Ukraine is a lovely country. From historic and disturbing sites like the Chernobyl Zone to bustling cities like Kyiv (anglicised as Kiev), Odessa and Lviv, Ukraine is one of Europe’s most vibrant countries. However, getting around Ukraine or doing things the right way is not easy. One of the primary reasons for this is Ukraine’s size, and a country as large and diverse as this can easily confuse even European veteran travelers when they step foot here for the first time. To settle things out a little, here are five tips.
- Go Local
When in Ukraine, do as the Ukrainians do. They are lively and friendly people who will do their best to help you out. It is useful to learn a bit of the local language, Ukrainian to ease communication. Remember to avoid tap water, as it is not safe, unlike the most of Europe. Try the local cuisine – its great! Ukrainians also love to drink, and it will be a wise idea to avoid drinking as much as they do. Tipping is considered polite but is not a mandatory custom. Ukraine is safe, and the cities stay awake till late in the night. They also have two time zones a year (a practice that has existed since Soviet times), one for summer and the other for winter, so adjust your clocks properly.
- Choose Your Hotels Wisely
Your accommodation in Ukraine will be an important part of your experience. There are a lot of places to choose from in the country when it comes to lodging, but the standard of service varies greatly. What may seem like an attractive deal may turn out to be unimpressive, so be careful when choosing your stay. You can look for several great hotels in various Ukrainian cities on our site. Check it out.
- Visit All the Lively Cities
Ukraine has many wonderful cities within its territory. The capital, Kyiv, is a bustling metropolis which is well connected to the entire country. The location of the capital is in the north central region of the country. Kyiv has several UNESCO recognized world heritage sites. Odessa, on the black sea coast, is another lovely city that you would not want to miss. Lovely beaches, stunning nightlife and friendly locals will make your stay worthwhile. In Lviv and Kharkiv, which are slightly smaller, but equally majestic, you will make memories that shall define your Ukrainian experience forever. Getting to these places, however, can be challenging. So, read the next few lines very closely.
- Getting Around Requires Planning and Skill
Ukraine’s main airline is Ukraine International, which flies to a large number of destinations. However, when you are in the country, getting around can be a bit of a trouble. Ukrainian trains are not as fast as your usual EuroRail network, and the country being so vast does not help the situation. Air travel is a good option, but direct flights are few, and most routes originate or end in the capital, meaning you would have to fly through Kyiv every time. Ukrainians travel on mashrutkas, small minibuses that rattle from destination to destination. Here, you can live your Ukrainian experience while mingling with the locals. If these options don’t appeal to you, hire a car.
- Chernobyl Visits Cannot Be Random
Almost all Ukraine based trips begin in Kyiv, the capital, which is a short distance away from the Chernobyl Disaster Zone. However, in order to visit this abandoned, eerie Soviet city, you will need to book a tour. Several tours leave Kyiv in the morning and do a day trip to the site. Even during your tour, the guide will monitor the radiation levels. Tours need to be reserved in advance, and you should start looking early, especially if you plan to visit from between June to September, which is the tourist season.
Ukraine is a lovely country. Overlooked by many travelers like most of eastern Europe, this nation is welcoming and nice. So, begin your Ukrainian story today and travel to one of Europe’s most unique and fascinating countries, and you will want to come back several times in the future.