The Best Places to Visit in Ukraine

The name Ukraine conjures images of a country in turmoil, but this formerly Soviet state still has much to offer the adventurous traveler. The capital, Kyiv, offers a lively urban scene, amazing street art, and some of the best festivals in Eastern Europe, while Lviv’s old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that gives visitors an authentic European experience.

And in Odessa, the party never stops. Here, visitors can hang out at a beach club pool, watch a theater show, or stroll along the seaside promenade. For those who want a more underground experience, the city’s fascinating catacombs—believed to be bigger than those of Rome or Paris—are also open for exploration.

Beyond the cities, Ukraine’s wilder landscapes are equally enticing. The Carpathian Mountains and forest, shared between seven countries, are home to numerous outdoor activities, and an overnight stay at a farmstead in Verkhovyna or a village guesthouse within the foothills of the Khotyn Mountain Range is an excellent way to get a sense of real life in Ukraine’s indigenous Hutsul communities.

Another top destination for outdoor lovers is Myrhorod, a picturesque medieval town on the banks of the Khorol River. It’s also known as a place for romance, and legend has it that if couples make a wish together here, their wishes will come true.

The history buff can find plenty to do in the Ukraine’s ancient cities, including Chernihiv and Lviv. The former is the country’s oldest city and has unique examples of medieval Slavic ecclesiastical architecture. The latter was once a wealthy center of the Kievan Rus, the first East Slavic state, and it offers a glimpse into that rich history.

While the conflict with Russia continues to cast a dark shadow over Ukraine, most regions remain safe for travelers. The current president, Viktor ZELENSKYCH, is a reformist who wants to align the nation with Western institutions but has struggled to bridge deep political divisions between a more nationalistic, Ukrainian-speaking west and a Russian-speaking east that favors closer ties to Moscow.

The most important thing to remember when planning a trip to Ukraine is that the country is not part of the Schengen area, so its visa rules differ from those of other European countries. Fortunately, most travelers to Ukraine will be able to obtain a free 90-day visa upon arrival. However, citizens of a few nations—including Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico—will need to pre-arrange an e-visa prior to traveling to the country. For more information on visiting Ukraine, consult our detailed country guide. You can also contact us with any questions you might have. We’d be happy to help! Ukraine Tourism. All rights reserved. 2023. Reproduction without permission is prohibited.