The first and the most necessary step before any trip is to make sure the passport you are booking plane tickets with is valid. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, a passport is considered valid if its expiry date is at least 6 months beyond the intended date of departure from Ukraine. An ID card is not a required document in Ukraine, but it can serve as an additional way to prove identity along with the passport or the driver's license.
The following requirements to travel to Ukraine from India are quite simple and known well to those who travel often. Upon entering Ukraine, customs officers will ask you for a valid passport, a valid visa (if needed), a physical inventory of your belongings, and in case your intention of stay includes 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.
The next step while preparing an upcoming trip is to ask yourself: "Do I need a visa to travel to Ukraine from India?". Unless you hold a Diplomatic Passport, you do need a visa to enter Ukraine. Type C visa is suitable for those who plan to travel in Ukraine and stay for less than 90 days within 180 days period.
The general requirements for this visa are the following: a valid passport (expiry date is at least 3 months after the intended date of departure from Ukraine), a printed and signed visa application form, as well as a paid visa fee receipt. Besides, you will need 1 photo (35x45 mm), a proof of medical or travel insurance to cover the period of stay (minimum €30 000 or its equivalent in another currency), and a proof of sufficient funds to cover the period of stay. The latter can range from simple accommodation booking and cash in Hryvnia or convertible currency to credit cards with balance statements provided the card can be cashed in Ukraine.
Citizens of India also have to provide proof that the main purpose of the trip to Ukraine is tourism. For this purpose, booking of hotels or other kind of accommodation, travel itinerary or tourist agency details will be sufficient.
It's important to note that starting from 01 January 2019 single entry 15-day tourist/business visas shall no longer be issued on arrival at Boryspil, Zhuliany (Kyiv) and Odesa international airports.
If the expected period of stay in Ukraine is over 90 days in a 180-day term, you need a Type D visa to get a valid Ukrainian residency permit. If the purpose of travel includes employment, permanent residency, study and work at the diplomatic missions exceeding 90 days within 180 days period, one needs the same visa as well.
Unfortunately, obtaining an E-visa for any purpose while traveling to Ukraine is not available for the citizens of India yet. That's why you need to prepare all needed documents and a visa application form to apply in the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of India located in New Delhi. According to the information on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine website, Ukrainian embassies abroad usually charge a basic visa fee of $65.00 for processing visa applications.
How to travel from India to Ukraine
The easiest and the quickest way to travel from India to Ukraine is a non-stop flight operated by Ukraine International Airlines. The Delhi-Kyiv flight provides a convenient way to reach the capital of Ukraine in approximately 7 hours. Flights from Delhi are operated on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and in the opposite direction from Kyiv – on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Other airlines like flydubai, Turkish Airlines and Air India allow travelling to other cities in Ukraine - Odesa, Kharkiv, Lviv, Zaporizhia, Dnipro and Kherson - via connecting flights.
Nowadays Kyiv remains the most popular city to visit in Ukraine. Boryspil International Airport is located about 40 km from the capital. There are several ways to get to the city quickly: one of them is riding a shuttle – Sky Bus – which leaves several times an hour and drives you to the nearest metro station, Kharkivska, or to the Pivdenny railway station, 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 a taxi like Uber or Uklon. It will cost about UAH 240-400, depending on the destination and taxi service. While many taxi drivers will offer their services right at the airport, they can charge a much higher price and be quite pushy, so it's better to hire a taxi via reliable service.
Finally, in 2018 Ukrainian Railways has launched an express that goes from KBP Airport to Kyiv. The express has one middle stop at Darnytsia and its final destination is Kyiv-Passazhyrskyi, the main railway station in Kyiv. The interval between the trains ranges from 22 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the time of the day. The express arrives in Boryspil Airport in approximately 38 minutes. The ticket price is UAH 80.
Getting around in Kyiv
When it comes to transportation, it’s not hard to notice that Kyiv with its vast roads and abundance of cars is mainly oriented on drivers. Owners of private transport are often concerned with traffic jams — while not having reached the level of Moscow and New York, jams are still a huge issue, especially in the workdays’ mornings. Parking in the city still leaves much to be desired as well. Public transport in Kyiv is represented by metro, trolleybuses, buses, trams, and private buses called marshrutkas, easily recognized by their bright yellow color.
Metro by far is the most convenient transportation means, as it covers the center of the city and almost all far-away spots with sightseeing and key travel points like station of the bus that takes you to Boryspil (KBP) airport. At the moment a single ride in all ground transport costs UAH 8.
Trolleybuses are the runner-up and cover the districts otherwise unreachable by metro. Trams are mostly used to navigate Podil, the historical district of Kyiv, and to get to Pushcha-Vodytsia, a popular neighborhood with an abundance of nature and various picnic spots. Finally, those who live in the farthest city districts or in the suburbs often use marshrutkas. The ticket price is determined by private companies and ranges from UAH 8 to UAH 12.
Do people in Ukraine speak English?
In general, Ukraine still struggles with English language skills. While the younger generation usually understands and speaks English well, the elderly may have trouble to get by. That’s why it may be better to buy or download a phrasebook, as Google translator does not always give accurate translations of long sentences. In case your phone battery is dead, it is better to apply to the younger-looking passers-by for help. The least they can do for you, if they do not know the address you seek, for instance, is to show the route on the Google Maps app from their smartphone or help to read signs on the paper map.
Useful tips while traveling from India to Ukraine
Smartphone applications for travelers with maps that work without an Internet connection are a must in Ukraine. Firstly, it is simply convenient to have all the information in one place. Usually, those apps have all the necessary info on what you need to know to travel to Ukraine from many countries, including India. Another reason for downloading those is that 3G connection may not function well enough across all the territory of the country, especially away from the big cities. You can also buy printed tourist guides in English upon arrival - for instance, Kyiv by Locals that provides the most immersing experience opposed to tourist traps.
The weather in Ukraine doesn't change too drastically throughout the day. However, it's worth noting that winters in Ukraine are usually quite snowy and cold - the temperature can easily reach -15 degrees Celsius. Summers, on the contrary, can be quite hot with maximum temperature reaching 35 degrees Celsius. Spring is usually the shortest season, lasting a little more than 1.5 weeks, simply transitioning into full summer hit from the winter cold.
Finally, the electricity standard in Ukraine is 220 volts, 50Hz. As the plugs and sockets differ in India, consider purchasing an Eastern-European adapter. It's pretty easy to find one at most airports of the globe.
Is it safe to travel to Ukraine?
One of the most popular questions that arise when traveling to Ukraine is safety. Usually, the visits to Ukraine are trouble-free, but it's important to remember about personal measures of security: avoid walking alone late at night in dark or poorly lit streets; keep your valuables and cash safe and out of sight, especially in crowded areas, tourist spots and public transport. It is recommended to have your ID with you, as well as the Embassy phone number saved in contacts.
Like any other country, Ukraine has different people. Some people might attempt sky-rocketing prices for services, most often taxi and souvenirs salespeople. If you want to avoid that, get to know about average local prices in advance. You can ask your Ukrainian friends, people in online expat communities or check out specialized online platforms such as Numbeo that provide information about average costs of services, accommodation, food, public transport etc. in the city you are going to. It is also reasonable to use reliable and well-known services. You can read about more scamming methods in Ukraine in our guide.
In case an emergency arises, it is always better to contact the consulate representatives of your country. The consular assistance for Indian citizens in Ukraine can be provided at Embassy of India in Kyiv located on 20B, Maksyma Berlyn'koho Street. The phone number is 044 468 6661.
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