Everbrite's Russia, Belarus and Ukraine Pages
Russia General Info
Russian Consulate Information
Obtaining a Russian Visa
Money and Other Tips
Tidbits for Tourists:
A to I
K to Z
Rulers of Russia:
From the Beginning to the Time of Troubles
From the Romanovs to Revolution
From Soviet Times to the present
Russia Regional Information:
Central Moscow Tour in four parts with map:
Part 1 Stops 1 through 13. Marriott Royal⁄Hotel Budapest to Manezh Ploshchad
Part 2 Stops 14 though 22. Around Manezh Ploshchad
Part 3 Stops 23 though 44. Along Tverskaya Street to the area around Puskin Square
Part 4 Stops 45 though 48. From Puskinskaya Ploshchad to Upper St. Peter's Monastery and back
Travel in Russia planes, trains and automobiles
TransSiberian Trains information to get you started on your journey
General Visa Information
Kyiv Tourist Information
General Travel links
News, Cultural Information
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Ukrainian consulate in UK or Ukrainian consulate UK
Ukrainian consulate in US
Consular visa information from consulate in the US
Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs government website in English with information about visas.
Ukrainain Embassies and Consulates around the world
No visas are required for citizens of Poland, Hungary, Romania, Mongolia, Serbia and Montenegro, and the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (except Turkmenistan).
NO invitation letters are necessary for citizens of the US, Canada, Japan, Switzerland, Slovakia, and Turkey, or citizens of the countries of the European Union for obtaining official, business, private, cultural, or sports visas.
Note that for the above mentioned citizens, one can obtain a private visa just by listing the name and address of someone in Ukraine. There are no reports that anyone ever checks this name and address. Since this is a private visa, it implies that you will be staying with this individual. Therefore, you should not list any other cities that you intend to visit, nor need you have any hotel accommodations booked.
Tourist visas still require invitations and accommodation vouchers, but no one bothers with tourist visas if they hold passports for the above countries.
In addition, registration is no longer required. As a result you should be able to stay at any hotel and be charged the same as any local. In practice this does not always happen. Some people don't seem to acknowledge that the two tier pricing system is no longer in affect.
Ukrainian visas can NOT be obtained at the border. There were variable reports that they are available at the airport in Kyiv and at some ports on the Black Sea but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs site no longer indicates this to be true.
Ukrainian visas indicate a date of entry and a date of departure. You cannot enter before and you must depart by the dates indicated on the visa. You can enter after the date on the visa and depart before the date on the visa.
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The following information is from the website of the US embassy in Kyiv. Medical Insurance in Ukraine for Emergency Care The Ukrainian parliament passed a law in 1997 requiring all visitors to Ukraine to obtain mandatory health insurance from the state joint-stock insurance company Ukrinmedstrach at their point of entry into Ukraine. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised the embassy that holders of official or diplomatic passports are exempt from this requirement. However, there have been cases where travelers with official passports have been required to buy the insurance. To date, the cost has not exceeded twenty USD per traveler.
According to the information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the Ukrinmedstrach was "created for the purpose of developing a state program to ensure that foreign citizens receive high-quality emergency medical assistance in Ukraine". In other words, the program, primarily, guarantees that any visitor to Ukraine will have continuing access to the public health system in emergency cases and, secondly, it ensures that the facilities rendering emergency care are compensated for their services.
The cost of medical insurance, according to information from Ukrainian authorities, does not depend on the term of validity, or type of, visa but on the length of a foreigner's stay in Ukraine. The cost for the insurance is:
from 1 to 5 days 12 hryvnya (approx. $2),
for 30 days 62 hryvnya ($12),
from 181 to 210 days 334 hryvnya ($60),
from 331 to 365 days 500 hryvnya ($95).
(Note: the prices in USD are given according to the current rate of exchange in Ukraine - $1 = 5.6 hryvnya.)
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Ukraine Trains for the main trains to and from Kyiv and approximate prices
Your Trains - CIS Train Schedule
Bus from London to Kyiv Yes, there really are busses to Ukraine to and from London.
Kyiv Boryspil Airport
Ukrainian bus timetables (Russian only)
Travel on the Black Sea:
UkrFerry Shipping the map on their website indicates that they have routes between Odessa and Istanbul, Varna and Derince, plus to Yalta and then on to Poti and Batumi.
Navibulgar's Ferry Line service between Bulgaria and Ukraine
Unipress Travel - this is a ferry between Istanbul and Odessa.
Odessa to Varna - this is a ferry which operates from late June until mid September.
Odessa to Sevastopol (Yalta) - the passenger ship "Krymskaya Strela" cruises between Odessa and Sevastopol (Yalta) and Odessa weekly from late June until mid September.
The is also reportedly a hydrofoil (Raketa) which operates between Odessa and Varna.
The port of Kavkaz, Russia is situated on the Taman Peninsula on Chushka Spit at the Strait of Kerch. Since 1995 the port is open for international cargo and passenger communication. Transshipment of motor transport, oil products, mineral fertilizers in bags and other packaged cargo is carried out at the port. It was confirmed in summer 2004 that there is a car ferry about every three hours from Port Krim (Kerch, Ukraine) to Port Kavkaz (Russia.) Ferries go from Port Krim at 0730 and 1015 to Port Kavkaz, but transport from Port Kavkaz is not so easy. There are no other ferries going. From Yalta and Sevastopol there are buses, which use the same ferry, and go via Feodosia and Kerch to Krasnodar, Rostov, Novorossiisk and Gelendzhik.
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Kyiv Tourist Information
It is easy to spend three or four days in Kyiv without getting bored. The main sites include the KyyevoPecherska Lavra (Calvin Cave Monastery), Andriyivsky Uzviz, the twisting descent to Podil (the lower city), the Upper City and St. Sophia's, a stroll along Khreshchatyk from the Bessarabia Market passed Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti), to the arch commemorating the the Reunion of Russia and Ukraine.
If you have more time, try to get outside of town to the Open Air Museum of Folk architecrue to see the old wooden buildings, consider a visit to the Ukrainian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War, or visit the Chernobyl museum.
You can arrange to take a tour of the area around Chernobyl including the evacuated town of Pripyat. There are several companies that arrange this. All seem to charge about the same amount as the tours appear to be arranged through the government.
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General travel links
Crimea info (English)
Kyiv Travel Guide
Yalta info (English, Russian)
L'viv Best Information about the Carpathian Mountains
L'viv Intourist travel agency in Western Ukraine
Ukrainian travel agent
Euroscope - Ukraine
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News, Cultural Information, Web Resources
World Service (Ukrainian)
Ukrainska Pravda a subversive internet paper - Ukrainian, Russian, English
Kyiv Post English language Kyiv newspaper.
Favorite Ukrainian Web Links as collected by Dr. Myron Hlynka, of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Windsor, Canada
Travel in Ukraine a message board with links to other information about travel in Ukraine.
The latest Russia and Belarus Lonely Planet guide (released June 2003) does not include Ukraine, but the 2000 edition does. Although the information about prices, visas and such is outdated, the information on sites and towns is still reasonably accurate. The Eastern Europe LP guide published in January 2003 does include a small section about Ukraine. It is reported that LP will publish a Ukraine guide in the summer of 2005.
There is a guidebook written by Linda Hodges and published in June 2000. It is called "Language and Travel Guide to Ukraine." For information check on the listing at Amazon.com. The author publishes updates on her webpages: Ukrainian Language, Culture and Travel Page
In Kyiv you can buy a guidebook for the city called "Touring Kyiv." It cost $14 US in the summer of 2002. Modeled after the DK series, it was available at most tourist destinations in the city and is reasonably good.
The series called Inyourpocket.com now has a Kyiv guide. Its reasonably comprehensive, by far the most useful guide around. Its available locally from news stands for 10 UAH (about 2 USD), but not yet on their web site. Its weak on apartment rental firms (there are hundreds, but the guide lists a couple, for that I suggest you buy a local paper.) It also claims that if you enter the country with more than 1000 USD in cash you need a "bank reference" - which is just rubbish. But mostly the info is good and uptodate.
The newsstand in the bottom basement of the mall under Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square,) next to the sweet stall, stocks the new "Kyiv in your pocket". For English Books and possibly also Lonely Planet guides, you may have a chance in this mall.
The Bradt travel series has a mini guide for Kyiv due out in November 2004.
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Hostels or B&Bs in Ukraine
All Ukraine Hotels This site lists all the best hotels in Ukraine but it's in Russian.
A list of cheaper hotels in Kyiv from the brama.com website.
Hostels For years there have been no traditional hostels in Ukraine, but there are some guest houses and other inexpensive accommodations. Reportedly there is a new group called the Ukrainian Youth Hostel Organization. Their website indicates that they are members of Hostelling International and that they hope to have hostels operating in Odessa, Uzhgorod and Kyiv by June 2004.
Recommmendations from fellow TT travelers, prices are from spring⁄summer 2002 and 2003:
- Hostinitsa Drujba, 5 bul. Druzhby Narodiv, Tel./fax: 00380 44 268 33 87, 12 USD per single.
- A hotel at Kikvidze street 39. Clean, nice, quite close to the centre. 3688 UAH (717 USD) per night.
- Hotel St Petersburg on Tarras Shevchenko near the Bessarabia Rynok for 35 USD for single with no bath but someone else reported spending 25 USD for a double. It is described as sovietstyle, very basic but reasonably clean and safe. Reportedly some of the reception staff speak English.
- Hotel Andriyivsky (sometimes called Andrews Hotel), booked at a discount rate through Unipress (do a Google search to find) for, I think, $57 per night for a double. Very good indeed I suppose 3star standard and excellent location on Andriyivsyky a few minutes from all the tourist stalls. Ten minutes or so walk from the metro. Highly recommended.
- Hotel Holoseevskaya and is execellent value at 50 hrn per night. I found it quite comfortable, better than some similarly prices hotels elsewhere. To get to Hotel Holoseevskaya, take the metro to Lybidskaya. From there take trolleybus number 4, 11 or 12. Stay on the trolleybus all the way past a big park on the left hand side and get off at the first stop after the park. The hotel is on the left. From central Kyiv the journey takes about 45 minutes.
- Kozatsky hotel at 1/3 Mykhailivska St. Kyiv Ukraine 01001, $46$50 a night for a clean room in the middle of town.
- the Hotel Kyiv in the centre of the city for Hrv 80 (EUR 13) a double. The place is quite rundown but the central location makes it attractive. It's a 15 minutes walking from the trainstation or a couple of stops with the trolley in direction of the center.
- The "Hotel Lux" on vul 28 Cerven, but its not a hotel, just some bloke who bought up a load of apartments. Thery're nicely refurbished, good central location; we had one with Jacuzzi to sleep 6, quite steep at USD 100 per night.
- Alternatively, the Cheremosh, old intourist place, was let go (no hot water, etc.) but now refurbished under joint Ukrainian ⁄ UK ownership. Unipress offer rooms at 33 USD for double, but its 3 km out of town.
- Most stay at Hotel George for its ambiance.
- The best room in the train station hotel was $20 (100 hrv). It was a two person suite and three of us stayed there - 2 beds and a sofa, large space, fluffy towels, nice bathroom.
- Hotel Karpaty, 30 Kleparivska, Tel.: 00380 44 333 427, 8 USD per single
- L'viv Bed and Breakfast The New Ukrainian
- Hotel Tsentralni, 40 Preobrazhenskaya, Tel.: 00380 482 268 406, fax: 00380 482 268 607, 9 USD per single
- Komnata Otdykha, next to the station, behind the local ticket offices and under the bridge, 3 USD per bed in dorm
- Hostinitsa Krym, 1/6 Moskovskaya, Tel.: 00380 654 327 873, 8 USD per single.
Homestays, Apartments and other options
HOFA These folks although located in St. Petersburg, Russia can arrange homestays in a variety of places including Ukraine and can provide the necessary visa support documents and vouchers as well.
Another site recommended by TT travelers is Ukrainian Apartments. These folks offer short and long term apartment rentals in Kyiv, Odessa and a number of other cities.
Hostels or B&Bs in Ukraine including the New Ukrainian in Lviv, On the Corner in Kolomiya and Yalta Apartments in Yalta.
Travel 2 Ukraine Offers listings of two star and higher hotel accommodations and some apartment rentals.
Also look for turistbazas. These are inexpensive camps or inns left over from Soviet times when there were many tourists from other parts of the Soviet Union traveling in Ukraine, especially in the Carpathian mountains of Western Ukraine.
Note: The photo in the background of this page is the Ukrainian Russian Friendship Arch. This huge stainless steel arch commemorating the Reunion of Russia and Ukraine was erected in 1982. While the monument is no doubt one of the ugliest ever produced in the former Soviet Union, the view of the river and the Left Bank beyond the monument is spectacular.
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