If you want to know Ukraine better then be sure to come to Rivne. The “City of the Sun”, as they called it in antiquity, was one of the centers of power for the Slavs and twice the capital of Ukraine. I arrived in Rivne not as a tourist, I moved here from Russia. And if you heard that there is nothing to see besides amber, then I will tell you what sights exactly you will remember and I will share ideas, what gifts and souvenirs to bring to your loved ones.
I can confidently say that Rivne is not a small, but rather promising city. Of course, if you look at the palace facades of Kiev or the Polish buildings in Lviv, Rivne seems a bit Soviet. Although, in my opinion, the center looks very attractive, the architecture is well executed in a light classic style, and the Soviet facade does have a department store. Soviet architecture is even in Estonia, Finland, then why do you say that it is bad? On the contrary, what makes countries similar. But let’s talk, what should a tourist do in Rivne?
Rivne is a very family city. Here almost the largest number of young parents in Ukraine. Children, mothers with strollers walk everywhere, there are a lot of children’s entertainments here and it would seem that not so much for adults? Let’s openly look at the facts.
Do you like parties? There are bars, discos, hookah bars, billiards, a game zone in the Epicenter shopping center and other places. Do you like culture? Well, here you will also find something to do:
- Theatre of Drama
- Houses of culture
- Cinema “Ukraine”
- Amber Museum
- Rivne Regional Museum of Local Lore
- Literary Museum of Ulas Samchuk
- Museum of Scientists
- City Palace of Culture (art exhibitions are often there)
- Euroart Gallery, Exhibition Hall of the Regional National Union of Artists of Ukraine
- Organ Hall (in the premises of the former Catholic Church)
- Officially the best zoo in Ukraine
Are you a believer? Here you will also find wonderful places of various faiths.
But you know what is more exciting when you come here? This is how green the city is. The streets are quite clean, especially when the holidays are, it is nice to walk along the main street, imagine how retro cars or carriages could drive here.
When I first came to Rivne in 2012, the first thing that surprised me was that almost the entire center of the city is connected with the park area. From Shevchenko Park you can go to Swan Lake Park, look at a beautiful cascade, at swans, at fountains and sculptures made of metal, then go to Hydro Park and be surprised at its size. Since in the modern world, cities really suffer without green corners. And in Exactly a lot of greenery. And right from the Hydro Park, the children’s railway will take you to Lake Basiv Kut.
Of course, it worries me that the ecology of the Ustya River and Basiv Kut Lake is not very good and requires a lot of attention. I am sure that directly at the Hydro Park it would be possible to create a base for water recreation and sports. Who said that you can’t kayak in a pond, like in Britain, or use catamarans?
We will return to Basiv Kut. There is a beach, here you can sunbathe. Of course, it is better not to swim, but to sunbathe or play sports. There is a boat station where you can rent a boat or catamaran. And more recently, a copy of a Viking fight’s boat, real wooden, with a sail, was created. And on it you can also ride on the lake. Such entertainment is available only in Norway.
There are many opportunities for a family in Rivne. You can rent various vehicles (bicycles, cars, hoverboards) in the Swan Lake park, you can jump on a trampoline, or ride the rides in Shevchenko park. As a child, I envied everyone who had attractions in the cities. Do you have older children or do you like extreme sports? For them, there are two cableway routes of varying complexity in the park, and, of course, a huge slide, on which you can feel like a climber.
Do you still think that there is nothing to do in Rivne? So maybe you will like gastro-tourism? In Rivne there is something to feast on:
- many cafes
- Georgian, Asian, Italian and other cuisines
- many pastry shops
- various street food cafes
In general, if you like coffee, then Rivne will be a good alternative for you to Lviv. Although, not all locals even know that Rivne has its own coffee company Santorino, which itself purchases raw materials from different countries, roasts grains and makes blends. There are a lot of aromatic coffee and original flavors. Although, the brand chose a strategy by which it does not open its own coffee houses in large numbers. Coffee is distributed over a huge number of coffee outlets in stores, which also creates popularity for the company.
Coffee is on sale at the lowest price from 5 UAH to 12 UAH per serving (0.24 – 0.46 dollar), although the quality is at the highest level. And I recommend trying at least once, the usual Americano or espresso, to appreciate the tastes and aromas (I love flavored ones – hazelnut, Irish cream, currant liquor, vanilla almonds, and many others).
Well, if you are a fan of tea, then Taistra Zіlla with the largest selection of teas from all over the country will appeal to you.
What to buy as a gift to the tourist who visited Rivne?
- local brand coffee or tea
- amber (paintings, jewelry with it)
- cakes from manufacturers Rum’yanets or Skiba, as well as from many other interesting manufacturers
- metal products, both heavy – monumental and decorative things
- works of art by local masters and Ukrainian artists
And best of all, come to Rivne for holidays or festivals. Especially the City Day, the Ethnofestival, which helps to arrange the City Palace of Children and Youth, during the festival “Museum Hotel”. And then you will see how residents know how to have fun and “light”, because there are also own fire show teams.
I hope you do not perceive my review as an advertisement of some establishments. They are just my favorites and I advise what should be shown to all guests of the city of Rivne. Write in the comments why you love the your own city and what tourists can do here. Because if you do not tell about your love for the city, then no one will do it.
I have articles about learning the Ukrainian language may also be useful.