Traveling to Ukraine Frequently Asked Questions
We are pleased to confirm that starting from September 2005 citizens of the following countries do not need visas anymore: European Union countries, Swiss Confederation, Liechtenstein, Canada, Japan, and USA. The rule is valid for short term visits, up to 90 days. Visas are not required also for the citizens of the following countries: Azerbaijan, Byelorussia, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kirgizia, Moldova, Mongolia, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Other countries citizens still need visas for entering Ukraine. Citizens of Turkey can obtain their visa upon arrival to Odessa or Simferopol Airport.
It is understandable that arriving to an unknown country a person could feel himself lost and maybe even unsafe in different situations. Actually Odessa is very similar to many other larger cities of the World. Odessa has about 1.5 million residents in the city and in the surrounding areas. You can be safe here if you follow common rules of behavior that are similar for all cities:
Invitation Letters are not required for American Citizens and EU Countries. Some countries still require an official invitation before you can get an actual tourist or business travel visa. Citizens from the USA, Canada and Western Europe countries DO NOT need any invitation or need a visa. As of the summer of 2005 But always check the Ukraine embassy Visa page as this can change and always has up to date information.
Yes, however, we recommend that you bring a combination of cash and credit cards. Visa and MasterCard are accepted at many restaurants, but not at all. Discover and American Express credit card and Traveler Cheques are not recommended or accepted. If needed, cash advances (often with a 3-5% fee) are available at many hotels, banks and currency exchanges.
But keep a few things in mind:
It depends on the time of year that you travel, but generally the weather and temperatures in Odessa will be about the same as many cities in Europe.
Weather considerations aside, be yourself and be comfortable. Bring a mixture of both casual clothes for daytime and clothes you would normally wear out on a date. There is no right or wrong way to dress, so relax and wear what you want and bring clothes for the season and temperatures
Electricity in Ukraine is 220 Volts, 50 Hz AC. You will need an Eastern European plug adapter (with round pins) to plug into electric sockets. Adapter kits can be purchased at Radio Shack, Wal-Mart, K-Mart and luggage stores.
American electrical appliances will also require a step down converter that adjusts the electricity from Ukraine's 220V down to 110V.
Note: Most new video camera Battery Chargers and laptop computer adapters can be plugged into 220V or 110V sockets. Consult your Operating Manual for details for your camera and computer model.
Please always check with the airlines since many are modifying their baggage allowances and each country has different rules. NOTE: We recommend that your carry-on bag contain a full change of dress clothing and toiletries. In the unlikely event that your check-in luggage doesn't arrive with you, you will need clothes for your first contacts. Occasionally, we have had clients have a problem with there luggage arriving late. This is normal for all international airlines, and luggage is usually delivered within the following 24 hours.
Water quality varies widely in Ukraine. Your best bet is to drink only bottled water. Also try to avoid putting ice in your drinks.
Tipping here is like most countries in the world and is the same in Odessa and the rest of Ukraine is expected at most restaurants and bars. You should Tip 10-15% depending on service.
It is not advisable to bring expensive gifts into Ukraine. If you bring jewelry or another type of an expensive gift you may be asked to pay a customs duty which in some cases equates to the price of the gift. We recommend these purchases be made in Ukraine, particularly Odessa, where these items are likely to be less expensive. Legally, you are allowed to bring up to $10,000 in cash and up to $50,000 in checks. If your cash amount exceeds $1,000 you will need to declare it at the customs. Keep in mind that you are allowed to take up to $1,000 when leaving Ukraine, however, if the amount declared upon entrance exceeds that of $1,000 you will be able to leave with any amount lesser amount of what was declared upon entry. If you are flying into Odessa, we can eliminate occasional airport delays at customs and passport control via our VIP pickup Service.
Ukrainian laws allow Police to stop people at the streets to check their passports. If you are a foreigner you should have your immigration card you have filled at the airport crossing the border along with your passport. VERY IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER !!!! Take your passport and immigration card with you wherever you go!!! If you have your passport and you immigration card with you the policeman must let you go.