Natalia LumenTravel Expert in Ukraine Write a review
Born and raised in Kyiv, Ukraine, I was exposed to international travel as a child visiting Cuba, as a high school student studying in the U.S. and as a university student in London. Throughout my professional life I have continued to live around the world, and my passion for travel leads me to visit nearly 15 countries each year.
I have many tastes when it comes to travel and enjoy everything from rustic backpacking to luxury boutique experiences. I particularly enjoy getting off the beaten path and leaving regular tourists behind as I get to know the locals around me.
I love my home country, Ukraine, and have been helping people explore all that it has to offer since I was a child (my parents used me as a translator for all the foreign guests that would visit). There are hidden jewels and fascinating people to meet here, and they're looking forward to meeting you!
Natalia's Travel Expertise
There are three factors that always make or break a trip for me, and I focus on ensuring that these factors are perfect for visitors to Ukraine.
The first is the people that you will interact with; the team that works with me in Ukraine is made up of talented and ambitious university students who have traveled abroad and speak English fluently. Having friendly, passionate city guides and organizers ensures that each traveler is treated with the love that they deserve.
The second important factor is convenience; from getting a smooth transfer from the moment you arrive in a city, to finding the perfect accommodation location within walking distance of the best attractions, to having a local SIM card and easy to access recommendations. When I travel, I don't like to waste any time dealing with logistics, so I make sure that the same convenience is available to our guests in Ukraine.
While people and location are important, so often I find that the most memorable part of my travel is the cuisine experience. Finding that incredible restaurant with an authentic atmosphere, friendly service and mind-blowing food can be the defining moment of any vacation. I love exploring the newest, greatest restaurants and cafes across Ukraine and getting to know their owners so I can send travelers their way.
Ultimately, I aspire to offer guests the perfect amount of flexibility in their travels; making sure everyone has the support and information to make the decisions they want, and taking care of the decisions they would rather leave to the experts.
Natalia's best travel experience
When my boyfriend first came to Ukraine, I surprised him with an overnight train and weekend in Odesa. Following a delicious meal of Khinkali and Hatchapuri at a local restaurant in Kyiv specialising in Georgian cuisine, we walked by the train station and I suggested we just hop on the first train we saw (but secretly I had already booked a first-class sleeper compartment!)
With a two-bed compartment to ourselves, we relaxed and listened to some local music as the attendant served us tea and we watched the countryside rumble by at sunset before turning in for the night. 9 hours later, we awoke refreshed feeling the ocean breeze coming off of the Black Sea on a beautiful morning in Odesa.
The weekend consisted of many refreshing dips in the sea during a summer heat-wave, countless cafe visits for local favourites, and a private sailing yacht one morning out around the coast with a bottle of Ukrainian Shampanski.
By the way, I remember all of the details to help you visit Odesa as well!
Why is Natalia the right travel expert
I am incredibly passionate about all things Ukrainian and love to help others experience my home country. Ukraine has so much to offer and I know that with the right help, everyone can have an amazing trip. I also have a team who help me with all the necessities, and we've set up a company named Ukraine Culture Trip to provide travellers with the best service possible. Our company (and I) offer:
Private packages: all of the logistics handled for you to make your experience fun and care-free as you discover life as it's lived every day in Kyiv, Lviv and Odesa.
Flexibility & independence: We provide the essentials, where to stay and places to go, and you fill in the rest based on your mood and what draws you.
Carefully selected accommodation: We will select central and tasteful accommodations for you in apartments with local character and high standards.
Local recommendations: We provide our favourite recommendations of restaurants, bars, cafes, attractions and more via a dedicated brochure and Google Maps link so you will always find your way!
Making a local impact: Part of the proceeds from Ukraine Culture Trip go towards allowing students from low-income families to access English classes at a local language school.
Can't wait to help organize your trip to Ukraine!
- Alana Schulte
- From Canada