Shopping and Eating in Ukraine

By | July 20, 2021



The following articles can be imported into Ukraine duty-free (people over 18 years of age):

200 grams of cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco products;
1 liter of spirits, 2 liters of wine and 5 liters of beer;
Items for personal use (e.g. clothing);
Travel provisions (vacuum-packed or canned) with a total value of 50 € for personal use (but not of animal origin);
Goods up to a total value of € 200 (or an indivisible part up to € 300).
When entering the country, a customs declaration must be filled out, which must be presented on departure.



Popular souvenirs are ceramic and leather goods, wood carvings, jewelry and paintings. Art and handicrafts can be bought directly from the artist at street stalls, in galleries or souvenir shops. Other typical souvenirs from Ukraine are pyansky (hand-painted eggs) and matryoshka(colorfully painted, nestable Russian dolls). Hand-embroidered garments are also popular, but the quality can vary greatly. Sometimes you can find a cheap offer for religious artifacts – but you should keep in mind that the export of ancient objects is prohibited. The souvenirs from the times of the Soviet Union that are offered in many places are often more recent production dates and were made in other countries such as China.

The markets, which take place regularly in all larger towns, offer a special shopping experience. Probably the largest and most famous market in the country is the Priwos in Odessa. In addition to fresh fruit and vegetables as well as fresh seafood and fish, more than 6,000 traders on the eight hectare site offer all kinds of typical delicacies, including delicious baked goods such as poppy seed rolls, honey cakes or smetanniki (yeast pastries with sour cream). You can even buy clothes, shoes, household appliances, cosmetics and perfumery items on the Priwos.

Opening hours

Mon-Sat 8 a.m.-7 p.m. (department stores), small shops are usually open Mon-Fri 9 a.m.-6 p.m., some shops also until 8 p.m. Some smaller shops close at lunchtime, mostly from 1 pm to 2 pm or 2 pm to 3 pm.


You should refrain from buying fur products, as these sometimes come from endangered species.

Compliance with import and export regulations is strictly monitored. Failure to comply could result in high fines and lengthy investigations, during which one may not leave the country. Before exporting items purchased in Ukraine, you should therefore urgently inform yourself about the current customs regulations.


Regional specialities

  • Borscht(beetroot soup)
  • Wareniki(pies with cheese, meat or fruit filling)
  • Galushki(small dumplings)
  • Holubtsi(cabbage rolls)
  • Deruny(potato pancakes)
  • Pelmeny(ravioli filled with meat)

Chicken Kiev (breaded chicken breast filled with butter and dill) can be found on some menus, but it doesn’t originally come from the Ukraine. The origin of this dish is presumed to be in the USA.


A service fee of 10-15% is usually already included in the invoices. A small additional tip helps the guest to better service.

Regional drinks

Crimean wines are excellent, with Krasnij Kamen (Red Stone), Abrau and Miskako (both dry) particularly recommended. Sparkling wine from Eastern Ukraine (Artyomow brand) is very good. Also vodka is often drunk. The slightly sour tasting kvas (carbonated soft drink made from malt, rye and water) is offered in some places from yellow-painted tank trucks with the inscription Квас, but is also available in bottles and cans. Uswar (compote drink made from dried or fresh fruits, sometimes sweetened with honey), birch sap and kefir(sour milk drink) are also typical drinks.

Minimum age for consuming alcoholic beverages

In Ukraine you can drink alcohol from the age of 18.



Night owls will find a selection of pubs, bars, discos and nightclubs in all the larger and also in many smaller towns, in which they often party until the early hours of the morning. You quickly get into conversation with the open-minded and warm-hearted Ukrainians. There is a particularly lively nightclub and disco scene in Kiev. Some of these party locations are in the middle of the Dnieper River in converted barges. The Khreschtschatyk, the central main street in Kiev, is closed to car traffic on weekends and on some public holidays and is declared a party mile. The city’s numerous pubs are often overcrowded, especially during the popular happy hour, when drinks are usually offered at particularly low prices on Friday or Saturday evenings.

As a country located in Europe according to holidaysort, Ukraine also has a lot to offer culturally. Ukrainians have a deeply rooted musical tradition and singing is very popular. There are numerous live events in many cities, and rock, folk and jazz concerts are particularly popular. Live music is also offered in some of the more elegant restaurants on the weekends, especially in Kiev and Odessa. Excellent opera performances in a magnificent setting can be seen in the theaters in Kiev, Lviv and Odessa. Variety shows and puppet theater offer more variety. The tickets for cultural events are very cheap and can also be bought at the box office, since the prices are unaffordable for many Ukrainians.

Shopping in Ukraine