Be sure to bring clean unworn bills. I brought some American paper money with me that I obtained at a branch of the Bank of Montreal in Canada, and I changed it into Ukrainian Hryvnya at the numerous banks in Kiev. Generally I'd change $100 US into about 450 Hryvnya. On one occasion, the woman behind the glass in the bank told me that the $20 US bill that I handed her contained too much ink (teller's ink stamp mark from Canada) and it had a small tear, and that if I wanted to change the bill into Hryvnya the bank would charge me 10%. I agreed. The paperwork involved with that $20 US bill took 15 minutes, and the signatures of 3 different people.
do not in any case pick up money that you see on the street ,this is the must common scam .one man drop the money/wallet and his partner following u .when picked ... they both will make one hand against u and will try to take your money ... with the excuse of there are still missing some ...
Recently, Ukrainian police has renewed the old procedure of checking ID on the streets. couple of my foreign friends told me that they have been stopped by police for documents check. that mostly concerns foreigners, who are easily spotted out even in the crowd, or people of non Caucasian appearance. As long as you have your ID with you (passports) and you didn't stay in Ukraine for 90 days without registering with OVIR, you are in a good shape.
I hope this practice disappears as soon as it has reappeared.
When you enter Ukraine, you'll fill out a small paper immigration form (landing card). If you fly, the form is handed out about an hour before you land. Fill out both parts, top and bottom, and sign both parts. You don't sign at the bottom of each part, you sign on the side of each part. The form asks for your flight numbers (arriving and leaving), address of accommodation, purpose of visit (I wrote visitor), etc. Upon entry, the immigration officer will rip the paper in two and give you the bottom part. Keep it in a safe place (in your passport) because if you lose it then your exit from Ukraine will be delayed and you'll likely miss your plane, have to spend another night, etc. I wasn't asked any questions by immigration, either way.
With each year there are more and more cars in Kiev. Although not everybody can afford to buy a new car, but the closeness to Germany and initiative of auto dealers form other countries helps Ukrainians to buy more used car, which just clog the city’s streets. At the same time it is quite dangerous to drive around, because
1) There are not such things as lines on a road that would divide the traffic. They were one day a long time ago, but with time they were so much wiped out, that now everybody goes as they wish.
2) There are no rules for some of drivers, especially those who drive fashionable and expensive cars. On several occasions I observed a car running on the opposite traffic side, to pass a traffic.
3) There were many cases when one of the side of car accident (doesn’t matter in fault or not) was bitten by the other (especially if the other possesses that beautiful Mercedes or BMW). As you know those cars are not cheap and their owners as a rule are very outraged if there is any damage. Moreover, they know that power is with them, because power is money and they have it.
Don’t want to scary you much about Kiev’s road, but if you drive, drive safely.
I heard, its impossible to find a budget accomodation in Kiev. Its absolutelly not true. There are many hostel-like accomodations where for $7-10 will offer you a bed in dorm. Sure, they are in the outskirts, but if you fan of adventures in strange city with luck of money that will be a nice variant for you. Also, near railway station enter, all time night and day stands a dozen of women who will offer you a flats with price start $20 for night.
Well, if you will still have problems, contact me, I dont mind to help!
In the second week of October around 100 or so Ukrainian thugs began bottling some Scottish football fans playing pipes and drums.
Women children and the elderly were present - unfortunately elderly Scots in particular were targeted by the Ukrainian cowards. Believe me, the picture above is very very mild for some of the assaults.
Particularly aggrieving then that the Ukrainian police and embassy were uniinterested - police more interested in intimidating money from people, but don't take this personally, they do it with the locals too
Be careful when using your Credit Card. Never use it if you are not able to see the card under the complete payment process (in particular in restaurants). I never had a problem of that kind when I used my card at hotel receptions or travel agencies and airlines. There I saw my card under the whole process of payment but in restaurants you usually hand it over to the waiter who disappears withthe card and after a short while comes back with the receipt you are signing. But in the meanwhile a copy was taken, most probably not even the waiter or the responsible manager of the restaurant knew that a copier was attached to the appliance for the credit card processing.
It happened to me that I got a call a few days after I returned back home from Ukraine and was asked by Master Card when I left Ukraine because the same days when I used my card at a petrol staion in Switzerland and in a supermarket in Italy it was also used in several shops in Kyiv and Odesa and even in the restaurant where I was eating a bill of 900 EUR was paid (my own a few days before that was only a few % of it).
be carefull of the police in kiev. i spoke to a man who was held up by a kiev hooligan with a knife and forced to hand over his wallett. this was all in front a of a police officer. when the attacker put his knife away to put the stolen money in his pocket the victim fought back however the policeman was quick to act then, splitting the pair up and allowing the thief to escape
we saw several skinheads wandering around the city centre and this culminated in an attack by over 300 of them. as we were in kiev with 2000 other scotland supporters for a soccer match we all met up in independence square however the local hooligans obviously saw this as a great opportunity for a fight. the scotland supporters were attacked on mass at least twice and i spoke to many people who were individuaslly attacked or held up at knife point and robbed.
That's probably a very common problem in all very crowded places, all over the world, and Kiev it's not an exception. However, I've experienced a pickpocket's attempt myself, so that's why I'm mentioning about it
(fortunatelly I've managed to stop him :-)
What else can I say? It should be obvious. Just be careful, as metro in Kiev is really very very crowded (actually the most crowded I've ever been to; even more than that one in London or Tokyo) and just have your eyes open!
Alternatively you can always say:
"Я загубив свій гаманець" (yah zahoo-biv sviyuh hamane-tsuh)
"I've lost my wallet!"
good luck and be (always) reasonable! :)
The biggest problem I've experienced during my stay in Kiev was a complete lack of accommodation! Usually I travel without any strict plan and this time I didn't have any accommodation booked in advance either. I've waisted literally 7 or 8 hours trying to find a place to stay for a night. Everything was book out and it's not that I'm fussy, seriously there was no rooms, no mather if it was a cheap hotel in the outskirts or a Radisson in the center! Nothing, Null, nada!
In the guide books they always say to look for babushkas (offering a private accommodation) on the stations. There is no such thing in Kiev either! :)
Besides, in Ukraine you can't just spend a night on a bench or on the train station, as you may be accused of vagabondage, and I can assure you that Ukrainian authorities are not the people you would like to deal with and some Ukrainian gaol is not the accommodation you were looking for either ;)
Another problem - you can't just go back to the place you came from, as the train/coach tickets in Ukraine you need to buy in advance as well. On the day of the departure everything is usually sold out!
The best advice I can give you is not to put yourself in the situation I put myself ;) which means ALWAYS BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION BEFORE GOING TO KIEV!
Alternatively you can try in the student houses/dorms located near university, but they are usually full.
Good luck! ;)
Yes, no doubts, it is exciting and leaves lots of memorys, but mind of dangers also. And that is not only radiation. This zone, area is closed, so there no true municipality, authoritys or police. So, that is the common zone where hide run away prisoners. Belive me, there lots of them. And, as for radiation, also mind of it too. As I know, for ex., 1 day beeing in close to reactor area you will get a month dose of radiation living in Kiev. Try to be rational, dont joke with your health.
One my friend, foreigner, while going home in city center about 11pm, was stopped by police, maybe becouse he was just wondering and taking pics of night city and buildings... He does not speak russian at all, officers did not know any english. They asked his passport and even after that searched him, but everything was ok and let him go.
Generally, it is not normall, police cant without any obvious cause search you, or ask something to do - like give money, or take you to police department.
I had read other comments as well as in my guidebook about taking precautions while sightseeing in such a big city as Kiev. It is mentioned that you might face Police check ups late at night (and if being drunk) but I am not a night-owl, so I didn’t have any problem at all. At the metro I always kept an eye on my valuables, but still no harassment. Generally I found it a very safe city to move around even though I was a solo traveler.