Saint Sofia Cathedral, Kiev
Pin This
Open Media Gallery

Saint Sofia Cathedral, Kiev

© www123rf.com / Viachaslau Makouski

Ukraine Travel Guide

Key Facts
Area

603,700 sq km (233,090 sq miles).

Population

42,418,235 (2017).

Population density

73.6 per sq km.

Capital

Kiev.

Government

Republic.

Head of state

President Wolodymyr Selenskyj since 2019.

Head of government

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal since 2020.

Electricity

220 volts AC, 50Hz. European plugs with two round pins are used.

Vast and mysterious to many, Ukraine is barely known to outsiders despite being one of the largest countries in Europe. Long-associated with its colossal neighbour Russia, it’s a country that stands out in its own right for its varied landscapes and surprising cultural diversity.

To the majority of those visiting for the first time, the reputation of Ukraine’s hardy inhabitants can seem formidable. But while, much like in neighbouring Russia, cracking a smile at a stranger in the street is deemed a sure sign of madness, locals tend to be a thoroughly welcoming lot once you’ve broken the ice. Before long they’ll be showing you round the sights and inviting you to their home for a steaming borscht – the country’s iconic beetroot soup.

Ukraine’s natural side is also seen as tough – and it’s true that in winter snow covers most of the land as temperatures plummet. During the rest of the year, though, it’s surprisingly clement. What’s more, with its largely unspoilt, verdant interior, Ukraine is ideal for hikers and cyclists.

The Carpathian Mountains that spill over the border with Poland, Hungary and Romania dominate the west of the country while flat plains carpeted with sunflowers and cereals make up much of the central and eastern region. To the south are the almost Mediterranean-like Black Sea coast and the Crimean Peninsula, which remains a huge draw for holidaymakers every summer. And even when snow falls through the winter, the landscape is beautiful, while there are many old churches and Soviet-era buildings to dive into for shelter.

Ukraine's capital, Kiev, founded in the eighth century, displays a heady mix of architecture befitting of a city that was once capital of Kievan Rus, the precursor of the modern Russian state. A wealth of baroque and Renaissance architecture can also be found in Lviv, one of Europe's oldest cities, while Odessa is probably best known for the Potemkin Stairway that featured in Sergei Eisenstein’s epic film The Battleship Potemkin.

Recently, Ukraine has been in the news for the wrong reasons due to Russian separatism on the border. Despite this, most of the country is completely safe for visitors.

Travel Advice

The authorities in the countries bordering Ukraine set and enforce entry rules. Before you travel, check the foreign travel advice for any countries you plan to travel through. If you need consular assistance, contact the British embassy, high commission or consulate in that country. Consider checking with your transport provider or travel company that your passport and other travel documents meet the relevant country’s entry requirements.

Coronavirus rules for entering the UK

Check what you must do to enter England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. This includes information for if you are not fully vaccinated and you’re travelling to England from Ukraine.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents and Emergency Passports are accepted for exit from Ukraine. If you need such a document, you should call +380 44 490 3660 or +44 (0)1908 516666 and select the option for ‘consular services for British nationals’.

Visas for the UK

If you are a family member of a British national normally living in Ukraine and intend to apply or a visa under the Ukrainian Family Scheme, please read the guidance on visas for family members of British nationals normally living in Ukraine. You should call +44 808 164 8810 for assistance before applying. Lines are open 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Under this scheme, which will be free, those joining family in the UK will be granted leave for an initial period of 12 months. They will be able to work and access public funds.

Visa overstays

British citizens may travel to Ukraine under the visa-free regime for 90 days within 180 days. Should you need to extend your stay in Ukraine, please check the information on the procedure to follow at the State Migration Service website. Anyone who has overstayed their 90 day visa free regime will be subject to an administrative fine and may not be able to return to Ukraine for 90 days after leaving the country.

Customs regulations

You can find general information about exporting items on the website of the State Customs Service of Ukraine (in Ukrainian). There are strict customs regulations governing the export from Ukraine of antiques and items of historical interest. If in doubt seek prior permission from the customs authorities.

Travel within Ukraine

Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, you should expect disruption to travel and changes at short notice. You should travel only if you judge it is safe to do so. We cannot confirm which services below are operating. Where possible, check before travelling.

Rail travel

For train timetables and ticket reservation see the Ukrainian Railways site. Services are subject to disruption due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

If you travel by train, make sure your belongings are secure. Don’t agree to look after the luggage of a fellow traveller or allow it to be stored in your compartment.

Bus travel

In Ukraine, bus services are run by independent companies. Tickets can normally be bought on the company website online or at ticket offices in cities or at the bus station.

In major cities the main bus stations are:

Kyiv:

  • Central bus station, 1 Nauky avenue, (Tel: +38 (044) 525 57 74, +38 (044) 527 99 86) Vydubichi, 10a Naberezhno Pecherska Road (Tel: +38 (044) 524 74 26, +38 (044) 524 74 26) (booking tickets)
  • Bus station Darnytsya, 1 Gagarina Avenue, (Tel: +38 (0432) 559 46 18 booking tickets, +38 (0432) 559 64 95)Bus station Podil, 15a Nyzhniy Val, (Tel: +38 (044) 417 32 15, +38 (044) 425 13 38)
  • Bus station Polissya, 2 Tarasa Shevchenko square (Tel: +38 (044) 430 35 54, +38 (044) 430 43 48)
  • Bus station Pivdenna, 3 Glushkova Street (Tel: +38 (044) 257 40 04)

Lviv:

  • Central bus station “Lviv”, 109 Stryyska Street (Tel: +38 (0322) 44 44 44)
  • North bus station, 225 Khmelnytskoho Street (Tel: +38 (0322) 52 04 89)Western bus station, 359 Gorodotska Street (Tel: +38 (0322) 55 62 63)
  • Coach station No 3, 11 Petlyury Street (Tel: +38 (0322) 92 23 32)Coach station No 5, 2 Luhanska Street (Tel: +38 (0322) 70 27 85)
  • Coach station No 8, 1 Ploscha Dvirtseva (at the Lviv Railway Station) (Tel: +38 (0322) 38 83 08)

Leaving Ukraine by car

You can leave Ukraine by car through most border crossing points. Ukraine’s border crossings with Russia and Belarus are closed to regular traffic. There are reports of long queues at the border crossing points with EU member states and Moldova.

You may find the following websites useful in providing a picture of waiting times. These include:

https://dpsu.gov.ua/en/map - Ukrainian Govt. Border Force on border crossing points

https://visitukraine.today/ - In English/ Ukrainian – rules on border crossing points

https://kordon.customs.gov.ua/en - updates on wait times at border crossing points

You should ensure you have a good supply of food, water, warm clothing, medication and fuel for delays crossing the border.

In addition to your travel documents, State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (SBGSU) will check the following documents:

  • Registration documents for the car
  • International Insurance Certificate for the vehicle (Green Card), which you can buy from Ukrainian or International Insurance companies. Read more information from the Ukrainian Government on border crossing or call the SBGSU hotline on 1598 from a Ukrainian mobile.

If you leave the country in a vehicle registered in the UK, which you temporarily imported to Ukraine, you will have to provide your import customs declaration when leaving. Depending on your circumstances, the Customs Service of Ukraine may require additional documents. Check information (in Ukrainian) or call Customs Service of Ukraine hotline on+38 (044) 247 27 06.

If you are non-resident in Ukraine, you are allowed to bring a vehicle into Ukraine for personal use for a maximum of 1 year (see our advice in the entry requirements section) before registering it in the Ukrainian vehicle registration system. If your car does not meet this requirement you will not be able to exit Ukraine.

For further information on leaving Ukraine by car, please contact the State Customs Service of Ukraine.

Licences and documents

You must have a valid International Driving Permit to drive legally in Ukraine, as well as your UK driving licence. You will need to have the 1968 permit to drive in Ukraine. 1949 permits previously issued by the UK may no longer be accepted in Ukraine.

A green card is proof that you have vehicle insurance when driving abroad. You need to carry a green card to drive in Ukraine.

Make sure you have original vehicle-registration papers, ownership documents and insurance papers available at all times. These will be required if you are stopped by the police and when crossing borders. This also applies to rental vehicles. If you do not have these papers when stopped by the police they have the right to impound your vehicle and charge you for this.

Car hire

If you intend to rent a vehicle for your travel in Ukraine, you should check with the car hire company and insurance company their policy on renting cars in Ukraine and any other country you will pass through, especially non-EU countries. Ensure they provide you with a rental agreement permitting you to cross the Ukrainian border.

Driving standards

Roads are of variable quality and routes may be affected by the ongoing invasion. Avoid night-time travel wherever possible.

Local driving standards are poor. Street lights are weak, speed limits, traffic lights and road signs are often ignored, and drivers frequently do not indicate before manoeuvring. There are a high number of traffic accidents, including fatalities. Speeding, drink driving and infrequent use of helmets, seat belts and child restraints in vehicles are the main contributing factors.

In case of a road accident dial 102. Local officials generally only speak Ukrainian and Russian.

Driving regulations

You must wear a seat belt. Using a mobile phone while driving is prohibited. There is a zero limit on drinking alcohol and driving.

Ukrainian law allows the police to stop a vehicle. The police officer should give their name and rank, explain why you have been stopped and make an administrative offence report. The police may film interactions with members of the public. Fines can be levied for minor offences such as illegal parking or jumping a red light. The police may be carrying a credit card terminal to collect payment on the spot, or fines may be paid online or at a bank within 15 days. See payment options (in Ukrainian).

See the AA and RAC guides to driving in Ukraine.

Leaving Ukraine by air

Ukraine’s airspace is closed.

Travelling from Ukraine to Poland

If you plan to travel to Poland, check the travel advice page for Poland which includes information on entry requirements. 

The Ukrainian government website lists the main border crossings into Poland.

Travelling from Ukraine to Hungary

If you plan to travel to Hungary, check our travel advice page for Hungary which includes information on entry requirements. You can also check specific border crossing requirements on the Hungarian police website.

Check the Ukrainian government website for information on train availability and tickets. You can book tickets using the Hungarian national railway website.

The Hungarian police website provides information on crossing the Ukraine-Hungary border.

Travelling from Ukraine to Slovakia

If you plan to travel to Slovakia, check our travel advice for Slovakia which includes information on entry requirements.

For cross-border rail connections, please see the Slovak national rail website.

For information on crossing the Ukraine-Slovakia border, please see Slovak government website.

Travelling from Ukraine to Romania

If you plan to travel to Romania, check our travel advice for Romania which includes information on entry requirements.

Travelling from Ukraine to Moldova

If you plan to travel to Moldova, check our travel advice for Moldova which includes information on entry requirements.

The FCDO advise against all travel to Transnistria.

Borders with Belarus

FCDO Travel Advice for Belarus currently advises against all travel to Belarus.

Borders with Russia

FCDO Travel Advice for Russia currently advises against all travel to Russia.

International border crossings that are not currently under the control of the Ukrainian authorities include:

  • all land border crossings into Donetsk oblast
  • many of the land border crossings into Luhansk oblast
  • all air and sea ports in Crimea and the Kerch Bridge road and rail crossing into Crimea

Russian invasion of Ukraine

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is ongoing, with attacks against a number of major cities. Several towns and cities in southern and eastern Ukraine are temporarily under Russian control. There is a real risk to life.

If you travel to Ukraine to fight, or to assist others engaged in the war, your activities may amount to offences under UK legislation and you could be prosecuted on your return to the UK. British nationals fighting in Ukraine have been killed or captured. Additionally, British nationals undertaking humanitarian work have been detained. The risk to life, or of mistreatment, is high. Consular support in these circumstances will be very limited.

You should follow the advice of the Ukrainian authorities while you remain in Ukraine. Check the measures in place under martial law in your location. These will vary from region to region. Pay close attention to your personal security and monitor the media for information about possible safety or security risks, including the impact of the invasion in your area. You should avoid demonstrations and public gatherings. Take extra care while moving around.

Crimea and Eastern Ukraine

The FCDO advises against all travel to Ukraine, including Crimea, Donetsk oblast and Luhansk oblast.

Following an illegal referendum on 16 March 2014, Russia illegally annexed Crimea on 21 March 2014. Russian forces and pro-Russian groups have established full operational control. The FCDO is not able to provide consular services to anyone in Crimea.

To enter or exit Crimea, in theory foreign nationals need to provide their passport and a special permit issued by the territorial body of the State Migration Service of Ukraine. However, due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, it is not currently possible for foreign nationals to enter or exit Crimea.

The UK has imposed restrictions on economic relations with Crimea following its illegal annexation by Russia. These restrictions apply to all UK people and companies and include an import ban, a full ban on investment and a prohibition on supplying tourism services in Crimea. Exports of further key goods for certain sectors are also banned.

The Crimean sea ports of Kerch, Sevastopol, Feodosia, Yalta and Yevpatoria have been designated by the Ukrainian authorities as closed to international shipping.

Crime

Before the invasion, serious crime against foreigners was relatively rare, but incidents did occur, with some cases being racially motivated.

You should report any incidents to the police by dialling 102. A list of local translators is available on the British Embassy website. We cannot confirm whether these translators are still offering services during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Be alert to the possibility of street crime and petty theft. Foreigners may appear to be lucrative targets. Ensure you know what curfews are in place.

Don’t lose sight of your credit cards during transactions.

Theft of and from vehicles is common. Don’t leave documents or money in your vehicle. Unregulated taxi drivers can overcharge. Use official taxis, which have the name and telephone number of the taxi company on the side of the door and on the top of the taxi.

Do not leave drinks or food unattended as they could be spiked. Beware of accepting drinks from casual acquaintances.

Terrorist attacks in Ukraine can’t be ruled out.

UK Counter-Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

Penalties for being caught in possession of drugs are severe.

Smoking and drinking alcoholic drinks in public places is officially banned. Public places include transport, bus stops, underground crossings, cultural, sports and governmental establishments, playgrounds and parks.

Carry your passport at all times for ID purposes. Police may carry out passport checks on foreign nationals. Police officers should introduce themselves (name, post, rank, reason for ID check) and present a document verifying their position. Your original passport is required since no other document can provide information on your legal status in Ukraine. If you’re detained because you have been unable to present your passport, you should ask for an official report.

Ukrainian officials generally only speak Ukrainian and Russian.

Don’t take photographs near government or military establishments.

Although homosexuality is not prohibited by law, public attitudes are less tolerant than in the UK and public displays of affection may attract negative attention. There’s no provision under Ukrainian legislation guaranteeing freedom from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

See our information and advice page for the LGBT+ community before you travel.

Surrogacy

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advises against all travel to Ukraine. Because of security challenges in Ukraine, we currently advise against commissioning new surrogacy arrangements there.

Existing surrogacy arrangements

If you already have surrogacy arrangements in Ukraine, contact the FCDO on 01908 516 666 if you have not already done so.

We are providing support, for example by issuing emergency travel documents for British nationals. Where possible, we will support you if you cannot collect physical travel documents.

Border guards may carry out increased documentation and safeguarding checks. Printing copies of documents may facilitate your border crossing.

Consider asking your surrogacy agency about the safest location where all parties to the surrogacy arrangement can stay. The FCDO cannot facilitate evacuation.

You should seek legal advice: in the UK about Parental Orders and the documentation required for nationality determinations and travel documents

You should also seek legal advice in Ukraine but, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we cannot confirm which lawyers are offering services. In-country legal advice is important for issues like:

  • legalising UK documents
  • notarising Ukrainian documents
  • document processing
  • checking the maximum period of visa-free stay the relevant authorities will allow

Changing surrogacy arrangements

If you are considering changing your surrogacy arrangements, or making a new arrangement in another country, you should read about surrogacy arrangements in foreign countries.

A surrogacy arrangement in a country near Ukraine must comply with the law of that country, not Ukrainian law. In some other countries, surrogacy arrangements may, in certain circumstances, be illegal.

We strongly advise you to seek specialist independent UK and in-country legal advice before making or changing arrangements.

Corruption

Corruption remains a major problem. If you think you have been mistreated by an official then you should report your case to the relevant government department:

The FCDO advises against all travel to Ukraine.

Check what you must do to return to the UK.

This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.

The authorities in Ukraine set and enforce entry rules.

All travellers

Upon arrival, all foreign nationals are required to provide proof of health insurance that covers COVID-19 observation and treatment for the duration of their stay, unless they are exempt. Insurance must be purchased from a company registered in Ukraine or a foreign company that has a representative office or an insurance partner in Ukraine. See Exemptions.

If you’re fully vaccinated

If you’re fully vaccinated, you will need to provide a document confirming receipt of at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccination with WHO-approved vaccines. Ukraine lists these as Pfizer, AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria, Covishield and SKBio), Janssen, Moderna, Sinopharm and CoronaVac. This is in addition to the requirement to provide proof of health insurance that covers COVID-19.

Proof of vaccination status

Ukraine will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 vaccination record and proof of COVID-19 vaccination issued in the Crown Dependencies. Your NHS appointment card from vaccination centres is not designed to be used as proof of vaccination and should not be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.

Non-exempt foreign nationals without proof of vaccination (ie one or both doses) will be required on arrival to install the “Vdoma” app, which monitors self-isolation. The State Border Service will refuse entry to anyone who is unable, or refuses, to install the “Vdoma” app. See the official Visit Ukraine site and click “more details” for further information.

If you’re not fully vaccinated

If you’re not fully vaccinated, you will need to present a negative Rapid Antigen Test, taken no more than 72 hours before entry, or a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before entry to Ukraine. This is in addition to the requirement to provide proof of health insurance that covers COVID-19. You will also be required to install the Vdoma app on your phone.

If you’ve had COVID-19 in the past year

Ukraine will accept the UK’s proof of COVID-19 recovery record to demonstrate proof of COVID-19 recovery.

Residents of Ukraine

As of 3 December 2021, foreigners with a residence permit or exemption may enter, but must undergo a mandatory 14-day self-isolation and will not be able to take a test to reduce the period of self-isolation.

Foreigners without a residence permit or other exemption (see Visit Ukraine for details) who have spent more than 7 of the last 14 days in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique or Malawi, must undergo a mandatory 14-day self-isolation.

Children and young people

Children under 12 do not have to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter Ukraine.

If you’re transiting through Ukraine

If you’re transiting Ukraine, you are required to provide documents confirming your departure from the country within 48 hours and proof of health insurance that covers COVID-19 observation and treatment for the duration of your stay. Insurance must be purchased from a company registered in Ukraine or a foreign company that has a representative office or an insurance partner in Ukraine. Transiting travellers are exempt from self-isolation and installing the Vdoma application.

Travellers arriving in Ukraine or crossing the administrative points from non-government-controlled parts of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and Crimea will be subject to health monitoring on arrival. You should comply with any additional screening measures put in place by the authorities.

Further information about visiting Ukraine during the quarantine period can be found at the Ukrainian authorities’ Visit Ukraine webpage.

Exemptions

According to the resolution 1236 (9 December 2020) of the Ukrainian Government (Cabinet of Ministers), as updated on 25 October 2021, certain categories of foreign nationals are exempt from the insurance, PCR/RAT/express testing or vaccination requirements, and do not have to install the “Vdoma” app.
These categories include foreign nationals who are:

  • recognised as refugees
  • accredited diplomats in Ukraine, or members of accredited diplomats’ families;
  • air, sea, and land transport crews, or
  • military personnel from NATO or “Partnership for Peace” countries taking part in exercises with the Ukrainian military

The full list of exemptions is available on Visit Ukraine.

Foreign nationals who are permanent residents of Ukraine are exempt from the insurance and PCR/RAT testing requirement, though they must provide a document confirming receipt of one or more doses of a recognised COVID-19 vaccine.

The final decision on a person’s eligibility to enter Ukraine rests with the Ukrainian State Border Service. The entry requirement policies of foreign governments are imposed and enforced at their discretion.

Check your passport and travel documents before you travel

You should check with your travel provider to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Passport validity

If you’re travelling without a visa, your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.
If you’re applying for a visa, your passport may need to have an additional period of validity. Check with the Ukrainian Embassy in London for further details.

Visas

British Citizen passport holders can enter Ukraine without a visa for visits of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Ukraine has confirmed that this policy will continue to apply to British citizens until 30 January 2023.

If you’re planning to stay in Ukraine for longer than 90 days in a 180 day period, you need to get a visa. For more advice on entry requirements contact the Ukrainian Embassy in London or Consulate General in Edinburgh.

You will need to complete an immigration card. Immigration officials may require you to scan your fingerprints as part of biometric data collection at border crossing points. For more details, visit the website of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine.

Proof of financial means

You may be asked to provide evidence that you have sufficient funds to support you during your stay. The Ukrainian authorities accept the following as a proof of sufficient funds: cash, bank cards along with bank statements, accommodation bookings, tourist vouchers, a letter from the person or company you’re visiting stating that they will cover your expenses, a return ticket or onward travel ticket. You can find more information on the websites of the Ukrainian Embassy in the UK  and State Border Service of Ukraine.

Borders

It is illegal under Ukrainian law to enter internationally recognised Ukrainian territory through a border point that isn’t currently controlled by the Ukrainian authorities. If you do so, you risk arrest or a fine, and you may be subject to a travel ban.

International border crossings that aren’t currently under the control of the Ukrainian authorities include all land border crossings into Donetsk oblast, many of the land border crossings into Luhansk oblast, all air and sea ports in Crimea and the Kerch Bridge road and rail crossing into Crimea.

If you intend to visit any of the areas not controlled by the Ukrainian authorities, you should apply to the State Migration Service of Ukraine for a special entry permit. Information on border crossing procedure, entry/exit regulations and checkpoints are provided at the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine website.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for exit from Ukraine. Where possible, we are supporting individuals who have been unable to collect physical travel documents. You should expect increased documentation and safeguarding checks by border guards. You may wish to print copies of documentation to facilitate your crossing.

Customs regulations

You can find general information about importing and exporting items on the website of the State Customs Service of Ukraine  (in Ukrainian).

There are strict customs regulations governing the export from Ukraine of antiques and items of historical interest. If in doubt seek prior permission from the customs authorities.

Bringing your car to Ukraine

For information about driving rules in Ukraine, see Road travel

Non-residents are allowed to bring a vehicle for personal use into Ukraine for up to one year. There’s no need to complete a customs declaration form. The vehicle can only be used in Ukraine by the person that brought it into the country. The vehicle can’t be used for commercial purposes, dismantled, sold or rented to other people. If you want to do any of these things, you’ll need register the vehicle in Ukraine and pay the appropriate customs tax.

You must take the vehicle out of Ukraine within the required timeframe, or place it into the customs regime of the State.

If your vehicle breaks down and can’t be fixed, you should inform the Customs Service and provide them with evidence that it can’t be repaired. You may then dispose of the vehicle through the official channels of the Customs Service.

If you bring a private vehicle in Ukraine with the intention of transiting the country, you may be asked to complete a customs declaration form and pay a deposit.

For further information on bringing your car to Ukraine, contact the Customs Service of Ukraine.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Ukraine on the TravelHealthPro website.

See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in Ukraine.

Pharmacies

Access to pharmacies and medication is a challenge in Ukraine at this time. Some supply chains are interrupted, so certain medical products are harder to come by. A limited number of pharmacies continue operating. Information on which are operational is provided by local authorities and pharmacy networks.

The Ministry of Health operates a hotline at +380 800 60 20 19 to coordinate access to insulin and other critical medicines for those who need it. The service Tabletki.ua is continuing to operate and attempts to maintain hourly updates about availability of medicines nationwide.

Pharmacies may also close without notice. You should ensure you maintain a stock of essential medication. Pharmacies in smaller towns may not have the same variety of medications available in the bigger cities. They are usually easily identifiable by the presence of a green cross and/or the word “apteka” (аптека). Many drugs that would require a prescription in the UK are available over-the-counter in Ukraine (including, for example asthma inhalers and some antibiotics), but some stronger medications will still require a prescription from a doctor, written in Ukrainian.

Emergency Medical Assistance

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 103 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Medical Treatment

State medical facilities in Ukraine are generally poor. Private clinics and hospitals offer a better standard of care, though these do not always meet western standards and practices. If you require emergency medical treatment, it is likely that you will be taken to a state hospital unless you can show that you have comprehensive medical insurance cover.

English isn’t widely spoken and British patients may face communication difficulties.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Coronavirus travel health

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Travel in Ukraine

Although not widely enforced due to the ongoing war, you require a vaccine certificate or negative PCR or express-test taken within 72 hours of travel, if travelling inter-city (by train, bus or plane).

Quarantine measures

COVID-19 quarantine measures are theoretically in place until 31 August 2022, but have been suspended since the introduction of martial law. Masks are not obligatory, though they remain “recommended” in public places.

Accommodation

Hotel accommodation remains open under the present COVID-19 quarantine rules, but security and availability are severely affected by the ongoing invasion. Hostels may only open in yellow, orange or red zones if all staff and customers are vaccinated. Hotel restaurant facilities are subject to the same rules as other restaurants, and will likely require a vaccinate certificate or negative Covid test for all customers. When staying in a hotel, you must adhere to the overall rules regarding masks and minimum distancing. If possible, check in online in advance to avoid check-in queues at the hotel.

Further information can be found at Visit Ukraine.

Healthcare in Ukraine

For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers. Due to the ongoing invasion, we cannot confirm that all these providers are operating.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, such as a dry cough, respiratory difficulties, and a high temperature, you should:

  • if you have insurance or a private medical provider in Ukraine, seek assistance from them in the first instance

  • if you do not have insurance or your symptoms are more severe, call an ambulance on 103. Please note that the ambulance service may not have English-speaking operators available. In this case, please enlist the help of a Ukrainian or Russian-speaking friend, family member, hotel worker etc to help you call the ambulance

In both cases, you are likely to be advised to self-isolate, or be taken to a hospital where you will be tested for coronavirus. In case of a positive diagnosis, please inform us by calling +380 44 490 3660 or by completing this web contact form, or ask a friend or relative to contact us on your behalf.

If taken to hospital, you are likely to be tested for coronavirus. The choice of hospital will depend on your location and the availability of hospitals and/or beds.

Contact your insurer or private medical provider, or call an ambulance on 103, should you develop symptoms yourself. Failure to comply with these restrictions may result in a fine or, in more serious cases, a prison sentence.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health

View Health for further details on healthcare in Ukraine.

See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Ukraine

Ukraine’s national vaccination programme started in February 2021 and has been using the AstraZeneca, Coronavac, Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. The Government of Ukraine has stated that British nationals resident in Ukraine are eligible for vaccination if they choose to join the programme. Availability of vaccinations will be affected by the invasion. Further information on the vaccination programme is available on the Government of Ukraine’s dedicated vaccination website.

Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.

If you’re a British national living in Ukraine, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.

ATMs are available and credit cards are widely used in cities. However, as a result of the current invasion of Ukraine by Russia, ATMs might not be refilled with cash and some bank cards might not always be accepted. Cloning of credit and debit cards is common. You should be vigilant when using ATMs and not let your card out of your sight during transactions. You should make sure you have sufficient cash in local currency.

The official currency of Ukraine is the Hryvnia (UAH). US dollars and Euros are the easiest currency to exchange in Ukraine. Sterling may also be exchanged at a more limited number of sites. Scottish and Northern Irish notes aren’t accepted. You should only use official exchange booths and make sure you’re given a receipt.

You’ll need to present your passport if you wish to exchange currency worth 150,000 UAH or over. Keep the receipt as you may need to produce it if you exchange money back on departure.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. However if you are a British national still in Ukraine, you should register your presence in Ukraine. This will allow us to provide the latest information. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice team a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.