Ukraine suggestions.


When arriving in the Ukraine it is better not to be unprepared, some simple suggestions can resolve many problems. Better to have the Immigration Card already completed. If arriving by plane they hand you the card 30 minutes before landing, if arriving by land it is given at the border crossing, knowing how to complete it is fundamental.

An important recommendation: keep it with care until the moment of departure, you will be asked for it at passport control. The latest: finally they have made a bigger Immigration Card; the contents are the same but at least you can write without having a magnifying glass.

Customs declaration
Also customs declaration is important and we suggest to always comply with it, this takes some minutes but give you a security on personal objects that you are bringing in with you.

If you are arriving in the Ukraine with your vehicle remember absolutely not to drink alcohol, tolerance is 0 (zero) therefore stop. Also a small glass of spumante will make you have big trouble.
Speed on the roads has to be minimal and don't make mistakes if going at a pace of 40 kph, there are a lot of police patrols and it isn't difficult to find three or four along 10 km of road. To keep a moderate speed it will help you to use the road bed, except in rare cases, it isn't the best.

The road signs are written with Cyrillic characters and you will not find replacement parts (except in big cities)so if you decide the trip with a vehicle, plan it well in advance to avoid unpleasant consequences.
Vehicles with foreign number plates must have, the log book in the name of the driver, a green card is needed for insurance, and a drivers' licence (new design for EU) is recognised but better to have an international licence.

Valuation and money exchange
Avoid taking a lot of cash with you, if appropriate it isn't necessary, it's better to use a credit card (visa and MasterCard are the ones well known).
When you are in the Ukraine it is better to have the local currency (grivne). Exchange is favourable in the many boxes that you find everywhere including the airport.

The exchange rate is about 7.4 grivne for 1 Euro and 5.05 grivne for every dollar (01-2008).
These are the basic exchanges; I personally have changed 1 Euro from 6.2 to 7,8 grivne according to the valuation trend.

Mobile phone
If you have a lot of contacts in the Ukraine or must often use the mobile phone to call internally it is very convenient to acquire a Sim Card from a local communication manager (Kiev Star or UMC).

Stays Stays in the Ukraine can be cheap, Kiev has prices of any European city but if you move out a little from the centre, you will find prices certainly convenient.
Hotels, without a lot of claim, go from 30 to 50 Euros per night and if you want a better organisation from 60 to 140 Euros per night, for luxury then the prices are very high.
Also for a good stay is booking an apartment (please do it with personal trust) prices go from 50 to 100 Euros per night, if they find optimal apartments will all given comforts.

To eat we advise heartily the Ukraine cuisine, and in Kiev you can find Potata House in Maidan or perhaps Pozata Hata (Ukrains'ki Stravi) near the other large commercial centre called Metro in Besarabs'ka square.
Costs vary from 60/70 grivne at Potata House to 30/50 grivne at Pozata Hata, both self-service but you will leave certainly satisfied.

Considering the Ukrainian people, with all respect, are workers and very intelligent constructive entrepreneurs and, also if a little less open minded to us, have human value qualities that many Italians have lost: so, attention, bad apples live in all countries of the world.