There is actually no best time to travel to Ukraine. You can actually travel to Ukraine all year round. However, you can’t expect summer weather all year round neither. Some regions are more worthwhile at certain times of the year. So the best time to travel to Ukraine depends on your planned activity. Therefore, we have listed the best time to travel Ukraine with the respective activities.
Best time to travel to Ukraine for city trips
The most beautiful cities of Ukraine are also destinations for domestic tourism, which is still very strong, especially in summer. Since it can be very hot here even in summer, we recommend going to Ukrainian cities in spring and autumn. March, April, September and October are perfect months when the climate is pleasant and the cities are not overcrowded.
For those who prefer to be alone with the locals and enjoy low prices, a city trip is recommended in the period from mid-January to late February or from early November to mid-December. Also during the Orthodox holidays of Easter and Christmas, as well as Ivana Kupala – something like the Ukrainian Midsummer Festival – Ukraine is unique and there are many celebrations and traditions to experience.
Best time to go swimming in Ukraine
When you think of summer vacation, the Mediterranean countries from Spain to Turkey come to mind. Some may also think of Bulgaria or Greece. You probably don’t think of Ukraine. This is a mistake, because Ukraine has many beautiful beaches to offer. Since Crimea is not accessible for foreign tourists from Ukraine at the moment, we are talking about other beaches. The Black Sea coast and also the coast on the Sea of Azov have a very warm climate. In Kherson oblast you can find watermelons and many other delicious fresh fruits and vegetables.
On the Ukrainian Black Sea coast you can swim from June without any problems. The water then often has temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius. The air temperature from June is almost constantly between 25 and 35 degrees. Sometimes it can get up to 40 degrees. The bathing season at the Black Sea in Ukraine goes from the end of May or the beginning of June until the middle or even the end of September. So at this time you can enjoy the beaches on the Black Sea.
If you like swimming in lakes and rivers, there are also many good swimming spots along the Dnipro or the Southern Bug. The lakes of Schatzki in the northwest of the country are also very nice for swimming. Here you can also swim from the end of May until the beginning of September. Sometimes bathing is still pleasant even in Indian summer.
Best time to go hiking in Ukraine
In Ukraine, the Carpathians are the best area for hiking. There are well marked trails and the views are really unique. The hiking season also depends on your own physical condition. If it is enough for you to go hiking in the valleys, then the season starts for you in April at the latest and lasts until the end of October or even November. From November to March snowfall is to be expected. Higher altitudes above 1500 meters (4500 feet) can still carry snow until mid or even late May and from mid or late September. Therefore, hikes should be planned in the months in between. Those who want to go snowshoeing can do so from December until March.
Best time for winter sports in Ukraine
You might have been a bit skeptical about swimming in Ukraine. And yes, we will surprise you even more, because Ukraine is a great country for skiing. There are many mountains, which are sure of snow and therefore should not be missing on your skiing calendar. You can ski in Ukraine in the low ski resorts mostly from December until the end of February. In good years even until March. Among the low ski resorts we count Slavske and, for example, the ski resorts in the Shkole Beskydy Mountains.
In the higher altitude ski resorts skiing is possible already from November until the end of March. This is the best time for skiing in Ukraine. In ski resorts such as Bukovel and Drahobrat, snow cannons are also fired up if necessary. However, this is rarely necessary in the Ukrainian Carpathians because of the relatively cold winters.
Best time to visit Chernobyl exclusion zone
The exclusion zone around Chernobyl is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ukraine. However, as with all places, there is a good and a not so good time to visit. We recommend you to come depending on your interest. In Chernobyl you must be dressed in long sleeves. Therefore, if you come to Chernobyl in the middle of summer, it can be quite sweaty for you. Also, everything is green in summer. This is nice, but many things remain hidden, because in Pripyat many things are already overgrown by nature – hence you won’t see it then.
Therefore, we recommend that you travel to Chernobyl in the fall, i.e. in September or October. The reason is that you can see not only the autumn colors. Many leaves have already fallen and you get to see more things. Also it is not so hot and wearing a sweater won’t bother you.
Alternatively, spring is also good, because when everything is in bloom, you can see very well how nature has reclaimed the Chernobyl zone. This way you can also explore Kyiv much more pleasantly. Even winter has its own charm in the zone though. However, since you will be outdoors a lot on a Chernobyl tour and it can often get as cold as -20 degrees Celsius here in winter, we would rather advise you not to come in winter.