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Introducing Ivano-Frankivsk

With pastel-coloured neoclassical buildings, neatly landscaped gardens and orderly, tree-lined cobblestoned pavements, the spruced-up city of Ivano-Frankivsk is increasingly becoming one of Ukraine's most pleasant.

'Ivano' was a closed city until 1991 but you'd never guess it today. The city's pedestrianised thoroughfares, street cafes and a well-established tourist office now make this one of the west's more visitor-friendly cities. Add to that a couple of decent places to eat and sleep and an overnight stay here becomes even more attractive.

For many Ivano-Frankivsk is merely a gateway to the Carpathians and a popular jumping-off point for the northern peaks, but the city is very much worth a day of exploration in its own right.