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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to Russia, Ukraine, or the former Soviet Republics.
13 posts • Page 1 of 1
Questions about visiting Ukraine:
. Should I bring laptop or use internet cafe's? If bringing laptop how do you recharge batteries without 110V?
. What the best means of transportation from Kiev to other areas and costs? What do car rentals cost?
. Lodging rates in the Kiev and smaller towns? Hotels and other types of lodging?
. Operating a phone?
. Food costs?
. Entry and departure costs?
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I wouldn't bring a laptop, unless you're going to live there. It's a burden and you always have to worry about losing it. Same with an IPad or IPhone. Just use internet cafes.
You can get a converter at Radio Shack that converts 220 to 110 volts.
Travel by train is cheapest. Renting cars is too expensive and tedious.
Lodging varies. I think you can get three star hotels for $25 and up. Chains such as "Hotel Ukraine" have good rates. But the advertised hotels are going to be more expensive.
Bring a tri-band cell phone and just buy a SIM card.
Food costs vary but can be cheap.
You get an automatic visa when you enter there, I think, that lasts for months.
Do some research on Google before asking questions please.
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1. I would bring a laptop, unless you are planning on staying in hostels. Decent hotels in downtown area are very safe, I would leave my laptop there. Most laptops have universal power adapter 110-240V, you just need to buy a European plug. It costs just a few bucks on Amazon, go to Amazon and type in search: european adapter plug
2. I would also recommend taking a train. Ask for "coupe" literally "koopeh" in Russian. You will get shared 4-people space in the coach car, if you ask for SV (es-veh) - that's a space for 2 people, higher luxury, but also costs more. There are tons of girls traveling by train as well, make eye contact, say hi and try to ask her where is she from and why is she traveling from Kiev... go on and on... develop a conversation and then invite her to join you in your quarters or go to hers. People meet on the train in Ukraine or Russia all the time! People f**k too
Rental car in Kiev would cost around $40-$100 per day, but you don't need a car to get around in Europe, everything is walkable, there is always a bus to take you somewhere.
3. Lodging - that depends. Apartments will cheaper, hotels are more expensive. Kiev is similar to say, Fort Lauderdale, FL. I would say around $70 per night. Smaller cities, like Nikolayev or Odessa will charge like $40-$50 per night for decent hotel. Prices go much higher, sometimes into $200-$300 per night. Level of luxury is immense if you can afford it.
4. You need an unlocked GSM phone, those are only sold at AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S. But if your phone was purchased at AT&T or T-Mobile, it has to be unlocked before you can use it abroad. Call customer service for more info. You will buy a new SIM card anywhere in Ukraine and just add more minutes to it. Most large U.S. carriers also offer roaming service, meaning you will take your American phone there and use it like you are in the States paying $5.00 for every minute in roaming. You DON'T need that!
5. Food will be the same price in restaurants and much cheaper if you are buying it on the street. McDonald's is in every large city, it costs just a bit cheaper than in America, but tastes better. I would not eat at McDonalds, there are lots of local restaurants that cook amazing natural food. Try them, just don't go too cheap!
6. I am not sure since I haven't been there for a while. No need for a visa if you are an American, that makes it so much easier compared with going to Russia.
There are currency exchange kiosks on every street corner in any downtown area in Ukraine. However, I would recommend to stop by an actual bank, every large bank will give you currency exchange for US dollar, Euro and Russian Ruble.
Credit cards will be accepted at major restaurants and hotels, VISA and MasterCard usually.
Hey, you live in NY, don't you know about Brooklyn and Brighton Beach? It is filled with Russian-speaking immigrants. Have you ever been there?
It depends how old you are. If you are 40 or younger, I would hit some night clubs or cafes. There are places where older Russian-speaking people gather, restaurants etc. I don't know why guys from NY would even go to Russia, Brighton Beach is like a part of Russia in the U.S.! Once you walk in there, you feel like you are not in America anymore.
Well, safe isn't a good word. Ukraine is safe in general, yes. But you have to keep an eye out for anything strange, there are guys who pick pockets in subways, if you stay in a very cheap hotel, you may have some of your stuff stolen My friend was telling me that luggage may be broken into when you are at the airport - those guys loading bags to the airplanes are paid very low money, so they open people's bags and steal some stuff sometimes.
No, these things aren't going to happen to you, but they do happen sometimes. Use good old common sense, another example: don't flash your new iPhone when you are walking by yourself in the dark, iPhone costs around $1,200 in Ukraine, when some people earn just $300 per month. Of course, many people would want to knock you off and take away your iPhone. However, when you are sitting with a girl in a nightclub, you may flash whatever items you want to make an impression, just don't make it too obvious, it will produce opposite effect then. I would not walk alone during the night, although I've done it many times when I lived in Ukraine, I was a local. Americans are sticking out everywhere, so you will attract attention, both wanted and unwanted, but in general don't worry, I am just giving you some tips.
Trip from Kiev to anywhere in Ukraine usually takes 1 night, yes most trains are overnight, you get clean bedding supplies in the train and a mattress and go to sleep. I believe correct spelling of the city is "Mariupol", it is a very small city, but girls should be good looking and very available, so to speak
Are you planning on going on your own or you are taking a dating tour from AFA or another agency?
Oh yeah, I forgot to add that I am buying unlocked phones online for many years. On Amazon there is a huge selection of unlocked cell phones. I use pre-paid T-Mobile, it costs just $50 per month unlimited everything plan. U.S. mobile carriers lure you in with cheap phones, but they imprison you with their 2-year contracts. So no more contracts for me, I am "contract-free" for like 4 years and love it.
iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S are available at U.S. Apple store unlocked as well, but they cost $649.00 for 4S and $549.00 for iPhone 4.
Plan on going myself after passport is recieved. Think this way its easier without being restrained and if anyone mentions a better spot, I can go there without having to worry about schedules.
Do have slight understanding of Yugoslav languages and will get aquainted with with Russian by study, not looking forward to learning cyrllic. Worked with Ukrainians and many of the words have similar sounds.
The easiest way is to put money on your Debit card and take out cash via ATM in Ukraine. Just make sure you go inside of the bank to do it, outside there are often cases of credit/debit cards being scammed.
I think you can legally bring $1,000 to Ukraine, but don't quote me on that.
I also recommend 10" netbooks. Easy to carry around everywhere, CHEAP, yet versatile and powerful enough to do everything you need (more than iPad..). It is also convenient as a backup device for your travel photos/videos...
It is not a bad idea to encrypt the harddrive to protect your data if it gets stolen.