Cheap Holidays to Ukraine
Ukraine Holidays & Hotels
Hotels in Ukraine
An under-visited country in the heart of Eastern Europe, Ukraine offers a chilled getaway for those who fancy something a little off the beaten path. The country’s main cities, Kiev and Lviv, sparkle with elaborate Orthodox churches and fascinating history, but there’s more to be seen on day trips including wide open forested mountains and picturesque beaches along the Black Sea coastline.
Whether you’re got your sights set on the capital or want to branch out into under-visited territories, Ukraine is well equipped to deal with backpackers as well as families and small groups. Accommodation is mainly found in the tourist hotspots of Kiev and Lviv, with city apartments, budget-friendly hostels and luxurious 5* hotels providing a place for everyone to stay. Bags packed? Prepare to be dazzled by Ukraine’s unique mix of traditional and contemporary charm!
Where to stay
Kiev is an energetic city that’s usually travellers’ first experience of Ukraine. It’s found close to the heart of the country and encompasses a sensational mix of historic buildings and modern-day architecture. The city brings Ukraine’s Soviet history to life, and is a popular gateway for visiting other parts of the country.
From budget rooms in student accommodation to 4* hotels just off the city centre, Kiev isn’t short on accommodation options. There are also a number of apartments available for those wanting an Eastern European home-away-from-home, while modern hostels provide the opportunity for travellers on a budget to connect with new friends.
Close to the border with Poland is Lviv, a beautiful city that’s often overlooked in favour of the more famous Kiev. Lviv is a Unesco-listed city with a quaint Old Town, cosy cafes and a modern tram network.
While accommodation options in Lviv aren’t quite as plentiful as those in Kiev, you won’t struggle with finding a place to lay your head. The city features budget hostels as well as 5* city-centre hotels.
What to see
A dazzling mix of elaborate buildings and mountainous terrain, Ukraine has more to offer than initially meets the eye. It’s home to Bukovel ski resort in one corner, as well as beaches down in Odessa, located on the south coast. Plus, during the summer you can take to the great outdoors to experience hikes, rafting and rock climbing along Bug River and in National Nature Park Synevir.
Popular Kiev has plenty of landmarks to get the camera out for including the 11th St Sophia’s Cathedral, St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery and Golden Gate, a reconstructed medieval city gate in the heart of the city. Kiev is also home to a number of quirky attractions; notable ones include Park Landscape Alley - a selection of colourful local artwork in a public park - and the Museum of Toilet History.
Many also visit Kiev in order to take trips out to Chernobyl, the site of the infamous nuclear disaster in 1986. For safety reasons, access isn’t allowed unless you’re on a guided tour, so be sure to book yours in advance. The sensitive tours allow visitors to view the site of the tragedy within the Chernobyl Zone up close.
The Ukraine isn’t awash with nightlife opportunities, but there’s still plenty in the larger cities to accommodate a good night out. Kiev in particular has nightclubs, cocktail bars and lounges scattered around its city centre, although some might find it easier to find a local guide to help them navigate the best venues to go. Podil and Old Kiev are two neighbourhoods where it’s not hard to stumble upon a pub, bohemian cafe or chilled-out bar. Coffee houses are another popular feature of Kiev’s nightlife, with many open until late.
What to eat
Hearty foods epitomise Ukrainian food, with dishes containing shed-loads of seasoning to help enhance flavours even more. Traditional chicken Kievs are, of course, always worth trying when you reach the Ukraine, but other favourite dishes include borscht - a colourful soup that’s made with a mixture of vegetables and meat - and kasha porridge, a breakfast food which is made with grains boiled in water or milk. Potato pancakes - or deruny as they’re known in the Ukraine - are enjoyed for breakfast or dinner, and are usually fried or baked for a crispy finish. Varenyky are also worth getting your hands on; these are dumplings that are filled with sweet or savoury ingredients such as cottage cheese, potatoes or strawberries.
Traditional souvenirs such as nesting dolls, painted wooden eggs and folk blouses are easy to pick up at tourist gift shops across the Ukraine, although these are typically more noticeable in Kiev than any other city. In Lviv, be sure to check out the three-storey Forum Lviv shopping centre in the heart of the city, or purchase unique homemade items in Koza Dereza, a quirky gift shop close to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Boim Chapel. In Kiev there are many more shopping opportunities, with large-scale shopping centres and department stores such as TSUM, Ocean Plaza and Skymall. For something a little different, have a meander around the monthly Kurazh Bazar flea market if you’re in town.
Fast Facts about Ukraine
- Direct flight time: From 2 hours 40 minutes
- Time Zone: GMT +2
- Currency: Ukrainian Hryvnia
- Language: Ukranian
- Average price of a domestic beer: 25 Ukrainian Hryvnia (?)
- Average price of a bottle of wine: 100 Ukrainian Hryvnia (?)
- Number of Brit tourists per year: Around 116,200