Air service between Malta and Ukraine
There are various flights from Malta to Ukraine with connections in Munich, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Vienne, Rome and Athens provided by such airlines as Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, Ukraine International Airlines etc. The cost for the ticket may vary from 270 to 1900 euros depending on the season, airline and the travel class.
Ukrainian official currency is Hryvnia (UAH). There are plenty of booths to exchange currency in Ukraine. Also, note that the bills which you would like to exchange should not be wrinkled, old or torn.
Unlike most western European countries stores and supermarkets in Ukraine are opened 7 days a week. A normal work day for most offices and institutions lasts usually from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. with a break for lunch usually taken from 1 to 2 p.m. Most banks are open without lunch breaks Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Credit cards are widely used in the big cities of Ukraine. It is possible to use credit card to pay in the supermarkets, stores, restaurants, hotels etc. If you plan to withdraw cash at ATM machine be prepared to pay a service charge of up to 3 percent.
Ukraine has mostly temperate continental climate, although a more Mediterranean climate is found on the southern Crimean coast. Abundant precipitation and cloudy skies are common especially in fall and winter. The average temperature in summer is around 19 C and in winter -6 C. Although summers tend to be short, the temperature can rise up to 30 C. Winters are long and cold, with cloudy skies.
In Ukrainian restaurants tip is not included into the final bill. It is common to leave at least 10% of the total bill as a gratitude for the service.
Here are few advices which might help to avoid unpleasant situations while visiting Ukraine:
- If invited over to someone’s house it is traditional to bring a small gift: a bottle of wine, box of candies, cake, flowers etc.
- Giving flowers to women is very common. However if buying a bouquet make sure it consists of an uneven number of flowers.
- Do not shake hands across the threshold of a door for it is considered bad luck.
- Be prepared to remove your shoes upon entering someone’s house. To keep their homes clean, most hosts will provide you with a pair of home shoes.
- In public transport give a sit to children, elderly and handicapped people.
- Ukrainians are recognized for their hospitality and generosity. If invited for dinner try not to refuse the offered food for it might be taken as an offence.
- In Orthodox churches women are required to wear hats or scarves covering their heads. Men are required to take off their hats in churches and public places.
- Open a door in front of the women and let her pass first.
- Don't put your thumb between your first two fingers – it is considered to be a very rude gesture.
- A common way of greeting in between friends and relatives is giving a kiss on the cheek.
Ideas for souvenirs
Here are some ideas of a traditional souvenir to bring home from Ukraine: both red and white champagne (“Sovetskoe” and “Artemivske” brands might be an option); vodka (“Hortytsya”, “Nemiroff” and other brands); red and black caviar; “Vechirniy Kyiv” chocolates; handcrafter jewelry boxes, plates, trays and other items with “Petrykivsky rozpys” – national Ukrainian painting; “pysanky” – Ukrainian painted Easter eggs; “vyshyvanka” – a national Ukrainian shirt with embroidery usually made in red and black colors etc.
Alcohol, sweets and caviar can be found in the local supermarkets. The wide choice of other souvenirs is offered at markets and bazaars where bargaining is possible.