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by Gray.A

Travel tips to European countries: Belgium

November 8, 2018 in Blog

About the Country

Belgium is situated in the west of Europe. The land here mostly comprises of flat coastal plains in the northeast, and southeast is occupied by the Ardennes Forest. Dutch, Flemish, French and German are the official languages of Belgium, with Dutch being the widely spoken followed by French. The weather here is pretty predictable. Months from April to September are the warmest. Otherwise the weather is pretty humid and skies are gray, that explains why umbrellas and raincoats are a part of the dressing. So, if the visit is planned for holidays during the rainy season, one must not forget to carry sufficient cover for maximum protection, as this is a coastal region. In case of emergency call 100 or 112.

Culture

Belgians are English-friendly and will make every attempt to speak in English with a foreigner. Always remember to carry a small gift or at least flowers especially when invited over dinner. The dress to wear will be mentioned in the invitation, when invited for a party. Smoking in public is acceptable.

Shopping

Brussels, Antwerp, Bruges, Ostend, Namur, Mons, Liage, Ghent and Mechelen are the main shopping centers. Belgium is famous for ceramics and hand-beaten copperware from Dinant, laces from Bruges, crystals from Val Saint Lambert, woodcarvings from Spa and Belgium’s finest chocolates. In jewelry, diamonds from Antwerp are on high demand.

Eating Out

The specialty of most of the restaurants is horse and rabbit meat dishes. Although visitors can find a wide range of ethnic foods, but the most famous are frites and mayonnaise and mitraillette; mitraillette is a large bun filled with fries, donair meat and garlic sauce, the vegetarians can ask for a veg. substitute for the donair meat. While eating at a restaurant, tipping is considered customary along with the value-added tax.

Electricity

Voltage is 230 V and frequency is 50 Hz.

Travel

Delta Air Transport has inaugurated its new European airline SN Brussels Airlines recently. It flies to more than 58 destinations in Europe and as well as worldwide. The Brussels Zayentem airport is twelve km from the city and it takes 35 minutes to reach the city from the airport. The airport has facilities like duty free shops, car parking, taxi booking, car hiring, banks, post office, restaurants, and medical help. Internet and fax services are provided for the passengers. The Airport City Express train transports passengers to three main railway stations – Brussels North, Central and South. One can avail a bus which runs regularly from the airport, taxis can also be hired which wait outside the arrival hall. Tipping the taxi drivers is considered customary. Train runs every 15 minutes.

Another airport, Brussels South Charleroi, is 5 km away from Charleroi and 46 km from Brussels. Ryan air serves as the local airline here and has cheap deals for several European destinations to and from Charleroi. The facilities provided here are bus and train services, caf+¬, car hire, and duty free shops.

Ostend airport is 5 km away from the city and car parking, car hire, duty free shops, and restaurants are provided here.

Antwerp airport is just 2 km away from the city. Buses run to the Brussels Central Station every few minutes.

Liege is situated at a distance of 5 km away from the city. Buses run at regular interval here.

There is a network of high-speed trains, which are operated by Thalys, from Belgium to France, connecting Brussels with other destinations like Bordeaux, Chambry, Cannes, Marseille, Lyon, Nice, Valence Perpignan, and Rennes. Booking should be made in advance for these trains. The national railway operates through out the day providing service every few minutes to destinations such as Andorra, Austria, France, Czech, Germany, Italy, Poland, Luxembourg, Switzerland, the UK and the Netherlands. Insiders can avail the Inter-Rail pass which allows visitors to travel almost 29 European Countries. This service is valid for residents who have been settled there for more than 6 months.

by Gray.A

Travel Tips to European countries: Finland

October 22, 2018 in Blog

About the Country

Finland is a country of islands, lakes, and forests. The modern capital city of Finland is Helsinki and is filled with museums and galleries. In summers, sun never sets here and vice versa in the winters.

Culture

While in Finland, greet the locals by a handshake. The people here are quite reserved and don’t open up easily. Leave shoes outside the house when going over to someone’s house. It is customary to wait till the toast is being raised at the dinner table. Host raises the toast by saying kippis or skol? People dress casually most of the times.

Travel

Finnair is the national airline of Finland. Other airlines that fly to Finland are Air France, Air Canada, Cathay Pacific, American Airline, British Airways, KLM, Swiss airline, Lufthansa, and United airlines. The major airport of Finland is Helsinki airport. It is 19km away from the city and it takes about 25 minutes to get to the city from the airport. Finnair provides buses for the passengers. Taxis and hotel coaches are also available. The facilities provided at the airport are duty free shops, car hire, bank, hotel reservation service, conference room, restaurant, and a multimedia center. Other than Helsinki airport, there are about 22 other airports and Blue 1 is the domestic airline which operates within Finland. Times to time cheap offers are being announced by the airlines. Prior checking of such offers will prove to be of great help.

If deciding to go by the sea, ferry services are provided and the major ports are Naantali, Vaasa and Turku. These ferries connect to Rostock, Kapellsk, Grisslehamn, and Travem. Some of the cruises offer small cabins along with the provision of meals if staying aboard overnight.

Trains from St Petersburg and Moscow can also be boarded. All the trains are clean and very comfortable. Car-carrier trains also operate in Finland. Traveling by rail proves to be inexpensive and efficient and also great options for enjoying sight seeing. Avail the unlimited train travel offer of Inter-Rail pass or Eurailpass. There are offers for elderly people and children, check them out.

When traveling by road there are chances of running into an elk or reindeer. In such cases, police should be reported immediately. Blowing horn for small reasons should be avoided. Keep your car to the right. Gas stations accept credit cards. Laws about seat belt and drinking while driving should be strictly followed. Extra precautions must been taken if taking caravan along. National driving license or International Driving Permit and car insurance must be there with you at all times. Coach Service is also available and connects to even the remote places. Taxis can be hired at the airport and railway stations and tipping is considered offensive here. Check out agents in Helsinki who run a rent-a-car business for hiring cars.

by Gray.A

Travel tips to European countries: Romania

October 18, 2018 in Blog

About the county

Lying in the Southeastern Europe Romania is slowly emerging from the shackles of its dark history. Modern Romania was formed by merging two Principalities i.e. Moldavia and Wallachia in 1859 which were ruled by Ottoman Empire for centuries before. Romania is bordered by Moldova, Ukraine, the Black Sea, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro and Hungary. Bucharest is the capital of Romania. Transylvania and Moldavia constitute the northern half of the country. Romania’s main attractions include Black Sea Coast, the Carpathian Mountains and Transylvania. The Black Sea Coast is popular for its white sandy beaches and offers a perfect experience for families. The Carpathian Mountains are beautiful and covered by dense forests which offer skiing opportunities. There are many health resorts also in Romania. Transylvania is popular for Romanian Spas which have been known for its many healing powers. Local food specialty includes cuisines like ciorba de perisoare (soup with meatballs), ciorba tanancasca (meat with vegetables), lamb bors, giblet soup and a variety of fish soups.

Population & Languages

The population of Romania is around 20 million and the official language being spoken is Romanian. The other popular languages are Hungarian and German.

Electricity

The voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The types of plug used are round pin with attachment and “Schuko” plug and receptacle with side grounding contacts.

Geographic Location

It is located in Southeastern Europe bordering the Black Sea between Bulgaria and Ukraine. It is bordered by Hungary and Serbia to the west, Ukraine and Moldova to the northeast and Bulgaria to the south. Carpathian Mountains pass through the center of Romania.

Climate

The climate of Romania can be termed as Temperate and it has four seasons. While spring and autumn are cool and pleasant. Summers are very short and hot occurring in July and August. The winters can be harsh and cold with snowfall between December and March. The best months to visit Romania are May, June, September and October.

Local Customs

Handshaking is the common custom. It is also customary to kiss when being introduced to a woman. Mostly all normal European customs apply to Romania also. Dressing is conservative and casual. Smoking is prohibited on public transportation vehicles and theaters. Romanians like smoking themselves and thus like if you gift them cigarettes. Tipping is 5 to 10 percent in restaurant, hotels and taxis.

Attractions

Bucharest: Once used to be known as Paris of the East the city of Bucharest is a city of lights bustling with cafes, night clubs and restaurants. It also has Romanian Opera House and a huge National Museum. The historic sites include the Palace of Parliament, Old Court Church and Athenee Palace Hotel.
Brasov: Not to be missed places are Castles in Transylvania which include Bran Castle, Rasnov Castle and also do miss to see Sighisoara about 90 miles from Brasov, the birth place of Vlad tepes.
Romanian Riviera: This is along the coast of Black Sea which is huge tourist attraction. It is also home to several resorts and Romanian spas famous for their healing powers.

Travel

By Air: The national airline of Romania is Tarom. Many popular airlines that fly to Bucharest include Air France, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa and Swiss. The biggest airport is Bucharest Otopeni Airport which is located like 10 miles north of the city.

By Sea: Constanta is the major port on the Black Sea. There are many cruises available which stop at various points of tourist interest like Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Bazias, Giurgiu, Calafat and Bucharest. There is Zimnicea ferry, which is the shortest road in the route Turkey – Bulgaria – Romania – Central and Western Europe.

By Rail: Traveling by train from other European countries to Romania takes anything from four hours to about 30 hours.

by Gray.A

Travel Tips to European countries: Cyprus

October 11, 2018 in Blog

About the Country

Cyprus is an island located in the Mediterranean Sea. It is inhabited with mountains on the north and south and the south coast is covered with plains. The temperatures are really hot indicating Mediterranean climate. Winters are cooler. Nicosia is the capital city of Cyprus. The currency used here is Cypriot Pound.

Culture

Greek, English and Turkish are the languages spoken here. There is a mixed culture of Greek and Middle East. The locals are very friendly and welcome outsiders with an open heart and make them feel at home by offering them with something to drink. To greet someone a handshake will do. It is customary to offer the guest a small gift when invited for dinner. One can dress casually, but the swimsuits must be confined to the beaches only. Social functions call for formal dressing.

Site Seeing

The country is full of vineyards, 12th century buildings, orchards and monasteries. Be careful when photographing outside. It is forbidden in military areas and special permission must be taken for taking pictures in places like museums and art galleries. Most of them do not allow flash photography. Taxis can be hired to move around the big towns in Cyprus, which charge according the government regulated meters. Tipping the drivers is customary.

Electricity

240 V, 50 Hz

Getting There

Port of Famagusta at Ammochostos and Port of Kyrenia, and airport of Ercan, have been declared as illegal ports of entry! so check it out while planning to get there.

The national airline is Cyprus Airways. It connects most of the major cities of Europe. Other forty airlines, too, serve at the airport of Larnaca, which are 5 km away from Larnaka and 50km away from Nicosia. Taxis can be hired to reach any destination from there as there as well as airport shuttle services and airport buses to and from Larnaca airport. The other services that are offered at this airport is duty-free shops, bank, tourism and hotels information, restaurants, car hire, post office and reservation office. The other airport, Pafos, is 15km away from the city and it takes about 35 minutes to reach the city from the airport. It provides the same facilities like the Larnaca airport.

The major ports of Cyprus are the Limassol port and Larnaca port which connect other ports of Middle East and Greek. Not only ferry services are provided here, even cruise services are provided here.

Cyprus Island is not connected by roads to other countries, but roads run across Cyprus connecting all the cities and villages. Buses run on roads and they run late in the mid-night during summers. Tourists can get on to rural buses to surf through the remote villages, but they are very slow. If planning to hire car, advanced booking is recommended, especially in summer as the booking is full most of the times. Do remember to carry a National driving license or International driving permit.

by Gray.A

Travel tips to European countrie: Ireland

October 5, 2018 in Blog

About The Country

The summers are warm and the winters are moderate with some snow. May and June are the sunniest months. Weather changes quite frequently from cloudy to sunny and vice versa. If planning the visit during the summer, lightweight woolen or cotton clothes are recommended and jacket for spring and autumn. Always carry raincoat for that untimely showers. Incase of emergency call 999 or 112.

Culture

Most of the locals prefer speaking English here. Handshaking is customary. Irish are social people and are good at having a lively chat even with strangers. People live in great harmony and make great friends. Foreigners are welcomed with warmth and are made to feel at home. Guests are never sent back empty stomach as food is always served at any time of the day, to the guest. Most of the locals come from an agricultural background. Dinner is considered to be a meal of importance as it is the time when the whole family gets together and eat. One can dress casually when out on the streets except women are expected to dress formally at social gatherings and at fine restaurants. Smoking is banned in public places.

Shopping

Many towns organize flee markets at least once a week, which is worth checking out for cheap goods. Belfast is the shopping capital of Ireland; most of the stores open up early and close early too. On Thursdays, shops remain open till 8 in the night. Value Added Tax of almost 17% is charged, which can be reclaimed later. So if the visitors buy anything from the stores remember to check if the store operates the Retail Export Scheme, which would require the passport and filling of the Tax Free Shopping Form by the sales person. If the restaurant bill doesn’t includes any tax, leave behind a 10% tip to appreciate their service. Giving a tip to the porters and hair dressers is customary here.

Electricity

The voltage in Northern Ireland is 240V, 50AC.

Getting There

The national airline that operates here is Aer Lingus, which provides service from most of the major cities of the world. Airlines like Delta Air Lines and many other have been introduced and to promote them, promotional air fares are being offered. Checking out such offers will prove to be money savers. There are many flights from UK to Ireland. The Dublin airport is located at 10 km away from the city. Services like taxis, air coach, buses transport passengers to their destination. Airport has duty free shops, bank, currency exchange, car hire, tourism information, and restaurants for a comfortable journey. Shannon Airport is situated to the north of Limerick City and is 24 km and 25 minutes away from it. Buses, coaches and taxis are available for transportation. Other services that are provided are duty free shops, currency exchange, bank, tourism information and restaurants. While planning to travel, check out other airports like Cork Airport and Knock Information Airport for more options.

To take ferries check out the Baltimore, Galway, Dublin, Wexford and Kinsale ports. Most of the ferries offer high-speed services. Time to time special offers are being announced which can be availed to save money. Check out the websites as some of them offer online booking facility.

by Gray.A

Travel tips to European countries: France

September 22, 2018 in Blog

About the city

The crowd is attracted to sparkling ski slopes of the Alps, sunlit vineyards and sun-baked beaches of this beautiful country. France is a country which draws more tourists than any other country. It is easy to see why this is the case given France’s great reputation for fine wines, good food, high fashion and relaxed lifestyle. But while France is undoubtedly a place to eat and drink till your heart is content, there’s much more to this fascinating country than only cutting-edge cuisines. Spring is the best time to be here, and those interested in winter sports can drop at the Alps and Pyrenees with some polar gear. The summers are very hot and winters are moderate. An all-weather coat and pair of comfortable shoes are a must. Women, especially, should carry cocktail dresses as some of the restaurants ask for it. When visiting any religious site, refrain from wearing sleeveless shirt and shorts, as they are disliked at such places.

Culture

English is widely spoken here, although French is the official language. Handshaking is
customary greeting and women should be kissed on both cheeks and should be addressed
as Monsieur or Madame. French people are popularly known for their like for stylish sportswear
and of course perfumes. Nudism is allowed on some beaches only. Social functions, fine
restaurants, and clubs call for more formal dressing. When at a formal dinner, wait till the host
gestures to start the dinner. Smoking is banned in public places.

Site Seeing

Paris, the city of love, is a massive city with many attractions in reachable distance thanks to the
highly efficient public transport system. It boasts of more than 130 museums and 200 arts
galleries. A trip to Disney land and the magnificent Eiffel tower will make the trip worthwhile.
The attractive tourists spots are the Arc de triomphe which spans over the tomb of an
unknown soldier, the forbidding gothic architecture of the Notre Dame cathedral, the picturesque, Sacre Coeur, to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the Moulin Rouge and boat tours along the Seine. Get the Paris museum pass, which gives access to 60 monuments and museums.

Shopping

Although service tax is included in the bill, a humble tip won’t cost much. An extra dollar can be given as tip to the waiter. A tip of $2 can be left for the bus drivers.

Getting There

The national airline that operates here is Air France. Many low-cost airlines, too, provide services from UK. Paris-Charles de Gaulle also known as Roissy-Charles de Gaulle is the major airport of France, which is 23km away from the city. Coaches, taxis, limousines services are provided at the airport. The railway facility provided by the airport, claims to reach all the terminals within eight minutes. These trains run 24 hours. The other airports that offer flight services are Paris-Orly, Marseille, Bordeaux, Nice, Lyon and Toulouse. Ferry and cruise trips can be made from ports such as Atlantic, North Sea, Mediterranean, and Havre.

by Gray.A

Travel tips to European countries: Luxembourg

September 15, 2018 in Blog

About the country

One of the Europe’s smallest sovereign states is The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The north part of the country is blessed with greenery and hills. The Ardennes provides great scenic view. The country is small and all the tourist attractions are within reachable limits. It snows during the winters in Luxembourg, but isn’t as cold as its neighboring countries and the summer is warm which comes in May and lasts till September. Incase of emergency dial 112 or 113.

Culture

Generally handshake is used to greet people. Although majority of the locals speak English, Letzeburgesch is the national language of Luxembourg. French and German is also spoken by many Luxembourgers. When appearing as a guest at someone’s house, it is a good practice to bring along gift or flowers. People are expected to dress in smart casuals, but it would be best to turn up in formals when attending social functions, or clubs. It’s not advised to smoke in public places.

Shopping

Crystals and porcelains of Villeroy and Boch are very famous and the earthenware pottery from Nospelt is a shoppers must have item from Luxembourg. VAT of 15% is applied to all items purchased other than that from campground, hotel, and restaurant, which charge 3%. Tipping is exempted.

Site Seeing

The capital, Luxembourg is a place to be. Stay for a day or tea to explore the city. Village of Viaden has a cliff top castle which is a famous landmark.

Taxis can be hired to move around the city. They charge 10% extra from 10 pm to 6 am and if hired on Sunday, an extra 25% extra will be charged if hired for the whole day.
Accommodations

Luxembourg has many luxurious hotels, most of which are located in Lux City. Other options are guesthouses which are beautifully decorated with flower and plants.

Travel

The national airline which operates here is Luxair. There are flights from London to Luxembourg every hour. The Luxembourg airport is at a distance of 5km from the city and it takes about 20 minutes to reach there. There are provisions such as duty free shops, bank, tourism information and car hire for the passengers.

Eurostar provides a fast railway service from London, Paris, Belgium, France or Brussels to Luxembourg. Bookings can be made via telephone and -ú5 fee is charged for telephonic booking. Check out for offers which are provided on some of the routes. To travel within the country, Inter-Rail pass can be bought which gives the offer of unlimited train travel for 29 countries of Europe.

When driving on road, it is recommended to take the train or ferry service when passing the channel between Dover and Calais. Check out for vacancy before hand especially during the rush hours. While driving, drivers should stay on the right side and there are strict rules for drinking while driving and seat belt.

by Gray.A

Boat travel gets you traveling!

September 12, 2018 in Blog

When it comes to set sail you will find that there is a lot of fun that that you can have on a boat of luxury. You will find that there are small exotic ports that you can go for and you will be able to choose where you go and when you go. You will want to follow some of the following guidelines, because it can be hard to have the perfect vacation while sailing a boat.

First, you will need to decide where your direction of destination is and how long you plan to be gone. For those who have a steady life, voyage is something that you may not want to do, but there are many ports and islands off the coast of America that you can travel to and still be able to enjoy the customs that you are use to. You will find that there are many locations that you can to as well. You can go up or down the ocean coast and still have a great time. You will find that there are places in South America and other close islands so that you can get that exotic vacation.

Where you sail, you will be able to determine depending on the time period that you have. You may want to do a thorough research of the destination before you set sail. Make sure that you will have plenty of time to get there and back. You don’t want to be lost at sea for a few days or hours and feel the pressure of having to be back at work in a few hours. The least of your worries should be your timing. When you go to sail, you will want to make sure that you are in the port for at least three or four days so that you can really enjoy your vacation.

Also, you will want to think about the money that you will need. You will find that there are some places and ports that can be very expensive. You will find that there are areas near the ports that you can travel to, but then you will have to think about the cost of your land traveling. You will find that there are prices of life that you can get off the Internet and then there are sites that will suggest now much money you will want to take with you.

When it comes to sailing, you may find it more comfortable if you charter a cruise. You will find that when it comes to cancellation of the cruise, you will be able to get flown back to the states and that money is included in your trip. This is not something that you will get when you sail your own boat. You will find that there are plenty of benefits that you can get from charters, especially if you are not a professional sailor. You will be able to have all the comforts of home when you take the time to budget for a cruise. Cruises not only make great vacations, but they are also great to do when you are trying to save your marriage or regenerate the love and romance.

You will find plenty of opportunity when it comes to vacationing with a boat. You will be able to go places and see things that you could never imagine. You will find that there are plenty of things that you can do to feel safe and secure while on the open seas.

by Gray.A

Travel tips to European countries: Greece

September 11, 2018 in Blog

About the county

Being one of the earliest civilizations known to human kind Greece is a country with rich history, heritage and culture. It is the place where Byzantine Empire once ruled and also great Ottoman Empire. It is also considered to be as the birth place of Democracy. Athens is the capital city of Greece. The Olympic games originated in Greece. Not only that, it was the world center for western philosophy, political science, astronomy, mathematics, major scientific studies and what not. It is also known as a Mediterranean country as it has Mediterranean Sea in the south. It is a popular destination for world tourists in that region known for its beautiful beaches, reach history and charming villages. The Greek islands are one of the most wonderful places to be explored by Cruise or Yacht. The trip of Greece will definitely be one of the most memorable to remember in ones life.

Population & Languages

The population of Greece is around 11 million and the official language being spoken is Greek. The other popular languages are English and French.

Electricity

The voltage is 220 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The types of plug used are round pin with attachment, round pin with ground, Round pin plug and receptacle with male grounding pin and “Schuko” plug and receptacle with side grounding contacts.

Geographic Location

It is located in Southern Europe bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea between Albania and Turkey. It is situated in the southern side of Balkan Peninsula. It is also bordered by Bulgaria and Macedonia in the southeast.

Climate

It has three distinct climates namely Alpine, Mediterranean and temperate climate with mild and wet winters and also hot and dry summers due to Mediterranean affect. Alpine system is seen in mountainous regions. The temperate climate is seen near border along Macedonia. Athens has both temperate and Mediterranean weather.

Local Customs

The Greece is a place with strong historic and cultural background. There are different traditions and customs in different parts of the Greece. The throwing back of a hand is considered to be a negative gesture here in Greece. Casual dress can be worn most of the times. Smoking is prohibited in public transport services and public buildings. Tipping 1 to 10 percent is customary in restaurants, hotels and taxis.

Attractions
* The Olympic Games in Athens (the spot of the historic 2004 Olympic Games)
* Mardi Grass Celebrations in February
* The Parthenon in Athens
* Skiing in Arahova Mountains between October and March
* Easter Celebrations
* Thessalonikis White Tower and country’s rich Byzantine culture
* The south of Corinth
* The beaches in Lesvos
* The wine vineyards in the countryside
* The islands near the Aegean Sea
* The wildlife preserve in Alonissos (Sporades Marine Park)
* The famous, Moni Panagia Chozoviotissa, a Byzantine monastery in Amorgos

Travel

By Air: The national airline of Greece is Olympic Airlines. Many popular airlines like British Airways and Delta Airlines operate daily flight from Athens. The biggest airport is newly constructed Athens International Airport which is located like 17 miles northeast of the city. The other international airports of Greece are Heraklion (Crete), Thessaloniki (Macedonia) and Corfu (Kerkira).

By Sea: The popular Greek ports include Corfu, Heraklion, Igoumenitsa, Patras, Piraeus (Athens), Rhodes, Thessaloniki and Volos. Shipping vessels and ferryboat lines link these ports with Italy, Croatia, Cyprus, Russia and Turkey. Some of the popular cruises operating in Greece are Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Festival Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Silversea and Swan Hellenic.

By Rail: If one is coming from UK, the best way is to take Eurostar train to Brussels or Paris and from there take connecting train to Greece.

by Gray.A

Travel tips to European countries: Ukraine

September 10, 2018 in Blog

About the county

Ukraine which is located in Eastern Europe is one of the largest country in that region of Europe bordering Russia in the northeast, Belarus in the north, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary in the west, Romania and Moldova in the southwest and also Black Sea and Sea of Azov in the south. It is a popular tourist destination especially for tourists from Western Europe and North America. The main selling point is the rich historical character of the country with as many five hundred cities dating back as early as nine hundred years. Visitors are spellbound by the architectural beauty of Ukraine. Kiev is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine where most travelers begin their journey.

Population & Languages

Ukraine has a population of roughly 44 million and the official language is Ukrainian. The other languages spoken here are Russian, Romanian, Polish and Hungarian.

Electricity

Voltage – 220 volts, Frequency – 50Hz. Standard European Round pin attachment plug

Geographic Location

Ukraine is located in Eastern Europe bordering Russia in the northeast, Belarus in the north, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary in the west, Romania and Moldova in the southwest and also Black Sea and Sea of Azov in the south. The strategic location of Ukraine between Asia and Europe made it a transportation hub in the region.

Local Customs

Ukrainians are warm hearted and welcoming people. Casual dressing is mostly worn here though it will be a good idea to wear smartly for theatres. Small gifts are appreciated. Tipping is not very common; service is usually included in fine restaurants and hotel bills.

Places to see

St Sophia Cathedral as old as nine centuries, it is one of the architectural marvels of Ukraine.
Kiev-Pechersk Lavra (Caves Monastery) these caves are as old as one millennium and dating back to 11th century.
Great Patriotic War Museum
Statue of the Motherland, Kiev

Travel

By Air: the national airline of Ukraine is Ukrainian International Airlines. In collaboration with Aer Fi Group and Austrian Airline it links Kiev to many countries around the world.

By Sea: the primary ports of Ukraine are Izmail and Odessa which are situated on the river Danube. The ferry services connect Ukraine with Russia and Georgia. They also connect various cities on the Black sea and the Mediterranean sea. Sevastopol is the port which connects Istanbul, Turkey.

By Rail: Ukraine has approximately 14,000 miles of railway tracks linking most towns and cities. Kiev and Lviv are the main stations which connect with Moscow on a daily basis. Ukraine also has direct lines to Berlin (Germany), Budapest (Hungary), Warsaw (Poland) and Bucharest (Romania).

By Road: Ukraine has an extensive network of roads with approximately 107,000 mile of road network out of which nearly 18,000 mile is main or national roads.