There are three touristy cities in Ukraine. All have a lot of sightseeing and entertainment to offer. If you love bustling crowds and ancient history, head to the capital, Kiev. For more relaxed, European city with cobbled streets and cozy coffee shops, make a beeline to Lviv. But if you like to visit bars and nightclubs at night and have lazy leisurely days afterwards, sunny Odessa in the south is where you need to go.
Where to stay
Compared to many other cities in the world, Ukrainian accommodation is cheap and good quality. A comfortable room with breakfast can be booked for approximately $40. IF, for example, you choose Kiev Hotel in the administrative district of the capital, you will have the Mariyinsky Park, Ukrainian Parliament, National Bank, Supreme Court of Ukraine and the main street, Khreshchatyk, within a 5-minute walk.
Hotel Gagarinn in Odessa is known for its exquisite interiors, and is located in Arcadia (one of the most prestigious areas of the city). It is within walking distance to the Odessa beaches, numerous cafes, restaurants and nightclubs.
For just $25, you can get a suite in one of the oldest and most historically valuable hotels of Lviv, George Hotel. It is located in the very heart of the city, overlooking the famous Opera Theatre and the main street, Svobody Ave.
What to eat
In recent years, the dining culture of Ukraine has become highly developed. Locals have become real gourmands who know a thing about good food and proper service. Therefore, most restaurants try to attract customers with delicious cuisine and affordable prices. The menu at Kiev’s Kanapa Restaurant, established by famous restaurateur Dima Borisov, combines traditional dishes with elements of molecular cuisine. For just $15, you can order a three-course lunch: a portion of tasty vareniki (filled dumpling), rich borscht with salo (pork fat) and a dessert.
Other cities also offer an incredible choice of restaurants. For just $7-10, at Lviv’s Restaurant of Meat and Justice or Baczewski Restaurant, you can get a huge plate of meat with a side, as well as beverages. In Odessa, seafood lovers can enjoy fish, shrimps and oysters for the same price. Book a table ahead at Bernardazzi or Grand Prix for one of the best dinners of your life.
How to have fun
The nightlife in Kiev, Odessa and Lviv is quite different, but equally engaging. Kiev hosts the poshest parties, with electric and jazz music, and bottomless signature cocktails for less than $5. Just head to central Kiev and sample the bars along the way.
Odessa is best in the summertime. You can sunbathe in a relaxed atmosphere by day, and seamlessly transition to nightlife without changing the location. For instance, Bono Beach Club or Ibiza Beach Club allow visitors to swim in the pools during the day and have a cocktail with live music after sunset. The entrance fee for the whole day varies from $8 to $15 per person.