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Ukraine

Ukraine
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Ukraine is one of the Eastern European states. The capital of Ukraine is Kiev. The country borders Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary. Ukraine is washed by the waters of the Black and Azov Sea.

The climate in Ukraine is mainly continental. On the coast, winters are much warmer than in the continental part. The best time for spending holidays in Ukraine is from May to September. In winter, the tourists can go to ski resorts.

The official language is Ukrainian. The majority of the population are the Orthodox.

The lover of skiing should go to the Zakarpattia region and the Carpathian mountains. These resorts offer interesting activities in summer, including trekking and hiking.

Those who like city entertainments should go to Kiev, Odessa and Lviv. You can go to an excursion and see the Ukrainian historical and architectural monuments.

There are wellness resorts with mineral and hot springs in Truskavets and Khmelnik. You will find good beaches in Odessa and Iliechevsk.

Being in Kiev, do not miss a chance to visit the Kiev Pechersk Lavra. Make a trip to Chernigov which is one of the largest centres of the Orthodox culture with many old churches and cathedrals.

Get in

By Plane

The tourists from Moscow and St. Petersburg can go to Ukraine by plane. There are direct flights to Kiev from large European cities and the capitals of CIS countries.

By Train

There is a railway communication between Ukraine and Russia and CIS countries.

By Land

The capital of Ukraine is linked with all the neighbouring countries by a road network.

Visa

The citizens of CIS countries can come to Ukraine without a visa. The tourists will have to show their international passport and fill in an immigration form. They will have to submit this form to the visa service when leaving the country.

Due to a conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the citizens of the Russian Federation can visit the country having an international passport and an invitation letter but we do not recommend visiting Ukraine at the moment.

The tourists from EU countries can travel to Ukraine visa-free but their stay in the country, in this case, is limited to days.

Customs

Customs rules do not restrict import and export of foreign currency. If the travellers have more than 10.000 Euros, they will need to declare the money. Import of the national currency is limited to 1.000 UAH and the sums exceeding this amount must be declared. Export of the national currency is limited to 85 UAH.

The travellers can bring to Ukraine duty-free the following goods:

  • tobacco and alcohol;
  • perfume;
  • personal belongings and gifts with a total value of 200 Euro.

Import of many medications (over 5 packages) is allowed provided that a tourist has a doctor's prescription. All the imported foods must have a certificate of conformity.

It is prohibited to export from Ukraine the objects of high cultural value, precious stones and metals and invalidates securities.

Cuisine

National Ukrainian cuisine is famous for its substantial and very delicious dishes. Being in Ukraine, you cannot but try true Ukrainian borsch, dumplings with vegetable, mushroom and fruit stuffing and delicate pampushkis and galushkis.

The Ukrainians make very delicious casserole with pork and beef. The Ukrainian salo with pepper and garlic (a version of lard) is a hallmark of this country. We recommend trying homemade baked ham, sausages and meat rolls stuffed with salo and garlic. Salo holds a special place in the Ukrainian cuisine. The Ukrainians eat it fresh and smoked, salted and fried. Salo is used to make lean meat more succulent.

The Ukrainian side-dishes are as substantial as the main dishes. Meat and fish are typically served with porridges, boiled or baked potatoes and vegetable appetizers such as sauerkraut, mashed eggplant or marrow. The Ukrainians just love potato dishes such as draniki and shanezhki, potato stewed with mushrooms and salo, potato stuffed with salo and prunes.

Bread is a very important food for the Ukrainians.

Kvas or fruit drinks are popular refreshing drinks.

Try strong homemade alcoholic drinks such as Horilka and various Nastoikas.

Money

The national currency is Ukranian hryvnia (UAH).

The National Bank of Ukraine issues the banknotes from 1 to 100 hryvnias and coins from 1 to 50 kopecks.

The tourists can exchange the currency at banks, in exchange offices and airports. Due to the civil conflict in the country, the national currency exchange rate is highly volatile.

Credit cards are accepted in large cities in stores, hotels, restaurants and eateries. If you are planning a trip to some villages, make sure you have enough cash.

There are many ATMs in any big city.

It is easier to cash traveller’s checks at banks. We recommend having traveller’s checks in US dollars.

Details of interest

The tourists can take part in interesting cultural events which are held in Ukraine.

In June visit Lviv because the Alfa Jazz Fest takes place there. This is a great international event.

At Christmas time, in Odessa a festival of Christmas takes place and in Mukachevo and Mirhorod, there is a festival and a contest Red Wine Festival.

In late May, Kiev holds an international exhibition of unique hand-made dolls Kiev Fairy tale.

The Blacksmiths International Festival also takes place in May in Ivanovo-Frankivsk.

Sightseeing in Ukraine

In Ukraine, there are several UNESCO sites.

Sophia Cathedral in Kiev and the Kiev Pechersk Lavra is the centre of the Orthodox culture and faith.

The Struve Geodetic Arc is a geodetic Wonder of the World. It was created to study the shape of the Earth in more details. The total length of the Struve is almost 3.000 km.

The Historic Center of Lviv preserved many Baroque buildings.

The Architectural Ensemble of Residence of Bukovina and Dalmatia Metropolitans is of a great interest.

In Kiev, you can go to many interesting excursions. Visit St. Sophia Cathedral, St. Michael's Cathedral and unique Golden Gates. You will be impressed by the beauty of the Andriyivskyy Descent, Opera House and the National Philarmonic. The number of museums in the capital of Ukraine will amaze you. To name but a few, the National Museum of Ukrainian History, National Museum of Ukrainian History, and Museum of the sixties.

Do not miss a chance to visit the Cave Monastery (Pechersk Lavra).

Ukrainian Souvenirs

Religious souvenirs are bought in small shops on the territory of the churches and monasteries, in art galleries and souvenir shops on the Andriyivskyy Descent and Khreshchatyk.

Funny figurines depicting the village life, dolls in the national costumes are sold in Odessa.

The Zakarpattia region and Poltava are known for carved wooden crafts.

In Lviv, the tourists can buy shirts, blouses, napkins and towels with national embroidery patterns.