“Better to see something once than hear about it a thousand times”
The situation in Ukraine
Yes, there’s a war in Ukraine. Eastern part of the country (around cities of Donetsk and Lugansk) is a big “don’t go there” zone. If your common sense doesn’t give you enough signs to check the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there’ll be a warning issued for sure.
But Ukraine is a huge country, one of the biggest in Europe and if you plan to go to Kiev or west there’s nothing to be worried about. Life goes normally there, people stroll down the streets and walk around in parks, cafes are full, a disturbingly big number of huge fancy weddings take place around and you don’t notice that the country you’re in has so many troubles.
Is it safe to travel to Ukraine ?
I personally think that in general this country is one of the safest in the Europe. Yes, it could sound in an odd way, but its true. At least, the police here is the one which really cares about your security.
As for the social life, while in the Western world people spend their free time in shopping centers or behind the computer screens in Eastern Europe it’s more about being outdoors and hanging out with friends/family.
One of my friends who is very familiar with this country, says :
« I’ve been to Ukraine over 10 times now and I don’t recall even one situation when I thought something is wrong and when I felt in danger. And while it was perfectly safe before the revolution now it seemed to be even safer and the presence of the police of army was even bigger but they didn’t disturb anyone. »
Statistics about tourism in Ukraine in 2019
The most mass flow for Ukraine inbond tourism create citizens of Belarus, Israel, USA and Germany in purpose of business and family tourism.
The total number of international tourists in Ukraine in 2018 is around 2 million people:
- Europe – 35%
- Commonwealth of Independent States – 29%
- Asia – 14%
- Africa – 13%
- Noth and South America – 9%.
Ukraine inbond tourism in 2018 grows compare to 2017 and 2016 by 26% and 69% respectively.
Key factors in increasing number of international tourists in Ukraine:
1. Increase of direct flights to Ukraine
2. Prices in Ukraine are at a comfortable level for international tourists as they can get much more here in Ukraine than for the same money at home
3. Impressions from visit to Ukraine far exceed expectations of tourists.
4. The disappearance of negative information about events in the eastern Ukraine from information television channels of the world – all those who come to Ukraine understand that it is safer here than in London, Paris or New York
5. Development of event tourism (2018 UEFA Champions League Final, Eurovision Song Contest 2017, Upark Festival, Atlas Weekend Festival and others)
You could read an opinion of other tourists who have more experience with tourism in Ukraine:
« I have spent a significant amount of time in Ukraine and have been traveling there since 2011. I have always felt very safe in the country and while there is violence in a small region of the country, everything outside of that is perfectly safe and you should travel just like you do anywhere else.
Most of my time has been spent in Eastern Ukraine (not Donbas itself) and I have traveled to Dnipro, Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, Kherson, and Kryvyi Rih (and some of them multiple times). I have also been to Kyiv quite a bit and in no city have I ever had issues.
I feel safe walking around, people are hospitable, and the country has so much to offer that it amazes me. Visiting Ukraine is one of the best decisions you could make.»
« I lived in Kyiv for over a year and a half between 2016 and 2017, and in that time I traveled solo extensively, from Lviv to Odessa to Kharkiv and many places between. Not only did I feel safe 99% of the time, but also people were genuinely curious and helpful when they discovered I was a woman traveling alone in Ukraine.
I took overnight trains, stayed in hostels, and did my best with the minibus system. I even felt comfortable going for a cocktail alone, something I don’t do typically in the States and ended up with friendships with several bartenders.
The biggest safety tip I have for travelers is to pay attention to scams and pickpockets in Kyiv. I never had any problems myself, but I heard stories of ‘lost’ passports and scams from my friends. Just like in any city – keep your street smarts around you and your wallet secure and you should be fine. »
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P.S. Now, you are ready to travel to Ukraine with no doubts and no fear. I hope that these knowledge will be useful for you in your business trip, holiday trip or other.
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