Ukraine Top Tips2 mins read
Ukraine has a huge terrority full of greenlands, forests, mountains, rivers, cosy villages intriguing architecture and kind-hearted people. You’re probably wanting to know how to optimise your time in Ukraine amongst all of its amazing attributes? Well, here are some useful top tips to boost your experience:
1) In rural areas, tips are not common. However, restaurants and cafes do expect a 10% tip. If you offer villagers a tip, some may project a loud rejection as they don’t want to come across as ‘poor’. On the other hand, they will appreciate a small present from your country or some sweets for the local children.
2) Purchase a local sim card, it’s rather cheap and good value for money. In Ukraine, there is 3G and 4G internet widely spread across the country, even in the remote areas. Once you have a SIM in many cities you can pay by SMS for a public bus ticket and also can use Google Pay in Kyiv, Lviv and Odessa.
3) Travel is often the best way to get around the country, don’t be afraid to use public transportation. Most trains which run between larger cities are of good quality, have sleeping compartments and excellent value of money. The roads aren’t that great in Ukraine so it’s better to take the train than drive a car.
4) Ukrainians are not very smiley. Their ‘angry face’ tradition derives from Soviet times when standing outside could get you into trouble. Therefore, don’t anticipate people to smile at you randomly on the streets. Once you start interacting with people and getting to know them, Ukrainians will be very friendly and do their best to help you out.
5) If you’re going on a hike in the mountains, take note as a lot of trails are not very well marked. When exploring far-off locations it’s quite easy to get lost so we recommend sticking to the major routes if not to explore the offbeat ones with a certified guide. Similarly, do not go hiking in the mountains in winter without a guide! The Carpathian Mountains are not very high however they can be unpredictable with snow and blizzards occurring.
6) In rural areas the common mode of payment is cash however in cities there is a good network of ATMs and in most places, you can pay by card in most areas. Sometimes villages do have one ATM of a major bank, however, you can’t always count on it being open.
7) Don’t expect much English to be spoken, especially in the countryside. Before you visit, it would be handy if you can pick up some Cyrillic writing as you’ll have a small bit of knowledge to what the signs say. English is not yet as widely spoken in comparison to other European countries, so be ready to use a lot of Google Translate.
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