Ukraine in brief

Astreya Kievskaya/ Welcome to Ukraine/ Ukraine in brief

 

UKRAINE

 

 

 

 

Part of the world: Europe.

Region: Eastern Europe.

Position: latitude 49 00’ (forty-nine degrees) North, longitude 32 00’ (thirty-two degrees) East.

Area: 43rd country in size in the world; 603,700 km2 (land: 98%, water: 2%).

Extension from North to South: 893 km (554.88 mi).

Extension from East to West: 1,316 km (817.72 mi).

Length of state borders: 6,500 km (4,038.91 mi), from which 1,873 km (1,163.83 mi) of water borders

on Russia 1,576 km (979.28 mi)
on Moldova 939 km (583.47 mi)
on Romania 531 km (329.95 mi)
on Hungary 526 km (326.84 mi)
on Slovakia 97 km (60.27 mi)
on Poland 97 km (60.27 mi)
on Belorussia 891 km (553.64 mi).

The highest point: Mount Hoverla in the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains 2,061 m (6,761.81 feet).

The lowest point: the Black Sea 0 m (0 feet).

The greatest river: the Dnipro (1,095 km).

Seas: the Black Sea, the Azov Sea.

Lakes: 20,000.

Rivers: 73,000.

Climate: moderately continental, subtropical on the South coast of the Crimea, Mediterranean.

Plant life: three native zones according to the soil belts – forest, forest-steppe and steppe.

Animal world: in the whole 28,000 species are represented including 101 species of mammal, 350 species of bird, 21 species of reptile, 19 species of amphibian and more than 200 species of fish.

Regions (states): 24.

Capital: Kyiv.

Official language: Ukrainian.

Form of government: parliamentary-presidential republic.

Political order: Ukraine is an independent sovereign state (since 1991). The main law of the state is the Constitution. President is the head of the state. He is elected on the universal suffrage basis. The supreme legislative body is the unicameral parliament – Verhovna Rada. The supreme executive power belongs to the Cabinet of Ministers.

Population: 46,022,306 people.

Largest cities, habitants (on average):
Kyiv: 2,704,511
Kharkiv: 1,461,234
Dnipropetrovs’k; 1,046,608
Odesa: 992,669
Donets’k: 989,569.

Prevailing religion: Christianity (orthodoxy, autocephalous Greek Catholic ,protestant Church,).

Monetary unit: hryvnya = 100 copecks.

Telephone code: +38  + number.

Internet domain: ua.

Visa 

For citizens of some countries visas are required for the entry into Ukraine. Because a visa clearance procedure varies from country to country it is advisable that you call your Ukrainian Consulate at a reason­ably long notice. If visa support is required, our company will be happy to send it to you with a copy forwarded to a respective consular section of the Embassy which will facilitate the process of issuing a visa. Please note that if your point of entry is Symferopol airport or Odesa airport or seaport you may purchase a short-term (valid for up to 8 days) and non-extendable visa on arrival.

 

Arrival

The majority of travellers arrive in Ukraine by air landing in the country's main international airport Boryspil (20 km away from Kyiv) though international flights are also operated to and from Kharkiv Odesa, Lviv, Symferopol and Dnipropetrovsk. Major Ukrainian European and world airline com­panies serve regular flights connecting Kyiv with all European capitals and largest cities and providing for convenient connections to further destinations. Our company will be happy to offer you a variety of options of your optimum travel itinerary. 
Immigration and Customs 
On arrival, foreign guests are requested to fill in an immigration form which must be presented along with your passport. Passport control is followed by customs office desk. Customs requirements on entry into Ukraine are essentially the same as those applied in Europe though you may want to check them out in advance to avoid unnecessary delays and complications. Please remember that as you exit the country the amount of cash you are carrying may not exceed the sum you declared on entry into Ukraine Plus, if you have purchased some costly pieces of art please make sure that no permission for their exportation from Ukraine is required. 
 Finally, we would strongly discourage you from using services of occasional drivers offering you a lift to the city - ordering an airport-city transfer from your tour agent will be much safer and economical.

 

Hotels

Ukrainian hotels classification is different from universally accepted classification standards which is why consulting a reliable tour operator at selecting the right place to stay at is an essential part of arranging your trip. Kyiv and a few major cities of Ukraine feature some fine hotels that meet expectations of different kinds of travellers arriving on business, for leisure and family reunions. Though credit cards and traveller's cheques are commonly accepted in these hotels, it is advisable that you have a certain amount of cash in local currency for some incidental expenses. If you make a reservation on your own (especially through the Internet) remember to check out the reservation cancellation requirements. 
 Please be mindful that in the most of hotels your restaurant check may not be credited on your room bill and you will be offered to pay cash or by your credit card.

 

Eating Out

Most big cities will offer foreign visitors a diverse gamut of places to eat at - from international fast food eateries like McDonald's to most exquisite French and Japanese restaurants. If you have opted to succumb to a temptation of Ukrainian generous cuisine please remember that traditional Ukrainian dishes are very rich in both flavour and calories. But they are definitely worth forgetting your weight-sensitivity for a while. Guidebooks and directories in your hotel will provide you with a detailed information about the menus and price range of restaurants in the city of your stay. Please note that some restaurants include the tip in your check, so look for a gratuity entry in your check. Otherwise a 5 to 10 percent tipping is customary.

 

Travelling Within Ukraine 

Kyiv is conveniently connected with the nation's major cities by a ramified railroad network and your railroad trip to virtually any destination within the country will in most cases be an overnight journey in comfortable sleeping car. Railroad fares are relatively moderate but the availability of tickets may be limited especially in peak season. Therefore using services of a local tour agent may relieve you of a hassle with choosing the right train and booking a ticket. 
Domestic flights may be a good alternative - turboprops commute from Kyiv to main regional centers every day. However, because of frequent changes in the flights schedule we suggest you consult your travel agent in Ukraine for the confirmation of available services. 
 Municipal transportation is fairly reliable especially in big cities with metro lines. Though you may be surprised with the cheapness of fare you may find that especially in rush hours taking a taxi is a safer and faster option. Many visitors particularly those arriving on business, prefer to book a chauffeured car from their travel agent.

 

Operating Hours

Offices usually open at 9 am and work till 6 pm on weekdays with lunch breaks from 1 to 2 pm being quite common. Banks admission hours are as a rule from 9 am to 1 pm. Shops especially groceries, remain open till at least 8 pm. The following holidays are observed in Ukraine: January 1 - New Year, January 7 - Christmas, March 8 - Spring and Women's Day, Monday following the Easter Day that varies from year to year but usually celebrated in late April - early May, May 1-2 - Labour Day, May 9- Victory Day, Monday following the Holy Trinity Day (usually in mid summer), June 28 - Constitution Day, August 24 - Independence Day.

 

Payments 

Though credit cards are increasingly more widely accepted across. Ukraine having a sufficient supply of cash is important ATMs are installed next to large shopping and business centers plus there are quite a few currency exchange office scattered over busiest parts of cities and accepting US dollars, Euros and other major currencies. Though street vendors offering to exchange your cash are rare these days, using their services still may be risky.

 

Electrical Circuits and Telephone Lines 

The Ukrainian main current is 220 V and sockets are not fit for European and US electric appliances therefore carrying a universal adapter and voltage transformer is essential whether you plan to use your notebook or an electric toothbrush. 
 Your cell phone will work in Ukraine as long as your operator has a roaming agreement with Ukrainian mobile communication providers therefore contact your operator to see if you can count on your handy. Calling from city payphones requires buying a calling card. For an international access dial 8, wait for a buzz then dial 10, your country and area code followed by a phone number. More detailed instructions and emergency numbers will be available in your hotel room.

 

 

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