The official currency that is used in Ukraine is the hryvnia. As you will soon find out, this currency has an impressively long history. The plural of the currency is known as hryvni.

What coins and notes are available for this currency?

The hryvnia is a decimal currency and each one is comprised of 100 kopiyok. There are quite a few coins in use at present, most of which are denominated as kopiyok. These are the 1, 2, 5, 10, 25 and 50 kopiyok coins. There is also a one hryvnia coin.

There is also an impressive set of banknotes you can use while you are in the country. Are you ready for the list? You can use the 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 notes! That should provide you with enough options when it comes to paying for things in the country.

From past to present – the history of the Ukrainian hryvnia

The earliest occasion where the hryvnia was used in society was all the way back in medieval times. Kievan Rus’ was a collection of tribes that existed between the 9th and 13th centuries, and they were known to use this currency then.

The modern version we have in Ukraine now is rather more youthful though. It was brought into being in 1996 so it is a mere baby compared to the original one.

How to get hold of the Ukrainian hryvnia

You can take in traveller’s cheques to cash when you arrive in Ukraine, and indeed this is one of the easiest ways to get hold of the hryvnia. You might also consider a pre-paid card loaded with the local currency. You can take in some cash in British pounds or US dollars but you must make sure you take in larger notes. They should also be in very good condition otherwise they may well not be accepted. Furthermore you have to adhere to the laws regarding the amount of cash you can take into the country with you. Make sure you follow them as they are very strict.

In some countries you would expect to be able to use credit cards but this isn’t as easy to do in Ukraine. You can use them but quite often Ukrainians are used to dealing in cash so be prepared and have some with you at all times. If you do decide to use a credit card make sure it never leaves your sight. As you can see you have to be prepared when you go to Ukraine so you can be sure of having enough cash to work with while you are there.

How to find out the latest exchange rate between your home currency and the Ukrainian hryvnia

As with any other currency conversion you want to do, the best way to do it is to find a good currency converter. You can either look online or find an app that will do the conversion for you, whichever suits you best. Try looking for the ISO code for this currency – UAH – as it should make it a lot simpler to find.

It can be quite a good idea to start searching for information about the country prior to going there. This will give you a better idea of what to expect if you do decide to pay a visit. One good way to familiarise yourself with official information about the country is to visit the embassy website for the United Kingdom. This is available at

Travelling safely with the Ukrainian hryvnia

Some areas of Ukraine are inadvisable to travel to, but of course the situation can change at any moment. If you are thinking of going to Ukraine for any reason, it is wise to visit the UK government’s official website first. This has the latest travel information for the country so you can determine which areas are safe to go to and which ones you should steer clear of.

It is imperative to be able to stay safe while you are in the country. 2014 has seen some major changes in the country and there is no telling when or how these might end. This is why it is a good idea to check the latest information before you travel, even if you have already booked a trip there.

As far as personal safety is concerned when you are in the country, the main thing to be aware of is petty crime. This assumes you avoid the areas of the country where major incidents are taking place. The usual advice applies with regard to avoiding crime, in that you should keep your personal valuables to a minimum when carrying them with you. Being on your own can increase the chances of being targeted, especially after dark. Make sure you don’t carry more cash than you have to and ensure you keep whatever you have in separate pockets. This means you will be able to minimise the losses if you are unfortunate enough to have your pocket picked.

Where to spend your hryvni in Ukraine – and what to spend them on

Ukraine is situated in Eastern Europe. It shares its border with lots of other countries, including Russia, Moldova, and Romania. Other countries bordering Ukraine include Hungary, Belarus, Slovakia and Poland. The territory of Crimea is to the immediate south of Ukraine. Part of the country also faces the Black Sea to the south.

The capital of the country is Kiev, which many people will have heard of. This is a charming city with many attractions including the Golden Gates of Kiev. This is part of ancient Kiev and it was once the gateway into the ancient city. It is well worth a visit to see the impressive structure itself, but inside you’ll find a museum. This isn’t open all year round but if you time it right you’ll get a chance to see exhibitions of all kinds and some history surroundings the Golden Gate and Ukraine itself.

Elsewhere in Kiev is Saint Andrew’s Church. You will probably be able to spot this from various parts of the city as the roof and spires are green and gold and tower some 50 metres in the air. There are some concerns about the future of the church as its foundations have been seen to shift in recent times. Research is taking place to determine what can be done to restore the church and to ensure it has solid foundations to sit on for years to come.

But Ukraine is about far more than just its capital, Kiev. For example you may have heard of the Carpathian Mountains. Ukraine is home to them and indeed many people believe they are the finest natural sight to see in the entire country. They are certainly the place to head for if you want to go on holiday to somewhere to get away from it all.

Another good place to visit is Odessa. This particular city benefits from its position on the coast facing the Black Sea. Indeed it is popular as a resort and many people come here to enjoy the beaches and the many other attractions. The simple act of walking around the city enjoying and appreciating the architecture on show is quite something. It’s also a good way to burn off any calories you may have consumed in one of Odessa’s many superb restaurants and cafes. Odessa is rather more organised than many of the other cities you will find in Ukraine. This is because it was planned, a fact that sets it apart from most other cities in the country.

Perhaps one of the most fascinating places you could ever visit would be an open air folk museum. Ukraine has one of these, a place that was once a village by the name of Pyrohiv. Nowadays it is known by the rather longer name of the Museum of Folk Architecture and Folkways of Pyrohiv. It may not be the catchiest name you’ve ever come across, but it does have plenty of amazing sights to share. Look out for the windmills dotted over the landscape in one particular area for example. These are just some of the many thousands of artefacts here. People have lived in this area since the Bronze Age, so it has a great history to share with those who visit.


Ukraine may be going through some trying times at present. However as you can see there are many delightful sights in this country that are well worth seeing if it is safe to visit. With amazing natural sights such as the Carpathian Mountains and windows into the past provided by such places as Pyrohiv, you can see how much this country has to offer. Its border with the Black Sea to the south is also very much worth exploring, as there are many charming resorts and areas here that have much to offer.

Ukraine may not be the first country you’d think of visiting in Eastern Europe, or even in Europe as a whole. However once you learn more about it you can see how delightful it is.

Ukraine Hryvnia – UAH

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