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If you’re travelling to Ukraine, our travel advice and updates give you practical tips and useful information.

Security Status

  • Normal precautions
  • High degree of caution
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Do not travel
  • Overview
  • Safety and Security
  • Local Laws and Customs
  • Health
  • Additional Information
  • Embassy Contact


General COVID-19 Travel Advisory in Operation

For the latest update please read the General COVID-19 Travel Advisory >


Security Status

High degree of caution

Latest Travel Alert

Anyone considering travel should be aware that restrictions are subject to change at short notice, and all passengers should undertake proper research and carefully consider the necessity of their travel at this time. Citizens should be aware of the possible limitations to any consular assistance that could be provided. It is also important to check with your travel insurance provider on coverage before travel.

If considering travelling abroad, you are advised to monitor the official advice and information provided by the authorities at your destination. Information about entry restrictions applied by other countries is available below. Additional restrictions may be imposed by the country of your destination, including during your visit.

Security Update

Please note that there has been an increase in tensions near some of Ukraine’s borders since November 2021. If you are in Ukraine at present you should keep yourself fully informed of the security situation by monitoring the Embassy travel advice and social media pages regularly for updates, checking local and international media for information about possible safety or security risks, and maintaining contact with your hotel or tour organiser. We advise you to exercise caution and remain vigilant, and we strongly advise you to avoid all demonstrations and public gatherings, as even peaceful protests may turn violent.

The Embassy reiterates its strong recommendation that every Irish citizen living in or travelling to Ukraine registers their details and those of any dependents. This will allow the Embassy contact registered Irish citizens in the event of an emergency. You can register here.

Travel to Ukraine – Covid-19

All arrivals into Ukraine will need to present one of the following:

  • A document confirming the receipt of a full course of vaccination against COVID-19 with vaccines included by WHO in the list of approved for use in emergency situations.
  • A negative result from PCR test for COVID-19 (validity 72 hours prior to arrival).
  • A negative result from rapid test for the SARS-CoV-2 antigen (RAT) (validity 72 hours prior to arrival)
  • Children under the age of 12 are exempt.
  • As of 3 December, foreign nationals and stateless persons who do not have a permit for permanent or temporary residence in Ukraine, and who have been for more than 7 days in the prior 14 days on the territory of South Africa, Republic of Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Kingdom of Eswatini, Mozambique, Republic of Malawi, will not be permitted to enter Ukraine. 
  • Unvaccinated citizens arriving from the Russian Federation must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine without the possibility of early conclusion of this period of vaccination.

Foreign arrivals over 18 years of age who have not received a WHO-approved vaccine must install the Vdoma mobile app, which monitors self-isolation, regardless of the length of stay on the territory of Ukraine. Self-isolation may be finished early if such arrivals obtain a negative PCR or rapid antigen test result within 72 hours of entry. Otherwise, the required self-isolation period is 10 days.

Children under the age of 12 are exempt from any self-isolation requirements.

Foreign nationals who wish to enter Ukraine must provide proof of medical insurance that covers all costs related to the treatment of COVID-19 while they are in Ukraine. This insurance must be issued by a Ukrainian company or a foreign company with a Ukrainian office or contractual relationship with a Ukrainian partner company. Please see here for more details.

For more details, please see here. Also, please see the Ministry of Health website

General Travel Advice

COVID-19 Public Health Measures

The Government of Ukraine is implementing a four-level “adaptive quarantine” plan, whereby different regions of the country are categorised as green, yellow, orange, or red, based on the severity of the local epidemiological situation. Each colour from green to red is associated with an increased level of restrictive measures. Adaptive quarantine has been extended until at least the end of March 2022.

Since 07 December, Kyiv and many other regions of Ukraine are in the epidemiological ‘yellow zone’. Vaccine certificates or negative PCR or antigen test result within 72 hours are necessary for accessing interregional public transport and to access certain indoor services such as gyms and restaurants.

Please continue to monitor the advice of the Ukrainian authorities and media for updates. If you are in Ukraine, you should monitor developments regularly and follow the advice of local authorities.

See links below for details.

Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Ukraine’s Ministry of Health Coronavirus Webpage

Ukraine’s Public Health Centre


The Department of Foreign Affairs is unable to provide consular assistance to Irish citizens in Crimea. We strongly advise against all travel to Crimea.

Tensions remain high in Crimea. Russian forces and pro-Russian groups have established full operational control in Crimea.

Ukrainian International Airlines have cancelled all flights to and from Simferopol. Train and bus services to Crimea have been cancelled. To enter or exit Crimea, foreign nationals will need to provide their passport and a permit issued by the territorial body of the State Migration Service of Ukraine.

Eastern Ukraine

We advise against all travel to the Eastern provinces of Ukraine as the security situation is dangerous and unpredictable.

If you are in Ukraine at present you should keep yourself fully informed of the security situation is by monitoring local media for information about possible safety or security risks, and maintaining contact with your hotel or tour organiser. We advise you to exercise caution and remain vigilant, and we strongly advise you to avoid all demonstrations and public gatherings, as even peaceful protests may turn violent.


Irish commissioning parents travelling to Ukraine for the purposes of a commercial surrogacy arrangement should be aware that the length of time they may need to spend in Ukraine can vary widely. This is due to different factors, including the length of stay needed by the baby in hospital, the processing of documents in the Ukrainian system and the local epidemiological situation regarding COVID-19. Anyone travelling to Ukraine for surrogacy should ensure that they have adequate supplies of any needed medicines and other essentials.


Tours to Chernobyl are available through local companies. Permits may be required to access certain areas covered by the exclusion zone. We strongly recommend consulting the safety instructions and advice offered by the State Agency for Managing the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone before purchasing a tour. 

You can contact the emergency services in Ukraine on the following numbers:

•Emergency services: 112

•Police (Militsia): 102

•Fire brigade: 101

•Ambulance/municipal first aid: 103

•Natural gas and fire emergency service: 104

Travel to Ireland

Safety and Security

Safety and security

Donbass (Donetsk and Luhansk)

Tensions remain extremely high in Eastern Ukraine and there are frequent casualties due to armed operations, particularly along the "contact line" separating the forces in Donetsk and Luhansk. We advise strongly against all travel to Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts at this time.


Tensions are also high in Crimea and we advise strongly against all travel to Crimea at this time, including transiting through the international airports at Simferopol and Sevastopol.


Demonstrations and protests are frequent and sometimes turn violent. We strongly advise Irish visitors to avoid demonstrations and protests. Your hotel or tour organiser should keep you informed of what's going on around you and further information is available on the local English-language media.


Although the threat from terrorism in Ukraine is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.


Whilst most visits to Ukraine are trouble-free, there has been a rise in the number of muggings and other attacks reported in Kiev and other urban centres. Always take sensible precautions:

  • Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together - leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place 
  • Always leave a copy of your passport and travel insurance documents with your friends or family. Also keep a copy of your passport somewhere safe in case you need it. Police Officers may ask you for ID, particularly in the central area of Kyiv. 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. See further information under Local Laws and Customs.
  • Avoid showing large sums of money in public and don’t use ATMs after dark, especially if you are alone. Check no one has followed you after conducting your business
  • Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and hold on to them in public places such as internet cafes, train and bus stations
  • Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, arrange to be picked up or dropped off as close to your hotel or apartment entrance as possible

Racially motivated crime

All visitors should be careful but if you’re of Asian or Afro-Caribbean descent and/or belong to a religious minority, be particularly careful in Ukraine, as some attacks on visitors have reportedly been racially motivated.

Tourist scams

A common scam is where a conman drops a wallet or bundle of money in front of a tourist. If you are approached in this way, do not engage in conversation and walk away.

Reporting crime

If you’re a victim of a crime while in Ukraine, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Consulate of Ireland in Kiev if you need help.

Lost or stolen passports

If your passport is lost or stolen, you need to report it immediately to the police. Getting a replacement passport will be easier if you are able to provide a copy of the lost or stolen one, so keep photocopies of your passport.


If you’re planning to drive in Ukraine, you should careful. Road conditions in Ukraine especially in rural areas can often be extremely hazardous, especially at night. If you want to drive:

  • Bring your full Irish driving licence and your international driving permit and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
  • There is a zero-tolerance policy on drink driving in Ukraine
  • Be aware of Ukraine’s traffic laws, such as speed limits
  • Wear your seatbelts at all times
  • Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights

Public transport

Most towns and cities have a comprehensive network of buses, trolleybuses and trams. You can usually buy tickets (bilet) at ticket booths at major stops. If not, then once on board, you should buy a ticket from the ticket conductor or driver. Tickets, including those bought from conductor, normally need to be validated by being ‘punched’. Travelling without a ticket or with an invalid ticket carries an on-the-spot fine.

There is a wide network of minibuses with fares normally displayed on the window inside the bus. Fares are typically between 1.50 and 3.00 Hryvnia. Passengers often pay their fares by passing money to the driver via fellow passengers.

Crime on public transport

Be careful on public transport as it is popular with pickpockets and bag snatchers. Take particular care on any overnight trains. We recommend, if possible, travelling with someone else and in a compartment that can be secured from the inside.


Non-regulated taxi drivers can overcharge so we advise you to use official taxis only. These taxis will have the name and telephone number of the taxi company on the side of the door and on the top of the taxi. Two taxi companies whose drivers usually have basic English are:

Express taxi – Tel: +380-44-239-15-15

Etalon taxi – Tel: +380-44-501-55-01/502-54-54

Local Laws and Customs

Local laws and customs

Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal.

Personal identification

Always carry your passport as the police often carry out passport checks on foreign nationals. Only original passports are accepted by the police in these circumstances because they are usually trying to establish your status in Ukraine. If you are detained, you should request an official police report.

Police officers must introduce themselves by name, post, rank and tell you the reason they are checking you (ID check). They must also show you a document verifying their identity.

Illegal drugs

Penalties for drug offences are severe. The sale and distribution of drugs on the street is illegal and these drugs are often hazardous counterfeits. 

Public order offences

Smoking and drinking alcohol in public places such as public transport, bus stops, underground crossings, playgrounds, parks, cultural and sports venues and government establishments, are officially prohibited.


You are not allowed to take photographs near government or military establishments.

Cultural artefacts

There are strict rules governing the export of antiques and items of historical interest. If in doubt, get permission from customs authorities before you attempt to export any item from the country. Failure to comply with local rules may result in fines, confiscation of property or delays in travel.





Check your doctor a minimum of eight weeks in advance of travel to see what vaccinations you may need for Ukraine.

A small number of cases of polio have recently been diagnosed in Ukraine. Polio vaccination is recommended for all travellers from Ireland to countries where polio transmission is a risk. Before travelling to areas where poliomyelitis cases are still occurring, travellers should ensure that they have completed the recommended age-appropriate polio vaccine schedule and have received a booster dose, if necessary. More information is available on the Health Protection and Surveillance Centre website.

Sexually transmitted disease

There is a high level of sexually transmitted diseases in Ukraine and HIV is reportedly widespread. You should exercise necessary caution if engaging in activities that expose you to possible infection. If you suspect that you have been exposed to possible infection, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Radioactive contamination

The risk of radioactive contamination from the 1986 accident at Chernobyl is insignificant, other than within the exclusion zone immediately around the Chernobyl site and you don’t need to take any special precautions.

Travel Insurance

We can’t pay for emergency medical repatriation, repatriation of remains, or for expenses as a result of a personal emergency while you are abroad. If you buy an appropriate travel insurance policy, these costs will be covered, provided you haven’t broken the terms and conditions.

Buying comprehensive travel insurance can save you and your family a lot of money if something goes wrong. It will also ensure that you get the medical attention you need, when you need it. Hospital bills can quickly run into thousands of euro, and a medical evacuation back to Ireland can cost thousands more.

Not all policies are the same, and the cheapest one might be cheap for a reason. Make sure your policy covers all the activities you plan to do on your trip. Insurance Ireland recommend that you purchase a policy that provides a minimum medical cover of €1 million.

Emergency expenses

Your policy should cover:

  • All medical care abroad, including evacuation by air ambulance, or other emergency procedures, and any other costs associated with an unexpected longer stay.
  • Your entire trip, from departure to return. Consider an annual multi-trip policy if you’re making more than one trip in the year.   
  • 24-hour emergency service and assistance.
  • Personal liability cover (in case you’re sued for causing injury or damaging property).
  • Lost and stolen possessions.
  • Cancellation and curtailment.
  • Any extra activities you intend to do that are excluded from standard policies (e.g. water sport activities such as jet skiing or other extreme sports).

Exclusions: You should know most insurance policies will not cover drink or drug-related incidents.


We advise you to boil tap water before drinking it. Bottled water is readily available.

Additional Information

Additional information

Entry requirements (visa/passport)

If you are unsure about the entry requirements for Ukraine, including visa and other immigration information, ask your travel agent or contact the nearest Embassy of Ukraine.

Following the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, Russian officials exercising de facto control of the territory are requiring Irish citizens seeking to enter Crimea to have a Russian Federation visa obtained from the nearest Russian Embassy. Those who do not comply with these “visa requirements”, including the expiry date indicated, can be subject to arrest, fines, and/or deportation by those exercising de facto control. It should be noted that the ability of the Embassy to intervene in such cases is extremely limited.

You can also check with them how long your passport must be valid for.


It’s advisable to take a number of photocopies of your passport with you when travelling to Ukraine and you should carry your passport at all times during your stay.


The official currency of Ukraine is the Hryvnia (UAH). Euros and US dollars are the easiest currency to exchange in Ukraine, but only use banks and official exchange booths. Depending on the amount to be exchanged, you may need a passport and/or other ID. When you’re exchanging currency, you should get an official receipt, known as an NBU form № 377. Hold on to this receipt because you may need it to exchange Hryvnia to other currencies when you leave the country.

ATMs are available in Ukraine and credit cards are widely used but not universally accepted in cities. Beyond larger urban centres, we advise you to carry enough local currency to meet your needs.

Take particular care when exchanging money to safeguard your passport and credit/ATM cards and don’t lose sight of them during transactions.


Hiring a vehicle

If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.

Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).

Crime on public transport

Be careful on public transport as it is popular with pickpockets and bag snatchers. Take particular care on any overnight trains. We recommend, if possible, travelling with someone else and in a compartment that can be secured from the inside.


Embassy contact

Embassy Contact

If you require assistance in the case of emergency while the Embassy is closed, please call the Emergency Embassy number, +380 96 852 3795 and leave your name, contact number and a brief description of the emergency and the duty officer will contact you.

Please note that this number is for outside office hours only (outside 09:00-18:00, Monday to Friday), and should also only be used for genuine emergencies.

Embassy of Ireland,
3rd Floor,
Volodymyrska Street 101,
Kyiv 01033

Tel: +380 96 852 3795 (In case of out-of-hours emergencies only)

Access by appointment only.

Contact us