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Ukraine, Moldova & Romania - 13 Days

Start point: Kiev
End point: Bucharest

DAY 1: Arrive in Kiev

Laskavo prosymo! Welcome! Ukraine is the biggest country in Europe, outside of Russia. Kiev (also spelled Kyiv) is its magical capital and it’s here where your journey kicks off. Arrive this afternoon and settle into your hotel room. Meet your tour guide in the hotel lobby to ask any questions or get sightseeing advice. This evening, sit down for a welcome dinner with your fellow travellers.



Experiences

If you arrive early you’ll have free time to explore the capital city. Top sights include St. Michael's Cathedrale, Saint Sophia Cathedral and the State Aviation Museum. Walk around to explore the vibrant city. You never know what gems you’ll stumble across.

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Dinner

DAY 2: Kiev city tour - Free afternoon

Kick off the day with a guided tour of the city for the perfect overview of the history, culture and lifestyle of the Ukrainian capital. With free time after the tour, stroll the main avenue of Kiev, Khreshchatyk street - known as one of the most expensive streets in Europe. Or visit Andriyivskyy Descent (Uzviz), a famous creative street often compared to Montmartre in Paris. While there, visit the famous literary and memorial museum of Mikhail Bulgakov. Kiev’s beautiful parks (like Feofaniya or Maryinsky) are the perfect spot for some people watching and downtime.



Experiences

Guided tour of Kiev: A local guide will take you on a walking tour of Kiev to see all the must-see sights and attractions: the golden domes of Pechersk Lavra; the famous The Motherland Monument of Ukraine outside the museum of Great Patriotic War; and the famous independence square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) - the site of the Orange Revolution.

Accommodation A selection of the accommodation we stay at in this destination.

Hotel Rus(View photos )
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Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
DAY 3: Kiev - Free day

Another free day in Kiev with the option to join a full-day outing to the residence of Ukraine's former president, Victor Yanukovych. After being ousted and fleeing the country, the Museum of Corruption, became Ukraine’s latest travel attraction. The excursion includes a visit the National Museum of Folk Architecture in Pirogovo to experience traditional Ukrainian architecture and folk traditions.

Attractions to discover in your free time
Optional Excursions
DAY 4: Kiev - Free day

Today is yours to explore as you wish. Spend the day at your leisure and explore more of Kiev. Or choose a fully guided trip to Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the location of the world's worst nuclear disaster. Before 1986 the deserted town of Pripyat was home to more than 40,000 people connected to the nuclear power plant of Chernobyl. The full-day optional excursion gives you the opportunity to explore with the guidance of a local expert and see the most iconic sights in the area. Before you leave Kiev, make sure to enjoy a few traditional Ukrainian dishes like chicken Kiev and sweet vareniki (dumplings).

Attractions to discover in your free time
Optional Excursions

DAY 5: Kiev - Strategic Missile Force Museum - Odessa

An early departure takes you southwest through the Ukrainian heartland towards Pervomaysk. Enjoy the rare opportunity to visit a former top-secret Soviet nuclear missile base. Walk with a local guide to learn all about this command post and launch bunker that was retained as a museum. Explore the grounds, and encounter an open-air exhibition of nuclear missiles. Once this experience comes to an end, you’re off to Odessa, the Pearl of the Black Sea.



Experiences

Visit the Strategic Missile Force Museum: Explore the Museum of Strategic Missile Forces Base near Pervomaysk. All equipment and facilities are as they were during the Cold War period. This museum is staffed by former troops from the 46th division of the 43rd Rocket Army of Ukraine. This is the last remaining nuclear base in Ukraine that allows the rare opportunity to go behind the scenes of a previous secret military project.

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Lunch
Dinner

DAY 6: Odessa

Time to see what the fuss is about! Odessa is a major cultural centre in eastern Europe and also the biggest commercial trading port along the Black Sea. Start the day with a walking tour alongside your tour leader. Famous sights you’ll see on your way include the Mother-in-Law Bridge, Duc de Richelieu Monument, Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral and Odessa Passage. Spend the afternoon at your leisure. Soak up the sun as you visit Arkadia, Lanzheron or Otrada, Odessa’s beautiful beaches. Head underground to the Odessa Catacombs, walk down vibrant Deribasovskaya Street with cafes and gift shops, or taste everyday Odessa life at a local market like Privoz.



Experiences

Orientation tour of Odessa: Perched on the shore the Black Sea, Odessa lures tourists from all over the world. Take a walking tour to see only the very best the city has to offer. Encounter famous sights like the Spaso-Preobrazhensky Cathedral, Monument to the 12th Chair, Shah's Palace, and Potemkin Stairs. A sight of particular interest is the opera house, which is the the second largest in the world, after Milan’s Opera house. It’s famous for unique acoustics and many famous musicians have performed here.

Accommodation A selection of the accommodation we stay at in this destination.

Black Sea Hotel Risheliyevskaya(View photos )
Extra Information
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

DAY 7: Odessa - Tiraspol - Tighina Fortress - Chisinau

This morning, take a drive to the Moldovan border and prepare to experience the cultural overlap between two closely-related countries. Cross the border from Ukraine to Transnistria, an unrecognised state located between Moldova and Ukraine. This mysterious piece of land is a forgotten remnant of the Soviet Union. Visit the capital, Tiraspol, to see and explore the major attractions. After a traditional lunch, cross over to Moldova and visit the Bender fortress. The final experience of the day takes you to Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. Here, you’ll be acquainted with the city on a walking tour of central Chisinau upon arrival.



Experiences

Visit Transnistria (Pridnestrovie): Set foot and explore the capital of an independent Soviet state that has been in existence since 1992. Even though Transnistria is an unrecognised state, it’s often referred to as the last outpost of the Soviet Union.

Visit Tighina Fortress (Bender Fortress): The historical fortress of Bender was built by the Ottomans in the early 15th century. It was an important trade outpost and was later expanded and modernised by the prince of Moldavia, Antioh Cantemir. This is the perfect spot to enjoy exceptional views of Bender and its surrounding landscapes.

Panoramic tour of Chisinau: Get an idea of what the city is all about with a quick tour upon arrival. Encounter Soviet-era architecture and historical sights like the parliament, Stefan del Mare monument, the president’s residence and the Triumphal Arch.

Accommodation A selection of the accommodation we stay at in this destination.

Hotel Jumbo(View photos )
Extra Information
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

DAY 8: Curchi Monastery - Cricova wine cellar - Chisinau

Venture out of the city to visit the Curchi Monastery. It is one of the most beautiful and iconic monasteries in the region. Experience the splendour of Orheiul Vechi (Old Orhei), a centuries-old natural amphitheater. After sitting down for an authentic Moldovan lunch, you're invited to world’s second largest wine cellar, in Cricova! This evening you’re free to explore Chisinau at your leisure.



Experiences

Visit Curchi Monastery: An important architectural monument located in the most pristine of surroundings. Several churches were built on the premises in the 1700s and many ancient traditions are preserved here to this day. The main church, the cathedral Naşterea Domnului (1872), has the highest dome in Moldova and was inspired by St. Andrew’s church in Kiev.

Visit Orhei Vechi Monastery complex: ‘Old Orhei’ and its cave church is one of Moldova’s most famous tourist attractions. Monks dug out and built this monastery into the limestone cliffs overlooking the meandering Raut River in the 13th century. The complex was shut down during the Soviet times and restored after 1996.

Visit Cricova Wine Cellar: The wine town of Cricova is known as being the location of the second largest wine cellar in the world. It has avenues, streets and broadways, and a car can even drive in the cellar!

Wine tasting: Taste some of Moldova’s indigenous wine varietals. Moldova is home to 107,800 hectares of commercially active vines and 25% of the population is employed within the wine industry.

Accommodation A selection of the accommodation we stay at in this destination.

Hotel Jumbo(View photos )
Extra Information
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

DAY 9: Chisinau - Iasi

Enjoy a free morning to further explore Chisinau . This afternoon we cross the border from Moldova to Romania and soon arrive in Iasi, a vibrant university city in eastern Romania. Iași, pronounced ‘yash’ is an important cultural and economical hub for both Moldova and Romania. On arrival, stretch your legs for an informative walking tour of the city.



Experiences

Walking tour of Iasi: Iasi is one of the the oldest cities in Romania. Iasi has long been a cultural and political hub of Romania and Europe and boasts plenty of historic buildings, theaters, museums and more than 100 churches! Highlights include the Palace of Culture (Palatul Culturii), St. Parascheva Metropolitan Cathedral and Moldavian Metropolitan Cathedral. As a university city, Iasi also has a distinct cosmopolitan vibe with many botanical parks, eateries, clubs and art galleries.

Accommodation A selection of the accommodation we stay at in this destination.

Ramada Iasi(View photos )
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Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

DAY 10: Iasi - Targu Secuiesc - Brasov

Take a scenic drive through the Romanian countryside to Targu Secuiesc, a village in the Covasna county. Then head to Brasov, one of the most visited destinations in Romania and start exploring. Brasov was established as an important link between trade routes of the Ottoman Empire and Western Europe. With the Carpathian mountains as backdrop, it’s a picture-perfect city to explore.



Experiences

Targu Secuiesc: Journey into a Romanian village in the Covasna county where you’ll have free time for lunch.

Orientation tour of Brasov: Explore the city centre of Brasov with your Expat Explore tour leader and lay eyes on famous sights like the House of Council (Casa Sfatului), Black Church (Biserica Neagra), Catherine's Gate (Poarta Ecaterinei), and Weavers' Bastion (Bastionul Tesatorilor).

Accommodation A selection of the accommodation we stay at in this destination.

Ramada Brasov(View photos )
Extra Information
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner

DAY 11: Brasov - Bran Castle - Sinaia - Bucharest

From Brasov, travel towards Bucharest. Along the way, visit Bran Castle - the structure that famously inspired Bram Stoker's depiction of his fictional Count Dracula's castle. Afterward, journey through Transylvania and the scenic Carpathian mountains to Sinaia. Here, an orientation tour takes you to the town's most popular visitor attractions. Next, it’s off to the ‘Little Paris of the East’, Bucharest, where we check in and depart on a locally guided driving and walking tour of the city.



Experiences

Visit Dracula’s castle: Bran Castle is the structure that famously inspired writer Bram Stoker when he was writing Dracula. The Count himself was reportedly based on Vlad the Impaler.

See Transylvania and Carpathian mountains: This incredibly scenic region of Romania is all sweeping forest vistas and awe-inspiring mountains. The scenic route unfurls before you and allows you to drink it al in.

Visit Sinaia: Situated in the Bucegi Mountains, Sinaia is a well-known Romanian resort town. Your tour ambles along it's best-loved attractions. This includes Sinaia Casino located in Dimitrie Ghica Park (which ranked among the world's most famous casinos in the roaring 30's), as well as Sinaia Town Hall.

Locally guided tour of Bucharest: Follow a passionate local guide who knows Bucharest like the back of their hand. Tick off a few of the city’s most impressive highlights and make notes about spots you’d like to explore on your free day tomorrow.

Accommodation A selection of the accommodation we stay at in this destination.

iBis Styles Erbas(View photos )
Extra Information
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
DAY 12: Bucharest - Free day

Today has been set aside for you to explore the fascinating city of Bucharest at your leisure. You have the full day to seek out all the attractions that appeal to your taste. The Palace of Parliament is always at the top of everyone’s list as one of the biggest buildings in the world. Art enthusiasts could visit the National Museum of Art to see European art dating back to the 15th century. Visit the open-air museums of Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum, or head outdoors and spend some time in Herastrau Park. It covers 160+ hectares and boasts everything from an open-air theatre to an old-fashioned amusement park. Look out for most famous street-food in Romania, Covrigi.

Attractions to discover in your free time
Optional Excursions

DAY 13: Bucharest

After spending your final night in Romania, sit down for one last breakfast with your fellow travellers. The Kiev to Bucharest tour ends after breakfast.



Experiences

After spending your final night in Romania, sit down for one last breakfast with your fellow travellers. Your tour of Ukraine, Moldova and Romania has come to an end. Feel free to take your time to explore the many marvels of Bucharest before you head home. Safe travels! Make sure you have exchanged contact details with your new-found travel friends, and share your amazing tour memories with us online using the hashtags #ExpatExplore.

Extra Information
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner