A Quick Guide to Currency in Ukraine

currency in ukraine

If you are traveling abroad, there is one thing you will always need: the right money. In Ukraine, the national currency is the Hryvnia (UAH) and it will be absolutely necessary to have on hand for any purchases you make in the country.

Almost as important as having the right money when you travel to Ukraine, is having the correct visa. If you are a citizen of one of the 56 countries that need a visa to enter Ukraine, it is essential to hold a Ukraine eVisa on arrival, which will allow you entry into the country safely and securely for a stay of up to 30 days.

Getting the Ukraine eVisa online is simple. To get ready to travel online today you will need to fill in an online application and submit the necessary documents to travel to Ukraine. When your application is approved you will receive your eVisa directly via email. Then you only need to print off the document and submit it along with your passport on entry to the country.

However, once you arrive you will need to know what money to use. The following guide will introduce you to the currency in Ukraine and where it can be acquired before and after your arrival in the country.

Where and How to Get Ukrainian Currency in Ukraine

It is relatively easy to exchange foreign currency in Ukraine. Banks that can exchange mainstream foreign currencies or ATMs that accept foreign bank cards can be found nationwide and credit cards are also widely accepted as payment across the country. Additionally, it is quite straightforward to exchange US dollars, Euros and Russian Roubles anywhere nationwide and are the best currencies to take to Ukraine.

It is recommended to exchange foreign money into Hryvnia in Ukraine itself rather than exchanging your local currency before travel. This is because it is uncommon to find banks overseas where you can exchange your national currency into Ukrainian money before you travel.

A final consideration is that the country is currently experiencing a widespread lack of change nationwide. As a result, it is important, where possible, to pay in exact change or via a bank card. Kopecks the subdivision of the Hryvnia are becoming increasingly worthless and in most cases vendors will simply round up the price to the nearest UAH.

Restrictions on Bringing Money into Ukraine

In most cases there are few restrictions on bringing Hryvnia into Ukraine. Because it is difficult ordering Ukrainian currency abroad, it is not common, nor expected for travellers to bring large quantities of cash in UAH into the country.

However, be aware there are some restrictions in place if you wish to bring cash to the value of 150,000 UAH (approximately $6,000) into the country for exchange. Any currency transfer above this amount will require the person exchanging the money to present a valid passport in order to process the transaction.

Additionally, since the introduction of recent currency control laws (which came into effect in early 2019) all official transactions must be made in Hryvnia. The new rules also stipulate that withdrawals from cash machines may only be made in Hryvnia.

What To Know About the Money in Ukraine

The Hryvnia (sometimes spelled Hryvnya) is the national currency of Ukraine. It is named after the measure of weight used by the Kyivan Rus in antiquity and it has been used in the country since 1996. 1 Hryvnia is subdivided into 100 kopecks which themselves can be found in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50.

It also replaced the Ukrainian karbovanet (UAK). This had been in circulation since the nation’s independence, following the break-up of the Soviet Union in 1992 and was duly replaced due to high national inflation.

Quick Facts About the Ukrainian Hryvnia

  • Entered circulation: September 1996
  • Abbreviation: UAH
  • Subunits: 1 Hryvnia = 100 kopecks
  • Notes: 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 hryvnia
  • Symbol: ₴

Spending and exchanging money in Ukraine is a relatively straightforward process. If you’re traveling with a credit or debit card or a major currency such as USD or Euros in cash, you will encounter very few problems exchanging money.

Don’t forget to check if you need a valid Ukraine eVisa to visit the country. Simply apply online, submit the necessary documents and pay an administration fee. Remember, failure to follow the correct requirements could see your Ukraine eVisa denied, so make sure to check your application adheres to all these before you submit it for approval.