About Ukraine


Ukraine is a large country in Eastern Europe known for its Orthodox churches, Black Sea coastline and forested mountains. Its capital, Kyiv, features the gold-domed St. Sophia's Cathedral, with 11th-century mosaics and frescoes. Overlooking the Dnieper River is the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra monastery complex, a Christian pilgrimage site housing Scythian tomb relics and catacombs containing mummified Orthodox monks.

The landscape of Ukraine consists mostly of fertile plains (or steppes) and plateaus, crossed by rivers such as the Dnieper (Dnipro), Seversky Donets, Dniester and the Southern Bug as they flow south into the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov. To the southwest, the delta of the Danube forms the border with Romania. Ukraine's various regions have diverse geographic features ranging from the highlands to the lowlands. The country's only mountains are the Carpathian Mountains in the west, of which the highest is the Hoverla Mountain at 2,061 metres, and the Crimean Mountains on Crimea, in the extreme south along the coast. However, Ukraine also has a number of highland regions such as the Volyn-Podillia Upland (in the west) and the Near-Dnipro Upland (on the right bank of Dnieper); to the east there are the south-western spurs of the Central Russian Upland over which runs the border with the Russian Federation. Near the Sea of Azov can be found the Donets Ridge and the Near Azov Upland. The snowmelt from the mountains feeds the rivers, and natural changes in altitude form sudden drops in elevation and give rise to waterfalls. Vibrant cities, ancient castles, stunning countryside, diversity of landscapes and a welcoming attitude all help make Ukraine a special destination for tourism. The lack of mass tourism lends Ukraine a charm and authenticity often missing elsewhere. Here are some of places that will make you fall in love with this eastern European country.


As one of Ukraine's largest seaports and trade hubs with a beautiful historic district, Odesa has plenty of treasures waiting to be discovered. The central part of the city is packed with sights, while architecture lovers can admire the splendid palaces and unique blend of building styles. For sea enthusiasts, Odesa offers kilometres of Black Sea beaches and lots of entertainment both during the day and night. Odessa is also home to one of the most beautiful theatre buildings in Europe – the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater built in the 19th century by Austrian architectural studio Fellner & Helmer.


Sumy is a small town of great impressions. The area of the old town includes modern streets Soborna, Voskresenska, Kozats'kyi Val, Kooperativna, Troitska, Petropavlivs'kaSoborna Street appeared at the end of the XVIII century. and preserved much of the old buildings of the pre-revolutionary era: two-storey buildings with extensive basements and wide halls. The central element of the historic centre is the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral, which is the only Orthodox church in the world on the dome of which are installed Catholic sculptures. On both sides of Soborna is Voskresenska Street, which takes its name from the ancient Cossack church - Svyato-Voskresenskiy Cathedral. During the heyday of the city, an unspoken symbol of the city appeared - Altanka. The octagonal open wooden structure was built on a high brick plinth in 1900-1901 years.  No nails were used in its construction.


Kyiv is the centre of the country’s bustling modern-day business activity and tumultuous politics as well as its biggest metropolis, with a vibrant classical and contemporary cultural scene. Kyiv is considered one of the greenest cities in Europe with more than 100 parks and nearly 500 public gardens.

Golden domes of superb churches, a long and rich history, eclectic architecture and nonstop city life make Kyiv a go-to spot for all travellers visiting Ukraine. Kyiv is one of the most prominent cities in eastern Europe and its sights include two UNESCO World Heritage sites in Kyiv Pechersk Lavra (Monastery of the Caves) and St. Sophia Cathedral. The Museum of Folk Architecture and Ethnography in Pyrohiv, south of Kyiv, is one of the biggest open-air museums in Europe.


Today Lviv is a leading center of higher education and of Ukraine’s IT industry. Seen as Ukraine's cultural capital, Lviv has the most western architecture of all the country's cities. It boasts a splendid UNESCO-protected Old Town renowned for beautiful narrow streets, magnificent churches, fascinating museums and charming atmosphere.


Once the capital of Ukraine and now its second city, Kharkiv is a city of students who drive the thriving restaurant and bar scene. There are enough museums and culture to make Kharkiv an interesting eastern Ukrainian destination. Freedom Square is one of the largest squares in Europe, while the Derzhprom building is one of the most famous examples of constructivist architecture.


This little city right on the border with Slovakia has belonged to five different countries in the last 100 years. Its historical affiliations can be seen throughout Uzhhorod's central district where you'll find Czech functionalist buildings standing next to classical Hungarian mansions, or Russian Orthodox, Catholic and Greek-Catholic churches in close proximity. Uzhhorod is the vibrant hub of the Zakarpattia region and the gateway to the Carpathian mountains, easily reached from the major central European cities.


Nicknamed Little Vienna for the rich Austro-Hungarian architectural heritage, Chernivtsi is one of the gems of western Ukraine. There's the stunning UNESCO-protected building of Chernivtsi University, romantic walks and charming Vienna-style cafes. Lovers of Art Nouveau architecture can explore the elegant frescoes and beautiful interiors of the Chernivtsi Museum of Art. With a history of multiculturalism and constantly changing jurisdictions, the city is one of the most interesting destinations in the country.


Lutsk is a city where modernity is closely intertwined with history. The present appearance of the city was formed by a thousand-year history, dozens of peoples who lived here. The earliest archaeological materials found in the territory of Lutsk belong to the 7th-9th centuries.
Everyone can find something for themselves in Lutsk. Lovers of rest and slow walks can spend hours enjoying the atmosphere of the Old Town and the central streets, lovers of history and architecture will find a lot of monuments of the past, adherents of art will certainly be interested in art galleries and numerous festivals.
In Lutsk, on Sobornosti Avenue and Molodi Avenue, you can find the longest apartment house in the world (more than 3 km). Built in 1969-1980, it has the shape of honeycombs and 88 entrances, which are combined into 38 addresses on two streets.


Ivano-Frankivsk is one of Ukraine’s most pleasant major cities with architecturally attractive, cafe-lined and pedestrian-friendly streets. It’s a popular launch point for excursions to the magical and mystical Carpathian Mountains. The people inhabiting this mountain region are called Hutsuls and are known for their colorful folk art, including embroidered clothing, blankets (kylyms), Easter eggs (pysanky), pottery, wood carvings and leatherwork. Ivano-Frankivsk, which is a sister city of Arlington, Virginia, is also known for its annual Blacksmith Festival and the city is adorned with many mesmerizing metal sculptures.


Another mighty Ukrainian industrial city, Dnipro, takes its name from the magnificent Dnipro River that passes through it on its way southward from north of Kyiv to the Black Sea.  Once an important center of the Soviet Union’s weapons, nuclear and ballistic missile industries, today the city is known for its gleaming skyscrapers and sailboats. The city of Dnipro has remarkable embankments, long boulevards and spacious parks. The region, along with neighboring Zaporizhia, takes great pride in its Ukrainian kozak heritage.

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