7 Best Things to Do in Chernivtsi, Ukraine - A Complete Backpacking Guide to Chernivtsi Tourist Attractions

7 Best Things to Do in Chernivtsi, Ukraine

A Complete Backpacking Guide to Chernivtsi Tourist Attractions

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Chernivtsi is the hidden gems of Western Ukraine. You may not have heard much about Chernivtsi but the city is considered to be the cultural, educational and architectural center of Western Ukraine.

The city was once the capital of Bukovina, a historical region that was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire back in the days, and it is home to of one of the stunning and prestigious University in Ukraine, the Chernivtsi National University.

Chernivtsi is the perfect place to break your trip down from Lviv for 2 nights before continuing to Kamianets-Podilskyi, another great city with beautiful architecture.

Here is a complete backpacking guide on how to spend a day in Chernivtsi with 7 best things to do and tourist attractions to see while in the city. Without further ado, let's begin with Chernivtsi Tourist Attractions Map.

One Month Itinerary For Ukraine

Chernivtsi Attractions and Things to Do Map

Chernivtsi Attractions and Things to Do Map

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When to Visit Chernivtsi, Ukraine

The beautiful architecture of Chernivtsi University in Ukraine.

The best time to visit Chernivtsi is during the summer months from May - September. Chernivtsi doesn't get a lot of foreign tourists so peak time is still a great time to visit the city without having to deal with over-tourism like in Western Europe.

To make it even better, try visiting Chernivtsi during the weekdays so you will have the whole city and Chernivtsi National University all to yourself. Only local tourists visit Chernivtsi and they often come during the weekends so weekdays is a great time if you do not like visiting a crowded place.

Where to Stay in Chernivtsi, Ukraine

Budget - Square Hostel - 5 USD/Night (Dorm) - The perfect location, right in front of Chernivtsi National University. Clean, modern, come equipped with Air-Conditioning and the reception speaks great English.

Mid-Range - Square Hostel - 18 USD / Night (Double Room with Shared Bathroom) - Same as above but in a Double Room. You won't find any better place with such a perfect location. I highly recommend staying at Square Hostel.

How to Get to Chernivtsi, Ukraine

A man sleeping in an overnight train in Ukraine.

In order to get to Chernivtsi, you will first have to get to Ukraine and there are several ways you can do that.

If you are coming from the US, there is a direct flight from New York to Kyiv via Ukrainian Airline that you can take or you can fly via several European airlines like KLM, Lufthansa, and Air France into any of the main hubs in Europe, take a low-cost airline like Ryanair or Wizz Air to Kyiv or Lviv and get a train that goes through Chernivtsi from there.

If you are in Asia, the simplest option is to fly directly from one of the hub cities like Bangkok to Kyiv via Ukrainian Airline. They are cheap and fly direct to Kyiv in 11 hours and from Kyiv, you can take an overnight train to Chernivtsi.

To find a cheap flight to Kyiv, I would recommend you use Skyscanner or Momondo to look for the cheapest route and schedule so you can compare and pick the best one.

From Kyiv, there are several overnight trains that pass through Chernivtsi so you can take that one. It leaves from 20:05 - 22:22 and arrives in Chernivtsi from 7:57 - 10:27.

From Lviv, there are also plenty of trains both overnight and during the day since it only takes around 4 hours to get from Lviv to Chernivtsi by train. If you take the one at 18:09, you will arrive in Chernivtsi at 22:02.

You can book your trains online through the official website here: Book Ukraine Train Online or through Tickets.ua. You can simply pay with your credit card and you will receive an email with a QR code and all you have to do is show it to the ticket master when you are on the train.

How to Get Around Chernivtsi, Ukraine

The streets full of trolleybus's overhead wires in Chernivtsi, Ukraine

Chernivtsi and all its tourist attractions are all within walking distance so it is quite easy to navigate the city. For places that are a bit out of town, you can take their buses or trolleybuses that go almost everywhere in the city. The trolleybuses cost 3 UAH per trip and you can use Google Maps to find which bus number to get on.

How to Get from Chernivtsi Train Station to the City Center

Chernivtsi Train Station is not too far from the city center and Chernivtsi National University. You can walk if you have the energy and time as it will only take you 20 minutes but you will be walking uphill most of the time.

If you do not want to walk, you can take a trolly bus #1 that goes from the bus stop in front of the train station (Zaliznychnyi vokzal) to the one in front of the university ().

Again, the trolleybus costs 3 UAH per trip and you can either pay the bus driver on your way out of the bus or someone will come and give you the ticket when the bus starts moving.

How Many Days to Spend in Chernivtsi, Ukraine

There are quite a few things to do in Chernivtsi and I would recommend you spend at least one full day (2 nights) so you can see Chernivtsi National University and all the other tourist attractions Chernivtsi has to offer.

If your train arrives in the morning, you don't really have to stay 2 nights as you will have the entire day to explore the city when you arrive if you have the energy. Thankfully, the city is not overwhelming to explore and so you will have no trouble hitting the ground running.

Day 1: Simply spend the morning walking around Chernivtsi National University before checking out Kobylyanskoi Street and have lunch there. After Lunch, start checking out all the cool churches and cathedrals around the area. Walk along Zan'kovets'koi Street, check out the Regional Art Museum and Chernivtsi Town Hall before ending the day with a sunset at Teatralna Square.

Day 2: Spend the morning having nice coffee and breakfast at Bucco cafe before heading to your next destination.

How Much Money Do I Need for Chernivtsi, Ukraine

From our recommended one day itinerary, we can calculate the minimum amount of money you would use for this itinerary. Here is a rough amount of money you will spend in Chernivtsi:

Accommodation: 2 nights in Square Hostel will cost you only 10 USD (250 UAH).

Food: As usual, a good meal will cost you around 100 UAH per meal so that is 300 UAH (12 USD) per day.

Transportation: For transportation, you can almost do the whole trip without paying any but even if you do, it will only cost you 3 UAH per trip so I would say 6 UAH in total for a roundtrip from the train station to the city center.

Activities: To get into Chernivtsi University, you will have to pay 20 UAH to get in. If you want a guide (only Ukrainian guide when I was there), it would be 25 UAH. For most, I would say, it is 20 UAH. That's all you will have to pay for Chernivtsi.

Total Budget for one day in Chernivtsi: 576 UAH (23 USD).

Is it Safe in Chernivtsi, Ukraine?

It is a university town and so Chernivtsi is one of the safest places to be in Ukraine. Western Ukraine and to some extent, Central Ukraine is very safe in general so you do not have to worry about anything when visiting Chernivtsi.

Internet in Chernivtsi, Ukraine

Since it is a university town, the internet I found at hostels and cafes are really fast and reliable so you do not really need a local sim card to stay connected but if Chernivtsi is part of a big trip you are doing in Ukraine, I would recommend you get a local sim card as well, just in case.

You can either get the one from Vodafone or Kyivstar. They both offer similar plans with data ranging from 2GB to unlimited costing between 55 UAH - 220 UAH.

For more information about Ukraine local sim card: Ukraine Prepaid Data Sim Card.

Travel Insurance

If you are looking for travel insurance to go along with your trip to Ukraine, I would recommend WorldNomads.com, which is what I use to look for travel insurance that fits my kind of adventure.

Get a Quote from World Nomads

Things to Do in Chernivtsi, Ukraine

1. Admire the Architecture of Chernivtsi National University

Me standing and looking at Chernivtsi National University in Chernivtsi, Ukraine

Chernivtsi National University is by far one of the most iconic looking architectures in the whole of Ukraine and it is probably the reason why you are visiting Chernivtsi. The university was built in 1875 when Chernivtsi was the capital of Bukovina, which was a part of Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The Entrance to Chernivtsi National University in Chernivtsi, Ukraine

Seeing the university with your own eyes almost makes you feel like you are not in Ukraine. The Baroque-Romanesque architectural style, the use of red bricks, and its green gardens almost make you feel like you are walking around Hogwarts. To be honest, if my university looks anything close to this, I might have shown up to class more (not really 😅).

The beautiful garden of Chernivtsi National University in Chernivtsi, Ukraine

The architect responsible for this piece of architectural wonder is Czech Josef Hlavka who was behind many of the architecture projects in Vienna, hence the similarity in architectures you might find in Austria.

Seminarska Church inside Chernivtsi National University in Chernivtsi, Ukraine

Within the walls of the University, you will find Seminarska Church, where students can get married there for free. There are some other highlights too inside the main building parameters like the Red Hall and the park inside.

A close up of the amount of detail of Chernivtsi National University architecture in Ukraine.

Unfortunately, you are only allowed to go in if you are with a tour guide so if you want to see them, you will have to go with a Ukrainian-only tour group which can be organized at the entrance.

2. Check Out the Massive Cathedral of Holy Spirit

The exterior of the massive Cathedral of Holy Spirit in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.

Throughout its many occupations, the Eastern Orthodox spirit lives on within this massive, the Cathedral of Holy Spirit Church. This Orthodox church is one of the biggest churches in Bukovina and a place where most of the locals go during Sunday prayers.

The roof of Cathedral of Holy Spirit in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.

The inside hall is 46 meters high and the exterior used to be painted in pink but they have since repainted it to white which is a shame because I thought it looked great in pink. Nevertheless, don't get confused by the photos from the Internet since they are the same church but just at different time.

That said, it is still a great place to visit as it is centrally located and you will have to pass through it on your way to our next tourist attraction, the Armenian Church.

3. Visit the Armenian Church

The Armenian Church exterior in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.

The one thing I have seen quite often in almost every town in Ukraine is that there is at least one stunning Armenian Church somewhere in the city and Chernivtsi is also one of them.

The beautiful ceiling of Armenian Church in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.

You may see some similarities of this red-brick angular-looking architectural style with Chernivtsi National University and that is because it was designed by Josef Hlávka, the same Czech architecture that designed the University.

The Organ Hall of the Armenian Church in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.

The Armenian Church has since been turned into an Organ Hall and I was quite lucky to be able to see the inside right before the guy closes the door. The inside is also as pretty and as unique-looking as the outside.

4. Walk along the Kobylyanskoi Street

A woman walking along the Kobylyanskoi main street in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.

Kobylyanskoi Street is the main pedestrian street in Chernivtsi, something you would find in almost every major cities in Ukraine. The street is not too far from the Armenian Church and the Cathedral of Holy Spirit so you can make it as part of your walk around the city.

Kobylyanskoi main street full of people in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.

This is where the locals like to hang out during the day and in the evening and you will find many restaurants and shops for you to indulge yourself in.

5. Check Out the Architecture of Chernivtsi Town Hall

The blue-colored exterior of Chernivtsi Town Hall in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.

Right around the corner of Kobylyanskoi Street, you will find Chernivtsi Town Hall, another great piece of architecture in the city with a 50m high clock tower where a trumpeter in a Bukovina folk costume will play the melody from the song “Marichka” at 12:00 exactly. Be sure to walk by there during that time.

Apparently, you can also go up to the clock tower if you talk to the person at the Tourist Information where they might be able to agree to let you up there, although I haven't tried it myself but it's worth a shot if you are there.

6. Relax at Teatralna Square at Sunset

Teatralna Square full of flowers in Chernivtsi, Ukraine

Teatralna Square is the perfect hang out place in the evening right before the sunset. As the weather gets cooler during that time, locals will come out to the square and socialize with each other.

Chernivtsi Regional Music and Drama Theater at Teatralna Square in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.

I went there and sat with a book in hand and spent my evening reading and watching people go by. There are a ton of flowers and trees in the Square all the while, you get to see the stunning architecture of Chernivtsi Regional Music and Drama Theater. If you are looking for a nice sunset spot, Teatralna Square is the place to be.

7. Go Off and Find Other Beautiful Architecture in Chernivtsi City Center

The colorful mural of The Regional Art Museum in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.

There are several other beautiful architectures all around the Chernivtsi City Center so be sure to walk around a bit out of those 6 things I recommended above and you might find some undiscovered beauty as I did. For example, The Regional Art Museum is another great piece of architecture right next to Chernivtsi town hall.

The wierd-looking architecture of Sorbonna Night Club in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.

Sorbonna Night Club is another weird-looking architecture that you will find when you walk from Chernivtsi National University to the City Center. I don't know how good this nightclub is but the exterior sure made me feel intrigued to see the inside.

The beautiful and rustic Zan'kovets'koi Street in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.

One of my favorite streets to stroll is Zan'kovets'koi Street where you would find colorful buildings on both sides while the stunning Church Of The Republic Of St. The Patriarchate sits right at the end of the streets where you can go and check that out too.

Where to Eat and Drink in Chernivtsi, Ukraine

Have Coffee at The Best Coffee Shop on the Universytetskiy & Skovorody Street

The atmospheric interior of The Best Coffee Shop on the Universytetskiy & Skovorody Street in Chernivtsi, Ukraine

Yup, that is the real name of the cafe. The Best Coffee Shop on the Universytetskiy & Skovorody Street (Найкраща кав'ярня на розі Університетської та Сковороди) is a nice cozy cafe with a beautiful atmospheric interior and a nice outside seat in front of the street.

Waffle Ice Cream and a coffee at The Best Coffee Shop on the Universytetskiy & Skovorody Street in Chernivtsi, Ukraine

They serve delicious coffee as well as the best waffle you can find in town. If you are looking for a place for a quick bite in the morning or a place to chill with a glass of wine, you will not be disappointed.

Have Breakfast at Bucco Cafe

The interior of Bucco Cafe in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.

Another one of my favorite cafes in Chernivtsi, Bucco is a modern-style cafe that serves delicious coffee and a full-blown all-day breakfast with sausages, bacon and fried eggs which is not easy to come by in Chernivtsi.

Ice Coffee and an all-day breakfast I had at Bucco cafe in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.

They have a ton of pastries and coffees for you to pick from. They also have reliable internet as well as power sockets for you to charge your electronics making it the best place to kill some time and work/browse a little on your laptop.

And there you have it, the ultimate backpacking guide on things to do, what tourist attractions to see and a full one-day itinerary for Chernivtsi. Are you excited to see Chernivtsi National University? If you are planning to visit Chernivtsi and you have some questions regarding the place, do not hesitate to let me know in the comments below.

Further Reading for Ukraine

Looking for more information for your trip to Ukraine? Here is a collection of articles about Ukraine that might help you with your trip planning:

The Solo Traveler’s Journal is a series of posts by Pete Rojwongsuriya, the founder of BucketListly Blog where we will follow his solo journey around the world as he experiences different cultures, people, and historical locations one country at a time.

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