Tourism in Ukraine
Ukraine attracts more than 20 million foreign citizens every year (23.1 million in 2007). Visitors primarily come from Eastern Europe, but also from Western Europe (6.3 million) and USA and Israel and also Canada. The country is the 8th most popular tourism destination in Europe.
Ukraine is a destination on the crossroads between central and eastern Europe, between north and south. It borders Russia and is not far from Turkey. It has mountain ranges - the Carpathian Mountains suitable for skiing, hiking, fishing and hunting. The coastline on the Black Sea is a popular summer destination for vacationers. Ukraine has vineyards where they produce native wines, ruins of ancient castles, historical parks, Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant churches as well as a few mosques and synagogues. Kyiv, the country's capital city has many unique structures such as Saint Sophia Cathedral and broad boulevards. There are other cities well-known to tourists such as the harbour town Odesa and the old city of Lviv in the west. Most of Western Ukraine, which used to be within the borders of the Republic of Poland before World War II, is a popular destination for Poles. Crimea, a little "continent" of its own, is a popular vacation destination for tourists for swimming or sun tanning on the Black Sea with its warm climate, rugged mountains, plateaus and ancient ruins. Cities there include: Sevastopol and Yalta - location of the peace conference at the end of World War II. Visitors can also take cruise tours by ship on the Dnipro River from Kyiv to the Black Sea coastline. Ukrainian cuisine has a long history and offers a wide variety of original dishes.
The country's tourism industry is generally considered to be underdeveloped, but it does provide crucial support for Ukraine's economy. Ukraine does have certain advantages, including much lower costs than other European destinations, as well as visa-free access for most people from Europe, the former Soviet Union, and North America. Since 2005 citizens of European Union and EFTA, USA, Canada, Japan and South Korea no longer require a visa to visit Ukraine for tourism purposes. Also, no visa has been required for citizens of Russia, and other CIS countries (except Turkmenistan).
Popular tourist city destinations
- Kyiv — The historical capital of Kyivan Rus and modern Ukraine on the river Dnipro. Ancient churches, broad boulevards, beautiful landscapes and a variety of cultural facilities make it fascinating destination.
- Lviv — old Ruthenian city in the west of country, with its medieval old town and unique architecture with Polish and Austrian influences. The top tourist destination in Ukraine, when it comes to architecture and culture.
- Odessa — a harbor city on the Black Sea with a mixture of different cultures, including Jewish, Armenian, German, Russian and Greek cultures along with the native Ukrainian culture. Odessa is Black Sea resort and the largest trading center of Ukraine.
- Yalta — a health resort on Black Sea, where the post-World War II Yalta peace conference took place.
- Sevastopol — a port city on the Black Sea coast of Crimean peninsula.
- Simferopol — the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, on the Salhir River. It is a manufacturing, commercial, and transportation center located in a productive agricultural region.
- Chernihiv — ancient city of Kyivan Rus', one of the oldest cities in Ukraine, has lots of Medieval architecture. Some of the oldest human settlements in Europe have also been discovered in the area.
- Kharkiv — city's history started in the mid-17th century, when the kozaks created the Sloboda settlements; and since then, the city has turned into one of the largest commercial, cultural and educational centers in Ukraine with a population of over 1.7 million people. From December 1919 to June 1934, Kharkiv was the capital of Soviet Ukraine. The Ukrainian cultural renaissance commenced here in the years 1920-1930.
- Ivano-Frankivsk — western Ukrainian city that was recognized as the best city to live in Ukraine.
- Izmail — a historic town near the Danube river in the Odessa Oblast (province) of south-western Ukraine.
- Chernivtsi — the capital of Bukovina offers Balkan atmosphere and fine classical Habsburg architecture in Central-European style, as it was part of Austrian empire (prior to 1918).
- Uzhhorod — the capital of Transcarpathia, one of the oldest cities in Ukraine, attracts tourists because its location close to the Carpathian Mountains.
- Crimea - tropical climate, famous bathing resorts and mountain landscapes.
- Carpathian Mountains - impressive mountain landscapes with skiing and hiking possibilities, spas with cold and hot springs. Ski resorts include Bukovel, Slavske, Verkhovyna, Vorokhta.
- Hoverla - the highest mountain of Ukraine. Hiking.
- Azov coast - bathing resorts.
- Dnipro - cruises.
- Dnister — canoeing, boat sailing.
- Shatsk lakes - bathing, camping, hiking.
- Sofiyivsky Park, located in Uman, Ukraine.
- Waterfalls of Ukraine - ecotourism.
Seven Wonders of Ukraine
The Seven Wonders of Ukraine are the seven historical and cultural monuments of Ukraine, which were chosen in the Seven Wonders of Ukraine contest held in July, 2007.
- Sofiyivsky Park in Uman, Cherkasy Oblast
- Kyiv Pechersk Lavra (Monastery of the Caves) in Kyiv
- Kamianets-Podilskyi Historical Complex in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Khmelnytskyi Oblast
- Khortytsia in Zaporizhia, Zaporizhia Oblast
- Chersonesos in Sevastopol
- Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv
- Khotyn Fortress in Khotyn, Chernivtsi Oblast
Seven natural wonders of Ukraine
Winners of all Ukraine competition Seven natural wonders of Ukraine:
- Askania-Nova near Askania-Nova, Kherson Oblast
- Granite-steppe lands of Buh in Mykolaiv Oblast
- Dniester Canyon, Dnister
- Marble Caves in Crimea
- Tovtry Podillian Banks in Khmelnytskyi Oblast
- Lake Svitiaz part of a group of lakes near Shatsk, Volyn Oblast
- Lake Synevyr near village of Synevyrska Poliana in Carpathian Mountains
Lately many modern dental clinics with high quality dentistry equipment and high quality materials have been established in Ukraine. They provide patients with high quality dentistry services for prices much cheaper in comparison with Western and Russian clinics. Many tourists from USA, European Union and Russia arrive for dental services, providing a sort of dental tourism.
Number of foreign citizens who visit Ukraine
Statistics are based on data from the State Statistics Agency of Ukraine.
- Туристичні потоки (Ukrainian), State Statistics Committee of Ukraine
- В'їзд іноземних громадян в Україну за країнами, з яких вони прибули, у 2007 році (Ukrainian), State Statistics Committee of Ukraine
- Ukrainian Consulate General of Ukraine in New York - Nationalities with no Visa requirements
- Найкращим українським містом визнано Івано-Франківськ (Ukr.)
- Tourist flows to Ukraine: State Statistics Agency of Ukraine
- Tourism: Ukraine's Greatest Lost Opportunity. By Oksana Bondarchuk
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