- The Online Guide to Travel Travel to Ukraine is Not Advised at Present - Which is a Shame

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Ukraine Travel Notes

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Ukraine Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


Ukraine's tourism industry has disintegrated due to the Russo-Ukrainian war, but borders with Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova are open.

About Ukraine

Ukraine is a country with high mountains, a warm sea, spacious steppes, cosy villages, loud metropolises, luxurious palaces, and golden cathedrals.

However, due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the country's tourism sector has been seriously affected.

Countries neighbouring Ukraine: Poland, Belarus, Russia, Moldova, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia.

Travel Map Mapping Ukraine

Map of Ukraine

Map of Ukraine

Formerly known as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Ukraine is a country with a rich cultural heritage, diverse geography, and a complex geopolitical situation.

The second largest country in Europe, after Russia, Ukraine continues to navigate its path as an independent nation while facing various internal and external challenges.

Ukraine Overview

Ukraine is a country located in Eastern Europe, bordered by Russia to the east, Belarus to the north, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary to the west, and Romania and Moldova to the south-west.

Ukraine has a rich history dating back to ancient times and has been influenced by various cultures, including Greek, Roman, Mongol, Polish, Lithuanian, Austro-Hungarian, and Russian.

Early Ukrainian History

Tatar Mongols invaded the area in the 13th century but the western Ukrainian principality of Galicia, founded in the 12th century, suffered less from the Mongol invasion.

Annexed by Poland in the 14th century, although the Ukrainian Cossacks allied themselves with Russia.

The partitions of Poland saw much of the land handed over to Russia in 1667, while Galicia became a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1772 to 1919.

The country is rather flat and includes the autonomous region of Crimea (occupied by Russia since 2014) in the south.

Most of the Crimean Tatars were forcibly moved to Central Asia in 1944 to suppress their nationalist intentions.

Conflict in Eastern Ukraine

Since 2014, Ukraine has been dealing with a conflict in its eastern regions, primarily in Donetsk and Luhansk; where pro-Russian separatists have been fighting against the Ukrainian government.

This conflict has strained relations between Ukraine and Russia; to the point of war.

Russian Claims on Eastern Ukraine

On Monday, 21st February 2022 Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine as independent entities.

Then on Thursday, 24th February Russia actually invaded Ukraine while the rest of the world watched on.

Moving On

On Friday, 30th September 2022 Russian President, Vladimir Putin, declared the Ukrainian provinces of Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk as Russian; after what the west called a 'sham referendum'.

Kherson - 11-11-2022

The Ukrainians had other ideas and by Friday, 11th November 2022 their forces had reclaimed Kherson as Russian troops withdrew east across the Dnipro River; destroying bridges as they retreated, to hinder Ukraine's attempts to follow them.


Ukrainian culture is rich and diverse, with influences from its Slavic heritage, as well as from neighbouring countries.

It has a vibrant tradition of folk music, dance, literature, and art.

Traditional Ukrainian cuisine is also notable, with dishes such as borscht (beet soup), varenyky (dumplings), and salo (cured pork fat) being popular.


Ukraine has a mixed economy with agriculture, heavy industry, and services sectors.

It is known for its fertile agricultural land, particularly in the central and southern regions, which make it one of the world's largest grain exporters.

However, the economy has faced challenges, including corruption, political instability, and conflict with Russia in the eastern regions.


Ukraine is the largest country entirely in Europe, covering an area of around 603,500 square kilometres.

It has diverse geography, including plains, plateaus, mountains (like the Carpathians in the west and the Crimean Mountains in the south), and the fertile plains of the central and southern regions.


Ukraine was once part of the Kievan Rus state, which was a predecessor to modern Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine.

Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, was the capital of Kievan Rus.

Over the centuries, Ukraine has been part of various empires and kingdoms, including the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Russian Empire, and the Soviet Union.


Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union on 24th August, 1991, following the failed coup attempt in Moscow.

Since then, it has been a sovereign state, although it has faced challenges in establishing political stability and economic prosperity.


Ukrainian is the official language of Ukraine, although Russian is also widely spoken; particularly in the eastern and southern regions.

There are also significant linguistic minorities, including speakers of Romanian, Hungarian, and other languages.

Visiting Ukraine

Due to the current conflict in Eastern Ukraine, be sure to check the latest travel advisories and entry requirements before planning any visit to Ukraine.

Ukraine Travel Advisories

British Embassy in Kyiv - Foreign Office (UK) - Govenment of Canada - Govenment of New Zealand - US Embassy in Ukraine - US State Department.

Carpathian Mountains

Nature lovers will enjoy exploring the Carpathian Mountains in western Ukraine.

This region offers opportunities for hiking, skiing, and admiring picturesque landscapes dotted with traditional villages.

Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

While it may seem unconventional, many tourists visit the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster for its eerie atmosphere and historical significance.

Guided tours are available to explore the abandoned city of Pripyat and learn about the disaster's impact.

Kyiv (Kiev

The capital city of Ukraine, Kyiv is famous for its stunning Orthodox churches, including the UNESCO-listed Kyiv Pechersk Lavra and Saint Sophia Cathedral.

You can also explore historical sites like the Golden Gate and Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti).


This charming city in western Ukraine is known for its well-preserved medieval architecture, cobbled streets, and vibrant cultural scene.

Don't miss the Old Town, Lviv High Castle, and the iconic Lviv Opera House.

Lviv Coffee Culture

Lviv is renowned for its coffee culture, with numerous cafes offering a cosy atmosphere and a wide variety of coffee blends.

Take a leisurely stroll through the city's streets and indulge in delicious Ukrainian pastries along with your coffee.


Located on the Black Sea coast, Odessa was known for its beautiful beaches, lively nightlife, and architectural gems like the Potemkin Steps and Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre.

Since the beginning of the war, the Ukrainian 'Pearl by the Sea' has been one of the main targets of the Russian army.

Kyiv - Kiev

The capital of Ukraine is built on hills overlooking the Dnepr River, in the north central part of the country.

Map of Kyiv

Map of Kyiv

There are plenty of parks and places of historical interest in Kiev.

The newer part of the city, on the left bank of the river, was mostly built after World War II and is rather bland. Of more interest to the visitor is the older city on the right bank.

The hills here are crowned with churches and the remains of ancient castles and fortifications - Kiev was an important religious centre before Communism.

The cathedral of Hagia Sophia is the oldest cathedral in Ukraine. Founded in the early 11th century, and largely rebuilt during the 17th and 18th centuries, it is now a museum with beautiful Christian frescoes.

The Cave monastery, Perchersky, was founded in the early 11th century and is one of the most sacred buildings of the Russian Orthodox church.

The ruins of the Golden Gate also date from the same period and was once the main entrance to the city.

Kiev was the centre of the Rus principality in the 11th and 12th centuries AD, and it is still known as the Mother of Russian Cities.

Boryspil International Airport

There are shuttle busses to Kyiv centre from Boryspil International Airport as well as 24-hour taxis and car rental desks in Terminal B.

Three metro lines service Kyiv, with Kharkovskaya being the nearest metro station to Boryspil airport.

The Airport Hotel Boryspil is located close to Terminal B while the newer Boryspil Hotel is located in a quiet district of Boryspil, 9km from airport.

Travel Around Ukraine

London to Ukraine by Train

It's easy to travel from London to Kyiv by train, using Eurostar to Brussels, the overnight sleeper to Berlin, a EuroCity train to Warsaw and the 'Kiev Express'; overnight from Warsaw to the capital of Ukraine.

Ukraine Railways, Ukrzaliznytsia, operates a working rail network of around 22,000 kilometrers.

Trains are a very reliable way to travel within Ukraine, especially in the winter time when many domestic flights are cancelled or delayed due to poor weather conditions; while car travel is not good either and bus travel, being quite uncomfortable, will take ages.


The official language of Ukraine is Ukrainian; one of the three East Slavic languages, closely related to Russian and Belorussian.

Foreign Embassies in Ukraine

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine lists Foreign diplomatic institutions in Ukraine.

Ukraine in America

The Ukrainian Consulate in New York is located at 240, East 49th Street.

Ukrainian Embassy in Washington:
3350 M st, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007.

Black Sea


Located on the south coast of the Crimean Peninsula, on the Black Sea, Yalta became a favourite resort of the tsars and nobility in the early 19th century.

The most beautiful vacation paradise in Eastern Europe, the Crimean Region of Ukraine is situated on the northern shores of the Black Sea.


Also on the Crimean Peninsula, Sevastopol is a major naval base; fortified by Catherine the Great after the Russians took control in 1783. Tensions over the Black Sea fleet continue between Ukraine and Russia.

The Greek colony of Chersonesus was founded near the site of modern Sevastopol' in the late 5th century BC, and taken over successively by the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, and Genoa.


Kharkov, in the east of the country, was founded in 1656 as a fortress to protect Moscow from the Tatars.

It was the administrative centre of Ukraine until 1934; when it was replaced by Kiev.

Kharkov has been the scene of heavy fighting over the years and a bell tower was erected, in 1812, to celebrate the defeat of Napoleon.

Ukraine Travel Tips

When visiting Ukraine, there are a few simple rules of etiquette that may be useful:

If invited into a family home, it is traditional to bring a gift. A bottle of wine, a cake or a bouquet of flowers is customary. If there is a child in the house, it is appropriate to provide him or her with a small gift as well.

Be prepared to remove your shoes upon entering a home. To keep apartments clean, most hosts will provide you with a pair of slippers.

On public transportation, give up your seat to mothers with children, the elderly, or the infirm.

At the entrance of upscale restaurants, expect that your coat, briefcase or baggage to be checked.

When eating dinner at someone's home, casual dress is accepted.

Be ready to give toasts at dinner, for guests are often asked to do so.

Offer to share your snacks and cigarettes with those around you. Ukrainians are known for their generosity when it comes to feeding others. Turning down food may be considered rude.

For business, dress should be conservative. Men should not take off their jackets unless asked.

In Orthodox churches women wear scarves or hats, and men take off their hats.

Tips on Getting Through Ukraine Passport Control and Customs

Bringing Gifts

It is not that hard to go through these formalities in Ukraine. If you bring something for gifts you may be asked to pay a customs duty that can be considerable. We do not recommend you to bring any jewellery as the customs duty is 100% of its cost! If you do want to make such a surprise anyway, it would be more reasonable to bring money and purchase jewellery here. It will definitely cost less.

Bringing Money Into Ukraine

Talking to many of my clients I have discovered that most of them are not aware of the Ukrainian laws as to this point. They were afraid of bringing cash as they thought it would cost them too much when crossing the border. It is NOT true at all. The Ukrainian laws allow foreigners to bring up to $10,000 cash.

If you have LESS  than $1,000 cash you may just go through customs by the Green Line. No declaration filling.

If you want to bring MORE than $1,000 in cash, I strongly recommend you to declare the money when you go through the customs. Use Red Line in this case! It may help you a lot when you will be leaving Ukraine!

The point is you are allowed to take only $1,000 OUT of the country. However if you have a customs declaration confirming that you have brought a bigger amount to Ukraine then you can take out ANY amount that is less than what you have brought here.

Taking Money Out of Ukraine

You will not have any problems if you have a LESS amount of cash than you declared on your arrival. Keep your entering customs declaration until you pass through customs control on your departure!

Use VIP Service at the Airport

If you would like to have special, very flexible treatment at the customs you can order a VIP service. It costs $48 and all formalities would take 15-20 minutes (if you arrive with the entering visa in your passport), or another 10 minutes for getting a visa at the airport if you don't have one on arrival.

Ukraine Tours

Green Ukraine organises travel for foreign tourists to Ukraine in its most attractive region; the Carpathian mountains.

Located in Kiev (Kyiv), Solo East is licensed to provide visa assistance, hotels, air and train tickets, tours and other services for travellers to Ukraine.

Ukraine Travel Guides

Lonely Planet Ukraine (Travel Guide) History of Eastern Europe

Ukraine Travel Guides - Ukraine Maps.

Weather in Europe:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around Europe.

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