Ukraine  Travel Guide : Food, hotel, Cost, Weather & geography, History, language, culture, things to see and do and how to reach

You can find about travel advice such as public places & services, best restaurants, activities, sightseen and other key facts of the Ukraine .

Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It is the second-largest country in Europe after Russia, which it borders to the east and north-east. Ukraine also shares borders with Belarus to the north; Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary to the west; Romania and Moldova to the south; and has a coastline along the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. It spans an area of 603,628 km2 (233,062 sq mi), with a population of 41.4 million, and is the eighth-most populous country in Europe. The nation's capital and largest city is Kyiv.

The territory of modern Ukraine has been inhabited since 32,000 BC. During the Middle Ages, the area was a key centre of East Slavic culture, with the powerful state of Kievan Rus' forming the basis of Ukrainian identity. Following its fragmentation into several principalities in the 13th century and the devastation created by the Mongol invasion, the territorial unity collapsed and the area was contested, ruled, and divided by a variety of powers, including the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, and Russia. A Cossack republic emerged and prospered during the 17th and 18th centuries, but its territory was eventually split between Poland and the Russian Empire. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, a Ukrainian national movement for self-determination emerged, and the internationally recognized Ukrainian People's Republic was declared on 23 June 1917. After World War II, the western part of Ukraine merged into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and the whole country became a part of the Soviet Union. Ukraine gained its independence in 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Following its independence, Ukraine declared itself a neutral state;[10] it formed a limited military partnership with Russia and other CIS countries while also establishing a partnership with NATO in 1994. In 2013, after the government of President Viktor Yanukovych had decided to suspend the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement and seek closer economic ties with Russia, a several-months-long wave of demonstrations and protests known as the Euromaidan began, which later escalated into the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that led to the overthrow of Yanukovych and the establishment of a new government. These events formed the background for the annexation of Crimea by Russia in March 2014 and the War in Donbas in April 2014. On 1 January 2016, Ukraine applied for the economic component of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the European Union.

Ukraine is a developing country ranking 74th in the Human Development Index. It is the poorest country in Europe alongside Moldova, suffering from a very high poverty rate as well as severe corruption. However, because of its extensive fertile farmlands, Ukraine is one of the largest grain exporters in the world. It also maintains the third-largest military in Europe after Russia and France. Ukraine is a unitary republic under a semi-presidential system with separate powers: legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The country is a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the GUAM organization and is one of the founding states of the CIS, even though it never became a member of the organization.

Foods in Ukraine :
(1) Paska (Easter Bread) : 

Even though borscht and salo are the most popular dishes in Ukraine and indeed well beyond its borders, the traditional Easter bread paska well earns first place.Many Ukrainians are religious, so always greet guests with bread and salt, and paska is cooked in literally every kitchen before Easter. Every small or large market throughout the country sells paska on the holidays. According to tradition, when working the dough, the cook should whisper positive thoughts to achieve the most delicious result.

(2) Borscht : 

Borscht is a hot beetroot soup that satisfies both meat-eaters and vegetarians. This dish comes in  many shades of red depending on the kind of beet used. Deliciously flavored with sour cream or classic yogurt, borscht is usually served with garlic doughnuts.Ukrainians savor Borscht on holidays, weekdays, and even for funeral wakes too. For meat eaters, cook the borscht in a broth; for vegetarians, keep to the vegetables. By the way, the Ukrainians even have a special spring borscht that is green.

(3) Varenyky : 

The preparation process for varenyky or pirohi is time-consuming. However, this is probably the most unpretentious recipe in terms of filling.If you get the chance to visit a Ukrainian village or a food festival in the city, you will definitely have an opportunity to try out varenyky with the most incredible fillings – from the basic cottage cheese, mashed potatoes or sauerkraut to the more unique like olives, pumpkin, nettle or strawberries.

(4) Holubtsi : 

According to the classic recipe, holubtsi is cooked from boiled cabbage, where you take every other leaf to make a new roll filled with boiled rice and meat. A variation of the dish is to use boiled vine leaves for the rolls. The rice can also be substituted with the other cereals, mushrooms, Korean carrots, etc. Classic holubtsi can be found in many restaurants in Ukraine and on banquet menus too.

(5) Holodets : 

One of Ukrainians’ favorite cold dishes and one of foreign guests’ most “please avoid it” foods is holodets or aspic. Traditionally, a day or two before an event a husband or wife goes to the market, chooses the best fresh pork leg, cleans and washes it at home, and boils it for hours (6-7 hours). Simply put, it’s a cold broth jellied due to the bones and cartilage.

Weather & geography in  Ukraine  :
Ukraine has a temperate continental climate with cold, snowy winters and warm summers. ... The northeast of Ukraine has the coldest winters and the Crimean peninsula has the warmest temperatures. The wettest part of Ukraine is the Carpathian Mountains region of the far west.The geography of Ukraine varies greatly from one region of the country to another, with the majority of the country lying within the East European Plain. Ukraine is the second-largest country by area in Europe (after the Russian Federation). Its various regions have diverse geographic features ranging from highlands to lowlands, as well as climatic range and a wide variety in hydrography.Ukraine has a strategic position in Eastern Europe: lying on the northern shores of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, it borders a number of European countries - Poland, Slovakia and Hungary in the west, Belarus in the north, Moldova and Romania in the south-west and Russia in the east. The total geographic area of Ukraine is 603,550 square kilometers (233,030 sq mi). Ukraine has an Exclusive Economic Zone of 147,318 km2 (56,880 sq mi) in the Black Sea.The land border of Ukraine totals 6,993 kilometers (4,345 mi). The border lengths with each country are: Belarus 891 kilometers (554 mi), Hungary 103 kilometers (64 mi), Moldova 939 kilometers (583 mi), Poland 428 kilometers (266 mi), Romania 169 kilometers (105 mi) on the south and 362 kilometers (225 mi) on the west, Russia 1,974 kilometers (1,227 mi), and Slovakia 90 kilometers (56 mi). Ukraine is also bordered by 3,783 kilometers (2,351 mi) of coastline. The border with Russia is the country's longest border - it runs in part through the Sea of Azov.The village of Vel'ké Slemence is an anomaly, as it's a village with a majority of Hungarians, but it's split between Slovakia and Ukraine.

Per day Cost in Ukraine  :

You should plan to spend around ₴768 ($28) per day on your vacation in the Ukraine, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, ₴180 ($6.58) on meals for one day and ₴29 ($1.06) on local transportation.

History of Ukraine  :
Ukraine had experienced a brief period of independence in 1918–20, but portions of western Ukraine were ruled by Poland, Romania, and Czechoslovakia in the period between the two World Wars, and Ukraine thereafter became part of the Soviet Union as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (S.S.R.).Prehistoric Ukraine, as part of the Pontic steppe, played an important role in Eurasian cultural contacts, including the spread of the Chalcolithic, the Bronze Age, Indo-European expansion and the domestication of the horse.Part of Scythia in antiquity and settled by Getae, in the migration period, Ukraine is also the site of early Slavic expansion, and enters history proper with the establishment of the medieval state of Kievan Rus, which emerged as a powerful nation in the Middle Ages but disintegrated in the 12th century. After the middle of the 14th century, present-day Ukrainian territories came under the rule of three external powers:

the Golden Horde
the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland – during the 15th century these lands came under the rule of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, then of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (from 1569)
the Crimean Khanate (from the 15th century)
After a 1648 rebellion of the Cossacks against the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky agreed to the Treaty of Pereyaslav in January 1654. The exact nature of the relationship established by this treaty between Cossack Hetmanate and Russia remains a matter of scholarly controversy. The agreement precipitated the Russo-Polish War (1654–67) also called The War for Ukraine. In consequence, by the Eternal Peace Treaty, signed in 1686, the eastern portion of Ukraine (east of the Dnieper River) were to come under Russian rule, 146,000 rubles were to be paid to Poland as compensation for the loss of the Right Bank of Ukraine and the parties agreed not to sign a separate treaty with the Ottoman Empire. The treaty was strongly opposed in Poland and was not ratified by the Sejm (parliament of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth) until 1710. The legal legitimacy of its ratification has been disputed. According to Jacek Staszewski, the treaty was not confirmed by a resolution of the Sejm until the Convocation Sejm (1764).

After the Partitions of Poland (1772–1795) and the Russian conquest of the Crimean Khanate, the Russian Empire and Habsburg Austria were in control of all the territories that constitute present day Ukraine for a hundred years. A chaotic period of warfare ensued after the Russian Revolutions of 1917. The internationally recognised Ukrainian People's Republic emerged from its own civil war of 1917–1921. The Ukrainian–Soviet War (1917–1921) followed, in which the Bolshevik Red Army established control in late 1919. The Ukrainian Bolsheviks, who had defeated the national government in Kiev, established the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which on 30 December 1922 became one of the founding republics of the Soviet Union. Initial Soviet policy on Ukrainian language and Ukrainian culture made Ukrainian the official language of administration and schools. Policy in the 1930s turned to Russification. In 1932 and 1933, millions of people, mostly peasants, in Ukraine starved to death in a devastating famine, known as Holodomor. It is estimated by Encyclopædia Britannica that 6 to 8 million people died from hunger in the Soviet Union during this period, of whom 4 to 5 million were Ukrainians. Nikita Khrushchev was appointed the head of the Ukrainian Communist Party in 1938.

After Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland in September 1939, the Ukrainian SSR's territory expanded westward. Axis armies occupied Ukraine from 1941 to 1944. During World War II the Ukrainian Insurgent Army fought for Ukrainian independence against both Germany and the Soviet Union. In 1945 the Ukrainian SSR became one of the founding members of the United Nations. After the death of Stalin (1953), Khrushchev as head of the Communist Party of Soviet Union enabled a Ukrainian revival. Nevertheless, political repressions against poets, historians and other intellectuals continued, as in all other parts of the USSR. In 1954 the republic expanded to the south with the transfer of Crimea.

Ukraine became independent again when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. This started a period of transition to a market economy, in which Ukraine suffered an eight-year recession. Subsequently, however, the economy experienced a high increase in GDP growth. Ukraine was caught up in the worldwide economic crisis in 2008 and the economy plunged. GDP fell 20% from spring 2008 to spring 2009, then leveled off.

The prolonged Ukrainian crisis began on 21 November 2013, when then-president Viktor Yanukovych suspended preparations for the implementation of an association agreement with the European Union. This decision resulted in mass protests by pro-Europeans – events which became known as the "Euromaidan" or the "Revolution of dignity". After months of such protests, the protesters ousted Yanukovych on 22 February 2014. Following his ousting, unrest enveloped the largely Russophone eastern and southern regions of Ukraine, from where Yanukovych had drawn most of his support. An invasion by Russia of the Ukrainian autonomous region of Crimea resulted in the annexation of Crimea by Russia on 18 March 2014. Subsequently, unrest in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine evolved into a war between the Ukrainians and Russians with pro-Russian Ukrainians. The Ukrainian crisis also very negatively influenced the Ukrainian economy.

Language in Ukraine  :
There are approximately 20 languages spoken in Ukraine. According to the 2001 census, 67% of the population speak Ukrainian and 30% speak Russian as their first language. Ukrainian, the official language, belongs with Russian and Belarusian to the East Slavic branch of the Slavic language family.

Culture of  Ukraine  :

Ukrainian culture is a composition of material and spiritual values of Ukrainian people that has formed throughout its history (Ukrainian history). It is closely intertwined with ethnic studies about ethnic Ukrainians and Ukrainian historiography which is focused on history of Kyiv and region around it.Although the country has often struggled to preserve its independence its people have managed to retain their cultural possessions and are proud of the considerable cultural legacy they have created. Numerous writers have contributed to the country's literary history such as Taras Shevchenko and Ivan Franko. The Ukrainian culture has experienced a significant resurgence since the establishment of independence in 1991.

The modern Ukrainian culture is believed to be formed as a descendant of the ancient state of Kyivan Rus' centered in Kyiv as well the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia, both of which Ukrainians claim as their historical ancestors. Therefore it has a shared culture and history with neighboring nations, such as Belarusians and Russians. Ukrainian historian, academic and politician of the Ukrainian People's Republic, Mykhailo Hrushevsky referred to Ukraine as Ukraine-Rus, emphasising Ukraines historical claim to the ancient state of Kyivan Rus.Traditional peasant folk art, embroidery and vernacular architecture are critical to Ukrainian culture, and its elements have often been determined by the resources available at the time. The country's strong tradition of folk art and embroidery continues to this day, with Ukrainian embroidery often considered an art form in itself.

Ukrainian customs are heavily influenced by the Eastern Orthodox Church and traditions from Slavic mythology. The Soviet era unified the cultures of many unrelated nations with a common language and led to the appropriation of many of the socialist republics culture and identity. Because of the country's location its culture has been influenced by both Europe and Asia.Ukrainian culture has had to overcome numerous obstacles in order to survive and retain its originality, since foreign powers and empires who dominated the country and its people in the past often implemented policies aimed at assimilating the Ukrainian population into their own population, as well as trying to eradicate and purge elements of the culture. For example, the policy of Russification posed significant obstacles to the development of the culture.

Whilst progressing into modernity, Ukraine remains a highly traditional country, where the observance of certain customs and practices play a central role in its culture. Many significant Ukrainian holidays and events are based on the old Julian Calendar and so differ from their Gregorian counterparts. These include Christmas and New Year's Eve, both of which are highly important in Ukrainian culture.

Place to visit in Ukraine  :
(1)  Uman

(2) Rakhiv

(3) Chernihiv

(4) Odessa

(5) Lviv

(6) Kiev

Hotel in Ukraine  :
(1) Hotel Ukraine

(2) Grand Hotel Ukraine

(3) Hilton Kyiv

(4) Tourist Hotel

How to reach in Ukraine  : 

The cheapest route to fly to Ukraine is to land at the Boryspil International Airport close to Kiev. Scheduled buses enable tourists to cross the border in a fast and efficient manner.

Travel Guide for Ukraine  : Food, hotel, Cost, Weather & geography, History, language, culture, things to see and do and how to reach. – Published by The Beyond News (Travelling).