Top 10 Must See Cities of Ukraine

When you go to other country you plan to visit most interesting and attractive sights. Ukraine has a lot of charming cities where you will be able to see architectural and historical pearls as well as modern attractions. SunCity Travel LLC  offers top 10 Must See Cities of Ukraine:

10. Poltava


Poltava is located on the Right Bank of the Vorskla River, 333 km from Kyiv. The population of Poltava is about 300,000. Poltava is one of the most illustrious of Ukrainian national culture. The first written mention of the town dates back to 1174. A settlement known as Ltava is mentioned in the Hypatian Chronicle. The current name of the city dates back to the 15h century. In the 16-17th cc. Poltava belonged to the Pereyaslav principality. In 1648 Poltava was captured by Ukrainian magnate Yarema Vyshnevetskyi (1612-51).

In 1709 a tragic battle was fought near Poltava between the Cossacks of Ivan Mazepa and Sweden’s King Charles XII against the Russian Czar Peter I. It was the General Battle of the Northern war (1700-21). The Russian army (42.000 men and 72 cannons) defeated the army of Charles XII (30.000 men and 32 cannons). The rests of the army surrounded at Perevolochna.

Poltava boasts of two theatres and Philharmonic Society, six museums, the Historical-Cultural Reserve “The Poltava Battle”, the I. Kotliarevskyi Museum, the Panas Myrnyi Museum, the V. Korolenko Museum. The monuments of architecture of Poltava include the Belfry of the Assumption Cathedral (1774-1801), the Round Square with the monument-column of Glory (1805-11). You can visit also Rotunda of Peoples’ Friendship or White gazebo, Poltava Catacombs.

You can visit some interesting sights from Poltava:

  • Dykan’ka is a district town 29 km from Poltava. The settlement came into being in the 17th century. It has more than 6.000 inhabitants. The origin of the name comes from Dykan. M. Gogol mentioned the settlement in his story “The Evenings on the Farmstead near Dykan’ka”.
  • Myrhorod is one of the most famous spa resorts in Ukraine is situated 104 km from Poltava.
  • One of the biggest mining and beneficiation quarries in the world is located in Horishni Plavni (former Komsomols’k, 108 km from Poltava).
  • Sorochinska Fair is held annually in the second half of August. The fair is a large showcase for traditional handicrafts made by skilled craftsmen, including Reshetilivka embroidery, rugs, Opishnya ceramics, as well theatrical performers who re-enact scenes of village life from famous Ukrainian stories. The historic Sorochyntsi Fair features in a number of Ukrainian works of literature and music, including “The Fair at Sorochintsï”, a short story by Nikolai Gogol, and The Fair at Sorochintsï, an opera by Modest Mussorgsky.

9. Vinnytsia


Vinnytsia is a city located on the banks of the Southern Buh River, in central Ukraine. It is the administrative center of the Vinnytsia Oblast (region), as well as the administrative center of the surrounding Vinnytskyi Raion (district) within the oblast. The city itself is also designated as its own separate raion within the oblast, and rests in the historic region of Podillia. The current estimated population is 372,000.

The most notable historic object of the city, the foundation of which is considered to be in 1363, is a Jesuit monastery. The monks began to build the huge church, collegium and hostel in 1610, surrounding them like a fortress, with thick brick walls with towers at the corners, which even today are called Mury. These walls are the only preserved in the city fortifications. Near there is a museum of local history with mammoth skeleton. Another dominant of the old part of the city is, of course, the Orthodox Transfiguration Monastery, founded in 1616 as opposed to the Jesuits. Now the current Orthodox Cathedral is the majestic and beautiful building. In the first half of XVII century, when Vinnitsa prospered being under the influence of Poland, there were created the majority of Vinnitsa ancient architectural monuments. Most of them are located in New city on the right bank of the Southern Bug. The Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Angels (Sobornaya Street, 12) with a lovely courtyard also deserves attention.

Among the other sights of Vinnytsia the best known is the estate-museum of the founder of the field medicine Pirogov with church-necropolis, where he lived and worked and where already rests for 114 years its embalmed body. The estate is situated in a luxury park on the lake at the very end of the Pirogova Street; church-tomb is in the park in two kilometers from the estate. Traveling to Vinnytsia you can visit also the other local attraction, covered with the number of legends, – headquarters of Hitler “Werewolf”. This is very close – 8 km from the city (near the villages Strizhanovka and Colo-Mykhailivka). The place, where are only the secrets, legends and the crowd of adventurers. Roshen Fountain is the only one in Ukraine and the largest floating fountain in Europe, built in the river Southern Buh in Vinnytsia City near Festivalny Isle (Campa Isle). On the 4th of September 2011 the grand opening of the Roshen Fountain, a unique light and music fountain, took place on the quay of the Southern Buh in Vinnytsia in the presence of tens of thousands of people.

You can visit some interesting sights from Vinnytsia:
  • One of the most prestigious spa resorts in Ukraine Khmilnyk (63 km west from Vinnytsia) with radonium  sources;
  • Nemirov (45 km south-east from Vinnytsia), where you can visit Scherbatov’s Palace with a beautiful park, Mausoleum of Count Potocki and number of churchs;
  • Tul’chyn (83 km south-east from Vinnytsia), where the  Count Potocki Palace is situated.

8. Zaporizhia


Zaporizhia, formerly Alexandrovsk, is a city in southeasternUkraine, situated on the banks of the Dnieper River. It is the administrative centre of the Zaporizhia Oblast. Currently the city is the sixth largest in Ukraine and has population of 770,411 people (as of 2013). Zaporizhia is an important industrial center of Ukraine, the country’s main car manufacturing company, the Motor-Sich world-famous aircraft engine manufacturer. Well supplied with electricity, Zaporizhia forms, together with the adjoining Donets Basin and the Nikopol manganese and Kryvyy Rih iron mines, one of Ukraine’s leading industrial complexes.

The island Khortytsia is located in the geographical center of the city. The city embraces the island by banks of the New and Old Dnieper streams. Two concrete bridges connect the Island to the city. They have been designed and constructed by the engineer Boris N. Preobrazhensky in 1952. Two level bridges have height about 54 meters. High level of the bridges is intended for rail and bottom – for cars and pedestrians. The historical and cultural museum “Zaporizhian Sich” is placed on the northern rocky part of the island Khotritsa. The museum is the reconstructed stronghold of the Zaporizhian Cossacs. All features of the military cossack’s camp life and their lifestyle are presented in the museum.

The smaller islands are located between the dam and the island Khortytsia. Each of these islands has its own legend. On one of them named Durnya Scala (Rock of the Fool) Tzar Peter the Great punished the Cossacks by flogging for their betrayal on the side of Charles XII of Sweden during the Great Northern War between Russia and Sweden. The another small island, named Stolb (Pillar), has a geological feature, which looks like a large bowl in granite slabs, its diameter equals 1,4 м, the depth – 1 м. This bowl is named Cossack’s bowl. People say that in summer days under the hot sun, it is easy to boil water in this “bowl” and the Cossacks used it for cooking galushki (boiled dough in a spicy broth). The panoramic view of the DnieproHES from Khortytsia island is very impressive. The straight and long Lenin avenue (10 km) ends in the SotsGorod near the Dam, which built up of the constructivist architecture of the 20th century.

One more interesting sight is the Antique Car Museum. Here is the collection of vintage vehicles of domestic and foreign production. There are 22 exhibits from the 30s’ to the 60s’ of 20 th century. Here are cars such as: “Willis”, “Dodge”, the whole family of “Ural-ZIS” ZIS-5”, ZIS-6 “Katyusha”. All vehicles are in working state, and regularly take part in exhibitions and retro cars rally.

You can visit some interesting sights from Zaporizhia:

  • Kam’yana Mohyla (Stone Tomb): As the name suggests, you will find large rocks here. So far so good but one could argue that Stonehenge or other places across Europe offer just as impressive sights. What makes Kamyana Mohyla special is that it is so old and it is not just stones, but carved out statues standing here. The Kamyana Mohyla carvings are likely the oldest of their kind in the world. Petroglyphs found on the rocks indicate they could be over 9,000 years old;
  • Beatiful sea resort Berdyansk is situated 200 km south from Zaporizhia;
  • Unique sea resort Kirillovka is istuated 187 km south from Zaporizhia. It includes two spits – Peresyp and Fedotova as well Biruchiy Island reserve.

7. Uzhgorod


Located at the foothills of the majestic Carpathians, this town is the capital of Zakarpattia (Transcarpathians), with a population of over 120,000. It was first mentioned in the chronicles in 903 AD. The original castle was built in the 10th c., rebuilt by the bishop of Mukhachevo in the 16th c., and today is a historical museum noted for its archeological collection. Do not miss the unique neo-Baroque Ukrainian Catholic Church (1732) and adjacent residence of the Bishops of Mukachevo from 1644.

You can visit some interesting sights from Uzhgorod:

  • Synevir Lake is the largest and one of the most beautiful mountain lakes in the Carpathian Mountains. It is also called “Sea Eye” or “Pearl of the Carpathians”. Looking at the lake from bird’s eye view, picturesque view opens before your eyes – mirror-like water surface among green forests, with a small island in the middle;
  • Beautiful and cozy town of Mukachevo is situated 47 km from Uzhgorod;
  • Vats in Lumshory Village (41 km from Uzhgorod) also called Transcarpathian Jacuzzi or whirlpool bath, but also vats with mineral water – is a great way to warm up, relax and get healthier, enjoying every minute of this process!
  • Spa resort Polyana is situated 66 km from Uzhgorod.

6. Chernihiv


Chernihiv, the capital of the northern most province of Ukraine, is situated on the right (western) bank of the Desna river 140 km north of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv along the international highway Odessa – Kyiv – St. Petersburg – Helsinki. It is also located 80 km east as the crow flies from the Lenin Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Chernihiv is slightly more than 78 sq km with a population of 310,000.

You can visit some interesting sights from Chernihiv:

  • Novgorod-Sivers’kyi (176 km north-east from Chernihiv) is an ancient Slavic town. Despite historic disasters the town preserved a lot of architectural monuments and Branch of Chernigiv State Historical and Architectural Preserve was established here. It has been managed to keep unchanged its landscape random planning. The boundary of the town historical center is vague. The tourists attractions are located on two high capes divided by ravines and which are Ensemble of Our Savior and Transfiguration Monastery and downtown. The architectural monuments of State significance are scattered on five separate areas which compose the territory of the preserve. The biggest area is the territory of Our Savior and Transfiguration Monastery. The other areas are Uspensky (Dormition) Cathedral, wooden St. Nicolas church, Triumphal arch and shopping arcades. There are constructions and residential buildings dated 18-19th centuries in the downtown while one fails to see big modern ones. The town and museum invites You to get acquainted with its history and architectural and natural charm.
  • Nizhyn is situated 87 km from Chernihiv. It is believed that Nizhyn was established prior to the year 1147, as documents confirm its existence, under the name of Unezeh. Over and above being known for growing the most succulent cucumbers in Ukraine, this self-governed town has many attractions of great historical significance, that lure tourists to the Chernihiv Oblast.
  • Kachanivka was known as Ukrainian Parnassus in the XIX century. It was a center where artists from all over the Empire used to come. You can visit a beautiful palace and park of XIX cent., which are situated 161 km from Chernihiv.

5. Kamyanets-Podilskyi


Кamyanets-Podilskyi is a one of the oldest historical cities of Ukraine, the main city of Podillya, the significant phenomenon in the European culture. Its population is a little more than 100,000. An original geopolitic arrangement near historical borders, overland and water ways, basic of which Dnestr, and also an arrangement of city on unapproachable rocky island was has defined its basic function – a frontier fortress. For centuries-old history Kamyanets not time passed from hands in hands of different conquerors. In due time it Tatar-Mongols, Polish-Lithuanian shlyakhta, Turks, Austro-Hungarians, the Russian imperialists and bolsheviks, fascist invaders owned.

City ranks third in Ukraine the number of historical attractions (152) after Kyiv and Lviv.

You can visit some interesting sights from Kamyanets-Podilskyi:

  • Medzhybizh (133 km from Kamyanets-Podils’kyi), standing two kilometers away from the highway connecting the towns of Vinnytsya and Kmelnytsky, is a nice example of fruitful coexistence and beneficial mutual influences of different cultures. The exact date of its foundation is not known but there is enough evidence to suggest that the fortress of Medzhybizh dates back to the early mediaeval times. Also town is a birth place of well-known Judaic movement Hassidism.
  • Podilski Tovtry National Park. The reserve has quite a range of flora, with up to an amazing 1700 plant species within the park itself, of which sixty of them have been placed in the listings recorded in the Red Book. In its own way, the Podilski Tovtry National Park combines the beauty of its natural surroundings, with age old and traditional cultures, many of which lay within the National Park.
  • Crystal Cave located in the village Kryvche (Ternopil region). This is the most famous cave of Podillya; it is also the most visited. Its popularity lies in its wealth – it the largest gypsum cave in Europe. Today fully investigated and marked 23 km of tunnels. The excursion route is about 2.5 km, 500 meters of which is a front hallway.
  • Bakota has an ancient Orthodox cave monastery, which includes ancient frescoes and paintings dating back to the 12th-14th centuries, as well as preserved remains of monks. Local legend has it that the Bakota Cave Monastery was founded by Saint Anthony of Kyiv, who also founded the historic Kyiv Pechersk Lavra in 1051.

4. Chernivtsi

Chernivtsi-St. Nicolas Cathedral

The destiny of Chernivtsi, as a city and the capital of the duchy of Bukovina is inseparably linked with the history of the Austrian empire. That Chernivtsi whose wonderful buildings we can still admire nowadays, was built during the Austrian period, a splendid epoch for the city. Chernivtsi has a surprising ability to share experiences and energy with its guests. It is the energy which has been accumulated in the city architecture, some kind of representation of economic and cultural power of the national groups that live here. One can feel some especial atmosphere over the city. Population of Chernivtsi is 250,000.

The city has a sight, which participate the UNESCO World Heritage List – Residence of Orthodox Bichops of Bukovyna and Dalmatia.

You can visit some interesting sights from Chernivtsi:

  • Khotyn (59 km from Chernivtsi). Quiet green fields surround the Khotyn Fortress on the high bank of the Dnister River, with serene blue skies above. Fairytale looking fortress amid charming and peaceful landscape contrasts the thousand-year history of the place, name of which supposedly went from Slavic word “wanted, sought-after”. No surprise, Khotyn always used to be an attractive piece of land and many bloody battles happened around it.
  • Ski resort Bukovel (116 km from Chernivtsi) is the best and most famouse ski resorts of Ukraine.
  • Rocky Galitsky St. Nicholas Monastery is situated in natural caves of the lime cliffs of Galitsky ravine, on the right (and steep) hill of the Dniester canyon. Origination of the first Orthodox priory on the monastery place is dated back to XIII century. This area hasn’t been studied by archaeologists and historians at all, and hieroglyphs on the cliff walls confirm the theory that the pagans were the first settlers here – long before the Orthodox monks. Over the past centuries many rooms have been manually carved, outside walls have been built, as well as stairways and terraces with passages and arches. At the height of 120 m above the Dniester you can observe the panoramic views of the canyon – these places are at great distance from civilization and developed tourist business.

3. Odessa

Odessa Duke

Odessa is the third largest city in Ukraine, with a population of 1,015,516. The city is a major seaport located on the northwestern shore of the Black Sea and the administrative center of the Odessa Oblast. The predecessor of Odessa, a small Tatar settlement, was founded by Hacı I Giray, the Khan of Crimea, in 1440 and originally named after him as “Hacıbey”. After a period of Lithuanian control, it passed into the domain of the Ottoman Sultan in 1529 and remained in Ottoman hands until the Ottoman Empire’s defeat in the Russo-Turkish War of 1792. The city of Odessa was founded by a decree of the Empress Catherine the Great in 1794. From 1819 to 1858 Odessa was a free port.

You can visit some interesting sights from Odessa:

  • Akkerman Fortress or Belgorod-Dnestrovskiy Fortress is the largest fortress in Ukraine. It is not so hard to find as it’s the only fortress in town. The fortress was built in the 13th century by Genoese (Genoans) on the bank of the Dniester estuary, the site of the ancient Greek city Tira. Originally a castle – the fortress was designed to protect the trade route. In the 13th century, the Belgorod area became a part of Moldavian principality, and the fortress was significantly expanded. In the 14th century during the Turkish War, the fortress fell after a 16 day siege. The castle was named one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine;
  • Vylkove also known like “Ukrainian Venice” is situated 203 km south from Odessa. Town lies in the Danubian Delta;
  • Sea resort Zatoka is situated 66 km from Odessa;
  • Sea resort Koblevo is situated 58 km from Odessa;
  • Uman’ (270 km from Odessa) has two interesting sights: well-known Sophiivka Park and grave of Rabbi Nakhman, one of holy Tzaddiks in Judaism;
  • Shabo Wine Cultural Center (75 km from Odessa) is the exclusive cultural center in Ukraine combining operating advanced enterprise, ancient wine cellars, tasting room, expositions of modern sculptures and architecture, and unique Wine and Wine-making Museum.

2. Lviv


They say that Lviv is a little Paris, a city built with the love of harmony, truly European charm and surprisingly sophisticated understanding of beauty. There is always a special atmosphere reign and style, which are reflected in everything: names of small shops and cafes, elegant facades of buildings, beautiful and original design showcases the interiors of historic buildings in the downtown area … At all times Lviv was well known in Europe. Not surprisingly, in 1618 he was mentioned in the “Inventory of the most prominent cities of the world”, published in Cologne. And 380 years later, in November 1998, Lviv officially included in the UNESCO list of monuments of world importance. By the way, in my time here have been visited by Giacomo Casanova. He stayed in the Hotel “George”, as mentioned in his travel notes, and lamented the fact that the girls in Lviv were very beautiful but inaccessible. So they remain to this day. Population of Lviv is 759,000.

You can visit some interesting sights from Lviv:

  • Numerous Ukrainian towns and villages can boast of having the remnants of ancient fortifications, but only the small town of Zhovkva (30 km from Lviv) has an absolute right to call its fortress “ideal”. Here, in the first half of the XVII century the only mint in the territory of Ukraine was in operation with the coins being minted from silver that belonged to the Hetman Zolkiewski’s widow.
  • Fortress town Tustan’ is an ancient rock defense complex, carrying out functions of the border fortresses and customs checkpoint. The first fortifications on the rock Stone were built in the IX century by White Croats in the region of present-day village Urych.
  • The best spa resort of Ukraine Truskavets is situated 84 km from Lviv;
  • Ski resort Slavske is situated 138 km from Lviv.

1. Kyiv


Kyiv (also known as Kiev), a scenic city of close to 3 million people officially and more than 4 million off the record is situated on the Dnipro River, is the bustling capital of Ukraine. Ancient Kievan Rus, which reached its greatest period of ascendancy during the 11th and 12th centuries, was a center of trade routes between the Baltic and the Mediterranean. The art and architecture of Kyiv are world treasures. The Cathedral of St. Sophia, where the princes of Kyiv were crowned in the years of Kyiv`s grandeur, has outstanding mosaics and frescoes dating back to the 11th century. Overlooking the old section of Kyiv, Podol, stands the Ukrainian Baroque church of St. Andrew, much beloved by Ukrainians.

Kyivo-Pechers’ka Lavra and St. Sophia Cathedral are objects included to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

You can visit some interesting sights from Kyiv:

  • Beautiful Aleksandria Park is situated in Bila Tserkva 93 km from Kyiv;
  • Uman’ (210 km from Kyiv) has two interesting sights: well-known Sophiivka Park and grave of Rabbi Nakhman, one of holy Tzaddiks in Judaism;
  • Pereyaslav-Khmelnytskyi (82 km from Kyiv) is a town of museums. There are 27 museums in the town and it is meaning that there is almost a museum on every thousand of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky inhabitants! We have chosen for your visit the best of the best from these 27 museums. And you know the best open air museum in Ukraine is located here! Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky was one of the three ancient princely capitals of Kyivan Rus’.
  • Park Kyivska Rus’ a historically themed park outside of Kyiv (57 km);
  • Chernobyl Zone purpose is to restrict access to hazardous areas, reduce the spread of radiological contamination and conduct radiological and ecological monitoring activities. Today the Exclusion Zone is one of the most radioactively contaminated areas in the world and draws significant scientific interest for the high levels of radiation exposure in the environment, as well as increasing interest from tourists;
  • Mezhyhirya Residence is definitely a unique attraction that represents both a real embodiment of luxury and an example of how limitless power can effect human mind. The former president of Ukraine V. Yanukovych’s residence impresses its visitors with its refinement and magnitude.

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