It has still only been a short time since Ukraine gained independence. The breakdown of the Soviet Union, of which it had been a part, paved the way towards a phase of new orientation for the country, beginning with the Act of Independence ratified in August 1991. Transitioning from a totalitarian system to a democratic one has proved to be difficult for Ukraine, which has suffered from internal challenges such as corruption, but even more from frequent sabotage engineered by Russia. Regardless, Ukraine has found its path and has grown to be an interesting, multi-faceted travel destination.
Caused by the Russian-led war in Eastern Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea, Ukraine has lost one of the most popular and well-known tourist destinations. However, the peninsula in the Black Sea has never been the only place worth visiting in the second-largest European country by area.
While a touristic infrastructure may be in various stages of development in some places and while public transportation can be difficult, Ukraine still has attractive regions and places to visit. The capital, Kyiv, presents itself as a prosperous, dynamic city with plenty of sights and attractions, fascinating historic insights and world-class cultural offerings.
Odessa, located in the southeastern part of Ukraine at the shore of the Black Sea, is an important seaport with a strong history in culture and the arts. Beaches and a growing number of options for medical travel nearby provide further reasons for a visit.
On the other side of the country, Lviv and the regions of Galicia and Ruthenia are deeply rooted in a history marked by German, Polish and Austrian influence. In between these two sides of the country, a wealth of sceneries allows for discoveries of different kinds. Notable travel destinations include the Carpathians with its deep woods, spa towns and ski resorts. Also, river cruises on the Dnieper river are quickly gaining popularity.
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