- Kyivs'ka oblast' (Київська обл.) is a large area around Kiev/Kyiv, full of suburbs. Most of the people live outside the capital, and every day they go to work or to study to Kyiv (hence be aware of using crowded public transport), while some minority of the people are the wealthier citizens who live in numerous cottage suburbs, which populate the forests next to Kyiv. Chornobyl zone is at a fair distance, 130 km north of Kyiv, next to the border with Belarus. Road network is relatively fine around the region, since most major roads cross it: Kyiv-Warszaw, Kyiv-Lviv, Kyiv-Odesa, Kyiv-Chernihiv-Homel', Kyiv-Moscow, Kyiv-Kharkiv. The largest international airport in Ukraine, Boryspil, is located 20 km east of Kyiv, connected by a broad highway, so unusual to see elsewhere across the country.
- Zhytomyrs'ka oblast' (Житомирська обл.) includes its largest city, Zhytomyr, 150 km west of Kyiv. Although less known, northern woods of Zhytomyrs'ka oblast' are also polluted with radiation after the Chornobyl disaster and sparsely populated. Southern part of region is a mix of forests and agricultural lands, with many smaller and larger towns across. It doesn't seem to be a tourist destination, rather serves as a transit area between Kyiv and the Western Ukraine.
- Vinnyts’ka oblast' (Вінницька обл.) includes Vinnytsia and other small towns (Haisyn, Koziatyn, Nemyriv, Zhmerynka). A number of medicinal mineral water springs have been found in the oblast, they function as well as radon's water springs in the town of Khmilnyk.
Here you can see sparsely populated countryside (sometimes abandoned villages), many provincial towns, some forests (less than in northwest, but more than in southeastern Ukraine). Main routes from Kyiv to Belarus and Russia go across these lands.
- Chernihivs'ka oblast' (Чернігівська обл.), which includes Chernihiv and other smaller towns (Nizhyn, Hlukhiv, Baturyn, Putyvl') of historical importance - these were the headquarters of Cossack government in 17-18th centuries. Oblast' is neighboring with infamous Chernobyl disaster area (a town of Slavutych, as an enclave of Kyivs'ka oblast' was built in late Soviet era for workers of Chernobyl nuclear power plant). But despite such the proximity, the environment is safe, it is even less polluted than the industrial east regions.
- Sums'ka oblast' (Сумська обл.), mostly agricultural land, in close proximity to Russian border. Largest cities are Sumy, Konotop and Okhtyrka. Less to see here.
Former Cossack land on the banks of Dnipro
While Zaporizh'a was a base of Cossack army in 16-17th centuries, the historical lands where the Cossacks lived with their families were here. Kaniv, Chyhyryn, Pereyaslav, Lubny, Myrhorod, Poltava remain full of history sites since then. The region is also a motherland for many famous Ukrainians as Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Kotl'arevsky, Nikolai Gogol' and others.
- Poltavs'ka oblast (Полтавська обл.), often referred to as Livoberezh'a (ua:Лівобережжя, meaning the left bank of Dnipro). Mostly agricultural land, however some green belts cross it north to south, associated with major rivers - Sula, Psel and Vorskla. You will ultimately cross Poltavs'ka oblast' on your way between Ukraine's two largest cities, Kyiv and Kharkiv. Most people live in Poltava and Kremenchuk, first is rich in history, latter is rich in industry. A smaller city of Komsomol'sk, a satellite of Kremenchuk, was built in the 1960s, nothing to see here except of the ferrous ore mine, one of the country's largest open pit, about 200 m depth. You may also like to visit numerous smaller towns, such as Lubny, Myrhorod, Khorol, Dykan'ka to see some authentical Ukrainian lifestyle, as well as the village of Velyki Sorochyntsi, where Sorochyns'ky yarmarok (traditional culture fair) occurs annually in August.
- Cherkas'ka oblast' (Черкаська обл.), respectively Pravoberezh'a (ua:Правобережжя, meaning the right bank) features Cherkasy, the only large city on the bank of Kremenchuts'ke vodoskhovyshche (the largest artificial reservoir in Ukraine), historical towns of Kaniv and Chyhyryn, the town of Uman', famous for a large landcape park Sofiivka, designed for Polish landlord Potocky, and numerous villages swept across the hilly terrain.
Finally, Kirovohrads'ka oblast' (Кіровоградська обл.), in the past was known as Dyke Pole (literally, the Wild Field), a bordering land between Ukraine and nomadic Mongols and Tatars. Now it is the industrialized city of Kropyvnytskyi, and vast agricultural lands anywhere around. The geographical center of Ukraine is here, near the small town of Dobrovelychkivka. Otherwise, the region may be referred to Eastern Ukraine, not much to see here.
- 1 Kiev (Київ, Kyiv) – Ukraine's capital and largest city
- 2 Busha (Буша)
- 3 Cherkasy (Черка́си or Черкассы, Cherkassy)
- 4 Chernihiv (Чернігів or Чернигов, Chernigov)
- 5 Kaniv (Канів)
- 6 Kropyvnytskyi (Кропивницький, Kropyvnyc'kyj)
- 7 Lubny (Лубни́)
- 8 Myrgorod (Ми́ргород)
- 9 Poltava (Полтава)
- 10 Stina
- 11 Sumy (Суми)
- 12 Uman (Умань)
- 13 Vinnytsya (Ві́нниця)
- 14 Zhytomyr (Жито́мир, Žytomyr)
- 1 Chernobyl (Чорнобиль, Chornobyl) – the 2,600 km (1,600 mi)2 exclusion zone including the abandoned city of Pripyat, after the infamous Chernobyl disaster of 1986
Central Ukraine is known for speaking surzhyk, so most of the people don't speak a pure Russian or pure Ukrainian, but rather a specific mix of both. Everything else is like elsewhere in Ukraine. Virtually anyone understands both Ukrainian and Russian. English is more or less understood by younger people (who study it), and by some adults of 25–35 years who had work experience abroad. Don't expect any significant knowledge of English by officials (since they are prevalently older people, who had no opportunity, and often have no intention to study it). However most Ukrainians, even if they don't understand you, will respect you as a foreigner and make an effort to help you. Any other foreign languages are quite useless.
International border crossing by car
- 1 Pohar - Hremiach (Погар — Гремяч) (Chernihiv region). 24hr.
- 2 Novye Yurkovichi - Senkivka (Нові Юрковичі - Сеньківка) (Chernihiv region, on the P13 & P124 roads). 24hr. There are more crossing points, but some of them are only for Russians & Ukrainians.
- 3 Troebortnoye - Bachevsk (Троебортное — Бачевск), ✉ email@example.com. 24hr. Sumy region
Highlights oblast by oblast
- Bakaivka: Krasnogirskyi Protection of the Virgin (Saviour and Transfiguration) monastery, 1767-19th century;
- Buky: River Girskyi Tikych canyon,
- 4 Cherkasy.
- Chygyryn: B.Khmelnytskyi-P.Doroshenko's fortress, 16-17th century;
- Gorodysche: St.Michael church, 1844;
- 5 Kaniv. St.George (Assumption of the Virgin) cathedral + college, ~1147, 1810; Shevchenko national reserve, (Taras hill (Tarasova gora)), 1862-1939;
- Korsun-Shevchenkivskyi: Lopukhins' estate, ~1787, ~1840;
- Kozatske: Estate of Golitsyns-Engelhardts, 1785-1840
- Lebedyn: Saviour and Transfiguration church, 1826; Wood mill, ~1880; St.Nicolas convent, 1779;
- Mliiv: Symyrenkos' estate, 19th century;
- Pugachivka: Trinity church, 1761
- Shpola: A.Abaza's estate, mid-19-early 20th century;
- Stebliv: Ros' river, Annex of Golovynskyis' residence, 18th century
- Subotiv: St.Elias church + bell tower, 1653;
- 6 Uman. : Park "Sofiivka", ~1805, 1836-1859; Assumption of the Virgin Mary church, 1826
- Zolotonosha: Assumption of the Virgin Mary church, 1909;
- Baturyn: K.Rozumovskyi's palace, 1799-1803
- 7 Chernihiv. St.Elias monastery, 11-18th century; Saviour and Transfiguration cathedral, 1044, 1700s; SS.Boris and Gleb cathedral, 1123; College, 1670s, 1700-1702; Eletskyi Assumption monastery, 11-17th century; Trinity monastery, 17-18th century
- Gustynya: Gustynya monastery, 1614-1844
- Kachanivka:"Kachanivka" estate, 1770-1850s
- Korop: Ascension church, 1764
- Kozelets: Nativity of the Virgin cathedral, 1752-1763
- Nizhyn: Annunciation (Lady Day) monastery, 18-19th century; Presentation convent, 18-19th century; St.Michael Greek Catholic church, 1714-1731
- Novgorod-Siverskyi: Saviour and Transfiguration monastery, 11-19th century
- Pryluky: St.Nicolas church, 1720, 1817
- Sedniv: Wooden church, 1850s, beautiful place (beaches on Snov river)
- Trostyanets: Arboretum, 1850s
- Vyshenky: O.Rumyantsev-Zadunaiskyi's palace, 1780s; Assumption church, 1787
- Zhuklya: Protection of the Virgin church, 1913
- 8 Bila Tserkva (ru: Белая Церковь, uk:Біла Церква) (85km S of Kiev). - Park "Oleksandriya", 19th century, - St.John the Baptist church, Ulitsa Druzhby.4, 1810s; - 200-year-old shopping arcade architectural monument, an shopping center, were constructed for 85 stores, Sq. Torgova; - St.Nicolas baroque church, Ulitsa Gagarina, 8. 1852; - Saviour and Transfiguration cathedral, St. Gagarina 10, 1833-1839; - Monument warehouses, 62 Oleksandriiskyi (50-richchya Peremogy) blvd., 1790s; - Assembly of Nobility, Oleksandriiskyi (50-richchya Peremogy) blvd. 5, 1810s; - Branickis' winter palace, Oleksandriiskyi (50-richchya Peremogy) blvd. 7, 1820s; - Old post station, Oleksandriiskyi (50-richchya Peremogy) blvd. 43, 1825-1831; - Watermill on Rosh river, 1870; - Agrarian University [dead link] main building, Square Soborna. 8/1, 1843; - St.Mary Magdalene church, 11 Shkilna st., 1843; - The heder Jewish school, Ulitsa B.Khmel'nyts'kogo. 42, 1901; - Choral Synagogue, Ulitsa Teatralna, 2/21, 1870s; - Jewish meeting-house, 1880s; Shukhov water tower, 1929, - Local history museum [dead link], Druzhby str., 4; - St. George's Chapel, Komsomolskyi blvd., 1990s; - Saksaganskoho Music and Drama Theatre, Per. Klubnyi, 1, 1920; - House-hotel architectural monument, Torhova sq., 16.
- Borodani: Resurrection church, 1800
- 9 Fastiv (72km SW of Kiev). Exaltation of the Cross (St.Nicolas) Roman catholic Church, Ulitsa Chervonoarmiiska, 4A, 1907; - Protection of the Virgin church, Ulitsa Pushkina, 1, 1740; - Local history museum, Ulitsa Radianska, 9; - Museum on Wheels, At the train station; - Parish of St. Demetrius, Ulitsa Tarasa Shevchenko, 65.
- Lypovyi Skytok: St.Onuphry church, 1705
- Parkhomivka: Complex of Protection of the Virgin church, 1905
- 10 Pereyaslav-Khmelnytskyi (Переяслав-Хмельницкий) (85km SE of Kiev). - Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Middle Pridniprovia, Ulitsa Litopisnaya, ~59, 1900s; - Ascension monastery, 1730s, Sq. Pereyaslavskoi Rady, 12; - St.Michael church, 1660s, Ulitsa Moskovskaya, 34; - SS.Boris and Gleb church, 1839, Ulitsa Vyshni O.; - Trinity wood Church, Ulitsa Gorkogo, 2, 17th century; - Taras Shevchenko's Testament Museum, Ulitsa Shevchenko, 8. - Museum of culture of Trypillia, Ulitsa Shevchenko, 10/7; - Museum of Kobza art, Ulitsa Khmelnitskogo Bogdana, 20. - Museum of Hryhorii Skovoroda, Ulitsa Skovorody Hryhorii, 52; - Archaeological Museum, Ulitsa Shevchenko, 17; - Ukrainian National Clothes Museum, Ulitsa Moskovskaya, 11.
- Pidgirtsi: St.Michael church + bell tower, 1742, 1850s
- Rude Selo: Palace, 1820s; Trinity church, 1841
- Scherbaky: 150 years old chapel
- Snitynka: Pond
- Vasylkiv: SS.Anthony and Theodosius cathedral, 1758
- 11 Vyshhorod (uk:Вишгород, ru:.Вышгород) (21 km N of Kiev). - Church of Sts. Boris and Gleb, Ulitsa Petra Kalnyshevskogo, 1880s; - Kyiv sea (reservoir), 1965; - Pottery Museum, Mezhyhirskoho Spasu str., 11, - Historical Museum, Ulitsa Hrushevskoho Mykhaila, 1; - Cranberry House, Historical and cultural preserve Exhibition, Ulitsa Shkolnaya, 58; - Archeological Site of ancient settlement of Vyshgorod, Ulitsa Petra Kalnyshevskogo, ~17; - Hydropower station of Kiev (Київська ГЕС), Ulitsa Naberezhnaya. - Ski resort Vyshgora (Горнолыжный курорт Вышгора), Ulitsa Vatutina, 102. - Beach.
- Zgurivka: Landscape park, 1837
- Bobrynets: Ascension cathedral, 1912; Synagogue, 19th century; Old market, St.Nicolas cathedral,1850; District school, mid-19th century; Synagogue, 19th century; Local history museum
- 12 Kropyvnytskyi. : Synagogue, 1897; St.Elizabeth fortress, 1757; Protection of the Virgin church, 1850; Greek church (of Blessed Virgin of Vladimir), 1812, 1898; Transfiguration church, 1833; Military camp, 1848-1855; Elvorti's dwelling house, 1870s, Park Peremogy, 19th century, M.Kropyvnytskyi Theatre (Winter), 1867
- Novomyrgorod: St.Elias church, 1786
- Rozumivka: Exaltation of the Cross church with Raevskyis' counts family crypt, 1855
- Berezova Rudka: Zakrevskyis' burial vault (pyramid), 1899; Estate of Zakrevskyis, 18-19th century.
- Chornukhy: G.Skovoroda Estate, 1722, 1972
- Dykanka: St.Nicolas church + bell tower, 1794; Trinity church, 1780; Triumphal arch, 1820
- 13 Poltava. : Exaltation of the Cross monastery, 1880s; Complex of Round square, Poltava 1805-1841; Saviour church, 1705, 1845; Historical and cultural reserve "Field of Poltava Battle", 1709; Kotlyarevskyi estate museum, 18th century, 1969; Philharmonic Hall (choral synagogue), 1856; Alms-house,1820; Fire department, 1811; Institute for Noble Maidens, 1832; Assumption cathedral, 1774-1801; Taranushenko's house, Poltava 1838; Russian Rural bank, 1909
- Pyryatyn: Nativity of the Virgin cathedral, 1781
- Kyyanytsya: Lischynskyis' estate, 1883, Lischynskyis' sugar refinery, 1866
- Lebedyn: Protection of the Virgin church + gate, 1870s, Fire department (former town council), 1913–1915; Resurrection church, 1748; St.Nicolas church, 1890s
- Nyzy: Kondratiev-Sukhanovs' estate, 19th century, Nativity of the Virgin church, 1903
- Okhtyrka: Archangel Michael church, 1884, Complex of Protection of the Virgin cathedral, 1753-1825
- Romny: Ascension church + church-belltower, 1795–1801;
- 14 Sumy. : Resurrection church, 1702; Trinity church, 1900s; Saviour and Transfiguration cathedral, 1780s, 1880s; SS.Peter and Paul church, 1843-1851; Annunciation (Lady Day) church, 1911; St.Elias church, 1836-1851
- Yunakivka: St.Nicolas church, 1793–1806;
- Trostyanets: Golitsyns / L.Kenig's estate, 18-19th century, "Unboring" landscape park, 1810–1913;
- Andrushivka: Tereschenko's estate, 1889.
- Berdychiv: Barefoot Carmelites monastery, 16-18th century, St.Barbara church, 1826
- Chervone: Palace + park, 1870s
- Korostyshiv: Nativity of the Virgin Mary church + house of priest
- Korosten: Underground headquarters of Stalin "Rock", 1930s; Ostrovskiy municipal park
- Lyubar: St.George Basilians monastery, 1770-1830s
- Mezhyrichka: St.Nicolas church, 1772
- Nova Chortoryya: estate, 1800s
- Ovruch: St.Basil church and monastery constructions, 12-20th century, Transfiguration cathedral, 18th century, 1993
- Stara Kotelnya: St.Anthony of Padua church, 1786
- Yaropovychi: Pond + ancient settlement,
- Turchynivka: Estate, 1870s
- Verkhivnya: Ganskyi's estate, 1720s-1810s
- 15 Zhytomyr. : St.Sophia cathedral, 1740s; Transfiguration cathedral, 1874; Town council (magistrate), 1789
- Brailiv: Trinity monastery, 1770s
- Chernyatyn: Vitoslavskyi-Lvov estate, 1800s
- Ivaniv: Choloniewskis' castle-palace, 1596-1770s
- Khmilnyk: Estate, 1700-1900s; Beheading of John the Baptist church, 1603, 1728
- Kozyatyn: Railway station, 1889
- Nemyriv: Scythian ancient settlement, ~560 BC; Palace and park of duchess M.Scherbatova, 1890s, Bratslav mill and electric power station, 1890
- Pechera: Estate, 1880s; Nativity of the Virgin church, 1762
- 16 Vinnytsya. : Water tower, 1911; Dominicans monastery, 17-18th century, Capuchins monastery, 1750s; St.Nicolas church, 1746; Jesuits monastery, 17-18th century; Grocholskis' estate in P'yatnychany, 1790s
- Voronovytsya: Palace and park, 1780s; St.Michael church, 1752
- Zhmerynka: Railway station, 1899