Country profile

Transport and accommodation in Ukraine

International flights usually come into the main Boryspil International Airport, which lies around 30 kilometres east of Kiev. The city also has two smaller international airports – Kyiv International airport at Zulainy and Gostomel airport, but the latter is primarily an international cargo airport.

As is often the case in large countries, internal travel is common by air, with over 180 airports across the country. Connecting flights can be found from Borispol to Simferopol in the Crimea, with low cost airline Wizz flying one way for just over £25.

For a more relaxing trip, you can cruise from Kiev to the Crimea along the Dnipro River, taking in the rural beauty of Ukraine along the way. Alternatively, The Black Sea ports of Odessa, Yalta and Sevastopol can also be reached by regular ferry from Istanbul in Turkey, offering the opportunity for a two centre medical tourism trip.

Public transport in and around the major cities and tourist resorts is generally good, with Kiev boasting a modern metro system. Taxis are normally good value too, although it is advisable to negotiate the fare before you set off. Taxis are often the most reliable transport for longer distances too, but again you should negotiate your fare in advance. For some journeys you may be able to find a place on a Marshrutky or shared minibus.

Driving in Ukraine is more difficult, with old, unreliable roads and signs in Cyrillic text. Although some new investment has been made in new roads, these amount to fewer than 3,000 of the 100,000 miles of Ukrainian roads in existence. A far safer, and more comfortable, way of exploring is by train, with almost 14,000 miles of track crossing the country.

Accommodation varies hugely as you would expect from such a large country in the process of recovery and expansion. The major Black Sea tourist resorts play host to luxurious spas and retreats and the capital offers the finest quality five-star hotels from major chains including the Hyatt Regency and Radisson SAS. Elsewhere, you will find standards may not reach those you might expect in Western Europe.

A popular alternative to hotels in Ukraine is to rent apartments in the major urban areas. These often represent excellent value for money while giving you far more space than even the largest hotel room. Privacy is the advantage – but the downside is that you have to arrange your own food and supplies. A good option if you are travelling with a partner or family group, as you can recover as you need to while they sightsee.

Ukrainian currency is the Hryvna (UAH) and €1 is worth almost UAH11.

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