General (mobile phones only)
We haven't changed our level of advice:
Exercise a high degree of caution in Ukraine overall.
Higher levels apply in some parts of the country.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent. In Kyiv, large demonstrations have taken place around the Maidan Nezalezhnosti, St Michael’s Square, outside the Presidential Administration, Parliament and other government offices.
Ongoing conflict make travel to the eastern provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk dangerous.
Armed separatist groups control parts of Donetsk and Luhansk.
Despite several ceasefires, fighting continues. Foreigners have been threatened, detained and kidnapped in these regions.
Conflict has also occurred in areas under government control. This includes in and around the cities of:
Landmines are prevalent throughout the area, even in places that seem peaceful. They have killed civilians in Donetsk and Luhansk in recent years.
Crimea isn't under Ukrainian Government control. There's a risk of armed conflict along the administrative border.
Our ability to provide consular help in Crimea is extremely limited.
If you're in Donetsk, Luhansk or Crimea, leave by commercial means if it's safe to do so.
If you're unable to leave:
The security situation in Ukraine is generally calm but can deteriorate without warning. Public protests and events that draw large groups of people can turn violent.
Civil unrest can cause road closures and disrupt local transport.
Political unrest can occur in Kyiv without warning. Actions include the occupation of public areas and government buildings or blockages of roads by large groups of people.
Be aware of protests from November to March to mark anniversaries of the Maidan Revolution.
To protect yourself during periods of unrest:
While there have been no recent terrorist attacks in Ukraine, they can still happen.
Terrorists have staged attacks in European cities in recent years. Targets include:
European security services have disrupted some planned attacks.
Be alert in public places, including
To stay safe:
If there is an attack, leave the area as soon as it's safe.
Assassinations involving gun or car-bomb attacks have occurred in Ukraine in recent years. These attacks have targeted specific people, but can be a danger to the public.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Serious crime targeting foreigners is not frequent.
Robberies, pickpocketing and bag snatching occur:
Street crime and muggings increase at night.
To protect yourself from crime:
Cases of drink spiking have been followed by robbery. To reduce your risk:
Be careful with your credit card. Scams such as card skimming and those related to using ATMs occur.
Street scams are very common. Criminals often target foreigners.
Be aware of bogus internet friendship, dating and marriage schemes from Ukraine.
If a virtual friendship develops, you may be asked by your new friend or prospective partner to send money so they can travel to Australia or pay bills. In some cases, the relationship ends with very little chance that any money can be recovered.
Be wary of any dating or marriage proposals from people you meet online.
Online scammers may also claim to be stuck at a Ukrainian hospital, airport or an isolated place and need money to leave.
We can't offer advice on specific schemes.
To avoid scams:
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least eight weeks before you leave.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Ukraine. Take enough legal medication for your trip.
Tick-borne diseases, including tick-borne encephalitis (World Health Organization), are a risk in forested areas.
Ticks are common from spring to autumn.
To protect yourself from disease:
Check your body for ticks during and after visiting forests.
Remove ticks from your body as soon as you can.
Measles cases can routinely occur in Ukraine, with the country currently experiencing an increase in measles activity. Make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date before travelling.
HIV/AIDS is a risk for travellers.
Take steps to reduce your risk of exposure to the virus.
Waterborne, foodborne and other infectious diseases are common, including these listed by the World Health Organization:
Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.
To protect yourself from illness:
If an animal bites or scratches you, get medical help straight away.
Get medical advice if you have a fever or diarrhoea.
In 1986, there was a catastrophic nuclear accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. It spread radioactive material across northern Ukraine and beyond. It remains radioactive.
Tourists can visit the area with organised tour groups.
Tour groups are subject to regular security, passport and radiation checks.
If you visit Chernobyl:
In areas around Chernobyl, avoid these foods unless they're imported:
Check your polio (World Health Organization) vaccinations are up to date before you travel. You may need a booster dose.
The standard of state medical facilities is low outside major cities, such as Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa and Lviv. There are frequent shortages of medical supplies.
Private healthcare services are of a better standard. You will need to guarantee payment before they'll treat you.
Medical staff outside of major centres often do not speak English, except in private clinics. Reports, prescriptions and other documents won't be in English.
If you become ill or injured, you may need to be evacuated. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for being caught in possession of drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.
Always carry your passport.
Local police may stop foreigners and ask to see passports and visas.
If you plan to take part in commercial surrogacy arrangements, be aware of all legal and other risks involved.
Surrogacy is regulated by Ukrainian law. Get independent legal advice.
Research prospective clinics to ensure that you're dealing with a reputable organisation.
The Australian Embassy can't provide:
You may need to spend time in the Ukraine before and after the birth.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Ukraine doesn't recognise dual nationality.
Under Ukrainian law, you may be a Ukrainian national if you were either:
If you enter the country on a Ukrainian passport, you'll be treated as a Ukrainian national by local authorities.
We may not be able to help you if you travel on a Ukrainian passport.
Male citizens over 18 years may be required to complete military service.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that you won't be granted a tourist visa if you're considered to be a Ukrainian national.
Speak to the embassy or consulate of Ukraine before you travel.
Same-sex relationships are legal in Ukraine. However, public attitudes are less tolerant than in Australia.
Violence has occurred at some LGBTI pride events and venues in Ukraine.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders.
Make sure you meet all entry and exit conditions. If you don't, the Australian Government can't help you.
You need a visa to enter Ukraine. You can't get a visa on arrival.
Australian tourist and business visitors can apply for an e-Visa from the Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
To extend your visa or to apply for temporary, long-term or permanent residency, contact the State Migration Service of Ukraine.
Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Ukraine for details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules.
Foreigners who enter Ukraine from Russia through a separatist-controlled checkpoint at Donetsk or Luhansk won't be allowed through any government-controlled checkpoints that follow.
If you decide to travel to Crimea despite our advice, note that you can't enter Ukrainian-controlled territory if you enter Crimea from any other country.
Contact an embassy or consulate of Ukraine for updates on how much cash you can take in and out of the country and on what you need to declare at customs on arrival and departure. If you take more cash than is allowed, it may be confiscated by officials.
Undeclared items may be confiscated.
Customs rules control the export of:
Contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Ukraine for details on import and export conditions.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for six months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than six months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
Ukrainian citizens aged under 16 years need consent from both parents to leave Ukraine unaccompanied. This includes dual nationals. See Local laws
The local currency is the Ukrainian Hryvnia (UAH).
ATMs are available and credit cards are widely used in cities.
Outside major cities, carry enough cash in local currency.
On 17 July 2014, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down near Hrabovo in the separatist-controlled part of Donetsk province.
Investigations into the crash are continuing.
Don't travel to this area due to ongoing armed conflict.
If, despite our advice, you go to the crash site, don't touch or take any materials relating to the crash.
To drive in Ukraine, you'll need an International Driving Permit (IDP).
Get your IDP before you leave Australia.
When you drive, you must carry:
You'll need to show them at border crossings or if stopped by police. This includes rental vehicles.
If you don't have these papers when stopped, authorities can impound your vehicle and charge you.
Driving in Ukraine can be dangerous.
It's common to park on footpaths.
Driving with a blood alcohol reading above 0% is illegal.
Check your travel insurance covers you before driving in Ukraine.
Don't expect vehicles to stop for you or to follow road rules.
Use official taxis or services such as Uber or Uklon.
Agree on the fare before getting in the taxi.
Beware of taxi drivers at airports or tourist locations. They may charge you more.
Make sure your travel insurance covers you before riding a motorcycle.
Always wear a helmet.
Buses can be crowded, particularly around public holidays and peak commuter times.
They may not meet safety standards.
Watch your belongings on trains.
Don't agree to look after anyone else's luggage or store it in your compartment.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Ukraine's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Always get a police report when reporting a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular assistance, contact the Australian Embassy in Kyiv for an appointment.
The embassy doesn't issue Australian passports. It can issue provisional travel documents for emergency travel to the Australian Embassy in Warsaw. You can get a replacement passport there.
You can submit a passport renewal application at the Embassy in Kyiv for processing in Warsaw. The waiting time can be several weeks.
13A Kostelna Street
Phone: (+380 44) 290 6400
For consular assistance: Consular.Kyiv@dfat.gov.au
Facebook: Australian Embassy, Ukraine
See the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
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