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Bus travel in Ukraine

Holiday in Ukraine

Some more useful travellers 'tips and advice' for those coming to Ukraine

Medical Insurrance. Click here to read

Medical insurance is not required to enter Ukraine, except the cases, when it is in the list of documents necessary for obtaining a visa. Ukraine has agreements with many European countries, according to which it guarantees emergency medical help for foreign residents in case of need. However, considering that these agreements generally work only in theory and also that Ukrainian health care system is underdeveloped and medical service is inferior in its quality to European standards, we recommend that you provide yourself with medical insurance regardless of the time that you plan to spend in Ukraine..

Medicines that are worth taking with you, Click here to read

If you regularly take medication, you should take it with you however, the majority of medication and drugs can be always purchased in Ukrainian pharmacy stores and are normally cheaper than in Europe. There should be no problems with names of such medication and drugs as they are usually specified in Latin,. Nevertheless, it would be good to have the following medicines with you:

- adhesive plaster

- bandage

- antiseptic and antibacterial agents

- drugs against diarrhea

- aspirin, paracetamol and other antipyretic, anti-inflammatory and anesthetic preparations

- antihistaminic preparations (in case of disposition to allergic reactions)

- protective means against insect bites

- catarrhal preparations (including cough lozenges and syrop)

- sun block (if you travel in summer)..

Crime in Ukraine . Click here to read

Ukraine is relatively safe country as for European standards. Organized crime units are hardly interested in mere tourists, so the only thing that you should be wary of is fraud and disorderly conduct.

Avoiding becoming a victim of street robbery is a matter of common sense: don't flash your money around, avoid poorly lit or deserted areas, don't keep all money and documents in one place, keep an eye on your belongings, particularly in crowded places and on public transport.

As in any other country, you may meet con artists in Ukraine. Try to avoid talking to foreigners in the street, especially late at night. Hooliganism is commonly carried out by groups of teens, therefore, avoid them as far as possible.

Credit card frauds, as well as illegal currency exchange are quite widespread in Ukraine. Paying with credit card, make sure that no one sees your PIN-code; be careful withdrawing money at the ATM (it's better to use ATMs located in banks or in crowded places); never exchange currency in the street - it's illegal in Ukraine. If you see a wallet, lying on your way, don't stop and pick it up. Swindlers might have planted it in order to accuse you in stealing.

Compliance with simple precautions, based on common sense, will allow you to avoid troubles and to have a restful and pleasant visit to Ukraine. .

National Holidays in Ukraine . Click here to read

On the following national public holidays banks, schools and government offices are closed. Holidays falling on a weekend are usually observed the following Monday.

31st of December- 1 of January - New Year's Day is the main holiday in Ukraine, everybody’s happy because people wait for the great new life in the New Year and give each other presents. There’s no Father Christmas, there’s Father Frost in Ukraine. He comes on New Year’s Eve and gives presents. Traditionally people gather with family or friends.

6th and 7th of January - Orthodox Christmas. Being predominantly Orthodox country, Ukraine, contrary to many western countries, celebrates Christmas not on December 25th but on January 7th. Note that the New Year is much more celebrated than Christmas.

22th of January - Day of Unity of Ukraine. Being a national holiday, it's not the public one, though, and, therefore, it's a regular work day in Ukraine.

8th of March - International Women's Day is the time, when flowers are sold for doubled prices, and men suddenly realize the importance of women. Late March - early April - Orthodox Easter. After-Easter Monday is a day off, too. Note that Orthodox Easter regularly falls on different day than Catholic one.

1st and 2nd of May - May Day & the Day of Spring. In the Soviet times they called it The Day of Labor, but it was a holiday for all. Now it’s just May Day - another free from work day to meet friends.

9th of May - Victory Day. The day of victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945. It is widely celebrated throughout the country and military parades are carried out.

Early June - Trinity Sunday. This Christian holiday is a public holiday in Ukraine.

28th of June - Constitution Day. Ukrainian constitution was signed on this day in 1996.

24th of August - Independence Day. Longed for independence of Ukraine was proclaimed on this day in 1991. .

Documents Required for Driving A Vehicle . Click here to read

In order to drive a car (motorcycle) on the territory of Ukraine, you need to have an international driving license, documents certifying possession rights on the vehicle (technical passport) and motor vehicle liability insurance policy. Moreover, if you cross Ukrainian border by your own vehicle, you have to fill in a temporary vehicle importation declaration at the customs passing point..

Road Conditions in Ukraine . Click here to read

Road conditions in Ukraine may strongly vary depending on region. Main roads on the territory of large cities and regional centers are commonly in good state. If you intend to travel through Ukraine by car, expect poor road conditions in rural areas and on some intercity road sections. Some road sections are uneven and have holes that are periodically fixed by road services. These motorways may lack road signs and traffic lane markings. In order to avoid vehicle damage and emergencies, it's better not to drive on such road sections at night. Be careful and pay attention to warning signs, try to plan your route in advance, in order to avoid driving in dark hours. .

Traffic Police in Ukraine . Click here to read

On the main highways leading to many cities you may often see stationary GAI (Department of Motor Vehicles and Traffic Control) posts. Here the traffic is monitored and watched around-the-clock and they can stop vehicles for verification of documents', etc . Traffic control officers may also patrol highways, 'hiding' from vehicles in unnoticeable places - mainly in small villages, trying to catch speeding drivers. Therefore, be on the alert and never violate the road regulations, remember that traffic policeman may stop you in the most unexpected place. If you are stopped by traffic control officer for overspeeding or crossing a solid line, always ask the officer to make a report on violation and give you a copy.

Quite often, during the summer with the increase of tourists vehicles , the so called 'ecological patrols' pop up on Ukrainian roads and try to make profits on gullible travelers. Such 'ecological policemen' may look like traffic policemen and even have similar uniform. They stop vehicles on highways and try to test your auto's exhaust gases for toxic emissions. Such actions are absolutely illegal. While Ukrainians are used to ignore such 'impostor-ecologists', their main targets are foreign tourists in non Ukrainian vehicles , who are illegally made to buy ecological control coupons. Remember that in Ukraine drivers must stop only on traffic control officer's demand and safely ignore such 'ecological patrols', for they have no right to carry out ecological control, and to charge fines even less so! .

What Can You Bring into Ukraine . Click here to read

Currency. You may import up to 3000 US dollars or the equivalent of this sum in any other currency, as well as cheques issued by foreign banks in sum up to 3000 US dollars, to Ukraine without written declaration. If the sum in cash or in issued cheques that you intend to import is from 3000 to 10000 US dollars, you have to write it down in declaration at the customs control. It is important that you keep this document (the customs declaration) till the end of your stay, because you will need to show it, when you exit the country. You may import the sum from 10000 to 50000 US dollars to the territory of Ukraine only, if you have a verifying certificate from the bank. You need permission of the National Bank of Ukraine in order to import more than 50000 US dollars.

Alcohol and tobacco goods. You may import 1 liter vodka products, 2 liters wine, 5 liters beer, 200 cigarettes or 250 g tobacco to Ukraine without paying the customs tax.

Foodstuff. Foodstuffs imported for personal consumption are exempted from tax. At that, the total cost of the goods can't exceed 50 Euros and the weight of each product can't exceed 2 kg.

Not allowed to import to the territory of Ukraine are goods that can harm health, endanger life of population and fauna, or may lead to harmful consequences for environment. As well as photo-, audio-, and video-materials, which promote war, violence, pornography, racial, ethnical and religious animosity. .

What Can You Take Out Of Ukraine . Click here to read

Currency. On condition of oral declaration you may export from Ukraine up to 3000 US dollars in cash or in form of traveler's cheques for the same sum or the equivalent of this sum in any other foreign currency. You may also export the foreign currency, which you previously imported on legal basis and which is stated in the customs declaration. The cheques issued by foreign banks and imported or sent to Ukraine in compliance with local legislation also belong here. You may export foreign currency in sum from 10000 to 50000 US dollars only based on the verifying certificate from the bank, in sum of more than 50000 US dollars - provided the individual license of the National Bank.

You may also export Ukrainian national currency in sum of up to 1000 hrivnas without written declaration.

Alcohol and tobacco goods. You may export no more than 1 liter vodka products, 2 liters wine, 5 liters beer, 200 cigarettes or 250 g tobacco from Ukraine without paying the customs tax.

Foodstuff. Exported foodstuffs with the total cost up to 50 Euros are exempted from tax. At that, the weight of each product can't exceed 2 kg.

Works of art. If you have a receipt of purchase, you may freely export from Ukraine souvenir products, paintings, as well as works of decorative and applied arts of modern production, bought in shops or artistic salons. When buying a picture of modern artist, make sure that it has a document stating that it has no cultural value.

Antiques, as well as works of art, having cultural or historical value, are allowed to be exported only with permission of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine.

To the cultural values, export of which doesn't require permission of the Ministry of Culture, belong: personal rewards, on wearing of which there are order books and certificates; works of Soviet decorative and educational art, painting, author's graphics of serial and mass production published after 1960. As well as modern factory-made jewelry made of non-precious stones; serial works of modern production made of ceramics, leather, wood, metals, stones; souvenirs, postage stamps issued after 1970. .