Vast, enigmatic Ukraine is one of the few European countries that remains relatively undiscovered by tourists – however, thanks to the abundance of cheap flights to Ukraine that are now available from elsewhere, it’s becoming an increasingly popular destination. This nation’s colourful, often tumultuous past, combined with its natural beauty and fascinating assortment of cultural influences, means that it boasts a wide offering for tourists; its capital, Kiev, wows visitors with its fairy-tale architecture, the quaint western town of Lviv boasts a formidable culinary culture and the harbour city of Odessa is renowned for its sandy beaches.
Ukraine has unusually varied weather conditions – while the majority of the country enjoys a temperate climate, with hot summers and cold winters, its coast by the Black Sea is remarkably Mediterranean. As a result, the months around April to June tend to be an ideal time to visit, both for city sightseeing and hikes in the unspoilt countryside. If you’re looking for sun, travel south with the locals in summer and enjoy the country’s beaches, or head to the Carpathian Mountains in winter for skiing and snowy landscapes. With enough notice, cheap flights to Ukraine are available all year round – all you have to decide on is the type of holiday you’re looking for.
Ukraine’s largest airport, Kiev’s Boryspil, caters for the vast majority of flights from the UK. British Airways offers direct routes to Boryspil from Heathrow while Ukraine International Airlines flies from Gatwick. One-stop flights available from other British airports include KLM and Lufthansa routes from both Manchester and Birmingham, while Air France flies via Paris from Glasgow. To reach the other major Ukrainian airports in cities like Odessa and Lviv, your best bet is to fly to Boryspil before jetting off again.
Located about 20 miles east of Kiev, Boryspil Airport offers a range of transport options to get you to the capital. The most cost-effective method is to travel on the Sky Bus. Running frequently during the day, tickets are only 50 hryvnias and can be purchased from the driver or the ticket offices in Terminals B and D. The journey to Kiev’s main railway station, Pivdenny, takes about 50 minutes, and the bus also links to the city’s metro system. Otherwise, metered taxis are available from outside the airport terminals.
Ukraine is generally regarded as a more off-the-beaten-track holiday destination, but its diverse culture and spectacular landscapes more than reward the tourists who come to discover its treasures. Explore Kiev, with its broad boulevards and golden-domed buildings, or take to nature and hike the wooded slopes and flower-filled pastures of the Carpathian Mountains. Marvel at the medieval architecture in the northern city of Chernihiv, traverse the stone catacombs of Odessa and soak up the bohemian atmosphere in Lviv; Ukraine is a country that’s waiting to be discovered.
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