You probably hear news about Ukraine quite often as the recent political events made this country quite popular. But the information is not always positive and like anything in this world Ukraine has its positive and negative sides. In this article I will concentrate on the positive sides of Ukraine and the Ukrainian nation from the point of view of a tourist.
UKRAINIAN MEDICINE IS CHEAP
In Ukraine prices in general are affordable and the prices for medical services are particulary true to this fact. Everybody can go to the public hospital and request any type of service, most of them are free, you will just need to pay for the pills if you need any. Before receiving this service you will have to register. This means you must bring your passport with you and give the registration nurse your name and address. Unlike in Europe, you don’t need to be insured to get free medical support in Ukraine. On the other hand, such things as surgeries, tests and injections as a rule need to be paid for, however they are still cheap.
More and more tourists come to Ukraine every year on the basis of medical grounds. Dental problems are the most common among this type of tourists. To get braces and replace or repair teeth is much cheaper than in Europe. The level of service is the same, especially in good private hospitals. All the necessary information is easily accessible on the internet. You can also find the information about English-speaking dentists who become very popular in large cities.
YOU PROBABLY DON’T NEED A VISA TO COME TO UKRAINE
Ukraine is open to most countries of the world. European citizens don’t require a visa if they come for less than 90 days. There are cheap flights available from Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Spain, Germany and many other European countries that make Ukraine easy to reach. Visa-free access to the country is supposed to increase the number of tourists, it is basically the same as travelling inside the European Union but as a small bonus you will get a Ukrainian stamp in your passport.
MOBILE SERVICE AND INTERNET ARE EXTREMELY CHEAP
There are several mobile providers in Ukraine. The most famous have a good signal throughout the entire territory of the country and you will have 4G internet almost everywhere. Unlike in some European countries you don’t need to provide your details while buying a new sim card and you don’t even pay for the new number as there is always a promotion going on. You can always choose the pay-as-you-go option and start using your sim right away. All of the mobile providers offer free unlimited calls within their networks plus a certain number of free SMS and some minutes to other phones. For a month of unlimited calls within the network, 1000 SMS, 100 minutes to other phone providers and 3GB of mobile internet you will pay about 1.5$ per month. I don’t think you will be able to find a better deal in any other European country.
CHEAP AND COMFORTABLE TRAINS
The territory of Ukraine is really big. It will take you over 24 hours to get from Lviv (big city in the West of Ukraine) to Mariupol (the city on the Sea of Azov coast in the East). And you can stay on the same train without changes. It can be your trial before going on a longer Trans Siberian train journey in Russia. You can choose between three different classes: the third and the cheapest class means that you will go as one of six people in one compartment which has no doors, the second class is a 4-person compartment with a door and the first class is a two-person compartment with a door. All long distance trains have sleeping places and are really comfortable. Nevertheless they are very cheap in comparison to the trains in Europe. For a 24-hour journey in the second (the most convenient) class you will pay about 15$. Trains are the best way of travelling around Ukraine.
FRIENDSHIP IS TAKEN SERIOUSLY.
There is always a problem for Ukrainians who speak English and try to describe their friends. In English everybody is a friend. In Ukraine there is a big gap between a friend and a person you know, there are two different words to describe these two terms whilst in English there is only one – “a friend”.
Ukrainians take friendship seriously. At the beginning they might seem a bit cold, not smiley or even grumpy. But once you are considered as a friend you will discover a whole new side to Ukrainians. They will do their best to help you, they will be very friendly and polite and they will go out of their way to make your friendship last. Connections between people are very important in Ukraine. This comes from the times of communism when having good connections meant you could get a better job, position or just a piece of meat when the rest of the people were turned away. Therefore don’t think that Ukrainians are too polite and suspiciously hospitable. They are probably genuinely interested in you and willing to help.
Just like a coin there are two sides to Ukraine. These were the positive points which might be helpful for you and maybe they will persuade you to come and discover the beautiful country of Ukraine.
What do you think?