As the second largest country in Europe, with a complex and volatile past, this resilient country has much to offer. From the vibrant capital Kiev to the stunning Black Sea coast, from the historic city of Lviv to the striking Carpathian Mountains, a stay in the Ukraine is bound to be truly memorable.
The climate in the Ukraine is temperate with warm summers, crisp autumns and cold, snowy winters. Moderate rain is expected the year round but nowhere is particularly heavy at any time.
The Ukraine observes a number of public holidays in the year including:
New Year's Day
7th January - Orthodox Christmas Day
8th March - International Women's Day
1-2 May - Labour Days
9th May - Victory Day
8th June - Orthodox Pentecost
28th June - Constitution Day
24th August - Ukrainian Independence Day
Please note: if a holiday falls on a Thursday then the Friday and Saturday may also be holidays. If a holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday then the Monday may be considered a holiday too.
The main airport in the Ukraine is Kiev Borispol International Airport which is approximately 34km (21 miles) from central Kiev. Bus services run to the city centre for most of the day.
Domestic flights charter mainly through Borispol Airport and Zhulany Airport.
The Ukraine benefits from an extensive rail network connecting most towns and cities. International trains connect Kiev and Lviv with Moscow and many other major European cities.
Firmeny trains are rapid, modern, comfortable and fairly economical compared to UK trains.
In winter travelling by rail can be more reliable than air.
Traffic drives on the right. Right-hand cars are prohibited. Speed restrictions are as follows:
60kph (37mph) in towns, cities and built up areas
90kph (55mph) in other areas
130kph (80mph) on motorways
Be careful as roads outside urban areas can be badly lit and in poor condition.
Eurolines operate bus services between the Ukraine and other European countries.
In the Ukraine bus services run between most major towns and cities.
The official language is Ukrainian, however, Russian is widely spoken.
Here are some useful expressions:
Hello - Vitayu(formal) Ahov(informal)
Goodbye - Do pobačennja
Thank you - Dyakuju
Do you speak English? Vy rozmovlyaete Angliskou?
Hello - Dobruy den / zdrastvuite
Goodbye - Do svidanija
Thank you - Spasibo
Do you speak English? - Vy govorite na Angliyskom?
The currency of the Ukraine is Hryvnya (UAH) which divides into 100 Kopiyka (Kopiya singular). Notes come in denominations of 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2, 1. Coins come in denominations of 1 UHA and 50, 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 Kopiyok.
The domestic electricity voltage is 220v and 50hz. Round two pin plugs are commonly used. Adaptors are available but it might be wise to purchase these before you arrive in the Ukraine.
The country code for the Ukraine is +380.
The emergency numbers for the Ukraine are as follows:
01 - Fire
02 - Police
03 - Ambulance
Credit cards are not so readily accepted. Only a few restaurants and hotels accept them.
ATMs are widely available and easy to find - even in small cities.
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