Since gaining independence in 1991, Ukraine has found itself in an uneasy position between the influences of east and west. The mighty capital of Kiev is an interesting mix of concrete modernist architecture and ancient onion domes of Orthodox monasteries and cathedrals.
It was here that the Russian nation was founded centuries ago, but it’s where the Ukrainian national identity is at its strongest today. In contrast, the strikingly pretty Unesco-listed city of Lviv, near the border with Poland, has a distinctly European feel with cobbled streets, fine town houses and a young, vibrant cafe culture. Between these two cities, time stands still, with dachas and haystacks still scattered across the open landscape of this vast country.
A compelling option is a visit to the infamous Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and the town of Pripyat, the site of one of the most notorious man-made disasters of the 20th century. Tours here are perfectly safe and give visitors a fascinating insight into the world behind the Iron Curtain.
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Currency Ukrainian Hryvnia
Flying time from London 3hrs 30m
Official language(s) Ukrainian
Time difference + 2hrs GMT
Visa requirements Not required for UK passport holders
The Ukraine Experts
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