Ukraine Travel Tips
Ukraine Dating Agency has "put" together some useful advice for travelling within Ukraine
Safety! Ukraine is generally a safe country to visit however. Kyiv and other big cities of Ukraine are usually safer than the smaller towns. You will find the city center is safer than the outlying districts. Keep your valuables at the safe place, and always carry your vailables somewhere in your inside pockets. Wearing a security belt while traveling is also a good idea. Keep photocopies of your documents (passport, drivers license) in a safe place just in case if the original would be lost or stolen. Don't flaunt a lot of money around in public places and try not to walk alone late at night. Don't open the door if you are not expecting anybody. If you are going to do business here, learn the language! But in general, just use your common sense, like you would while travelling to any other country.!
Medical care In Ukraine Medical care is limited. The availability of basic medical supplies, including disposable needles, anesthetics, and antibiotics has improved. Elderly travellers and those with existing health problems may be at risk due to inadequate medical facilities. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. Foreign medical insurance is not always valid for Ukraine. Travellers have found that in some cases, supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage, including air evacuation coverage, has proved to be useful.
Money The Ukrainian hryvnia (usually pronounced gry-vnya instead of . the correct hryvnya, or even just greev) is divided into 100 kopecks Coins come in denominations of one, five, 10, 25 and 50 kopecks, plus one hryvnia. Notes come in one, two, five, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 hryvnia.In some places, people quote prices in roubles instead of hryvnia. Don’t be confused; it’s just force of habit. It’s virtually impossible to buy any hryvnia before you arrive. Automated teller machines (ATMs) are all over the place in Ukraine The best way to manage your money in Ukraine is to simply take it out of your account in hryvnia. Cirrus, Plus, Visa, MasterCard/EuroCard and other global networks are all recognised. Bankomats, as ATMs are known locally, are also found in major airport terminals, hotel lobbies, central post offices as well as on the street. At Boryspil airport there are several in the arrivals hall. Your own bank will likely charge you a small fee for taking out foreign currency; check with it before leaving home. Some ATMs also distribute US dollars.
Always telephone your bank and inform them that you are traveling to Ukraine and will be using your 'cards' there! This is precautionary because as a security measure your bank may suspect fraudulent use of your card and the ATM will 'Keep it'
Cash US dollars, the Euro and Russian roubles are the easiest currencies to exchange. The British pound is difficult to exchange, except in Kyiv, whatever currency you bring, you should ensure that it is in fairly pristine condition. Banks and currency exchange offices will not accept any old, tatty notes with rips or tears, or US dollar bills issued before 1990. Even a fold in a bill might prompt extra checks for counterfeiting.
From 15 September 2011 Ukraine reintroduced the necessity to produce identification ( preferably passport ) when changing foreign currency into local currency and/or vica versa. In my opinion this poses an additional security risk as many visitors will have to carry their International passport with them as they make their way to a bank!
Travellers cheques Travellers cheques should be avoided, or be brought only as a backup. It’s relatively hard to find banks that will accept them and the process is lengthy, involving lots of paperwork. If you must use them, take Thomas Cook, American Express or Visa cheques in US dollars. Cheque-friendly establishments include branches of the nationwide chains Raiffeisen Bank Aval or UKRExim Bank. Expect to pay 2% commission.
My Advice Would Be
1) Apply to your bank for a secondary Debit Card ( VISA Electron will be OK ) or apply for a Prepaid Credit card such as Caxton FX Card which is free and without costs to make a withdraw
2) Get Internet Banking, This will allow you. in the event of losing one card or having problems with a card to transfer funds to another card
3) Arrive with 200-400$US allowing you to get some local currency when you first arrive and then use your cards to withdraw from an ATM. You get a better rate of exchange
* But please remember to inform your bank you will be in Ukraine Electric currant Electrical appliances here operate at 220V. Plugs and wall sockets differ from North America and the U.K., being of the European two pin style. So, don't forget to bring an International Power Adaptor and a power converter. For valuable equipment, you may consider bringing a surge protector. Ukraine uses more than one type of outlet configuration: you could find European outlets (new) and old Soviet type, the difference is in the diameter of the pins.(European pins are thicker then the Soviet type ones). And do not be surprised if the electricity suddenly goes off!
Ukrainian Telephone Number You might find it useful if you are already in Ukraine, or planning to visit our country any time in the future. It is quite possible that you will need to make a phone call in Ukraine during your stay, and this will save you money Here for more Information
Water It's not recommended to drink tap water in Kyiv and other cities of Ukraine Always buy bottled water for drinking. You should be aware that some bottled water from the smaller Kiosks can be counterfeit and not the authentic product. The brand BonAqua or Morshins'ka seems to be the best bet as far as getting the genuine product.
Time Ukraine is 7 hours ahead of USA Eastern Standard Time, 2 hours ahead of Great Briton and 1 hour ahead of Europe
Transportation Public transportation is cheap and plentiful but, not to the same standard as we as in America Great Briton and Europe but accept the differences and enjoy the experience! Kyiv has the 3rd oldest subway system of all former Soviet countries and is the deepest in the world with the longest escalators. A visit to Kyiv is not complete without a tour of this beautiful and very impressive subway system. Travel on the subway is safe and inexpensive and certainly convenient, but beware of the “pick pockets” they are plentiful and in abundance on Kyiv subway
Buses and streetcars are also available however it can be difficult if you do not know which bus or streetcar to catch and even more difficult if you are not fluent in Ukrainian or Russian. Tickets can be purchased at bus stops or once you are onboard. Be sure to punch the tickets at one of several punch a machines available on board. Failing to do this could result in delays or even a fine. Taxis are plentiful and are comparatively inexpensive. in larger cities official taxis will have markings similar to North American taxis complete with a meter. Just about any vehicle in Ukraine qualifies as a taxi. For a small fee most drivers here will be happy to pick you up and take you to your destination if it is on their way.
If buying Gold, antiques, coral, icons, furs and caviar, valuable paintings, you will need a special document from the local authorities to avoid any problems with customs when leaving Ukraine.To export any antique items and/or works of art the permission of the Ministry of Culture must be obtained. In addition to samovars, paintings, and rugs, this restriction applies to collections or separate works of fine, applied, and folk art, archeological and numismatic items, valuable musical instruments, gold, silver, precious stones, hand-woven carpets, manuscripts, books published before 1966, and furniture made before 1945.
Shopping Souvenir items to purchase range from vodka and champagne to embroidery, lace, hand-painted lacquered boxes (Palekh), wooden nested dolls, wooden spoons/bowls and carvings, perfumes, amber, kilims, stamps and books. Some bargaining is expected at outdoor bazaars and when purchasing from artisans, but not in stores with set prices.
Alcohol Throughout the country alcohol is quite inexpensive and easily accessible. This country is zero tolerance country, do not drink and drive. The fines are substantial and you are never sure what may happen in such incidences with the police.
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