8 Great Things to Do in Kamianets Podilskyi - A Backpacking Guide to the Most Beautiful City in Ukraine

8 Great Things to Do in Kamianets Podilskyi

A Backpacking Guide to the Most Beautiful City in Ukraine

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Kamianets-Podilskyi, an island city home to Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle, one of the most beautiful castles in Ukraine, is a place that seems like it came straight out of a fairy tale. The 11th Century Castle is located on a giant rock surrounded by a 40 meters deep Smotrych River Canyon, hence why they call it the island city, and it is one of the best sights you can see in Ukraine.

There are also the charming Old Town of Kamianets-Podilskyi where you will find old gates, bastions, and fortresses scattered throughout the town, many beautiful viewpoints and Observation Deck to see the stunning castles from every angle imaginable and plenty of Medieval-style restaurants for you to travel back in time and indulge yourself in.

With so many awesome things to do in Kamianets-Podilskyi, you will need a good travel guide and this is what this article is for, to help guide you through all the cool things to do and tourist attractions in Kamianets-Podilskyi. Without further ado, let's look at Kamianets-Podilskyi attractions and things to do map:

One Month Itinerary For Ukraine

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Kamianets-Podilskyi Attractions and Things to Do Map

Kamianets-Podilskyi Attractions and Things to Do Map

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When to Visit Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Me walking towards Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle in the afternoon in Ukraine.

The best time to visit Kamianets-Podilskyi is during the summer months of June - September where the weather is nice and warm. Ukraine has not yet suffered from overtourism like other countries in Europe so the mid-summer months is still the best time to be.

That said, there can still be quite a lot of local tourists visiting Kamianets-Podilskyi as it is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the country. To avoid the local crowds, I would recommend you visit on weekdays and out of public holidays period.

Where to Stay in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Budget - Hostel Svit Hub - 7 USD/Night (Dorm) - A little out of the Old Town but the walk is only 15 minutes and takes you through some really nice part of town. The room is clean and cozy with plenty of space, enough toilets, and they will provide you all the information you need to visit all the tourist attractions in Kamianets-Podilskyi.

Budget - Art House Hostel - 10 USD/Night (Dorm) - If you are looking for a closer hostel to the Old Town, this one is right in the area but a bit more expensive.

Mid-Range - Art House Hostel - 27 USD / Night (Double Room with Shared Bathroom) - You can also get a private room at Art House Hostel for quite cheap too if you are traveling as a pair.

How to Get to Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

How to Get to Ukraine

A red Lada car driving along the Castle Bridge in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

In order to get to Kamianets-Podilskyi, first, you will have to get yourself to Ukraine. The 2 closest big cities you can fly into are Kyiv and Lviv with the latter being closer to Kamianets-Podilskyi.

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 Kamianets-Podilskyi from there.

If you are already in Europe, you have a bit more options. You can either fly from your home country in Europe to Lviv or Kyiv via low-cost airlines like Ryanair or Wizz Air or you can travel by land via trains through Poland.

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 Kamianets-Podilskyi.

To find a cheap flight to Kyiv or Lviv, 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.

How to Get from Kyiv to Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Once you arrive in Kyiv, you have a few options to travel from there to Kamianets-Podilskyi. There are 2 daily trains from Kyiv to Kamianets-Podilskyi, one arriving on the same day and another arriving on the next day at 3 AM. Both will take around 7 - 8 hours and cost somewhere between 200 - 1200 UAH depending on the class.

There is also one other train that runs 2 days per week (Sunday and Tuesday) which leaves at 14:55 and arrives at 22:52 that you can take you are traveling on these 2 days.

If the direct train schedule doesn't fit well with your trip, you can travel from Kyiv to Kamianets-Podilskyi with a combination of train and bus. One of the main hubs in the region is the city called Khmelnytskyi (input HMELNICKII or Хмельницький instead if the booking platform returns no result for Khmelnytskyi) where you can take the train there and take a bus to Kamianets-Podilskyi.

Khmelnytskyi is already 80% of the way so you should have no trouble finding a regular bus and it should not take longer than 2 hours. To look for a bus from Khmelnytskyi to Kyiv, check out BusRadar or Tickets.ua.

Once you arrive in Khmelnytskyi train station, you can take a local bus #28 from Zaliznychnyi vokzal bus stop to Bus Station #1 5 stops away. The bus/marshrutka costs 5 UAH per trip and you pay the driver when you get off. You can also walk if you don't mind walking for 30 - 40 minutes.

How to Get from Lviv to Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

To get from Lviv to Kamianets-Podilskyi, there are 9 daily trains that connect the 2 cities together throughout the day, taking around 3 - 4 hours and cost between 140 - 1000 UAH depending on the time and class.

You can also take a bus which is a bit cheaper but takes almost 9 hours and runs only twice a day. I would recommend you take the train instead if you are traveling from Lviv to Kamianets-Podilskyi.

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 Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Every tourist attractions I've listed here are all within walking distance you will have no trouble exploring Kamianets-Podilskyi without even using public transportation.

If you want to travel a bit further, you can take a local bus/marshrutka where you can find the bus route easily by punching in the location you want to visit on Google Maps and the app will recommend which bus to take for you. The bus costs 5 UAH per trip and you pay the driver when you get off.

How to Get from Kamianets-Podilskyi Train Station to the City Center

To get from Kamianets-Podilskyi train station to the Old Town, you can take the bus #7 from Zaliznychnyi vokzal bus stop for about 8 stops and get off at Hoholia Street Bus Stop and you will be right at the center of the Old Town.

How Many Days to Spend in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Sunset behind Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle in Ukraine.

The best amount of time to spend in Kamianets-Podilskyi is at least one full day (2 nights) but you will be able to see a bit more and a much more relaxed pace if you have 2 full days (3 nights). Here's a 1 - 2 days itinerary for Kamianets-Podilskyi:

Day 1: Spend the first half of the day visiting Alexander Nevsky Cathedral if you are staying out of the Old Town area or go and explore the Old Town and check out the Dominican Monastery, etc.

Spend the afternoon going inside Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle, visiting all the museums there and walk along the stone walls of the fortress and check out the view of the Old City from the castle. Check out the Castle Bridge as well as the Smotrytsky Canyon while you are at it.

During sunset, go to one of the many Observation Decks and watch as the sun sets behind Kamianets-Podilskyi castle, and wait to see the castle illuminated by artificial light at night.

Day 2 (optional): If you have another day to spend in Kamianets-Podilskyi, you will have the time to go down the Castle Bridge and explore the bottom of Smotrytsky Canyon where there are several old wooden churches for you to check out. You can also go zip-lining across the canyon as well as walk to the other side of the castle and check out the Monument of the 7 Cultures.

Day 3: You can go and watch the sunrise at the Observation Deck overlooking Kamianets-Podilskyi castle as the sun will be shining directly at it from the Old Town side, giving you a clearer view of the castle.

How Much Money Do I Need for Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Kamianets-Podilskyi is a tourist destination so the price of food maybe a little bit more than other smaller towns but as in almost all of Ukraine, it is still pretty cheap compared to Western Europe. With a one full day itinerary, we can calculate the minimum amount of money you will be spending in Kamianets-Podilskyi as follows:

Accommodation: 2 nights at Hostel Svit Hub is 20 USD (493 UAH).

Food: A good meal in Kamianets-Podilskyi will cost you 100 UAH so for 3 meals, it will be 300 UAH per day.

Transportation: With the itinerary, I have recommended, you don't have to take any public transportation but just in case, I will put this as 5 UAH x 2 trips (from the train station to the city center and back) so 10 UAH in total.

Activities: The only activity you have to pay for is the entrance fee for Kamianets-Podilskyi castle which cost only 20 UAH per person.

Total Budget for one day in Kamianets-Podilskyi: 823 UAH (33.33 USD).

Is it Safe in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine?

Like most of Western Ukraine, it is completely safe to travel around Kamianets-Podilskyi solo. I walked around at night alone many times and had no problem at all. Just be sure to exercise common sense as usual and if you don't feel comfortable walking at night alone, don't do it.

Internet in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Reliable WIFI can be found everywhere in hostels and restaurants around the city so you should not have a problem staying connected while you are in Kamianets-Podilskyi.

If you want to get a local sim card, you can 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 Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

1. Visit Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle at Different Time

Me standing on the wall overlooking Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle at sunset in Ukraine.

One of the prettiest castles in all Ukraine, Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle is probably the main reason why you are in Kamianets-Podilskyi so one of the best things to do here is to see this castle with your own eyes.

The towers of Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle in Ukraine.

Located atop a rock being surrounded by a 40 meters high canyon, you won't find any other more photogenic landmark in Ukraine than Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle.

Inside Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle wall in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

Due to its location, Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle is best seen during the morning, right before the sunset and at night when they turn on the light to illuminate the castle and I would recommend you find an observation deck that overlooks the castle during these periods.

Me watching the sunset behind the castle from a stone wall at Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

One of the best observation deck is the platform right before the Castle Bridge where the platform stood on the left side before the bridge begins and you will get an unmatched panoramic view of the castle and the beautiful landscape behind it.

The empty castle bridge leading to Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle during sunset in Ukraine.

This is the perfect place to be during the sunset where the light is most dramatic. Depending on the time of the year, you should be able to see some hot air balloons flying above the castle right before the sunset from the platform.

Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle being illumiated by artificial light at night in Ukraine.

I heard also that the castle is really nice at night and so I decided to wait for the sun to go down completely and for them to turn on the light. As you can see from the photo above, it sure was worth the wait. I was there in mid-summer so they turned on the light at around 9:30 PM.

Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle in the morning in Ukraine.

You should also check out the castle from the platform in the morning, say 9:30 AM, as the light will be shining directly at the castle giving it much better visibility than in the afternoon where the castle front is under its own shade.

2. Walk by Dominican Monastery

Dominican Monastery as seen from the Old Town of Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

Not just the castle that attracts people from around the country to visit Kamianets-Podilskyi, the Old Town is as charming and as interesting as the castle itself with many historical buildings as old as 12th Century waiting for you the explore.

The beautiful red-white-colored facade of Dominican Monastery in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

One of the most prominent religious structure in the Old Town of Kamianets-Podilskyi is the Dominican Monastery, built in the 15th Century. Its crumbling towers and red and white-colored facade while the all-white decor inside gives it its identity.

Another view of Dominican Monastery from the Town Hall in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

The tower is being renovated slowly but you can still see the structure, its imperfection, and in all its old age which makes it more interesting to visit than to see it completely new and renovated.

3. Visit all the Cool Buildings in Kamianets-Podilskyi Old Town

Colorful houses in the Old Town of Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

After visiting the Dominican Monastery, walk East into the Old part of town, walk around and discover some other cool old buildings in the area. There are some cool buildings in the area is fun to explore such as the Old Bell Tower of Saint Stepanos and its beautiful gate.

The dragon decoration in front of the Russian Council in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

Another nice traditional building to check out in the Old Town is the Russian Council or the old traditional house with a dragon statue on the roof that you can see from the Old Town street.

The Old Bell Tower of Saint Stepanos in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

The Town Hall and the Well of Armenia are also nice tourist attractions to check out. It is right in the center of Kamianets-Podilskyi Old Town so you won't miss it when you walk to the Castle.

Kamianets-Podilskyi's Town Hall and the famous Tourist Statuie in Ukraine.

Right at that square, you will also find the Tourist Statue (Pam'yatnyk Turystu) standing proudly looking at the Old Town. The statue is an art project by Roman Tick and Sergey Klyaptura who created the statue in 2013 to represent the people visiting Kamianets-Podilskyi. It's a great photo op and popular among local selfie-takers.

4. Admire the Beauty of Smotrytsky Canyon from the Castle Bridge

The Castle Bridge to Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle in Ukraine

Kamianets-Podilskyi is sometimes called an island town because it is surrounded by a horseshoe-shaped canyon and it is only accessible via bridges. One of the stone bridges that connects the Castle with the Old Town is called the Castle Bridge and it is a wonderful place to see the Smotrytsky canyon.

View of the Smotrytsky Canyon from the Castle Bridge in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

From the Castle Bridge, you can see the beautiful Smotrytsky canyon, its forest, and the small town at the bottom of the canyon from both sides of the bridge. You can also walk down to the bottom of the canyon and explore the town down there which I recommend you do if you have an extra day in the city.

5. Visit Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral

Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral and the Turkish Minaret in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

Another beautiful piece of architecture you shouldn't miss is the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in the Northern part of the Old Town. This Neo-Gothic/Baroque Catholic Church is one of the oldest structures in the area and it is considered to be one of the 7 wonders of Kamianets-Podilskyi.

It was built in the 14th Century during the rule of a Polish king and it had since changed hands multiple times from the Ottoman Empire to the Soviet. The church kept expanding throughout those changing times.

The Polish built the church in the Baroque architectural-style until the area was occupied by the Ottoman and the church was converted to a mosque with the construction of the Turkish Minaret in front of the church. The Russian plundered the church soon afterward and then converted to a museum during the Soviet era. This church is full of history, just like the city itself and a must-visit when you are in Kamianets-Podilskyi.

6. Capture the Scale of Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle from an Observation Deck

Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle from an Observation Deck from afar in Ukraine.

Not too far from the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, you will find an Observation Deck right by a cliff where you will be able to see the Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle and its true scale from afar.

Be sure to drop by the Observation Deck in the evening after you have explored the Old Town area.

7. Go Urban Exploration and Discover Old Bastions and Gate Scattered around the City

Many old stone structures in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

Around the cliffs of the Old Town area, especially in the northern part not too far from Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, you will find many abandoned stone gates and bastions that you can discover. Some of them you can even go in and climb around as I saw a few local tourists doing it.

The Polish Gate in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

Some nice abandoned structures to check out are the Polish Gate, The Turkish Bastion, Bashta Stefana Batoriya, and many more. While you go off and explore these old structures, you will have a chance to see the real Old Town, away from all the tourist attractions, allowing you to see what life is really like living there/

8. Check Out Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in the New Town of Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

Last but not least, the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a great place to visit if you want to explore Kamianets-Podilskyi new town which is a complete contrast to the Old Town you have been exploring.

This beautiful Orthodox Church has several round domes that make it almost look like an Alien ship just landed right in the middle of Kamianets-Podilskyi. The exterior of the cathedral also resembled the cathedral with the same name in Sofia, Romania.

While you are at the cathedral, be sure to spend some time exploring the New Town itself. It's a nice city with many parks and restaurant for you to take a break from all the historical landmarks in the Old Town.

Other Things to Do and Tourist Attractions in Kamianets-Podilskyi

Walk Down along Smotrytsky Canyon

Tserkva Vozdvyzhennya Chesnoho Khresta wooden church in the Smotrytsky Canyon in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

As previously mentioned, if you have a day to spare, I would recommend you walk down the Castle Bridge and explore Smotrytsky Canyon from the bottom. There are some nice traditional structures like Tserkva Vozdvyzhennya Chesnoho Khresta wooden church that is definitely worth a visit. Not a lot of tourists walk down the canyon so it is also a good way to escape from the tourist crowds and explore the side of Kamianets-Podilskyi not many people see.

Walk to the Monument of the 7 Cultures

The Cross and the Monument of the 7 Cultures in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

You probably saw a giant cross monument behind Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle while you were walking across the Castle Bridge. Right nearby, there is a stone monument dedicated to 7 nationalities who lived and contributed to the creation of Kamianets-Podilskyi, the Ukrainians, Turks, Tatars, Armenians, Jews, Lithuanians, and Poles.

The path in Smotrytsky Canyon that leads to the Cross and the Monument of the 7 Cultures in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

In order to get to the Monument of the 7 Cultures, you will have to walk down into the canyon and walk up the side of the hill to get to the monument. It's not a stroll but the view from the monument is worth the sweat. From the viewpoint, you will be able to see Kamianets-Podilskyi Old Town and the Castle from a perspective you don't get from the Old Town. If you have time, be sure to visit the Monument of the 7 Cultures.

Visit the Stunning Church of St. George

The blue and white-colored Church of St. George in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

Another stunning structure you probably saw while you were exploring the Castle is the white and blue-colored Church of St. George, a beautiful East Orthodox church located on the other side of the canyon. You can visit Church of St. George by simply crossing the bridge from the Polish Gate in the Old Town and walk up the hill towards the church. It's huge so you won't miss it.

Zipline Across or Bungee Jump off Smotrytsky Canyon at Novoplanivskyi Bridge

The view of Smotrytsky Canyon from Novoplanivskyi Bridge in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

While I was walking along the Novoplanivskyi Bridge that connects the Old Town to the New Town, I saw a zipline that goes across Smotrytsky Canyon. Apparently, you can zipline across or bungee jump into Smotrytsky Canyon for a price of 150 UAH and 400 UAH respectively with Active Day Tour Agency. If you are looking for an adventure-packed day, there is nothing more adventurous than bungee jumping off a canyon. If you are interested, you can approach Active Day Booth directly on the left side of the Novoplanivskyi Bridge.

Where to Eat and Drink in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine

Eat and Drink Coffee at Kava Vid Politsmeystera Medieval Cafe

The medieval-looking bar of Kava Vid Politsmeystera cafe in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

One of my favorite places to eat at is Kava Vid Politsmeystera, a medieval cafe located near the Castle Bridge in the Old Town. Everything inside screams Medieval from the old wooden bar, a tavern-like 2 stories balcony, to all the old lamps and zinc-colored cups and pans. This is the perfect restaurant for a place with historical importance like Kamianets-Podilskyi.

The seating area of Kava Vid Politsmeystera cafe in Kamianets-Podilskyi, Ukraine.

They serve local Ukrainian food as well as pastries and all kinds of coffee for you to try at a very affordable price. Unfortunately, they do not have an English menu when I was there so make sure you have Google Translate app that can take the photo of the menu and translate the text on the fly. That's how I ordered my stuff most of the time in Ukraine 😅.

Take a Break at Lounge Coffee in the Old Town

If you are looking for a nice cafe that serves delicious coffee and has a nice atmosphere to sit, relax and enjoy, Lounge Coffee is the cafe you have to visit.

It's located right in the center of Kamianets-Podilskyi Old Town and there are seatings in an air-conditioned room or outside making it a great place to escape the summer heat or simply to chill outside with a nice cup of coffee.

And there you have it, a complete travel guide on things to do and a 1 - 2 days itinerary for Kamianets-Podilskyi. Are you looking to visit Kamianets-Podilskyi when you are in Ukraine? If so, feel free to ask me anything in the comments below. Enjoy Kamianets-Podilskyi!

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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