Ukraine Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Ukraine in 2023

Welcome to Ukraine

Ukraine City tourism

Traveling to Ukraine, including Kyiv, is currently not advised for foreigners due to the volatile security environment and military conflict. A nationwide state of emergency is in place, and martial law has been imposed.

If for any reason, you do need to travel to the country, be sure to take a look at this ultimate Ukraine travel guide with safety tips and practical information.

Document checklist for Ukraine

  • Visa (if applicable)

  • Valid passport (must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry and have two blank pages)

  • Immigration card

  • Proof of financial means

  • Travel insurance that covers COVID-19 observation and treatment, as well as medical evacuation.

Essential Ukraine travel information

  • Currency - Ukrainian hryvnia (₴). $1 is equivalent to approx. ₴ 37.

  • Daily budget for 1 person - Plan to spend around ₴ 1286 ($35) per day on a trip to Ukraine.

  • Languages - The official language is Ukrainian, an East Slavic language, which is the native language of over two-thirds of the population

  • Number of travelers per year - In 2019, Ukraine received almost 13.7 million international tourists. This number fell significantly from the start of the war in 2022.

  • Socket type - Types C and F, 230V supply voltage and 50Hz.

  • Time zone - Eastern European Standard Time (GMT+2).

Visa information for Ukraine

Many visitors could visit Ukraine without a visa for up to 90 days. The Ukraine Tourist Visa was available to certain nationalities.

However, due to the ongoing conflict, we recommend getting in touch with the Ukrainian authorities if you need consular assistance for your visit to the country.

Transport and best ways to travel around Ukraine

Despite the suspension of air traffic by the Ukrainian government, foreigners can still enter and leave the country through land borders. However, the latest travel advice from local authorities is not to travel to Ukraine under any circumstance.

Polish, Slovakian, Hungarian, Romanian, and Moldovan checkpoints are open and safe. The checkpoints with Russia, Belarus, and Transnistria are closed.

Safety in Ukraine

Currently, traveling to and around Ukraine is not safe. Attacks against major cities are ongoing as part of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Many towns and cities in eastern and southern Ukraine are currently under Russian control.

Here are some preparation tips for a safe trip to Ukraine:

  1. Check if your country’s embassy is active in Ukraine and write down the address and contacts to ensure you can get in touch if needed.

  2. Take out extended medical insurance for your entire stay in Ukraine.

  3. Store copies of all your travel documents on an electronic device.

  4. Make sure you know the curfew times in the region you are visiting.

  5. Be prepared for air alarms that sound when there is a threat of a missile attack. Download the "Air Raid" mobile app to receive notifications of air raids in your location.

  6. Choose a hotel with a bomb shelter on site or nearby.

  7. Tell your family and friends the details of your trip, including when and where you plan to stay.

Weather in Ukraine

The average annual temperature in Ukraine is 7-9°C (44-48°F). The average summer temperature (May to August) ranges from 18-22°C (64-71°F). Winter temperatures range from -4.8-2°C (64-71°F) from December to March.

Typical Ukrainian food to try

Traditional Ukrainian food is often savory and offers many contrasting flavors in one dish. The climate, rich soil, and hard-working locals have influenced the cuisine over the years. Here are some that you should try:

  • Borscht - A basic Borscht is cooked with a meat broth, made by placing beef in cold water. Other ingredients are added, and these are cooked together. The meal is served with garlic fritters, called pampushki by locals.

  • Chicken Kiev - This Ukrainian dish is famous worldwide, even though it consists of a simple crumbed chicken filet stuffed with melting butter. The art lies in not frying the butter while preparing the chicken.

  • Deruny - These are classic Ukrainian potato pancakes served with sour cream, often eaten for breakfast.

  • Salo - Many countries have their own national varieties of Salo - bacon and pancetta are just a few examples. Salo is the Ukrainian version of cured pork fat and is the ultimate national food of the country.

Vaccine information for Ukraine

COVID-19 vaccination is not required to enter Ukraine, but other entry rules regarding COVID-19 may apply. We advise you to check the CDC website for more info about all vaccine requirements and any recommended medicine.

Ukraine's history and culture

Europe's second-largest nation during the twentieth century is Ukraine. The area of modern-day Kiev, along with many other Ukrainian cities, has been inhabited for centuries.

The country features large plains of fertile soil in the east, where heavy industry is concentrated. Before the war with Russia started in 2022, Ukraine was one of the world's largest exporters of grains.

Since the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991, Ukraine has developed closer ties with Western Europe. After the annexation of Crimea and the loss of the industrial Donbas in 2014, the Ukrainian economy plunged, leaving many people in poverty. Chernobyl was the site of the world's worst nuclear accident on April 26, 1986. Due to high radiation levels, this area will be inhabitable only in 24,000 years.

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine with Russian forces is causing extreme suffering and leaving millions without food, water, and other essentials. Since February 2022, almost 19,000 innocent civilians have been killed in the conflict.

Ukrainians are extremely generous and hospitable, despite the country's turbulent history. Social occasions usually involve food.

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