Ukraine Travel Tips
According to THEMAKEUPEXPLORER, Ukraine is a state in Eastern Europe, bordering Russia in the east and north, Belarus in the northwest, Moldova in the southwest, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania in the west. In the south it is washed by the Black Sea, in the southeast – by the Sea of Azov. Most of the country’s territory is flat, only in the west are the Carpathians (g. Hoverla, 2061 m.) And on the Crimean peninsula – the Crimean mountains (g. Roman-Kosh, 1545 m.). A few uplands (Volynskaya, Podolskaya and Pridneprovskaya) and rock outcrops occupy no more than 5% of the country’s territory. The total area is 603.7 thousand square meters. km. (Crimea – 27 thousand sq. km.). Capital Kyiv. Time: -1 hour compared to Moscow.
Climate: temperate, predominantly continental, on the southern coast of Crimea – subtropical Mediterranean. The average temperatures in January range from -8 C in the northeast to +4-8 C in the south of Crimea, in July – respectively from +18 C to +24 C. Precipitation in the north-west falls up to 600-700 mm. per year, in the southeast – up to 300 mm., in the Crimean mountains – 1000-1200 mm., in the Carpathians – up to 1600 mm., mainly in the autumn-winter period.
Political system: Ukraine is a democratic republic. The head of state is the president. The head of government is the prime minister. The legislative body is the Supreme Council (Verkhovna Rada). The structure of Ukraine on the rights of autonomy includes the Republic of Crimea, which has its own Supreme Council, Council of Ministers, Supreme and Arbitration Courts, local representative and state authorities.
Population: about 48.5 million people. It consists mainly of Ukrainians (77.8%) and Russians (17.3%), a fairly large number of Belarusians, Moldovans, Crimean Tatars and dozens of other peoples also live.
State language: Ukrainian.
Money: hryvnia (UAH), equal to 100 kopecks. Banknotes in denominations of 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 hryvnias, both old and new (1997, different colors and design) are in circulation. Coins in denominations of 1 hryvnia, 50, 25, 10 kopecks from yellow metal, 5, 2 and 1 kopecks from white.
The use of foreign currency in restaurants and shops is officially prohibited. Currency exchange can be done at the airport, banks and numerous exchange offices. There are many exchange offices. Since 2003, a 1% fee to the pension fund for the sale of cash currency by citizens has been abolished. You do not need to present your passport when exchanging. In the markets and in private shops, US dollars are freely accepted for payment, rubles – with difficulty or at an unfavorable exchange rate. In the southwestern part of the country and in Western Ukraine, the exchange of rubles is difficult (at ski resorts, in sanatoriums and in Lviv – without restrictions) and can only be made in banks, but US dollars and euros are exchanged almost unlimitedly. In Simferopol and “mainland” Ukraine, the exchange rate is more favorable than in the resort areas of the coast. The exchange of rubles is usually carried out at a somewhat less favorable rate,
Credit cards and traveler’s checks have a relatively limited circulation and can only be cashed in bank offices of large cities and resort areas, but recently the card service has been developing quite rapidly.
Additional Fees: By vehicle, entry is made on the basis of documents confirming ownership and right to drive, or a notarized power of attorney from the owner of the vehicle. Handwritten Russian powers of attorney are not valid in Ukraine. The vehicle itself is imported on the basis of a completed declaration. When traveling for a period of more than 2 months (but not more than 1 year), registration with the traffic police at the place of temporary residence is required). When crossing the border in a vehicle, fees are charged for the environmental control of the vehicle (about 1 USD) for civil liability insurance of vehicle owners (depending on the type of vehicle and the length of stay in the country). When leaving the territory of Ukraine, a toll in the amount of 10-25 USD is paid.
In Crimea, a resort fee is charged (for organized vacationers – 5 hryvnias, for unorganized vacationers it is different in certain regions, but cannot exceed 10 hryvnias). People arriving in Crimea by car or driven vehicle pay a fee of 15 hryvnia. From January 1, 2004, visa-free entry for Russian citizens with foreign passports.
Customs: items with a value of less than 200 euros (including excisable goods) or a single indivisible item with a value of not more than 300 euros (except for excisable goods) are exempt from taxation upon importation. Vodka products are also imported duty-free – up to 1 liter, wine – up to 2 liters, tobacco products – up to 200 cigarettes or 200 gr. tobacco, beer – up to 5 liters, food products in the amount of not more than 50 euros, soap and SMS in the amount of not more than 5 euros, as well as temporarily imported goods with obligations to re-export them. Food products imported for personal use are imported duty-free at the rate of no more than 50 euros per person, subject to the obligatory presence of the manufacturer’s packaging (no more than 1 package or a total weight of no more than 2 kg.) or no more than one unit of each item.
Free import of up to 10 thousand USD is allowed, when importing from 10 thousand to 50 thousand USD (including payment documents in foreign currency and traveler’s checks), documents on the sources of origin of the currency (for residents) and an application for the import of currency indicating purpose of import. The import of more than 50 thousand USD is allowed only in a non-cash form or with the help of payment documents in foreign currency. For the import of foreign currency in an amount that exceeds 50 thousand USD, you need a special permit from the National Bank of Ukraine. Ukrainian currency is imported only subject to the availability of customs declarations for the export of this currency from Ukraine.
The import of poisonous, radioactive, explosive and poisonous substances, as well as printed and video materials containing propaganda of war, racism and violence is prohibited. It is forbidden to import food products without a certificate of conformity. When importing firearms, cold steel, explosives and gas cartridges, permission from the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine is required. When importing animals – a veterinary certificate. When importing drugs in the amount of more than 5 packages or more than necessary for one person for one course of treatment (required relevant documents), as well as narcotic and psychotropic substances, permission from the Ministry of Health is required. In this case, import customs duty, VAT and excise duty are levied.
It is allowed to export items worth up to 100 thousand euros, the export of works of art, cultural and historical values requires permission from the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine. The export of precious metals and stones, cultural property, poisonous, radioactive, explosive substances and canceled securities is prohibited.
It is allowed to export the currency of Ukraine (subject to mandatory declaration) in the amount of up to 10 thousand hryvnias (up to 1 thousand – on the condition of oral declaration), foreign currency – in the amount of up to 6 thousand USD per person (up to 1 thousand – on the condition verbal declaration), traveler’s checks and other payment documents – for an amount not exceeding 5 thousand USD. It is allowed to export previously imported foreign currency if there is a customs declaration for its import (required relevant documents).
Medical assistance and insurance: in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine, foreign citizens entering Ukraine in accordance with the established procedure must have an insurance policy in case of emergency medical care. Vaccination against diphtheria is recommended. Solar radiation is quite high, especially on the southern coast of Crimea, so it is recommended to use protective creams.
Work of institutions: most banks are open from 8.00-9.00 to 17.00. In resort areas, banks are open until 19.00-20.00, and exchange offices – until 20.00-21.00.
Transport: most of the passenger traffic in cities is transported by buses and trolleybuses (in Kyiv there is a metro and tram). Simferopol and Yalta are connected by the longest trolleybus route in Europe (travel time – 1 hour 30 minutes). Fares vary from city to city. Intercity and suburban buses connect almost all settlements of the country. Tickets are purchased at bus stations or from the driver (on the way). The fare depends on the distance (5-7 kopecks per kilometer) and the comfort of the bus. In Crimea regular intercity buses run quite often (interval – 15-25 minutes).
Roads and driving rules. When traveling by car, it should be borne in mind that although traffic rules do not differ much from Russian ones, when crossing the border a fee is charged for a vehicle, the ticket for which is often checked by the DAI of Ukraine, as well as a fee for compulsory civil liability insurance. If the entry is made for a period of more than 2 months, the car must be registered at the nearest AIM office. For temporary stays, both international and national driver’s licenses are valid. The central highways are in fairly good condition, while the mountain roads of the Crimea and the Carpathians are quite narrow and winding, and besides, they are often in not very good condition. It is especially risky to drive on such roads in the rain. Often, mining dump trucks (east of the country) or agricultural machinery with many attachments move along public roads, and herds of livestock are also driven. Increased attention should be observed in the area of numerous markets (including roadside ones), in old areas of cities and at intersections with secondary roads.
Drinking water: in terms of water supply, Ukraine now occupies one of the last places in Europe, while consuming the largest amount of water. Accordingly, water resources are used and polluted several times more intensively than in other countries. Permanent deviations of the quality of drinking water from hygienic standards in terms of sanitary and chemical indicators were recorded in Dnepropetrovsk and Kirovograd regions. Mykolaiv, Odessa, Sumy and Kherson, according to bacteriological indicators – in Ternopil, Lugansk and Transcarpathian regions. The water supply of the rural population remains an urgent problem. The number of non-standard water samples from decentralized water supply systems in terms of sanitary-chemical and bacteriological indicators, respectively, up to 2.3 and 4.
Electricity: mains voltage 220 V., 50 Hz, standard plugs (2 round pins).
Sights: traces of many cultures and peoples have been preserved on the territory of Ukraine – from ancient mounds and settlements of the Sea of Azov and Greek cities of the Black Sea coastal part, to ancient Slavic settlements and a model of classical architecture of later eras. The excellent natural and climatic conditions of the country and the mountain systems of the Carpathians and Crimea allow the development of all types of active tourism here, and the long sea coast attracts lovers of sea recreation.
Kyiv – one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, often called the “mother of Russian cities”, was founded in the 5th century. n. e. The city is considered one of the most beautiful capitals in the world, and this is not surprising – on its territory you can see such unique historical monuments as the ensemble of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra (1051) – one of the world centers of Orthodoxy and a priceless architectural monument included in the list of UNESCO treasures, Golden Gates (XI century), a unique historical and cultural monument – the island of Khortytsya, the Near and Far Caves of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, in which the remains of Anthony and Theodosius of the Caves, Ilya Muromets, Nestor the Chronicler and other legendary historical figures are buried, the famous Andreevsky Spusk, Volodymyrska Gorka, Podil and Khreshchatyk, the Pochaina River, in which Prince Vladimir baptized the people of Kiev, Governor’s House (1780),
In terms of the number of churches and temples, Kyiv has no equal in the CIS – the complex of St. Sophia Monastery (XI century), Vydubitsky Monastery (XI century) with Mikhailovsky (1070-1088) and St. George (1696-1701) cathedrals, Church of the Savior on Berestov (1113-1125, Yuri Dolgoruky is buried here), Vladimir Cathedral (1862-1896), St. Cyril’s Church (XI century), St. Andrew’s Church (1747-1753), Fraternal Monastery (1616.), Church of the Resurrection (1701-1705), Nicholas (1899-1909) and Alexander (1817-1842) churches, the Church of Theodosius of the Caves (1698-1702), Florovsky Convent (XV century.) and more than 20 other places of worship.
Attract attention and numerous museums of the city – the National Museum. Shevchenko, Museum of Ukrainian Fine Arts, Western and Eastern Art, Folk Decorative Arts, National Museum of Folk Architecture and Life in Pirogovo, archaeological, history of medicine, Kiev-Pechersk State Historical and Cultural Reserve, Museum of Art. Bogdana and Varvara Khanenkov, the Museum of One Street, the Center for Contemporary Art at NaUKMA, the Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War, the historical and architectural monument-museum “Kyiv Fortress” and numerous art galleries and exhibitions.
60 km. from Kyiv there is the city-museum of Pereyaslav-Khmelnitsky – one of the oldest cities in the country, famous for its numerous museums and the special charm of its streets. Kanev is a two-hour drive from Kyiv, the city where Taras Shevchenko is buried. To the north of the capital is the ancient city of Chernihiv (907), famous for its historical and cultural monuments, the Spaso-Preobrazhensky (XI century) and Borisoglebsky (XII century) cathedrals. Also interesting are the Pyatnitskaya Church (XII-XII centuries), the house of Lizogub (1690s), the ensembles of the Yeletsky (XVII century) and Trinity (XVII-XVIII centuries) monasteries, as well as caves inhabited by people back in the XI- XII centuries. In the city of Kamenetz-Podolsky (founded in the 11th century), attention is drawn to the monument of medieval military architecture – the Turkish Fortress Museum-Reserve (XIV-XVI centuries, rebuilt in the XVII-XVIII centuries), the Gothic church (XVI century).