10 Reasons to Visit Ukraine Travel Tips


Well well hello there! We hope you guys have enjoyed the Ukraine
video series that we’ve been putting out over the last few weeks. That has come to an end but we figured why
not sit down on our couch, take a little roadtrip down memory lane and talk about some experiences
and also a few reasons why we enjoyed visiting Ukraine. Yeah, exactly. We had such a good time in Ukraine and we
honestly like it wasn’t a place that we were even going to go to this year. Yeah, it was like it was a last minute decision
to be honest. It really was. It was it was the biggest travel surprise
of the year for us in terms of us really enjoying it. And what happened was as Canadians we could
only spend 3 out of 6 months in the Schengen Zone. Yes. Which is basically most of Europe. Most of Europe and so we had to get out and
Ukraine was one of the options of a place we could go. Yeah. So we’ve always wanted to visit Ukraine (Україна)
but one of the reasons that we came there was strategic and we had so many projects
this summer. It was like one after the other after the
other that by the time we arrived in Ukraine we hadn’t we didn’t really have enough time
to do a lot of prior research so we were just kind of hitting the ground running and so
everything was fresh and new to us and we ended up loving it so much that we wanted
to share 10 reasons why we think you should visit Ukraine (Україна). And Sam even got a cool shirt. I did. Yeah. I got this in Lviv (Львів). Oh man I love this. Love this shirt. So number 1 let’s talk about affordability. Ukraine is really really cheap for travelers
and we’re going to give you guys some examples. Let’s start with accommodations. So we stayed in an Airbnb. Yeah. And I remember when we were searching for
prices online um you can find like really nice entire apartments usually anywhere between
$15 to $35 dollars. Yeah. And if you look for anything higher it is
like luxury. Like a $40 apartment is luxurious. These are really nice apartments. Big spacious and great locations. Yeah. Both in we went to Kyiv and Lviv. And both times we were able to find like apartments
we were very happy with. Um, both under $30 dollars. So excellent value. And the next thing you’ll find really inexpensive
and great value in Ukraine is dining out because we were able to go and have like great meals
usually between like $5 to $10 US dollars. Yeah. And when you’re looking at $10 US dollars
per person that is usually several courses paired with wine and dessert. Wine, dessert and sharing appetizers. Things like that. And also you can find a bit more budget meals. You can definitely have cheap bites for under
$5 dollars. For under 5 US dollars like sometimes like
3 or 4 dollars. So yeah there is excellent value dining out
and it was just so fun. It was a great experience getting to do that
frequently because of the prices. Yes, and another thing that is really cheap
transportation. Probably the cheapest transportation we’ve
used so far. Yeah. I think you mentioned it was the equivalent
of 0.20 US cents. It was $0.20 at the time we visited I remember
it being 5 in local prices which was 20 US cents at the time. Yeah. Yeah, taking the metro was a whole experience. We’ll talk about that a bit later. Yeah. And the last thing we found to be great value
was shopping for groceries. And we’d get like chocolate, wine, fresh produce,
meats but we didn’t actually eat at home as much as we do in other countries. Yeah, because restaurants were so cheap so
we were like yeah we’re going to splurge. Yeah, exactly. So we had lots of really good meals. So reason number 2 we found Ukraine to be
super underrated. And we especially noticed this in the lack
of travelers. Yep. Like we would be visiting some of the main
attractions and like looking around it was just mostly local or domestic travelers but
you don’t see a lot of foreigners. Yeah, you don’t see like these big tour buses
and then all of these people piling out. Not at all. There weren’t massive lines to go to places. It was just I found that really refreshing
because in some cities in Europe it has gotten to the point where it is overwhelming to visit. Yeah. Because there is just so much going on but
we found there is this really underrated aspect of being in Ukraine (Україна). So the 3rd point is we want to talk about
safety and we both felt very safe in both Kiev (Київ) and Lviv. We were going around with our cameras out,
we also didn’t at anytime like we were in danger doing that. We also found that just by like I was jogging
at night for instance in Kyiv (Київ) and I had no issues whatsoever. Nobody hassled us. No. There was zero hassle factor. Now moving on to point number 4 let’s talk
about friendliness because we kind of thought we were going to have a bit of a language
barrier and maybe it would be really hard to communicate and people were going to be
like really harsh and stern but honestly we had a really positive experience. Yeah, it was positive right from the beginning. We’ll start with our Airbnb hosts. Both she was so nice. Both of them were fantastic. Oh yeah and the other guy too. He came to pick us up at the train station. Yeah, like I’ve never had a host come and
get you and like welcome you. They were very friendly in both places. Yeah. For instance in Kiev I remember our host printed
out our train tickets for us last minute and like you were saying in Lviv we got picked
up at the train station and we also got dropped off at the airport and that has never happened
anywhere else we’ve stayed around the world. That was cool. We found locals were really going above and
beyond ot make us feel welcome and that also extended to restaurants as we started to revisit
some of our favorite places. I remember there was one place in Kiev (Київ)
we went to O’Panas in the park nearby our house. Oh yeah, several times. Yeah, the staff got to know us and everyone
was very friendly and like every time we went there we felt even more welcome and we found
that um compared to other parts of Europe maybe not as much English is spoken by the
average person but even people who couldn’t speak English well we found there was lots
of friendly gestures. Lots of smiling. Lots of smiling and your tip was to learn. Oh yeah, so as a tip I would recommend learning
to read the Cyrillic alphabet. Like that is going to help you out a lot. Just being able to kind of like sound out
the food names like names of words. Yeah, exactly. Um and you did a better job of that than I
did so. Yeah, well I mean like we had been traveling
in Kyrgyzstan and we’ve been to Bulgaria. Yep. So like it just comes in handy. It is a good skill to have. Yeah, that is a really good travel tip for
Ukraine. Definitely. Okay part number 5 guys is the local food
scene. And if you’ve been watching our channel for
any length of time we ate a lot. Yeah, you know we ate a lot and you know we
are always going to talk about food wherever we go. So we ate some really delicious things one
of my favorite things was Ukrainian dumplings called Varenyky (Вареники). Oh, those were so good. We ate those like all of the time. Yeah. And then when we went out to Lviv I really
enjoyed a dish called Banosh (Банош) which basically it kind of like had polenta
cornmeal mix with bacon and sheep goats cheese. Sheep’s cheese. And oh that was so good and hearty. And which ones did you like? Um, we had Deruny (деруни) I believe
it is like it was stacks of potato pancakes. They were just like and sometimes we would
just get the plain pancakes but other times we would get it with like this creamy mushroom
sauce and chicken. Ooh my goodness that was so good. So good. And we also had quite a bit of Borscht (борщ)
and that is kind of a classic. Yeah, so those are 4 things you can try and
there is lots of great traditional Ukrainian restaurants. Um, we went to a lot of them. I remember in Kyiv (Київ) we really liked
O’Panas, we really liked Pervak and then we went to Sevel Piggies in Lviv. So yeah they were all really good. Yeah, and the food is very hearty and filling. So bring your appetite and maybe skip breakfast. Haha. And speaking of food number 6 let’s talk about
the International Food Scene because there is some of that going on. So while we were in Kiev we had quite a bit
of Georgian food that is really popular. Oh, that was delicious. We found a place called Mama Manana. Oh. You know what? That is vying for maybe even our favorite
restaurant that we ate at in the whole country. It was so good. So good. It was all so good. We also had great Korean food. Yep. We ate sushi. We didn’t show this in Lviv but we found a
place a little Italian place that was doing like wood oven fire pizzas. Yeah. They were delicious too. Yeah. And then there was also like little pop up
restaurants. Oh yeah. So like you would have these little like minivans
that would open up and there would be a little coffee shop or a little cocktail bar. And they would usually park in the parks or
like near intersections and you could just go and order your coffee in the morning. So that was kind of cool. Yeah, so it was just like great great food
scene in Ukraine and that was one of the reasons we loved travel in Ukraine so much. There was good food. Haha. So number 7 let’s talk about transportation
because it is pretty cool especially in Kyiv (Киев) we rode the metro a lot to get
around like right from day 1 and not only was it cheap but the stations were so grand
so you’d go like underground and you’d have these like massive arches and yeah they had
like chandaliers and these cool things. It was an experience. And the trains tended to be quite rustic and
they were rattlers. They were shakers. And yeah I we kind of I don’t know for some
reason we have this weird thing about enjoying that kind of stuff. And the other cool part is that it has the
deepest metro station in the world. Yes. So that would be Arsenalna. Yeah. Five minute ride isn’t it? Yeah, it takes five minutes. Five minutes and you have to ride down two
separate escalators. It is a five minute ride and they are very
fast moving escalators. So you can imagine how deep that is going. Yeah, so that was cool. And so the other cool the other part I wanted
to mention about transportation too is we found it really easy to get from the airport
to the city center. We just took a bus and then we transferred
on the metro in Kiev (Київ). And then the other thing that was great was
that we took the train from Kyiv to Lviv and it was awesome. Like the train was very comfortable, it left
on time. In fact it even arrived five minutes earlier
than scheduled. Ooh. Which is always a nice thing. That tends to be rare anywhere you take trains. And I remember it was very affordable so we
actually upgraded to first class. That is right. Yeah, that is right. I think our tickets if I remember correctly
were 500 local which is about $20 dollars. So yeah, it was very affordable and that was
like for a five or six hour ride if I remember correctly. So yeah transportation was a big bonus of
traveling in Ukraine (Україна). So number 8 let’s talk about architecture
and I feel like that is reason enough to visit Ukraine. Honestly going into it I was kind of expecting
super drab Soviet looking architecture and you do get a few buildings like that but honestly
like most of the streets were stunning. Yeah. Like let’s talk about Kiev (Киев) first. Like some of the streets in that city looked
straight out of Paris. Like everything was so ornate and elaborate. I was thinking of Paris or Buenos Aires like
really nice balconies and you were also impressed by the colors as well. Yeah, so a lot of the buildings were painted
these bright colors like you had teals and blues and yellows and I just thought it added
like a really nice profile of colors especially on a gray day. Yeah, I agree with you and it was interesting
to see how some buildings were being maintained better than others it just gave it some variety
while we were walking around. Yeah. And you know what? We actually noticed quite a bit of restoration
work taking place. Yep. In some of the you know older more historic
buildings. So yeah the architecture ended up being one
of the more underrated features of visiting Ukraine for us. Yeah. So number 9 let’s talk about churches because
I feel like this is the main attraction in most cities. Well, we only did Kiev and Lviv (Львів)
but we saw a lot of churches. Um, and monasteries and cathedrals. Um, just speaking personally I’ll just interject
here I mean if you’ve been traveling in Europe for a while you can actually get fatigued
from visiting churches because it is just one after the other some of them look similar
between city to city. But the churches and monasteries and cathedrals
in Ukraine were quite impressive. Yeah, they were very different. First of all you’ve got that classic onion-dome
like on top of the churches. A lot of them were gold so like you can see
them shimmering off in the distance. Also like just like a lot of the buildings
in the city we found that the churches were very colorful. Sometimes as impressive as they were from
the outside it was like once you went in they were even more impressive inside. Like they were so ornate and it was a whole
experience especially some of the more Orthodox ones like for you you would be covering up. Yeah as a women you do have to cover up and
like kind of wear a scarf over your head so something to keep in mind. And yeah, I should mention that these are
active places of worship so often times we’d be going in but people would be praying and
worshiping so you kind of have to be mindful of that and like trying not to encroach. In Lviv (Львів) we kept every church
that we visited there was a wedding going on. Yeah. We were kind of like wedding crashers in Lviv. We were being very discreet trying to film
but it was fascinating. And in Lviv you have many different types
of churches. Yeah, we visited Armenian churches, Jesuit
churches, Bernardine churches. So yeah, lots of churches to choose from for
sure. So we certainly had our fill in Ukraine (Україна). Haha. So for number 10 we want to talk about the
diversity of places in Ukraine. Yep. And I know we’re probably not the best people
to talk about this since we only visited two destinations but we’ve had so many different
suggestions in the comments like in all of the videos we’ve been making and we’ve actually
been researching these places. So there is a lot of nature. Um, the one place that kept coming up was
Odessa. You guys have got to go to Odessa. Yeah. So there is just there is a lot of places
that we didn’t get to even explore within the country that make us want to go back and
revisit again because we had such a good experience in Kyiv and Lviv (Львів). Yeah. And yeah, it was just an awesome experience
for us so it makes us want to go back to Ukraine and to experience a whole lot more. So if any of you have tips and suggestions
of like some places that you think would be great to visit, maybe some underrated places
in the country please let us know in the comments below because I think this will really help
others. So that is a wrap for this video and those
are our 10 reasons to visit Ukraine we hope you were able to inspire you guys a little
bit to add a new country to your bucket-list. Yeah, exactly this is a place we really enjoyed
and we hope these travel tips to Ukraine (Україна) really helped you out. And if you have any other tips you’d like
to share please leave those below in the comments. And yeah, we just had a great time in Ukraine. We can’t express that enough. So just go out there and visit. Alright, bye. Tata.

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