About Ukraine - Interesting Facts and Overview
Ukraine is located in Eastern Europe and shares its borders with seven countries, including Russia. It is partially bounded by two bodies of water - most notably, the Black Sea. Ukraine is delineated into 24 provinces (called oblasts) and Crimea, which is an autonomous republic. Kiev is the capital of Ukraine and the largest city, followed by Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, and Odessa. One of the most famous cites in Ukraine is Yalta where the historic Yalta Conference was held in 1945. The national currency is the Hryvna. Ukraine is a very popular destination for North American, European and Asian travelers with its world-class resorts that dot the shores of the Black Sea. Tourists from the United States and most of Western Europe, including the European Union and Japan, do not require visas and can stay up to 90 days without further documentation.
Ukraine has more than 180 airports with most international flights landing at Boryspil International Airport (KBP), which is approximately 29 km (18 miles) from Kiev. Other main airports in Ukraine include Zhulyany Airport (domestic) and Gostomel Airport (cargo). Ukraine has many regional airports that make travel between its cities convenient and affordable. Ukraine International Airlines is the national air carrier and has regular service to major airports world-wide. Approximately 60 international air carriers serve the Ukrainian market including Delta, KLM, Lufthansa and Air France. Travel time between Kiev and London is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes. From the east coast of the United States, Kiev is approximately 12 hours, with connecting flights offered at London Heathrow, Paris or Frankfurt. For domestic flights within Ukraine travelers rely upon the national airlines, Ukraine International Airlines and regional carriers such as Air Ukraine.
Visitors to Ukraine can choose from many types of accommodations. In the capital of Kiev, most luxury hotels have convenient access to shopping venues, entertainment and dining establishments. Some of the finer hotels in Kiev include the Hyatt Regency, Radisson SAS, Donbass Palace and the Krasnaya. Many three star hotels are also available in Kiev and other metropolitan areas. Throughout the country travelers can find a range of accommodations including hotels, youth hostels, apartments and other types of rentals. Many local and family owned hotels offer exceptional hospitality with charming and comfortable rooms that are well-appointed. Apartments are also available for rent and can be a real bargain for travelers that wish to have the comforts of home. For those who prefer group travel and full service facilities, tour operators offer packaged holidays excursions to some of Ukraine’s finest attractions. For more information about accommodations please visit our Business Directory.
Travelers have many choices of attractions and destinations to explore such as castles, palaces, ancient cathedrals, and stunningly beautiful national parks and reserves. Castles have their special place in Ukrainian history with such international favorites as the majestic Lviv High Castle, Olyka Castle, and Bakhchisaray Palace, which served at core of the political and spiritual life of the Crimean Tartar people. Kiev, which is considered to be the religious hub of Ukraine, is home to many churches, monasteries and theological attractions. St George Cathedral is home to the Icon of the Virgin; Uzhgorod Synagogue displays its ornate architecture; and St. Sophia’s Cathedral serves as the oldest and most beautiful cathedral in Ukraine. For those who enjoy cultural attractions, Ukraine has some of the finest acting troupes in Europe. With its world-class theatrical and performing arts centers, the cities offer numerous venues to enjoy original Ukrainian productions. High on our list of must-see theatres include the Live Drama Theatre in Podol and the Tara Shevchenko National Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet. Ukraine also has a number of outdoor attractions for visitors of every age. The Kiev Zoo, the Botanical Gardens in Kiev, and the Odessa Catacombs are all favorites of locals and visitors alike. To read about more attractions see our section about local sites.
Places of Interest
Ukraine offers many fascinating museums and art galleries to visit. Ukraine has a strong artistic and cultural heritage which supports many galleries throughout the country. The Podol Fortuna Gallery is known for its social realism art while the Aquarel Gallery and Gallery 36 tend to feature many young, local Ukrainian artists. The Center for Contemporary Art located in Podil, Kyiv is a branch of the internationally known Soros Center for Contemporary Art and serves as a showcase for aspiring artists. Museums are numerous and equally impressive as Ukrainian society is rooted in a strong national culture that pays homage to its heritage through exhibitions at museums and sites of historical interest. Museums such as the Lviv Glass Museum, the National Art Museum and the Solomiya Krushelnytska Musical Museum are just a few of what we feature under our section on museums.
Parks and Reserves
Ukraine has wonderfully interesting National Parks and Nature Reserves scattered throughout the country. These parks and reserves are important for preserving large tracts of lands for future generations. They also attract international attention to Ukraine’s efforts to improve environmental conditions and nature. Recently, eco-tourists have been finding Ukraine to be an inspiration in the effort to protect wetlands, coastal regions, and majestic mountains. With three types of areas under protection, Ukraine is home to biospheres like the Shats'kyi National Park, ecological reserves for fauna such as National Park Podil'ski Tovtry, and the Cape Mart’yan Reserve which also protects shoreline and aquatic ecosystems. Ukraine also offers exciting outdoor activities such as skiing, climbing, hiking and cycling at national parks and special activity centers throughout the country. A detailed review of these outdoor treasures and sports facilities minded can be found by reading our sections on Day-Trips and activities.
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Have a great visit to Ukraine.