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Christmas Destinations and Markets You SHOULD Visit in Ukraine

The season of giving is best spent with family and friends — wrapping and receiving gifts, going to gatherings, and celebrating the birth of Christ.

Amidst all the festivities and excitement, you’re likely to feel worn out. After all, who wouldn’t get sore feet after a day-long Christmas shopping? And who wouldn’t feel sluggish after having to attend one party after another?

But if you’re thinking of skipping this year’s celebration, you’re about to make the wrong decision. This December, recharge yourself by visiting some of the remarkable destinations and Christmas markets in Ukraine you shouldn’t miss!

Stores in Ukraine.
Ukrainians make shopping for gifts an exciting activity. Make sure you visit their Christmas markets!

Holiday Cheers: Ukrainian Christmas Markets

It can be annoying when you have to hop from different malls to find that lavender-scented bath set your girlfriend wants. Not only that, but you still need to purchase that polyester coat you plan on wearing for dinner.

But when you’re spending the holidays in Ukraine, holiday shopping would not be as bad as you think it is. Especially now, almost every city and town in the country has its own Christmas market.

But what is so special about these markets? Do they offer a trip to the north pole or a ride in Santa’s sleigh? Let’s find out.

  1. The perfect combination of grilled food and mulled wine.

    Take your Ukrainian girlfriend on a street food date as you enjoy food sold from rustic wooden huts. Make sure to try out their chimney cakes, donuts, and even grilled meat and vegetables that your taste buds will surely love.

    Top off your romantic holiday experience by sipping the most-coveted beverage of Ukrainians during Christmas, the hot mulled wine, which you will see anywhere if you visit the markets.

  2. The creative local craftsmen.

    When you think about going to a Christmas market, you might expect to see only snow globes, wreaths, candles, ribbons, and other popular holiday items on display. But if there’s one thing Ukrainians are good at, that is exceeding your expectations.

    There, you’ll get to see some of the most artistic crafts made by the locals. Feast on blanket weavers, woodcarvers, embroidered blouses, thick woolen socks, handmade gifts, toys, and even jewelry.

    Because culture lives in the hearts of the Ukrainians, don’t miss some of their housewares and ceramics, which are adorned with traditional Petrykivka paintings originating from the 17th century, that your mothers will simply love receiving from you.

  3. The right place for entertainment.

    Ukrainian Christmas markets are popular for a good reason. It is not just a place where you can eat, drink, and shop for gifts, but it is an entertainment hub as well.

    The Ukrainian mulled wine.
    Who says you have to miss out on wine? This Christmas, complete your feast with Ukrainian mulled wine.

    It gets jam-packed with concerts, Christmas performances, and other seasonal workshops you can take part in with your partner and her family during the holidays.

You have plenty of choices on which market to go to this Christmas, and you’re not to blame for wanting to visit every single one of them.

To narrow down your options, here are the top four must-visit markets:

  1. Lviv

    The city of Lviv is one of the most visited places during the yuletide season. Walking along its streets is like entering a winter wonderland. This is why it is loved by many.

    Spend quality time with your Ukrainian woman by skating together at the city’s main square or strolling along the boulevard up to the city’s Opera House, which is truly a ravishing sight to behold.

  2. Kiev

    Other than snow, the giant Christmas tree that sits in St. Sophia Square makes the city a fairytale brought to life. The city’s Christmas markets also play live music as you shop and enjoy the treats sold by the vendors.

  3. Carpathian Mountains

    The biggest and most popular Christmas market in Ukraine, the Kosiv Bazar, is located in the Carpathian Mountains. Known for its prestige, artists from all over the country come here to display and sell their crafts.

    Choose from handcrafted pottery, embroidery, wooden jewelry, quality leather products, woolen socks and blankets, and a lot more to make as gifts for your loved ones.

    It is also the ideal place to visit if you love to ski as it is home to the largest ski resort in Eastern Europe, the Bukovel.

  4. Odessa

    Visit the city of Odessa if you’re craving grilled German sausages as it flaunts its German-style market called the Kirche Christmas Fair. Sip some punch or mulled wine as you listen to Christmas carols play in the background.

The Nativity Scene.
A meaningful Christmas gift is one that's wrapped in happiness, peace, and love.

When you’re dating a Ukrainian woman, one way to show your commitment is learning her culture, and a huge part of this is her religion. So if you’re spending the holidays with her this year, how should you celebrate it?

Top Destinations for Celebrating an Orthodox Christmas

Because the country celebrates at least two different Christmases — one on December 25 and the other on January 7, we’re here to tell you where to spend Christmas the Orthodox way.

  1. Pyrohiv

    The museum in Pyrohiv features traditional Ukrainian architecture and welcomes its guests by introducing them to the customs of the country. On January 7, the place is crowded with people of all ages who sing and perform carols.

  2. Yaremche

    Yaremche opens its doors to tourists and visitors with Transcarpathian hospitality, who all get the chance to witness all of the Hutsul rituals in commemoration of the holiday.

  3. Khortytsia

    A picture-perfect island in Ukraine, Khortytsia is where thematic cafés that serve traditional seasonal dishes are located. Annually, the Church of the Intercession of the Holy Mother of God hosts services from the 6th of January until the 8th.

To complete your holiday in the country, here are some places you can also visit:

The best Christmas gift you can give her this year doesn’t come in a box. Simply spending the holidays with her and her family in Ukraine is enough. Though it may take time for you to get used to the country’s customs, it’s expected of you to learn them, especially if you’re marrying a Ukrainian woman.

Many of us like to believe that the yuletide season is the happiest time of year, but have you truly experienced a real Christmas?

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