Travel to Chernivtsi in Bukovina: What to See and Things to Do

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Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans

Tourists that come to Western Ukraine often only visit Lviv and the neighboring castles. However, the West of the country is home for a true gem of Bukovina historical region - Chernivtsi. The small city has strong Austrian, German, Jewish and Romanian influence and hosts one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Sightseeing

Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans

Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian MetropolitansOne of the best-known attractions in Chernivtsi is Residence of Bukovinian and Dalmatian Metropolitans. Nowadays the luxurious building belongs to Chernivtsi National University and is its main campus site. However, historically it had been used as a residence of Bukovininian and Dalmatian Metropolitans. The construction of the residence began in 1864 and lasted for almost twenty years.

Thanks to the prolonged efforts, visitors can now enjoy the eclectic-styled building decorated with marble, crystals and gold. In 2011, UNESCO included the main building of Yurii Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University in the list of World Cultural Heritage for 'exhibiting an important interchange of human values', 'bearing a unique testimony to a cultural tradition' and 'being an outstanding example of an architectural ensemble'.

Teatralna Square

Olha Kobylianska Square and Theater in ChernivtsiTeatralna Square is now one of the most luxurious city spots used to be a busy trading area with a fisher's market in its heart. However, at the beginning of the 20th century, the square gained a whole new look thanks to the new building of the city theatre, nowadays carrying the name of the Ukrainian modernist writer Olha Kobylianska.

The construction project was carried out by the prestigious Austrian bureau, Fellner & Helmer. In 1904, representatives of the city authorities have planted the first stone of the future building and merely a year later the new theater was already opened for visitors.

The luxurious Baroque building has intricate details in its exterior: relief images of William Shakespeare and Richard Wagner above the facade windows. Numerous facade niches are filled with busts of Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Josef Haydn, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Taras Shevchenko on the right side and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johann-Friedrich Schiller, Franz Peter Schubert and Alexander Pushkin on the left.

Jewish House

Jewish House in ChernivtsiLike Odesa and Lviv, Chernivtsi is also one of the cities with a prominent Jewish diaspora in Ukraine. In 1908, the Jewish People's House was built on Teatralna Square three years after the opening of the city theatre. The building's exterior showcases one of the most popular styles in the late 19th - 20th centuries - Eclecticism. Its most prominent feature is the ensemble of the four Atlant statues that hold the two floors of the building.

Central Square

Central Square in ChernivtsiThe central square of the city initially appeared on the map in 1825 and starting from the second half of the 19th century, it became the bustling center of the city life. The square's main feature is a Town Hall, built in 1843-47 in the Late Classicism style. Every day at noon, tourists have a chance to spot a trumpeter that appears on the Town Hall's tower and performs a traditional Ukrainian folk song Marichka.

Olha Kobylianska Street

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The heart of the Old Town is located at Olha Kobylanska Street, formerly called Herrengasse. In the past, this pedestrian street used to be Soho of Chernivtsi, hosting the city's most fashionable salons, restaurants, and cafes. Luckily, the chic vibe survived through the centuries and even nowadays locals love to sit at one of the tables outside and enjoy a cup of steaming coffee.

Kobylianska Street often ranks #1 among the places to see in Chernivtsi. The street also is home to the Regional Museum of Local Lore, which showcases thousands of historical and cultural artifacts to give a better understanding of the Bukovina region. You may also stroll down to Armianska street and take a walk in the historical Armenian district with its gem, Saints Peter and Paul Church, which nowadays functions as an organ hall.

Ship-House

Ship-House in ChernivtsiLocated on the corner of the Holovna and Sholem Aleichem streets, the Ship-house catches the attention of tourists thanks to its old look and unique construction style. The location is also known among locals as Schiff, deriving from the German 'ship'. The house cuts the two streets like a ship would cut the large waves in the sea.

Right in front of the Ship-house lies another landmark - the Reverend Basilica of the Exaltation of the Cross. Its construction dragged throughout 1787-1814. However, the time and effort paid off - in the late 19th century, the basilica's organ was awarded two medals in Vienna and Paris as the best timbre organ in Europe. The instrument still functions nowadays - visitors can listen to music during the service. Another prominent feature of the basilica is the clock on the facade that shows the Viennese time.

Church of the Assumption Heart of Jesus

Church of the Assumption Heart of Jesus in ChernivtsiThe city's most famous Gothic church is Church of the Assumption Heart of Jesus located on Shevchenko Street. Its history dates back to the late 19th century when the first Jesuit missionaries arrived in Chernivtsi. In 1885, the order asked to be officially recognized, and the city authorities raised funds for the construction of a new church.

The construction began in 1892 and was finished in two years. In the post-WWII era, the church was used as a regional archive and a part of the architectural beauty was lost. However, the Church of the Assumption Heart of Jesus still functions nowadays and holds a regular service.

Jewish Cemetery

Jewish Cemetery in Chernivtsi Jewish Cemetery in Chernivtsi is one of the three necropolises in Ukraine that hold a status of the open-air museum, along with the famous Lychakiv in Lviv and Lukianivske Cemetery in Kyiv. The cemetery in Chernivtsi unites the Jewish and Christian parts and is an important part of the city's legacy.

Unfortunately, the cemetery's condition leaves much to be desired. Among the particular interests of tourists and researchers are the Bukovina metropolitan chapel and the ruins of the old synagogue. The tombs and tombstones scattered in the cemetery are prime examples of monumental art, like the crypt of the Knys family.

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Wining & Dining

One of the best things to do in Chernivtsi is exploring the region's unique cuisine. The culinary map of Chernivtsi embraces Ukrainian, Jewish, Romanian and Bukovina cuisines. Besides, while Lviv is commonly known as the coffee capital of Ukraine, Chernivtsi can be considered a serious rival for the title.

Rita Steinberg

 
 
 
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Публикация от Rita Steinberg (@ritasteinberg.cv)


This restaurant located on Universytetska Street is among the best places to go if you want to find the taste of Old Chernivtsi. Rita Steinberg focuses on the Jewish cuisine, serving the classic dishes based on the centuries-old recipes found by the restaurant's owners. It's necessary to note that while the restaurant serves Jewish dishes, the food is not Kosher.

Pansʹka Huralʹnya

 
 
 
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Публикация от Панська Гуральня (@panskahuralnya)


As for the Bukovina cuisine, the best place to enjoy local specialties is Pansʹka Huralʹnya located on Kobylianska street. Visitors have a chance to try Kulesha a la Bukovina, Sephardic lamb, banosh, Esterházy torte and the famous varenyky with cherries.

Buco

 
 
 
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Публикация от Coffee manufacture Buco (@buco_coffee)


Located on Teatralna square, Buco coffee offers to kill two birds with one stone: enjoy a cup of real Chernivtsi coffee and enjoy the view in the panoramic windows. The cozy cafe uses the prime Arabica and Robusta from countries like Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Vietnam.

Yugo

 
 
 
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Публикация от YUGO coffee (@yugo.coffee)


Often regarded as the best coffee shop in the city, Yugo is located in the heart of the city on Kobylianska street. The cozy Scandinavian interior lures in first timers and locals. While the cafe doesn't serve coffee with syrups or toppings like usual, V60 pour over is certainly treated with respect here. The menu also has granola, salads and Ukrainian syrnyky to top off the coffee. 

Where to stay in Chernivtsi

Thankfully, Chernivtsi has more than 50 venues of various kinds available on sites like booking.com. Most of them are located in the city center or close to the main sightseeing spots. So far, hotels and apartments are the most popular accommodation types.

One of the most popular venues is Apartment 7 Chernivtsi with a 9,6 rating on booking.com. The stylish accommodation is located near the green area of the city's Botanical Garden. The apartments can host up to 8 people.

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Coin Apartments & Hostel located on Holovna street is another often-booked venue. The 9,6 rating, location in downtown and delicious breakfast earned the hostel good reviews. There are two types of rooms: a room for two people with twin beds or a hostel-type room for eight people.

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How to travel to Chernivtsi

Chernivtsi can be conveniently reached by train, buses and personal transport from major Ukrainian cities. There are several trains that go to Chernivtsi:

  • #117KOP Kyiv - Chernivtsi
  • #117P Kyiv - Bucharest
  • #668K Kovel - Chernivtsi
  • #136SH Odesa - Chernivtsi
  • #702P Lviv - Chernivtsi

The trip by train takes about 11 hours from Kyiv, 5 hours from Odesa and Kovel and 3 hours from Lviv. The ticket price depends on a compartment type and starts at UAH 450.

Buses from Kyiv, Lviv and other cities regularly go to Chernivtsi as well. For instance, in Kyiv, the buses depart from the bus station at the Central Railway Station at least five times a day in the morning, during the day and in the night time. The price starts at UAH 320.

Carpooling with Bla Bla Car is another way to travel to Chernivtsi. Drivers usually charge UAH 200 and more depending on the departure point. Don't forget to check the driver's account before booking a trip.

Finally, a trip to Chernivtsi by car from Kyiv will take about 7.5 hours. Google Maps suggests taking the Е40/М06 highway for the fastest route. A trip from Lviv has three route options: H02 and Е85/М19; H02 and Р48; or H09 and H10, the fastest route that will take about 4.5 hours.

Sources: city-guide.cv.ua, guide.cv.ua.
Photo sources: depositphotos.com, Дима Савич / lookmytrips.com, pups-mog.livejournal.com, cv.vj.ua, apartila.com. All images belong to their rightful authors.

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