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The Best of Ukraine: A One-Week Itinerary

Picture of Maria Sibirtseva
Maria Sibirtseva
Updated: 30 September 2017

Ukraine has a large territory. The distance from the west to the east is 818 miles (1316 km). Each region has unique traditions and culture, as well as its own historical heritage. To travel around the whole country, one week is surely not enough. Nonetheless, if you only have a limited time for your journey, here is one of the most interesting and effective routes to see the best of what Ukraine has to offer.

Day 1: Kiev

The largest share of flights to Ukraine from the different corners of the world come directly to Kiev. The city gladly meets newcomers and introduces a variety of sightseeing possibilities. Architectural monuments are most dense at the city center, the place where the itinerary around Ukraine is to begin.

Stroll down Khreschatyk Street to try delicious half-chocolate, half-lemon ice cream and to see Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square), where the Revolution of Dignity took place. After that, walk up Mykhailivska Street and discover such ancient gems as St. Michael’s Monastery and St. Sophia’s Cathedral, which belongs to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Marvel at the view over Kiev from St. Andrew’s Church viewpoint. Come down to the Podol area and spend the evening on the Poshtova Square. Have a lovely dinner on the bank of Dnieper River to memorize the beauty of Kiev.

Kiev, Ukraine

Day 2: Kharkov

Another city worth visiting is Kharkov, the former capital of Ukraine. It can be described as an industrial metropolis with spacious squares, concrete buildings, and green parks. The historical center has a “triangle” of cathedrals, which were constructed in different architectural styles: Baroque, Classical, and Gothic. One more place to discover is the Cascade Fountain, which flows down the steep slope in Shevchenko Park. To have fun in the evening, visit Gorky Park and have a ride on the rollercoasters.

Kharkov, Kharkiv Oblast, Ukraine

Day 3: Odessa

For wide beaches, crowded clubs, and posh panoramic restaurants, come to Odessa. It is a welcoming destination for travelers who eager to combine parties with a cultural experience. Kompot Café has large portions and fits perfectly with those who believe that breakfast has to be the most nourishing meal of the day. The Potemkin Stairs, the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theater, and Deribasovskaya Street are the must-see spots. They are situated within walking distance from each other, and will definitely leave you with the right impression of the city. For lunch and dinner, choose a restaurant by the sea. P1 Prosecco Bar or Svecha are the venues in which to say goodbye to Odessa.

Odessa, Odessa Oblast, Ukraine

Day 4: Dnipro

On the way to the west of Ukraine, there is a city called Dnipro. It is modern and rhythmic and keeps pace with time. Katerynoslavskyi Boulevard is a favorite place for locals to frequent. Stylish shops, restaurants, and cafés lend the place a great deal of charm. Dnipro is also a city of museums. There is the National Historical Museum, the Aerospace Museum, the Museum of Vintage Cars, and many others. Everyone visiting the city should take a walk along the wharf – it is considered to be the longest in Europe and stretches for 18.6 miles (30 km).

Dnipro, Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukraine

Day 5: Poltava and Relax Park Verholy

Early morning is the best time to arrive in Poltava, so you can have a look at the city’s main streets and then enjoy a late breakfast at Shade Meat & Wine Café. Before afternoon rolls around, visit the Poltava Art Museum. It has a rich ethnographic collection, plus works of domestic and international art. For the second half of the day, check out the Verholy Relax Park. Open-air swimming pools, spa, wild nature, and fresh air will give you strength and prepare you for the last two days of this intensive itinerary.

Poltava, Poltavska oblast, Ukraine

Day 6: Lviv

The western capital of Ukraine is a source of inspiration for locals and travelers alike. Lviv is the city of restaurants and cafés, where the word diet is not appropriate. Having short runs from one place to another, just make sure you pay attention to the historical architecture. Along the way, you will find Market Square, the Lviv Theatre of Opera and Ballet, the town hall, and cathedrals of amazing beauty.

Lviv, Lviv Oblast, Ukraine

Day 7: Chernivtsi

Chernivtsi is just 168 miles (271 km) away from Lviv, but there is a cultural difference between the cities. Having belonged to Romanian territories in the 20th century, the city remained an economic and educational center. The major site is the National University of Chernivtsi, the roof of which is lined with multicolored tiles. The main street (Kobylyanskoi St.) has a number of cosy cafés and restaurants in which to enjoy a meal and observe the city life passing by.

Chernivtsi, Chernivetska oblast, Ukraine