Location: Central-Eastern Europe, part of the East-European plain, between 44′′20′ and 52′′20′ N and 22′′5′ and 41′′15′E.
Area: 603 700 km2
Population: 47 000 000 (25th in the world, population density – 80 p/km2)
Internet top-level domain: ua
International phone code: 380
Ukrainian became the official language only in 1990, replacing Russian. Most of the population in eastern Ukraine and in Kyiv speak Russian as a first language, while Ukrainian is the first language in western Ukraine. Although those in the political world and the local media use both languages, official documents are now in Ukrainian. The two languages share almost the same Cyrillic alphabet, and if you arrive unfamiliar with either language a phrase book or interpreter is almost essential. Not much English is spoken here.
Ukraine has one time zones GMT+2 (UTC+2)(two hours after Greenwich Mean Time in 24 oblasts and in the Republic of Crimea). Daylight savings time is observed from the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October when you will need to advance your clocks by one hour.
The national currency of the Ukraine is the Hrivna (Pronounced Grivna). Letter code UAH, digital code 980.
The Hrivna is the official currency and all banks, restaurants, disco, etc. and all other normal purchases are conducted in Hrivnas. If you are paying for something privately, U.S. dollars are the top currency followed by the Euro. Travelers checks, American Express and Barclays can be cashed in local banks into dollars for 3%. ATM cards are widely used and bank machines are literally every 100 yards (98 meters :-). ATM machines dispense the Hrivna and some even dispense dollars for an additional 3%. Instructions are in Russian, Ukrainian and English. Some machines have German and French also.
CAPITAL OF THE UKRAINE
Kyiv is The Capital of Ukraine, modern European City.
Kyiv is political, administrative, cultural and scientific center of Ukraine!
Whoever you are, wherever you are from, and whatever your educational background may be, when you are on a visit to Kyiv you simply must go and see the Pechersk Lavra Monastery, one of the most important sights in town and a Thousand-Year old Monastery and History!!!
moderately continental, except for Southern Crimea, where the climate is subtropical, of the Mediterranean type. The Carpathian climate is also mild, with warm winter and rainy summer.
Average winter temperature is from -8° to -12° C (from +17.6° F to +3° F). In the Southern regions average winter temperature is 0° C (+32° F).
Average summer temperature is from +18° to +25° C (from +64.4° F to +77° F), although maximum temperature can be more than +35° C (+95° F).
Best time to visit Ukraine: summer, late spring and early autumn.
EXPORT OF VALUABLES OF UKRAINIAN ORIGIN
To export any antique items and/or works of art the permission of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine must be obtained. In addition to samovars, paintings, and rugs, this restriction applies to collections or separate works of fine, applied, and folk art, archeological and numismatic items, valuable musical instruments, gold, silver, precious stones, hand-woven carpets, manuscripts, books published before 1966, and furniture made before 1945.
An eight-hour day is considered a normal work day, Monday through Friday. A lunch break is taken between the hours of 1:00pm and 2:00pm. Most banks are open without breaks, Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 3:00pm.
In official buildings the entrance hall is considered the "ground floor". The next flight up takes you to the "first floor". This floor numbering system is the same as the European system. For the private apartments the first floor is actually the "first".
Restaurant bills normally include a 5% service charge, however, you often find that a few extra hryvnias (10% suggested) can make your dining experience a lot more pleasurable.
220 volts, 50Hz is the standard electrical voltage throughout Ukraine. To use electrical appliances you will need a converter as well as an Eastern-European plug adapter.
Throughout Ukraine alcohol is quite inexpensive and easily accessible. Ukraine is a zero tolerance country, so do not drink and drive. The fines are substantial and you are never sure what may happen in such incidences with the militia.
UKRAINE OFFICIAL HOLIDAYS
|New Year Day||January 1|
|Orthodox Christmas||January 7|
|Womens Day||March 8|
|Orthodox Easter||April 8*|
|Labor Day||May 1, 2|
|Victory Day||May 9|
|Holy Trinity Day||May 27*|
|Constitution Day||June 28|
|Independence Day||August 24|
*varies due to orthodox calendar