Despite being one of the biggest countries in Europe, Ukraine is often largely ignored and unexplored by the travelling community. This Eastern European country is bordered by Russia to the east and north-east, Belarus to the northwest, Poland and Slovakia to the west, Hungary, Romania, and Moldova to the southwest, and the Black Sea and Sea of Azov to the south and southeast, respectively. With its varied landscapes and cultural diversity, Ukraine is a powerful country in its own right and the treasures it possesses ought to be unwrapped slowly.
Kick-start the trip by heading over its dynamic capital - Kiev. Some of its attractions include: Kievo-Pechersky Lavra - Cave Monastery serves as a significant pilgrimage site for Ukrainian Orthodox Christians, St. Sophia's Cathedral - one of the oldest church in Kiev, St. Voldymyr's Cathedral - built in Russian-Byzantine style, extraordinary Golden Gate - last remnant of the 10th-century walls built to defend the city and so forth.
When in Odessa, be sure to visit the famous site of the renowned Potemkin Stairway from Sergei Eisenstein's film, Battleship Potemkin. A few of its sightseeing points include the peaceful and tranquil Odessa City Garden, Tyoschin bridge (Mother-in-law bridge), Odessa Numismatics Museum, Odessa Opera Theatre, Vorontsov Lighthouse - a red-and-white 27.2 meter structure in the Black Sea port of the city and so forth.
Do visit the stunning Lviv - a plethora of architectural delights. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, be sure to explore the Old Town brimming with glittering Gothic, baroque, Renaissance and rococo buildings. If you're musically inclined, watch a theatre or operatic performance at The Ivan Franko Opera House. Do head over to South to visit Yalta. Nicknamed as the 'Pearl of the Crimea', one of the gems to visit is the Livadia Palace, where Roosevelt Churchill and Stalin met in 1945 to reshape the map of Europe.
When it comes to natural wonders, do catch a glimpse of the majestic and towering Carpathian Mountains. Winter sports enthusiasts will be pleased for skiing and snowboarding is possible here. Some of the top resorts are Bukovel, Slavsko, Drahobrat and Tysovets. Take a day trip from Kiev to explore Chernobyl to witness the scene of the globe's worst ever nuclear disaster.
When it comes to shopping, Ukrainian souvenirs include hand painted eggs (pyansky), carved wooden items and matryoshka dolls, which are actually Russian in origin, hand-embroidered clothes and so forth. As for cuisine, do dig into Borshch (beetroot soup made with meat broth),Varenniki (dumplings containing potatoes, cheese, meat or fruit) and Deruny (potato pancakes).
The stay options in Ukraine are plenty with the best luxury hotels, private apartments and cheap accommodations available. So tourists have an opportunity to choose an option that is suitable to them.
Ukraine experiences temperate continental climate with cold, snowy winters and warm summers. The best time to visit are spring and autumn months for the temperatures are relatively pleasant.