Ukraine Travel Information
The border with Ukraine is currently closed until 11
May. For more information about coronavirus, see the
Despite the difficult economic situation and the
turmoil over the last five years, the situation in most
of Ukraine is stable, and most of the journeys are
carried out without special problems. For ordinary
travelers, the greatest risk is related to poor
infrastructure and transport safety. At the same time,
the security situation in the Donetsk and Luhansk
counties is still unclear and Crimea is unlawfully
annexed by Russia.
Norwegian citizens residing in, or planning to travel
to Ukraine, are encouraged to keep up to date via the
embassy's website and social media, and to register
their travel via reiseregistrering.no.
One should also follow developments through the
media, such as Kyiv Post, Radio Free Europe or Ukraine
Pravda (in Ukrainian and Russian).
Particularly about the Crimean peninsula, as well as
parts of Donetsk and Luhansk counties
Russia has annexed the Crimean Peninsula
and has de facto control there. Norway does not
recognize Russian rule in Crimea. Entry and exit to
Crimea can be problematic as Russian authorities require
visas from Norwegian citizens while Ukrainian
authorities do not. Ukrainian law does not allow entry
into Crimea via Russia. Upon entering Russia and leaving
via the Ukrainian mainland, Ukrainian border authorities
will consider the arrival of Ukraine illegal. The
consequence would normally be a five-year entry ban to
Ukraine for violating Ukrainian law by illegally
entering Ukraine (here: Crimea, which is internationally
recognized as Ukrainian territory).
The embassy is aware that EU/Schengen citizens who
have traveled to Crimea from Russia and then try to
enter Ukrainian-controlled territory are stopped and
returned to Crimea. Here you are often denied the return
of Russian Border Guard forces unless you have a visa
that allows multiple entries. Some have had to stay
outdoors in "no man's land" for days before eventually
being let in by Russian border guards.
- Countryaah: Kiev is the capital
of Ukraine. Check to find information of population, geography, history,
and economy about the capital city.
Situation in the counties Luhansk and Donetsk
is still unclear and tense. The ceasefire that
officially came into force on September 1, 2015 is
broken daily, although the intensity of the conflict is
considerably lower in 2020 than previously. Both parties
still have access to heavy and long-range weapons. The
situation along the line of contact between the
separatist-controlled and government-controlled parts of
Donetsk and Luhansk is still tense. Due to the ongoing
armed conflict in the Donbas area, trips to Donetsk and
Luhansk counties are not recommended. Against this
background, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued
an official travel council for those parts of Ukraine
that are directly affected by the conflict, ie the
Donetsk and Luhansk counties. The embassy will have very
limited, if any, opportunity to provide consular
assistance in the Donetsk and Luhansk counties as well
as on the annexed Crimean peninsula.
Travel insurance will not be valid in areas where
there is travel advice that discourages entry. This
means that ordinary travel insurance will not be valid
in the event of damage or theft in the counties of
Luhansk, Donetsk and on the annexed Crimean peninsula.
International sanctions have been imposed on Russia
as a result of the illegal annexation of Crimea. This
means that it is not possible to use western payment
cards in Crimea. In separatist-controlled areas in
Luhansk and Donetsk, neither electronic means of payment
nor ATMs work.
Political unrest and demonstrations:
Norwegian citizens should stay away from demonstrations,
large crowds and other areas where violent actions may
be reported. The situation is generally stable and calm
in the country, but could change quickly. It is
encouraged to keep abreast of developments.
Crime: Although crime does occur,
especially in the larger cities, the situation is such
that by taking ordinary simple precautions, problems
will be avoided. As elsewhere in cities, you should
avoid deserted areas in the evening, be wary of
pickpockets and be aware of the skimming, tapping and
misuse of cards. Fraud often happens in the form of
tricking tourists for money and other values. Some
people use the so-called "wallet trick" which implies
that the thief "loses" his wallet in front of the
tourist who is further accused of taking money out of it
as he picks it up. The tourist is then asked to show his
own wallet where another person takes the wallet and
disappears. It also seems that the thief pretends to be
a police officer.
Corruption: Corruption is a common
problem in Ukraine. It is recommended to always carry a
valid ID. The police carry out regular checks on
foreigners. A copy of your passport is recommended. If
one is stopped by control, the police will also have to
identify themselves. Sometimes passports are only
accepted as valid credentials, in order to check whether
one has legal residence in the country. In certain
cases, in the absence of a passport when checking, one
may be placed in custody. Then you have to make sure
that a report is written about the incident.
Road safety: The road standard in
Ukraine varies greatly. The main roads between the major
cities are generally of decent standard. Traffic
accidents occur frequently, and far more frequently than
in Norway with fatal outcomes. Signs and information are
missing in some places. Preferably avoid driving after
dark out of the blue, as roads can be poorly lit.
Preferably park in a secure location, preferably in a
guarded parking lot. The seat belt must be used both in
the front and the back of the car, and the use of a
mobile phone while driving is prohibited unless you have
"hands-free". The speed is 60 km/h of dense lanes, 90
km/h off dense lanes and 110 km/h on the highway.
Pedestrians should watch out when crossing streets and
exercise caution on sidewalks as parking is permitted.
When using taxis, companies like Elite or Uber are
Travel insurance: Norwegian citizens
are encouraged to have valid travel insurance.
Norwegians traveling to Ukraine should note that the
National Insurance Scheme does not cover expenses
related to illness or accidents.
Customs rules: It is allowed to
bring 200 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco to Ukraine. When
it comes to alcohol, you can take one liter of spirits,
two liters of wine and five liters of beer. You can also
bring food for personal use, but please note that the
total value should not exceed 50 euros per person. For
extended customs rules see; Ukraine - EFTA Free Trade
Alcohol and drugs: Alcohol is cheap
and readily available in Ukraine. There are reports of
people dying from alcohol intoxication as well as other
related illnesses and accidents due to alcohol. Smoking
and drinking in public areas are prohibited - such as in
subways, bus stations, parks and public buildings.
Breaking the prohibitions on alcohol can result in a
warning, fine or custody for up to 15 days. If you break
the smoking ban, you can be fined. It is prohibited to
sell alcohol to persons under 18 years of age. The
penalties for possession, use or smuggling of drugs are
severe and may result in fines or imprisonment.
Local emergency numbers are: Fire 101, Police 102,
Ambulance 103, Euro-Alarm, Copenhagen (including
European travel insurance): +45 70 15 25 00
Contact with the embassy: The embassy's central table
number is +38 044 281 22 00. This is served during
office hours which is 09.00-16.30 Ukrainian time
(corresponding to 08.00-15.30 Norwegian time). When you
call this telephone number outside of office hours, you
are automatically transferred to the UD's operational
center. You can also reach the UD's operative center on
tel: +47 23 95 00 00 E-mail: UDops@mfa.no
Please note that entry regulations may change. The
Foreign Service is not responsible if the following
information on entry regulations or visa requirements is
changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the
traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for
entry and to familiarize themselves with the current
entry rules for each country.
Norwegian nationals who are going to Ukraine to
settle down, have permanent employment, study, serve as
a diplomat or reunite with family must apply for a visa
or residence permit before entering. Anyone who intends
to stay in the country for more than 90 days must apply
for a visa, regardless of the purpose of the trip.
Norwegian citizens who are going to Ukraine for
reasons other than the above can travel to the country
and stay there for up to 90 days without a visa unless
they have a valid passport. It is the traveler's
responsibility to ensure that the travel documents are
All travelers are encouraged to see information about
entry rules in Ukraine on the website of the Ukrainian
Embassy in Oslo.
Foreigners who are going to stay in Ukraine for work,
study or for family reasons must register with the
Immigration Service «Migration Service of Ukraine».
Ukrainian authorities, according to Ukrainian law,
have the right to investigate whether residents have
sufficient means of residence in the country. The amount
required per day is 1350 UAH. This is in the form of
cash, bank statements or other documents. You must be
able to show that you have the funds for five days more
than planned stay. If you cannot prove that you have
sufficient funds, you can be denied entry into the
country. However, as of January 2020, these regulations
do not appear to be practiced, but this may change
rapidly. Therefore, it is advisable to include
documentation on adequate means of entry.
A valid Norwegian driver's license, car license and
liability insurance (green card) are required for
Norwegian motorists who want to drive into Ukraine.
Coronavirus (covid-19): Ukraine's
borders are closed from March 28 for all passenger
traffic by plane, train and bus. It will still be
possible to get in or out of Ukraine by car or on foot,
depending on neighboring countries' travel restrictions.
Ukraine imposed an entry and transit ban on March 16 for
all foreign nationals, with the exception of diplomats
and staff of international organizations and their
family members, as well as persons who can document a
residence permit in Ukraine.
Norwegian travelers should keep abreast of the
development of the corona virus. Follow local
authorities' advice, guidance and instructions on how to
deal with the situation. For updated official
information from the Ukrainian authorities, see What do
you need to know about the novel coronavirus? and the
Telegram channels https://t.me/COVID19_Ukraine and
https://t.me/PHC_Ukraine (both in Ukrainian). Also,
follow the embassy on Kyiv's Facebook page and website.
You can find more information and guidance from the
Norwegian health authorities on the website of the
Norwegian Institute of Public Health. See also UD's
answers to frequently asked questions about travel and
Public hospitals in Ukraine do not meet Western
standards. The health staff has generally good
education, but often speaks only Ukrainian and/or
Russian. In some cases, access to medicines may vary. In
Kyiv, there are private clinics aimed at foreign
patients and the offer of dentistry is highly
Vaccination coverage in Ukraine is weaker than in
most European countries and has worsened as a result of
the crisis in the country. For updated recommendations
on vaccination before departure, see information from
the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
Diseases that may be relevant to vaccine against may
include hepatitis A, diphtheria, tetanus, typhoid fever
and polio. Those who are not vaccinated against measles
should be vaccinated well in advance of departure. Read
more about measles at the Public Health Institute.
Tap water is not recommended for cooking and
drinking. Bottled water is available everywhere in
HIV/AIDS is quite prevalent in Ukraine. A 2010 UNaids/WHO
report shows that 500,000 people over the age of 15, ie
1.1 percent of the adult population, live with HIV.
There are condoms available for purchase at pharmacies
and in major stores.
Chernobyl: The northern parts of
Ukraine were hit by the fallout from the Chernobyl
disaster in 1986. An area (with a radius of 30 km)
around the nuclear power plant is still closed for
public transport. Beyond this, the radiation situation
is not of particular concern. Guided tours to Chernobyl
are currently being arranged. These trips are added to
the safe areas and have become popular as a tourist
destination. Here, visitors are encouraged to act
cautiously following instructions and recommendations
provided by the guide.
Ukraine appears as a normal, liberal European country
outside the EU. The Ukrainians are consistently well
educated, very culturally aware and the larger cities
have a great range of entertainment, cafes, restaurants
and so on. to Norwegians. The street scene is often
somewhat different than in Norway and there are far
fewer people with visible minority backgrounds to see.
There are great differences in wealth in people. In the
countryside and many places in the cities, things are
not so good.
There is one hour time difference between Norway and
Ukraine, Ukraine is one hour ahead of Norway.
Ukraine is a middle-income country and is not on par
with the best European countries in terms of revenue.
infrastructure and quality of goods and services. On the
other hand, everything you need is still available - and
especially services are often offered at a lower price
than in Norway.
It is recommended that you bring your passport or
other identification, as local police have the right to
check the identity. If one cannot prove that one is
legally resident in the country, one can be taken to the
police station and held there until identity and legal
residence is confirmed. As of January 2020, it seems
that this provision is rarely enforced.
English is constantly improving, especially among the
younger generation, but it still pays to be able to
Ukrainian or Russian to progress in the country. Normal,
polite and law-abiding behavior usually avoids problems.
Women should cover their heads with shawls in Orthodox
Power: The voltage on the mains in
Ukraine is 220 volts, 50 hertz. The use of a voltage
stabilizer is recommended.
Telephony: The telephone lines are
of varying quality, especially in the countryside.
However, mobile coverage is good. In the cities there is
mostly 4G coverage, while the rural network is poorly
developed. To call Norway, dial 00-47 in front of the
Norwegian telephone number. From a mobile phone, both
'+' and '00' usually act as presets.
Currency and Credit Cards: Use of
Visa, MasterCard and some other credit or debit cards is
now commonplace in the major cities of Ukraine - both in
hotels, shops and eateries. As elsewhere, it must be
noted that card skimming, tapping and misuse can occur.
ATMs for local currency withdrawals, and sometimes
foreign currency, are common in all cities. It is
recommended to use ATMs located indoors - for example,
in hotels or in banks. Ukrainian hryvnia is the means of
payment everywhere. USD and euro are still an active
"reserve currency" for quite a few Ukrainians.
Opening hours: Banks and public
offices are usually open weekdays 09.00-18.00,
supermarkets and other shops every day approx. 10 am to
9 pm (Please note that some are closed on Sundays).
Official Holidays in Ukraine:
January 1 - New Year, January 7 - Orthodox Christmas,
March 8 - Women's Day, Easter 2, May 1 and May 2 -
Workers' Day, May 9 - Liberation Day, June 28 -
Constitution Day, August 24 - Independence Day, December
25 - Catholic Christmas.