Travel Tips

Population

Actual population in the city of Kyiv is approximately 4.7 Mio people, officially . 3 Mio. 

Climate

Climate in Kyiv is moderately continental. June, July and August are the warmest months . average temperature is 18..27.C. December, January and February are the coldest months, average temperature is from .8. to +1.C.

In winter you will need cold-weather hat, gloves and scarf; umbrella will be necessary in autumn and spring. In summer it can be very hot, temperature can rise up to 30 .C or even more. 

Border Crossing 

If you are the citizen of:

USA, Canada, Japan, EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Mongolia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Vatican, Monaco, San Marino as well as countries of former Soviet Union,

You can enter Ukraine without visa, having only valid passport.

The citizens of other countries have to apply to Consular Agency or diplomatic representation of Ukraine for visa receiving. 

Time

Ukrainian time zone for 2 hours goes before Greenwich Mean Time. Remember that in Ukraine it is necessary to put the clocks one hour ahead on the last week of March and turn the clocks one hour back on the last week of October. 

Money

Monetary unit of Ukraine is hryvnia (UAH). Currency can be exchanged in every bank or exchange office all over the city (black letters on yellow background .ןגםומ קבלאפ (MONEY EXCHANGE).. Also you can purchase UAH in airport or railway station, but in such places exchange rate is traditionally higher. One (1) UAH is divided into one hundred (100) kopecks. There are banknotes of the following face value: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 UAH.

Approximate exchange rate is as follows: USD: 8.00; EUR: 10.50 

A great deal of banks in Ukraine work 5 days per week, several banks work on Saturday till afternoon, Sunday is weekend.

Credit Cards

The majority of hotels, restaurants and shops approve for payment by credit cards VISA, MasterCard, but not always. For your convenience in order to purchase goods and services in Ukraine, you should better have cash in Ukrainian currency . hryvnia (UAH). Cash payments in EUR and USD are accepted in cafes, bars and restaurants, sometimes in shops, but at lower exchange rate.

Currency can be exchanged in banks, exchange offices, hotels and some shops.

Automatic teller machines (ATM) are available all over the city, especially in the city center, as a rule, they dispense cash only in UAH.

Water

Tap water is harmless, but it is not recommended to drink it without previous boiling, as it contains chemicals for disinfection.  It is better to buy bottled water in shops. Also there are many artesian water pump-rooms all over the city, where you can take water in your bottles free of charge. 

The water supply, especially hot water, can be shut off for as long as 1 week in the summer for cleaning the pipes. Usually apartments have autonomous system for heating water.

Tips

It is customary to give tips in cafes and restaurants. If you are satisfied with servicing, it is necessary to tip a waitperson in the amount of 5-10% from your tab (order).

You can also tip a guide or driver at your discretion.

Smoking

In December, 2012 Ukrainian Parliament passed law providing against smoking in public places, except for special smoking area. This law prohibits smoking of cigarettes in restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels, government buildings and sport arenas. Hookah (water-pipe) and electronic cigarettes are also forbidden.

Public Transport

Kyiv metropolitan railway functions from 6:00 till 24:00. Price of one token is 2 UAH. On holidays or in connection with important sport and cultural events work of metropolitan railway can be prolonged. The most popular transports in the city of Kyiv are fixed-route taxi-buses, metropolitan railway and buses. Also you can go by trams and trolley-buses in Kyiv. 

Train and bus are the best vehicles for trips from one large Ukrainian city to another. Transport infrastructure in Ukraine is well-developed; the cities of regional scale are supplied with a great deal of trains, buses, fixed-route taxi-buses. It is not a problem at all to reach any city. Tickets are not expensive, except for suite compartments in trains, where can be only two persons. As a rule, trains travel at night time; it is very convenient as you can have a sleep. Common train compartment has four sleeping places: 2 above, 2 below and table in the middle.

Electricity

In Ukraine electric tension in convenience receptacles is 220 volt (50 Hz).

Adaptor is necessary for people from Great Britain, USA and Canada.

Languages

In accordance with Constitution state language of Ukraine is Ukrainian. All documents are executed in Ukrainian. Nevertheless, a lot of people speak Russian, especially in eastern and southern regions. A lot of magazines, TV channels and radio stations also use Russian. Young people in Ukraine can also speak English quite well usually. Almost in all hotels, restaurants, banks, shops and cafes you can communicate with personnel in English

Kyiv Emergency service:

    Emergency fire service
  101
    Emergency police service
  102
    Emergency first aid service
  103

    Emergency gas service

  104

Etiquette

If you are going to visit somebody, you should have a present, even not expensive. You can buy either cake or flowers or a bottle of wine; for children you should have toy, sweets or fruits. It is improperly to give a visit empty-handed. If you present flowers, their quantity should be odd-numbered. Even-numbered flowers are for funeral or burying-place. 

When you enter house, you should take off your footwear. Probably, you will be provided with slippers, if no, you should anyway take off your footwear, Ukrainian people keep their homes clean and tidy.

You can be asked to announce a speech at the table. It is old Ukrainian tradition to announce speech before drinking.  

Before entrance to church men take off their hats and women must cover heads with kerchiefs. 

Souvenirs 

European guests and tourists like to purchase souvenirs in Kyiv in order to become closer to unique national culture. The majority of western tourists purchase national souvenirs in order to have better understanding of Eastern-Slavic spirit as well as traditional Ukrainian culture and art. There a lot of different Ukrainian souvenirs in the city of Kyiv.

On Andriyivskyy Descent, the eldest street in Kyiv, in Central Department Store (the eldest department store in the center of Khreschatyk), in several stalls at Khreschatyk street: it is possible to purchase very nice puppets in Ukrainian national folk costumes, plates decorated with designs, different talismans, painted eggs, panel pictures, chaplets, handmade souvenirs in folk traditions prepared by experienced specialists. Also Ukrainian gorilka with pepper can be very nice present.