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Introducing Ivano-Frankivsk

A closed Soviet city until 1991, I-F is for many just a gateway to the Carpathians and a popular jumping-off point for the northern peaks. But this once grand city is very much worth a day of exploration in its own right, and with some decent places to stay and surprisingly sophisticated places to eat, you're not likely to regret an overnight stay either.

I-F is a real mixed bag – the city centre is leafy and flaunts almost central European elegance, while the chaotic station strip and third-world market area give visitors a feel for what Ukraine was like 15 to 20 years ago.