famous Museum of Microminiatures, Museum of Ukrainian Folk Decorative Arts, and the Museum of Historical Treasures featuring an impressive collection of precious stones and jewellery dating back to the 4th century. The other notable landmarks worth your ‘Things to Do in Ukraine’ list are the St. Sophia’s Cathedral, St. Andrew’s Church, and St. Volodymyer’s Cathedral. Museums such as the Kiev Water Museum, Pyrohiv (Folk Art) Museum, Museum of Western and Oriental Art, and National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War pique the interest of museum lovers. Kiev in Miniature is a lovely park with the entire city in miniature models. Take a sub from Arsenalna, the world’s deepest metro station.
Kyiv has wonderful restaurants, some of them serving delicious dishes not found anywhere else in the world. Shoti is a great eating venue which serves lip-smacking Caucasus cuisine. Tsarskoe Selo is a restaurant providing authentic Ukrainian cuisine like the Borshch and Vareniky. Search for a shop of Kiev Roshen Factory, the only confectionery giant that bakes the traditional Kiev cake. Visiting the groovy nightclubs is a must in the list of things to do in Ukraine. Pink Freud, Docker Pub, Club Saxon, Forsage, Intercontinental Kyiv are few locations where discs, pubs and karaoke bars are open throughout the night. Green spaces such as the Mariinsky Park and AV Fomin Botanical Garden dot the city with its lovely plants, shrubs and trees.
Lviv is the next city for inclusion in your ‘Things to Do in Ukraine’ list. Rynok Square, a UNESCO Heritage site, is the best place to loiter with friends. It has spectacular heritage buildings like the Town Hall, along with houses dating back to the 16th century, now converted into museums. Lviv is ideal to shop, or to enjoy a hot cup of coffee with close ones. It features the world’s largest giant crossword puzzle with clues scattered around the whole city. There are beautiful churches, palaces and museums like the National Museum of Natural History, Pharmacy Museum, and the Museum of Glass. Relish the famous, handmade chocolates of Lviv conveniently available in the specialty stores. Individuals looking for more than just historical places can visit Salo, the world’s first museum presenting the national dish “Salo” exclusively. Clubs like the Picasso, Metro Club, Rafiand and Fest Republic are all located in the heart for absolute enjoyment.
Odessa, built to be the ‘Window to Europe’ and being true to its name, is a cosmopolitan city with nationals from all around Europe calling it home. The Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater is probably the prettiest in Europe. Other museums include the Literature Museum, Odessa Archaeological Museum, and Ellen Noel Art Museum. The Odessa Catacombs are the biggest network of tunnels in the planet. In the olden times, they were developed and used by smugglers. Apart from historical places, Odessa is well known for its gorgeous beaches and lively nightlife. By visiting the Arcadia beach you can enjoy swimming in the sea, relaxing on the glittering sands and indulging in thrilling water sports. The beaches are lined with restaurants not only specializing in Ukrainian cuisine, but also on European cuisines. At night, Odessa comes alive due to nightclubs like the Ibiza, Itaka, Amnesia and Ostrop. The Deribasovskaya Street has cafes, restaurants and shops for those interested. In Privoz Market, the largest food market in the city, you can get a feel of the local culture and language.
Carpathian Mountains and the Ski Resorts
They are a must in the list of ‘Things to Do in Ukraine’ for nature and adventure lovers. In winters, the mountains become a snow playground and an ideal place for skiing. River Prut is the most preferred destination for river rafting. There are several ski resorts concentrated in and around towns like Slavosko, Bukovel, Tysovets and Dragobrat. Bukovel is the most renowned ski resort near the town of Yaremche. It has a long skiing run, ski lifts, snow park, bicycle park and ski school. Furthermore, it has the largest artificial lake in Ukraine. The mountains are renowned for Banosh, the traditionally-cooked cuisine.
Chernobyl and Pripyat
Chernobyl and Pripyat are two popular sites where the infamous 1986 nuclear disasters occured. Pripyat is known as a ghost town due to its eerie and empty houses, shops and stadiums. The town remains the way it was when the city was evacuated. In Chernobyl, the Chernobyl Museum, displays essential information, models and pictures related to the disaster. If you are dauntless, you can enjoy a meal in the Chernobyl Canteen. Its food is healthy and poses no radiation hazard.