Ukrainians and foreign tourists need to discover the beauties of the country. Here is a selection of 30 places to be visited for the 30 years of independence of Ukraine.
Mezhyhirya park, Kyiv region
The estate of ex-President Viktor Yanukovych in Mezhyhirya and a huge landscape park in 2014 became a national property and are now open to everyone. Here you can walk along the alleys and along the long embankment, enjoying the views of the Kiev Sea. You can spend a whole day getting inspired by the variety of park design elements. Bridges, benches in nooks and pavilions, hedge mazes and arches, picturesque ruins and waterfalls are everywhere.
Castle Museum Radomysl, Zhytomyr region
Radomysl is a unique historical and tourist object for Ukraine, which was created in 2011 on the site of an abandoned mill. And it, in turn, was built on the site of the paper factory of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, in which the Kiev monks in the 17th century printed the first book – the Book of Hours. Today, the Radomysl Castle houses the Museum of Ukrainian Home Icons, which houses more than 5,000 unique exhibits written by folk artists from different regions of the country.
Lemurian lake, Kherson region
Another of the wonders of Ukraine, which has become megapopular in recent years, is the Lemurian Lake in the Kherson region, near the village of Grigorievka. It is salty and unrealistically pink due to the presence of Dunaliella brackish algae, which lives peacefully in very salty water, has medicinal properties and gives the soil such a fantastic shade. Everyone wants to come here in August to see the sunset on Lake Lemuria paint the salt crystals in shades of ash pink and purple red.
Lyadovsky monastery, Vinnytsia region
On the border of the Vinnitsa region and Moldova, near the village of Lyadova, there is the Lyadovsky Holy Useknovensky rock monastery. It is called Vinnitsa Athos – the monastery was built on a 90-meter chalk steep in 1013 by the Monk Anthony of the Caves, who was returning from Athos to Kiev at that time. But in the 1930s it, like many Orthodox shrines, was destroyed by the Bolsheviks. In 1998, the monastery was restored by the monks of the Pochaev Lavra, maintaining an atmosphere of authenticity. On the territory of the active monastery, there is a healing spring, the cell of the Monk Anthony has been preserved, and a beautiful panorama of the Dniester opens from the observation deck on the rock.
Saint Miklos Castle, Transcarpathia
Saint Miklos Castle is a perfect example of how the strength of enthusiasts does not allow a unique monument of our history to disappear. The castle was in complete decline, but in 2001 the artist Iosif Bartosz rented it. On his own, he is gradually restoring it and conducting interesting excursions here, organizing festivals with historical reconstructions, tasting local dishes and drinks. Here you can walk along the secret passages of the 15th century castle, sit on the princely throne and listen to fascinating stories about the life of the owners.
Peninsula Trakhtemyriv, Cherkasy region
In the Cherkasy region, on the banks of the Dnieper, there is a place of unique beauty and energy – the Trakhtemyriv peninsula. The first settlements appeared here in the 7th-6th century BC. NS. Then, in the 17th-19th centuries, the Cossack capital of Trakhtemirs was located in this place, where hetmans were elected, Cossacks lived in winter apartments, there was an arsenal, a hospital and even a monastery where old and feeble Cossacks lived out their days. In 2000, Trakhtemirov became a National Cultural Reserve, which can only be navigated on foot or by bicycle.
Museum of missile forces, Kirovograd region
After the collapse of the USSR, Ukraine signed the Budapest Memorandum, ceasing to be the third nuclear power in the world. The command post, located underground at a depth of 30 meters, was inherited from those times. Here, 30 km from the city of Pervomaisk, the only Museum of Strategic Missile Forces in Europe has been created. In the former nuclear mines, you can see where exactly the “red button” that kept the whole of Europe in fear is located.
Bukovel was built in 2000, and now this year-round resort is not inferior to European ones. People come here in winter and summer because there is always something to do. More than 60 km of ski slopes, modern chair lifts, hotels and restaurants, Lake Molodosti and many different entertainments await tourists in Bukovel. In winter, everyone comes to ski, and in summer, you can walk in the mountains, organizingtake a bike ride along mountain paths, ride a 150-meter trolley. Or just relax on a sun lounger on a mountain lake with crystal clear water.
Museum “Pysanka”, Kolomyia
The Museum of Easter Egg Painting in Kolomyia was created on the basis of the collection of eggs from the Kolomyia Museum of Folk Art of Hutsulshchyna and Pokuttya named after I. Josaphat Kobrin. First, the expositions were held in the Kolomyia Church of the Holy Annunciation. And on September 23, 2000, the museum was opened in a specialized building, partially decorated in the form of a huge Easter egg, 13.5 meters high and 10 meters in diameter. Here you can plunge into authentic Ukrainian art and get acquainted with Hutsul traditions.
Oposhnyansky Museum of Ceramics, Poltava region
The National Museum-Reserve of Ukrainian Pottery is the largest ethnomuseum in Europe dedicated to ceramics. Take a guided tour both in the museum itself and on its territory, where part of the pottery exhibits – a gallery of large ceramic sculptures of various themes – is located right in the open air. You can take part in a master class in one of several estates where folk craftsmen work.
Historical Reconstruction Park, Rivne
In the city of Rivne, on the shores of Lake Basov Kut, there is an ancient fortification dating from the 11th – first half of the 12th century. In those days, the settlement was surrounded by earthen ramparts and ditches. Today, at its foot, the Ostvitsa Settlement Historical Reconstruction Park is being created, in which they want to reproduce the atmosphere of the times of Ancient Rus. The work is not over yet – it is planned to reproduce architectural and cultural living quarters, craft workshops, outbuildings, wooden earthen defensive walls, towers, fortified entrances, wells. But today in the park “Gorodishche Ostvitsa” you can order excursion trips on authentic boats-drakkars and boats, ride horses, relax with your family in nature by the water, visit thematic festivals of reenactors and buy souvenirs.
Lubart Castle, Lutsk
Lutsk castle is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved in Ukraine. But this was not always the case. The restoration began in the 1960s, and during the time of Ukraine’s independence, a major reconstruction was carried out. In 1994, they began to restore the ramparts of the castle, in 2006 they added a wall to the entrance tower, and in 2020 they reconstructed a wooden staircase in the Lord’s Tower. In 2019–2021, the walls of the Czartoryski Tower of the Okolny Castle and the dungeons, the facade of the Jesuit monastery, were restored. At the annual festival “Night in the Lutsk Castle”, which will take place on September 8-9, one can see firsthand the scale of the reconstruction.
Station “Pamir”, Carpathians
There is an unusual object in the Carpathians – the white domes of the Pamir radar station, located at an altitude of 1565 meters on Mount Tomnatik. Until 1990, it was a classified military facility, but now tourists have chosen this place. The domes of the “Pamir” resemble the halves of a golf ball, on which the ornaments of Ukrainian embroidery are applied. Now festivals are held here, tourists set up tents on the mountain, and the place is available for everyone who loves outdoor activities.
Carpathian tram, Ivano-Frankivsk region
The Carpathian narrow-gauge railway has been operating since the end of the 19th century – loggers transported timber along it. Today a steam locomotive and two carriages run along a narrow railway between the villages of Vygoda and Gorgan, carrying lumberjacks to work. In order to attract this narrow-gauge railway for the transportation of tourists, in 2003 the “Carpathian tram” program was developed. This is an excursion route, during which tourists can admire the incredible scenery of the mountains, enjoy the healing water directly from the source and breathe deeply in the fresh mountain air.
PARK3020, Lviv region
The first Ukrainian park of modern culture – PARK3020 – was opened in October 2020. More than 40 works of artists from all over Ukraine are displayed on a huge field in the village of Strelki. The sculptural compositions are made of stone, metal, concrete and granite. PARK3020 is a perfectly organized space where all objects interact with each other and are connected with the surrounding world and nature. The main goal of the project is to support Ukrainian artists who work with contemporary sculpture.
Shenborn Park, Transcarpathia
Schönborn Park in Vojvodina was opened in Transcarpathia in 2013, to the 285th anniversary of the transfer of Transcarpathian lands by the Emperor of Austria-Hungary to the family of Count Schönborn. The park is located among the mountains of the Turyanskaya Valley, around the dam lake Tur with an island in the form of the borders of Austria-Hungary before the First World War. The islet is literally assembled from 365 boulders that symbolizedays of the year. Moreover, one stone is specially brought here once every four years, in a leap year. Above the lake there is a working watermill of St. John with old millstones. It is pleasant to walk here at any time of the year, admiring the combination of nature and landscape architecture of the park.
Kinburn spit, Nikolaev region
Kinburn is a 40-kilometer long sandy spit south of Ochakov, it still remains one of the most pristine places in Ukraine. At different times, the ancient Greeks and Scythians lived here, and according to legend, this spit became the site of the grandiose sea battle of the famous Achilles. In 2017, the spit was tied to the mainland by boats of the Nibulon company. Having launched regular passenger flights on “rockets” to this unique strip of land between the sea and the estuary, many tourists were able to relax in this unique natural park.
Bear shelter “Domazhir”, Lviv region
Not far from Lviv, in the village of Zhorniska, Yavorivskyi district, there is a center for the rescue and rehabilitation of brown bears. It was created in 2016 with the support of the Austrian international charitable foundation Four Paws. Here live bears that lived in captivity – in cramped cages with careless owners. Bears feel good: they play in the pond, walk in the spacious territory of the enclosures, eat well, or doze in the shade of trees. “Domazhir” is also a large educational and entertainment complex, where interesting events and excursions are held for children.
The largest statue of a shepherd, Odessa region
And Ukrainian tourist locations are included in the Guinness Book of Records. So, the statue of a granite shepherd in the ethnographic complex “Frumushika-Nova” in 2016 became the record holder for its size and weight: the height of the statue is 18 meters, weight is 1081 tons. Shepherds have long pastured flocks of sheep on the territory of Bessarabia (south of the Odessa region). Today the largest sheep farm in Europe is located here – in “Frumushik-Nova”, where you can take an interesting excursion and taste farm lamb products.
Old town, Lviv
Lviv has changed dramatically over the past 30 years, transforming from a rather gloomy rainy city into the gastronomic and entertainment capital of Ukraine. In the Old Town, around the Market Square, themed cafes and restaurants have appeared. They also restored many architectural monuments. For example, in 1993 the Church of St. Andrew was reopened on Cathedral Square. And the church of Saints Olga and Elizabeth was restored and returned to its status after a warehouse was located there in Soviet times. Now Lviv is so popular that not only Ukrainian but also foreign tourists come here.
Fantasy Park “New Sofiyivka”, Uman
In 2019, the only fantasy-style arboretum in Eastern Europe was opened in Uman. The park harmoniously combines nature, modern landscape art, various world cultures, which are represented by unique compositions and art objects. Here you can see a traditional Ukrainian manor, decorated with stories from folk mythology. And visit the Japanese rock garden with a lake and gazebos. In the evenings, light and music art installations and a 3D show “Soul of the Forest” are shown in the park.
Biryuchiy Island, Zaporozhye region
Biryuchiy Island is a spit in the Sea of Azov with special flora and fauna, and absolutely clean places untouched by the tourist infrastructure. In 1993, the Azov-Sivash National Park was created here, where hundreds of species of animals and birds live. Some of them have already become extinct on the mainland or are on the verge of extinction. There is a huge concentration of various artiodactyls: red deer, fallow deer, kulans, mouflons, which can be seen on an excursion to the reserve.
Zarvanytsia, Ternopil region
Zarvanytsia is a monastery in the Ternopil region, founded in the 19th century. But in the 2000s, a modern landscape-pilgrimage complex grew up next to it. A real mini-Jerusalem is built on a vast territory, in the center of which there is a copy of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, and along the edges there are copies of the Lion’s Gate and the Tower of David, the steps of Repentance, along which Jesus Christ ascended to the court of the Roman procurator Pilate. There is also a garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed before falling into the hands of the guards. Zarvanitsa will be interesting not only for believers, but also for fans of unusual architecture.
Kamyanets-Podilsky, Khmelnytsky region
On the peninsula, formed by the loop of the Smotrych river canyon, there is the city of Kamyanets-Podolsk with cozy architecture and a medieval fortress, which in ancient times was a defensive outpost from invaders. Now it is a visiting card of the city, which has been perfectly restored, in 1In 998, it received the status of a National Museum-Reserve, where you can spend the whole day and not be bored. You can visit the dungeons, see the structure of the towers, look at the Museum of Medieval Mechanisms, attend a pottery master class, shoot an archery and taste food cooked over a fire.
Fortress Tustan, Lviv region
The Tustan fortress is located near the village of Urych, in the Skole district of the Lviv region. The fortress has no analogues, because natural Uritsky rocks 50 meters high were used in its foundation. The rocks rise on the left slope of the valley of the Urichanka stream, and the remains of building structures and walls, which are the heritage of the fortress, have been found near an outstanding archaeological monument. Today it is a unique museum where you can not only walk around the territory of old fortifications, but also see on your smartphone on your smartphone how everything looked in the XI-XIII centuries, when the fortress served as a defensive outpost.
Baturyn, Chernihiv region
Baturyn is the former residence of the hetmans of the Left-Bank Ukraine. This city occupies a tragic place in history: in 1708, the Moscow army under the command of Alexander Menshikov captured Baturin and completely destroyed buildings, civilians and Cossacks. The reason for this barbarism was the transition of the then hetman Ivan Mazepa to the side of the Swedes. Baturin was repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt. And from 2003 to 2009, a large-scale reconstruction took place here. On the site of wastelands and ruins, the Hetman Capital National Historical and Cultural Reserve has grown. The Baturyn fortress, the house of the general judge Kochubey and the Razumovsky palace were completely restored.
Bakota, Khmelnytsky region
Bakota is a picturesque place on the banks of the Dniester canyon in the Khmelnytsky region, known to many Ukrainians who love beautiful nature. Bakota has a tragic story: on the site of the reservoir there was a village of the same name, in which people lived until 1981. Due to the construction of the Dniester hydroelectric power station, the Soviet authorities evicted from their own houses and flooded this place. Bakota may have been forgotten, but it is now a popular vacation spot. Meteorologists and tourists note that near Bakota there is a unique, almost Mediterranean microclimate. Therefore, in recent decades, tourists have come here for a comfortable rest on the water.
Oleshkovsky sands, Kherson region
The second largest desert in Europe – Oleshkovsky Sands – was used as a military bombing range before the collapse of the USSR. But in 2010, a National Park was created here, in which tourists go hiking, ride ATVs, go on an ecological excursion and even spend the night in the desert in a tent.
Fountain Roshen, Vinnytsia
The Roshen light and music fountain was opened in 2011 and has become a real magnet that attracts tourists to Vinnitsa. In the warm season, thousands of people gather on the embankment every evening to see this impressive show on the waters of the Southern Bug. During the day, the fountain shoots jets to music up to a height of 60 meters. And in the evening everyone will see a laser, music and light show that demonstrates all the technical capabilities of this facility. Roshen is one of the ten most beautiful fountains in the world.
Vorontsovsky lighthouse, Odessa
The Vorontsov lighthouse is over 150 years old. Over the years, the wooden lighthouse was replaced by a cast-iron one, and now it is a stone structure, which has become one of the symbols of Odessa. The modern lighthouse was built in the 1950s. In the last decade, tourists have the opportunity to walk along the quarantine breakwater “Lighthouse Path”. This is an excursion to the Vorontsov lighthouse, which is accompanied by salty spray of waves, glare of the sun and flocks of Black Sea dolphins. The entire water area is perfectly visible from the lighthouse, huge ships, small boats and yachts pass in the immediate vicinity.
Source and pictures: Vesti Magazine