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Traveling to Ukraine. All you need to know. Part 1

The favorable geographical position of Ukraine, insignificant for Europe and still allowing to overlap with the USA time zone differences make it very attractive for conducting business here.

Many global and foreign companies are operating in Ukraine and have their R&D offices set up here. So convenient traveling to the country is very important to those who would like to work in Ukraine or with Ukrainian companies.

We are starting the series of posts to provide you with useful information and some practical tips about traveling to Ukraine.

What do you need to know about traveling to Ukraine and while staying in the country?

Entering Ukraine/Visa

Citizens of the European Union, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Vatican City, Monaco, Iceland, Norway, San Marino, Mongolia, Serbia, Montenegro, Georgia, Hong Kong, Israel, Paraguay and the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (except Turkmenistan) do NOT need visas for entering Ukraine.  The rule is valid for short term visits, up to 90 days. But all who stays in the country longer than 90 days a visa is needed. You cannot get a Ukrainian visa at the airport or at the border.

Since September 10, 2011, all foreigners who would like to stay in Ukraine for more than 90 days are subject to new visa and residency permit rules. All visas issued before September 10, 2011 no longer valid for entry into Ukraine after September 10. If you got visa before September 10, 2011 and entered Ukraine, you can stay in the country as long as your registration is valid, but in order to extend your stay you will need to leave the country and get a new visa abroad, or if you leave Ukraine for any reason, you will have to get a new visa before you can return.

If you need a visa or would like to reconfirm the information about entering Ukraine, please contact the Ukrainian Consulate or Embassy in your country. You can find the list of Ukrainian Embassies and Consulates HERE

When entering the country you will no longer be required to complete an immigration form.  Always know how much currency you have with you. At the custom you can be asked about the amount of currency you are bringing into the country. It is prohibited to bring large amounts of Ukrainian currency (hryvnia) in to the country unless it was declared upon leaving Ukraine. We would like to recommend checking in advance the customs regulations as rules and regulations have the habit of changing at short and unannounced notice.

National and international connectivity

If it comes to local or international trips, Ukraine is well connected. There are a lot of ways to travel to Ukraine – by plane, by train, by car – it depends on you and the distance.  There are numerous airports in Ukraine operating either in an international or domestic capacity. Most international flights to Kyiv land at Boryspil International Airport, but there are several other international airports scattered throughout Ukraine. Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Odessa are the main country airports with direct links with most countries of the world.

Together with Poland, Ukraine is going to co-host UEFA EURO 2012. And this event is expected to bring about the improvements into Ukraine’s infrastructure.  Thus, the main airports have been modernized, and new terminals have been already opened in Kiev, Odesa and Kharkiv airports. The new terminals are also expected to be opened in the airports of other largest cities like Lviv, Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk. Many hotels have also been modernized and the new ones have been built. This means that traveling to Ukraine and around the country is now becoming more convenient and easier.

Train travel within Ukraine is a convenient and inexpensive way to get around the country.

Average cost of airplane tickets – USD 30,8  per 100 kms
Average cost of train tickets – USD 17,5

In Ukraine there are a lot of comfortable hotels. Although currently 5 stars hotels can be found only in Kiev and one in Donetsk, it is expected that 20 five stars hotels and 48 four stars hotels will have been built in the nearest future as a preparation to host EURO 2012.