Many clients arrange their own air via Orbits/Travelocity etc., and book their hotels directly on line and than approach Scope to arrange their inter-city transportation by rail or plane. We regret, but we make reservations for train, plane, transfers, theaters and guides only when handling a complete “land package”. Your alternative for such arrangements is to ask your friends/relatives in Ukraine to make these reservations for you, or by doing so yourself upon arriving at each destination.
Frequently Asked Questions
NO – as of Aug 2005, USA and Canadian Citizens do not require a visa for Ukraine – we are talking about group, individual tourists or for family visit for up to 90 days. For staying of MORE than 90 days, or for frequent travelers, a multiple entry visa required.
Visa support is provided for Scope Travel clients. Normal visa processing takes about 21 days. For more information please go to SCOPE – VISA INFORMATION. Click link →
Spring and autumns are the best times. Like everywhere else in Europe, there are no crowds, the museum lines are short and the opera/ballet, philharmonia and theaters are in full season. Hotel rates are the same for summer and winter. The airfare makes the difference, but an almost 40% cut for off-season travel (Nov. 1 – Mar. 31).
If you are traveling in off season and not around holiday dates, chances are that hotels are wide open, and you will not have a problem obtaining a room. We suggest you do book and prepay hotels through an agency in USA, rather than submitting your credit card number on line.
Please call the police; they will get an ambulance, etc. You will be given emergency medical attention immediately, as would a foreign tourist in USA. Afterwards you will be charged for this service unless you have purchased Medical Insurance upon entry into Ukraine. If you have purchased travel insurance coverage in USA or have a home owners policy that covers you while traveling abroad, you pay for medical services in Ukraine and your USA entity will reimburse you upon return, once you present receipts of all medical bills/invoices.
We suggest you drink only bottled water – though local water is safe!
If you are traveling with a group, please report this incident to your ESCORT. If you are traveling individually, proceed to hotel reception desk or directly to the police. Lost passport can only be replaced in KYIV – USA Embassy.
You may use your credit cards – but be very careful where you use them; only in reputable hotels and restaurants. Smaller cities and small hotels, pensions will not take a credit card. During the 2005 summer season four of our clients cc numbers appeared in Turkey and Thailand.
Ukraine is still a “third world country” and though the local currency (Hryvnia) has been stabilized vis-à-vis US $ (5 hryvnia to 1 USD), people still like the greenback! Please make certain that your cash is CLEAN, unmarked by bank stamps and issued after 1990.
One may carry up to $10,000 US Dollars cash into Ukraine per person. Please declare these funds, otherwise, if caught, they will be confiscated from you.
There are no tourist visas (group or individual) issued in Ukraine for visits to USA. For elderly persons, relatives (over 60 years) visas are more readily given but require a letter of invitation or an affidavit of support from the sponsor in USA. If, however, you have met a young person in Ukraine and want to invite her/him for a visit, that is impossible. The only way you can do it, is to bring that person over on a fiancee visa. Special documentation is required and the procedure may take up to 6 months. Click link →
Group travel by far is still the best and most recommended way to visit Ukraine. The tourist infrastructure is not that well developed, and unless you are a very well seasoned traveler – and speak a Slavic language; traveling in Ukraine without a group may be expensive, lengthy, unpleasant and hazardous. Most tour operators offer pre and post tour extensions; this would allow you to incorporate any destination that is not on tour into your personal itinerary. For smoother traveling, we always suggest POST TOUR extensions; by the end of a tour you would have “learned” how the system operates, and the days without a tour will go more smoothly.
There are no group/bus organized sightseeing tours that an individual tourist can buy into. If you travel with a group – all sightseeing/entrance fees and English-speaking guides are prepaid For an individual tourist, guided tours and private transportation become a luxury. For a 4 hr tour in Kyiv of major highlights with an English-speaking guide, the cost could be about $250. per car (which accommodates 3 persons).
English, German or French speaking guides are rare and expensive ($10-15 per hr). Most have left the underdeveloped tourist industry for more lucrative foreign joint ventures. Try to find university students who, for a minimal fee will give you a very comprehensive walking tour.
All airlines permit 1 pieces of checked baggage at 50 lbs . On international flights, passenger is allowed 1 bag of 50 lbs (20 kg). SECOND PIECE ON ALL CARRIERS will cost $150.00 USD and third $200. Within Europe and within Ukraine the limit on domestic flights is also 5 0 lbs per person – ONE PIECE of checked baggage.
Souvenir items to purchase range from vodka (42 kinds) and champagne to embroidery, lace, hand-painted lacquered boxes (Palekh) and wooden nested dolls. Best buys are spectacular inlaid wood carvings and kylyms (in the Carpathian area), amber, stamps and books. IF BUYING: Gold, antiques, coral, icons, furs and caviar, valuable paintings, you will need a special document from the local authorities to avoid any problems with customs when leaving Ukraine. Your local guide will assist you in obtaining these permits.