10 things I wish I knew before going to Ukraine

Amina Balakishiyeva05 March 20211128 views8 min. read
10 things I wish I knew before going to Ukraine
Where is Ukraine? Ukraine is the largest country after Russia in Europe. We can see from the map of Ukraine that it has borders with Russia, Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, Moldova in the south. The largest city, as well as the capital of Ukraine, is Kyiv. The political map of Ukraine is a bit complex. It can be observed from the map of Ukraine that some parts of the country –The Crimean region are under Russia's control. Ukraine is the poorest country in the region. Its poverty rate and corruption level are very high. However, it is in the process of development. After the recent war, the country is trying to recover. Ukraine is a country ruled by a semi-presidential system. There are separate branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. The Ukraine president is selected for five years, according to the majority of votes. The current Ukraine president is Volodimir Zelenski. Ukraine's president is also commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army. Ukraine flag is designed in two separate different colors: blue and yellow parts. The top part of the Ukraine flag means the sky with its blue color, and the below yellow part represents wheat. Ukraine is famous for its wheat production. This combination was used from 1848 as a national Ukraine flag. It was used in 1991, after a long period of being part of the Soviet Union.

History of Ukraine

Only after a long time of successive dominance of Poland-Lithuania, Russia, and the Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) Union, a fully united Ukraine came in late in the 20th century. In 1918-20, Ukraine witnessed brief independence, while some Western Ukraine controlled Poland, Romania, and Czechoslovakia between the two world wars. Ukraine had a brief period of independence. Ukraine achieved total independence with the fall of the USSR in December 1991. The country's official name was changed to Ukraine. The people of the country had a painful time in Ukraine till independence.

Travel to Ukraine

How to travel to Ukraine? Is it safe to travel to Ukraine? According to the World Tourism Organization statistics, Ukraine is in the top 10 most visited countries in Europe. Ukraine is a very famous place for tourists with its tourist attractions, natural beauties, and tragic events happened in recent time in Ukraine. Not only amazing heritages and coasts or the Black Sea, but also ghost towns attract the interest of people around the world. Is it safe to travel to Ukraine? It is safe to travel to Ukraine, the war zone is far from the capital, and near cities and polluted regions require additional permission to visit. So, there is no need to be concerned about the question "Is it safe to travel to Ukraine?". How to travel to Ukraine? It is possible to visit Ukraine for tourism purposes for up to 90 days. You need to provide health insurance and some funds for the time you plan to stay. There are some interesting facts about Ukraine, which you need to know before visiting:

1. Ukraine attractions

buildings Ukraine is famous for its incredible history and beautiful spots. You can explore hidden gems and learn unique facts about Ukraine by visiting these spectacular places. Seven of the world heritages, which are included in the list of UNESCO located here. You can visit these eye-catching places, including St. Sophia Cathedral, which is the oldest cathedral in Ukraine, Lviv Historical Centre, and Beach forests.

2. Transport infrastructure

train station Ukraine has a well-developed public transport infrastructure. Any large city and regional center is linked to the rail network and receives regular passenger trains from other major cities. Many cities still have cheap and convenient bus and tram services, costing as little as 8 UAH ($0.3). You can reach airports in Ukraine by affordable public transportation or taxi, which costs 7UAH for a mile. You can also use the express train service to go to Kyiv airport. We should mention that to land in the airport you must answer the Ukraine visa requirements and visa policy, if you need help in that matter don't hesitate to contact us!

3. Rapid transit

train One of the most interesting facts about Ukraine is also related to trains. The deepest metro station in the world, Arsenalna, is located in Ukraine, Kyiv. The metro station is 105.5 meters below the ground. Staring down from the top of the steep climber to the darkness of the subway below can be very frightening. However, its history of construction dates back to the Cold War era; nuclear bombs' threat meant that such deep-rooted stations could protect Kyiv's citizens from such a disaster. Thus the influence of conflict in the 20th century can be seen even in mundane activities like a morning shift to work.

4. Festivals in Ukraine

carnival costume In Ukraine, there are various fairs and festivals. Ukrainian musicians are rocking in every kind of music: rock, punk, jazz, folk, electronic, drum, and bass. Therefore, festivals like Leopolis Jazz Fest and Dubno-Fest in Lviv are trendy. Traditional and ethnic festivals offer insight into the Ukrainian conventional festivities. You will notice interesting facts about Ukraine by participating in both traditional and modern types of concerts. Where are Ukrainian festivals and fairs happening? It can take place in different cities but mainly in the capital city, Kyiv.

5. Name of the country

view of kyiv Let's learn one of the most important facts about Ukraine, which is a simple thing for English speakers but a big problem for Ukrainians. The name of the country is usually called "The Ukraine" by the English-speaking people. But it was not used from the beginning of independence, and the West steadily dropped the definite article by independence in 1991. in 1993, the government of Ukraine formally asked for a calling country without any article. US ambassador William Taylor, who understood the attitude towards this issue, stated that using "the" article with Ukraine disrespects the Ukrainian people.

6. Chernobyl

chernobyl Ukraine was at the forefront of one of the majestic 20th-century catastrophes. Chernobyl Atomic Energy Plant exploded in 1986, which devastated a once-driving Ukrainian city. Recently, the return to Chernobyl was probable. Here you can observe the devastation caused by this catastrophe, and you can understand yet another impediment to Ukraine as a country. How to travel to Ukraine, Chernobyl? Despite the time passed since the catastrophe, there is still a need to get permission from authorities to visit this impacted region for safety measures.

7. Official language of Ukraine

books Because of the historical past, Russian and Ukrainian are spoken (among many other languages) in Ukraine, whereas in western Ukraine, especially in Galicia, Ukrainian is more widely spoken. It can be beneficial to learn Cyrillic before a trip to Ukraine. If you know how to read the names of subway stations or villages, it will make your life there more simple. There is a misconception that Russian speaking will put you in trouble in Ukraine, which is not true. One of the undeniable facts about Ukraine is their love for foreigners who try to talk Ukrainian, so be sure to catch some Ukrainian phrases before your trip to Ukraine!

8. Ukrainian currency

money Hryvnia is the Ukrainian national currency. One euro was worth 28 hryvnias from the time it was created. Depending on your country, you can find prices very low in Ukraine. That is why you can hear a lot that - "Ukraine is super cheap." Although prices are low for us in Ukraine, prices for Ukrainians are not. Because of the political instability in the world in 2014, the currency lost a lot (A LOT!), but rates stayed the same or even improved. The nation has an average monthly wage of less than $300, but manufacturer employees earn as little as $100 a month.

9. Ukraine culture

kids Ukrainians are usually very proud of their rich culture: traditional embroidery work clothes are common, and many people know traditional songs. You can see talented musicians everywhere in the streets. Many people have an excellent understanding of their history and the region. They are friendly and hospitable people to happily inform you about the history and amazing facts about Ukraine. Traveling to Ukraine will give you great memories and make you feel like you have a second home. As regards culture, Ukraine is a country with a long history of music. I can suggest you look for festivals and concerts and travel to Ukraine at the right time so you can be delighted by the mystery of music. It is not only the music but also traditional clothing, which brings glory to another level.

10. Ukrainian cuisine

potatoes In terms of food, Ukraine is indeed very rich. Ukrainian cuisine classics include Borsch (beet soup) and Vareniki (dumplings). Georgian food is unbelievably widespread in Ukraine, so you should surely benefit from that bonus. Crimean Tatar cuisine is another kind of food you probably want to taste. If you find a Crimean Tatar restaurant, try Shashlik, even street food like Chebureki. Along the Azov Sea, there are various examples of local cuisine of minorities like Greek. There is no drinking night without a large plate of salted fish and pickles. With a large variety of food and culture, you will not know how you will spend your time in Ukraine!

Where to stay?

cottages You will find accommodation for all budgets while traveling in Ukraine. You can prefer to look for private apartments and stay in some great apartments for €20 to €30 a night in Kyiv and Lviv. Mid-range hotels are a great choice in smaller towns and villages. The larger cities have a wide variety of hostels, but most international tourists do not usually venture beyond the 'golden triangle of Kyiv – Lviv – Odessa. 

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