Travel and Accommodation

Sightseeing

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The Pedagogical University is located at the city centre close to most historic monuments and attractions, so you can do some sightseeing during lunch time:
1.    Golden Gate + St.Sophia (Volodymyrska Street)
2.    Andriivsky Uzviz
3.    Khanenko Art Museum (15-17 Tereshchenkivska Street)
4.    Volodymyrska Hill + Mykhailivsky Cathedral
5.    Volodymyrsky Cathedral (Shevchenko Boulevard)
6.    Central Park + government district (Hrushevsky Street)
7.    Kyivo-Pecherska Lavra (only monastery and caves) - take bus No. 24 from Khreshchatyk (on the opposite side from the Central Department Store). The entrance to the museum is located at the Gate Church. The way to the monastery is farther - you'll see a lane down with guards' booth. Go down the lane to the monastery. Please no shorts/open clothes. Women will not be allowed to enter caves without a shawl. The entrance is free - but you'll have to buy a candle (electricity was removed from the caves when they were returned to a monastery).
8.    Khreshchatyk Street from Bessarabska Square to Evropeyska Square and back + Bessarabsky Market  (you can sample some nice cottage cheese, pickles and 'salo' (pork fat))
9.    Ukrainian Art Museum (Evropeyska Square)

Longer excursions (4-8 hours)
1.    Kyivo-Pecherska Lavra (museums + monastery), then the Second World War monument (you can go up the figure of the monument) and museum
2.    Babyi Yar + St.Cyril Church (XI century building, paintings by M.Vrubel (XIX century) - metro Dorogozhychi (see monument in Babyi Yar near the metro station), then take a trolleybus No.27 or any minibus from the metro station to St.Cyril Church (ask for Kyrylivska Tserkva). If you have more time after visiting the church, the same trolleybus will take you to Petrivka book market (then you can go back by metro from Petrivka).
3.    Volodymyrska Street - Andriivsky Uzviz (Descent) - Kontraktova Square - Sahaidachny Street - River Port  (back by metro from Poshtova Ploshcha)
4.    Central Botanical Garden + Illynska Church + Vydubitsky Monastery- to metro Pecherska, then go to the end by trolleybus/minibus No.14 from the stop on the opposite side of Lesya Ukrainka monument. Ask for Botanichny Sad.
5.    Kytayevo Monastery and caves - minibus 412 from Tolstoy Square, stop near ProCreditBank. It is not a tourist spot but a monastery and cathedral serving as a praying and pilgrimage place for believers. Go to Kytaivska Street (20-30 minutes drive), then ask for the monastery.
Estimated time needed to visit all major sights is two weeks.

Museums
Ukrainian museums are very traditional with no high-tech shows. Information in English is usually not available, but it in most museums it is possible to book a guided tour in English. Museums do not have cafes (except Open Air Museum), so it may be a good idea to eat before the visit. Museums normally stop selling tickets one hour (sometimes 30 minutes) before closing time.

St. Sophia (XI century church with mosaics - this is an absolute must to be seen in Kyiv + several other museums and exhibitions)
24 Volodymyrska Street, every day 10.00-18.00, Friday and Saturday until 19.00.   
The 13-domed cathedral was built by Prince Yaroslav the Wise in 1037 and named after St. Sophia's Cathedral in Constantinople, to glorify the wisdom of Christianity. It has fantastic mosaics and frescoes from that time. The cathedral was a main place of worship and a major cultural and political centre in Kyiv Rus. The belfry was built in 1744-1752.

Kyivo-Pecherska Lavra - another must-see place http://en.kplavra.kiev.ua/
21 Sichnevoho Povstannya Street, 09.00-17.00 (tickets are sold until 17.00).  
The monastery was established in 1051. You can visit the caves with underground churches where monks lived and were buried (this is at the territory of the monastery and is not a museum) and many other churches and museums: Gold Treasury (Scythian gold collection), Ukrainian Folk Art Museum, Books and Printing Museum,  Theatre Museum, the Miniatures Museum. If you feel a need for an exercise and/or wish to see a beautiful view of the city, climb the bell tower (105 m). The 12th century Uspensky (Dormition) Cathedral was blown up in 1941 in an unsuccessful attempt of a KGB agent to kill a German officer (the officer survived, the cathedral and many locals inside did not). It was replicated in 2000.

National Art Museum of Ukraine http://namu.kiev.ua/en.html
6 Hrushevsky Street, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday 10:00-18:00; Friday 12:00-19:00; Saturday 11:00-19:00

Khanenko Art Museum (Western European art) http://khanenkomuseum.kiev.ua/
15-17 Tereshchenkivska Street, 10.30-17.30, closed Monday, Tuesday
Russian Art Museum http://www.kmrm.com.ua/eng
9 Tereshchenkivska Street, Wed, Sat, Sun 10.00-18.00, Tue,  Fri – 11.00-19.00 (tickets are sold until one hour before closing time); closed Monday, Tuesday

Open Air Museum (restored traditional Ukrainian villages) http://pyrohiv.com.ua/en/
Pyrogovo village (metro “Vystavkovyi Centre”, then trolleibus No.11 to the end), 10.00-17.00
(it is better to go there for at least 4 hours, travelling there by public transport is approximately 1 hour one way).

Other interesting museums: Golden Gate; History Museum (near Andriyivska Church); Taras Shevchenko Museum (corner of Tereshchenkivska Street on the left from the Institute), Literature Museum (corner of Tereshchenkivska Street on the right from the Institute); Museum of One Street (Andriyivsky Uzviz); Mikhail Bulgakov Museum (Andriyivsky Uzviz); lots of modern art galleries.

Theatres/Concerts

Classical music
National Philharmonic - 2 Volodymyrsky Uzviz (Evropeyska Square) http://www.filarmonia.com.ua/en.afisha
Tickets are sold in the box office of the National Philharmonic
and can be bought before the concert

Classical music concerts - Kyiv House of Organ and Chamber Music http://www.organhall.kiev.ua/component/option,com_shedule/Itemid,59/lang,en/
77 Chervonoarmiyska Street, metro "Tsentralny Stadion"
Concerts start at 19.30
Tickets can be bought at the theatre ticket booth at Bohdan Khmelnytsky Street near the Institute of Mathematics. At the same place you can see all theatre and concert repertoires and buy tickets (except for National Philharmonic).

Churches
Before the October revolution in 1917 Kyiv was a city of churches with many places of pilgrimage. 1930s was the time when many churches and monasteries were destroyed or transformed into something else (atheism or art museums, concert halls, cinema theatres, warehouses, facilities for physical experiments). It happened not only with churches but also with anything religious. The Brodsky synagogue was a puppet theatre until it was recently restored to its original function.
After 1990 many former churches were given to respective religious communities, restored and reconstructed. E.g. existing Mykhailovsky Cathedral (originally from XI century) is a replica built in 1999. The only preserved buildings from huge monastery complex are small refectory church and former hotel/residential premises. The cathedral was destroyed in 1930s with the aim to build a biggest square for Soviet administrative buildings. The only implemented building from this plan is a grey structure with columns on the left from the cathedral that how houses the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. The big plan also envisaged destroying of St.Sophia that was saved by French government that gave the Soviet Union some prize for its preservation as a French cultural heritage monument (Anna, Prince Yaroslav's daughter, whose picture can still be seen at one of St.Sophia frescoes, became a queen of France, obviously by marriage. Thus she saved St.Sophia some 9 centuries later, and it remained as a real thing (though rebuilt on the outside in 16th century).
Building of the new old churches (replicas) is a rather controversial issue in Ukraine, even if not to question appropriateness of spending large amounts of money in a country with no money for adequate healthcare. These churches are not built under old schemes (that would require thirty years and lots of eggs for making mortar) and look as what they are - replicas. However, the Mykhailovsky Cathedral looks nice and really completes the square. At present new churches are also built - especially in new residential districts in the outskirts, and in large hospitals.
Most churches are not museums but actually churches, and they do not charge admission fees but require complying to certain etiquette with no exception made for tourists. Women planning to visit churches, monasteries and monastery caves anywhere in Ukraine (especially those of Russian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarkhate, e.g. caves in Kyivo-Pecherska Lavra and Kytayevo) are strongly advised to take shawls with them as they may be literally not allowed to enter. Shorts, short skirts and open tops will not be allowed; trousers for women are not advised. Ukrainian Orthodox Church is more tolerant, so a woman may go (but better not to) to Volodymyrsky or Mykhailovsky Cathedral without a shawl and in a short skirt. Men are supposed to remove their hats in churches, and avoid shorts. Talking (and excursions) is not allowed in churches. St.Sophia is a museum (a religious community cannot ensure its preservation, and services are held there extremely rarely for special occasions), so excursions are possible. All churches welcome donations for their restoration. Functioning orthodox churches are not used for concerts. Services in main churches are held at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.
There are also numerous places of worship of other confessions.

Monuments
Monuments of different epochs are quite numerous. Lenin at the beginning of Shevchenko Boulevard was preserved as "piece of art", so it remains the place for putting flowers on appropriate days for existing communists and socialists. Another Lenin monument that used to occupy the place of the present large glass gallery with Ukraine hotel at the background was in Maidan Nezalezhnosti, then October Revolution Square, and was removed in 1991. A Soviet time monument that did not lose its moment in the least is the monument to great Ukrainian philosopher Hryhoriy Skovoroda in Kontraktova Square. His two most famous sayings are "The world tried to catch me but had not caught" and "Anything necessary is simple, anything that is not simple is unnecessary" (very relevant in mathematical physics).
There are several major monuments to those died in the Second World War - Eternal Fire in the Park of Glory (Slavy Square), Motherland in the Second World War Museum and monument to those who died in Babyi Yar.
The place near Taras Shevchenko monument (opposite the Red Building of the Kyiv Shaevchenko National University) is famous as a location of opposition meetings both in the Soviet times and at present. Recital of Shevchenko poems there in 1960s actually got people to prison. The situation was quite absurd - the same poems were studied at schools.
An example of 19th century monuments are St.Volodymyr ar Volodymyrska hill (above Evropeyska Square) and Bohdan Khmelnytsky in Sophia Square.
New times brought the monument to Mykhailo Hrushevsky, the first president of Ukraine (in 1918, during brief independence period), in the corner of Shchevchenko Boulevard and Volodymyrska Street, to Ukrainian hetman (military leader) Sagaidachny in Kontraktova Square and many small "chamber" monuments to real and imaginary people. One such monument to a literature hero is located at Prorizna Street. Panikovsky is a hero of humour book by Russian writers Ilf and Petrov "Golden Calf", and was known in the book as a blind beggar, famous before the October Revolution, who worked at just this place, asking people to take him across the street and picking their pockets in the process. The idea of putting a monument to a beggar and petty thief may seem strange, but in fact it is a monument to a great book and to a great actor Zinoviy Gerdt who played Panikovsky in the "Golden Calf" screen version.

Hidden treasures
Ukraine (and Kyiv) is a hidden tourist treasure in itself, but still there are numerous extremely interesting places not mentioned in guidebooks at all. We can name Kytayevo Monastery, St. Pantheleimon Monastery with holy spring (Feofaniya near the Institute of Theoretical Physics and the Open Air Museum), Zvirinetsky caves, Hnyletsky caves (not open for the general public yet, and organisation of special tours is not practical at a large conference), Frolovsky Monastery (Podil near Kontraktova Square), Pokrovsky Monastery (Bekhterevsky Lane), hills around Andriyivsky Uzviz with old cemeteries, small streets in Podil between Sahaidachny Street and the Dnieper embankment, old wooden churches in new residential districts that remained from the times when these districts were villages. There are more to see in historic places around Kyiv - e.g. Nizhyn - two hours by suburban train or Chernihiv (two or three hours by bus), Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky (2 hours by bus), parks in Bila Tserkva and Sofiyivka.
Links
Kyiv at UNESCO site http://whc.unesco.org/sites/527.htm
Art museums http://www.ukrtravel.com/kiev_museums.htm
http://www.kiev.info/culture/museums.htm

Kyiv beyond the conference

Деталі

Disclaimer:

We made every effort to ensure that the information presented here is correct, but please note that Ukraine is a very dynamic country and many things can change without any notice. The Organising Committee cannot accept responsibility for absolute correctness of this information at the time of the conference.  In this information we do not attempt any advertising for companies, facilities, products or services. Everything mentioned here is either used by the members of the Organising Committee, or recommended by their friends.  
If you think you'll need this information when in Kyiv, we kindly ask you to print it out at home and take a copy with you!


Despite its huge number of attractions, Ukraine is not a particularly popular tourist destination, and amount of information available to travellers is limited. Besides, majority of information and services that are readily available are targeted towards business travellers prepared to pay quite unreasonable prices. For this reason, and because of predictable inability to answer all questions in person during the conference, we decided to prepare this information summary.

Conference Essentials

Transportation to and from Kyiv
Most participants will arrive by plane to the main airport in Kyiv - Boryspil. There are shuttle buses from the airport (“Skybus”) to metro Boryspilska and to the Main Railway Station (Southern-Pivdennyi), 25 hryvnyas. Taxi from Boryspil airport will cost 160-180 hryvnyas if ordered by phone or around 250 hryvnyas if you go by Boryspil official taxi waiting near the terminal exit (but these ones provide receipts and some of them take credit card – ask before boarding). Taxi from the railway station will cost around 30-35 hryvnyas to a hotel in the city centre (if ordered by phone). Drivers waiting at the railway station will ask all sorts of high prices, but if you walk 100 metres away you may get a taxi at a reasonable price. If you prefer to use metro, go from the airport to the Boryspilska metro station.
For your travel back from the hotel you may get a taxi to the Main Railway Station (Southern-Pivdennyi), 30-35 hryvnyas by taxi from the hotels in the city centre. Travel to the airport will take around an hour depending on the traffic. A taxi from a hotel ordered by phone from the city centre to Boryspil airport would cost around US$20-25 (150-200 hryvnyas) depending on the time of the day (more expensive at night). It is better to agree on the fixed price from the beginning irrespective of the meter.

Meals
There are a number of reasonably priced and good places to have lunch around the conference location, e.g. "Puzata Khata" (Bessarabska Square 1/2 and  Khreshchatyk St. 15)
 
Lots of fast food places can be found in underground malls - Globus under Maidan Nezalezhnosti (close to Kozatsky hotel) and Metrohrad (with Internet cafe) under Bessarabsky Square, with much less along Khreshchatyk Street being a place for more expensive restaurants. There are two McDonalds outlets along Khreshchatyk Street. There are also quite a few set-lunch, coffee, pizza, sushi and Chinese places, though Kyiv still lacks a full variety of ethnic restaurants. Prices in these places differ - from around 30-50 hryvnyas for a meal at a Ukrainian fast self-service places to 60-100 hryvnyas for a set lunch in fancier ones.
You will get enough advertising for more expensive restaurants in the airline magazine and in the airport, so we do not go on in detail into this subject.  

Money and banking
Cash and cards
Ukraine is essentially a cash economy. Credit cards are gaining wider acceptance in larger cities. Now there are lots of cash machines (they give only hryvnyas). Credit cards may be used in some hotels, Western-style restaurants, international airlines and some shops. Such venues usually display logos of the credit cards they accept on their doors. If they have no such logo - then there is no purpose to ask. However, they never promise that they accept your particular card. Generally Visa and Mastercard are most useful.
Changing foreign currency for Ukrainian hryvnyas (or another currency) is legal only at banks, currency exchange desks at hotels, and licensed exchange booths. Exchange booths do not cash travel cheques and do not deal with credit cards. In any case bring some cash with you - you may not be able to use a credit card/travel cheque in the airport/railway station.  It is better to bring US dollars or Euros (or Russian roubles). Most other hard currencies can be changed, but at worse rate and in a limited number of places.
General safety rules apply - do not flash large sums of money and never exchange currency with private people - it is illegal and with high probability is a scam.
Cash machines
There are cash machines around that would allow to get money (hryvnyas only) with credit or debit cards (carrying Cirrus/Maestro logo). However, we would recommend using a bank for this purpose.
Exchange rates
Exchange rate in cash machines may be nominally better than in booths, but with all fees applied it comes lower. Exchange rate in exchange booths is usually as shown - street booths charge no commission.
When changing you currency, look closely at the exchange rate - there are some not-so-honest places, especially along Khreshchatyk that display their much lower rates in a way that they look at little bit higher that usual at the first glance - e.g. 8.0017 with 8.10 being a "good" rate at the moment, profiting on people in hurry who tend to look at last figures only. E.g. "0" may be much smaller than other figures. If you see that a transaction does not satisfy you, you are entitled to reverse it if you do it immediately, however a language problem may come here.
Banks and exchange booths in airports, hotels and restaurants, and in residential districts far from the city centre normally have much worse exchange rates than those in the city centre.

Shopping

Food
Buying your own food in shops is a reasonable alternative to eating in cafes/restaurants. There are some grocery shops ("gastronoms") around the conference facility. A little longer walk will take you to "Billa" or "Megamarket" supermarkets. Both are perfectly OK for everything else and have a large advantage over regular shops that they are usual self-service supermarkets, so you do not need to tell what you want to buy. They also carry a variety of health foods that are not always present in "gastronoms". Western foods were popular in Kyiv upscale shops at the start of the market economy, but now only few brands can be found - local consumers consider old and new domestic brands better (and cheaper), so many more expensive Western foods were priced out from the market.
Ukrainian specialities to try from grocery shops:
•    chocolate bars (Svitoch or Roshen are the best)
•    boxed chocolates (signature brand of Kyiv is Vechirnyi Kyiv - brown box with some red and yellow). Despite low price compared to many famous Western brands they are of a really remarkable quality (and are made of real chocolate)
•    Ukrainian-made ice creams (other than international brands)
•    cottage cheese (at Bessarabsky or Volodymyrsky markets) - the kind that is sold in the markets is a totally different from what is sold in shops
•    pickled cucumbers, ketchups, jams, pickles, fruit preserves, smoked chicken, rye bread, - and just any bread, ice creams, yoghurts, kefir, smoked fish, cakes, ready-made foods, salads
The closest self-service grocery shop ("gastronom") is located at Shevchenko Boulevard  down to Khreshchatyk at the distance of around 500 metres.
Souvenirs
Usual place is (a picturesque street worth visiting on its own, that goes from the end of Volodymyrska Street (go to the Opera House, turn right, pass the Opera House and go along the street up to the Andriivska Church - beautiful blue-and white church standing over a hill) to Podil. You will not be mistaken, as you'll see lots of souvenir stands right there. Andriivsky Uzviz does down to the left (and souvenir prices will also go down quite a bit as you'll go down the street). Another useful places are small shops along Khreshchatyk.
Alcohol and tobacco
Situation is this area is so different from many countries that it is worth some special attention. Locally produced alcoholic drinks are quite cheap in Ukraine (in shops, but not in restaurants). However, counterfeit production is still quite widespread. These counterfeit products are rarely a major health hazard, but to be on the safe side, buy such drinks (anything other than beer or juice-vodka mixes) only from a large grocery shop and at the restaurants or better cafes. NEVER buy any strong alcohol or wine from kiosks, private persons or street cafes (other than street tables of a higher-end establishment). This is an occasion to break the usual travellers' rule -"do as locals do". The locals have more experience in telling what is safe, and being at home they take much less risk drinking questionable vodka. This paragraph is also an appropriate place to warn once more against any drinking with strangers, even if they offer a free drink.
Cigarettes are sold everywhere, with cheaper prices from old ladies in the streets. Note that smoking is forbidden in public places.
Prices
Many prospective travellers who know from the media about average income in Ukraine will expect low prices for everyday items and service. Unfortunately it is not the case. Many visitors find prices here extremely high (compared to what they expect from official statistics on average personal income and from their experiences in other countries with similar income figures). Other factors include Kyiv being the most expensive place in Ukraine, and wide income differences, with a few rich Ukrainians who along with foreigners are regarded as main market for expensive goods and services.

Getting Around

Languages
Please do not expect taxi drivers, shop assistants, emergency service workers, servers at a restaurant or anybody else in Ukraine to speak English or other foreign languages. Your best strategy will be to learn a few words like "Thank you", "hello" and "a beer (pyvo)" (or "a coffee (cofeh)").
The Soviet system of learning languages was designed in such a way that people might be able to read technical information but could not speak at all - to shelter general public from evil capitalist influence. The present system of language training is way better, and many young people do get good English speaking skills during their time at school, but these young people usually have better things to do than work as taxi drivers, waiters or shop assistants.

Most essential Ukrainian words

English  Transliteration

Hello (more formal, during the day)
Dobry dehn
Hello (informal)  Pryvit
Good morning    Dobroho ranky

Good evening/night (greeting) 

 Dobry vehchir
Goodbye Doh pobachehnyah
Thank you Dyakuyuh
Yes Tahk
No Nee
Please (to accompany a request) Buhd laskah
Excuse me (to apologise) Probachteh
What is the price of this?
   Skeelky tseh koshtuyeh?

Restroom/toilet   

Tualeht

Useful tips
Time - officially Ukraine has one time zone two hours after Greenwich Mean Time. Daylight saving time is set from the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October (so in June it is three hours after the GMT).
Business hours - usual working hours in offices/institutes are 9.00-18.00 with the lunch break at 13.00-14.00, Monday to Friday. Most common opening time for smaller shops is 10.00-19.00, Monday to Saturday, sometimes 10.00-18.00 on Saturday. Larger shops and most cafes work 10.00-20.00 with no lunch break, every day including official holidays. Most bank branches work 10.00-18.00, Monday to Friday, lunch break at 13.00-14.00 or 14.00-15.00, Saturday 9.00-14.00.

Utilities: Electricity standard is 220 volts, 50Hz. An adapter may be needed for Western European appliances and a voltage converter for Northern American. Tap water in Kyiv is chemically safe but may contain elevated levels of lead from the pipes. This problem is remedied by letting the tap run for 10 seconds before collecting the water. There is also no detectable radiation in the water. Hot water is typically turned off in apartment buildings for two weeks during the summer. Better hotels have their autonomous hot water supply, so we hope you will not suffer from absence of hot water.

Public restrooms (sometimes they charge 1-2 hryvnyas) are available in most underground malls around Khreshchatyk Street and in McDonalds. They are scarce in other locations.

Local transportation
Most transportation during the conference will be made by foot, as the Pedagogical University is located in the city centre close to almost everything. Many places that can be reached in 15-20 minutes do not have convenient public transport to them, so walking will be the best option. So the first transportation tip is to bring good shoes.
Metro travel is cheap (2 hryvnyas per ride), safe and reliable. To pay for a ride you should buy plastic tokens in cash windows at the metro stations.
There are also trams, trolleybuses and buses (1 hryvnya 50 kopecks for a ride) that may be crowded or not so frequent. Mini-buses are 2-2.50 hryvnyas per ride, and the fare is the same for the particular type of transportation irrespective of the actual distance of your travel. There is no comprehensive source of information about all minibus routes (more than a hundred), and we considered them not really relevant for conference participation or sightseeing, so do not give any of such information here.
Taxis may be quite inexpensive and convenient if you know the rules. There are licensed taxis (with plates on the top). To stop a taxi if you see one lift your hand on the side of a road. Private cars may stop and function as taxis if you lift your hand on the side of a road (not advised for foreigners). Look at the meter or negotiate the price at the start. Reasonable fare around city centre (to and from Kyivo-Pecherska Lavra, Kontraktova Ploshcha, House of Organ Music etc.) shall not exceed 35-40 hryvnyas (or 20 for a very short ride) irrespective of the number of people. Taxi to the Open Air Museum may be 60-80 hryvnyas. Taxis may be ordered by phone. However, English-speaking drivers are rare. A card with the name and address of your hotel written in Ukrainian/Russian may be useful.

Medical facilities: We ask all participants to get adequate medical insurance for the whole period of their stay in Ukraine. We do not have any insurance for participants and will not be able to provide any financial assistance in case of any emergency.
Medical care in Ukraine may be considered limited by Western standards. However, all basic medical supplies are available in state-owned and very numerous private pharmacies (drugstores). Many drugs that are sold in the Western countries solely with a doctor's prescription can be bought here without any prescription and much cheaper. Ukraine is a country with well-trained doctors but often inadequate medical facilities. However, numerous private clinics exist including western-type clinics with Western or at least English-speaking medical staff. Despite health service declared as free, Ukrainian doctors in public hospitals will expect cash payment for their services (with insurance not relevant in this respect: hospitals would accept applicable foreign insurance, but insurance money does not reach doctors except in private clinics). All sorts of non-conventional medicine (herbal, homeopathic, acupuncture etc.) are very popular in Ukraine.
In case of emergency a 03 ambulance service shall be called (or a private ambulance if there is an insurance or willingness to pay the bills). As to any dental emergencies, there are several good private dental clinics around the institute (and prices may be much lower than in e.g. the US - many Ukrainians living now in the US come here with the purpose of doing dental work).

Registration of foreign nationals
All foreigners arriving to Ukraine shall receive a registration card at the border with note of their arrival date, and produce this card at their departure. As distinct from previous (now cancelled) regulations no registration with visa authorities is required for short-term visitors.

Customs. You can bring any amount of cash/cards/travel checks, but there are certain limits for non-declaring/using green corridors at customs (recently it was equivalent of US$ 1,000). If you have more cash then all cash should be declared.  
It is not allowed to take out of Ukraine antiquities, any old things manufactured before 1954 (more than 50 years ago) and works of art (the notion of work of art is applied mostly to pictures) without a special permit that is costly and difficult to get (and it cannot be guaranteed that it would be possible). The organisers cannot provide any assistance in getting such permits, and the regular procedure may take weeks.  
Our recommendation is not to buy any antiquities, old things and pictures except in shops and request the relevant permits to take them out of the country (art galleries and antiquities shops normally provide permits for taking their goods out of the country). This is applicable to any pictures even to those that are absolutely obvious souvenir stuff and have no relation to art.  
Ukrainian customs can be expected to fight pirated software and music in the framework of showing to the world that copyright protection is in place. So we would not advise buying software or music tapes and CDs without special holographic labels showing that these products are legal.

Airlines/Embassies: as you may need contacting the Embassy of your country, or your airline during your stay in Kyiv, you would find useful to get their addresses/phone numbers at
http://www.allabout.kiev.ua/embassies-in-kiev.shtml
http://www.whatson-kiev.com/essential/essentials.php?catid=25

Important Numbers (unfortunately you cannot expect an English-speaking operator, except maybe at the international telephone operator and Medicom private ambulance service)

Fire/rescue service

101

Police

102

Emergency medical aid / ambulance service 

103

Emergency - gas supply company

104

Emergency - water, electric sewerage systems 

1557

Emergency - elevators in buildings

1586

Information about hospitalised patients

1503

Directory assistance - Kyiv

109

Medikom - private ambulance service (expensive)

1555

Taxi service (one of the many, not the cheapest one but known as reliable and easier to call)

1558

Paid directory assistance

1509

Address information service

1561

Time

121

Telegrams

1566

Pharmacy information

1567

CIS countries telephone operator/inter-city calls

171

Long distance service

173

Safety tips
Despite some highly publicised crime stories and general prejudice, Ukraine is a very safe country. However, usual safety tips applicable to any country should be taken into account: watch your possessions; do not go to deserted locations after dark; do not drink with strangers; if you intend to go out and drink alcohol leave your documents and valuables at you hotel (take a passport photocopy with you). Do not flash your money/thick wallets/credit cards, do not engage in street gaming or take money or wallets that are not yours from people who say that they found them; do not change currency with private persons.
The security issue that is characteristic for many countries of the former Soviet Union is that local police holds checks targeted at fighting illegal immigration that is a huge problem for this country. Persons of African or Asian descent, including citizens of Western countries, may encounter stops by militia, especially in locations away from the city centre. Under Ukrainian law, individuals may be detained for up to three hours while their identity documents are being verified. In such circumstances demand the incident immediately be reported to your Embassy.
Ukraine Facts
•    Location: Eastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Belarus and Russia
•    Area: 603,700 sq. km Land boundaries: 4,558 km Coastline: 2,782 km
•    Highest mountain: Hoverla in Carpathian Mountains 2,061 m
•    Natural resources: fertile arable land, iron ore, coal, manganese, natural gas, oil, salt, sulphur, graphite, titanium, magnesium, kaolin, nickel, mercury, timber
Checklist for participants
•    passport;
•    invitation from the organisers (scanned or faxed version is sufficient);
•    talk transparencies/poster;
•    photocopy of the passport - title and visa pages;
•    voltage converters/adapters - if needed;
•    phone numbers and addresses of your airline and embassy;
•    printout of the necessary information.

© Irina Yehorchenko, 2013

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