Unique medieval fortresses and enchanting landscapes. The unique nature and ancient cities that are in no way inferior to Western Europe. All this can be seen in just one weekend, having departed from Kyiv for some 500 kilometers. So - we suggest fantasizing on the theme of “an ideal Ukrainian weekend”: we have 2 days off and a company with 4 friends who are hungry for impressions. Where and how are we going?
Lviv is already a little trite. As, however, and Odessa. We are sure that our 4 friends have visited more than once in these cities. What can not be said about the pearl of Bukovina - Chernivtsi? This city is clearly underestimated by the usual Ukrainian weekend itineraries, however, it has several bonuses at once, which are not obvious at first glance.
The fact is that on the way from Kyiv to Chernivtsi, which will take 5-6 hours by force if you drive continuously, there are immediately 2 amazing fortresses - Medzhibozhskaya and Kamenetz-Podolskaya. Look at them worth it, because these are unique objects for Ukraine, built back in the Middle Ages. Also, the center of the “old city” is notable in Kamyanets-Podilsky, where it is almost impossible to find houses of the twentieth century. To admire these cities, it is worth spending several hours on the first day of the weekend: to relax from the road, and eat in one of the local restaurants, and exchange experiences.
But the end point of the weekend travel is worthy of special attention. Chernivtsi is one of the cities of Ukraine, which is rightly considered a pearl of architecture. Registered in the historical part of the capital of Bukovina are 602 architectural monuments, 25 of which are of national importance. For example, Chernivtsi University is considered one of the most beautiful in Ukraine. Excursions for everyone here are held every hour.
Arrange a walking tour of the main squares of the city - Central, Philharmonic, Theater, Cathedral, Blessed Mary. Along the way, you will see the most interesting places in Chernivtsi - the ship house (Shifa), twin houses, the drama theater, monuments to Olga Kobylyanskaya and Franz Joseph I, the Cradle of the World, the Turkish Well and much more.
The ancient Armenian church, the unusual Nicholas Cathedral and the central street of Olga Kobylyanskaya will complement your impressions of the city. Also, despite its emphasized historicity, Chernivtsi is a modern tourist city, here you can have a tasty lunch and relax in a very decent hotel. The best points on Tripadvisor are the restaurants Gopachok, Di Bocca and Vienna Coffee House, hotels: Rivoli Hotel and AllureInn.
With were to go, it seems, sorted out. Let's get back to the question of HOW to travel. If a company of friends has their car, adapted for long trips - this is a big plus. But in practice, it often happens that not everyone agrees to “ruin” their city car on far from ideal Ukrainian roads. And in order not to cause discord in a friendly company, you have to choose from another suitable vehicle.
And here, unfortunately, the choice is small: a train, a bus, a taxi, or a rental car. Perhaps, a taxi will fall out of this list first of all, because the cost of such a trip will hit your pocket very painfully (do not be surprised at the price tag of 3-4,000 hryvnias one way), and there’s no point in “idling” the driver, but you’ll have to pay for it anyway. Again - Medzhibozh and Kamenetz-Podolsky in this case disappear.
Unfortunately, sacrificing visits to the fortresses will have, for obvious reasons, in the case of the train. And the cost of such a trip for 4 people only at first glance may seem the most budgetary, as it hides a lot of “pitfalls”.
The average cost of one ticket in a compartment to Chernivtsi is 503 UAH, for 4 friends there and back - 4028 UAH. However, to leave Kiev in the morning and normally go home in the evening, our friends will spend at least another 1000 UAH on everyone. And if you add spending on a taxi in Chernivtsi - it will also fly at least 500 hryvnias (from the station to the hotel, and even on remote tourist routes, where you can’t reach on foot ...).
Total will be 5500 UAH for the train option. It's a little cheaper than a taxi, but more expensive than a bus option. In this case, you will save about 800 hryvnia, as tickets cost a little cheaper. Of the minuses - after the “bus night” you are unlikely to want to travel a lot, and mobility on the way is still limping on both legs.
So, the last option is to rent a car. At first glance it looks a little expensive, does not it? But what if you carefully analyze the spending?
Take the best car for this journey - Volkswagen Golf Touring. This is a middle class car, there are budget options and 2 times cheaper, but they are more suitable for the city than for long suburban trips. But renting an SUV - on the contrary - is somewhat more expensive than a station wagon. But we don’t go to the mountains, therefore there isn’t much sense in it.
Whatever the case, a 2-day rental Volkswagen Golf company of 4 friends will cost 2600 UAH. For fuel, our friends will report another 2,300 UAH (about 1,100 km to Chernivtsi and vice versa, plus 200 km for trips around the city and its environs). Total - 4900 hryvnias for a trip for four, while - with all the amenities and maximum mobility.
This is a bit more expensive than a combination of a bus plus a taxi to move around the city, but cheaper than a train ride. The disadvantage of this option is that at least one person from the company of friends must be able to drive. But there are a lot of pluses. Firstly, the opportunity to plan your route in such a way as to visit Medzhibozh and Kamenetz-Podolsky, come to Chernivtsi on Saturday evening, take a night city walk, and then consolidate your impressions by devoting the remaining time to it on Sunday. Secondly, the Golf station wagon is equipped with a large trunk, so you can not only collect enough things for the whole company, but also stock up on souvenirs in Chernivtsi - from wine and feta cheese to cool carved wooden crafts for relatives and friends. Thirdly, in a rental car there is always a support and assistance service on the road, in our case it is BLS Assistance. You are guaranteed not to be left alone with problems.
To decide how to go - of course - you and your friends. But believe me - such a weekend you will remember for a lifetime: the exquisite Chernivtsi and the most powerful fortresses of Medzhibozh and Kamenetz-Podolsky are unlikely to leave you indifferent, and your Instagram is guaranteed to be replenished with the coolest photos!