There are hundreds of things to do in Ukraine every traveler to this great Eastern European country has to try.
From eating local food, taking tons of pictures, buying vyshyvanka, or just strolling Khreshchatyk in Kyiv, recommendations abound for what to do when traveling to Ukraine.
But what about less popular, yet just as entertaining, things you can do?
Read further to create your own custom travel map of Ukraine!
1. Visit Arsenalna, the Deepest Metro Station in the World
At Arsenalna station, the spirit of Soviet Ukraine is almost visible, with marble tiles, straight angles, and dimmed copper Soviet stars noticeable in the grid of air circuit tunnels. It is a must-see Ukraine location to get closer to the capital’s past and to learn exactly what it feels like to have 105.5 meters of earth over your head, making it the deepest metro station in the world. For more nifty trivia like this, check out our article on interesting facts about Ukraine.
2. Check Out the Kyiv Crematorium Building
Among the places to see in Ukraine, the Kyiv Crematorium is, probably, one of the most controversial. The concrete structure was built in the neo-modernist style, with flowing lines and an unusual outline meant to convey a reverence to death itself. The building serves its functions since the 1960s and is a place worth visiting for those who enjoy architecture (and are morbidly curious!).
3. Stroll Down Andriyivskyy Descent
Andriyivskyy Street, or the Andriyivskyy Descent, is one of the oldest landmarks in the Ukrainian capital, thanks to which it diligently attracts thousands of tourists every day. The cobblestone descent used to connect the Lower City (Podil) with the Upper City, it still bears the charm of the Kyiv’s fascinating past. Aside from admiring the descent itself, you can visit the museum of the famous writer Bulgakov or shop for souvenirs from the local traders on the sides of the street. Perched on the very top, you’ll find the colorful St. Andrew’s Church.
4. Get Blinded at Kyiv’s Pechersk Lavra
Visiting Ukraine, you simply can not miss the spectacular Kyiv Pechersk Lavra. The ancient monastery is one of the country’s wonders open for tourists to visit. The excursions in the extensive catacombs or a simple tour around the museum will show you an unknown side of the city. It still serves its main goal, being home to more than a hundred Orthodox Christian monks. Dozens of shiny golden domes from all the various towers and buildings sparkle in the sunlight, so bring sunglasses in the daytime!
5. Learn More About Pripyat
Ukraine had a lot of gruesome events in its history, but the Chernobyl catastrophe, recently depicted in the self-named TV series, left an etched mark on every single Ukrainian. Many years have passed, and now Pripyat is open to people wishing to learn more about the abandoned town. And those who truly want to go deep into the topic are encouraged to visit the Museum of Chernobyl in the historical part of Kyiv.
6. Take Awesome Flower Pics in Grishko Central Botanical Garden
You hardly ever find the Grishko Botanical Garden among the list of what to see in Ukraine, but this place truly is worth your attention. Ukraine is overall known for its picturesque nature, and this botanical garden is the best proof. Tally roughly 1,500 unique species of plants, and an innumerable amount of roses, lilies, magnolias, and peony sorts, it is best visited at the beginning of spring.
7. Become an Alchemist in “Under the Black Eagle” Pharmacy Museum
There are many exciting places to go in Ukraine, but Lviv Pharmacy Museum is not like all the others. It is the oldest pharmacy in the city, which supplies locals with meds even now. However, the most interesting part of this location is the museum, where hundreds of drugs, ingredients, instruments, and recipes are stored.
8. Catch Melancholy in the Yard of Lost Toys
In one of Lviv’s back-alley courtyards, a small man-made exhibit of lost toys is hidden. A little bit sad, yet spectacular, it is one of the best free things to do in Ukraine. There you can take stylish selfies, place your own toy for others down the road, or take one that appeals to your heart and give it a home.
9. Look Down from Lviv’s Town Hall
From the 45-meter-high tower of the Lviv Town Hall, you’ll witness a breathtaking view over the old city – but only if you’re sturdy enough to climb the 408 steps of the spiral staircase. But it’ll be worth it. All of Lviv’s districts are spread out before your eyes, dazzling you with a diversity of architectural shapes. The view from the tower indeed can be called one of the most thrilling Ukraine sights.
10. Hide Behind the Walls of Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle
To feel like a real knight, you have to visit this old castle dating back to the 14th century. It is greatly preserved – seven watchtowers, dark catacombs, three terraces protected by high fortification walls all carry you centuries back. Traveling to Ukraine, you need to put Kamianets-Podilskyi into your “places-to-visit” list for sure.
11. Learn About Cossacks Living on Zaporozhian Sich
Zaporizhzhya is a small industrial town which once was a haven for Cossacks – Ukrainian warriors that brought independence to the southern part of Ukraine. They lived in Zaporozhian Sich – a semi-autonomous state, that was situated on Khortytsia island. Paying a visit to this renovated & historically accurate town of Cossacks is among the top things to do in Ukraine.
12. Ride Through the Tunnel of Love
A small railroad 3.1 miles in length brings you on a fascinating journey through the so-called “Tunnel of Love.” Located near the town of Klevan, it often leads the list of what to do in Ukraine thanks to the unusually intertwined branches of trees and ivy creating an actual green tunnel. We highly recommend checking it out in the autumn for a cute, and romantic, Ukrainian activity.
13. Explore the Carpathian Mountains
As mentioned earlier, Ukraine is known for its unexplored lands. The Carpathian Mountains, with their wild nature, became a favorite spot for many Ukrainians and foreign tourists as well. They adore Carpathian ski resorts in the winter and improve their health at the numerous local sanatoriums or go camping in the summer.
14. Enjoy High Culture at the Odessa Opera House
Being a port city, Odessa used to be a multicultural center of Ukraine. Nobles and smugglers lived there side by side, sharing their love of the narrow streets of the city. The Odessa National Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet, uniting neo-baroque and rococo styles, is the epitome of Odessa’s love for distinct and pompous architecture. It is a gorgeous landmark and probably on the top of the best things to do in Ukraine if you’re a connoisseur of high culture.
15. Make an Ascent of the Potemkin Stairs
The last but not the least, the Potemkin Stairs in Odessa is a familiar site for all Ukrainians thanks to the Soviet film “Battleship Potemkin.” More than 192 steps 88.6 feet in height are built in a way to create a fascinating optical illusion. When one looks at the Potemkin Stairs from their lowest point, they only see an endless row of steps, while a person looking down the stairs sees only their broad landing. From the stairs’ top, you’ll catch an exciting view over the sea and a harbor station.
Well, that’s all for now! We hope we’ve helped you figure out the best things to do in Ukraine. It’s a charming country with picturesque lands and a unique culture you’ll indeed fall in love with, so go pack your suitcase – Ukraine is waiting for you!
Got any questions, comments, or more Ukraine things to do? Leave us a note below, and thanks for reading!