Ukraine tour - advice needed
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Jan 30, 2013 9:11 PM Last Post By: jayanraj
Jan 26, 2013 2:58 PM
Ukraine tour - advice neededHi there,
Lonely Planet says - Ukraine is an off-beat location, so I want to visit it. Quite big country compared to numerous European tiny-tots.
This is my plan -
Kiev : 02 nights,
Lviv : 03 nights,
Uzhhorod : 03 nights,
Ivano-frankivs'k : 03 nights,
Chernivtsi : 02 nights,
Vinnytsya : 02 nights,
Odessa : 03 nights,
Cherkasy : 02 nights,
Chernihiv : 03 nights,
Kiev : 03 nights.
Vinnytsya & Cherkasy are there to reduce long journeys, but would like to avoid them if possible.
How is public transport in Ukraine ?
Thanks in advance.
Jan 27, 2013 3:43 PM
1Regarding the list of location - my main question - why Kamyanets-Podilsky is not here?
IIt's more interesting then most other location from your list (probably except Lviv, Kyiv and may be Chernivtsi). Also Kamyanets-Podilsky is helpful on your route because solves issue with long ride time between Chernivtsi and Odessa (from Kamyanets to Odessa travel via Khmelnytsky takes only 2h by bus+time for change+7h by train).
regarding lengths of stay my comments will be following
Lviv : 03 nights,
Jan 28, 2013 7:23 AM
It seems that I need to make major changeS in my plan. However I want to spend 27 days (i.e. 26 nights) in Ukraine.
I admit I forgot Kamyanets-Podilsky. Is it possible to travel during day only ? I don't like night travels unless it becomes unavoidable. Train / bus or even flight no problem.
btw are there special / interesting places in East Ukraine ? I like culture.
Jan 29, 2013 9:48 AM
3Daytime rode is possible on all legs between locations on your list.
The only legs where flight is available is Kyiv - Lviv and Odessa-Kyiv but it is not a big time gain, because fastest train Kyiv - Lviv rides only 4:55 and fastest bus Odessa- Kyiv - about 5 hours. When you fly - you spend many time for thing like riding to airport and arriving before closure of registration and so on, as result - effective travel time is also almost 4 hours. And both this train and this bus despite being more expensive than usual buses and trains are still much (at last twice-thrice) more cheap than the cheapest possible flight ticket.
The only inobvious legs on your way are:
- Uzhhorod - Ivano-Frankivsk - use train for section Uzhhorod - Stryi (4 hours) and then bus from Stryi to Ivano-Frankivsk (slightly more than 2 hours)). Very helpful in this case is visiting Mukachevo just before this long ride, it will shorten this long travel (travel time from Mukachevo to Stryi on fastest train is only 2:49 and there are 3 so fast train per day, not 1 as from Uzhhorod).
- Kamyanets-Podilsky - Odessa in daytime at last while current train timetable is effective - can be done in 3 ways:
- by trains - start at 10:13, arrival to Odessa at 21:39, one simple change in Khmelnytsky. Such itineary works not daily, only day about
- by combination of 2 buses and train, start at 13:15,arrival at 23:00, works daily, two changes (and first one - in middle of nowhere, in small semi-urban settlement, where probably absolutely nobody will speak any foreign language). Slightly adventurous, but faster.
- if you afraid to use 2nd option and cannot use 1st one - you can start by train at 10:13 to Vinnytsia, spend about 3 hours here (just enoght to see all iteresting in this town) and ride to Odessa by the tran arriving at 23:00
- Odessa-Chernihiv anyway will be faster via Kyiv, but it makes sence to leave Chernihiv as sidetrip from Kyiv for other day to avoid to much riding at the same day.
"East" it too ambigious.
The place with maximal concentration of historical and cultural artefacts within Ukraine but not at the areas listed in previous posts of this topic but with more eastern
location - is Crimea. But I'm unsure if it was the answer to your question because usually Crimea is referenced not as "East" but first of all as "South".
Anyway, it is worth to visit. But I don't recommend visit Crimea during bathing season, because there are CROWDS of vacationists.
But when water is too cold for bathing and thus there are no vacationists - for example in April or October - Crimea is brilliant (for the person, who comes for culture,
scenery, but not beaches). I propose to turn your attention to Sebastopol, Bakhchisaray, Yevpatoriya and probably (but unsure) Kerch and Theodosia, but personally I also find
Yalta during dead season also fancy (try to understand me rightly, I found Yalta fancy when bathin in the sea is unavailable). Don't expect from those locations too much, but at
last Sebastopol is worth to spend a day in it and the rest of location are worth for 3-6 hours visit.
In rest of Ukraine - historical and cultural artefacts are less impressive. But in case of largest cities of industial East their giant size sometimes compensates their shorter
history and less culturally-saturated surrounding. The two such examples are:
-Kharkiv - despite it is first of all important industry and machinery center - and even from architectrual point of view it is mostly known first of all by its
constructivismus buildings of beginning of 20th century - it also houses some 16-17th centuries temples and many buildings of 18th centurie and many artefacts in museums. Well,
in your plan, if you planned 2 days for Chernivtsi, 3 days for Lviv and Odessa and 5 days for Kyiv - I think for Kharkiv it's enought to leave 2 days.
-Dnipropetrovsk is not so interesting as Kharkiv, there are no 16-17th century temples and even development from 18-19th century are less holistic (comparing to Kharkiv) and
unfortunately the very city center is almost rebuilt - but at last main avenue is marvelous. Additinal bonus - Dnipropetrovsk partially lies on scenery hills above Dnieper
river, similarly to Kyiv, but slightly less impressive. And city houses only one really interesting museum (not some museums, as Kharkiv) but at last it is worth to visit. 1 day
for this city is ok.
In case of rest of industrial east - even giant size doesn't help them to become interesting enought to be worth a special visit.
Also you may find fancy some locations with many artefacts but not so old (as in Crimea and western and north-central Ukraine) - like Poltava, a may be smaller Nizhnyn, Romny,
Hlukhiv and Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky - they house at last some temples of 17th-18th century and more or less holitic city center with 18-19th century building.
All this places doesn't belong to indusrial East, it is still "Ukrainian Ukraine", just with more eastern location. But I cannot recommend to visit those places unhesitatingly.
I propose following simple test to define whether it they are worth to visit for you - when you will go to Chernihiv - make a little loop on your way here or on your way back
and visit Nizhyn.
If you'll like it - you probably will like other such locations (in other words - in this case I reccomend you to visit Poltava). For all of them you will need from 3 (like
Nizhyn) to 6 hours (for Poltava for example) for each.
Jan 29, 2013 11:19 AM
4Thanx MaxT again,
You know Ukraine very well. I have decided to skip east after your advices. And instead of going to West I will first head to South then West and finally Kiev.
And I admit that it is too much for me and so make things simple I ask few Qs now -
Is public transport like Marshrutka or local short train reliable to do day trips of -
Sevastopol & Yalta from Simferopol,
Kamyanets-Podilsky + from Chernivitsi,
Mukachevo + from Uzhhorod,
Chernihiv & Chernobyl from Kiev,
Something interesting from Lviv,
Something interesting from Ivano-Franko ?
Is public transport like Marshrutka or local short train reliable in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast & Zakarpattia Oblast ?
Of course I am going to use some overnight trains (Kiev-Simferopol, Simferopol-Odessa, Odessa-Chernivtsi) & Lviv-Kiev day train # 170.
Jan 29, 2013 2:47 PM
In case of Yalta - Simferopol additinally to buses there is also trolley-buses, ticket price is twice cheaper than for bus but travel time slightly more (2,5 h instead something like 2 h). But intercity trolley-bus might be interesting experience itself, so I reccomend to try it.
Between Simferopol and Sevastopol there also trains both local and long-distance, both them are cheaper than buses (local trains - thrice cheaper, long-distance trains (except foreign ones) - only slighly, foreign train - can be more expensive). Travel time by bus and long distance train is almost the same (about 1,5 hours), but buses can stuck in traffic jams in rush hours. Local trains here slighly slower (travel time from 1:40 to 2:10) but I think this is excusable taking into account their price. But number of train services is very limited (for example in winter - only 5 local and 3 long-distance trains per day). So it makes sence to have timetable and when you want to ride - look to it. If train is deparure soon - select train, if no - select bus.
There are buses and marshrutkas, travel time is about 2 hours. On the halfway between them - there is Khotyn, very famous by its fortess. No railway serivce is availble here.
it will not work as you imagine. Yes, it sound weird, there are usual buses to Chornobyl from usual bus station, some services per day (but anyway this is bus service not nuclear power plant, destination of bus is 10 km from it), but without special permit usual passengers can use this buses only on section between Kyiv and last village before checkpoint of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Zone of Alienation. You will never got such perimit. So this buses are completly useless for you. You can visit Chornobyl nuclear power plant only with excursion where transfer is included in price.
Bus services between Lviv and towns of Lviv region might be most frequent within Ukraine.
Among the towns around Lviv, the most known by its sights might be Zhovkva (travel time 30 min, plenty of buses, local trains exist but useless - travel time would be more than hour and only 3 services per day), but personally my favorite is Sambir. Sambir is quite far, about 1:40 by marshrutka or bus, 2 hours by local train, fastest mention of transportation here is long distance train (1:23-1:30). You may notice that Sambir located on the way to Uzhhorod but not on main line, so you can continue from Sambir to Uzhhorod, but it will be quite slow travel (only local trains operate at daytime, travel time from Sambir to Uzhhorod almost 6 hours, and you will need to change train in Sianky, the only bonuses of such travel is that this line is much more scenic than mainline and ticket is unbelievable cheap (yes, about 1,1 EUR for 200 km travel)).
Also Kolomyya is on halfway from Ivano-Frankivsk to Chernivtsi. There are buses (travel time about 1:40), local trains (travel time 2 hours) and long distance trains, travel time 1:10-1:35.
Both of them are not ideal.
& Lviv-Kiev day train # 170
I'm not sure it's a good idea, to use train Chernivtsi - Odessa. It's has very-very roundabout route, look on map
, and thus travel time 19 hours.
Especially senseless usage of this train if you are visiting Kamyanets (which is on halway between Chernivtsi and Khmelnytsky). If you are agree for overnight train to avoid 10 hour daytime ride from Kamyanets to Odessa - take bus from Kamyanets to Khmelnytsky (2 hours) and use overnight train to Odessa (7 hours of ride). I didn't listed this way in my previous post only because you previously mentioned that you don't like overnight train, so I mentioned only 3 ways possible in daytime.
Usage of rest mentioned trains is good choise. But in the case Kyiv - Simferopol - it is the only domestic route in Ukraine where low-cost flights are available (so if you are booking in advance - you can catch airline tickets with price only slightly more that tickets for train and on this route flight gives real time gain), so may be between Kyiv and Simferopol you'll prefer to take a flight.
Jan 30, 2013 2:26 PM
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Jan 30, 2013 9:11 PM
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