During last few years, Ukraine is attracting more and more attention as a place to visit for touristic and business purposes. However, many travelers from all over the world are still not familiar with the specifics of journeys to this Eastern European country. How to get to Ukraine? Do I need a visa? Is it safe to go there? What are the prices for accommodation? You will find answers to these and many other questions in our guide about travelling to Ukraine below.
Documents and Visa
Let`s start our Ukraine travel guide with information about visas. It is obvious that the rules for entering Ukraine differ depending on country you come from. We have some good news for citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Uzbekistan: they can enter Ukraine without any kind of visa for indefinite period of time. Citizens of EU, the United States, Canada, Norway and 56 other jurisdictions are also lucky: they are allowed to enter Ukraine without visa for 90 days within 180 days period. All they need is to have an international passport. The citizens of 33 countries, including Australia, Indonesia and Mexico, can get visa on arrival in some Ukrainian airports if they do not plan to stay in Ukraine for more than 15 days. This service costs around USD 100. If they wish to stay in Ukraine longer than 15 days, they will have to contact Ukrainian Embassy in their country for obtaining a visa. Recently, an electronic visa service for citizens of 46 countries was launched in Ukraine. Now the dwellers of such countries as Thailand, New Zealand and Saudi Arabia can receive their visa online for only USD 65. For more information and the complete list of countries for each type of visa regime in Ukraine please proceed here.
Read: Ukraine Travel Warnings: Myths and Truth
Now our guide proceeds to the next question: how to travel to Ukraine? Depending on from which location you are going to reach Ukraine, you may choose the most suitable kind of transport. If you are from neighbor country, for example, from Poland, you may choose to travel by bus or by car. Such a trip will not take more than 1 day and will cost around USD 30 (for a single-way bus ticket). However, you should be aware of possibility to stay in a line on the border for some time.
You can also choose to travel to Ukraine by train. The country has railway connections with Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Belarus and Bulgaria. Please note that a train trip to Ukraine will cost significantly more in comparison with a bus journey. The prices vary from USD 50 to USD 100. But considering the level of comfort in a train that is obviously higher than in a bus, railway trip may seem more preferable for many travelers.
Of course, travelling by plane is the most comfortable and fast way to reach Ukraine, although not the cheapest one. In fact, for citizens of many countries it is the only possible way to visit our country because of geographical conditions. Ukraine has direct airline connections with almost all European countries provided by numerous airline companies such as Wizz Air, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, Ukraine International Airlines and many other. Moreover, in autumn 2018 the famous Ryanair lowcoster is going to enter Ukrainian market, so travelling to Ukraine from Europe will become even more affordable. As for dwellers of distant countries, such as Australia and Canada, they will have to book flights with at least one change. Of course, it is reasonable to book tickets in advance to save your money. You can always find tickets to Ukraine in any popular online service such as Momondo, Scyscanner etc. Ukraine has international airports in all main metropolises: Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv, Odesa and Dnipro, so you can reach any part of Ukraine by plane. Boryspil airport, located 40 minutes away from Kyiv, is the most popular arrival point of foreign guests.
Read: Ultimate Guide to Ukraine: Train Travel
Accommodation and Prices
We continue our Ukraine travel guidebook with some tips about accommodation and local prices. As for accommodation in Ukraine, usually it is no problem: big Ukrainian cities offer any kind of accommodation starting from 5-star hotels and to cheap hostels. You can book hotel, hostel or apartment in any district of any city or town using well-known world-wide services such as Booking or Airbnb. Let`s consider average prices in Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. Staying in a good hotel may cost around USD 100 per day, while staying in a regular hostel dorm costs just about USD 20 per day. You can also rent a whole apartment which will cost approximately USD 40 per day. The prices for food, entertainment and transport in Ukrainian cities are also quite reasonable. A meal in an ordinary restaurant will cost you around USD 7; a three-course dinner for two in a middle-priced restaurant costs USD 20. A ticket for one ride in subway costs 15 cents; a ride on taxi (the most popular taxi services are Uber and Uklon) varies from USD 2.5 to USD 7 in within the city. The costs in other Ukrainian cities are even lower, so in general we can say that prices in Ukraine are very inviting. You can learn more about prices in Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities using this service.
Read: Top 10 Best 4-Star Hotels in Kyiv
Safety and General Recommendations
As we continue to learn useful and interesting facts about travelling to Ukraine, our guide cannot skip the issue of language barrier. Most Ukrainians speak Ukrainian or Russian languages. Unfortunately, the larger part of people in Ukraine does not speak good English, and this sometimes concerns even employees of restaurants, taxi drivers etc (of course, if we do not talk about the staff of luxury hotels – they are obliged to know English). However, it is still possible to find a person who speaks some English right in the street of a big city. Our advice is to ask younger people: young Ukrainian girls and guys are much more likely to speak some English than the older generation.
The official currency of Ukraine is Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH). You can easily find exchange offices in all the big cities of Ukraine.
Now let`s take a look at some recommendations of safety in Ukraine. According to 2018 rate of SOS international organization that deals with the safety of tourists all over the world, Ukraine is a country with middle risks for travelers on the similar level with Mexico and India. Considering this, it is very important to stick to some general rules to avoid getting into trouble. Our list of recommendations includes the following:
- do not stroll around non-central districts of the cities in the late hours. If you do so, you are likely to have an unpleasant meeting with ghetto guys. But if you want to walk around the center of Kyiv, Odesa or Lviv at night, you are welcome to do it: the central districts are safe.
- keep you values, such as expensive jewelry, watch etc, out of other people`s sight;
- do not walk around with too much cash on your pocket;
- do not make close contact with completely unknown people, even if they are super friendly. However, if you still want to do it, you should take all the risks into account. The best option is to have some local friend who can help you to avoid dangerous situations.
If you stick to these simple rules, you have almost zero chances to get cheated or robbed in Ukraine.
Attractions in Ukraine
Now let`s find out which worthy attractions wait for you in Ukraine. Trust us: there are plenty of them! Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, is well-known for its beautiful churches and parks. You can spend the whole day observing wonderful architecture of Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, St. Sophia`s Cathedral, St. Andrew`s Church and St. Michael`s Cathedral. After this, you may have some rest in beautiful Kyiv parks: Maryyinsky park, Spivoche pole, park of Eternal Glory, Golosyivsky park and many other. You will surely enjoy historical district Podil with its special atmosphere and elegant new district Vozdvizhenka located right near famous Andriyyvsky Descent – the Mecca of souvenirs in Ukrainian capital.
If you visit Odesa, you will be astonished by the sophisticated architecture of Opera house, Passage, Philharmonic hall; will have some relaxing hours on the beaches by the Black Sea; will feel the true spirit of the city in small hidden yards and narrow streets.
And, of course, we should mention Odesa`s nightlife: this seacoast city is full of nightclubs and bars for any taste.
As for Lviv, this city wins your heart right away with the amazingly beautiful architectural solutions of Dominican Church, Ivan Franko University, Statehouse and many other. Lviv attracts with its absolutely special charisma and dreamy mood. Get some tasty coffee and chocolate and spend an hour or two walking around Rynok square – you will surely get what we are talking about.
Read: Discovering Lviv Inside Out
Of course, we could not skip the Carpathians with their breathtaking mountain views, delicious cherry wine and hospitable people. If you visit Yaremche town or Bukovel resort you will surely never forget the beauty and spirit of Ukrainian Carpathians.
We hope that we have provided you with the useful travel guide about Ukraine, and you will have the best time in this beautiful country. Welcome!
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