If you haven’t saved up to travel around Europe yet, this is not a reason to stay at home. There is a lot to go in Ukraine too. Vinnytsia is the perfect destination for a weekend trip. This small but very European town in Ukraine is always glad to see guests. We have counted at least 10 reasons why you should visit here.
1. Singing fountains – no worse than in Europe
Until 2011, Vinnitsa was an ordinary city, which was not very interesting for travelers. But everything has changed since a fountain appeared on the Southern Bug River right in the center of the city. It is a real theater on the water – a laser and projection show at the same time, accompanied by beautiful classical music. Moreover, every picture and every movement of the jets of the fountain exactly falls in time with the melody.
The fountain is the largest in Europe and one of the ten most spectacular in the world – it is not for nothing that its fame attracted a stream of tourists to the city. Just come to the waterfront to the fountain on any of the evenings, stock up on popcorn, choose a location and enjoy the show. For an hour, the fountain will show and tell you some interesting stories, good fairy tales or romantic legends. At the same time, the shows are not repeated from day to day – each time you can see a new story. Stalls with all sorts of goodies are located next to the fountains, so you definitely won’t stay hungry here.
The show is free and runs daily during the warmer months from 9 pm (+/- 20 minutes depending on the light).
2. Candy quests
Vinnytsia is the unofficial candy capital of Ukraine. And even themed entertainment here, for example, candy quests. For this there is an interactive guest room, which is also a children’s entertainment center “Roshen” (st. Karmelyuka, 8). It is imperative to go there not only for children, but also for adults. There are several themed rooms that are not similar to each other: chocolate, candy, smell room, candy storage, and so on. To go to the next room, you need to participate in fun quests, answer questions, look for secret codes, guess smells. You can rave and take a lot of pictures.
At the end of the adventure, you will be shown a short cartoon about the adventures in the chocolate factory, and then the main prize is the treasures from the candy store. The children’s entertainment center is located on the same embankment as the fountains. The cost of the entrance ticket is 40-50 hryvnia. The adventure continues for an hour.
3. Zurich trams
About 10 years ago, the municipality of Zurich, Switzerland, donated several used two-car trams to Vinnitsa. They blend picturesquely into the atmosphere of the city. To ride such a tram is a must-do for every visitor.
You will not miss him on the streets of Vinnitsa. If you see two blue and white carriages with one headlamp, go there. Just don’t forget that the doors don’t open on their own. If you want to go into the salon or go out – press the button near the door. Inside, the overseas tram also looks very cozy, so sit back and go on the excursion. Start directly from the central street of Vinnitsa – Soborna street. Zurich trams will show you almost the whole city.
4. Creative sculptures and installations
Arrange yourself another quest and go in search of creative sculptures. First, go to the water tower in the city center. Here you will be greeted by a violinist and a writer. How can you not take a picture with them? Go a little further and you will see a local architect sitting on a bench. There is a place for you on his bench. Walking in the city, you will meet a lady from the past, an artist, a tourist, and so on. Each character is worthy of a shot.
New interesting installations regularly appear in the city. Here’s a family of bears, and here – a Zurich tram – almost like a real one.
And, of course, no one will believe that you have been to Vinnitsa if you do not take a picture with the I love Vinnitsa logo.
5. Street art
Classic murals, drawings on the sidewalks and even old-school graffiti and tags – with all this Vinnitsa can claim to be the capital of street art in Ukraine. In 2015, within the framework of the Vin-Art-City project, the regional center was decorated with 5 such murals, in 2016 – 6.
One of the remarkable works is located right next to the old water tower – Vinnitsa Vezha, which is the symbol of the city. This summer, a team of artists led by Alexander Nikityuk created a three-dimensional image of the Vinnytsia catacombs here. The creators encrypted three versions of the origin and name of Vinnitsa in it at once: the stream hints at the Vinnichka River, the barrels – for intoxicating wine, and the treasures – for “wine”, that is, an inheritance or dowry. Before that, for six years there was an equally realistic drawing of a waterfall.
6. Pirogov’s estate
Pirogov was a famous surgeon in the local area. In memory of him, the locals have preserved the estate where he lived and worked in 1861-1881. The furnishings have remained almost the same as during his life. Visit the atmospheric pharmacy museum or the necropolis church, where the scientist’s body is still kept. And do not forget to look into the operating room – there you will find the wax surgeon performing the operation. After that, take a walk in the park that Pirogov planted out in his free time from work.
Before going to the estate, please note that it accepts tourists only until 17:00. If you arrive even at 4:40 pm, you may no longer be allowed in – supposedly, you still won’t have time to see the entire territory. Therefore, plan a trip to this museum in the morning or at lunchtime. Monday is a day off. Address – st. Pirogov, 155.
7. Boat trip
If the weather whispers, do not miss the opportunity to ride a motor ship on the Southern Bug River. Most of the directions start from the central bridge near the Heroes of Chernobyl Square and follow the most scenic routes.
For example, take a motor ship to Sabarov – this is a Vinnitsa microdistrict with beautiful nature. Here you can have a picnic lunch, walk in the woods, climb a mountain or walk along the Sabarovskaya Dam. Everywhere is cozy, clean and well-groomed. Isn’t this relaxation?
Vinnytsia is a paradise for a sweet tooth. When you are in the center, do not pass by the Pan Zavarkin ta Sin coffee shop (3 Oleksandra Solovyova St.). The institution positions itself as a museum shop. Getting here, you find yourself at the mercy of time – in this small cafe there are several dozen old antique clocks. They are all still working. The owners specifically set them up so that they lag behind each other by a few minutes. Every hour the clock shows a real show. Somewhere a cuckoo jumps out, somewhere little men start dancing. Just keep track of the clock! Between times, you can order some dessert with unusual tea or coffee in a coffee shop. There are many varieties of them in this cafe.
In general, there are many interesting cafes in Vinnitsa. They are all concentrated in the center. Come to any – and enjoy the atmosphere.
In Vinnitsa you feel comfortable and at home. The eye is delighted with elegant houses, painted with colored paints, picturesque streets, colorful flower beds, large and small fountains, original cafes.
In the very center is the European Garden with a public vegetable garden (cabbage, tomatoes, like grandmother’s in the country). Or here you are – a bench with solar panels. The smartphone is empty – sit down here, rest and recharge.
The people in the city are no less charming. The responsiveness of the locals is a pleasant surprise. It doesn’t matter in what language you ask how to get to the fountain – those around you will willingly help you, they will also tell you interesting stories. Therefore, you will definitely not be lost here!