Ukraine is one of the largest and most varied countries in Europe, with the spectacular Carpathian Mountains in the west, the historical central plains and the stunning Black Sea coast in the south. The Crimean Peninsula, ethnically more Russian than Ukrainian, remains a huge draw for holidaymakers from Russia every summer. Ukraine offers visitors a wide variety of amazing places of interest, ancient history, beautiful landscapes, varied climates and tasty traditional food.
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Destinations » Ukraine Travel Guide
Ukrainian people are warm and particularly friendly to visitors. It is not at all uncommon for Ukrainians to invite strangers into their own homes. Formal attire is rarely required, though people dress smartly for the theatre. Visitors should avoid ostentatious displays of wealth in public places.
There are about 35 million Ukrainian Orthodox faithful, although the church is divided into a traditional pro-Moscow and a breakaway pro-Kyiv faction. Five million Eastern-rite (Uniate) Catholics, subservient to Rome, are concentrated in western Ukraine. There are also Protestant and Muslim minorities.
Food and Drink
Ukraine, and specifically Kiev, boasts hundreds of restaurants offering delicious meals and refreshing drinks with a friendly service. There are often traditional Ukrainian restaurants where you can taste the unique flavours.
• Borshch (beetroot soup)
• Varenniki (dough containing cheese, meat or fruit)
• Holubtsi (cabbage rolls)
• Chicken Kiev exists but is better known in the West
Drinking in Ukraine is an experience. The Ukrainian specialty is horika (vodka), there is also an excellent selection of wines from the Carpathian Region and Crimea. Ukrainian beers are very tasty and of good quality, the best beers are brewed by Lvivske and Obolon CJSC.
Human settlement in the region of actual Ukraine has been documented into remote prehistory. The Neolithic Cucuteni-Trypillian culture flourished between 5500 BC and 2750 BC in an extensive area that covered parts of contemporary Ukraine including the Dnieper-Dniester region.
From the 13th to the 16th century, Kiev was under the influence of Poland and Lithuania.
Ukraine was one of the most devastated countries after World War II; the total of victims among the Ukrainian population is estimated between five and eight million.
Did you know?
Ukrainian language took the second place on melodic criteria after Italian and it was ranked as the third most beautiful language in the world on such criteria as phonetics, vocabulary, phraseology and sentence structure after French and Persian at a linguistic contest held in Paris in 1934.
Facts and figures
|Time zone||Eastern European Time (UTC +2)|
|Government||Unitary semi-presidential republic|
|Area||603,628 km2 / 233,090 sq miles|