CAPITAL CITY: Kyiv
AREA: 603,628 km ²
POPULATION (est.): 45,888,000
CURRENCY: Hryvnia (UAH)
ROUGH CONVERSION: £1 = 12UAH
TIME ZONE: GMT+ 2 hours
AVERAGE JUNE TEMP: 19 °C
WHAT TO SEE…
It may sound surprising, but by numbers Ukraine is the eighth most visited country in the whole of Europe. But if you take a trip around the former Soviet state, you’ll see plenty of reasons why over 20 million people visit the country every year.
As well as the four European Championship host-cities, Ukraine has a host of other destinations which are popular with both foreigners and locals alike.
Crossing from the Polish border, the Carpathian Mountain Range heads south into Romania. Although the range’s highest peaks are located outside of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Carpathians have their fair share of stunning vistas. Hoverla – the country’s highest point – is located in the area, whilst the winter ski resorts of Bukovel, Slavska, Verkhovyna and Vorokhta are popular with hikers and fishing enthusiasts during the summer months.
Following the border southwards, you will eventually reach the Black Sea and the port city of Odessa. Many passenger ferries and ships leave the port heading in the direction of Turkey, Bulgaria and Israel.
Across the Black Sea from Odessa lies the autonomous peninsula republic of Crimea. Famous for the Crimean War of 1853-1856, it is now a very popular tourist destination. The capital city of Simferopol, as well as the picturesque Sevastopol and Yalta, are some of the most popular places for tourists to visit thanks to its’ summer Mediterranean climate.
Approximately 400 kilometres north of Simferopol is the heavily-industrialised city of Dnipropetrovsk. Due to its’ importance as a nuclear and space technology centre during Soviet rule, the city was closed to foreigners until the late 1980s.
One of the most famous – and least accessible – locations in Ukraine came to attention in 1986. The Chernobyl disaster killed 31 people directly, but it is impossible to determine exactly the number of lives destroyed. Tours are available to visit the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and the abandoned city of Pripyat, however they are generally quite expensive; and prior permission must be obtained from the Ukrainian government.
Ukraine has a total of 10 major International Airports; but as of January 2011, it is only the 2 airports in Kyiv which serve destinations in the UK.
If you are willing to transfer in another European city, Dnipropetrovsk is approximately 200km away from both Kharkiv and Donetsk; and has connections to Berlin and Vienna.
Whilst this guide is written primarily with Anglicised names, you will be very lucky to come across signs in English whilst visiting the country. The majority of signs (or for that matter, any writing) will be in Cyrillic. Where English names are given in this guide, they are translated directly from the Ukrainian Cyrillic alphabet below. So using the table to translate the host city names into English, you end up with Київ (Kyiv), Львів (L’viv), Донецьк (Donets’k) and Харків (Kharkiv). You may find it extremely helpful to learn the Cyrillic alphabet before your trip.
SPEAKING THE LANGUAGE
Although it looks hugely imposing, it will probably be worth picking up a few Ukrainian phrases, allowing you to communicate with the locals a little easier. English is now taught in many schools; but this wasn’t always the case. Many of the older generation will not have a major grasp of English, so a little Ukrainian may come in handy.
The useful phrases below also come with a rough guide to pronunciation to help you get a decent grasp of the language.
Вітаю [vi-TA-yu] – Hello
До побачення (do po-BA-chennia) – Goodbye
Так [tahk] - Yes
Ні [ni] - No
Будь ласка [bud' LAS-ka] - Please
Дякую [DIA-kuyu] - Thank You
Вибачте [vy-BACH-te] - Sorry
Я з Англії/Ірландії [ya z anh-li-yi/ir-lan-di-yi] - I am from England/Ireland
Ви розмовляєте англійською? [Vy roz-mov-LYA-yete an-GLIY-s'koyu] - Do you speak English?
Я не розумію [Ya ne rozu-MI-yu] - I don’t understand
Одне пиво, будь ласка [od-NE PY-vo bud' LAS-ka] – Can I have a beer please
Один [o-DYN] – One
Два [dva] – Two
Три [try] – Three
Чотири [cho-TY-ry] – Four
п'ять [pyat'] – Five
десять [DE-syat'] - Ten
аеропорт [aer-o-port] – Airport
залізнична станція [zaliz-nych-na stant-si-ya] – Train Station
Ліво/Право [LI-vo/PRA-vo] – Left/Right
Один квиток до Києва, будь ласка [O-dyn kvy-tok do Ky-yeva, budʹ las-ka.] – One ticket to Kyiv please.
During the tournament, there will be local consulate points created in Ukraine, which will be able to help with any consular advice or problems. However, if an actual embassy is required, the following are the best to contact:
Desiatynna St. 9,
Tel: (044) 490 3660
Fax: (044) 490 3662
Republic of Ireland
Trziste St. 13,
Tel: (+420) 257 530061 (-4)
Fax: (+420) 257 531387
Mr Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Say
Shorsa St. 44,
Tel/Fax: (+38 044) 285 5902
Not from the UK or Ireland? A full list of embassies can be found at http://www.mfa.gov.ua/mfa/en/1232.htm
Fire Brigade: 01
In major cities, ATM machines can be found in abundance. These will all dispense Ukrainian Hryvnia. Money can also be exchanged at banks, large hotels, some shops and licensed currency exchange booths.
It is possible to find pharmacies in all major towns, and even in some supermarket chains. The Ukrainian for pharmacy is “аптека”, and pronounced “apteka”.
Like much of Eastern Europe, Ukraine suffers from drastically cold winters – it is not uncommon for it to dip to below -20°C! However the summers can reach the other end of the scale, tipping 20°C regularly. The average temperature for June is around 19°C.