It often happens so that our wishes seem so close, but we are simply lazy to work towards the goal — instead we abandon it altogether. Trips is one of those situations: researching, planning out, calculating the budget might spoil the sweetness of the word 'travel'. Nevertheless, it's a needed part to be done for the best experience possible. To make it a bit easier, Destinations gathered a guide on how to travel to Ukraine.
Sure enough, any trip starts with big desire and planning budget. To answer the question “How much does it cost to travel to Ukraine?”, let's see for the next factors:
Passport and Visa
The first and foremost step one needs to do while planning a trip is to make sure their passport is valid. A passport is considered valid if its expiry date is no less than in six months beyond the planned date of travel. Travelling with an invalid passport may cause difficulties not only at the borders, but while boarding planes as well. As for an ID card, while not used widely in Ukraine and not required to be obtained, it can serve as a safe way of how to proof identity along with the passport or driver's license while traveling to Ukraine.
Up to date Ukraine has an established visa-free regime with countries of the European Union, the North America and other mostly highly developed countries. Thus, citizens of these countries do not need a visa to come to Ukraine if they plan to stay no more than 90 days in a 180 days period with a valid travel passport. However, visas are still required for citizens who enter Ukraine with the purpose of employment, permanent residency, study and work at the diplomatic missions in Ukraine or with any other purpose if they are going to stay in Ukraine for more than 90 days.
If that is the case, one should apply to the local Ukrainian Embassy or Consulate no later than 3 months prior the planned trip. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, up to date visa costs $65. For more detailed information on how to travel to Ukraine if you need a visa, visit this web-site.
Means of travelling
Naturally, the preferred way of transportation influences the total trip budget as well. Ukraine is especially conveniently located for airplanes and trains. Let's see for both. Starting 2017, with the implementation of visa-free regime with the European Union for Ukrainian citizens, both domestic and international airlines began opening new destinations from and to Ukraine, as well as adding number of flights per week. This concerns both lowcosters, such as WizzAir, international airlines like Lufthansa, as well as domestic Ukrainian Airlines — the price of all three differs depending on the flight date and luggage, becoming a decisive factor of how much you need to travel to Ukraine.
Read: New International Flights in Ukraine Announced for 2018
International airports are located in all key Ukrainian cities: Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv, Odesa and Dnipro, so no matter which part of the country you are going to, there's a way to get there quickly. The most popular one, however, is Boryspil airport (KBP), situated in a 40-minute drive from Kyiv's downtown. There are several ways to get to the city from the airport: one is taking a shuttle – Sky Bus – which leaves several times an hour and takes you to the nearest metro station, Kharkivska, or to the main railway station Pivdenny, located in the center of Kyiv. Usually, Sky Bus follows the next schedule: leaves every 15 minutes from 6 A.M. to 10 P.M. and every 45 minutes from 10 P.M. to 6 A.M. The ticket costs UAH 80. Another way to get to the capital is taxi, either from the ones that are present at the airport or taxi services like Uber or Uklon. It will cost about UAH 240-400, depending on the destination and taxi service. It's worth to note that taxi service isn't usually too expensive in Kyiv, not even mentioning other big cities in Ukraine, so this might be a convenient point while budgeting how much to take with you for a travel.
Another way of crossing Ukrainian border is to go by a train. In 2017 Ukrainian Railways introduced new train destinations, which include Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria. Among the most popular is a daily express train Intercity, which goes from Polish Przemyśl to Lviv and Kyiv. Estimated price for the second-class seat is UAH 435, while seat in the first class will cost about UAH 615. Ukrainian Railways is also widely popular when it comes to how to travel in Ukraine — city-to-city trains depart every day, some even twice a day.
Read: Prepaid Sim Card in Ukraine
Finally, it is important to remember about customs while going to Ukraine. Note that officers will need to see your valid passport, a valid visa (if needed), a physical inventory of your belongings, and in case you will be working in Ukraine — an accreditation from your employer. The following items can be charged with a tax: coin and stamp collections, sculptures, icons, musical instruments, objects made before 1945, artist drawings, precious metals or stones, and any other items of cultural value. If relevant, the afore-mentioned objects should be registered with their serial number, the name of the artist, and the name of their work. Needless to say, items such as weapons, drugs, pornography, fresh meats, vegetables, pets, and plants are prohibited to import.
One of the first questions that arises while traveling to Ukraine is how safe it is here. With the fool-proof tips and common sense, Ukraine poses no more threat than any other country. Firstly, it's important to remember about personal measures of security: avoid walking alone late at night in dark or poorly lit streets; keep the valuables and cash safe and out of sight, especially in crowded areas, tourist spots and public transport. It is recommended to have an ID with you, as well as the Embassy number saved in contacts. In case of any emergency it is always better to contact the Embassy of your country.
One of the most useful things one can do is to buy or download a phrasebook, as Google translator does not always give accurate translations of long sentences. If you are lost or have any questions, you may apply to the passers-by for help. Note that the younger generation usually understands English well, and is more responsive, while the elderly may have trouble to get by.
Read: Etiquette in Ukraine
Besides, there are plenty of apps that have maps, phrasebook, list of sightseeing spots and restaurants combined in one — they will prove useful as well. When going to Kyiv or Kharkiv, it will be convenient to download the metro app: not only does it show the map, but estimates time of arrival to the needed spot, or finds the station closest to you.
Electricity standard in Ukraine is 220 volts, 50Hz. If you are coming from the North America or Asia, consider purchasing an Eastern-European adapter. No matter the duration of stay or country of origin, we hope that the guide on how to travel to Ukraine helped to clear the fog, and ensure the trip is carefree. Have fun!
Photo source: unsplash.com, Ukrainian Railways Facebook page. All images belong to their rightful authors.