Ukraine doesn’t make it on to the Top 10 list of many first-time European travellers (which only goes to show you should take Top 10 lists with a serious grain of salt)
It’s the Continent’s second biggest country, a quirky little slice of post-communist Europe where the borscht is tart, the history bizarre and the locals surprisingly friendly. One day you’re climbing through the rugged Carpathian Mountains in search of Hutsul hospitality, the next you’re sipping espresso in the back-alley cafes of Lviv, kicking back on the beaches of Odessa or sitting front row in Kiev’s glorious opera house. Soak up a little Stalinist history, ride bikes along the Dnieper River and wave goodbye to that tourist trail – you’re in Ukraine now.
Our Ukraine trips
Articles on Ukraine
Ukraine travel highlights
Discover the perils of nuclear technology at the Chernobyl Museum
Be captivated by the crumbling facades of Lviv's Old Town
Stay with a local family in the Carpathian Mountains
Ukraine holiday information
At a glance
Best time to visit Ukraine
Geography and environment
Our Ukraine Top 5
Health and Safety
Ukraine travel FAQs
Australia: Yes - in advance
Belgium: No - Not required
Canada: No - Not required
Germany: No - Not required
Ireland: No - Not required
Netherlands: No - Not required
New Zealand: Yes - in advance
South Africa: Yes - in advance, Visa Support letter - Yes
Switzerland: No - Not required
United Kingdom: No - Not required
USA: No - Not required
Some nationalities are now visa free to Ukraine. Please check your own visa requirements carefully.
LETTERS OF INVITATION (LOI)
Some nationalities that require a visa may also need a Letter of Invitation (LOI), sometimes known as a Visa Support Letter, in order to apply for a Ukraine visa. As of 2013 travellers from Australia and New Zealand no longer need the LOI in order to apply. Should you require a LOI please notify us at the time of booking and ensure you send the following information no later than 30 days prior to departure:
* Clear, colour scanned copy of the personal details page of your passport
* Nominate which embassy you will apply for your visa
Please note that it can take up to 7 business days to receive the LOI from our Ukrainian partners. The LOI is included in the cost of the trip, however should your embassy require other support documents you may be charged an additional fee.
INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR VISA APPLICATION:
You require a Single Entry Tourist Visa for this trip.
Surname and first name of the inviting person(s) in Ukraine. If not applicable, name of hotel(s) or address of applicant’s temporary accommodation(s) in Ukraine:
60-a,b Vozdvyzhenska str.
Tel.: +38 044 531 99 00
Address of inviting person(s)/hotel(s)/temporary accommodation(s) in Ukraine:
Name and address of inviting company/organisation:
If LOI required please use the information on the document. If not required - N/A.
Surname, first name, address, telephone, telefax, and e-mail address of contact person in company/organization:
Tipping is becoming customary in many of the larger Ukrainian cities. While it's not necessary to tip drivers unless the service is exemplary, a 10-15% tip is expected in most restaurants.
Internet cafes are available in cities and towns, and some larger hotels now offer Wi-Fi connectivity. Remote and rural areas will have less internet availability, so be prepared for this when travelling out of the city.
Roaming agreements exist with major mobile phone companies, check with your service provider for more information.
Western-style, flushable toilets are normally available in the larger cities. In rural areas, simple squat toilets are more common.
Cup of coffee in a cafe = 10 UAH
Beer in a bar or restaurant = 5-15 UAH
Basic, takeaway lunch = 40 UAH
Dinner in an inexpensive restaurant = 100 UAH
Drinking tap water isn't recommended in Ukraine. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Ask your leader or hotel where filtered water can be found and don't forget to avoid ice in drinks and peel fruit before eating.
Major credit cards are accepted by most large shops and hotels. Smaller vendors may not accept credit cards, so carry enough cash to cover small purchases.
ATMs are commonly found in Ukraine's cities and urban areas. Remote regions will have less ATM availability, so prepare accordingly before travelling away from cities.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
- 1 Jan New Year's Day
- 2 Jan New Year's Day Holiday
- 7 Jan Orthodox Christmas
- 9 Jan Orthodox Christmas Holiday
- 8 Mar Women's Day
- 16 Apr Orthodox Easter
- 17 Apr Orthodox Easter Monday
- 1 May Labour Day
- 2 May Labour Day Holiday
- 9 May Victory Day
- 4 Jun Orthodox Pentecost
- 5 Jun Orthodox Pentecost Monday
- 28 Jun Constitution Day
- 24 Aug Independence Day
- 14 Oct Defender's Day
- 16 Oct Defender's Day Holiday
Please note these dates are for 2017. For a current list of public holidays in Ukraine go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/ukraine/public-holidays
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for Ukraine
- Be considerate of Ukraine’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
- For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with tap or filtered water.
- Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
- Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
- Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
- Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
- Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children