Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Top 10 Things to Do in Ukraine
From its captivating history to serene beaches and tasty food, Ukraine will charm you before you even know it. To make sure you take the most out of your visit, here are top 10 things to do in Ukraine.
1. Celebrate traditional holidays with distinctive Ukrainian traditions
Join the celebration of Ivana Kupala, a popular pagan festival widely celebrated across the country. In the evening, couples scour the woods for medicinal herbs, while unmarried women weave head-wreaths before lowering them into a river - if the wreath floats, it means they'll get married. The emphasis of the festival is on cleansing rituals: during the night, participants immerse themselves completely into the water and couples hold hands and leap over bonfires to ‘cure’ all that ails them. More common holiday – Easter – is celebrated in Ukraine with a beautiful melding of traditional Christian practices, folklore and ancient pagan symbolism. The Orthodox Easter has the same sacral meaning as for the rest of Christian world, while it is celebrated on a different date and with distinguishable rituals and traditions. Easter is the feast of Christ’s resurrection, which combines both pagan and Christian elements in its observance. It has been celebrated over a long period of history and has had many rich folk traditions.
2. Check out the churches
Ukraine’s churches – in Kiev, Chernihiv, Lviv and the Carpathian region – are all real gems that are worth seeing. Many of them make a part of UNESCO World Heritage List, so one is lucky to get a chance to see them all in one country.
3. Visit castles and fortresses
In western Ukraine, the stone fortress town of Kamyanets-Podilsky - a Unesco World Heritage Site - sits on a rocky outcrop, surrounded by a deep gorge that encircles it almost completely, with the clear waters of river Smotrych flowing far below. Moving not far away from this geographic area, you should also check out castles near Lviv that are one of the major tourist attractions in this region. Their beautiful architecture, mystical history and scenic landscape setting attract many visitors. Khortytsia islands, located in the heart of Zaporizhzhia city on Dnipro River, are attracting the most people to the region with its reputation of being the homeland and residency of famous Ukrainian Cossacks. Khortytsia is a beautiful national historical and natural reserve, where many types of rare plants and animals can be found. Also in the South, Akkerman fortress (the biggest in country) is a unique monument to the defensive architecture of the 13th -15th centuries. Despite its age and all the historical events that it has witnessed, the fortress managed to preserve its original structure. Today it is considered to be the best preserved medieval fortification facility in Ukraine. Pick up few places to see or visit them all – it’s up to you!
4. Get lost in Lviv
Lviv, with its attractive mélange of baroque, renaissance and art nouveau architecture and friendly vibe is the complete antithesis of the post-Soviet industrial cities of Eastern Europe and is one of the must-visit places in Ukraine. You can spend days admiring the highlights, which include the central Rynok Square, surrounded by wealthy merchants' homes dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries, the Armenian cathedral and the Moorish old Jewish hospital. The best panoramic views of the city are from the High Castle Park on northeast side of Lviv. The symbol of the city is a lion: it is carved into facades, on doorknobs, keystones and gates.
5. Hit the beaches
Usually it’s hard to get lot of pleasure from going to the most popular and easy-to-find beaches. For those who love to spend more time alone and further away from the city noise, there are plenty of yet unknown and extremely beautiful beaches in Ukraine to visit.
6. Visit the hidden mysterious places
For a post-apocalyptic experience, there are some places to visit in Ukraine as well. Head to Chernobyl exclusion zone near Kiev, take Lviv Undergrounds and Dungeons tour to discover Lviv’s mystifying underground world and listen to some spooky legends from city’s history or go down Odessa catacombs - the longest network of catacombs in the world, which is also the only one that has not been fully mapped. Intriguing, isn’t it?
7. Eat with lots of emotions
Lviv is famous not only for its astonishing architecture, romantic mood and unforgettable charm. It is also the center of gastronomic events in the country. The main gastronomic festivals in Lviv, dedicated to wine, cheese, chocolate and coffee, always attract lots of visitors. Moreover, the most interesting concept restaurants in Ukraine are also located here!
8. Shop at the markets
A visit to a good product market will overwhelm you with sights, tastes and smells. Go early in the morning, when the products are the freshest and the housewives and grandmothers come out in force, enticed by the market sellers offering a taste of their wares. Try out the two most famous markets in Ukraine to get the full range of emotions – Bessarbsky in Kiev and Privoz in Odessa, you will find lots of things to do there!
9. Drink wine
Shabo is not just one of the leading Ukrainian Wineries that follows the standards of high grape growing and winemaking culture. It is also the Wine Culture Center, aimed at promoting high culture of noble beverages drinking. Shabo Winery and Wine Culture Center are located in a resort area in the Odessa Region, one of Europe’s oldest regions where winemaking traditions are dated as far back as the ancient times. The center offers highly popular organized tours, hosts tastings and various events aimed at improving the drinking culture, popularizing healthy lifestyle and strengthening family traditions.
10. Get closer to nature
Ukraine has a large territory and is located in many climate zones. This fact makes it an interesting place for ‘green’ tourism that will get you to hit the road immediately! Discover Ukraine’s natural wonders, such as Vilkovo – the ‘Ukrainian Venice’, Bugsky Guard National Park, Askania-Nova reserve, Oleshky Sands Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians that will surprise you with pure beauty and stunning nature!
It is hard to find time to cross out all the points in the list of top 10 things to do in Ukraine, you can read mote at destinations.com.ua. However, this means that you always have motivation to come back any time of the year!