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Information about Kiev

Travel Tips


Crime is low in Kyiv, compared to Western crime rates. Nonetheless, one should beware of walking alone late at night and of flashing a lot of money.


It is recommended that tap water be boiled for 10 minutes prior to drinking, as is sometimes contains bacteria. Bottled water is easy to find in non-state-owned supermarkets and shops.

Be forewarned that the water supply can be irregular, especially for running hot water.


Radiation levels in Kyiv and most of Ukraine are considered safe and normal by the US Embassy and other official organizations.


The standard electric voltage is Ukraine is 220 volts. If you are traveling with electric appliances/accessories, be sure to bring an adapter for the outlets. For bigger and more valuable equipment, it is a good idea to bring a surge protector.


There are a few simple rules of etiquette that should be followed when visiting Ukraine.

· If invited to a family home, it is traditional to bring a gift. A bottle of wine, a cake, or a bouquet of flowers are customary. If there is a child in the house, it is appropriate to bring a gift for them as well.

· If planning on giving flowers as a gift, make sure that the number of flowers in a bouquet is uneven (an even number of flowers is considered bad luck).

· Do not shake hands across the threshold of a door. It is considered bad luck to do so.

· When eating dinner at someone’s home, casual dress is accepted. Also, be prepared to give a toast at dinner, as guests are often asked to do so.

· Be prepared to accept all food and drink offered to you when visiting friends. Ukrainians are known for their generosity when it comes to feeding others. Refusing food may be considered rude.

· Be prepared to take off your shoes upon entering a home. To keep apartments clean, most hosts will provide their guests a pair of slippers.

· Be careful when complimenting a host’s belongings because they may offer it to you.

· If wearing gloves, take them off before shaking hands with someone.

· When using public transportation, seats should be given up to accommodate the elderly, mothers with children, and the handicapped.

· Offer to share snacks and cigarettes with those people around you.

· At the entrance of an upscale restaurant, expect that your coat, briefcase, or baggage will be checked.

· Be sure to have business cards printed in Ukrainian on one side, and in English on the other.

· For business, dress should be conservative. Men should not take off their jackets unless asked to do so.

· In Orthodox and Greek-Catholic churches, women wear scarves or hats, and men take off their hats.

· It is considered a very rude gesture to place one’s thumb between your first and second fingers. Refrain from doing so.

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