As the second-largest country in Europe, there are a lot of best places to visit in Ukraine. It is renowned for its numerous historical monuments.
Watched the Emmy award-winning mini-series named Chernobyl? Well, that series is based on the nuclear explosion that took place in Ukraine. Don’t worry, the nuclear plant is taken care of now.
It is an amazing country with excellent natural, historical and cultural sites. It has plenty of beautiful places where people can have a great time and are also very interesting to explore.
Also, the Ukrainian people are friendly, kind, and hospitable making it an unforgettable country to visit.
Ukraine is a country of contrasts and contradictions: it’s known as the breadbasket of Europe because it grows a wide variety of grains that are exported all over the world, yet almost half of its population lives below the poverty line. It’s known for its beautiful, historic cities, yet it’s also home to one of the most corrupt governments in the world.
Its rich and poor live side by side in significant disparity, and in some cases, great animosity. So, how can you tell where the best places to visit in Ukraine are? Read on to know more.
1. Best Places to Visit in Ukraine: Kyiv
Kyiv- the capital city of Ukraine, is the number one destination to visit when in Ukraine.
It is one of the oldest cities in eastern Europe that dates back to 482 AD. It was once ruled by Russians and Germans, due to which it has much influence of Soviet architecture on its historic buildings. Besides, there are many monasteries, churches, and various museums that make the tour of this city fun.
Kyiv also boasts a diverse population and fascinating modern architecture. What makes the Kyiv tour better is the warm hospitality of the locals.
Visit the Kyiv Monastery of the Caves and the Saint Sophia Cathedral. Both of these sites are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
You can go to the museums to learn about the history and culture of Kyiv. Museum of Folk Architecture and Ethnography is one of the largest open-air museums in Europe that you should check out in this city.
If you want entertainment, check out theatre listings at the smaller theatres of Kyiv. Kyiv is a popular place for theater, opera, and musical performances.
If you want to unwind in a clean and green space, Kyiv has two botanical gardens that you can take a walk at. The chestnut trees that line those streets make it a wonderful experience.
Kyiv also has beautiful nightlife. Hop on many of its bars and clubs or watch people going on about their day from cafes.
2. Best Places to Visit in Ukraine: Poltava
Poltava is one of the best places to visit in Ukraine as it is where you will learn the most about the country’s military history.
Some of the best attractions of Poltava are the Monument of Glory, Poltava Battlefield preserved area, and the October Park. Also, visit the Poltava Art Museum to check out regional art. The museum also has a children’s gallery.
If you’re feeling spiritual, go can go to the Assumption Cathedral. It is Poltava’s main cathedral that was a part of a pivotal incident in the past.
You will also find orchestras and theatres in Poltava.
3. Best Places to Visit in Ukraine: Myrhorod
Also known as Mirgorod, Myrhorod serves as an administrative center in the Myrhorod Raion.
If you want to get away for the ultimate relaxation trip, Myrhorod is the place. It is a spa town with underground springs consisting of mineral properties that are beneficial for the body. The water from the springs is said to improve digestive issues if drunk.
There are a lot of places where you can take a bath and swim as well.
If you want to explore, take a boat out of the Khorol River, go to the illuminated windmill, and check out the musical water fountain of Myrhorod.
I also suggest you go to the woodlands and take a horse carriage ride to check out the beautiful landscape.
4. Best Places to Visit in Ukraine: Chernihiv
Situated on the Desna River banks, Chernihiv is one of the most ancient cities of Ukraine that dates back to the 7th century. A trip to Chernihiv is a trip back in time.
Chernihiv used to be the second most important Ukrainian center according to the Rus’-Byzantine treaty signed between Prince Oleh and Byzantium in 907.
Today, this old city houses some of the most beautiful attractions in the country. The first attraction to visit here is the beautiful Catherine’s Church. It has beautiful medieval architecture with golden domes.
Other sites to visit are the Transfiguration Cathedral and Pyatnytska Church. These sites are splendid for a scenic afternoon stroll. Also, visit the 18th-century Kachanivka Palace to check out the beautiful neoclassical architecture and gorgeous gardens.
Also, visit the two caves of the Eletsky Monastery that is situated on the outskirts of Chernihiv. The monastery was once the bishop’s home.
Now the other major thing Chernihiv is known for is beer. This city houses a famous Ukrainian Beer named ‘Chernihivske.’ Be sure to try some when you are here.
5. Best Places to Visit in Ukraine: Chernivtsi
Chernivtsi is a hidden gem located at the base of the Carpathian Mountains in western Ukraine. Also known as “Little Vienna,” it was once a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, due to which this city’s architecture now has Austrian-influenced architecture.
Archaeological discoveries say that this city dates back to the Neolithic era.
Chernivtsi offers a good amount of historical and cultural attractions for every tourist. You can check out the fortress and its remains that were destroyed during the Mongol invasion.
Visit the National University- the largest university of Ukraine and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It used to be the former complex of high priests. You can admire the Byzantine and Romanesque architecture of this complex.
Besides, Chernivtsi is also a great place to take a walk. The cobbled streets take you to bookshops, parks, cafes, and Baroque buildings. This city is a chill place to relax and has a very poetic atmosphere to it.
6. Best Places to Visit in Ukraine: Bakota
Located in the Podillia region, Bakota is a village that houses the famous cave monastery founded by the Orthodox monks lead by Saint Anthony of Kyiv.
These underground monasteries have preserved frescoes and paintings that date back to the 12th century. You can also check out the remains of the monks that lived in the caves.
Besides, Bakota is a beautiful place that boasts local flora and fauna. It is a part of the National Environment Park and is a famous camping spot for the locals, especially during the summer.
The green hills at the shores of the Dniester River give visitors a scenic experience. The best way to get the most out of this region is by going on a boat ride to the cliffs of the famous cave monastery.
Later, you can hang out by the shore, eating and drinking.
7. Best Places to Visit in Ukraine: Uzhhorod
Located on the border with Slovakia and Hungary, Uzhorod is a diverse town with a mix of Hungarian and Romanian locals. So you’re definitely in it for a cultural ride here.
The first place to visit is the beautiful Uzhhorod Castle that dates back to the 9th century. Then, go to the Greek-Catholic Cathedral, which is also worth a visit.
Also, take a stroll at Korzo street and take a picture in front of the pastel-colored buildings. I suggest you try local delicacies as you explore the city. Some of the must-haves are the Bogracs (goulash from Hungary) and wines.
Visit the city in the spring season to be a part of the famous cherry blossom festival.
8. Best Places to Visit in Ukraine: Kamianets-Podilskyi
Located in western Ukraine, Kamianets-Podilskyi is a beautiful city surrounded by a national park. The major attraction that pulls every tourist to this place is the Kamianets-Podilskyi Fortress.
Situated above the Smotrych River overlooking the valley, the Kamianets-Podilskyi is an 800-years old castle that is also the most picturesque fortress in Eastern Europe.
Besides, you should also stroll the Old Town’s cobbled streets and check out its street arts that tell the city’s tales.
There’s more to Kamianets-Podilskyi. An activity to try out here is going on a hot air balloon ride. This city even has a festival of hot air balloons in spring.
You can also try archery on the Castle Bridge and watch the waterfalls at the Smotrichsky Canyon.
9. Best Places to Visit in Ukraine: Lviv
Lviv is the largest city in western Ukraine that was established in 1240. The city was named after the eldest son of the King of Ruthenia, Leo. It is located west of the Polish border and had changed its capital several times between the Polish and Russians.
Currently, it is an independent Ukrainian city with immense history, art galleries, and archaeological findings that date back to the 5th century.
Besides, Lviv also has fantastic opera and ballet performances that you can check out.
A visit to Lviv is undoubtedly a cultural experience. For this, visit the Lviv National Art gallery to check out over 60,000 artworks such as paintings, art installations, and sculptures.
Lviv also has a chill cafe culture. There are many bars and pubs known as knaipas where you can eat and drink.
10. Best Places to Visit in Ukraine: Zhovkva
Zhovkva is a small historical town of Ukraine located just half an hour’s drive from Lviv. As a day trip, you can take public transportation from Lviv to Zhovka.
You can see the old Jewish synagogue’s ruins while exploring this city as it used to be a shtetl before WWII. Zhovkva is still in the process of renovation.
Another best place to visit for a historical ride is the Church of Saint Lawrence. It is an iconic building that dates back to the 17th century and is made of wood.
The Holy Trinity Church is also a magnificent sight. It was recently listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a must-visit.
Zhovkva Castle is the main attraction here. It is a restored site that houses a cultural center for people willing to learn the history and culture.
11. Best Places to Visit in Ukraine: Yalta
Yalta is a resort town located in southern Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Yalta Municipality of Crimea.
Since it is located in a region that forms a part of Crimea, tourists flood this town to see the views over the Crimean peninsula from the seafront.
For more sightseeing, take a cable car ride to Darsan Hill. Besides sightseeing, you can also visit the Froros Church that is situated atop a sea cliff. Interesting right?
While you are in Yalta, visit the Skazka Zoo. If you are into aquatic animals, there is an aquarium in Yalta that houses dolphins too.
Also, visit the Chekhov House and Museum- a former house of a famous Russian playwriter, Anton Chekhov.
If you want some sun-basking time, go to Massandra Beach.
12. Best Places to Visit in Ukraine: Odesa
Known as the ‘Pearl of the Black Sea,’ Odesa is the third-largest city in Ukraine that lures tourists from all over the world to relax at its sandy beaches and swim in the glistening water. This important trade city has an exciting history and a thriving nightlife.
If you want to have a beach day, Lanzheron Beach is the place to go. If your motivation is to relax and have a good day, go to the City Gardens.
There are lots of theatres in the city where you can check out performances. You can go to the Odesa Opera House to watch an opera show.
Odesa also has a glorious history. Greeks, Ottomans, and Russians once ruled the city. To learn more about it, visit the museums of this city.
You can see the beautiful Art Nouveau architecture, go wine-tasting at wineries or hit it off at some of the best nightclubs of Ukraine.
Also, visit the Odessa Catacomb, the world’s largest urban labyrinth-like tunnel.
Odesa indeed is a perfect summer vacation spot, isn’t it?
13.Best Places to Visit in Ukraine: Slavske
Located in western Ukraine, Slavske is a famous resort town that invites many adrenaline seekers to explore its vicinity. The best time to visit Slavske is from November to March.
Since Slavske is situated on the Skole Beskids range of the Carpathian mountains, there are many primary slopes for skiers to enjoy.
Snowboarding is also a popular activity in Slavske.
If you plan to visit Slavske in summer, you can go berry and mushroom picking in the fertile lands, fish at the lakes, or hike the mountains. Horse riding and mountain biking are also great ways to enjoy the scenic views of this town.
14. Best Places to Visit in Ukraine: Zaporizhia
Located in southeastern Ukraine, Zaporizhia is a city that is known for its beautiful islands. It lies on the Dnieper River’s banks and houses the Khortytsia island that is also a national reserve.
Khortytsia Island is the first place where you can check out stunning landscapes. It has rugged terrain and ravines, making it ideal for hiking. Also, visit the open-air Museum of Zaporizhian Cossacks.
Since Zaporizhia constitutes islands, there are many water activities that you can do here such as swimming and boating. If you just want to relax, the islands are quiet and peaceful.
It would also be best to explore the military museums that house weaponry and depictions of famous battles. To know more about medieval history, go to the Regional Lore Museum.
If you are visiting this city with children, go to the Riverside Dubovy Gai park, where there are many rides that your kids will love. You can have a picnic with your family by the lake after you are done with the rides.
After that, go to the Boguslayev Museum of Technology to check out jet engines and motorbikes.
15. Best Places to Visit in Ukraine: Vinnytsia
Located at the Southern Bug River banks, Vinnytsia is a city that has been the political base for Ukrainian oligarch and former President Petro Poroshenko.
This city offers historic as well as exciting modern attractions.
Let’s start with the historical attractions. Visit the National Pirogov Estate Museum that offers the story of a great surgeon Prof. Nikolay Pirogov. The museum has a house, a pharmacy, and a burial vault. Make sure to get yourself an English-speaking guide who will explain the story to you.
Vinnytsia Water Tower is another architectural attraction in Vinnytsia. It used to be an observation tower during WWII and a residency later on.
In the evening, go to the Multimedia Fountain Roshen to experience the best light and musical fountain show. If you are with kids, go to Gorky Park. Enjoy playing at the skate park or wandering about at the planetarium.
Other attractions to check out in Vinnytsia are the Science Museum, Vinnytsya Zoo, Vinnytsya Regional Lore Museum, and the State Historical-Cultural Preserve Busha.
16. Best Places to Visit in Ukraine: Uman
Located in central Ukraine at the banks of the Umanka River, Uman is a laidback place between the two bustling cities-Odesa and Kyiv. Uman was built as a rampart against Tatar raids.
Today, Uman is a popular pilgrimage site for Hasidic Jews due to the Haidamak rebellions during the 1700s.
Going around in Uman’s attraction is easy as they are well signposted. You will want to check out this city’s historical heritage, so start it by visiting the Basilian Monastery- the oldest building of Uman constructed in 1764.
Also, go to the tomb of Rabbi Nachman Sofiyivka Park or the National Dendrological Park. If you have more time, you can go boat around Sofiyivka Park.
Later, you can also watch the Pearl of Love fountain show and go shopping at the market.
17. Best Places to Visit in Ukraine: Bukovel
Bukovel is the best destination to visit, especially in wintertime due to its best skiing spots. Bukovel is surrounded by three mountains, including the highest Carpathian peaks, so you see how beautiful the views will be as you ski from this breathtaking place; no wonder it is known as one of the largest and best ski resorts of Eastern Europe.
Besides the ski slopes, the town is quaint and cozy. Opt to stay in a hotel room with a balcony so that you can see the mountain views at all times.
Stroll around the town to see the buildings that look like alpine chalets. You can go have fun at the bicycle parks or snow parks.
Bukovel is also a great place to learn something new. Go to a ski school to learn new tricks.
If your trip to Ukraine falls during the summer, you can try water sports at a large lake surrounded by mountain peaks.
18. Best Places to Visit in Ukraine: Chernobyl
Watched the HBO documentary Chernobyl? If not, Chernobyl is a ghost town that is going to take you on a dark exploration.
Located 65 miles from Kyiv, it is a site of a nuclear disaster that led to the deaths of thousands of people in 1986.
Take a full-day trip to Pripyat and get yourself a tour guide/operator who will narrate and show you actual footage of the site making your experience more realistic. And don’t worry about radiation as the tour agency will ensure your safety.
You will see massive destruction, including demolished buildings, a run-down Ferris wheel, and abandoned possessions of the locals who ran away to save their lives.
Visiting this place will surely be a moving experience for you.
19. Best Places to Visit in Ukraine: Vorokhta
Vorokhta is a small settlement in the Carpathians, which was renowned as a tourist spa town. Now this beautiful village is a ski resort with a variety of ski-jumping ramps.
Vorokhta offers beautiful views of the mountains and green hills. Plus, there are other outdoor activities that you can do here besides skiing, such as water rafting and hiking the Hoverla-Ukraine’s tallest mountain.
Go on a sightseeing tour at Lake Nesamovitoye or a cultural trip at the Church of Nativity of Most Holy Mother of God.
If you have more time, check out the beautiful Prutsky Waterfall.
Is Ukraine Safe To Travel?
Ukraine is quite a safe destination to travel in the world. Until and unless you don’t have plans to explore the war zones located on the southeast side of the country, you will be fine.
Sometimes protests and demonstrations may take place in the city centers. It is advised to get in touch with your embassy about the current situation before flying off to Ukraine. Or, if you are already in the country, just don’t get involved with the protests.
So here we have it, the top 19 best places to visit in Ukraine. As you see, there are various attractions ranging from scenic destinations, dark tourism sites, and historical and cultural heritage sites.
A visit to Ukraine is a complete package deal!
Which places did you put on your travel bucket list? Tell us in the comment below.