Ukraine Attractions

Ukraine attractions come in a great variety, and the diversity of these sites is sure to impress tourists traveling to this Eastern European country. Situated as it is between Russia and the rest of Europe, Ukraine’s art, architecture, and culture have allowed a unique mixture of cultural influences from both areas to flourish.

If you are planning on doing some Ukraine sightseeing, likely the first stop on your travels will be the capital of the country, Kiev. Many of the most famous tourist attractions in Ukraine are located in Kiev, from the great gate (immortalized in Mussorgsky's famous orchestral piece, "The Great Gate of Kiev") to the amazing underground monastery at Pechersk Lavra. This monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine, consists of an intricate cave system of chapels and rooms, as well as several aboveground museums, including the impressive Museum of Miniatures, where many miniature paintings, exquisite in their detail, can be seen. Kiev also has many ancient cathedrals and churches that are among the most beautiful in Ukraine sightseeing.

If you are interested in learning more about villages in Ukraine, there is an interesting park on the outskirts of Kiev called the Ukrainian Museum of Folk Architecture and Peasant Homes. Although it is a re-created village, it houses authentic village houses moved from several areas in Ukraine as well as restored houses from the past. You will have an opportunity to glimpse what life is like in Ukraine's villages from the past to the present, explained by English-speaking tour guides.

Arguably the most diverse and culturally the richest area among the tourist attractions in Ukraine is the autonomous region of Crimea in the south of the Ukraine on the coast of the Black Sea. The Crimean peninsula changed hands frequently in its long history, belonging in turn to the Mongols, the Greeks, the Nazis, and eventually the Soviet Union. This eventful history, which was not without great suffering on the part of the people—such as the martyrs killed by the Nazis and the Crimean Tatars exiled by Joseph Stalin's government—has led to the flourishing of a region rich in history and culture.

One of the most popular Ukraine attractions in the Crimea is Yalta. A popular seaside resort town, Yalta not only has some pleasant beaches (albeit mainly pebbled beaches as opposed to sand), but it also has some beautiful views over the Black Sea from the cliffs or the hills nearby. Don't miss the fantastic architectural folly that is the Swallow's Nest, a small German castle perched precariously on a cliff that now houses an Italian restaurant. The viewing platform at the Swallow's Nest has a great view of the shoreline. Yalta also has several castles, such as Livadia Palace and Massandra Castle, both of which have been significant places in Crimean history and are popular Ukraine attractions.

The Odessa Catacombs is one of the most popular destinations for Ukraine sightseeing and is not to be missed. Located in the beautiful Crimean city of Odessa, by the Black Sea, the Catacombs consist of a 2500 kilometer-long labyrinth of underground tunnels. Most of the tunnels were dug for the purpose of mining, though only a small portion of the labyrinth has been made safe for public viewing. Adventurous tourists, however, sometimes explore the rest of the tunnels, often in danger of becoming lost, getting dehydrated, or being crushed by a rockslide.

For shopping, the Odessa farmer's market is one of the largest in the world and carries a variety of goods—not only food, but also clothing, arts and crafts, and more souvenirs from one of the most delightful tourist attractions in Ukraine. If you’re planning to stay in the area for a while, there are plenty of good hotels in Odessa, and you can also visit the towns of Sevastopol and Simferopol.

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