Things Not to Do in Kyiv

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Guidebooks and travel forums usually inform you about what to do when you travel, including all must-see attractions. But what about all the things you shouldn’t do when you arrive in Kyiv? ”Destinations” lists the most common pitfalls to avoid.

There are plenty of mistakes travelers make that lead to wasted money, lost time, and missed opportunities. It’s easy to say what to do, but this time I’d like to mention all the important “don’ts”.
man in suit

When you are in the Ukrainian capital, please do NOT:

  • try to catch a taxi or approach people who offer accommodation for rent waiting at the train station, the Independence Square and other popular public places. It is better to order a car by calling one of the taxi services or using an online application, and to book the hotel, hostel or apartment in advance through reliable websites.
    calling taxi
    Photo: Shutterstock.com
  • buy but not invalidatetickets for public transport. Controllers in trams, trolleybuses and buses appear suddenly and ask to show the ticket punched. In case you don’t have it, you’ll have to pay a fine. However, you don’t need to punch a ticket in fixed route minibuses, also known as “Marshrutkas”.
  • drink water from the public pump rooms. Many people in Kyiv are confident that the water there is perfectly clean and the guests of the capital are used to potable water not only in pump rooms, but also in tap. However, it is better not to risk getting sick and buying water in bottles instead as no one can’t guarantee the quality of free water.
  • buy street food near the subway stations. The food there is usually prepared in unsanitary conditions and some ‘entrepreneurs’ don’t even have necessary documents. Of course, we all love to have a snack at a street food spot once in a while, however it is better to go to Bessarabsky Market or to attend ‘UlichnayaEda’ (Street Food) Festival for these gastronomic pleasures.
    meat streetfood
    Photo: Shutterstock.com
  • drink alcohol in public places. With the launching of a new patrol police you can easily be fined for that if caught.
  • wear clothes that show too much skin at places of worship, although the exact dress code varies from church to church.Men’s clothing shouldn’t contain shorts or flip-flops. Also men are supposed to take their hats off before entering the church. Women’s clothing should be modest. The shoulders cannot be shown in the church, so avoid anything strapless or with thin straps. Keep your tops and dresses high cut, with long sleeves and long, coming to the ankle or at least to the knee.
  • give money tobeggars/paupers on the streets. If you help one beggar, generally on-looking beggars may come asking you for money as well. Be cautious as there are many pickpockets among them.So when you are distracted by one of them, someone else may be taking your stuff. The best tactic in Ukraine is to ignore beggars /paupers and keep on moving.
  • display your money in public. You never know who's watching you and what they have in mind. When changing your money into local currency, count it at the bank and not on the street or any other public place like a restaurant, cafe or metro station.
  • let your credit card out of your sight. At the restaurant or café when paying with a credit card, check the bill and ask the waiter to bring the POS terminal to your table or bring your card to the POS terminal yourself following the waiter. This way other people will not be able to copy your credit card details to commit any frauds.
    credit card
    Photo: Shutterstock.com
  • walk in the parks or any other deserted places alone after dark. Late night strolls through poorly- or dimly-lit and isolated areas are not a good idea.In these areas you may encounter unpleasant nuisances such as drunks, prostitutes, thieves, or muggers.
  • swim in rivers or lakes that are not certified for this or frequent deserted beach areas. You should never put yourself in a position where you can't be seen or heard by others should an emergency arise or you need assistance.
  • try nude or topless sunbathing or swimming on public beaches. Nude and topless bathing are frowned upon in Ukraine, and showing a lack of modesty could unfortunately be misinterpreted by others, leading to dangerous situations.
  • leave your drink unattended, and never accept a drink from a stranger or recent acquaintance. Drink spiking, the act of covertly adding chemicals or drugs to your drink, is unfortunately rather common. Similarly don't leave your cash and valuables unattended. Be aware of your alcohol consumption and try not to overindulge to a point where you arenot able to make your way home safely.

    drinking beer
    Photo: Shutterstock.com
    These are the things you shouldn't do in Kyiv, for all the rest 1000+ fun things you should do, visit www.destinations.com.ua! Enjoy Kyiv avoiding moments that can leave an unpleasant impression from you trip and be safe!

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