The Comprehensive Guide To Chernivtsi, Ukraine

Ukraine definitely makes it into the list of underrated tourist destinations in Europe. At the same time Chernivtsi makes it into the list of underrated tourist destinations in Ukraine. Chernivtsi is one of the most beautiful cities in Ukraine with an amazing university, cute Austrian-like streets, and charming squares. At the same time you rarely will see international or even local tourists there. Two main reasons for this are: Chernivtsi is located on the South West of Ukraine and sometimes it’s not comfortable to get there, and lack of marketing and information about the city in general. For those who have somehow found out about this place and want to visit I wrote the comprehensive guide to Chernivtsi, Ukraine to help you better navigate the city and not miss out on anything.

How To Get To Chernivtsi, Ukraine

There are two main ways to get to Chernivtsi: by a car or a train. 

The Comprehensive Guide To Chernivtsi, Ukraine

If you are going to Ukraine and planning on visiting Chernivtsi, chances are you are either coming from Kyiv or Lviv. These are two cities that tourists most usually choose to fly into. There is of course Odesa airport and some others, but they are way less popular. 

Car

Renting a car and driving yourself is the most convenient way to get to Chernivtsi if you forget about how bad the roads are in Ukraine. There are some places that can take you an hour to get through what might be a 15 minutes drive if the road would be fixed. So, you’ll have to decide if you are up to this task. 

Of course, while you are driving you can hit other locations like Kamieniec Podolski, Khotyn or others. 

Rental prices depend on the car you rent and for how long. But the standard price is $50 per day (renting a car in Ukraine is much more expensive than in most of Europe strangely enough).

Train

In my opinion, a train is the best way to travel to Chernivtsi. Although, if you decide to travel by train I recommend you to buy your ticket as soon as possible. They are often sold out. Click here to buy your train tickets. 

Note: remember that the ticket price for the same train can be different for each day. 

From Kyiv

There are a few trains from Kyiv to Chernivtsi: 

#249 {not regular} – leaves Kyiv at 3:09 pm and gets to Chernivtsi at 7:55 am (price: 1st class – 879 UAH, 2nd class – 389 UAH, 3rd class – 244UAH). Travel time – 16 hours 46 minutes;

#118 {regular}- leaves Kyiv at 8:05 pm and gets to Chernivtsi at 8:19 am (price: 2nd class – 377 UAH, 3rd class – 173UAH). Travel time – 12 hours 14 minutes; 

#007 {regular} – leaves Kyiv at 10:22 pm and gets to Chernivtsi at 10:15 am (price: 1st class – 1800 UAH, 2nd class – 780UAH). Travel time – 11 hours 53 minutes; 

From Lviv

It is faster to travel from Lviv to Chernivtsi by train than from Kyiv. There are also a few trains a day: 

#136 {not regular} – leaves Lviv at 4:53 am and gets to Chernivtsi at 10:00 am (price: 2nd class – 169 UAH, 3rd class – 121 UAH). Travel time – 5 hours 7 minutes;

#007 {regular} – leaves Lviv  at 5:23 am and gets to Chernivtsi at 10:15 am (price: 1st class – 929 UAH, 2nd class – 383AH). Travel time – 4 hours 52 minutes;

#702 {not regular} – leaves Lviv  at 6:09 am and gets to Chernivtsi at 10:15 pm (price: 3rd class (sitting) – 156UAH). Travel time – 4 hours 6 minutes;

Click here to book your train tickets!

The Best Time To Visit Chernivtsi

The best time to visit Chernivtsi is between the end of spring and beginning of autumn. Ukraine has a long and cold winter, and unless you are planning on going to ski in Bukovel, there is no point to suffer from, sometimes, very cold weather. 

The Comprehensive Guide To Chernivtsi, Ukraine

Where To Stay In Chernivtsi 

Chernivtsi is not the most popular tourist destination in Ukraine, therefore there are not a lot of hotels in the center that I can recommend. Nevertheless here are some options: 

  • Allure Inn is located in the very heart of the old town. Its location is one of the best in the city. Allure Inn has very nice rooms and a pretty good buffet breakfast. The biggest disadvantage of this place is a very expensive price (for Chernivtsi anyway).

Price:€91/night

Location: Tsentral’na Square, 6, Chernivtsi, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine, 58000

  • Magnat-Lux Hotel is a good option for those who are looking to be comfortable and stay in the center. The rooms are pretty spacious and clean. It might not be that luxurious, but the price is way better than Allure Inn.

Price:€30/night

Location: Andriya Sheptyts’koho St, 6, Chernivtsi, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine, 58000

  • Chernivtsi central square hostel is a great option for those who prefer to stay in hostels. This hostel has a great location, the rooms are pretty decent, beds are comfortable. But the best advantage is of course the price. 

Price:€7

Location: Apt3/5a Sheptytskgo 2, Chernivtsi, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine, 58000

Where To Eat In Chernivtsi

Rita Steinberg

Rita Steinberg is a great restaurant that serves Ukrainian-Jewish cuisine. It is located in the old town, not far from Chernivtsi National University. 

The Comprehensive Guide To Chernivtsi, Ukraine: Rita Steinberg
Guide to Chernivtsi, Ukraine

This restaurant will surprise you with great interior and delicious food. Rita Steinberg is considered to be one of the best restaurants in the city. 

Rita Steinberg

Prices: salads – around 100 UAH, mains – between 200 and 350 UAH, craft beer – around 60 UAH

Location: Universytets’ka St, 48, Chernivtsi, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine, 58000

Room Room 

The “Room room” cafe is a great place to get your coffee and a delicious breakfast. I visited this place accidentally (it was close to our accommodation) in the morning when I was looking for a place to get coffee. Room room seemed like a decent place to have a cup of much needed black coffee. It ended up to also be a great place to have breakfast. 

The Comprehensive Guide To Chernivtsi, Ukraine: Room Room 

I ordered pancakes with salmon and oh boy, it was delicious. This breakfast made my day for sure. 

Room Room 
Pancakes with caramel sauce from Room Room in Chernivtsi, Ukraine

Price: coffee – between 20 and 30 UAH; breakfast – around 100 UAH;

Location: Chaikovs’koho St, 5, Chernivtsi, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine, 58000

Gorno (Траторія Gorno) 

Gorno cafe is located on Olga Kobylanska street – the main (walking) street of the city. It is a great place for people watching, since they have have a beautiful terrace with comfortable chairs. 

The Comprehensive Guide To Chernivtsi, Ukraine: Gorno (Траторія Gorno) 

Gorno cafe has a big menu with a wide selection of starters and mains. They also do pretty decent cocktails. 

Gorno (Траторія Gorno) 

Price: soups – between 45 and 60 UAH; pasta – 90 and 180 UAH 

Location: Kobylyans’koi St, 16, Chernivtsi, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine, 58002

Chocolate Fusion Cafe 

Chocolate fusion cafe is a weird place that has an amazing chocolate fondant. Why is it weird? Well, from outside it looks like a temporary construction that was turned into a cafe (at least for me).

The Comprehensive Guide To Chernivtsi, Ukraine: Chocolate Fusion Cafe 

Chocolate fusion cafe offers a pretty decent selection of desserts and actual food. I haven’t tried anything there except for desserts, but from what I saw the food looked pretty good. 

Chocolate Fusion Cafe 

Price: mains – around 200 UAH, desserts – around 100 UAH;

Location: Universytets’ka St, 26, Chernivtsi, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine, 58000

Coffee Museum

If you have been to Lviv, you know that there is a big coffee culture there, however Chernivtsi people also love their coffee. 

Coffee museum is a cafe that offers … well… coffee of course, desserts and they also have actual food that really surprised me. 

Coffee Museum
Guide to Chernivtsi, Ukraine

So, first I want to recommend that you get a table inside the coffee museum. The interior is amazing, super detailed and interesting. Second, I recommend you get coffee and dessert and I do not recommend having an actual meal there. Maybe it’s just my experience, but it is also my blog, so everything here is about my experience…. Anyway, the food I ordered at the Coffee museum was despicable. That is all I can really say about my meal. 

The Comprehensive Guide To Chernivtsi, Ukraine: Coffee Museum

Price: coffee – between 30 and 50 UAH, desserts – around 80 – 100 UAH.

Location: Kobylyans’koi St, 30, Chernivtsi, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine, 58000

C.O.T.T.E 

C.O.T.T.E cafe is another great breakfast place. Their specialties are waffles. They have a very wide selection of sweet and savory waffles. 

C.O.T.T.E is quite a trendy place with great food and great prices. They of course have other dishes besides waffles, but what can be better for breakfast than that. 

C.O.T.T.E 

Price: waffles – between 80 and 150 UAH; coffee – 25 to 55 UAH

Location: вул. Челюскінців, 1 Раймунда Фрідріха Кайндля, Chernivtsi, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine, 58000

Things To Do In Chernivtsi

Visit Chernivtsi National University

Chernivtsi National university is the most popular thing to see in Chernivtsi and probably the reason you have heard about this Ukrainian city. The university was built in 1875 when Chernivtsi was a part of the Austro – Hungarian Empire. 

The Comprehensive Guide To Chernivtsi, Ukraine: Visit Chernivtsi National University

The university building and grounds make you feel like you are Harry Potter in Hogwarts. On the university grounds, red bricked walls and grand marble halls make this place one of the most beautiful universities in Ukraine. 

You can visit Chernivtsi National University as a part of a tour group. There are excursions every hour all day long until 4 PM. People usually gather at the front gate by the security guard (ask him about excursions and he will call for a guide). Such tours are usually in Ukrainian, but no worries, they also have English speaking guides that can show you around (tours in English are private tours, therefore they are more expensive than in Ukrainian). 

Location: Kotsyubyns’koho St, 2, Chernivtsi, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine, 58012

Explore Olga Kobylianska street (the main street of the city)

Explore Olga Kobylanska street (the main street of the city)

Olga Kobylianska street is the main street in Chernivtsi. It is a walking street with outstanding architecture along it. Long ago this street was considered a promenade place for nobles. The street was washed with soap three times a day. That is why it was mentioned in a few written sources – how clean was the city of Chernivtsi. Some people went even further and made up, that the streets of the city were cleaned with roses. You can find two monuments dedicated to this fact: one at the end of Kobylianska street and one next to the city hall. 

The Comprehensive Guide To Chernivtsi, Ukraine: Explore Olga Kobylanska street (the main street of the city)
Guide to Chernivtsi, Ukraine

Olga Kobylianska street is a place where you can find very nice cafes and restaurants as well as boutiques and shops. The buildings on this street as well have interesting stories. You can learn them during a city tour that I highly recommend. 

Explore Olga Kobylanska street (the main street of the city)

To book a city tour click here (there are tours in Ukrainian and English). 

Location: Olha Kobylianska Street, Kolomyia, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, Ukraine

Find Budynok Korabel (building that looks like a ship)

Budynok Korabel or Ship House has its own history. This house was built in the end of the 19th century and was one of the first stone buildings in the city.

It wasn’t an accident that the building resembles a ship. The story says that one very rich and respectable man who lived in Chernivtsi had a brother. The brother was a captain and when the time came he decided to retire back to his hometown, so he asked his brother to find him a place to live. The first didn’t think long and built a very spacial house to welcome his brother back home. 

The Comprehensive Guide To Chernivtsi, Ukraine

The architect created a narrow facade (on the south side) with a spacious balcony on the second floor that resembles a ship deck. On the top of the building he put a small tower that makes you think of a mast. 

You need a bit of imagination of course to see what the architect tried to show us. Just imagine that you are standing on the balcony of this building and the cars from both sides are going past you like water past moving ship.

Location: Holovna St, 25, Chernivtsi, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine, 58000

Visit The Drunken Church 

The actual name of the Drunken church is Svyato-Mykolayivsʹkyy Sobor. The reason people started to call it “drunken church” is because the church has twisted towers.

The Comprehensive Guide To Chernivtsi, Ukraine: Visit The Drunken Church 
Guide to Chernivtsi, Ukraine

This church was built at the time when Romania was in charge of Chernivtsi, so you might have seen those types of towers in Romania as well. 

Visit The Drunken Church 

Svyato-Mykolayivsʹkyy Sobor was recently renovated and it looks very neat. The church is open for tourists. Just remember that if you are a girl you need to cover your head when inside the church. You can take a headscarf with you or ask for one at the entrance of the church. 

Location: Ruska St, 35, Chernivtsi, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine, 58000

Enjoy an Opera at Chernivtsi Academic Regional Ukrainian Music and Drama Theater

Chernivtsi Academic Regional Ukrainian Music and Drama Theater stands in one line with Lviv, Kyiv and Odesa opera theaters. It might be a bit smaller than the others, but no less beautiful.

Chernivtsi Academic Regional Ukrainian Music and Drama Theater
Guide to Chernivtsi, Ukraine

I of course recommend you visit one of the performances in  Chernivtsi Theater, but if you don’t have time you can also explore and see it as a part of a city tour or by yourself. 

Chernivtsi Academic Regional Ukrainian Music and Drama Theater

Next to the theater there is a cute small square that nowadays is full of roses and benches to relax. Not many tourists know that at one time that square was a fish market. You can imagine the smell that was there at all times. Of course people started to complain and the government decided to replace the market square with a promenade square. 

Location: Teatral’na Square, 1, Chernivtsi, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine, 58000

Check Out The City Hall

Check Out The City Hall

Chernivtsi city hall (Ratusha) is located in the center of the old town. Like Lviv Ratusha, Chernivtsi Ratusha has a tall tower where once a day at noon you can hear a melody of the Chernivtsi anthem. 

The Comprehensive Guide To Chernivtsi, Ukraine: Check Out The City Hall
Guide to Chernivtsi, Ukraine

Unfortunately, Chernivtsi Ratusha is closed for visitors. Due to a safety restriction you are not allowed to go to the top of the tower and enjoy the view of the city. 

Location: Tsentral’na Square, 1, Chernivtsi, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine, 58000

Get Lost In The City And Enjoy Marvelous Architecture 

Chernivtsi old town is quite big and full of surprises. You can always find a small detail here and there that will amaze you. There are many hidden gems all over the city and you probably will not find all of them,  but you can see some of them. 

The Comprehensive Guide To Chernivtsi, Ukraine: Get Lost In The City And Enjoy Marvelous Architecture 

The best way is just start walking, don’t check the map, and just see where you will end up. There are many beautiful small alleys hidden in the city with cute cafes and charming atmosphere. I do advise you to have a peek at the inside courtyards if you can.

Visit Turkish Square

In Chernivtsi there is a square that is called St. Maria square, but is known as Turkish square due to a well built by Turks. I recommend visiting a viewing platform behind the square to enjoy the views. 

The Comprehensive Guide To Chernivtsi, Ukraine: Visit Turkish Square
Guide to Chernivtsi, Ukraine

Turkish square is often a place for holiday markets and festivals. Usually on such days local farmers will bring the best products to the market. If you are in Chernivtsi on such an occasion, you must visit the square and try local wines, cheese, meat and other goods. 

Location: Sahaidachnoho St, 45, Chernivtsi, Chernivtsi Oblast, Ukraine, 58000

Day Trips From Chernivtsi

If you are visiting Chernivtsi, you might want to have a day trip to mone of these places: 

Khotyn – is a small town with quite a beautiful fortress. It is just an hours drive from Chernivtsi city and you can get there by driving yourself, or with a tour group. Click here to find more about day trips from Chernivtsi.

Kamieniec Podolskii is another city with a great fortress. It is an hour and a half drive from Chernivtsi. 

Bakota. Okay, Bakota is not really suited for a day trip, more like a camping trip for a few days. Bakota is a water reservoir that was man made. It is a particularly interesting place, because the whole village was sunk for this purpose. Do you think it is a little bit creepy? Don’t worry no one died. The whole village was evacuated long before. Nowaday it’s a great place for camping. You can also visit an ancient cave monastery at Bakota. 

The Comprehensive Guide To Chernivtsi, Ukraine

The Comprehensive Guide To Chernivtsi, Ukraine
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