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15 Reasons to Visit Ukraine Now

The question that’s on your mind right now is probably the same question

I asked before I booked a trip to Ukraine. I asked, “Is it safe?” Just about everyone that knows me asked that as well. Every answer that came back to me was, “Yes,” followed by a “but.”

 

Ukraine is involved in a long-standing war with Russia after Russians invaded the eastern part of the country. Russia’s aggression has affected every aspect of Ukrainian life. There is always a threat of violence. Even while I was visiting Ukraine, sirens went off, causing us to move to the basement of the hotel one morning.

 

Even with the sirens, I always felt safe in Lviv and the surrounding areas. For the average Ukrainian, the sirens have become part of life. It’s Russia’s way of attempting to disrupt the life of everyday Ukrainians. I ate at great locations, walked the streets, visited museums and churches, and snowboarded in the mountains and never once was afraid.
I still get asked why Ukraine is a tourist destination, which is why I am answering that question with a list of reasons.

Fifteen Reasons to Visit Western Ukraine Now!

1. Ukrainians want you to come. Before the trip, I wondered if Ukrainians would be upset that an American was visiting Ukraine. That they might think I was taking advantage of them because the US dollar is stronger than the hryvnia. This was not the case. Everywhere I went, I felt welcomed. Often, strangers would come up to us and ask us questions. Over and over again, we were told, “thank you for coming.”

 

2. Exchange rates benefit Americans. The most expensive part of the trip is the plane ticket, but even that is not too expensive. Americans can have a 5-star experience at budget prices.

 

3. Ukrainian hospitality is unlike any place else I’ve visited. It didn’t matter where we stayed, what we ate, or the type of excursion, Ukrainians always made sure I had the best experience of my life. I’m not tossing kind words in here to make you want to read my stories and book a trip. It’s the honest truth. I have never received such great service anywhere. Often when you visit a place, you know that you’re getting a service because you’re paying and they want a good tip. That didn’t register in Ukraine. I was constantly welcomed with kindness and exemplary service.

 

4. Lviv is the ideal European city you’re looking for. The cobblestone streets and colorful facades provide that European getaway. Lviv’s Old Town is listed as a UNESCO site and there are charming cafes and restaurants on every block.

 

5. One of the best reasons to travel is to experience a different culture. With a blend of Ukrainian, Polish, and Austro-Hungarian influences, there’s plenty to absorb while on a Ukrainian vacation.

 

6. Ukraine has amazing ski resorts. The largest ski resort in Eastern Europe is Bukovel, which is in Western Ukraine. I have written about the ski/snowboard scene previously. Winter sports enthusiasts have a plethora of resorts to choose from and can take advantage of the exchange rate. One can book a trip to Ukraine and still spend a lot less than a ski trip to Canada or the top ski resorts in the United States.

 

7. The Carpathian Mountains are beautiful. Most people don’t have stunning mountain views in their mind when then think of Ukraine, but the Carpathians are an unhidden gem. With incredible views, the Carpathian Mountains are a glorious sight. They are perfect for winter recreation, horseback riding, beautiful drives, and hiking. Nature lovers will not want to leave.

 

8. The art scene continues to flourish in Ukraine. The Lviv Opera and Ballet continue to wow audiences with sights and sounds. Museums representing the best of Eastern Europe are found throughout the country. War will never stop art from bringing joy and guiding civilizations toward a better tomorrow.

 

9. The culinary scene will delight every foodie that ventures to Ukraine. Borscht became my go-to and I have yet to find an equal substitute since being back in the USA. Each region has their specialty dishes and one could take a food tour alone that would be worth the trip.

 

10. Medical art spas are perfected in Ukraine. I’ve often thought about booking a medical spa stay, but they’re too costly here in the US and in Canada. I toured 3 medical spas in Ukraine and was amazed at how thoroughly a person can be checked out and made better. Spas in Ukraine are next level. Whether visiting a medical spa or a local banya, guests will leave better than when they arrived.

 

11. You can’t go to Europe without visiting a castle, and Ukraine has plenty of them. It appears every village has a local castle with tales of battles and valor. Castles dating back hundreds of years are available for both guided and self-guided tours. History comes to life passing through the large stone buildings.

 

12. One of my favorite things to do when I visit Europe is to walk through old churches. The churches in Ukraine are architectural masterpieces. Inside, visitors can find beautiful religious artwork and an insight into Ukraine’s rich cultural heritage. Another reason I love to visit churches in Europe is that they can provide a sense of serenity and spiritual connection to those in the community that worship there.

 

13. Hutsuls in the Carpathian Mountains offer guest an interesting look at the old way of life. Tourists can walk through a traditional Hutsul home, eat delicious cuisine, and participate in their folklore and beliefs. It’s always interesting to step into a different world and I can’t stress enough about visiting a traditional Hutsul restaurant. It would be a highlight on any vacation.

 

14. Get there before everyone else does. Americans, we like to be the first ones to experience something. Tourism in Ukraine will take off soon and you’ll want to get there before it does. The country is too inviting for visitors to pass up for long. With something for everyone, Ukraine is ready and open for business.

 

15. The people. The greatest thing about Ukraine is that it’s comprised of Ukrainians. They are Ukraine’s greatest resource. Ukrainians constantly impressed me with their amiable disposition, enthusiastic conversation, and sincere kindness.

 

I could easily list 25 more reasons to visit Ukraine, but I’ll stop at 15. Before visiting Ukraine, I had the idea that Ukrainians would be so overcome with war that joy would be hard to find. I was wrong about my assumptions. Ukrainians are still living life to the fullest and seeking jubilation in everyday life. And that’s exactly what a vacation should be as well.
For tour booking opportunities please contact Sasha Vosk of Rebuild Ukraine Travel at sasha@rebuildukrainetravel.com or www.rebuildukrainetravel.com

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