Ukraine is a young country with an ancient history and rich culture. Majestic churches and ancient castles, unique architecture of city mansions, and authenticity of rural huts attract crowds of tourists from all over the world to this mysterious country. But Ukraine is famous not only for its historical monuments. Its natural world is no less beautiful: the mighty Dnieper and Dniester rivers, the old Carpathian Mountains, the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, clear lakes and lush forests, unique reserves, and magnificent parks. Ukraine amazes with its beauty and identity, and its national cuisine leaves no one indifferent.
There are over 64 thousand rivers and streams on the territory of the country. The biggest rivers are the Dnieper, Dniester, Danube, Southern Bug, and Siverskyi Donets. Ukraine is also rich in lakes. Their number reaches 20 thousand. One of the largest freshwater lakes is Svitiaz, and the largest salty ones are Yalpuh and Sasyk-Sivash.
According to the administrative and territorial division, Ukraine consists of 24 regions and the autonomous republic of Crimea.
Ukraine has shared borders with seven countries: Poland, Belarus, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, and Russia.
What to see and where?
Kyiv is the capital and the largest city in the country. The cradle of ancient Kievan Rus', the concentration of the main historical monuments and the cultural "heart" of Ukraine. It's hard not to give in to the charm of Andriyivsky Uzviz (St. Andrew's Descent) — the place where the atmosphere of old Kyiv is especially acute. If you want to see a part of the city of Ancient Rus' times, don't miss the Golden Gate - an exact copy of the old main gates of Kyiv. The temples of the capital are especially impressive: St. Sophia Cathedral (built back in the XI century), Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery, St. Andrew's Church. Climb to Saint Volodymyr Hill by funicular, and you will have a magnificent view of the city and the mighty Dnieper. Art lovers will not miss the opportunity to get acquainted with the culture of the Ukrainians in the National Museum of Art. And if you want to feel the spirit of Kyiv, always young and sensual, take a walk along the main street of the country - Khreshchatyk. Be sure to try incredibly tasty national dishes - borscht, vareniki, cutlets Kiyv-style.
Lviv is an unofficial cultural capital of western Ukraine. The city, which was a part of many states for a long time, has preserved the architectural and national traditions of different peoples. The real example of medieval European architecture is the Rynok Square, which saw the Swedish and Polish kings, the Russian Peter the Great. You shall find the real gems of architecture - the City Hall, the Italian Court, the Historical Museum "Black Kamyanitsa". Check out the splendor of the Lviv Opera House, built in the XIX century in the style of Neo-Renaissance and Neo-baroque. Don't refuse yourself the pleasure of tasting amazing Lviv coffee. There are legends about the flavor and aroma of this coffee.
Odesa is a sea resort in Ukraine, which is deservedly called South Palmyra. Wide sandy beaches, beautiful architecture of old houses, and, most importantly, the unique original atmosphere of the city attracts many travelers here. Come down to the sea, taking the famous Potemkin Stairs, which has 192 steps. Stroll down the picturesque Derybasivska Street, surrounded by magnificent Baroque, Classical, and Art-Nouveau buildings. Do not miss the chance to admire one of the most beautiful theaters in Europe - the Odessa Opera House. And make sure you visit the colorful Pryvoz Market, where the atmosphere of humor and kindness reigns.
Kharkiv is the industrial and scientific center of the country, the city of romantics and pragmatics. Here you can find one of the largest squares in Europe - Freedom Square. There is a monument of the history of the Soviet period nearby — a huge house with a spire. An example of the Stalin Empire style is striking with its grandeur. It is especially spectacular in the dark when illuminated. The ancient churches of the city will also be interesting for tourists - the Intercession and Assumption Cathedrals, which were built in the XVII century. Kharkiv is famous for its beautiful fountains, among which are "Mirror Steam", "Cascade", and the whole "Square of Fountains". And here you can also find one of the most piquant museums in the country, the Museum of Sex.
Zaporizhia is a city of glorious Cossacks and new technologies. The most popular place among tourists is the historical and cultural complex "The Zaporozhian Sich", which is located on the legendary island Khortytsia. Here you can dive into the incredibly exciting history of Ukrainian knights — Zaporozhian Cossacks. Fans of industrial tourism are waiting for Dnipro Hydroelectric Power Plant, excursions to the industrial giants such as Dneprospetsstal, Zaporizhstal, and others. Zaporizhia offers a diversity of fascinating museums: the history of weapons and the Faeton Retro Cars Museum. The youngest tourists will be delighted by the children's railway, which stretches for 9 km.
Chernivtsi is an old princely city, "Ukrainian Paris". The ancient town amazes its guests with a variety of architectural monuments and park areas. The main attraction is the university building, formerly the residence of metropolitans. The majestic architectural complex, made in different styles, consists of three buildings. Fans of European architecture will not stay indifferent while admiring the Theatre Square and the City Hall, a fantastic house-ship. In Chernivtsi, even the central railway station is an architectural monument of the early XX century, erected in the style of Viennese Art Nouveau.
Dnipro is one of the industrial centers of the country, a city of extremes and picturesque landscapes. Yekaterinoslav Boulevard is the favorite place for citizens and guests to take walks, with a diversity of shops, boutiques, restaurants, and cafes. Another great place for the promenade is the city waterfront, the longest one in Europe. Be sure to visit the Monastery Island, where you will find the Golden-Domed Nicholas Church, the country's largest monument to Taras Shevchenko and the beautiful Porih Revuchyi Waterfall.
National peculiarities of the Ukrainian citizens
- Ukrainians are amiable and hospitable people. They are always ready to help tourists, show them famous and not very famous sights in their city. They can talk about their favorite places and their country for quite a long time.
- Unlike Europeans and Americans, Ukrainians do not smile just on the streets. And it's not because they are always in a bad mood or dissatisfied. It's a legacy from the Soviet period. But if you smile at a passerby, he will certainly answer you back with a sincere smile.
- You can talk to Ukrainians about anything except health, money, and personal affairs.
- Ukrainians communicate in Ukrainian and Russian. In big cities, most people understand English and speak it. But even if the Ukrainian doesn't understand you, he will try to explain himself in every possible — with the help of gestures, facial expressions, or just help you get to the right place.
- If you are going to present a bouquet to a Ukrainian, keep in mind that the number of flowers should be odd. Giving a person an even number of plants is a bad omen.
- Many Ukrainians are quite superstitious. They believe that you can not take out the garbage after sunset, shake hands through the door, leave empty bottles on the table, whistling in the room.
Ukraine is a country where historical monuments are in harmony with modern buildings and magnificent parks, and a holiday at sea resorts can easily be followed by travels through the majestic mountains. Here travelers will find many wonders not yet discovered, which will undoubtedly be included in popular tourist routes in the nearest future.
The best time to visit Ukraine
The average annual air temperature ranges from +5 ºС - +7 ºС in the north to +11 ºС - +13 ºС in the south. The coldest month is January, with the average temperature in the northeast of the Crimea -7 ºС - -8 ºС and +2 ºС - +4 ºС on the southern coast of Crimea. July is the warmest month. At this time, the mean temperature in the south of Crimea is +25 ºС, in the southern regions of the country +22 ºС - +23 ºС, in the north - +17 ºС - +19 ºС.
You can get acquainted with Ukraine at any time of year. Summer months are more suitable for sea holidays in the south, and fans of skiing can go to the Carpathians in the period from November to March.