A young and developing country, Ukraine has a rich and ancient history. The fairytale castles, the bewitching landscapes and mouthwatering recipes end up exceeding everyone’s expectations. The hospitality of the locals is also worth enjoying and makes you feel like you are visiting your second home. The nightlife in Kiev is another memorable experience you will have in Ukraine. But, what are the things to do and see in Ukraine? In order to discover the true spirit of its traditions, culture and natural beauty, here are some of the top things you should do in Ukraine:
Check out the Saint Sophia’s Cathedral
One of the architectural gems in the world, Saint Sophia’s Cathedral comprises a complex of monuments and museums of the empire of Kievan Rus. This cathedral is one of Kiev’s most recognizable symbols. A total of 177 different palette shades cover the interior of the cathedral and a huge number of authentic frescoes and mosaics have been preserved. These were made by Byzantine artists in the 11th century. There is also a viewing platform on the bell tower, which gives some breathtaking views of Kiev.
Take a trolley over the river in Kiev
If you are a brave and curious traveler, you should definitely take the 532-meter-long trolley that stretches out from the right bank to the left of the Dnieper River. You can fly from the bustle of the city to the sunny and beautiful beach on the Trukhaniv Island in just 40 seconds. It is an excellent place to see the Arch of Diversity lights turn on and the sunset. It is an unforgettable experience for adrenaline junkies and provides a great view.
Eat salo and borscht
There are two main dishes in Ukrainian cuisine that symbolize the hospitality of the country’s people; salo and borscht. You will enjoy a unique and rich taste when you consume a surprising mix of soup ingredients like potatoes, cabbages, meat, tomatoes and beets. In contrast, salo is served with vodka and bread and is made from pork only. One of the best restaurants to try salo and borscht with pork ribs and prunes is Tsarske Selo. It is located near the Pechersk Lavra Monastery and you can find Kiev accommodation nearby so you can easily try these dishes.
Visit a sunflower field
Wouldn’t it be great to have a photo shoot in a sunflower field? Since Ukraine is a big exporter of sunflowers, you will find a lot of field spread all over the country. Whether you are visiting the northwest or the southwest regions of Ukraine, you can find endless sunflower fields where you can go for a photo shoot. The only important thing you need to know is that sunflowers usually bloom in July.
Explore the Sofiyivka Botanical Park
No matter which season you visit in on your Ukraine vacations, the park looks very beautiful and it is fully devoted to the trees. Count Pototskiy presented the park as a gift to his beloved wife, Zofia Potocka, and it is named after her. When you visit this park, you will find everything ranging from murmuring waterfalls, picturesque rocks, to beautiful monuments and statues. You can enter the park from any side and you will find it to be beautiful. If you want to escape from the industrial noise, it is a great place to begin your journey.
Take a walk in the Tunnel of Love
If you want to visit the most romantic place in Ukraine, then you need to go to the tiny village of Klevan for taking a walk in a green tunnel. It randomly appeared through the perfect interweaving of bushes and tree branches over Western Ukraine’s railway system. Couples from all over the country visit for kissing under the tunnel and making a wish. According to common belief, doing so will bring happiness and strengthen the relationship.
Swim, party and catch a movie in Odessa
The port city of Odessa is a favorite of locals and they visit at least a few times a year for dropping in the bars, swimming in the Black Sea or partying hard at one of the numerous beach clubs. If you are looking for an exciting time, you should definitely find Odessa accommodation and spend some time there. The city also has a beautiful historical center, which is also mentioned under the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tentative list. The city transforms into the cultural capital every summer and it organizes an International Film Festival with a number of premiers, workshops as well as the longest red carpet worldwide.
Check out the Carpathian Mountains
When you are going to Ukraine, it is a must to check out the Carpathian Mountains. You may experience some mild dizziness due to the clean air, but the landscapes will just take your breath away and you will definitely enjoy the moment. The highest point in Ukraine is Mount Hoverla at a height of 2,061 meters and it is the top spot to go on a camping trip. The flora and fauna you find here is similar in nature to the Alps. The Synevyr Lake deserves special attention as it is the sea eye of Carpathian Mountains. It is a rather mysterious attraction of National Park because it was formed due to an earthquake.
Take a stroll along the streets of Lviv
For centuries, Lviv was a part of the Poland and the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. The city’s architecture is influenced by that of Western Europe due to which it presents some appealing surprises. The narrow streets are soaked in the smell of coffee and traditional cuisine. The first person to bring coffee to Vienna was Yuriy Kulchytsky, a Lvivite who opened a coffeehouse. Lviv also has some extremely beautiful cathedrals and unusual museums. You will enjoy taking a walk through the streets as it will allow you to discover the true spirit of the country’s people and explore everything closely.
Don’t forget to do these things when you visit Ukraine in order to have a memorable and fun trip.