If you’re looking for a winter getaway with a difference, then why not head to Ukraine? February being the month of Valentine’s Day, gives the perfect excuse to head away for a few days, and Imagine the look on your friends faces when you tell them you’ve been to Ukraine in winter – they will probably think your nuts, but who cares – travelling is supposed to be about adventure, right? If you still need a little convincing, then here are our top 5 reasons for visiting Ukraine in winter:
• It’s a bit different – how often do you hear someone say, “I’m off to Ukraine for a few days”? Probably not very often – while most people are heading to the Swiss Alps or for a city break in Amsterdam, Ukraine remains much of a lesser-known destination amongst tourists. And if you are a real traveller, then there is nothing better than getting to see a place the way it really is, without all the flashy, over-priced tourist attractions.
• It’s nice to look at – if you appreciate natural, untouched beauty and real architecture that takes you back in time, then Ukraine is the place to be. Although much of the country was destroyed during World War Two, most of the buildings were rebuilt in a typical soviet style, and are really a true reflection of the culture and attitude.
• It’s easy on the wallet – once you’ve gotten Christmas and New Year out of the way, there usually isn’t much spare cash lying around for trips abroad. But the good news there is, that the cost of living in Ukraine is much less than it is at home, so your hard-earned pennies will go a lot further.
• It’s not as cold as you think – despite common belief, and its proximity to Russia, Ukraine actually enjoys rather mild winters. It is certainly colder than home, and you will need some good winter clothing, but you definitely won’t need to worry about freezing the minute you step outside.
• Chernobyl – Ukraine is home to the worst nuclear accident in the world, and the site which remains today is open for public tours – prices for the tour are around €100 and will leave from Kiev. By visiting Chernobyl, you will gain real insight into Soviet times, and will take with you a piece of history that should never be forgotten.
As much as it’s important to have fun, it’s equally important to stay safe during your trip, and below are a few tips from us on how to make the most of your trip to Ukraine without any problems:
• Don’t carry valuables – whenever you go out, just take what you need with you. Leave any expensive items or important documents in the hotel safe, and don’t carry large amounts of cash.
• Take your EHIC – we hope you won’t need it, and you probably won’t, but it certainly makes sense to always carry your European Health Insurance Card whenever travelling abroad – just in case.
• Keep your wits about you – enjoy yourself, and open yourself up to the culture and people, but just observe some common sense, by not venturing too far out of the main areas, and when possible try to travel with someone.
• Learn the lingo – we don’t mean you have to become fluent in the language, but learning a few words and phrases will always go down well with the locals wherever you go. Generally the people in Ukraine are very friendly and will always try to speak a little English if they can, but a simple greeting in Ukrainian will go a long way.
So, we hope you’re convinced by our reasons to visit this beautiful and interesting country, and are sure you will love it for everything it has to offer.