Ukraine is a country where you will find lots of fascinating historical sites and museums, together with a diverse landscape to explore such as mountains, valleys, lakes, forests and beautiful coasts.
Ukraine Car Hire
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Ukrainian Arts and Architecture
Kiev, the Capital city of Ukraine, is rich in history with interesting buildings and museums to visit. The Cave Monastery from the 11th century is a very interesting visit in Kiev and you can see monks and saints there who have been mummified, together with the churches, holy relics and icons in this large underground network. There are also various museums in the Monastery complex, including a fascinating one with various tiny miniature collections, and the Museum of Historical Treasures. St. Sophia’s Cathedral is a splendid building with a section of it remaining from the 11th century and most of it from the 17th century.
The Cathedral has many lovely mosaics and frescos and you can climb the bell tower of this historical building. Also in Kiev you can see St. Michael’s Golden Domed Monastery and Cathedral with the impressive domes of gold and lovely Byzantine and Baroque architecture. The 18th century Baroque Mariyinsky Palace is a superb building and is next to the Ukrainian Parliament with its Neoclassical architecture. Mariyinsky Park, not far away, is by the Dnieper River where you can enjoy riverside walks and you can have a great view over the River and surrounding hills from the Lovers’ Bridge.
There are various museums to visit in Kiev which include the Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life which depicts the lives of Ukrainian people in the past. The museum is open air and there are several villages along with windmills, little huts, churches and cottages to look around, together with items such as costumes, furniture and textiles. The Museum also hold craft festivals where you can see various traditional craftsmen at work such as potters, weavers and blacksmiths. For contemporary art you can see the Pinchuk Art Centre to see its interesting collections.
Andrew’s Descent is a pretty street with old cobblestones where you can visit St. Andrews Church built in the 18th century with its Baroque architecture. You can visit the museums here and there are lots of restaurants along this street. You can go on beaches and islands that are located in the city on the River Dnipro, including Hydropark and you can relax by the water, swim, have a boat trip and play sports.
In the city of Odessa there are lots of elegant buildings, including the grand Potocki Palace with its classical architecture, and also see the Odessa Art Museum there. The 19th century Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre is beautiful with its Italian neo Baroque architecture and rococo hall and you can enjoy performances in this splendid building. Primorsky Boulevard is a lovely elegant tree lined street by the sea in Kiev that is very popular and where you can stroll down and admire the lovely buildings. Here you can also see the Potemkin Steps built in the 19th century which a popular site in Kiev. You can visit museums in Odessa, such as the Museum of Western and Eastern Art with many interesting works dating from the 16th to the 20th century. Also you can see the Odessa Archaeological Museum which houses collections such as ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman artefacts.
The Ukrainian Landscape
The Carpathian National Natural Park is a beautiful region with landscapes of mountains, pastures, valleys, rivers and lakes. You can explore the Carpathian mountains and their scenery and hike up Hoverla mountain which is Ukraine’s highest peak or Pope Ivan Mountain, both of views give you great views over the region from their tops. You can enjoy sports such as skiing in the mountains in the winter time.
The region has dense forests and attractive valleys and meadows with lovely plants and flowers. There are lovely clear lakes in the Park such as Maricheika and Nesamovyte along with rivers and springs with healing properties. You can also see tall and impressive Guk waterfall with its wonderful cascades of water. The region is abundant in wildlife with animals such as deer, wild boar, wolves, brown bears, lynx, otter and birds such as golden eagle and peregrine falcon.
Odessa is located on the Black Sea coast and is a lovely area. Among the many beaches here is Arkadia beach which is very popular with locals and visitors alike, whether to relax on the wide sandy beach or take part in sports and recreation, and here you find water activities such for all the family such as fun water slides. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes here also, along with a good choice of other beaches that you can relax on, including Dolphin beach and Luzanovka Beach, and enjoy the beautiful blue waters of the Black Sea whether you want to just relax in front of the water or jet ski and have speed boat rides.
Popular dishes eaten in Ukraine include varenyky which are dumplings that can be filled with fried onions together with meat, mashed potatoes, cabbage or liver. They can also be sweet with fruit such as strawberries or cherries and eaten with sour cream. Pyrizhky are also enjoyed which are buns filled with ingredients such as eggs, rice, meat or sauerkraut and again can be eaten with fruit as a sweet choice. Holubtsi are cabbage leaves filled with rice and can have onions and meat. Goulash, is popular in Ukraine and chicken Kiev is a well known dish from Kiev being breaded chicken with garlic butter.
Also common are mlyntsi which are pancakes with fillings of cabbage, meat or quark or sweet with fruit and sour cream, or deruny which are pancakes made with potato. Kotlety are fried meatballs with breadcrumbs, eggs and onions and kruchenyky are rolls of pork or beef and filled with foods such as eggs, mushrooms, sauerkraut or cheese. Borscht is a popular soup which is made with beets, potatoes and cabbage and various other ingredients such as carrots.
Breads include bublik which is like a bagel and pampushki is a bread with garlic butter. Popular desserts in Ukraine include syrnkky which is quark that is fried, and eaten with jam, apple sauce or sour cream, and torte are different types of cakes often made with almonds and walnuts rather than flour. Zhele are fruit such as pears or cherries in a chocolate or milk jelly. Common drinks in Ukraine include beer, wine and mead and non-alcoholic drinks include kompot which is boiled fruit, and ryazhanka which is milk that is baked.
Whether you are walking through a fascinating underground monastery, hiking around a beautiful National Park or relaxing on the lovely coast, a trip to Ukraine is bound to be enjoyable.
Currency: Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH)
Emergency Services: 112
Drives On: Right
Time Zones: UTC +2