When to go to Ukraine

Knowing when to go to Ukraine is the key to a truly spectacular experience. Peak season in the summer in Ukraine means that the main sights and seaside towns such as Yalta are booked solid and crowded with Ukrainians taking their holiday or tourists from other countries in the Commonwealth of Independent States. It is best to avoid travel to Ukraine during the hectic summer months of July and August when it is not only extremely hot but also extremely busy. If you do plan to visit Ukraine during the summer, be sure to book ahead, particularly in areas along the Black Sea coast and in the Crimea and Carpathian Mountains. Summer is, of course, the best time to go swimming in the ocean and in the lakes, so if that is your priority, it may be the best time for you.

In general, the best time to travel to Ukraine is in the spring months of late April through June. The weather has had time to warm up after the bitterly cold winter, and the spring climate is perfect for hiking, cycling, and exploring the mountains and outdoors without getting too hot. If you are thinking about when to go to Ukraine, consider traveling there during the Orthodox Easter holiday. (Check the calendar, however; this is usually a different date from the Western Christian Easter.) Although you will have to book ahead if you go during Easter, Ukraine tourism has much to offer during this important religious holiday. Ukrainian culture surrounding Easter is unique, including cultural art such as the elaborately painted Easter eggs, and this holiday gives you a chance to observe a unique side of Ukrainian culture.

Spring is also when the Kiev International Film Festival is held, from May to June, and if you are lucky you may get tickets at some of the beautiful Kiev venues. This can be a highlight of Ukraine tourism if you time it right, though you will want to book your hotel in Kiev ahead of time.

When planning when to go to Ukraine, you may want to consider visiting in the autumn, when the weather is almost as nice as in spring. Although it may be a bit more rainy and foggy, autumn is a great off-season to travel to Ukraine as you avoid the crowds.

Although the winter in Ukraine is bitterly cold, especially in inland cities such as Kiev, this is the best time to go skiing in the Carpathian Mountains, one of the biggest winter attractions of Ukraine tourism. If you plan to go to Ukraine during the Christmas-New Year holidays, make sure you book ahead. Spending Christmas in Ukraine can be a fascinating experience, with many decorations and public festivals being held in most major cities, especially Kiev.

You may want to check out the St. Nicholas Festival in Kiev in late December, when arts and handicrafts are displayed, food stalls offer lots of traditional Ukrainian food, and other festivities are held. Keep in mind that Ukrainians begin celebrating Christmas on January 6, which is the Orthodox Christmas Eve, and finish the festivities on January 19, the Epiphany. If you are in Ukraine during this time, why not join a Christmas Eve service at an Orthodox church for a unique cultural experience? It will be part of vacation you won’t forget.

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