Vinnytsia is one of Ukraine’s most cosmopolitan cities, a place which wears its history lightly but is more than happy to share the secrets of its past when you start to dig beneath the surface. Taking its name from the old Slavic word for “Vino”, which means "given as a gift”, Vinnytsia was given to the nephew of Lithuanian Duke Algirdas in the 14th century.
Things to do in Vinnytsia
The Southern Bug River dominates Vinnytsia, dividing it in two. From the bridges, you’ll have great views in all directions, while the promenades provide you the perfect opportunity to walk along the riverside and soak up the atmosphere.
There’s an eclectic collection of churches and cathedrals in the city that reflect a range of different styles. The Russian Orthodox Transfiguration Cathedral has an elaborate, wedding cake facade and is particularly striking when it is floodlit at night. Dom Evangeliya, meanwhile, is one of the largest Baptist churches in Europe.
Vinnytsia has a number of impressive architectural landmarks, including 17th-century fortress walls. Hotel Baroque was built in 1913 in the Neo-Baroque Modern style, while the Vaksman Estate is a fine example of Art Nouveau. The architects of the Soviet Union made their mark on the city, too. Vinnytsia’s TV Tower is still one of the tallest in the former USSR, while the Afghan War Museum and Slavic War Memorial Park are poignant places of remembrance.
Last but not least, be sure to visit Multimedia Fountain Roshen. Vinnytsia’s newest attraction, it’s the largest floating fountain in Europe. Best seen from the amphitheatre, the show includes water effects, music, lasers and 3D projections on the screen.
Getting around Vinnytsia
There are two bus stations in Vinnytsia, located in the city centre and west side of the town. Local buses offer a variety of routes, though some areas are best explored on foot. Most of the international trains headed to Russia, Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria transit through Vinnytsia, making it an easy stop on a longer journey.