Ukraine is one of the largest European countries. It is full of diverse experiences and colourful traditions as can be seen in this travel guide to Ukraine. Located to the north of the Black Sea, it shares its largest border with Russia to the east. However, be aware that some areas are under threat of violence from pro-Russian separatists, especially Crimea, Donetsk and Lugansk regions, so try to avoid travel there.
How to reach Ukraine
The best way to enter Ukraine is through the international airports near Kiev (or Kyiv). Boryspil (KBP) and Zhuliany (IEV) International Airports both have connections to many airlines, including Ukraine International Airlines, and Air Ukraine. Other cities in Ukraine also have international airports.
Ukraine is well connected by train, though there may be waits at the border while the train cars are changed to adapt to a different rail gauge. Train services to Ukraine are available from Western Europe and almost all CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) counties to both Lviv and Kyiv
You can reach Ukraine via cross-border bus services available from the neighbouring countries such as Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Moldova. However, you cannot enter through Russia. Also, entering through
Ukraine can be reached by sea routes as well. The ports of Izmail and Odessa are well linked to some major ports around the Mediterranean and Black Seas. There are also ferries from Istanbul, Georgia, and Bulgaria to Odesa
Commuting in Ukraine
Most foreign travellers are subject to security measures by police when travelling through Ukraine, especially on inter-city public transport. So, make sure to keep your passport and other documents handy.
By Metro and Train
Many larger cities in Ukraine have a subway or metro service. There are also inter-city train services, which are usually both reliable and comfortable. You can book tickets here.
By Bus and Minibus
The quickest way to get around big cities is by the bus or minibus. Both follow the same routes and have fixed fares. There are also inter-city buses that connect most of the country, though they might not be comfortable for long distances.
By Car and Taxi
It is possible to travel around Ukraine by car. However, most signs are written only in Ukrainian (Cyrillic alphabet), so be prepared to use a GPS navigator. The speed limit inside cities is 50km/h (30mph), though it’s often not followed. You can also use taxi services, such as Uber and Uklon, in most cities.
Some of the top Places to see in Ukraine
- The Historic Center of Lviv: A UNESCO listed city with charming cobblestoned streets and quaint cafes.
- Saint-Sophia Cathedral, Kyiv: The oldest standing church in Kyiv, which has beautiful mosaics and frescoes.
- Chernobyl: Visit the apocalyptic site of the worst nuclear accident in the world and the abandoned city of Pripyat.
- Odesa: A beautiful seaside town set on the coast of the Black Sea. Don’t miss the colourful markets and thriving nightlife.
- Kamyanets-Podilsky: This small island town has breathtaking views of the Smotrych River
- The Carpathian Mountains: Get away from the bustling cities to the quiet Ukranian countryside.
In addition to these, try some of the delicious Ukrainian food. Citizens from the European Union member states can enter without a visa for up to 90 days. So can citizens of certain other countries. For a full list visit the MFA government website.