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Sightseeings of Ukraine

by Юлия Вакулик


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14 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Ukraine
A Photobook by Yuliia Vakulyk
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As the largest country in Europe, Ukraine offers many attractions for tourists, including festivals celebrating its rich culture and a handsome selection of centuries-old architecture. From the rolling countryside to the cobblestone streets of old city centers, Ukraine's people are just as diverse as its landscape, and they are some of the most hospitable folks in Europe.
The never-opened Ferris Wheel in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, Northern Ukraine
Are you familiar with the term Dark Tourism? It refers to travel to places associated with death and tragic occurrences. The 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero in New York City, Alcatraz in San Francisco, Pearl HarborPompeii, and The Killing Fields of Cambodia are all popular examples. Visitors to Ukraine can add the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, ground zero for the disaster, to the list.
The explosion, which took place in 1989, is located in the town of Pripyat in the Northern Ukraine. The sight has recently been open to the public—but you must visit with an authorized tour company. If you are worried about radiation, tests conducted disclose that travelers receive more exposure on a transatlantic flight than they receive during a visit to Chernobyl.
Close to 65 miles from Kiev, it's an easy, full-day trip from the capital with a Chernobyl Tour. Tour operators can pick up visitors at their hotel and drop them off after the tour. During the transport, you will see an informative video about the disaster. Narration and actual footage bring the incident into reality and prepare visitors for what lies ahead.
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As a UNESCO World Heritage Site since the 1980s, St. Sophia's Cathedral (also called Saint Sophia Cathedral) is a favorite of visitors. With an elaborate Baroque exterior consisting of 13 golden domes, this cathedral stands out among the other historic buildings. Its beauty draws you into a jaw-dropping interior.
Inside, you'll find the space filled with beautiful murals, ancient mosaics, and frescoes that are centuries old. Take a tour or sit through a service to get the full experience.
Named for Hagia Sophia, St. Sophia's is one of Kiev's most noted landmarks since its construction in 1037. One of the best views in Kiev is from the bell tower—it's well worth the hike to the top!
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With the explosion of gastronomic tourism of late, many feel there's no better way to dig deep into a new culture than through their food. Traditional Ukrainian borscht can be found in restaurants all over the country. Available either hot or cold, it's a perfect example of the citizens stretching ingredients when times were tough, and if you're lucky, the very best versions will inspire you to find a recipe to make once you're back home.
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Grab your flashlight or headlamp and head to the Tarakaniv Fort, located just outside the village of Dubno and about two hours from Lviv, near the Ikva River in the west of Ukraine. It was originally built to protect the Lviv-Kiev railroad route, and visiting it is a one-of-a-kind experience.
This ruin has a tunnel entrance and is not for those with claustrophobia. Dating back to Imperial Russia, there are centuries-old tunnels and passages to explore.
Visitors will want to get here early to access the attraction before the groups. It's a great place for photographers, history buffs, and adventurers, but be sure to wear good shoes and watch out for the sometimes treacherous terrain.
Getting here is easy—take a cab from Dubno. There are many tours on offer as well.
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