Ivano-Frankivsk is an amazing city. You can often hear that it is not worthy of paying much attention and it is better to visit the castles in Mukachevo or Uzhhorod. Or, vice versa, travelers leave enthusiastic feedbacks about the city, calling it “a small version of Lviv”.
So, is it worth visiting Ivano-Frankivsk planning a trip to Western Ukraine? Our answer is “definitely yes”! After all, exploring this city can be turned into a real quest.
The lack of bright and popular historical attractions does not make it unworthy of your attention. We are sure that even an experienced traveler will like the interesting places of Ivano-Frankivsk. See our selection of unusual places in the city and its surroundings and plan an exciting trip.
What to see in Ivano-Frankivsk on one day trip
Let’s start with the places which are definitely worth seeing if you’re in town by car and you only have one day left. Everybody can find unusual landmarks in Ivano-Frankivsk, and our tips will help you to find the most beautiful places in the city.
Start exploring the center of Ivano-Frankivsk from Market Square
Traditionally, in Europe, the Market Square is the heart of the city, its historical and cultural core. Ivano-Frankivsk is not an exception. The City Hall is located on the square (point B on the map), but nowadays there is no meetings in the City Hall any more. The historical museum is located here. The City Hall has an excellent observation deck, which works from 10.00 to 20.00 from Tuesday to Sunday.
What’s unusual about the City Hall:
- this is the only building in Ukraine with a gilded dome that does not belong to church buildings;
- this is the tallest building in Ivano-Frankivsk (its height is almost 50 meters);
- in 1990, the Ukrainian flag (the future symbol of an independent state) was raised at the City Hall for the first time.
Visit the “Bastion” gallery
Stanislav’s Bastion (Stanislav is the old name of the city) in the 17th century had the fame of one of the most reliable defensive fortifications in Europe. Thanks to the building the city withstood the Turkish siege in 1682. Today only a piece of the city fortress wall and several towers (point D on the map) remained.
This architectural monument was renovated in the early 2000s, and today there is a promenade terrace and a gallery with cafes, restaurants and boutiques.
Why you should visit Bastion:
- exhibitions of artists, sculptors, master classes and other creative events are regularly held here;
- in the gallery you can buy souvenirs and exclusive handmade goods (ethnic clothing and jewelry, paintings, etc.);
- the remains of the fortress wall, turned into a promenade terrace, are good for atmospheric photos.
Visit the Oleksa Dovbush Museum
Residents of Ivano-Frankivsk are extremely proud of the legendary leader of the Opryshky, who got the glory of the Ukrainian Robin Hood. The museum (point E on the map) is a very colorful place where national costumes and utensils, poems, paintings and sculptures dedicated to Dovbush are collected.
Why you should go to the Oleksa Dovbush Museum:
- to get acquainted with a very interesting curator of the museum – a sweet elderly woman will lead an exciting excursion and tell the biography of Dovbush with some piquant details.
Take a walk along the famous “100 meters street”
This is the nickname of the Independence Street in the center, which local residents gave to it. In fact, its length is almost half a kilometer. The beginning of the street with a pedestrian zone and restaurants is a favorite resting place for tourists and townspeople (points F and G on the map).
Here you can buy books, souvenirs, sit in cozy cafes or just go for a walk, looking at the numerous metal sculptures that are created every year at the blacksmith’s festival.
What to see nearby? Walking around the center, do not be lazy to explore inconspicuous, but very curious streets:
- the smallest street in Frankivsk – Ivan Trush street (point C on the map). It is only 65 meters long and 6 meters wide. Here you can have a cup of coffee in an authentic coffee shop;
- the oldest one – Trynitarska street (point A on the map). It is also one of the narrowest in the city.
What to see in Ivano-Frankivsk in a few days
If you decide to stay in the city for a couple of days, visit some more interesting sights of Ivano-Frankivsk:
- The Potocki Palace. Not much remains of the original stone structure of the late 17th century: the entrance gate and the fence have retained their authentic appearance, and the rest of the palace’s elements have been repeatedly altered. Nowadays various festivals and art exhibitions are held here;
- City lake and Taras Shevchenko park. Once upon a time there were forests on this place, where the founders of the city, Prince Pototsky and his friends, hunted. Now there is an amusement park. On the bank of the lake you can sunbathe or rent a boat to visit the so-called “love island” in the middle of the reservoir.
Furthermore, in Ivano-Frankivsk you can:
- watch the doors – thanks to the initiative “Frankivsk that should be cherished”, several dozen old doors and facades were restored in the city center. Bright and colorful – they are simply created for meditative contemplation or juicy photos;
- go to the largest anatomical museum in Ukraine;
- rent a car at 7Cars and visit the incredibly picturesque surroundings of Ivano-Frankivsk region.
What to see in Ivano-Frankivsk and the surrounding area by car
Ivano-Frankivsk is called the “gateway to the Carpathians”. This is the very place you should start an unforgettable journey from by car and get acquainted with the amazing beauty of the Ukrainian mountains.
What to see in Ivano-Frankivsk region in summer
- Waterfalls: one of the highest in Ukraine – Maniava waterfall; beautiful cascade Probii in Yaremche; Zhenetskyi Huk near the village of Tatariv; and also Zhonka and Divochi Slozy not far from Yaremche. All these are real wonders of nature that are worth seeing.
How to reach them from Ivano-Frankivsk by car:
- Maniava waterfall (village Maniava). Coordinates: 48°37’33.2″N 24°18’12.8″E. Travel time: approximately 1.5 hours.
- Probii (Yaremche village). Coordinates: 48°26’22.7″N 24°32’23.2″E. Travel time: approximately 1 hour 20 minutes.
- Zhenetskyi Huk (Tatariv village). Coordinates: 48°23’27.6″N 24°29’58.9″E. Travel time: 1 hour 40 minutes.
- Rocks: near the village of Bubnyshche there is an incredibly picturesque complex “Dovbush Rocks”. These are huge stones, the height of which reaches 80 meters.
The place is covered with legends and truly charms. Not far from the Rocks of Dovbush, there is also a Dead Lake, in which, according to legend, treasures of Opryshky are hidden.
How to get from Ivano-Frankivsk by car: coordinates: 48°26’30.7″N 24°33’51.3″E. Travel time: 1 hour 20 minutes.
- Ancient viaducts. In the village of Vorokhta there are arched viaducts. They are made of stone over a century ago and have been preserved in perfect condition. The bridge over the Prut River is one of the oldest and longest such structures in Europe.
How to get from Ivano-Frankivsk by car: coordinates :. 48°19’10.2″N 24°39’10.9″E. Travel time: approximately 2 hours.
- The highest mountains in Ukraine. In a couple of hours you can reach the picturesque mountain ranges of the Carpathians. There are many places for hiking and outdoor activities. The famous Chornohora ridge attracts travelers at any time of the year.
You should visit:
- Hoverla – the highest point in Ukraine (2061 m);
- Petros, Pop Ivan Chornohirsky, Brebeneskul mountains, etc.
- Lake Nesamovite – an incredibly beautiful mountain reservoir (1750 meters above sea level);
- the village of Dzembronia and the Chernyi Cheremosh River – a mecca for rafting lovers;
- the Dnister and Yaremche canyons are the most beautiful places in the Carpathian region.
What to see in winter
The Bukovel ski resort is what crowds of tourists come to the Ivano-Frankivsk region for in winter. You can read more about it and other interesting places in the Carpathians in our article on winter holidays in Ukraine. And for maximum freedom of movement, you can order a car rental in Bukovel from our company.
If you have already repeatedly visited Bukovel and Yaremche in winter or want to avoid noisy crowds of tourists, we recommend you to enjoy a trip to the most beautiful places of Ivano-Frankivsk region. After all, there is something to see in almost every village.
There is an incredible atmosphere of celebration and some kind of magic reigns here in winter. Spend a few days in town at the Christmas market, then rent a car and drive towards the Carpathians. Make stops at every point that you like – you will easily find accommodation to spend the night. And friendly locals will tell you what to see in the area.
Ivano-Frankivsk and its surroundings are a real place of strength and inspiration. It is a pleasure to come here at any time of the year. Take advantage of our tips and enjoy a great trip!