While it is a bit challenging to travel to Ukraine from the United States at the moment, due to ongoing tensions between Ukraine and Russia, it is still legal to do so. Even though the United States has made wary statements about this travel destination, Ukraine is so large and diverse that there are endless stretches of space where you’d never know that there was war in the world, once your plane had landed. Ukraine rarely tops people’s lists for must-see places on the globe, but we’ll make a quick argument for why you might want to have it top yours.
Ukraine is perfect for lovers of history. It’s an ancient land, having survived dictators, civilizations, and tumult. Today, you can see lovely cathedrals, some in ruins, others in full bloom. Catch the Nutcracker at one of these places, and you’ll have truly experienced this classic piece of art like never before. In addition, you’ll see remnants of the Soviet Union, Stalin’s likeness still emblazoned upon buildings, faded signs, and statues. And though the country has officially declared this aspect of its governmental past a failure, the radical ideas of a couple of generations ago are still felt, reminding you that though these people are friendly, you are somewhere other than home.
Ukraine has modern cities with all the infrastructure you’d expect for comfort and communication. It’s even easy for individuals to communicate by phone between the United States and Ukraine, with NobleCom Ukraine phone cards and the NobleComApp. This makes it perfect for people on short holidays, who need to keep in touch with the people back home. It’s also fit for more long term holidays, during which time you may have to work or conduct business, needing a reliable phone service for the process.
While you might not have heard, Ukraine’s people are surprisingly friendly, by the standards of any country you can name. Friendly to Westerners and tourists, if you approach people with the right attitude, you may be surprised with just how generous they can be with their time and conversation. One of the best ways to speak to locals, many of whom are fluent in English, is while enjoying traditional Ukrainian food at a Soviet-era eatery. Make sure you are prepared to pack it in; Ukrainian food is never served in small quantities. But the delicious, savory meats and vegetables will make you want to stuff yourself, have a few drinks, and listen to the friendly gentlemen beside you at the bar explain the best things to do with your evening.
Ukraine may not be the sunniest or the fastest-growing, but it’s a mature country with amazing history, cultural traditions to beat the band, and cities and wildernesses aplenty. There’s something for everyone. If you want to visit somewhere in Europe that doesn’t have the feeling of France, Spain, or England, you couldn’t do better than Ukraine. Make it your next destination for a fun and affordable visit you won’t forget, and will soon want to repeat.