Ukraine is definitely one of Europe’s last genuine travel frontiers. One of Europe’s biggest country (not counting Russia), it is a country full of diversity where travelers can’t shake the feeling of being elsewhere while actually still being in Europe. It is a country known for its hospitable locals, interesting (and yes a little bizarre) Soviet legacy, diverse landscape and gorgeous landmarks that seem frozen in time. This Ukraine travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.
Ukraine Travel Guide: Fast Facts
- Ukranian power voltage is 220 V 50Hz; Plug C & F
- The Ukrainian currency is the Ukrainian Hryvnia and is around 22 UAH to 1 USD.
- Beware of scam artists. If a “transport inspector” asks to see your ID, ask for your own proof of identification otherwise he may try to fine you for not having the right ticket. Also make sure to watch your wallet, too!
- WARNING: There are risks in traveling to eastern Ukraine because of the war between the Russian irregular forces and the Ukrainian forces in the eastern areas of Luhansk and Donetsk.
- It is illegal to take any items of historical importance out of the country. This includes badges, medals, icons, historical paintings, etc. This law is strictly enforced at all exit points.
- Drink vodka! The Ukrainian speciality is horilka (the local name for vodka) with pepper. Other kinds of vodka that are popular are linden (tilia), honey, birch, wheat.
Top Packing Tips for Ukraine Travel
Ukraine has a temperate continental climate with cold snowy winters and warm summers. The only exception is the southern coast of Crimea, where the climate is subtropical of the Mediterranean type. The southern coast of Crimea is the warmest place in Ukraine with temperatures reaching 39 – 40 degrees Celsius in the summer time and often not dipping below 20 degrees throughout the year.
- Classic Basic items – You do not need to be a fashionista to blend in. The key is in embracing neutral toned items that can be mixed and matched easily. Avoid logos, baseball caps, shorts, hoodies, flip-flops and running shoes as these items scream tourist!
- Layers – You could possibly be sweating all afternoon and then be freezing by nightfall! Make sure to stock up on the layers. If you plan on heading to Ukraine during the winter make sure to pack the winter essentials: Warm, high, waterproof, fleece-lined boots big enough to wear with heavy wool socks, hat, waterproof gloves and thermal long underwear.
- Rain boots – It rains a lot during fall and spring and since there aren’t always a lot of sidewalks, make sure to bring a good pair of boots to splash around in.
- Shoes – a good pair of sturdy shoes are a must. Ukraine isn’t known for being a flat country and Kyiv especially has a lot of inclines.
- Personal Safety products – Certain areas in Kyiv are known as pickpocket hotspots. Before leaving for your trip, make sure to pack some personal safety products, like money belts and locks, so that you can keep your valuables safe on your trip.
Check out our Packing List for more ideas on what to bring with you.