Facts and Figures
Total area: 603,700 sq km
Bordering countries: Belarus to the North, Russia to the Northeast, Poland Slovakia to the West and Hungary Romania and Moldova to the Southwest
Time zone: GMT +2 hrs , GET +1 hr
Population: 48 million
Climate: mostly temperate or continental subtropical and Mediterranean at the South Coast of the Crimean peninsula
Geographical features: longest river - the Dnipro 2,201 km long, highest peak - Mount Hoverla (2,061 m) in the Carpathians, washed by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov in the South
Dominant religions: Orthodox, Greek Catholic
Capital: Kyiv with population reaching 3 million
Languages: Ukrainian, Russian
Money: 1 hryvnya= 100kopiykas
For citizens of some countries visas are required for the entry into Ukraine. Because a visa clearance procedure varies from country to country it is advisable that you call your Ukrainian Consulate at a reasonably long notice. If visa support is required, our company will be happy to send it to you with a copy forwarded to a respective consular section of the Embassy which will facilitate the process of issuing a visa. Please note that if your point of entry is Symferopol airport or Odesa airport or seaport you may purchase a short-term (valid for up to 8 days) and non-extendable visa on arrival.
The majority of travellers arrive in Ukraine by air landing in the country's main international airport Boryspil (20 km away from Kyiv) though international flights are also operated to and from Kharkiv Odesa, Lviv, Symferopol and Dnipropetrovsk. Major Ukrainian European and world airline companies serve regular flights connecting Kyiv with all European capitals and largest cities and providing for convenient connections to further destinations. Our company will be happy to offer you a variety of options of your optimum travel itinerary.
Immigration and Customs
On arrival, foreign guests are requested to fill in an immigration form which must be presented along with your passport. Passport control is followed by customs office desk. Customs requirements on entry into Ukraine are essentially the same as those applied in Europe though you may want to check them out in advance to avoid unnecessary delays and complications. Please remember that as you exit the country the amount of cash you are carrying may not exceed the sum you declared on entry into Ukraine Plus, if you have purchased some costly pieces of art please make sure that no permission for their exportation from Ukraine is required.
Finally, we would strongly discourage you from using services of occasional drivers offering you a lift to the city - ordering an airport-city transfer from your tour agent will be much safer and economical.
Ukrainian hotels classification is different from universally accepted classification standards which is why consulting a reliable tour operator at selecting the right place to stay at is an essential part of arranging your trip. Kyiv and a few major cities of Ukraine feature some fine hotels that meet expectations of different kinds of travellers arriving on business, for leisure and family reunions. Though credit cards and traveller's cheques are commonly accepted in these hotels, it is advisable that you have a certain amount of cash in local currency for some incidental expenses. If you make a reservation on your own (especially through the Internet) remember to check out the reservation cancellation requirements.
Please be mindful that in the most of hotels your restaurant check may not be credited on your room bill and you will be offered to pay cash or by your credit card.
Most big cities will offer foreign visitors a diverse gamut of places to eat at - from international fast food eateries like McDonald's to most exquisite French and Japanese restaurants. If you have opted to succumb to a temptation of Ukrainian generous cuisine please remember that traditional Ukrainian dishes are very rich in both flavour and calories. But they are definitely worth forgetting your weight-sensitivity for a while. Guidebooks and directories in your hotel will provide you with a detailed information about the menus and price range of restaurants in the city of your stay. Please note that some restaurants include the tip in your check, so look for a gratuity entry in your check. Otherwise a 5 to 10 percent tipping is customary.
Travelling Within Ukraine
Kyiv is conveniently connected with the nation's major cities by a ramified railroad network and your railroad trip to virtually any destination within the country will in most cases be an overnight journey in comfortable sleeping car. Railroad fares are relatively moderate but the availability of tickets may be limited especially in peak season. Therefore using services of a local tour agent may relieve you of a hassle with choosing the right train and booking a ticket.
Domestic flights may be a good alternative - turboprops commute from Kyiv to main regional centers every day. However, because of frequent changes in the flights schedule we suggest you consult your travel agent in Ukraine for the confirmation of available services.
Municipal transportation is fairly reliable especially in big cities with metro lines. Though you may be surprised with the cheapness of fare you may find that especially in rush hours taking a taxi is a safer and faster option. Many visitors particularly those arriving on business, prefer to book a chauffeured car from their travel agent.
Offices usually open at 9 am and work till 6 pm on weekdays with lunch breaks from 1 to 2 pm being quite common. Banks admission hours are as a rule from 9 am to 1 pm. Shops especially groceries, remain open till at least 8 pm. The following holidays are observed in Ukraine: January 1 - New Year, January 7 - Christmas, March 8 - Spring and Women's Day, Monday following the Easter Day that varies from year to year but usually celebrated in late April - early May, May 1-2 - Labour Day, May 9- Victory Day, Monday following the Holy Trinity Day (usually in mid summer), June 28 - Constitution Day, August 24 - Independence Day.
Though credit cards are increasingly more widely accepted across. Ukraine having a sufficient supply of cash is important ATMs are installed next to large shopping and business centers plus there are quite a few currency exchange office scattered over busiest parts of cities and accepting US dollars, Euros and other major currencies. Though street vendors offering to exchange your cash are rare these days, using their services still may be risky.
Electrical Circuits and Telephone Lines
The Ukrainian main current is 220 V and sockets are not fit for European and US electric appliances therefore carrying a universal adapter and voltage transformer is essential whether you plan to use your notebook or an electric toothbrush.
Your cell phone will work in Ukraine as long as your operator has a roaming agreement with Ukrainian mobile communication providers therefore contact your operator to see if you can count on your handy. Calling from city payphones requires buying a calling card. For an international access dial 8, wait for a buzz then dial 10, your country and area code followed by a phone number. More detailed instructions and emergency numbers will be available in your hotel room.