Planning to spend Christmas and New Year holidays in Europe? We prepared for you the best Winter Holidays destinations in Ukraine! This time of the year is a truly perfect moment to explore the beautiful country of Ukraine. Listen to the wonderful symphonic orchestra playing Christmas Carols in the heart of Kyiv, go skiing in the breathtaking Carpathian Mountains, or maybe just enjoy a delicious Ukrainian cuisine with a view of the Black Sea in Odesa...
Offering a rich 1500 year history with splendid architecture, a mouthwatering cuisine scene, and dozens of social events filling the city with life, Kyiv remains one of the biggest hidden gems in Europe. Make the most of this secret by getting away from the tourist crowds and enjoying this beautiful culture. Enjoy the extremely low costs while exploring the absolutely spectacular scenes and sights of Kyiv.
TOP-5 places to see in Kyiv
Sophia Square. If you want to feel the true Christmas spirit in Kyiv, start your trip from Sophia Square. Just follow the aromas of homemade pastries, сoffee and mulled wine with the sounds of live Ukrainian folk music. This is where the main Christmas market and the main tall decorated Christmas tree of Ukraine will be. This year, the theme of this area will be based on the Nutcracker fairy tale.
Kontraktova Square. Another Сhristmas market in Kyiv dedicated to the Ukrainian style of pottery will take place in Kontraktova Square. Come here to feel Ukrainian Christmas Eve traditions such as “Vertep” (live nativity scenes), cheerful Ukrainian carols, and holiday dishes. The market is located near the famous magnificent St. Andrew's Church, a sight to absolutely behold. Ride a ferris-wheel to an amazing city view, ice-skate, and buy hand-made souvenirs for your family!
The Factory of Christmas tree decorations at the Expo center of Ukraine. Located on the outskirts of Holosiiv Forest (Vystavkovyi Tsentr metro station), The Expo center of Ukraine brings your attention to a huge ice rink, a contact zoo, a tropical butterfly farm, a spherical movie theater, an open-air rope park, and even a factory of Christmas tree decorations where you can participate in the toy painting workshop.
The Kyivan Rus Park. Celebrate Ukrainian Christmas at the unique reconstruction of the most famous medieval city of the Eastern Europe – Ancient Kyiv of the V-XIII centuries. Here you can ride horses, watch performances of horse stunts at the theater, a tournament of archers, participate in games and competitions, and even ride a sleigh!
Chernobyl Tour. It was the scene of the world's worst nuclear disaster three decades ago. After the new TV series, “Chernobyl”, this city became one of the hottest tourist attractions in Ukraine. See the dark history viewing crumbling housing blocks, abandoned buildings and overgrown streets with your own eyes. All tours leave from Kyiv.
TOP-5 places to eat in Kyiv
Ostannya Barykada (Globus Shopping Center, 3rd floor, Maidan Nezalezhnosti 1). It is not just a restaurant of modern Ukrainian cuisine, but also a museum of three modern Ukrainian revolutions. Explore history after a tasty bite to eat. The password to enter the restaurant is «Boritesia – poborete!» (fight and win!).
Kyiv Food Market (Moskovska street 8). Kiev Food Market is an all-new city food hall that has brought together over a couple dozen of the best country restaurants at one place. Test your taste buds and come to this gem located in the old factory building near Arsenalna metro station.
Passenger Gastro Bar (Saksaganskogo St. 33-35). Gastronomic bar is in the city center and has a sleek look with the interior of a metro train. While you enjoy national cuisine, changing landscapes of Ukraine will be delightfully viewed right from your table window.
Kanapa (Andriyivskyy Descent 19A). This restaurant has an unusual Ukrainian cuisine menu with classical recipes from pre-revolutionary cookbooks and modern interpretations of local dishes. This will surely surprise those who believed that Ukrainian cuisine consists entirely of borsch and dumplings!
Restaurants where you can eat and drink for 1 euro. Welcome to budget bars in Kyiv! Friendly atmospheres and snacks for only 1 euro! Write down this list: Bilyy Nalyv (Khreschatyk St. 23a, Shevchenko Boulevard 36a) – oysters and hot dogs; Kanapka Bar (Andriyivskyy Descent 30a) – a collection of the best Ukranian canapes; Mushlya Bar (Khreschatyk St. 25) – oysters, mussels, scallops and shrimps!
TOP-5 places to shop in Kyiv
Vsi Svoi & Vsi Svoi Home (Khreschatyk St., 27). This is the most famous and largest storefront with a huge collection of clothes made by Ukrainian designers. Across the road (34 Khreshchatyk St. 34) you will find another store with Ukrainian crockery and home accessories.
UAMade (Globus Shopping Center, Maidan Nezalezhnosti 1). This shopping center gives you a wide collection of original Ukrainian souvenirs – from postcards to socks and sweets.
Gifty (Kostolna St. 4). Notepads, bags, cups and stickers with prints of the most popular Ukrainian illustrators.
Shtuki (Metrograd Shopping Mall, Velyka Vasylkivska St. 8). One more gift and souvenir shop where you can find different items made in Ukraine.
Hvoya Store (Velyka Zhytomyrska St. 30A). Trendy handmade bags, shoes and accessories made by Ukrainian designers.
Want to celebrate Christmas and New Year by the winter sea? Odesa in December and January is extraordinary. Empty beaches, frosty waves and seagulls waiting for someone to feed them… But do not worry about freezing; we have prepared a list of places in Odesa where you can warm up after a walk along the seashore. You will be surprised how diverse Christmas can be in Ukraine!
Top 5 Places to See in Odesa
Privoz Market. The most picturesque symbol of Odesa. Only at Privoz Market you can pay more and still be left completely satisfied. Local sellers joke a lot and encourage you to buy with great enthusiasm. Why should you go to Privoz? First of all, to buy fresh fish, mussels, squids and shrimps.
Sea port. One of the largest seaports in Eastern Europe. It is a mini-city in the city with its own train station, open-air museum, art gallery, yacht complex and hotel.
Opera and Ballet Theatre. To immerse yourself in the artistic life of Odesa, book tickets in advance for one of the following operas: The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Eugene Onegin or Carmen opera.
Odessa courtyards. To feel true Odesa spirit and take atmospheric photos of the city, just turn into an unfamiliar courtyard in the center and get lost. Don't forget to grab some food for the local cats!
Сatacombs. Another important attraction of Odesa is its catacombs – 2500 km of underground tunnels, one of the most complicated systems of this type in the world.
Top 5 places to Eat in Odesa
Kotelok (Sadovaya St. 17). The best places in the city to try Black Sea mussels cooked in garlic, creamy, tomato and other sauces. Mussels served with crispy fries and toasted baguette.
Bernardazzi (Bunin St. 15). The menu consists mainly of Mediterranean cuisine and includes fresh seasonal food. But the highlight is the wine list (more than 4500 bottles). The restaurant has international awards for its wine collection.
Maman (Lanzheronivska St. 8). Come here to try genuine Odesa cuisine: tender chicken cutlets, stuffed peppers, mashed potatoes and also recipes from world chefs.
Molodist cafe (Hretska St. 19). To feel the atmosphere back in the USSR, check out the Molodist cafe with Soviet times interior. The menu also will bring you back to the USSR: shuba salad, pancakes with cottage cheese, fried potatoes in a pan and Napoleon cake.
Art Club Shkaf (Hretska St. 32). An open space for musicians, artists, poets and writers. The menu includes dishes of European and American cuisine.
Top 5 places to shop in Odesa
Starokonka (Raskidailovska St. 31). It is not just a flea market, but a real mecca for collectors. If you are lucky, you will find some vintage accessories, clothes, handmade jewelry or a rare book.
Openmarket (Uspenska St. 66). Customer-friendly second-hand shop. Here you can buy and even sell your own clothes, shoes and accessories.
SlimStore (Polish Descent 8). The shop assortment includes clothes and shoes of young Ukrainian brands. The store’s special pride is a large collection of converses and sneakers.
Sister’s dress gallery (Lanzheronivska St. 9). A huge choice of dresses for all occasions made by Ukrainian manufacturers.
Utopia8 (Zhukovsky St. 32). Here you will find not only bright and stylish clothes, but also a lot of home stuff made in Ukraine.
Lviv is the most charming and mysterious city of Western Ukraine. Although beautiful at any time of the year, winter time surely has its moment with a special fairytale charm throughout the city. Yes, it’s all about Lviv. The city combines ancient authenticity, architectural grandeur, rich cultural heritage and romanticism. With pieces of Krakow, Vienna and Prague… Make Lviv your destination if you want to fully experience the old Ukrainian Christmas traditions!
Top 5 Places to See in Lviv
Lviv Christmas Market. Lviv Christmas Market is traditionally located on Svobody Avenue and in the Rynok Square. This is where you can fully experience the joyful Christmas traditions. Come to the market to taste Ukrainian Christmas dishes which are cooked right in front of you. Don’t forget to buy original gifts from the local craftsmen as well.
Pampushka Festival. Pampuska is a typical Ukrainian spot to experience the culture. Without this festival, it is impossible to imagine Christmas celebration in Ukraine! As part of the festival, you will find an exhibition of original donuts and traditional speed eating. Do not hesitate to participate!
Lviv Town Hall. Enjoy the irresistible city center from the observation deck of the Town Hall. All sights at a glance!
High Castle Hill. The highest point of Lviv and one of the favorite viewing platforms for residents and tourists. The view is simply breathtaking.
Carpathian Mountains and old castles. Want to bring diversity to your trip? Find a local guide and take a tour from Lviv to the Carpathian Mountains and explore three interesting castles of the Lviv region – Olesko, Pidhirtsi and Zolochiv.
TOP-5 places to eat in Lviv
House of Legends (Staroyevreyska St. 48). Each hall of a seven-story cafe is dedicated to one or several Lviv legends, so you better prepare your camera! Don’t forget to try the homemade sausages and fragrant baked ribs.
Bachevsky Restaurant (8 Shevska St. 8). Waiting lines at any time of the day? It is so typical of Bachevsky Restaurant. Better book a table at least one week in advance. It is absolutely worth it. Inside the restaurant you will find an authentic interior of the early 20th century, a greenhouse and a veranda. The menu offers Galician, Austrian and Jewish dishes.
Rebernya «Pid Arsenalom» (Pidvalna St. 5). The best ribs in the whole world – this is how the founders and customers describe it. Grill-cooked, these delicious ribs are eaten hands only.
Beer Theater Pravda (Rynok Square 32). A pub brewery where you can taste different types of craft beer and listen to live music.
Libraria Speak Easy Bar (Armenian courtyard). Come here to drink the best cocktails in the city and listen to jazz music. There is no sign of the restaurant outside: look for a large wooden door with a bell on the left for this hidden delicacy.
Top 5 Places to Shop in Lviv
Shos Tsikave (Rynok Square 13). Open-air art gallery and a small handcraft shop where you can find souvenirs made of paper, metal, ceramics, glass, and even feathers.
Nalyvky zi Lvova (Ruska St. 8 and Staroyevreyska St. 24). Fragrant liqueurs made of fruits, berries, vegetables, herbs according to old Ukrainian recipes.
SKLAD (Drogobycha St. 5). The showroom where you can find different things from local designers: clothes, accessories and cosmetics.
Rhizome Store (Bratіv Rogatyntsiv St. 24). Natural, organic clothing and accessories for women. Niche perfumes and original jewelry.
Maya (Yana Zhyzhky St. 9). Designer jewelry made of glass, wood and metal, elegant accessories, handmade crockery and interior items.
Another great Ukrainian Christmas destination is Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine. Located in the north-east part of the country, Kharkiv is an important industrial and scientific center of Ukraine with reinforced concrete plants and skyscrapers. Churches and scientific institutes, one of the world's largest squares with narrow streets, libraries and cinemas… coexist harmoniously here. In winter, thousands of lights, amusement parks and Christmas markets turn Kharkiv into a fairy tale.
Top 5 Places to See in Kharkiv
Freedom Square. One of the largest squares not only in Europe, but throughout the world. This is where the most important winter event – Christmas Market Full – takes place. Make this place the first point of your journey to feel true Ukrainian Christmas traditions!
Gorky park. The pride of Kharkiv is the central city park named after Maxim Gorky, which is called Ukrainian Disneyland by locals. It is exciting not only for children, but also for adults. It has about 40 different types of entertainment including the highest ferris wheel in Ukraine, a roller coaster, an auto dome, a French carousel, a rope park, and a “house of fear”. Or, you can try out one of the dozens of cafes.
Ropeway. In addition to dozens of attractions, there is a ropeway in the park, which connects Gorky Park and the Botanical Garden. Riding it, you can see the incredible landscapes and ancient areas of the city… which will make you remember Christmas in Ukraine forever!
Kharkiv Switzerland. If you prefer outdoor activities and enjoy snowboarding and skiing, head to the suburbs of the city. You will be delighted with the excellent sports complex, Kharkiv Switzerland. This is a modern ski resort with well-groomed slopes up to 400 meters long. The slope have different variants of steepness so skiing and snowboarding can be done here for beginners and professionals.
Art Factory «Mechanics. Another land». A former steam locomotive plant has turned into a platform for creative youth. Food festivals, design markets and music parties are held here regularly.
Top 5 places to Eat in Kharkiv
Gorcafe 1654 (Constitution Square 2/2). Great place for any kind of breakfast. Local people come here for a friendly atmosphere, cosmopolitan cuisine and fun parties at the bar.
Shoti (Myronosytska St. 12). This restaurant combines the ethnic culinary traditions of Ukraine and Caucasus. A hungry traveler can taste kebab in pita bread, lagman or pancakes. Lunch including dessert will cost only € 4.
Farsch (Kvitky-Osnovyanenko St. 12). A modern and comfortable burger bar. 90% of the restaurant's dishes are based on the ingredients from local farmers.
Zuzu Brasserie (Constitution Square 2/2). Everything you need for gastronomic pleasure: Mediterranean, Ukrainian, Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine. A restaurant, a coffee shop, a bakery, and a bar are at your disposal.
Puzata Hata (Sumskaya St. 2). If you want a simple and cheap home-made Ukrainian meal, go for a lunch to Puzata Hata. Dumplings and borsch, mashed potatoes with spinach and dessert for only 3-4 euros.
Top 5 places to Shop in Kharkiv
Utopia 8 (Pushkinska St. 72). The creators of this showroom characterize it as a store for intellectual and spiritual people. Here you can buy clothes, accessories, books, ceramics and all kinds of goodies (peanut butter, jams or cookies) made in Ukraine.
Awesome Showroom (Lopatinska St. 13). Come here to find the best Ukrainian clothing brands, as well as accessories made in Ukraine – handmade knitwear, necklaces, bracelets, bags and organic cosmetics lalso.
Loft store (Ivanova St. 37). Three-room store where you can find original sneakers and elegant leather ankle boots, T-shirts with prints, feminine dresses and sophisticated suits made in Ukraine. As well as linen, accessories, bags, handbags, backpacks, postcards, scratch cards and notepads.
Mel (Myronosytska St. 6). The showroom presents clothes made by Ukrainian designers. The concept of the store is to help you create an expressive and comfortable street look.
Ugol (Yaroslava Mudrogo St. 6/8). A large selection of clothes for total black look and original models of outerwear, shoes, and accessories made in Ukraine.
Along with Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk is considered the cultural center of Western Ukraine. Another important thing you should know about this city is that it is close to the Carpathian Mountains and ski resorts. It is hard to imagine a better place to celebrate Christmas and New Year in Ukraine than the snowy Carpathians – a truly fabulous and hospitable region.
Top 5 Places to See in Ivano-Frankivsk
Town Hall. Climb the steps of the town hall to find an observation deck on the top. Enjoy the snow-covered roofs of the city center!
Vichevy Maidan. This is where the main Christmas market will be held. Here you can taste Ukrainian goodies, find original handmade souvenirs, look through a variety of Christmas decorations, toys, knitted hats and socks.
Bastion Fortress Gallery. Ivano-Frankivsk was planned as a military fortification. Some of these forts have been preserved to this day. Today, you can find a shopping center – the Bastion Fortress Gallery. It has various shops, restaurants and exhibitions.
Zavod Promprylad. A plant has transformed from an industrial site to a popular place for meetings with friends, work and chilling out. On the third floor you can find a co-working space, a gallery, a workshop and a bar.
Bukovel ski resort. The most popular ski resort in Ukraine located near the village of Polyanitsa, Ivano-Frankivsk region. Both a professional and an amateur will find a suitable track for himself in Bukovel. Get to Bukovel by bus, which leaves from Ivano-Frankivsk railway station. The journey takes only two hours. To get to Bukovel by car, you need to follow the H09 highway via Yaremche, Mikulichin, Tatariv and Polyanitsa. GPS coordinates of the Bukovel resort: 48.346438, 24.445438.
Top 5 places to eat in Ivano-Frankivsk
The first family restaurant Mulyarovyh (Chornovola St. 5). The interior of the restaurant recreates the atmosphere of the Austro-Hungarian Empire period. The menu offers traditional dishes of Ukrainian cuisine, prepared according to old recipes.
Urban Space 100 (Grushevskogo St. 19). Urban-style restaurant that brings together socially active people around the idea of developing their city. A restaurant where you can eat, read, meet like-minded people and even buy a souvenir.
Antique Shpyndel (Pivdenny Boulevard 21). Unique vintage interior and authentic Ukrainian cuisine. Come here if you want to get into the history of Ukraine.
Manufactura (Mickiewicz Square 6). If you are in the mood for European cuisine, choose Manufactura. The main feature of this place is the tasty Belgian waffle. There are 20 different types!
Delikacia (Nezalezhnosti St. 20). If you want to drink a cup of Carpathian tea, taste delicious eclairs, macaroons and other cakes, don’t miss this place. All desserts are made from high quality natural products.
Top 5 places to Shop in Ivano-Frankivsk
Nebo (Sichovych Striltsiv St. 11). The first showroom of Ukrainian designers in the Carpathian region. In addition to women’s clothes, you will find accessories and home textiles here.
Gogodzy (Grunwaldska St. 14). Gifts from the Carpathian region: ceramics, wood, glass, paintings, crockery and many other cute accessories. Located next to the train station.
ALOE-Space (Nezalezhnosti St. 29). A perfect location to buy Ukrainian clothes, jewelry, socks, tableware and notepads and drink tea or coffee.
Pantoufle (Belvederska St. 27 A). One more spot to find shoes, handbags, accessories and home stuff made by Ukrainian designers.
Beauty Dax (Bachinskogo St. 1). A beauty space for women. Here you can buy Ukrainian clothes and also make a hairstyle, as well as a manicure and a makeup.