Ukrainian Time +2 GMT. To know the exact time, dial 121.
The official language is Ukrainian. Most people understand Russian, as well as many people speak Russian. If you ask a question you will be understood, but remember - very few people speak foreign languages. If you want to visit places of interest, you can hire an interpreter. You can also purchase a Ukrainian phrase book for tourists.
The study of the subway system will be very important in order to visit the sights of Kiev and other Ukrainian cities. It's pretty cheap (metro ticket costs 2 UAH). Subway is safe and relatively easy way to travel. We strongly recommend buying a "bilingual" Metro plan. In addition, the names of subway stations are in Ukrainian and English languages.
In Ukraine Taxis are cheap enough, especially in smaller towns. But the problem is that many taxi drivers don’t speak foreign languages. The best taxis are those with their company phone number on the roof. You can use a private taxi, which can be more expensive and less convenient. Average cost of a taxi in Kiev is 35UAH ($ 4.6) for a distance up to 5 kilometers. When ordering a taxi in Kiev, most services will tell you the cost of travel.
Buses and trolley buses:
Trolley buses are the cheapest public transport in Ukraine. They are often overcrowded with passengers and not fast as buses (minibuses). Riding by bus is more comfortable than by thetrolley bus, but in the rush hour there a lot of people in buses too. Travel by trolley bus in Kiev costs 1.5 UAH (0.2 $) and by bus - 2- 3UAH (0, 25-0, 4$).
The national currency of Ukraine is Hryvnia (UAH). 1 hryvnia = 100 kop. U.S. Dollar and the Euro is the most popular foreign currency in Ukraine.
You can exchange money at the airport, but the exchange rate is much higher than in banks or exchange offices of the city. You will need to have some local currency to pay for a taxi. Do not change money with strangers in the street! You are likely to be deceived, and it's illegal!
You may bring 10 thousand dollars or equivalent in any currency without any additional documents. Read more details about customs regulations, which must be followed at the entrance to Ukraine. More details about the rules of entry to Ukraine can be found here.
If you wish to transfer money within or outside of Ukraine, there are several international companies to transfer money, such as Western Union and MoneyGram. You can find them at many local banks or in major shopping centers. Western Union is the largest in Ukraine. You can use cheaper option to send or receipt money - the Post Office. But it will take more time.
Always carry your passport, driving license or any other document confirming your identity. Valuable documents should be left in the safe at the hotel or in another safe place.
Visiting a mid-level restaurant, you can leave a tip of 5 – 10%. In the more upscale restaurants, a tip may be more. Some restaurants include 5-10% for service to the bill.
Plugs and wall sockets in Ukraine differ from those in North America and Great Britain. So, do not forget to take the AC adapter and power converter. And then traveling with the electronics will become much easier. For valuable equipment you may consider the providing surge. Please note: Ukraine is using more than one type of output configuration: it can be European outlets (new) and outlets of the Soviet type (old). The difference is in diameter pins. European plugs are more massive than the Soviet plugs sample.
It is not recommended to drink water from the tap in Kiev and other Ukrainian cities. The best choice is to buy bottled water. You should be aware however, that bottled water in some kiosks may be faked. Brands BonAqua or Morshins'ka is the best choice. Also, for cooking or drinking, you can always use different types of water-filters, which are sold in supermarkets.
Usually there is no problem with water supply in Kiev. But in mid-May, the city is preparing for the heating season in winter, so hot water is turned off for 2-3 weeks.
We hope this travel tips will be helpful for you and wish you a nice travel to Ukraine.
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