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Stretching from the Carpathian mountains to the Black Sea, Ukraine is the largest country in Europe (after Russia) and has much to offer. The countryside is beautiful and the cities are steeped in history and culture.
The summer months are the busiest in Ukraine and it pays to plan in advance if you intend to travel during peak season. But the rewards are worth it, with long days, mild weather and cultural events galore. Crowds flock to the Black Sea resorts in July and August.
Spring and autumn are cheaper and less busy. May sees celebrations to mark victory over the Nazis and the founding of Kiev. The foliage displays in autumn are spectacular.
Winters in the Ukraine are bitter, particularly in the north. But Christmas, celebrated in early January, is a popular and cheerful time to visit. There are also ski resorts in the west.
Flexibility and planning are key to finding cheap flights to Ukraine, but when you book with Expedia there are plenty of ways to ensure you get a bargain.
There are direct flights to Kiev and Lviv from different airports in London. Use the ‘Nearby airports’ option to compare prices or look for connecting flights.
The ‘Show flexible dates’ option allows you see prices to and from Ukraine on different days and can unlock different routes to destinations like Odessa.
To filter results by criteria including price, airline, departure time and length of flight use the Show options menu and the buttons on the left of the search screen.
Flight times from the UK to destinations in Ukraine include:
Two thirds of Ukraine’s air traffic arrives at Boryspil International Airport, 18 miles east of Kiev, and the number of passengers has doubled since 2009. It has shops, banks, restaurants and cafes and free WiFi. There are buses and taxis into the city and plans for a rail link are in the pipeline. Car rental facilities are located in Terminal D.
Lviv International Airport, in the west of the country, also has flights from the UK. You can travel to the city centre four miles away by bus, trolley bus and taxi. The airport has duty free shopping, a restaurant and car rental facilities.
Airlines flying from the UK to Ukraine include:
The major cities have public transport networks and Kiev has a Soviet era metro system that is an attraction in its own right.
There are flights from the major cities to regional airports around the country. There is also an extensive rail network. The system is old but operates adequately. Buses connect most towns although they can be overcrowded.
Driving is an option, and offers a good way to explore the countryside, but the roads can be of variable quality and other drivers make it a challenging experience.
The Byzantine architecture of Kiev is spectacular, and the gold-domed Cathedral of St Sophia is not to be missed. There are good views from the bell tower and mosaics are wonderful.
Head to the Carpathian mountains in the west of the country to experience a true European wilderness, where bears and wolves still roam. But don’t be put off by the wildlife, the camping and trekking is wonderful.
North of Kiev is the infamous Chernobyl nuclear power plant. In 1986 it was the scene of the world’s worst nuclear accident and is still sealed off – but there are fascinating day tours from Kiev.
Since it was annexed by Russia in 2014 Crimea is off limits, and so are the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk in the east of the country.
If travelling in winter make sure you wrap up against the bitter weather and take sturdy footwear as the pavements will be icy.
Ukrainian cuisine may not have a good reputation, but borsch and other local dishes are tasty – and remember to wash them down with a shot of vodka.