In general, Kiev is as safe as most Western European countries. Organized crime does exist, but unless you’re coming to Kiev to open a chain of casinos the mafias are extremely unlikely to take an interest in you.
Crimes perpetrated against visitors are generally low level.
Acts of mindless drunken violence such as those which commonly occur in British cities are rare. There are, however, reports of racist attacks on those of African and Middle Eastern appearance.
Under Ukrainian law you are supposed to carry your passport with you at all times. Although the police in Kiev are no angels, they don’t, unlike their counterparts in Moscow, routinely pester foreigners for documents and bribes.
We have never been stopped in the street by the police and very rarely see others being stopped and having their documents checked. We personally consider it much better to leave our passports in a safe place than to routinely carry it in person and risk losing them. Having said that, official guidance from both the US and British embassies states that visitors should carry their passports with them at all times and keep copies in case of loss or theft.
The traffic police (DAI) are a different story. They are notoriously corrupt, though you should only come into contact with them if you are driving. They routinely stop vehicles to solicit bribes.
The officers are usually quite polite. If you have committed an offence they will usually give you the option of going down the official route or paying a bribe and going on your way. Paying the bribe is cheaper than the official fine and less hassle.
Many drivers would argue that this is a better system, particularly those from countries such as the UK where fines are heavy and issued automatically. The families of those killed in Ukraine by drunk or dangerous drivers would disagree. It is completely possible in Ukraine to bribe the police and avoid a drink driving or other serious motoring conviction.
In our personal experience we have never been asked to pay a bribe when no traffic offence has been committed.
Street scams are frequently reported by other websites and government agencies as being fairly commonplace in Kiev.
We personally doubt whether they are as widespread as made out. In over 10 years of visiting and living in Kiev we have never been the victims of a street scam and have never met anybody who has actually fallen prey to such a crime. We strongly suspect that the risk is blown out of proportion by other websites regurgitating content from elsewhere to fill their pages and appear authoritative.
The most common scam quoted is the wallet scam. Supposedly the scammer walks ahead of the tourist and drops his wallet. The tourist, being good-natured of course, picks up the wallet and returns it to the scammer. The scammer appears grateful but, after counting the money in his wallet, announces that some of his cash as missing. A bogus policeman then appears and demands to see the tourist’s wallet. At some point during the inspection he secretly pockets some cash, before handing it back and informing the tourist he is innocent and can go on his way.
We’re not saying it has never happened. But quite frankly, the idea of large numbers of fake police frequenting Kiev’s tourist hotspots is preposterous. Anybody that has actually visited the city will know that there are far too many real police in such places. Ukrainian police aren’t perfect but certainly wouldn’t tolerate bogus police operating on their patch.
Marriage and dating scams are quite relatively common. Many foreign men are tempted to Kiev by the prospect of a relationship with a young and beautiful Ukrainian woman. In most cases these so-called relationships usually begin online, through a dating agency website or social network.
Although some of these women are genuinely looking for love, many are simply professional daters exploiting the desperation and generosity of these foreigners.
The scams can start before the foreigner even arrives in the city. The woman will come up a sob story about a sick child, dying mother, or how she needs money for a visa and plane ticket to visit her new love.
More often than not though, these women will wait until the foreign man is in Ukraine and is most susceptible to their charms. Shopping extravaganzas and visits to expensive restaurants are the usual methods of extracting cash. When we venture into Kiev in the afternoon we’ll inevitably see at least one aging foreigner being dragged around the city’s boutiques by a beautiful young girl and their ‘interpreter’.
Taxi scams are also common but can easily be avoided. Book a taxi by phone or use an online ordering service and you should be given a price.
Most difficulties arise when you catch a taxi in the street and don’t determine a price beforehand. Many taxi drivers will attempt to charge you an exorbitant fee, only revealed at the end of the journey. If you really have to get a taxi from the street, always agree a price before getting in the vehicle and you shouldn’t have any problems.
Many visitors to Kiev will never notice how bad the country’s roads are. The road from Boryspil Airport to Kiev is in pretty good shape, as are most of those in the city centre.
Outside of the capital most roads are in an appalling state. Reckless and poor driving is the norm. Ukrainian drivers commonly use the sidewalk as an extra lane or car park At the time of writing (July 2014) the most recent credible data we can find shows that the roads in Ukraine are amongst the most dangerous in Europe..
Statistics for 2010 compiled by the World Health Organisation show that the road traffic death rate in Ukraine is 13.5 per 100,000 people. Only a handful of European countries (such as Russia, Armenia, Bosnia, Moldova, and Belarus) have higher rates. The rate for the UK was 3.7 per 100,000 people.
In our opinion, renting a vehicle in Ukraine or driving your own simply isn’t worth the danger or the hassle. In Kiev the Metro system will take you to most places worth visiting. Taxis are cheap provided you stick to the guidelines noted above. If you are travelling to another city or town take the train or bus.
It is not safe to drink water from the tap. Our advice is to follow the locals and drink bottled water, and filter and boil tap water for cooking. Tap water is fine for washing and brushing your teeth.
Prostitution, although often discreet, is common in hotel lobbies and bars.
According to a UNAids report issued in 2012 around 230,000 people in Ukraine are living with HIV. This represents around 0.8 percent of the population, the highest rate in Europe.
HIV rates in Ukraine are highest amongst injecting drug users and prostitutes. Approximately 43 percent of sex workers that use intravenous drugs have HIV. Around 8.5 percent of prostitutes that don’t inject drugs have HIV.
Other Dangers and Annoyances
- The idea of customer service still hasn’t caught on at many shops, restaurants and hotels.
- Face control is common at upmarket nightclubs and restaurants.
- Beggars (often babushkas) frequent some tourist attractions and churches (though to be fair it is no more common than anywhere else in the world).
Comments and Additional Information
I spent 10 days in Kyiv & Bucha in October 2019.
I had the best time of my life, despite having lost a large amount of cash on my first day. My fault entirely.
If you love coffee, you are going to love Ukraine! Even gas station coffee makes Starbucks seem like burned cow patties.
If you’re a foodie, you are going to love the grocery stores and restaurants!
If you tip the cab drivers, they’re happy beyond words! Apparently it’s not a custom there, but if you do, they’ll come get you from anywhere in town, take you anywhere you want to go and give you a discount.
Ukraine is is considered Western Europe? Wrong!!! Ukraine is about as eastern block steel curtain as they come.
Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt. Visiting Ukraine cities is great. Your date will not be ashamed to take your money for hotel, restaurant, jewelry, tours, family help… but it will be a good vacation for you. Prices are low and there is great food and entertainment. The test to see if she is serious, tell her you want to live in Ukraine and be very serious about it. See if she just wants a ticket to the US. Also, if you marry her, will she later say you have treated her badly and ask for a divorce to take half your property. In other words, get to know her well in her own country because she will have limited time to marry you before she will exceed her visa if you bring her to the US and you will not be have enough time to get to know her in the US, or other country.
99% of Ukranian women from the date site are scammers, i personally experienced this . Everyone think that the website is a resource for living, and is ironic because they complain about sex turists. I got a good view with the years dating women and i got married and divorced when she saw she could not get any money from me. Mi advice is : never talk about money , skip that talk. And You will see the pure truth.
I went to Kiev to meet a woman I talked to for over a year online. When I arrived, she was exactly what my worst fears were. Pure gold digger.
When she found out I brought no credit card to spend on her, she became furious and demanded to know why.
I grinned and informed her the entire reason I came to get to know her, was to find out if she was worth spending money on. I now knew that answer and she was not worth it.
I spent the next 9 days enjoying the scenery and had a wonderful vacation. I even got lost once, and thanks to charades, extremely friendly locals, and taxi being a universal word I was able to get back to my apartment.
The people were wonderful, the parenting I watched was amazing. I WILL be returning to Ukraine in the future for certain. One of the most beautiful places on Earth with a very hardy Christian people.
I have been texting a Ukrainian lady , from Ukraine Cupid dating site for a few months now , young and pretty has a child , I am English she seems genuine enough , I have been thinking of seeing her but with Covid regulations I can’t yet but do you know if it’s a safe place and she is not a scammer , thanks
Hi, I am an Egyptian Muslim wearing Hijab (head scarf). I am wondering if you have any idea about how people in Kyiv view the Hijab?
The Ukraine has no love for Islaam, Dont expect to be welcomed openly.
it would be better not to wear it.
Ukrainians are devout Orthodox Christians. Outside the city center of Kyiv, you will find yourself in hostile foreign territory.
Hey guys, I am an Indian and I have been talking to a girl from Kiev I met online. We really love each other and I am planning to meet her in Kiev this mid-October. I am planning on a trip alone.
I have a few questions.
1) What will the weather be like. What clothes should I carry? I am Indian and not used to negative temperatures. Minimum 0 where I live during December. Comments from Indians/Asians please?
2) Any precautions? I know a little Russian which my girlfriend taught me. Also, she told me things like to book hotel online. Not to pay the entire amount for hotel beforehand. Also to book hotel with a taxi service.
3) How much cash should I carry for maybe a 2 day stay?
How stupid can you be?
Bad idea I know USA
Are you sure the girl is not a scammer?
Wow he met a girl online. This sounds like trouble..
Just here for the update – how did this relationship pan out?
A two day stay, take a few hundred bucks. Don’t take any credit cards, and have someone at home that can wire you emergency cash. You’ll be fine.
Don’t be afraid to tell her you didn’t bring a lot of money, because you wanted to make sure she was honest.
I met a 20 year old I am 44, we are enjoy our relationship. She never asked for money, but I know she isn’t with me because of my stunning good looks. We have a mutually agreeable relationship from which we both benefit.
Well, I have never been to Ukraine but I live here in Seattle USA and just had a baby with my gorgeous Ukrainian girlfriend of the past 2 years. She has been in the states for 10 years and her accent is the sexiest ever. She is everything I ever dreamed of, totally feminine, cooks, cleans, self employed, fit, expects me to be a man and provide for our family ect. She wants to be married…that has been a sore topic because it’s frowned upon in her culture to have a baby out of wedlock. We lied and told everyone we’re married. Anyways, J just felt compelled to share my story because I tried all the marriage agency letter writing scams of Ukraine and even the tour agencies. They are all 100% scams. I really wanted an Eastern European partner. I have female friends in Ukraine that I met from match.com and non agency sites, I even have a really good lady friend in Kiev who once worked for an agency there. She gave me the whole rundown…the profiles are fake and most often you are being written from a man.
I met Ruslana on match.com right here in Seattle. I have no problem meeting attractive ladies, I’m 6’4, six pack, run 7 miles everyday, self employed in real estate, 47 years old and I’m very handsome..at least I’m often told this. Oh and I’m a black American guy. Lol. Ruslana is white and 37 yrs old, she’s drop dead gorgeous. I just wanted to share my story. Guys..you can find anything you want in this life if you’re relentless in your search. Race and location doesn’t matter.
In the past, Ukraine was very corrupt.
and still is corrupt
I went to Kyiv to meet a woman. She was not the one, but I will be going back in May 2022 during the farming festivals.
Wow! Thanks for the enlightenment.
Hi, great comments. I am planning to go to Kiev in July. I am 65 and working with a marriage agency. They showed my profile and photos, I look much younger, to 8 women between the ages of 46 – 55, all very attractive and well educated with good English language skills. They advised that 6 want to meet me. The fee for all this is about $500. Does this seem real or am I fooling myself.
Ric I was in Kiev at the same time you were and did not have a great experience with the marriage agency women only to find out that they are a scam and the women will go out with you to get dinner and collect money from the agency. The only reasonable way is to try meeting them on fdating or 12kisses and don’t fall for all the lies about how great you look, or can you help me after a week of getting pictures of them and any children they have. There are some nice ones usually from the smaller cities or rural areas, the food was great.
All Ukraine / Russian dating sites and agency’s are Russian mafia owned and run , there all a scam trust me , it’s a corrupt country the mafia are operating from inside kiev , anistasia date and Russian bribes are the worst !!!! Stay well clear
What ever you do , don’t get scammed. As one guy did three days ago and got
scammed for $600.00. Yes, there are women in any country that would relocate
but finding a good woman is like a needle in a hay stack. Agencies will only take
your money. The best way to go to another country to find a woman is on a
buddy plan so you can watch each others back. The old for young is usually for
cash. I don’t want to discourage you, but real is for real. Finding someone abroad
could get very expensive just for the process. It is difficult to explain on here but
you can take my word or not. Women are not like forty years ago. With these
electronic connections they rule the world; that is their world and others. To find
that special woman especially large difference in age it just doesn’t exist. To find
someone your age, she is probably already dead! To find someone even over (40)
she would have a lot of medical issues on the way. To find someone between
(30) and (40) but never married. She could have been anywhere from an escort to
a city whore. To find someone close to her family, they don’t want her to leave.
What you are finding is not going to be good crop. If that is what you want then
it is your choice. If you find someone anyway, you are for a long haul financially.
Agencies are only looking to mama a buck, just like anyone else. They have no
idea who they are introducing you to. Only needles in a hay stack even with the
agencies could be a positive situation. Have you ever read an ad where a lady in
the (20) or (30) is looking for someone from (50) to (80) to form a family and wants
kids. Can an (80) year old man start family with kids and what for. They want
this guy to die and leave their pension and if any inheritance to them. It is very
tough luck that older men end up being alone at older age for anyone. Don’t
get over excited about finding your love which can cause lot of pain. I visited
Ukraine by my self and met guys from US and compared experiences, and now
I am not interested in any relationships, because they will be a headache. Wish
you on your tough decisions.
I completely agree, I found out the hard way, about dating a much younger woman. I always thought American men, were so stupid, to try to get Russian and Ukrainian girls. However, I thought I would try this, and to educate them. I wanted them to understand, how much better life would be, if we married, and moved to America. They didn’t believe me, I guess, because the friendships never progressed. I ended up spending, around $5,000, over several years. At the same time tho, I learned to speak Russian, somewhat. Also, love the country of Ukrainian, and at least, appreciate the Russian culture.
Great price. You will spend that taking one of these spoiled fat Americans to dinner.
That is so spot on both sad and hilarious at the same time!
Thats actually not bad. I was married to a Ukrainian girl for 11 years. Most agencies charge about 100 to 125 for a meeting. The real cost is the translator. At 15 to 20 dollars an hour it adds up quick.
I think is a scam, quite honestly none of those agencies are real. If you have a lot of free time, take long vacations, enroll in language classes, or any other activities, check other countries as well, Poland is interesting and more westernized, for your age range you will find many good polish girls, tupically much less scams than the ex soviet countries
So my advice go to the country, learn the culture, if you can learn a little of the language and learn to meet the girls in real life, at the end will be cheaper and it may cost you a few years but with the agencies you will end up empty handed and broken, just my advice and personal experience. Even the honest ones… it doesn’t work, but you may try it… just be aware of anything suspicious, some scammers really look sincere but they have everything prepared for when you are in Ukraine, then your whole trip is just money down the drain….
I plan on marrying a young lady from Ukraine Kiev is there any special things that I have to do I am a Canadian citizen I have a Canadian passport I really want to get married can I get married in the Ukraine or do I have to come to Canada to get married please let me know thank you so much
if you are American filth! stay out of our country!.
LOL. Message sent from Canada (we can trace them).
How’s the food, what restaurant would you recommend in Kiev?
Best ukrainian restaurant in Kiev – Za dvoma zaitsiamy (near Andrew’s church)
I have visited Kiev twice. And when I’m there I try to be on my best behavior. But I agree that the jerks who act like idiots, are not really welcome in Kiev. As for me, I have never had any problems and I love the city, especially Independence Square, Maidan.
Don’t go mate they have boyfriend’s all of the women! I live in Odessa not so bad there!!
Thanks for the information.
I’m an Asian, Chinese to be specific. Since there is a strong signal of racism in Kiev, may I know if I am safe there. Had been wanting to visit Ukraine for a long time.
You shouldn’t worry too much. There are quite many chinese students in the city and I haven’t heard any cases of violence towards asians. It’s just too exaggerated in the news.
What about people who speak Russian but are Jewish and don’t look Ukrainian? Is there a lot of discrimination currently to people like this?
You won’t have any problems in Ukraine, especially Kiev! While I was there I saw a group of very rough looking blacks walking together down the street. There were no problems. So enjoy this wonderful country and its great people. I did.
I wonder why most guys never seem to realize that some people pretend? Some girls are actresses, and really aren’t attracted to someone outside their age and body type.
I have heard women my age and younger talking about what they use the older guys for. Money, bills, car repairs, etc, etc.
Just like with scams, if it looks too good to be true, it is. If a girl isn’t in your league (and this includes age / looks/ weight ) she may have some ulterior motives (instead of attraction) . Being realistic can go along way towards protecting yourself
So I am going to Odessa to see the girl I have been skyping/vibering and plan on proposing to her this Christmas ( I’m 33 and she’s 29, met in person 2 years ago). Last year she took me to her nephew’s wedding and met her mom, sister, cousins plus extended family members. She did throw a fit while we were in Odessa and wanted to have McDonald’s for breakfast but never dragged me into pricey restaurants . I am really hoping she is for real and feel free to give your 2 cents if you happen to marry a ukrainian
I met a number of younger beautiful ladies in Kiev. You pay when you go out. You ARE the man after all. Western men have been emasculated for 50 yrs by our woMEN. I prefer a woman that supports her man by letting him be a MAN.
Ukrainian ladies are not all fake. One test. Tell her you want to move to the Ukraine to live. Judge her reaction to that. Does she want you or the USA?
Did you meet through a site or merely on a visit? What was the outcome?
Interesting you mention living there comment as a test. The lady I plan to meet in the fall asked me to assess when I visit whether I might wish to live there part of the year. She is very close to her family and they have no interest in living in the USA beyond a vacation visit (they own a condo in Miami). As a lawyer, she can practice in USA or Ukraine, so splitting her year seems like a reasonable plan.
Any comments/ suggestions? I have a post elsewhere with more, and I totally realize the sites are havens for scammers, but they also market to the professionals on the Ukraine side to safely meet professional western men.
Assistance on a first trip planning from the group at large would be greatly appreciated. I did a solo trip to China (SZ/HK) two years ago, and definitely know advice is need to navigate the challenges.
LOL @Sean Tanner says you clearly can’t get a girl in the US, that’s why you blame it on the women. Only way any of you people going to the Ukraine to find a girl could get a girl is by buying her, clearly. Feel sorry for you.
A woman that supports a man is usually a home maker. Women in US
work their ass off to maintain half of the support. Yes, in Ukraine there
are majority of woman who are structured good and sexy. Tall, short,
medium and slender, but in Kiev they use their bodies to support
themselves. When you get a hotel, you will get a woman with it at
the front door for the night. They do this until they get tired of it, and
then they look to settle down with a rich man from a foreign country.
Okay, a single lady in the thirties never married and never had kids but
they start as escorts at (18) of age or sleep with guys that already married.
Well, there are needle in the hay stack, but not easy to find.
Be careful I have be careful I have thought about the same thing. I see a lot of girls on here and I’m wondering if it’s at for real and are they real it’s just a chance you take so all I can do is tell you to be careful and beware take care
I have been to Odessa four times and have learned through personal experience that after meeting ladies off dating sites it is one big scam all they are interested in is what’s in your wallet, if you HAVE to get a lady make sure she speaks English because the using of a translator is a scam $20 an hour and the lady who is supposed to speak no English in my experience can she acts dumb, one lady called Galina who when i told her NO translator after our first date and i didn’t want to meet her again if she had to use a translator, she had a miracle happen to her, she could suddenly speak English??????? BOLLOCKS? they are professional con artists, what with ppl [ pay per letter] and the money i have spent on them has honestly cost me a fortune. It has been an expensive learning curve BUT now no more. I was in Odessa from the 14th of October until the 28th 2017 met a lady off Anastasia dating site called Olga, beautiful, gorgeous, she had told me she was a teacher BOLLOCKS i knew when i met her she could not afford the expensive clothes she had on on her teachers wages, we arranged to meet the next day but i told her later i didn’t want to meet her and never saw her again, however she still sends me letters on the dating site which i haven’t answered. If you are looking for marriage GOOD LUCK, YOU WILL NEED IT, if you are looking for fun go to Relax Odessa.com or if you are in Kiev Relax Kiev.com you will find what you are looking for, FILM STARS and you will KNOW EXACTLY how much you will have to spend, word of warning pay AFTER if you want an all nighter, NOT BEFORE, i did she went to the toilet and disappeared hahaha so clever, which they are. WORDS of wisdom there are literally hundreds of women who will give you a great time as long as you are not serious in your intentions [ Marriage etc ] you will then have entered a mine field, GOOD LUCK.
I understand you’re looking for love understanding sexuality and sensuality and passion. All girls from all different countries what a better life than they cannot have in their own country period you must understand all women are looking for a man to give them the things they cannot get for themselves and their countries. The men in the foreign countries understand of women you’re fascinated right now. What are the reason men go to other country is that in their own country women are not attracted to them so you think you’re going to get a woman to do the things you want you sound like a good person but you are foolish my friend find what you’re looking for in your own country the odds are not in your favor even if you get married she will take everything from you I’m sorry to say this because I had the same ideas a passion love and excitement with women in other countries I am a very attractive man I work very hard I have my own business and I’m young I do not say these things to hurt you but go ahead marry this woman and suffer the consequences then someday you will be writing a comment to someone just like you who has not experienced failure and deceit I say this with respect to you God bless
A man!! you sound like the smart one. If you have your own business,
that explains it. I took a journey on my own to learn before I act on a
serious situation. I picked up on it quickly in reality and I figured it out
in few days being in Ukraine. I would be happy not to get involved, and
do my thing in the US.
just wondering what happened for you ???????
I have been to Ukraine 4 X. The women I have met online with few exception, have honest, open, sometimes a little shy, very beautiful. As,always, spend time getting to know,them, dont be too quick to show you have money. Dont let them talk you into buying expensive,gifts, although a nice parting gift is a,nice,gesture. Dont expect or force,them into having sex. Show respect and show you like them for who they are, not just as a,doll. Get to know,their friends and family. Dont give,too much,but,show,them you are,not a,cheapskate either, women like to know you know,their,worth,and class. Be careful of younger,women, they have no problem with participating in scams, shopping, expensive,gifts. They love flowers, amd like when a man provides some small or intermediate gift that they can show friends so the feel theymare,special. They love,foreign men. Men there treat them horribly, drink too much, cheat always, will sometimes forc,ethem for,sex, as police often are reluctant to prosecute local men. Be yourself. They,hate,narcissistic men. Show,some romance. Wine, and dine but dont let them take advantage and theymdomt,respect men,who allow,women the control. Feel free to message with,questions if u need it. Be careful of cabs. Get price,BEFORE you agree always! You can find a decent apartmemt online with photos for much cheaper,than local hotels, unless you want all the amenities,like pools, etc. people love,americans and go out of way to please. Few english speakers,but,some enough to understand. Be congenieal to all service vendors, it pays off. Take a money belt,and dont,show money or be flashy. Dress,nicely. Women love,niceley,dressed men with good hygeine. I am 62″ and a handsome fit man for my age. To a point, womem only,want,a,man who is kind, respectful, protective, not too cheap, looks are not as important to the more mature women as it is in U.S. Most want to know you will be secure, but most are,not gold diggers, they look for a man who,won’t,cheat amd can be a good potential father. Many have young children out of marriage,as,there,are,so manymwomen, men rarely,want,committment, so if u do, it is a plus.
At last a positive review
i don’t know who are the men behind these terrible reviews but this guy tells the story the way I know it. I married a Russian woman with 1 child and she was a knockout and the greatest wife ever. We were married for 25 years until she died. What a tragedy. I never did cheat on her and she kept a wonderful house and had tons of artistic talent as well. I am looking for a Ukrainian because my wife was born Kiev. I believe I have found one but only time will really tell. You can’t find this type of woman in US. Be kind, watch out for the ones that want $.
yes but he is 62. Ever heard of a will?
Rob, I will be going to Kiev at the end of October 2018. I hope to have the same type of experience you have had. I am older, respectful and am looking to enjoy visiting Ukraine for the first time.
Can you suggest some authentic travel agency for issuing travel vouchers and an invitation letter for travel purposes? There are many on the internet and all look genuine.
I’m from the U.S. and planning to travel to the city of Luhansk with my adopted Ukrainian sister to see her biological family for the first time in seven years (since she was adopted). We have our tickets to fly to Ukraine October 2016 and we starting to worry that it might not be save for us to travel to this town to visit her family. They are too poor or too busy to come see her in Kiev so we have to go to Luhansk. Are we putting our lives in risk by traveling to the east side of the country? Our tickets are non refundable so feeling broken hearted if we loose all that money.
Booked my flight and hotel for a visit to Zaporozhye in July 2016. I aim to meet a friend I have spoken to for 11 months. We are good buddies and no relationship is intended from either of us. Oh yea it’s a girl and I am considerably older. Money has never been mentioned but being a single mom with a 5 year old it must be a struggle. I talk with her boy on a regular basis. At Christmas I bought him a bicycle. I offered and she did not ask for it. There are some good people in Ukraine. I think I’ve found one.
I could be wrong. Nothing is 100% in life. I am encouraged by the information here. Surely it’s all down to common sense. Think with your brain and nothing else.
I spend 3-6 months each year since 2001.
Have been to at least 20 cities.
Kiev is my second favorite after Ivano-frankivsk
However I have been scammed in Kiev back in 2008 ( the wallet scam )
But overall Ukraine is wonderful and safe.
I am wanting to travel to Ivano-Frankivsk. Was it a challenge to get there from the USA? I’m from Texas and can not find a flight from TX. I have to fly to Kiev and then to Ivano-Frankivsk. Any suggestions? I have never traveled outside the USA. I am excited to go.
Zeb, There are flights from Houston to Kiev or Odessa. Recently, Delta had a sale from all over the US to all of Europe, including Ukraine. I hope you found great flights and had a great time. Still looking? Try booking your flights separately. Fly round trip to JFK in New York. Then fly round trip on Ukraine Airlines to Ukraine for very little money. Contact me for more information.
How did it work out for you? How about an update….
I met some girl in Kiev 7 years ago. I was older by 15 years. We were both on vacation. I found Ukrainian woman very honorable actually. So we fell in love and have been happily married since. Lee from UK.
I’m interested to know how you got on. My experience of Eastern European and Russian women is that if they are fluent in English they are highly educated. When I mean highly educated, I mean they can integrate by parts and substitution and know a sestina from a sonnet.
And I speak Polish, and can get by in Ukrainian.
It’s quite a different world and understanding when you know the language.
Don’t do it. I married a girl after being in the same situation. $100,000 later and child support for a kid that isn’t mine (and not adopted – she went home and came back knocked up) Just a REALLY bad idea.
I’m a single woman wanting to travel to Kiev and visit the Chernobyl site is there anybody that can give me advice on where to start and do you suggest I take someone with me for my own safety ?
Many thanks 🙂
I too am visiting Kiev with a 16 hour lay over and want to visit Chernobyl…should I rent a car? Taxi? Safe?
I have traveled around Ukraine and Russia many times. I would suggest going on airbnb and reserving a nice apartment. Generally it can be much nicer and more convenient than the hotels. Read the reviews and many times the apartment owners can get you a ride from the airport. Last time I paid 25$ for for a ride from the airport to the apartment. Use a professional tour group for your tour. Ukraine is not unlike any other city you might go to. Use common sense. Use credit cards when possible rather than cash. Dont walk around looking like a victim and you should be fine. People all over are generally decent and helpful. It is no different than going to any big city in the US.
Are you crazy??? It’s a nuclear disaster zone!!! That whole area is glowing with radiation for the next 1000 years!! Cancer is rife amongst the locals. Avoid it.
Good on you. I am going too.
I have read the latest messeges and would like to give your some tips.
First of all, don’t worry, Kiev is safe place and very far from war zone. Moreover, we have new police now, and they are really nice guys.
The second, almost all young people do speak English (and even one more language) and are open-minded, polite and easy-going. So I think you could befriend a really cool Ukrainians here and they will help you with pleasant.
The third, about girls. I urge you not to think that we’re dreaming of marriage with US/UK/European- citizens. If a girl is nice with you, it does not mean she want you. For example, I always speak in polite manner with foreigners and do all my best to make their time in Kyiv pleasant, just because I want you to like my country. And as a student of Institue of Philology I’m interesting in language exchange. But I really don’t want to be your wife, keep calm.
And yes, almost all date sites are scam. If you want to visit Kyiv for one girl from Internet, make sure that she is real. (If you are talking with this lady only by the date-site and don’t use Skype, Viber, FB, VK etc. it’s 100% scam)
Don’t worry, look after your valuable things and enjoy Ukraine.
Anastasia, KNU student, 19 y.o.
I’ve been coming here for over a decade. Always be on the alert for scams. Judge girls by what they do and not by what they say. Don’t shower them with gifts early. Classy girls here do not expect or request this. Flowers and candy? Yes. A new kitchen or a shopping spree? No. Be suspicious if they never want you to meet their friends or family. Consider dating women with a child b/c they can be more interested in a real family. Find out if she has any internal religious faith to guide her. Watch to see if your conversations concern building a long term relationship, or is it all small talk, or “shop talk” (meaning things for which she likes to shop). Do not allow her to “drag you” into an expensive shop on the main streets or the underground mall. If she wants expensive gifts early, then kindly inquire if this means she is your girlfriend and will sleep with you early. Or, ask her how she would feel if you asked her to go home to bed before the shopping. This should let her know you are not her pigeon or mark. And, quite frankly, if she asks for such, just get up and walk off without a word. She just told you who she is. There are many goodhearted girls in Ukraine who yearn for a real relationship and a family. You are not their “Walking Cash Machine”, as they refer to ATMs here. You are a man worthy of respect, just as she should be a woman worthy of respect. It’s not about a business deal. It’s about a relationship that should lead to a family.
In recent articles from July 2015 I see that the general consensus is to not travel to certain parts of Ukraine and to exercise common sense when travelling. I am thinking about going in July 2016. Most research I have says that $10,000 or less does not require special forms. I’m not put off by the comments I’ve read. I suppose common sense tells me to be careful anywhere. Surely an interpreter or citizen who is decent will look out for you and warn you if you do something questionable. What can I expect as a response in general?
Ukraine is a great place to visit. I have been a few times since 2011, and I can give you a few quick tips.
1. Never exchange money at any Airport, train station or from a stranger. Try to use Banks or exchange windows adjacent to supermarkets. You can try to use a $20 USD bill at the airport to buy something cheap, they can not charge you an exchange fee, and in most cases they will give you all your change in UAH local currency, enough to pay for your cab fare anywhere or to the nearest bank close to your lodging. ( $20 USD – approx. 480 UAH ).
2. All Taxi drivers will charge you 200 to 300% of the real cab fare, so use an app. or use a Legit. Taxi service ( in Kiev, Dial 310 ) if you do not speak Russian or Ukrainian, go to the nearest Mobil phone kiosk or store at the Airport or train station ( that sales person speaks good english), hand your phone to them, they will give the Taxi dispatcher your current location, and your Destination location. The Taxi Dispatcher will send you a Text SMS:
Vehicle type,color, Lic. plate number, Drivers name, sometimes their ph #, and the exact real cab fare ( usually about 4-7 USD – depending on distance).
Believe me, Taxi cabs and even your own Hotel concierge will over charge you as much as they can because their economy is Based in commission fees.
3. Watch out for pick pockets. Ukraine is very close to Moldova, and many Gypsies from other countries work the transportation Hubs like a 9-5 job. Pick pockets usually work in teams, if you back yourself up against a wall at most train stations, they are easier to spot because there are less Tourist crowds and you can clearly see who these people are.
4. Try Booking.com and Hotels.com for accommodations. Hotels are usually based on USD, so expect to pay $80 – $150 USD for a Westernized Hotel room, standard size to small, just a bed, bathroom and work or seating space. If you book an apartment, expect much more, a nice sized bedroom, full kitchen, dining room/ area, living room, full bathroom, clothes washing machine, and other amenities ( iron/ board, walk in closets, WiFi, Refridgerators, etc). Apartments start at about $25 USD / night, very reasonable, very practical especially if you plan to stay a few days longer than average stay, and like to cook.
– the Down side of an apartment is no concierge, no room service, and the Buildings have No HOA’s so there is usually no maintenance on the old buildings, but the insides are usually nice to surprisingly elegant. stick with apartments on or near the main Streets or Tourist areas, that way you will not have to question the safety of walking the streets at night. Ukrainians love to walk their city streets at night.
5. Transportation is unbelievable cheap. A $50 USD train ride from city to city can only cost you a little more than $1.25 USD. and a shuttle bus ride from city to city runs about $3-5 USD ( based on my last trip in May 2015). I have never used the inner city subway, so I do not have this info. City buses are incredibly cheap, if you are on a budget use buses instead of Cabs ( you can cut your transportation budget by more than 60% ). Down side to Buses, little if any A/C, and if it is hot and crowded, you will smell the B.O. all around you. Quick note, if you arrive at an airport and cannot find a Legit Taxi service, I suggest you take a Bus to your Hotel if it ( the Hotel or Apt) is on the Bus route. All Airport Taxi service is a tourist Trap, they come at you like their next meal ticket. Stop, listen to their pricing, and politely say No thank you, and keep walking, if they are Hungry, they will chase you down and offer you a much cheaper fare ( maybe 50% cheaper than their first quote) through a gypsy cab driver. Taxi service is not regulated in Eastern Europe ( Germany is a great example of standard recognizable Taxi Cabs), All Taxi cabs are gypsy Cabs, in fact “Uber” probably originated in Eastern Europe. Private citizens will pull up if you try to hail a cab on the streets ( this is probably Not a safe thing to do).
FYI – be cautious of Russian owned cabs. Very nice Mercedes Benz, Lexus, expensive cars. Clearly negotiate the cab fare before you step in the car. Write it down on something and show it to the driver, MAKE SURE he clearly agrees to the cab fare. If you do not have agreement before you step into the cab, once you are in the Russian Cab, you will be locked inside the vehicle until you pay the drivers higher cab fare.
6. Night clubs and nice restaurants have a habit of charging unsuspecting Tourist much higher prices. Example: Door charge of a night club is equivalent to a locals monthly income just to be able to walk through the front door.
Waiters, and club managers notice to see which Tourists are drunk enough to not notice the much higher Bar tab or dinner charges. Scammers come in all shapes and sizes, and Restaurant managers are sometimes part of the scam if they think they can get away with it.
7. If you meet an Honest cab driver ask for his card, if you meet an Honest interpreter / tour guide ask for her card. I have learned that having Honest people in your back pocket is worth its weight in gold. Including or Inviting an interpreter to a nice Dinner may cost you an extra $15 USD for her meal, but it can save you a few Hundred USD from opportunist and scammers who will see you as a mark or just a naive Tourist.
Hope these Tid bits of useful travel warnings are helpful. Do not allow negative ney sayers from ruining your travels, just be prudent and cautious during your travels. Scammers are everywhere, so just be weary and cautious of over friendly people including your Hotel concierge. Remember everyone is looking to make a commission on you at some point, you cannot blame them for their current way of life, and the local currency is in your favor, $1 USD – 24 UAH and 1 UAH = .04 cents USD.
Thank you for the information.
Hey Ernie. Amazing information. You are a swell guy. Thanks.
Hi Anastacia! I live in Michigan State, USA and I see how Russian and Ukrainian sites fool men. All of them all are scams, fakes. I like the way you explain everything. I am not looking for you as girlfriend, however I would like to write to you and know better about Ukraine. I can give you my email address. I do not want to make it public, or you can ask the Editor to give you my email address. Bye. Rafael Baez.
You are so right. I visited Kiev with my wife several times,
I’m 57 years old and my wife is 55 years old, All our visits were safe and extremely nice In general all main streets are very safe and the people are kind. We are traveling to Kiev at the end of March and hope to spend a good time. We are visiting a wonderful and very cheap opera and ballet. The food is good and there are nice places. What more can you ask for?
I cannot keep calm. Yes, I understand what you are saying. Just joking.
I heard Kiev is a racist city to foreigners. I don’t know how serious this crime is, but if it is true it will scare away any prospective buyer or real estate or visitor from another country. What is your opinion about this? Is someone with a slightly dark (brown) skin likely to get beat up on the street? What is your police doing about this? Possibly nothing? Tell us the truth.
You have nothing to fear,
Anastasia, my name is Glenn. I am from the United States in Utah. I have been on FindBrideDOTcom for many years now. I just have been talking to one girl for the past almost two years now. We are very much in love and I am coming to be with her this July. I am a monogamist and do not have sex out of marriage. I will be staying with her and we will also spend time with her family. Is this something that is okay to do? She has said this year that I am now in the family circle and talked about. Is this going to be good for my visit? I truly believe in her and she knows everything about me. I am now just turned 59 and she is 28. I am a retired teacher and she is a doctor For children at one of the hospitals there in Kiev or Kyiv. Please tell me your thoughts. Glenn Baguley.
Good for you. I think it is great that you have made a connection. Many, not All Dating sites are questionable. You will find scammers in every corner of the world. We as men will not know until it is too late, after we have been scammed. Don’t listen to negativity. Follow your heart.
Just try to remember these few things.
1. Ukraine is a Beautiful country full of beautiful people. Incredible DNA gene pool. Most people have multiple jobs, and many rely on Tourist travelers to earn extra money based on commissions – ( ex. a Hotel concierge calls you a cab, she earns a commission from the driver – simple as that).
2. Be aware that you represent yourself as the MAN in this new relationship. In the Ukrainian culture, you step into the financial drivers seat of this scenario, so be prepared to pay for everything that you instigate. If you invite out the family for dinner, you will be responsible to pay for everything, so maybe offer to Buy the groceries for a Huge family feast that will be prepared at someones home. This is a Huge gesture to the entire family ( if this is the point in the relationship that you are currently in) Remember, you do not want to be seen as a cheapskate to this woman, because now you will not look so good in her eyes. So if you do invite out the family for an expensive Dinner, be prepared to spend a lot of USD.
You do not want to be seen as an ATM machine because the family may look to you for financial assistance going forward. It is not uncommon for Ladies to start asking us americans for health care costs. Our elder family members do get sick, and they do need medical care, so be careful of how you represent yourself.
I say always keep your radar on at all times, but do not allow it to cloud your judgement, because many people are humble and Honest.
Keep a low profile, do not flash cash around or pretend to be well off, because you will be perceived as a money machine by some people.
Enjoy your trip to Ukraine, just be prepared to experience true Human kindness, these people will melt your heart. I fly into Kiev on 8/15 in just 2 weeks. I love the simplicity of the country and the people. There is so much Honesty and Tradition value there. Get past the fact that most people do not smile at you in the street, they present this very stoic personality on the outside, but are just as normal as you and me after you get to know them. The women have become independent in some ways, they become the bread winners and are more mature in their early years, but they dream to become weaker in the presence of their man.
A good woman will step up and protect you ( the novice foreigner in her country), she will lead you away from potential harm, steer you clear of contact with local police authorities, she will make sure that No one will over charge you for anything including that cab driver who is looking to make that extra .50 cents because she steps into that mothering protective role. A scammer will Treat you like an ATM, and will allow everyone to treat you like a tourist, and look at your reaction to see if you are a generous man or a cheap one. One quick “Tell” would be at a restaurant or cafe, if she just sits back and waits for you to pay and takes notice of your generous tip, or if she looks over the Bill to make sure that you are not being cheated and questions an item on the check.
I say just go with an open heart, but tread lightly and protect yourself by lowing your expectations. If everything is authentic, you will see it in many different small gestures from the lady and her family. Try to find someone who you can hire as a guide and translator just in case things are not as they appear. A good translator is worth her weight in Gold.
enjoy the experience, it can change your life.
Well said. Just to add to the point. You will find scams everywhere. Women are people too. Some are dishonest. Just be realistic. If you are 100 lbs overweight and love footBall, she is probably not going to be into you. Dress like a star. Just be a class act. Then maybe you will have more interest than you can handle.
Reaction to JP’s comment..
I love the way you encourage the guy. I love to see solidarity among men, hay, we are in it all together to help each other, why not ?
I also appreciate a lot all the other guys and girls who took time to post very helpful comments on this blog, THANK YOU
Yes, JP – but you can even be a star act and get scammed in Kiev. I have seen such star acts myself on youtube, really charming guys – who have been scammed five times or more and make warning videos about it. I’m not bad myself, doing a Doctorate, over 6 foot, but I get scammed constantly which I rarely do in other countries. Yes, it is not just ‘some women are like this everywhere’, it is ‘Ukranian women ARE beautiful but f me are there some real scammers here!’ That is the more realistic response. And yes, for many, I would say most – dating is a war-zone. You are almost sure to get scammed sooner or later and it HURTS.
Taxis are not like this in other countries. Every taxi in the street is a scam (as the gentleman confirmed above) and my hotel uses Elite Taxi, quadruple the price Uber charges. Now I know about the commission. I haven’t even been to a club yet, so there will be a nice surprise for me there. Yes, first day was a restaurant scam. The next 5 dates were trying to do the same. Tinder has rarely given me issues until now. Don’t try and normalise this. This is a Kiev factor. It is about Kiev. Odessa too from what I hear. It is not ‘everywhere’, nor is it unique. Yes, the city is beautiful and there are many cool people here. Yes it is worth visiting. But be straight about what you are very likely to find here because it is a ffing mine field with jewels inside if u come out with your fingers.
If you are more than old enough to be her father, try to remember when you were in your twenties and how romantically attracted to women on the verge of sixty you were. Young women feel the same way. Although desperate women will deny it, they are not attracted to men who are so old. You are almost old enough to be her grandfather.
Are you insane? The age spread is double the maximum standards over there. And you are in love on top of that? I am physically seeing a woman 16 years younger than myself (I’m 46) and that was a total accident how we met and fell in love. And it is something I do not recommend for most guys unless you are in good shape to go for walks for hours, play with her child or children and then make love afterwards… and it better be good with lots of foreplay. In other words you better keep her happy for a long time… not 30 minutes. Because once a woman falls in love with you she expects good sex, love and attention.
And be prepared to help around the house and learn the language.
So you have to forgive me for being pessimistic but you are setting yourself up for a very big fall.
Plus slavic women don’t tolerate weak and foolish men… I should know because I am of Ukrainian ancestry dating a Russian woman.
Thank you. Soon I am travelling to this place.
Thanks, it is good to know as well. I will visit your country soon.
Firstly, True information given. I visited Ukraine last year and I really love the country. I visited many parts of the country. I still remember I was in Lviv at that time and new police were introduced in the city. They are really nice to their nationals and foreigners too. I hope to visit again this year and will make more friends.
Thanks for the tip, you said the dating sites are a scam, what about Romancecompss.com? The reason I ask is because I’ve been on one for almost a year, and have sent flowers to one. Am I making a mistake?
One way to test her is this…
Ask for her cell phone number. Call her ( with and interpreter to avoid misunderstanding).
Do not rely on google translate because it is terrible with longer sentences and changes the meaning of the message. Google translate is best as a Dictionary for individual words and short sentences. Always translate first, and then Translate the translation to read the message the way she will read it once she translates it. if it makes sense when you read it, Great, now send it to her.
2. Insist that you start to communicate with her off the dating site platform. All ladies own a cell phone. All ladies have access to a computer ( at home, at work, at a friends home, or at the internet cafe).
if she says that she cannot communicate with you using VIBER, WE CHAT, V.K. Facebook, Instagram, or Skype, then she is not willing to give up the perks that the dating site provides her. She could be a professional chatter ( being paid for live chats and Letters).
If she does give you her phone number and she speaks good enough english, talk with her, drop the Letters and Chats, and make arrangements to go meet her face to face.
Airfares to Ukraine are reasonable if you book at least 4 weeks in advance. I just booked my next flight ( depart on 8/14 from LAX) – it only cost me $1000 R/ trip including travel insurance.
Stop spending money on Dating sites, buying credits, for chats, letters, and flowers, and use that same money to travel there and see for your self if you are making a mistake.
I agree 100% 0f you just said. There are some people who can’t understand the difference between romance, business and friendship between two human beings. Thank you, and continue what you are doing to smile and welcome every foreigner that visits your country. He or she is your guest. I hope you will be our guest as well in Fargo, ND USA.
Very nice comment. A young girl who is so honest and cute in her expression.
My name is Anastacia too! I am going to live there so your comments have been very helpful.
I am planning on visiting Kiev in October. Do you mind showing me around? I am a 52 year old professional with no bad intentions.
Hi I an American, we are married now and yes she is a ukrainren and isee a really good girl. Through was we met i seen her fb profIle and I sent her a friend request. She accepted it and she wrote hello and that was back in January 2013, after that day we talked everyday on skype anfpd fb messenger p til we met in Feb 2016, reason why ithe took so long for us to meet in got hurt on my job and been signoring up on ssdi. Reason whybrid I say thisbshe struck with Mr people and never for money and I am 14 yearso older than she . So she hasaid to really love me and all the time we was here before we met it was like we was dating she never went out to like clubs she worked and had school university now she is fiNisha with thar now all we doing is waiting for all the paper work to get finish so she can come here ..Now my question is the whole time she said shearlier never been with a man all she has done was kiss, ok on the night we hado sex she acted like it was killing we had to stop and we waited til next day and finally got it in but there was no blood oh and she was 24 now do you think she lied to me all this time so she wouldn’t lose me I alwaYsidro said nomatter what I still love and want to be with but she still it was all true ? does ukraine girls are they bad to lye about things like this? please answer back asappreciate aND I’m soray for the inappropriate questions thank u
Thanks for giving us valuable feedback. I am working in Dubai and want to come your city.
You are wrong. Skype is the best way to get to know people when you’re abroad. Then WhatsApp and lastly Viber, which is has poor sound quality for calls. VK is good for instant messaging, but has no calling facilities, and most younger people use it. It’s worth remembering that it is owned by the Russian government. Facebook is used by those who are anti-Russian.
Thanks for your comments. Really helpful.
Hello. I have a Ukrainian father and would very much like to visit and understand that side of my heritage. I am unable to speak the language due to being out of contact with my father. I suppose I share the Eastern European ‘look’ so I was wondering as a 27 year old female I would be safe to travel and explore alone?
can i be friend with you, i think i like you ?
Is there any problem to visit Kharkov ? I mean is far from the war ? I don’t know Russian language only English so I just want to know how to travel from city to other .
I suppose you want to visit the Tunnel of Love? 🙂 I’m an American living in Kyiv and I visited the tunnel this past summer. It’s quite a ways away from Kyiv by car, but the highway is good for the most part because they fixed it for Euro 2012. It’s the opposite direction from the fighting along the Eastern border. The tunnel is in a very small town so I would suggest staying in a large city like Lviv and take a day trip to see the tunnel.
Nevermind! I was thinking Klevan!! I get those cities mixed up. We just had some friends visit from Kharkov and they said it was very safe there right now. We’ve met some nice people from that city.
Whats it like living in Kiev as an American, I’m English, so basically the same thing an i’m moving there in April for a year to work. The girls are fantastic looking so i’m not worried about that, more worried about being attacked by locals in bars and stuff? I went to Kiev when England knocked them out of a football tournament so it was very hostile but i was only there for 2 days and spent most of that time drunk. Also worried about public transport? don’t fancy driving on the other side of the road in a country known for it’s bad roads and crazy drivers!
I was there in December and returning in two weeks (May, 2016). No problems at all.
How should a 56 year old man dress for everyday sightseeing? Shorts and tennis shoes? How about jeans? I go October 8 2015 for 2 weeks.
If you wear shorts and tennis shoes in October you’re likely to end up with hypothermia.
Hahahaha that was a great answer. It is true though.
I am an Indian. I plan to visit Kiev in the next couple of months.
I read about racial abuse and assault of foreigners .
How safe is it?
You’ll be fine
Yeah. It does get super cold there.
I have been planning on visiting my girlfriend in the Ukraine for a while. I know her well and have been in a relationship for 4 years and plan on marrying her. My only problem after reading some comments is that I am of middle eastern origin. Will I face a lot of racism and if so, how far will they take it? I plan on visiting her and her family but have no idea on how to get to small town called Toporivtsi near Chernivtsi.
What am basically asking is if its safe for me to travel there and what is the best possible transportation to Toporivtsi safely and comfortably.
You want to destroy DNA and forever erase the way Ukraine people look into a mixed mud race. This is a type of genocide. 93% of world is not white. You want destroy what remain to make brown. Better you watch your back gypsy. If situation arises where we can get away with it, we will.
Hey Mikel, why do you have “Nazi” like views? The Nazi considered Slavic people to be more inferior than africans and more destructive than jews. Heck, they massacred 3 million of your people in WWII. Thus, what’s up with that? Your views is the equivalence of a black person like myself being a member of the KKK.
I’m curious how your travels in Ukraine turned out. I also am a person of color planning to visit my Ukrainian girlfriend of over a year in Kiev. Anyone care to provide meaningful comments?
I can’t say that racism never happens, but it’s more of a one in a million situation. I have never seen anything like that personally. I know that over the last 10 years there were a few situations that I have read about in the news or seen on YouTube, but it is definitely not an everyday thing.
If that calms you, there are always plenty of police around all touristic attractions at any city. And there are also lots of tourists of all kinds of origin every day:)
Traveling across country is best by train. You can find tickets online.
You better watch your back my friend.
Sam, Please share your experience. I leave in 2 days to meet with my Ukrainian girl friend of 14 months. We met on the internet, had a meeting in Punta Cana 2 months following our initial chats and have not missed a day since. This is my good faith effort to learn her culture.
4 years with your “girlfriend” and you need to ask questions of strangers. You’re going to be scammed.
Is it just me and some outdated “moral” thoughts, but it seems every lady I have talked to lists her occupation as “model”. I really do not know what this means in specific terms. These are educated women, and I realize jobs are not falling from trees. Of course I have a fantasy that my woman is faithful to me, but she does a lot of “work” all night. And she is compulsive about money, from “I need” or we need to invest in Ukraine. What is meant by model occupation?
It usually means they are unemployed. ‘Invest’ at your peril.
It means stop talking to those ladies. Tall to someone normal with normal occupation. It is belter to date someone who is taking care of small kids or old people then with a “model”.
I came to Ukraine to fall in love and I fell in love. I love the people, children, culture, food, beautiful cities, fall, winter, summer. I love hearing Ukrainian and Russian spoken. I love all the wonderful conversations I have had in the cafes, rest., in the streets with strangers. I have been welcomed on every trip here by so many strangers who ended up being friends. I find the Ukrainian people to be the kindest, honest and warmest people on earth. Yes, I love my home country, America first but after having been to over 35 countries Ukraine is my favorite after my home. The world is missing out on a gem in the world. Oh, as far as women go. There are good ones and ones not as good. Just like the men. Just like anywhere on earth. Most are honest, good hearted with good intentions in life just like the men. As far as the comments from the lady who has a Phd and is model who gave Long description about Ukrainain women, I agree with many things she said. I just want to say to her that yes it is good idea for women to make sure man is not wiedo, maniac Ect… But for her to assume that a man comes here only because he cannot get a woman in his own country is wrong. yes, there are men who think they can get what they want here because in America right now most women are not attractive to us. The men are the same. We have a major epidemic of obesity and it is greatly harming our country. I love all people whether they are thin, fat, short, tall but I am not attracted to women who are not a healthy weight. I don’t know if I will ever marry a Ukrainian woman but I can say this, I do not believe in romance if marriage is not in the cards. I want to respect the Ukrainian women and keeping yourself for someone special is more important than a some short lived fantasy. It really bothers me that men come here to take advantage of women looking for true love. I am a bit crazy but good hearted. So I’d like the same. Good hearted, bit crazy woman. Berk
I am 65 but hopefully a young old guy. I have long thought about visiting the Ukraine, both for the women but also because the little exposure I have had here in the States with Ukrainians has been positive.
I will probably visit later this year and your write up is helpful.
Ukraine is the Best kept secret around. I say keep it close to your heart, you found it, treasure it. The experience alone warms your heart. I have also visited about 28 European cities in and around Ukraine. Prague and Ukraine both come in 1st place on my score card. Be safe and enjoy your travels.
I have registered on a Ukrainian bridal site just more than a month ago. Since then I have been flooded with emails, more than 14000 in my inbox! This is from more or less 1500 different ladies! Some tell me how they fell in love with me and some have very sad stories. I usually ignore these. But then there are hundreds that sounds so sincere, just telling about their everyday lives, always with great sense of humour. Some wrote me up to 40 letters, even when I never replied, and still they stay sincere and positive. After reading all the above comments, how on earth could I know who to trust??? I would also like to add that most of them are willing to meet in a neutral country. Some are even willing to meet in my country. I am South African. Any advice, comments or tips would be highly appreciated. Thank you.
If I wanted to extort money from you would I be nasty or unpleasant to you ?
If any woman is writing 40 letters to you with no reply from you and you believe them to be sincere then you deserve all you get. I am not meaning to be nasty but for goodness sake, use your common sense.
It is also very difficult, if not impossible, for any woman to visit you in your own country if you have never met her first.
Run from these type messaging services. They are a complete scam. The only somewhat legit way to meet girls here is from a few trusted local agencies, or just meet them in your daily adventures in Kyiv. Date interpreters you meet, or girls from the supermarket, or waitresses, or girls introduced to you by expats. In all cases, be careful. Do not give expensive gifts or pay for expensive trips.
Don’t use those bridal/dating websites! They are 90% fake. If you want to meet a girl just use Facebook. Search for girls by city or country. And always Skype with someone before you actually meet with them. Also always get suspicious when you get asked for money.
I do not believe in love at first sight. You cannot love someone when you do not know them my friend.
Dating sites are a great Catalog approach to seeing what you are missing.
Please do not pay for membership fees.
Please do not pay for Credits so you can Chat, Cam Share, or write letters.
there are many professional ” chatters” on these sites that get paid to keep you Chatting, sending letters, opening Letters and sending gifts
Please do not send any gifts, especially money.
Save the $200, $400 dollars or more, and buy a plane ticket to the country and go experience it for yourself. There are so many fish in the sea there, that you can actually sit down and meet them face to face in real life.
if you have already paid for your credits, Limit your chats to 10 minutes ( No More) ask for her contact info, if she is not willing or able to give it to you, then move on to the next lady, once you get her contact info, use it and go and meet her in person.
I have tested the sites, and some times if you get creative, you can send your contact info to her. it works best to have the conversation pre – typed – Ready to send… cut and past your entire conversation in short 1- paragraph sentences( maybe 7-8 entries) Don’t go crazy with too many words, keep it simple, one question at a time and work in your Euro phone number or your email into the TEXT of the conversation, once you have sent all your cut and paste TEXT, ask her to put together your contact info and ask her for her info as well.
Someone who truly wants to meet you will play ball, and someone who really has no interest in you except Chat will not.
Their new hobby is travelling at any cost. Youll fall for this and waste two years or more of your youth and health, sometimes mental health
– Some people should learn to look at a map. The distance between the ‘war area’ and Kiev is around 500 km.
– Only went once to Kiev, had no problems at all. People were nice, no issues with the police. But don’t take a cab at the airport, they ask 4-5 times as much as a normal taxi driver (bus shuttle airport-city costs around 60 (3 euro) hryvnia normal taxi 220, taxi at the airport: 800 – 1000)
– In the city use the metro and buses. They cost almost nothing (around 0.20 euro).
But I also have a question. This month I wanted to go back to Kiev, but are there cheap flights to Kiev? I mean if I fly to Spain I can find flights between 50-100 euro, to Kiev it is 300 and more.
Quick tip for you.
when you land in Kiev, just dial 310 for a legit Taxi service.
if you do not speak Russian or Ukrainian, hand the phone to a sales person at the airport, they speak good English.
the Taxi dispatcher will ask for your current location and destination.
then they will text you
Vehicle type, color, lic. plate number
Driver info – ph number
exact cab fare, usually 5- 7 USD – the real cost for the cab ride.
So happy i looked here. I’m a young male from Sydney Australia looking to travel to Kiev Ukraine for 1-2 months possibly! I chose a random place and so happy it was there as from what I have heard the women are gorgeous and the clubs are really great down there to!! Am I wrong?
I am taking around 10k aud savings to spend there. I think things are cheap there but knowing my luck i’ll get ripped off everywhere.
I was in Kiev in 2008. At that time there was a lot of money floating around and people were quite greedy on rent, taxis, vegetable markets, restaurants etc. A 100sqm apartment in the centre was selling for $500K. Now with the war with Russia things have come down a lot. It is still risky to go it alone now, better go with a friend. Be aware that where they can ask for much money is the rent of apartments. If you plan to rent ask for a written agreement and bargain. Shop around and only deal with established agent. If you are lucky enough to rent from an owner who is an expat it is much better. For this you need to search in the business clubs like Fryday. Sometimes after you rent the local owners will come to your flat at any time of day, you should put a condition in the agreement that the owner can’t come to your flat at any time. Better to live in city centre as it is more convenient. If you want to cook, there are supermarkets everywhere. Keep an eye on your property at night and on the metro.
You will get ripped off if you flash your money in public. You need to be awake on the streets my friend.
Good luck, but beware. The average wage has fallen three times since the revolution and most people can barely survive. The war in the east also flooded the country with weapons. When you add up desperately poor population and an abundance of weapons, the result is not pretty.
You do not need so much money
if you purchase your flight in advance and
pay for your apartments on the web. Hotels.com or Booking.com
you will have spent the biggest Cost up front from the comfort and safety of your own home. My flight was only $998 R/trip from LAX california. My apartments are running me approx. 190.00 USD per week ( about 27 USD a day) some nice small Hotels are only charging between $17 – $25 USD per night if you need an in between stay for any reason. Stay away from expensive westernized Hotels, they charge roughly $80 USD or more per night.
My last trip including 14 flights in and around Europe ( including 2 weeks in the British Pound – UK) for 36 days was only $5600 USD, Ukraine was the cheapest most affordable place to stay.
Spend the big buck before you leave and Leave the bulk of your cash at home.
Bring an ATM card instead, so you are not a target for pick pockets. Pick pocket are Attractive, and professional and you are not.
Once they take your money, you are Broke and your journey is over – End of Game.
Great resource. Thanks for sharing I am visiting in June.
Is it a bad idea to wear any American apparel? Such as my American flag cowboy boots.
I don’t wanted to be hassled by the police and after reading this post I am wondering if that will draw too much attention. Thanks.
I’ve have NEVER been stopped by the police in Kiev for no reason. I don’t know why it is. Though some readers of this website report having been stopped for no particular reason and asked for bribes.
Personally I think it is quite rare and you are very unlucky if it happens to you. I wander around the tourist areas a lot and I think I’ve only seen the police talking to people that were obviously foreigners a handful of times (and that doesn’t necessarily mean that they were harassing them).
This is unlike Moscow where you see police routinely stopping ‘foreign-looking’ people.
I don’t know why I’ve never been stopped. But if I were to guess it would be because I don’t wear anything that would identify me as a foreigner, don’t carry maps or guidebooks around, look like I know where I’m going, and don’t wander round the streets drunk.
I’ve no reason to doubt that the people that say they have been stopped are telling truth. However, I suspect in many cases they’ve drawn attention to themselves.
In any case, why on earth would you feel it necessary to walk around in American flag cowboy boots?
I’ve been to Kiev 7 times, and to other cities there and never once been stopped by the police nor have I ever seen them bother anyone.
Only a fool would flash anything that is made in the west. I would never visit Moscow. I am happy where I am.
IF YOU LOOK LIKE ARE TARGET….
then you will be treated like a Target.
Do not attract unwanted Attention on your self, you are only drawing a Bulls-eye on yourself.
Dear foreign guys, may I say that you are just amazing?
Being a model look, PhD Ukrainian in her late 20th I want to assure you, ladies here are not stupid!
Paid dating websites with Ukrainian girls are 90% scam.
Free dating web sites with Ukrainian girls there are 50/50 scam.
But if you are a lucky guy and find your pure love there, please keep in mind the following. If you are looking for Ukrainian girl on dating websites we assume:
– Ladies in your country consider you not a boyfriend/marriage material and we have no doubts there are strong REASONS for that. So you need to prove to us that you are not crazy/poor/maniac/weirdo.
– You think you can get a young beautiful girl even if you are fat taxi driver that has hardly graduated from school.
– You say you looking for love but try to be honest with yourself. You just want more for less thinking we would go with any foreigner just to leave our “poor” country.
– You think our poor English language will make us SILENT but beautiful wives – just what every guy wants right?
– We want you to give us presents and have dinners in nice restaurants? What is wrong with that?
– You say we are all about money, but you want good looking girl, am I right? Do you have any idea what it costs to have these good looks? Manicure, pedicure, massages, pretty dresses and lingerie. Why you complain we just want you to be worth it?
– You want a kind and calm girl with family values that is loyal and smart.
What will ideal girl expect from you? To summarise:
– Yes, we have high expectations for men
– Yes, you need to pay in restaurants, cinema etc. We do not pay for ourselves.
– Yes, you need to buy flowers even if it is our first date.
– Yes, you need to open car door AND hold your hand waiting for us to get out.
– Yes, you need to hold our chair in the restaurant.
– Yes, you should pay for our trips together.
Sounds crazy to you? Then please consider Indian or Thai dating. People say they are not as spoiled as we are.
And there we have it. Straight from the horse’s mouth. The finest comment on this page. Maria is telling it how it is. 🙂
You might say she wants an egg in her beer and rose petals to sprinkle in the toilet before she flushes. Maybe she wants me to flush for her. Her grandmother better have taught her how to cook good. Hope she ups the booty three times a day too.
You Sir, are a pig!
Thank you Maria!!! You hit it perfectly for me. Expect what I put into it.
Your opinion sounds to me, reasonable, fair and just. You pretty Ukrainians, and all women in the world, deserve the best.
hah! By far the best comment I’ve read in regards to foreign opinions of slavic ladies. I rather enjoyed it 🙂 I’ve dated various slavic ladies who have already immigrated to Canada, and they were absolutely marvelous. I just wasn’t interested in marriage. But they are still good friends, and will always say hello when we meet randomly.
I personally – as a European – find the forthright dialogue and directness a refreshing change from the games I have to deal with from women of my own adopted country, so again I have to say that was an entertaining read.
If you can’t get a date in your own city, then quite simply you’re an idiot if you think you can fool someone from another country.
I lived in the Ukraine for 7 years and been married to a Ukrainian woman. I love Ukrainian people and their culture. Now I live in Australia with my beautiful faithful wife and our 4 children. Good on you Maria.
I am an American man, 50 years old. I’ve been to Ukraine 8 times. I was married in Donetsk and my son was born in Donetsk. Lived and traveled all over Ukraine.
1. Yes cops will stop you and ask for your passport, if you look like an idiot tourist. stop looking around and smiling (best tip I can give you)
2. Ukraine women are great, but if you are a fat, ugly 55 year old guy, thinking a beautiful , hot 25 year old Ukraine girl is really interested in you, then you are stupid, and deserve all the scamming girls out there, and there are tons. To her, you are grandfather, not husband material. I’ve heard many girls say this, behind a guys back (yes I speak great Russian)
3. If she says ” I love you” , after only a week or two, DUMP HER! She is lying. Ukraine girls NEVER say ” I love you” to a guy, until way into a relationship. Then almost never anyway.
There you have it. Ignore my advice and you will find out the hard way. But, yes Ukraine women are awesome, but stop looking at her body and start looking into her heart.
Great summary. I like the comment where you say not to smile too much like an idiot.
Thank you very much for your comment.
Really? I cant believe that your attitude is as universal as it seems. First of men who look for a foreign mate might be wanting something different from what they have had, or were just curious. I have had my share of American woman. I thought I would try something different. Yes, I am willing to pay for my mate, but you forget to mention that many Ukrainian woman have a few things going against them when it comes to finding love. First off, for many years now there has been 9 men born for every 10 women. Most of the women seem to be collage educated, and this would lead me to believe that the men are also, however, I have heard my share of stories about the attitude of Ukrainian men towards women. Every woman I communicated with had been either cheated on, beaten or abused, had problems with the man drinking or combination of all three. They say that the men in general have the old “woman’s place is in the bedroom and kitchen and they get to basically do whatever they want or they have no problem finding someone else, since men are of such short supply and they know this. Am I wrong? These are more of the main reasons why woman are joining foreign dating services by the truckload as opposed to the idea that they are all scams. So, when I go to Kiev to meet my girl that I have been writing for over 8 months now and has never asked me for a thing and it was her Idea to meet in Kiev since she live 50 km from the fighting, I will do as you instructed, but after the exchange of almost 2000 letters between us, my thoughts about her being a scam are long gone. What I don’t like is all the completely opposite stories I am reading about Kiev here. who am I to believe about my safety there? I am white, so I guess that helps?? We could assume that any woman who joins a dating site is either a scam or not acceptable marriage material in her country no matter what she looks like. some of the most beautiful American women I have been out with or known have also been the most insane. Some have been dreams come true. I am not fat, out of shape or ugly, but I am older and I was just looking for something different. I am not saying what you say I wrong at all, but you paint such a black and white picture, I thought maybe you should investigate a bit more why there are so many Ukrainian woman on the dating sites. If you are right then scamming must be huge business. Rick
I have just returned from Kyiv. My fiance is there. I am of mixed race, Latin and black. I did get attention from the men, looks and smiles but I never felt uncomfortable and even went to the grocery store alone when he was out. We visited the Lavra, did a professional tour and I always felt safe. Everyone was cordial and I had no issues. I went the first week in October 2016. You will be just fine in Kiev and be sure to visit the Lavra!!
Oh yea and WTF does a massage have to do with looking good? I have had long term relationships with some fine looking women, and they never once needed a pedicure or massage to keep up their great looks. And I don’t buy dresses or lingerie for any woman until we are in a committed relationship, or are at least sleeping together. The more I read what the editor here thinks is a great factual comment from a Ukrainian female, the more full of shit she becomes. I talked to my woman about her comments, and even though there may be some general truth to what she is saying, the specifics are not at all universal and are just her opinion. The opinion of one Ukrainian female. Period.
Well said Richard 🙂
She got you bad.
I agree with you. While women do like to be appreciated, you don’t NEED all of what she listed to be beautiful! I’m a successful professional living in the best city in Connecticut and can afford what ever I desire and I don’t need those things. I’m not arrogant but I’m very attractive and have a Ukrainian fiance who appreciates me for who I am. You don’t need all of what she wants but some people want what they can’t have or what they are not used to.
I have been on one Ukrainian dating site for the past eight years. I have befriended many amazing women and fell in love and lust a few times. I think some of the woman’s comments here are justified, however, the idea that somehow just being a young beautiful Ukrainian woman grants you certain automatic entitlements is a huge turn-off. I have never had one woman in over 60,000 letters from hundreds of woman ask me for one thing other than my love and attention. It has taken me eight long years to find the one I trust completely, her daughter Vlada has been calling me Daddy for over a year now, and I have never felt the love from a woman like I have over the past three years from Irina my true soulmate. I will be spending the month of April with her and our family, I am truly blessed. We plan to marry this April if all goes as planned but to be honest, I will miss the letters I get from woman daily. I find it inspiring that even with all the suffering going on there now they still have such a great attitude about life and they share it with me every day. I have known great suffering in my life but also great love from my family and this foundation gives me pause and hope for a better future with the woman I love with every ounce of my blood and with each breath I take. It now is because of her love for me that I move boldly into the future; I beside every great man is an even greater woman. Being vulnerable comes with loving someone, we risk being hurt deeply, but there is no greater reward. If a woman asks only of you, what is in your heart and soul, and she wants for nothing of what this material world demands then you have a rare gem indeed, treasure her because she understands what is truly of value in this world of unlimited commodities. I made the decision to look for my partner abroad because I was tired of American woman weighing my relationship value based on what I bring to the table in terms of income and assets, not for the content of my character or what is in my heart and soul. I must confess, however, that her youth and beauty were factors that were not lost on me as I am still a man.
I have found a Ukrainian woman on skype and I am leaving for you Ukraine soon. She sounds like the girl of my dreams. I heard if you learn how to speak Ukraine the girls will do anything for you. Is that true?
Well they’d certainly be impressed if you mastered Ukrainian before visiting. But given you can’t even get the name of the language correct I have doubts about whether you could achieve this.
That was a great answer.
Maria, You are perfectly right, but these are simple international rules of politeness! If a man is not polite to his woman, well he is not worth an hour.
Nobody finds love without staying for a long time at one place. And they should not spend tons of money on useless relationships. Best way to meet honest girls is to find a job there and meet them as colleagues making friends. As for all these, internet darlings and matchmaking rackets they siphon your money, your time and your spirit. If you are older than 50, stay away from internet sites, guides, interpreters and other intermediaries and look in the church and social clubs. Try to learn some Russian or Ukrainian before you go.
Sorry, but I can’t help commenting.
After a long marriage to a self-absorbed American woman, she divorced me to marry a much younger man with whom she worked, leaving me alone to raise three kids.
Needless to say, the feminist movements in the West have left me jaded.
So, almost 20 years ago, I married a young, beautiful Ukrainian/Russian girl. She is intelligent, talented, loving, and a fierce protector of our two children.
So, my advice to anyone who has to justify why they are looking for a Slavic wife, the answer is simple.
With notable exceptions of course the Eastern Girls are just plain better. I had plenty of offers to date girls where I lived in Switzerland at the time I re-married. I wanted none of them. My Alyonushka is the best thing that ever happened to me.
This is what I think also….When things are said about 90% paid sites are scams, and 50/50 on the free Ukrainian ones, can someone who knows what they are talking about tell us the good vs. bad? I also just turned 50, good looking and fit, but my wife left me and my 5 year old daughter for her “career”. I am so sick of this crap in the US. Ukrainian women seem to be more happy and grounded in what is real and what is important in life, family values being the most important! I can still run a 4:30 mile….So no, I am not a “fat taxi driver” but where do you meet a good woman here anyway?? My friends are all married at this point in my life. I am on the BeHappy2day site. Heard one bad thing about them on-line and that they were “letter scammers”. But this guy was lying, I think to get some attention….Want a good wife with values is all. Young OK, but I want more kids also, so cannot be over 40. Just how it is. Some people feed on negativity, some people are naive, now how about some facts for us decent Westerners to find a decent Slavic woman that would appreciate how we value her also??
That’s the reason why I will always see you as a gold digger. I can find beauties anywhere who are also successful and smart enough to pay for their own stuff, so why should I fly to the third world to find a gold digger? I suppose that’s why you get mostly old aged fat men who can’t find anything decent in here. On the other hand, you shouldn’t write “poor” between “” because like it or not, Ukraine is as poor as African country. An average wage in Ukraine is still about 200 dollars a month. Cheers!
Haha!!! She is right. Absolutely right!!!
Thank you for you for telling it the way it really is. I have no doubt that every lady would love to be treated in this fashion. Thank you again.
4 years with your “girlfriend” and you need to ask questions of strangers. You’re going to be scammed.
Thats it guys, she is telling it like it is.
I like Maria! She expects to be respected. Exactly the type of woman I like. Classy girl!
Thank you for your comments. this is true. I want to talk more in this regard.
I have no issue with all what u have said
But im black
Whats the ukranian women impression of black men
And is it safe to walk down with a local lady ?
Maria, please stick to what you know.
You are clueless about what Indian and Thai ladies expect.
Trust me, having traveled to both countries many times due to the nature of my business, as well as 43 other countries, you seriously are a clueless Ukrainian female who obviously “taps” up foreigners.
Now run along, little rabbit …
Militant approach. Worth ignoring
Hi. I might be getting a job for a year just outside Kiev starting in September. Does anyone know if the Russian/Ukraine conflict is likely to spread as far as Kiev?
It’s unlikely in my opinion. But only Putin will be able to tell you his intentions.
I’m no military expert but if there was an attempt to invade Ukraine as far as Kiev I think it would take a few days at least. Countries usually make arrangements to evacuate their citizens from conflict zones.
I just returned from Kyiv a month ago. It is safe and just fine. I had a great time with no worries.
I am visiting in Kiev. I never had a problem before until tonight. I was walking by the McDonald’s on the Maidan and was stopped by the police. They asked for my passport. Like anybody else I do not carry it on me. This policeman said we have to go to the police station. I started walking with him and he said I would have to pay a fine of 2500 hyrvnia. Then he said you pay and no fine. I gave him everything I had in my pockets and he let me go. He said that this is our secret. WOW!!!!
Don’t carry all your money on you and don’t walk alone. Kiev is still a risky city in my opinion. There are other similar cities in the world too such as Mexico City. You practice common sense my friend.
I am an American male traveling to Kiev and then on to Kharkov for 10 days. I believe that Kiev is fairly safe, but with everything going on in the country right now, I do not know how safe it is for an American in Kharkov? Does anyone know how safe it is in Kharkov? Thank you for any insight…
As an African American, would it be safe for me to travel to Kiev to visit the square? Or would i be regularly assaulted or harassed by locals? What is their view of American Blacks in their country as tourists?
I know one black African American that lives in Kiev. He has no problems whatsoever.
As a Ukrainian of mixed heritage (and dark skin), I would have to say it ranges drastically, from people openly calling you a n***** to people treating you fine just like everyone else. You’ll get a lot of open stares on public transport. Old people may bitch in Russian/Ukrainian behind your back. Even police can give you trouble just for standing out from the crowd. With the situation over there right now (war, fascist marches) I can’t even imagine why any foreigner would want to go there, period. Keep in mind I’m saying all this as a Ukrainian myself.
I dunno who the editor’s friend is but whoever they are, they’re either sugar coating it (‘no problems whatsoever’ are you high?!) or that guy is just very lucky.
From what I have seen, the further you get from the big cities the more likely you are to encounter racism. As a regular traveler to Kiev (family and friends there), I have chatted and had drinks with several African American guys from both the US and UK. None reported any racism issues or concerns. Square is a bit interesting right now with lots of injured soldiers holding vigils as asking for money to support the war effort (against Russia). Of course we see that here as well in the US. I’ve visited Kiev for many years (sometimes as many as 3 times in a year) and have to say that I have seen less violence or rude people there than I have in the Bay Area of California.
I just have to ask, on a totally different topic.
I am planning on traveling to Ukraine to marry my fiancée around September 2015. As a American citizen, do I have to live there for at least 3 weeks, before I can file for a marriage license? I have researched online, but a little confused. He will eventually move to the USA. I read somewhere online, he could file for marriage license, ahead of time. So I would only have to stay a week. Again any advise is greatly appreciated. Also, must I go to Kiev, and not his home town to marry?
Will it be easier to bring him on a fiance visa to the US and marry in America rather than sponsor a green card as a spouse?
I married my Ukranian wife in Ukraine 13 years ago. There was no requirement for a three week stay. From my experience, I think it’s a lot easier to bring a spouse back to the States.
Was in another city, Cherkasy, two times and saw blacks on both occasions. No problems, no issues. I would not worry but like all tourists, be careful and you’ll be good.
Don’t walk alone.
Robert, or is “Bob” more appropriate?
I’ve noticed whenever the subject of non-whites visiting Ukraine arises, you ALWAYS advise that for their own safety, you use veiled scare tactics.
Are you a plank or just a racist who’s trying to hide the fact?
Either way, you really are embarrassing yourself and I bet I’m not the only one who has picked this up.
I am a British Asian male and have been offered a job in Kiev.
Is it safe for British Asians in Kiev and would I survive out there with limited knowledge of the local language?
I’d say you would be safe. My personal opinion is that the city is considerably safer than most UK cities.
You may run into language problems. It really depends on what job you are doing and what kind of people you will be working with.
English language knowledge amongst locals is patchy. If you are working with a western company, or a western-orientated company, you will probably have no problems. Most of these companies will insist on a good standard of English for their Ukrainian employees.
The company that has offered you employment will be aware of your lack of knowledge of Ukrainian and/or Russian. I very much doubt they will have offered you a job unless they believed you could operate using English.
You will run into communication problems in day-to-day living. Few people, especially older folk, working in public facing roles (bus drivers, police, transport workers, supermarket staff etc.) speak English. Most restaurants and bars in Kiev city centre have English menus and there’s usually at least one waiter or waitress that speaks English.
I don’t know what type of racism you’re all talking about. I live in Odessa and we have many black and Asian students and no one treats them bad. Yes, we have a lot of economical problems, but not racism.
I have been in Ukraine before. I went there with some prejudgements. What I saw was different to what I had been told. Very respectful people and nice places. It was a business trip but I felt like it was as a holiday.
I like Ukraine and if any Ukrainian lady wants to marry, I am ready.
You will marry any Ukrainian lady?
For africans like him, it’d be a big status symbol.
I think an internet park bench is what you’re commonly known as, i.e. an internet warrior, hiding like a coward in the ether knowing that even after making reprehensible comments, you’ll be safe.
Coward comes to mind.
I am planning to visit Kiev in July and will be coming from Qatar. Needs a decent female tourist guide who can speak English. How to get?
Why do they need to be female? 🙂
He asked you a question and you answered him with another question. Maybe he has his reason to have a female guide. What is your problem. Just answer his question.
Go get him! We all know what he’s after, the scumbag.
Rhetorical answer, right?
The same thing as you are, no doubt.
You are quite right. I’ve been to Ukraine seven times. I’ve been to open up a business, but things did not work. I can not blame anyone for this. What I want to say here is I did not face any racial problem in Ukraine. Nobody cheated me except taxi drivers and few guys. You find this all over the world. I never came across any girl wanting to take me home and grab money from me. I came across a girl and she was helpful to find my way home. I invited her for dinner. It was raining. From that day we were talking and exchanging SMS messages. We fell in love and this went on for six years. She never asked me to take her to the restaurant or to the mall to buy clothes. She never asked for money. The story ended due to distance. After five years I asked her to visit my country and she came. We had a wonderful holiday for two weeks, yet she did not ask for anything. She cares about me and I do really care about her. She charming woman, but much younger than me. Ukrainian women are not there to cheat you, but many of them were cheated by foreign men. Foreigners think that they are so cheap, so that it is easy to take them to bed. That is not true. They are family oriented and loving. Ukraine is a wonderful country and has wonderful people. Unfortunately there is a bloody unwanted war. They are always there to help any coloured man. So don’t talk about racism or cheaters. As far as I am concerned Ukrainian people are the most generous people. God help them to end this war and to build their own economy. One day I will go to live in Ukraine/
I am thinking of studying a semester in Kiev and I wanted to know if it is safe a young woman to live there alone. And is it safe to go out in the evening?
Thanks a lot for your answer!
Kiev is safe, especially for women. It’s part of Ukrainian culture to respect women. There is little trouble in Kiev in any case.
I’m glad to hear that. My Ukrainian wife and our 9 yo daughter is currently on holiday in Ukraine and I’m a little worried.
Lea, I’ve been to Ukraine 3 times, to Kiev, Odessa, and Lugansk. Although as a man I felt safe for the most part, and I traveled alone, I would not suggest going out alone at night as a young woman. There is extensive alcoholism in Ukraine and many of the police are corrupt. One American male I knew asked two policemen for directions and they beat and robbed him. If you go out in a group or with a male friend it is not a problem. Make SURE if you take a cab agree on the price BEFORE you get in or you’ll be sure to get ripped (i.e., a cabbie took me to the train station for 7 dollars, the return cabbie (same distance and time) charged me $65)! I found the people a bit standoffish but once they understand your needs they go out of their way to help you. I love Ukraine, the people, and the food is awesome.
You are playing with fire my friend. Read the news.
We would like to visit Berdichev. Is it out of the war zone? What time of year has the best (most temperate) weather? What is the best way to get to Berdichev from the US. Fly to Kiev and then?
Berdychiv is not in the ‘war zone’. In fact it is nowhere near. It is peaceful there.
There’s a multitude of ways you can get to Ukraine from the US. You can fly direct from JFK with Ukraine International Airlines, or get a flight to a European city (London, Prague, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Frankfurt etc.) and an onward flight from there.
There are a number of options for reaching Berdychiv once you are in Kiev. You could get the train. There’s a direct train once every day, but the timing isn’t that great. It is a sleeper train from Kiev to Uzhorod (on the border with Slovakia). It leaves Kiev Train Station at 8.10 pm and arrives in Berdychiv at 10.41 pm. To buy tickets go to gdDOTticketsDOTua/en.
The coach is a better option. There are a number of options. Go to ticketspotDOTcomDOTua and select the English language site. Cost is about 100 UAH, just over $4 and the journey takes around 4 hours. Bear in mind that the ‘ticket’ you receive here may be a voucher that needs exchanging for an actual ticket at the bus station.
It is also worth noting that at Berdychiv bus or train station the likelihood of you finding an employee that speaks English is almost NIL.
I am considering a flight on Ukraine Airlines where I would change planes in Kiev? Should I be concerned for my safety?
I’m not entirely sure what you mean. I presume you are thinking that the conflict between Ukraine and the separatists is being fought out at the airport in Kiev? It’s not. The trouble is in the east of Ukraine. Neither of the airports in Kiev has ever been affected.
Not in the least. Borispol is a modern, very safe airport and the fighting is nowhere near Kiev.
I feel like this website exemplifies all my questions, and has virtually talked me out of visiting, even after writing letters for over a year. But I have a few key questions for my situation. If I travel from Texas, all the way to Kiev, to meet a lady, is it too much to ask that she make some effort to meet me in Kiev? I have offered to pay her travel. All of them expect me to travel deeper into the country, by unknown means, to Odessa, Nikolaev, or Dnepropetrovsk. One wants me to meet her in Simferopol. The lady in Simferopol said that when she goes to the border, they throw her passport down. Her words. So she cannot leave. The US Embassy says people travel in and out all the time, and they do not know of such things.
Well first of all you need to understand a little bit about Ukrainian culture. Most women would expect the man to come and meet them. In general, the man is expected to put in the extra effort in all aspects of life. This is the way it is. It may not seem fair, and if you don’t think it is, I suggest you stop your quest.
Secondly, you’ve got to consider the practicalities of this trip you are planning. From 10 years of administering this forum I’d say that most of these meetings don’t work out. Writing letters is not the same as meeting someone in the flesh. There’s probably a greater certainty of you not liking each other than getting on and being attracted to each other.
So what happens then, if you’ve asked one of these ladies to visit Kiev. Presumably she’ll be staying in a hotel. If, after the first day it’s clearly not working out, are you going to give her money for the rest of her stay in Kiev and finance her even though she may not want to meet you again? She almost certainly won’t be able to finance the rest of the visit herself. She’ll be earning a couple of hundred dollars a month if that.
The Simferopol situation is likely to be true. She’ll probably have one of the new ‘Russian’ passports that are not recognised at the ‘border’ with Ukraine. And if you want to visit her in Crimea (aka Russia now), you’ll need a Russian visa. I’d call it a day with that lady if I were you.
Bill – Flying back and forth from Kiev to Odessa is about an hour flight and a hundred bucks. Very quick and easy. Even updated the planes from the first time I flew that route (swear they were once used as crop dusters) 🙂
Editor is right in that you should try to meet them in their “comfort zone”. Plus I’ll be honest, if you don’t like her or the magic just doesn’t happen you will meet a ton of other women there just walking around Odessa or visiting the beaches, and you will not be stuck with her in Kiev putting her up in a hotel or if she brings her translator too, a hell of a translation bill 🙂
I knew someone who travelled to Odessa by train from Kiev. The ride was 8 hours long I think. The train starts from Kiev and its last stop is in Odessa. It is an easy ride from what I heard. There is no way you can get lost because when the train reaches Odessa the conductor will make an announcement. My friend told me that the cabins have two beds and if you are buying the cheapest tickets they will put up to four people in a cabin that has the two beds. They will be sitting there staring at each other. It would not be a comfortable ride for me. My first says that it is worth paying for a first class ticket so you can get to sleep on the bed. You might get another first class rider he said so it would be only two people in the cabin. I would not trust their planes. I trust only American planes. A plane would be faster, but what happens if something goes wrong? I would prefer staying on the ground from the beginning. When the train reaches Odessa my friend says that is the last stop on the train so anyone can travel alone basically.
Just a comment. I’ve lived overseas for 15 years in several countries and even though there is a language barrier there has never been a problem figuring out what the other person was talking about. Simple Indian sign language always worked for me. As far as me learning Russian or Chinese I think it would be much easier for both people to learn deaf sign language. A hell of a lot easier.
I just wanted to know is it safe to travel to Ternopil or Lviv? I am a South-East Asian guy. Will I have any problems there since I have been reading loads of comments about racism to guys like us. Would you please assure me?
Lyiv is as far away from the fighting as you can get in Ukraine. Totally safe and diverse as far as the ethnicity of people you will see visiting or living in the city.
Stopped yesterday in Kiev, searched and asked for a bribe. I had to threaten to call the British embassy to get released. Of course I am white so I can’t start whining to the UN about racism and discrimination.
I am African American and I plan to visit Ukraine. I will stay in Chernigov and Kiev. How much money can a person carry on them? How is it for black Americans?
I’m not sure where you are coming from on the money thing. You can carry as much as you like, though I’d advise only to carry what you need.
I personally don’t think that black Americans will have any significant problems in Kiev. I know one black American that lives here and he fits in well and enjoys life in Ukraine. I can’t speak for Chernigov though. I’ve never visited or spoken to anybody that has spent significant time there.
I am about to travel to Kiev in 2 weeks. I met a girl/woman online through a free dating site. We have talked through websites for 10 months and once a week through Skype for 2 months. She has never asked for money and seems so genuine. I have only now come across this website with great advice.
Could I be part of some long term well thought out scam as she knows I will travel to Kiev alone?
I’m not sure how you can expect anybody to give any reasonable opinion as to whether you are being scammed on the basis of the information you have given i.e. a couple of sentences that just say how long you have been talking for.
I’ll guess you’ll find out though one way or another fairly soon.
If she is a scammer and she’s put that much effort in I guess she deserves success 😉
I am travelling to Kiev in April to visit Chernobyl for a couple for days. I am a semi-pro photographer and taking a lot of equipment with me. Are the larger hotels relatively safe when it comes to leaving stuff in the rooms.
There is no way I will be able to get all my stuff in a room safe. I hear mixed reports.
I’ve personally never heard of anybody having any problems with things being stolen from the larger hotels. They are well run and have high calibre staff.
These days I usually stay in privately rented apartments so don’t have any direct, recent experience. My gut feeling though, from having dealt with many hotel staff when running this site, is that you can trust them. Plus I can’t recall anybody ever raising the issue here.
I did have some things stolen when coming through the airport about 10 years ago. Theft there was fairly common a while back. Now they seemed to have cleaned their act up.
To be on the safe side I’d pack your camera equipment in hand luggage. This is a good idea anyway. If you’ve ever watched how baggage handlers (at any airport, not specifically Boryspil) throw your bags around, you wouldn’t want to pack any delicate equipment in hold baggage.
I am an Indian who is being offered a job (for 2 years) in Kiev by my organisation here. How safe it is to shift to Ukraine now, given the situation of war? Most people are suggesting to avoid and ignore this opportunity.
‘Most people’ don’t know what they are talking about. The ‘war’ is in the east of Ukraine and has never come to Kiev. The city is as safe as it has ever been.
Things can always change, as in anything in life.
I am planing to visit Kiev for a couple of days in the next 2 weeks. Somehow I found my myself on an Ukrainian dating site (don’t get me wrong, my intention was to ask them about their country and their culture and learn from them a little). Somehow I told a few ladies that I am going to Ukraine and they want me to go to their city to give them a visit. Is it safe to go and see them? They look like nice people.
I think that ‘somehow’ you may find yourself with an empty wallet and bank account.
I will be going in May for a week visit. I know some locals who will help me go around Kiev only and will visit Chernobyl too. Do you think it is safe enough? I am female, mid 20’s, US citizen, traveling alone.
You should be fine. Ukraine is far safer for a woman than the US.
Kiev is safe now. Like every city it has different places. Some are more safe, some are less so.
We are out visiting Chernobyl in April and are so excited. Hope you have a good trip.
I’m really thankful for this website. I want to ask a couple of questions. I have been invited by friends to Ukraine. Obviously they want me to go there and won’t tell me anything bad about their country.
Is it safe to travel with train and metro? To travel some hours with train? If I speak English on the street will police stop me and ask bribe? Is it safe to discover the Kiev city center and historical old city alone?
If I eat in a restaurant or drink in a pub, at daylight, and they figure out I am tourist, how common is it, that they will say a very large amount of money? And if I don’t pay, will they beat me? It happened in Prague in Czech Republic.
My safest trip was Berlin, Germany! Kiev looks pretty good, so i hope i wont be disappointed.
Despite, the Czech Republic being an EU country, scams there are very common. In Prague, at least when I was there (about 6 or 7 years ago), restaurant and nightclub scams were really a big problem. I’ve not been recently but watched a UK documentary that exposed the scams earlier this year. So as far as I know, they are still going on.
I’ve never encountered any scamming in Ukraine on the scale that it was going on in Prague. I’ve been short-changed a handful of times in nightclubs but that’s about it. The problem has always been sorted out by asking for the correct change. I’ve never had a problem in a bar or restaurant.
The Metro is as safe as any underground system I’ve been on. I’ve no doubt there are some pickpockets, but it isn’t particularly bad.
Trains are generally safe. I’ve noticed a few gypsy gangs around Kiev Train Station that looked like they were up to no good. Just keep your wits about you and your eyes on your luggage and you should be fine.
I shall be in Kiev the night of the 24th Feb. I am looking to spend a night with an escort – any suggestions as to the best place to arrange an escort #?
Do you think we are pimps?
Google is your friend.
I know this is replying to an old post, but I beg you, please be good. If you could only see what one-night stands do to your soul. Go to a priest, make a good confession, the be good. We die so soon, and then the good Lord asks us what we did with the time and the talents He gave us. Please do much good, and help others to stay good. Do not pull anyone down into the muck, as they say.
Hi, I’m a citizen of India working in USA. Has anyone with similar applied for Ukraine visa. I’m planning to go on a tourist visa. Can someone assist on this?
You need a visa. All the information is on the website of the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States of America in the Consular Issues section. They have Consular Offices in Washington, Chicago, San Francisco, and New York. Phone numbers, emails, and individual Consular Office websites are listed.
I suggest you contact the nearest Consular Office to where you live and take it from there. Let us know how you get on.
Information on immigration on our website can be found here.
I really wouldn’t go if I was you. You are Indian! You will definitely get racially abused and beat up. It is really not safe for an Indian in Ukraine.
I am Bangladeshi. I have been in Ukraine for the last couple of days. It is my second visit. I haven’t found any racism or bad behaviour here. I was in India for a year. Kiev is far safer than any Indian city.
I’m going to visit a friend in Kiev in the next week. I was considering going to Kharkiv as well, as she lives there in the first place. Would you say it is safe enough to do so? Is there a large risk of war in Kharkiv area as well as are there terrorist threats around? Or should we rather stay just in Kiev?
Thank you so much for your help!
I’d like to apologise for the delay in responding. I’ve been away. I guess you have already gone and made plans.
I’ll respond anyway in case anybody else is looking for similar information.
There’s no fighting going on in Kharkiv but there have been some terrorist incidents. In December a furniture store was bombed. It belonged to a pro-Ukrainian activist. Nobody was injured.
In November a bar was bombed. The bar was popular with Ukrainian forces and at the time of the explosion was hosting a fundraising event for the Azov Battalion. 11 people were injured.
So, in summary, the bombs seem to be targeted at specific people rather than the general population or visitors.
Whether you go or not depends upon your attitude to risk. Personally, I’d feel safe provided I avoided anywhere that was an obvious target.
Thank you very much for your help.
Indeed I already decided on my plans, I ended up just staying in Kiev for a week, and it was a fantastic week. It’s hard to realise that there is fighting going on in other areas in Ukraine.
I have been corresponding with a girl in Kherson for a couple of months and spoke briefly on phone. She is a teacher but she has been telling me recently that teachers in Kherson are not being paid because of the war in east Ukraine. She has not asked me for money but I am a bit suspicious I do not see anything on Internet about teachers not being paid in Kherson but I do see they are not being paid in Lugansk. Do you know if she is telling the truth? Thanks.
As far as I know there are no problems with government wages in Kherson. It could be true but it sounds highly suspicious.
I do worry about people such as you. The fact that you are even considering sending money to somebody you don’t know is concerning. If you go to meet this person I feel you will be exploited.
What kind of person asks a complete stranger for money? Ask yourself that question. If you are being asked for money now you will almost certainly be asked for much more once you get there. For your own good I’d advise you not to go to Ukraine and certainly don’t send any money.
Thanks for your reply. You misunderstood my message. The girl has NOT asked for money and I would not send any if she did.
I apologise. I get so used to seeing this type of question that when I see the words ‘girl’, ‘money’, ‘corresponding’, and ‘Ukraine’ I assume what’s coming next without even reading it properly.
They can simply delay her salary for couple of months. A teacher’s salary is less than 2000 UAH. Now it is not even 50$. Even if she has her flat it is barely enough for her spending. Try to ask her to talk by Skype with you.
This woman you are talking about in Kherson, is she a music teacher? I have been chatting to someone like that and she seems very keen on me going there. Just wondering if its the same one and a possible scam.
Sounds like they are playing music on both of you.
Bob, you’re seriously boring.
Get a life.
You seem to be level headed, thanks for your comments and to others as well.
I am planning to go to Kyiv in October to meet a lady, one of several with whom I have been corresponding on a site for 18 months. There is about a 20 year age difference, but you would never guess my age if you saw me.
There are certainly enough comments here about warning of staying on a site to communicate, I can say I have encountered enough “university students” sending me chat invites or mail to see clearly the cottage industry of professional chatters.
However I will point out that I have been conversing with four professionals (I am one) over time and the facade is easily broken with ongoing and probing questions over time. As someone said here earlier, if after all that time it is a scammer, they deserve it, and I would be the helpless fool.
I would point out however the other point of view that each of these people have given me. They often get crude emails and graphic disgusting photos from men on the site who think every Ukraine woman online is an easy romp in bed. They worry about their safety and for that reason do not leave the site until meeting. Remember this is a former soviet bloc country and graft and corruption still exist at all levels, so their suspicion is understandable.
These professionals might be the 5% that are sincere and in the middle of the same site that skims the profits. There is no doubt to me that the site is a huge racket. It is not inconceivable to me that the site plays on the fears of legitimate ladies to keep them as clients.
If you all wish to know the rest of the story, happy to share it in the fall.
I have received many tips from the posts, thanks to all.
Any suggestions on a reliable place to stay (from direct experience) with a reliable multilingual staff and a reasonable rate is greatly appreciated. As well as any other tips, like travel from airport to hotel on first trip.
The ladies all speak english very well, so translator is not anticipated.
I’m going to Kiev on 11th February. Can I change GBP at the airport or should I take Euros? I have a meeting on the 12th then home first thing on the 13th. I will just need money for taxis both both ways, 2 evening meals and hopefully some Ukrainian vodka to take home! I am travelling alone so probably just eat in the hotel. Any idea how much money I should exchange? Many thanks
If I was in your position I’d take a couple of hundred pounds in cash. I wouldn’t bother changing GBP into Euros. Pounds are acceptable. Just make sure your notes are in reasonable condition.
I’m guessing for two airport taxis, two decent evening meals and various expenses you’d need the equivalent of about £100 at the most. Take a bit more to be on the safe side.
I’d change about £50 at the airport, for your taxi and any initial expenses. You can change more as and when you need it in the city centre. There are currency exchanges everywhere. You literally can’t walk down any major street without seeing one.
On the way back, change any Ukrainian money you have left back into GBP, unless of course you are planning another visit.
It’s all covered in our money section.
An American pussy like you better stay at home, in the trailer with Mom!
What makes you think he’s American?
What an asshole this guy is. I’m American and if you were in front of me your the one that would wish you stayed home with mummy.
Is it safe to travel to Kharkiv now? I have been chatting with a girl from Kharkiv for a year now. Should I take the risk to go meet her. I believe the civil war is over now.
Apologies for the delay. We were busy on another project. It is safe to visit Kiev. The war isn’t over as you say, but there are no major problems in Kharkiv.
I agree with most of the information posted, but I’ll throw in my two-cents to further enlighten prospective visitors.
I visited Ukraine four times between 2010 and 2013. I spent most of my time in Lviv, but also visited Kyiv, Odessa and other locals (mainly in Western Ukraine).
In general I had good experiences. People are indeed fairly friendly, generous and kind, particularly considering the hardships that most must endure. Learning at least a modicum of Russian, or better yet Ukrainian, does go a long way and is much appreciated.
About negative stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding Ukraine and Ukrainians:
1) Crime and corruption: Use common sense and you’ll be fine. Corruption is widespread though you shouldn’t encounter it unless you drive or behave stupidly in public. Lviv is safe, Kiev is safe, Odessa is safe, etc. don’t bother driving while in Ukraine. Be cautious when out at night. There are “wallet scammers” and variations on this scam. They pulled that on me in Kyiv and I totally ignored them. Just walk away.
2) Racism: Ukrainians are not as tolerant or accepting as most of the “Western world”. I found that even among young people there is widespread dislike, though rarely intense hatred, of gays, blacks, Arabs and Muslims (very little acceptance of homosexuality). If you’re a “visible minority” you should use common sense and slightly heightened vigilance and you should be alright. The chances of being assaulted are very slim. Just because a good number of people curse you out behind your back doesn’t mean they’ll break a bottle over your head. I only met one foreign born student who claimed to have been assaulted twice, though I’ve met other Africans who seemed often very wary of their surroundings. Many people lead their lives in a very liberal way, but hold rather conservative points of view, sometimes outwardly racist.
3) Marriage and dating: The agencies are rubbish, maybe not 100% scam and waste of money, but pretty close. Be realistic in your expectations, use your brain. If you live in Ukraine for several months you can almost certainly meet someone and have enough time to form a connection. Long distance relationships and marriage tours are risky in the extreme and they hinge on suspension of disbelief and irrational expectations. Ukrainian women are just like women from anywhere else, no better, no worse.
Thanks for your opinion. It’s a fair reflection on the situation in Kiev and Ukraine. I’ve never met anybody who has actually been the victim of the wallet scam but have no reason to doubt it happened to you. As you say it’s easily avoided if you just ignore them.
I had someone try the wallet scam on me in 2010. It was so stupid. Fortunately, it happened only 10 feet from a very cool ethnic cafe with good food, nice looking and somewhat friendly lady customers, and a pleasant ambiance. I did feel intimidated enough to walk back and just sat down at this restaurant, though. It was actually serendipitous, since I didn’t know where to eat there. (Don’t over-analyze this response, I’m a little more complex than most, although people often can’t pass up the chance to do so on an anonymous forum). This incident had a positive outcome, but you really wonder why thieves aren’t a little more innovative than trying to pull a common scam that so many are informed about.
I think it’s hard to generalize and it’d be nice to see some statistical survey or study done on the agencies and the records of participants in such website-based operations, the number of couples who have been engaged and married, have stayed together 2 years, then 5 years, etc. One site I used and had major problems with also has a rather extensive log of married couples that it didn’t bandy about, so I’d be careful in generalizing since it’s very popular to express negative stereotypes about ‘Ukrainian women’ here in the U.S. by people that know next to nothing about Ukraine, including where it is on a map. IN a recent survey, something 18% of Americans could find Ukraine. Some had it in the Midwest, others in Greenland, Africa, or miscellaneous places in Europe. With all the trash in our media, and people doing wigged out things, plus unsuccessful marriages here, it seems odd to pick on ‘the Ukraine’ as being full of people (women, of course) who are only out to get your money. Although i found some certainly interested in that while i was there, mainly in ‘shopping’. REFUSE TO GO SHOPPING. It’s a mixed bag, though, and I agree that the really best and highly recommended way to get to know people and a country is to go and live there for a while and learn their language. What a thought. It wouldn’t hurt us Americans to stop for a while and learn to appreciate a slower pace of life.
I recently spent a month in Ukraine in both Kiev and Vinnitsa visiting my partners family. Firstly, I found the Ukrainians in both cities to be the nicest, friendliest and hospitable people around, always willing to help. Naturally not everyone is this way but most that I came across were great.
What surprised me about Vinnitsa was that it is a relatively poor city and if you get there you will see what I mean, bad footpaths and potholed roads and generally poor infrastructure, but the people get on with life with a smile on their face and generally enjoy life.
It was really sad to leave Ukraine having had such a pleasant experience. I found no problems with crime or scams, although I am a pretty savvy and experienced traveler.
While in Kiev I was able to see Independence Square in an awful state with tents tyres and barricades everywhere, however a month later it was all tidied up and we watched the rehearsal for the Independence Day parade.
Kiev is a beautiful city and easy to get around. It is a lot more expensive than Vinnitsa but that was to be expected.
I encourage anyone to go to Ukraine to experience a wonderful culture. I would also encourage you if you do, to learn a bit of Russian or Ukrainian prior to arriving as it will help you a lot.
Great country, great people and great culture
Thanks for sharing your positive experience.
I have found all this useful.
Only thing is I fly tomorrow via Belgium and return via Germany on Wednesday.
The flights and hotel have been booked and paid for by the national television company I am doing television on.
I was thinking of taking £100 which I’ve checked is about 2000 plus Ukraine money average half of the month salary as read on here. This should be enough for a couple of days I hope.
I’ve been told to pay taxes myself at airports and this will be reimbursed to me providing receipts.
So with that covered. I just need to know as Britain’s most tattooed man even with an eyeball tattoo if I should face any issues in Kiev?
Its very alternative and I handle stares and crap here well.
£100 should be enough provided you don’t go wild. There are no taxes at the airport. I think you’ll be fine with your eyeball tattoo. They’ve seen it all before at Euro 2012 🙂
Anyone visited Kiev recently? What is situation out there now? Do they burn tires on the streets? What is the best taxi company in Kiev?
The situation in Kiev is relatively calm. People are not burning tyres on the streets. I think you may be referring to a situation a few months ago when the authorities cleared protestors from the city’s main street and the protestors retaliated by burning tyres etc.
There are lots of good taxi companies in Kiev. One of the best for foreigners is Uklon. They have a decent website with an English language section. You can order a taxi online and see the cost beforehand. Rates are pretty cheap.
Hi all. I’m visiting Kiev in 3 weeks. I have rented an apartment in the centre. I just need some tips on how to get there after the airport. Do many taxi drivers speak English etc. Also what places are good too visit? I’ll be on my own the first couple days until a friend arrives so I need to keep occupied.
First of all you have done the right thing by renting an apartment in the city centre.
The simplest way to get the city centre from the airport is by taxi. I presume you are arriving at Boryspil. Information about the airport can be found here. Taxi rates are fixed and the price fairly reasonable, especially with the current exchange rates.
Taxi drivers at the airport generally speak English, at least enough to understand where you want to go. Taxi drivers elsewhere usually don’t speak English very well.
The best places to visit can be found in our attractions section. I’d recommend Pechersk Lavra, St Michael’s, St Sophia’s, Andrew’s Descent, Independence Square and Khreschatyk, and the Pinchuk Art Centre. Visiting these places should keep you occupied for a couple of days.
I am thinking of booking a hotel rather than an apartment. Which is better and why?
Personally I always book an apartment. That’s just my choice and may not be suitable for all. I will outline my thinking for you.
I usually stay for a month. If you book an apartment for a month you will usually get a heavily discounted rate. If I was staying in a hotel for a month I’m sure I could negotiate a cheaper rate, but the discount wouldn’t be as much.
There are plenty of apartments to rent in the city centre and the rates are quite good. These days most are nicely decorated, have free WiFi etc. Go on Airbnb and check some out.
I know the city well so I don’t need any help or assistance in finding things, getting taxis etc. I’ve got lots of contacts and friends so if I was to say lose my keys late at night I could stay somewhere else until I could contact the landlord. If you were new to the city this wouldn’t be the case.
I prefer the freedom of an apartment and being able to do what I want without any interference.
My friend stayed at the Rus where they serve a lavish and delicious breakfast every day and right now it is cheap based on the value of the dollar he says. The Rus is in the center of Kiev, about 40 minutes from Borispol Airport.
You can also take bus number 322 just out of Terminal D of Borispol Airport. It will cost less than 3 euros and I never had problem. It will bring you to Kiev Train Station where you can take underground. Price for ticket will be less than 0.2 euros. The underground is no more dangerous than any other underground (pay attention to wallet like in every other underground).
I have just come back from Kiev after a few weeks and made many friends, both local and otherwise. This is very nice and accurate article. I am stunned by the desperate drivel from all these ‘men’ who think that no matter what they look like and act like, a Ukrainian supermodel is just lying on her back waiting for them. First, the women on the dating sites you have probably been browsing are all professional photo models and the pictures have been Photoshopped. These sites heavily promote the myth of the Ukrainian girl just waiting to be whisked off anywhere by anyone just so as to be ‘saved’. These sites make MILLIONS of dollars. The reality is that the girls in Ukraine are just like the girls anywhere else in Europe. Pretty and less pretty ones and normal (in daylight) and in every shape and size. Some do themselves up nicely to go out to the clubs (work out how they pay for the expensive shoes and bags). The others often have a good brain on their shoulders and can see through sex tourists. With the massive expectations that some of the comments demonstrate I expect there may soon be a few disappointed Indian boys returning home. If you go bottom pinching and harass the girls and treat them like meat then expect a response. Yes, call it ‘racism’. If you want to go and appreciate the culture and the people and history then you will enjoy it. If you want to go pay for sex then just stay at home and do it. If you want an instant bride other than your own ethnicity and are rich enough and look good (there seems to be a crazy assumption here that the girls are blind) then you may just end up being very lucky. But be prepared for betrayal, especially if you don’t treat them well. Beware the myth.
Thanks for your comment. I agree completely with what you are saying. If you are going to Kiev thinking you will be able to take advantage of the women and their economic plight, I would advise you to think again. It will be you that ends up being taken advantage of.
Well said and I could not agree more! I am learning Russian language right now and planning a summer trip to Kiev and Odessa. I am going for the culture and to improve my Russian language skills as an American. I hope things improve as I want to make new friends and see the whole country and Russia eventually. Ukraine and Russian women are conservative, well educated, and intelligent women with style and class. I plan to dress nice and have a great time.
I am a Aussie with Asian appearance but quite large in size (6’4″, 125kg) with a few visible tribal neck tattoos.
I have always had a soft spot for different cultures, food and languages.
Does/has anyone heard of any ‘issues’ with Asian foreigners in Kiev/Odessa?
My level of non English skills is pretty much nil? Will locals be a bit ‘stand offish’ with tourists like us?
I think you will be fine, especially given your height and size. You may get a few looks but that will be it. You will have language difficulties though, especially in places that employ older workers (local shops, public transport etc.). Few employees will speak English. If you’re worried about your language skills I suggest you get an apartment or hotel in the centre so you don’t have to rely on taxis, and make yourself familiar with the Metro system. For food, go to any restaurant that looks mid-range and upwards. There should be at least one member of staff that speaks English and they’ll usually have English menus (especially in the city centre). Staff in bars and nightclubs tend to be younger and speak English.
Let us know how you get on when you return from your trip.
I am planning to travel to Kharkov with my mom to attend a funeral in October. We are worried due to the situation there. I am a young female (25) and will be with my mom. We are both white. Is it safe there? Do we need to cancel the flights? Any comments are appreciated
There are currently no major problems in Kharkiv. However, it is reasonably close to the area where there are problems. You should be fine provided the situation doesn’t change.
A friend of mine visits a girl in Nikolaev. He met her on a dating site. Can he use his leftover Ukraine money in Turkey ?
By use it do you mean spend it? If so, no. You may possibly be able to exchange it in a bank, but even if you could I doubt you would get a very good rate. I’ve never tried to exchange Ukrainian money in Turkey though so can’t give a definitive answer.
I have been married to a Ukrainian woman for the last 30 years. I have made many trips into the USSR, then the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
You guys keep messing up the facts.
1. You are in THEIR country, respect that fact.
2. You have to IMPRESS them, not the other way around.
3. It is Eastern Europe. How do you think Western Europe and the Americas started? I will tell you. People from East moved West.
4. They do not want to hear how great your country is.
5. Expect them to be 30 minutes, or more, late for everything.
6. They hate impatient man.
7. They don’t feel secure, there will be no second time.
8. No matter how old you are, they will show up for food and gifts.
9. If she does not make any physical contact (not sex, holding your hand, touching your arm, come on guys you should know this) on the first date, move on to the next woman.
10. Use your brain.
Hey Andy I agree with you. There is good and bad in any country, and I find Slavic women to be well mannered and very nice. Yes there are the scams, but that can happen anywhere.
Well said Andy! The dumb guys that go to Ukraine looking for easy women will be disappointed. However, if you learn some Russian, go with an open mind and make friends then you have a better chance meeting a decent Ukraine lady for friendship and marriage. I have dated Ukrainian and Russian women before here in the USA and was impressed by their charm, class and wit.
I am planning to visit Ukraine in October this year. I’ve heard a lot of good and the bad things about visiting Ukraine but I still want visit. I’ll be visiting Kharkiv and Krivoy Rog to meet someone. I just wanted to ask is it safe place to visit these days. This will be my first trip there so any advice will be highly appreciated. I hope the racism is no an issue. Waiting to hear valuable comments. I am from Pakistan.
I can’t comment on the situation regarding racism in Kharkiv or Krivoy Rog, other than the fact that I’ve not heard about any specific problems there.
As far as I am aware there are no problems regarding safety in these cities at the moment. However the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) are currently advising against all but essential travel to Kharkiv Oblast. I suspect the advice concerns the areas bordering Donetsk and Luhansk, rather than the city itself.
The situation on the ground could change rapidly though. I’d advise keeping your eyes on the news.
Going to Kiev to meet one lady is crazy, unless you have indications that it is going to work. You don’t know what these ladies want and mind you they often don’t see you paying a plane ticket to come there a big deal. The truth is that over the last 14 years hundreds of thousands of foreigners have visited Kiev. That’s where the problem is. The women know about that and they have seen it before. They are going to up the ante for the next visitor. They have seen it all; flowers, gifts, trips, restaurants etc. A 37 year old Kiev woman could have met hundreds of foreigners over the years from age 20. Another thing , they think they are in Europe and tend to emulate it even if they have no money. If you really want to get married go to another country; Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria , not Kiev or Ukraine. I assure you these countries haven’t seen the quantity of foreigners passing through that Kiev has.
Agree! Go to Kiev to visit, learn Russian and make friends. Not for a woman. Of course if you meet someone that you get along with there is no harm with building a relationship.
Did you manage to go to Ukraine? Please share your experience?
I have planned a trip to Kiev in 3 weeks. I have met a lady online, 37 years of age. After a couple of exchanges, she mentioned she is not the online type and gave her phone number and Viber. We phoned and her English is pretty good. She provided much detail about her private life. So I have taken the plunge for a weekend to meet. She advised to book a hotel just outside the centre. We are meeting up on Friday evening at 7pm at the entrance of the Gulliver Centre. She seems very genuine, but there is always that 1% doubt.
I’m not sure you needed to provide the exact location and timing of your rendezvous 🙂
So how did you get on? I am interested to know.
This article and the comments were really helpful. I am thinking of visiting Ukraine just to see some cool places, and now I know what to expect on top of what I already know. But one question. How can there be single mums in this country? The majority of them from what I have seen and heard (verified from the comments) look like supermodels but yet there are single moms out of them. These women seem insanely thirsty for a man who cares? Here in America, I can understand why; fat and bad attitude. But there? With women who look like that? Something is wrong in this world.
Demographics is one reason. There are significantly more women than men in Kiev. I’ve seen reports on the news that the figure could be as high as 4 to 1, but don’t believe the ratio is that great. The official statistics show the ratio is around 54 women for every 46 men. Reality could be different. You certainly notice more women than men in Kiev.
Doubts are very important because you want to be safe in every way. The advice I have been given and I will give to you, is that you contact a private investigator and have them perform a background check. Is far less expensive than even the 1% you have. I would say from my endless research your risk is much higher than you think. You should never go to meet a woman without a private investigator telling you whether to proceed or not. You can find reputable sources on the internet and they also may be an office where you live. Be careful. Many women in these areas are professionals and usually hooked up with the Mafia.
Thanks for the sharing the conclusions of your ‘endless research’. I always make sure to employ a private investigator before going on a date with a Ukrainian girl.
A full body check and pat down are also essential. Who knows what they could be concealing under that fur coat?
I’m planning on studying in Kiev but first I’d like to visit most of the country beforehand? I’m Mexican so would I encounter the racism seen on the news.
Personally I don’t believe that you’re likely to encounter any racism is Kiev. I don’t know what ‘racism seen on the news’ you are referring to. You may be referring to claims that all Ukrainians are fascists. This is just Russian propaganda to justify their actions in Ukraine.
There were plenty of African students at the recent Independence Day celebrations. I was watching interviews with them on the TV. All said they were enjoying their time in Ukraine.
Hello, not sure if this is the right path to ask this.
My daughter met a boy on the internet about 5 years ago, and now he invited her to go to Kiev. We live in the United States. My daughter is 21 and he is 20. Do you think she will be safe. I am very worried about this trip. Any advise will be great. Thanks
I am going to Odessa at the end of July. I am from from the Middle East and as dark as chocolate.
Do you think i will face some problems like skinheads (which I have seen many times in Kiev) or racists tourists from the rest of the country getting drunk and dangerous?
Don’t go to Odessa. It is better to go to Kiev.
You are as dark as chocolate? You do have a good sense of humor of yourself. You sound like a cool guy. Just don’t go out alone and especially at night. Watch your surroundings all the time. Stay in groups. Stay in Kiev.
Hi, I’m going next month to Kiev and I’m planning to rent a flat. Is it safe to rent a flat in Kiev now given the current situation? Any information about security for foreigners in Kiev is much appreciated.
It is a safe as it has ever been. There is no war or fighting in Kiev. The only fighting is taking place in Eastern Ukraine.
I was recently researching the possibility of studying in Kiev, but am uneasy due to all the recent problems in Kiev and the racism. I have black hair, brown eyes and caramel skin. I am Latino. Would i encounter any problems with racism? Also, is it safe to live there with all its recent problems?
I think you will be fine. I personally think the racism ‘problems’ that people refer to are blown out of proportion. I know plenty of non-white people that have never had a problem in Kiev. Then again, those are just my personal views.
Kiev is a perfectly safe city. Much safer than the UK in my opinion, even after all the recent troubles.
I am a Hispanic mix (Mestizo) in Kiev for the month of July in Kiev. I can say there is nothing to fear in Kiev that you would fear in New York City. If anything being Latin might make you exotic in Kiev.
With the problems in Ukraine being pretty much isolated to Eastern Ukraine, I’ve been more worried in Latin/South America with the military coups.
Assuming you want to study either Russian or Ukrainian if you have no knowledge whatsoever, you really need to study here for 3 months, going rate for 90 minutes 1 on 1 at AxisEC is UAH 230 per lesson paid each week.
I am not really dark skinned, but there are a lot of visitors from Turkey and Asia here according to my guide. Mainly just use common sense. If you can not survive in a big urban city, and that includes not just street sense but general politeness, you will have problems.
There are good girls looking for something serious, party girls that will be with you as long as you are buying, and those in between waiting for a prince but realistic enough to try and do what they need to do to survive.
The average monthly income is around US $1650 and with the conflict in the East tourists are scarce. Plus in August usually Kiev is deserted as most people would vacation in the Crimea, but of course now they must stay in Kiev.
So honestly as a single man now is the best time to visit. Just wait till August when I leave. I do not want too much competition with the girls in Kiev. I hear Odessa is very nice, as are the girls from there.
Thanks for your contribution. I’m pleased that you don’t seem to be having any problems with racists in Kiev. As I’ve said before, I think the problems have been blown out of proportion.
Thanks for also mentioning the Axis EC language school. I’ve never heard of that particular one. However, if they are teaching Russian to English speaking foreigners it doesn’t make much sense to have your website written entirely in Russian. It’s hardly surprising I’ve not come across them before.
I don’t think the average income in Kiev is $1650 as you say. Officially it is around 5000 UAH (just over $400). Of course the official figures are on the low side, but I doubt it is as high as that.
Having said that, the economy of Ukraine and Kiev has always confused me. Officially salaries are amongst the lowest in Europe, but people always seem to have money. The restaurants and bars are generally quite busy, people are generally well-dressed etc.
I am planning on going in August, any recommendations (also Mestizo)?
Does anyone know of any good boxing gyms, or MMA gyms in Kiev?
Is it safe to travel to Kiev now?
It is perfectly safe to travel to Kiev right now. Even, the over cautious UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office state that ‘life has largely returned to normal.’ They do however advise against travel to Donetsk, Lugansk, Crimea, and Kharkiv. In Kiev and western Ukraine life goes on as it did before the troubles.
Can anybody recommend a good strip club in Kiev?
I’d say Rio was the best strip club in Kiev. There are lots of girls and most of them very pretty. Unlike most clubs in the US you can actually take the girls home here. The club has a few strict rules you need to be aware of. You get searched when you come in etc. plus prices of drinks seem to change depending on who you are. The club is just near the Opera House in the city.
Being in Kyiv this month, I can say it depends what you want in the club. Just a show, food, beer, or dances? I really liked Absolute Gold. The ‘crazy menu’ at Dolls, as well as their periodic dance routines with can-can, burlesque outfits etc, is quite nice as well.
I like Gold the best since the girls don’t just hide in the dressing room between songs. I didn’t care for a lot of the small places so far. But none were so bad that I ran away in terror.
I think due to the large number of brothels in Kyiv that the strip clubs don’t stay as packed as the ones back in the States.
I was born in Iran. I have dark hair and brown eyes. My skin is not dark. I am a US citizen. I have been to Ukraine maybe 10 times since 2004. I have visited Kiev, Kharkov, Sumy, Kherson, Odessa, and Nikolaev. I have never had any problems on the streets, at the airport, or with police, and never felt people were staring at me. I usually wear dark pants and jackets when I go out just like many Ukrainians
Some advice. Try to rent from apartment agencies. Flats are better than hotel rooms. They are bigger and cheaper. They offer taxi service from your flat to the airport. Don’t walk around on the streets like foreigners. If you see police take a different route. Try to rent a flat near the supermarket and clubs in the centre.
Kiev obviously has crime. I would not go anywhere alone.
Dr Jay Sloop from Yakima WA disappeared without a trace while on a morning walk 5-14-2013 in Kiev.
He is healthy at 77 with gray hair .
This man would have helped anyone at anytime, and this may be related to his disappearance.
Anyone with any information should contact authorities as it is an open criminal case with a reward.
I would not visit the area , but if you have to don’t go anywhere alone (man or woman) in Kiev.
I am an Indian. I am in Lviv right now, and i just got back at my apartment after facing a lot of racism. People sober or drunk do act racist and speak bad in their language. I don’t know what they want but they act really stupid. Just 1 hour back, a guy was there who knew English very well but still he was talking in Ukrainian or maybe Russian and making friends of our group. Don’t visit this country.
You – false Indian creature. After you like cheat and steal Europeans in your country, you want a good relationship to yourself? But even here and now you’re blatantly lying around.
I really admire your strong reply. One must stand for her country.
Everywhere in the world there’s the good and the bad. It’s totally rude to slam a whole country for a single bad experience that the person himself could have brought it on himself
I am an Indian and have visited Ukraine many times, especially Kiev. I have found the people extremely friendly and pleasant. Of course you have to stay away from drunkards any time of day or night. I am only curious if there is any spillover of violence due to the problems in eastern Ukraine.
Nothing notable in Kiev.
They say that Ukrainian women are among the most beautiful in the world. However I wouldn’t know, I’m more interested in the Ukrainian dudes.
WoW black and gay – suggest giving Eastern Europe a miss buddy. I was embarrassed to witness evil stares and Polish chatter (I don’t understand Polish) which seemed mean, at best. This was on train platforms at “downtown” Warsaw rail station. Everything seemed to stop and attention turned onto a black guy coming downstairs to the platform to walk 2-300 yards to the other side of the station. I seen the guy turned away but then back again and recognized 70-80% of the bystanders stare at the guy and follow him with their eyes all the way until he was out of vision.
Shocking, but my partner (Russian/Ukrainian) tried to rationalize the attitudes of the rest. Looking back now I’m glad she finished with me.
I found this very unsettling and felt better about my decision to leave Warsaw and indeed Eastern Europe. Generally the culture needs sorting before the countries might be considered visitor friendly. If you’re gay and especially if camp God only knows what you’d have to face. Good luck and God bless!
I’m originally from Ukraine, but left the country at the very first chance I had. The biggest problem of the country is the “genocide” of the aboriginal population/citizen by the government.
People are poor, have no jobs, and it’s impossible to get welfare there. but still you have to bribe everyone everywhere. At the same time, it is absolutely a must to have a car, a house, tons of clothes and lots of expensive jewelry for women, cell phones for each member of a family, travel abroad, etc. to be respected. That all results in each person hating his neighbour/brother/friend/everyone. The poorest people – usually uneducated, unemployed, alcoholics have large families with many children, because government pays more and more for every next child.
It is true that everything is cheap, because it is of poor quality – like there is no meat in the sausage or milk in the milk bottle.
Stray dogs, vagabonds and beggars, not smiling people, crazy drivers, corrupted teachers, governmental workers, police (in the departments of which people often disappear forever), useless doctors, pocket thieves, sexual perverts in the transport (girls beware!) – it all is true. It is also true about the beauty of women – as I’ve mentioned: a young woman MUST look like a model to get married, even if her husband is an unemployed alcoholic.
Thus, I would only not agree about the total absence of personal hygiene. Also, it is not simply a habit to use “Afro-American”, and the Ukrainian word, which sounds like “negr”, does not actually have a connotative meaning of a “nigger”, so often times just the intonation and attitude will help you define if a person is bullied.
To sum it up: if you feel bullied in Ukraine – do not despair: everyone does.
It’s so good how you describe it. I love this country, everything you say is true. That is exactly why I left my home New Zealand. It is over regulated over taxed and infiltrated with foreigners. I’m now happy living in Ukraine . My girlfriend is beyond supermodel. Also I find comfort with people who are not afraid to speak their minds but in the west would be described as neo-Nazi. In fact they are simply good people with pride and a sense of sovereignty with a desire to protect their own from inferior races that become a state welfare problem.
Seems to me getting through the airport with all of your items is the most difficult thing. If the customs people find an item they want they just take it. It seems to me if this is how they operate I would much rather pay a few thousand to the local organized crime people to handle the disrespect shown to a visitor. However since as a visitor, how do you locate an acceptable organization who will be able to track down a person once given their place of employment, name and badge number.
Well we get them all here don’t we? You’ve not even been through the airport yet and already you are thinking to pay an organized crime gang to intimidate customs officials.
Going through customs really is no problem. They’re quite polite actually. I’ve had spoken to more worse, and dealt with far worse in the US, UK, Dubai etc.
BS. I visit Ukraine almost every summer (business/pleasure or just transit) and never encountered any problems with their Customs. Can’t say the same about Germany or USA, for example. There is always some sh*thead clerk yawing and trying to entertain himself.
I’m sorry but you’re wrong. I’ve been there a great many times and never did I have even the slightest problem.
I am a Black man and I enjoy coming to Ukraine and Russia. I love the girls. Get hole in one all the time!
With that level of charm I’m sure you do very well 🙂
I’m sure you get more than a hole in one. Better go get tested. Ukraine has the fastest rising rate of HIV in the world.
Well no need to explain why you need to travel to get laid Jayz. You disrespectful moron.
I live in Ukraine, I just found this site to tell the truth. I find it terrible that there are countless homeless dogs, which are very dangerous. The problem they are often in groups by 4-6, and may simply kill you. People sometimes organize and kill by themselves, as there’s no other alternative. So take at least a screwdriver, this way you can stab one and other will run at worse… if not, if you’re on the ground already, too bad for you. I won’t comment on crimes and stuff, but this thing drives me mad.
What a very cruel thing to say! If people took care of their dogs and cats and had them neutered you would not have this problem. Thank God there are compassionate Ukrainian people who are opening shelters, treating the animals and neutering them. Many dogs are adopted by people in the USA and western Europe. Spay and neuter is the only way to reduce numbers. I was planning to volunteer at a shelter but because of the political situation this might not be possible at present.
My experience of harassment from the corrupted policeman in Kiev s really annoying. I went to Kiev for 2 days in Aug 2011 as a single male tourist. I am from Japan. I did not go out in the night time, I went to Kiev purely for sightseeing, however, I was still appraoched by corrupted policeman twice and questioned me 20 minutes that their aim is I gave them money. Very disappointed.
The 1st time happened at Kiev Pechersk Lavra where I noticed a police patrol car in front of the park. One of the policeman approached me and told me he would help me to find out which direction would lead to Pechersk Lavra. Once we were at a location of the park that no people was around, he started to ask me showing my passport, showing my purse, searched my body whether I carried gun or drug. At the end, he let me go , though I did not give him any money, probably because his colleagues in the police patrol car were waiting for him.
2nd time was on the train from Lviv to Krakow. On the border control between Poland and Ukraine, a policeman went onboard the train to search each passenger whether they were carrying any contraband. That policeman spent the longest time on my seat, asked me a lot of irrelevant questions. I was sick and tired. I gave him 100 UAH , he took it and then immediately did not bother me anymore.
Same problem with the police. Stopped at the airport after arriving and asked to pay. Luckily the person I was with spoke Russian and told them to back off. I later found out she gave them some money which I was not so happy about!
But I traveled alone, with no Russian language ability, for two weeks in the Ukraine and loved it and the people! I would go back again in a heartbeat!
My Wife is from Kiev so visit the family from the UK, most people I pass by don’t smile and only my first visit I felt that many people were starring at me. I’m Indonesian but raised and adopted by western family. I only encountered a taxi driver who refused my mother and I. Arranged by the Hyatt aswell. When I stay in Beresanskya the neighbours and locals are pretty friendly. In Kapabah or caravan many people point out the best kalbassa. One guy in a car thought I was from china but explained I’m Australian as I am, and he was very friendly and apologetic. The way I see Ukraine is that many people are shy in speaking English but I smile and use Russian and Ukrainian words where I can, and most people are friendly. I even smoke with my in laws neighbour who will come and talk although limited we both understand. I never go anywhere without my wife or local person. At the Irish Pub by the gates to Kiev I showed the bar man how we drink Guiness in Wales. In which he was amazed. I’m must admit I’m nervous about my up an coming trip, but will keep low key and avoid football stadiums. EVERYONE who knows football crowds will understand that if someone kicks off on other supporters, it’s usually followed by big fights anyway. So if you go to Ukraine just don’t show any vulnerability. It’s a macho town so be macho.
Kiev is a great city…I live here 3 years and it is extremely save…i have been all over at all times and never seen and fights…the streets are well policed and never and drunken people like you see in England…weather, women, food, prices all great ….come and enjoy
Thank you for the positive comments at least. The rest were all negative and they make us to cancel our trips we planned to Kiev.
The problem is you all get it wrong! not minding the fact that not everyone is a racist but they do in some way or another race on guys especially BLACKS and not *coloured*! although i’ve never been to Ukraine, i do experience same in Russia but of-course not as harsh as the reports i do get from acquaintances
I am a pretty big North Indian guy ,Thought many thinks i am from south Italy and even ukrainian thugs is a bit unsure what to abuse me for . I have studdied in both Italy and russiaprior to kiev . And Mostly people called me gypsy or they asked if i was from Sicilia or Calabria, which everyone knows have alot of mafia people. So people was a bit scared i would say. Specialy when i could speak italian
My feelings of Kiev is if you stand your marks and dont getting involved in usless arguments. However what worked for me was to counter how many striken similiarites in the Hindi/indian language and Slavic languages . Aswell as Slavic folklore and culture is very similar to the Hinduism. Aswell as Orissa even exists in India thusands of years before Orissa popped up in Ukraine people smile on there faces. However for people that cant so much of history and communicate with people . I would never suggest anyone that is unsure of himself to go to Kiev. You need to show that your not afraid and can take a fight if you need.
I am dark skinned and British . It is a creepy place at night and there is racism. I did not experience any of that in Russia and Moscow. Also the 2012 euro football tournament is threatened by racists telling dark skinned foreigners to stay away or else…
Ukraine for some strange reason smells real bad especially the houses and metro stations. Also the people are one of the most ignorant of races yet they carry on like they are better than all others. When came to Ukraine, I was and I still am highly disappointed. I noticed that personal hygiene is also non-existent here. But I did notice that many of the girls dress very well. Although I really wonder how they are able to afford it given the fact that there are not that many jobs.
You know how they can afford it. And one of the grave consequence is already in this article.
Does it mean there is nothing good about Russia and Ukraine when it come to relationships?
i want to visit Ukraine soon,to meet my girl,we are planing marriage,and she love the idea of her coming to Africa to live with me,but first i must visit her to see her familu and then wedding in Kiev.
OMG. “Match made in heaven”. Go find yourself nice bride among monkeys. Can’t believe there are still some girls in the Eastern Europe who are ready to jump any train in order to get out of the country to the “Rich and Bright Western World”. Well, lets just say Africa is bigger sh*thole than any part of Eastern Europe. Trust me, I visited both parts of the world.
Always be smart enough to never marry outside your place of origin. If you marry there, I promise you you’re gonna regret it, god forbid, if something bad happens.
Who calls themselves, Mr. Black?
Hello all,thanks for your informations about Ukraine,i am African,i have never been to Ukraine before,but now my Ukrainian girlfriend,just sent me an invitation to come to her in Ukraine,she has a daughter already,divorced. She is so nice to me,she seems gently and sweet,now i am bout getting a Visa so i can go meet her and we start a family, ilove her so much and want to marry her,reading all the above since am Black i want to know is it a good Idea for me to go and marry her? And what are the advantages i have if i marry her?
None, really. Don’t rush it, get to know EVERY single thing about her life well, first. That should be your prime objective before taking such a leap.
I’m about to visit Ukraine, been around Europe but the reviews about Ukraine are so confusing! It only pushed to see the country for myself! Although I keep reading that being black could be a problem! : P
Vikram singh,i am an INDIAN, its very rough to say that we are dark or ugly to look at … what are americans doing fun & having sex in russia thats all just come there to have sex sex sex thats all… we indians are faithful & gentke to our wives.. we are not after only sex … as bloody american are… We indians rulling America, uk, canada & other parts of world too by having nice brains, effort to work, highly knowledgeble too & well cultured & highly educated… OK remember this my blog always before saying anythings to INDIANS… listen you white lovers we indians will be the most richest & high economic strong country by 2017 ok see the fastest growth of India… listen my sweet girls in kiev i want to marry a sweet young girl in Ukraine for a happy married life but not sex machine & i am white man from a high educated family … so never think Indians always dark or uneducated or poor ok… take care read my blog & have an eye on my opinion to get married to an Indian always… We Indians are one woman …man always…
This has got to be some of the most racist drivel I’ve ever seen. You talk about how Indians are better than Americans, and then go on to say ‘Don’t worry I’m light skinned and educated’. What?
I understand what you want to say, but the way you put it, is quite comical. And fidelity rules!
Anyone not familiar with Indians and their culture would believe your nonsense . Why not tell how Indians believe that it is okay to beat their wives .
Stayed there for 6 nights in November last year.
Got into so many fights with locals that tried to bully me.
I don’t take … from anyone unless I am in the wrong and am a very handy guy with my MMA background.
Eventually got into trouble with the police who supported the locals every time they complained I assaulted them.
The girls are great. Spent my evenings with models every night.
If you are a tough guy and can stick up for yourself then I would recommend the place highly. Very cheap and has so many nice and friendly people too.
If you are weak and easily bullied then choose another country.
I will be back there in May this year.
Look forward to it.
Been to Kiev 3 times now, twice in 2010 and again in 2011. I’ve stayed in Hotel RUS ,and yes there are very beautiful hookers available there. Generally, I find the people very friendly ,helpful and genuine, although we must realize they are going through a dreadful economic recession and for many people it is a struggle to live. I can understand how they feel when foreign visitors arrive and throw their money around, and to be honest us English felt just the same about American visitors to England in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, and previous to that during WWII. So my advice to anyone visiting, don’t be flash with your money, give respect, and you will receive.
I’ve been in Kiev twice (2010 and 2011). I am of Spanish-Filipino decent. I grew up in a third-world country so I know how the police and government operate. Some policemen are a bit rough in Kiev. They know foreigners, especially Americans, don’t carry passport or I.D. while they go for a walk and this is their policeman’s opportunity to make money. But to be fair not all police there are bad. I’ve never been stared at in any places except when I started speaking English as a foreigner. I cannot compare my experience with Africans or Indians but I didn’t encounter any racial insults or atrocities. Ukraine is a nice place if you want to check out old historical places.
The young women there are like super-models. Speaking of women, America is so economically wealthy with fewer attractive women.
I just returned form Kiev, it was my 3rd visit and i never ever had a problem there, have some good friends there. I was born in India, its a friendly and very hospitalble country, you will always find the rough parts of a city if you try to. Just be normal and everything is fine.
Hello, I am Asian-Canadian and I visited Ukraine in May 2011. I, like many of you, was worried about encountering racism in the country. As it turns out, not only did I enjoy my visit but it was one of the most interesting trips I have ever done in my life. I even went to Shooter’s one night with some friends I met at the hostel and I did not encounter any problems getting in. Yes, I did get stares here and there, but I think it was mostly out of curiosity than hate. Cops also left me alone. Maybe because I look buff loll I think in general, it is a safe country to visit, but be vigilant, and try not to wander off on your own at night. Those who encounter racism or violence may have also been at the wrong place at the wrong time. So yes, be careful, but don’t let that deter you from visiting the country.
Racism in the Ukraine is a real and present danger with blacks being at greatest risk. I just returned from a 3 week trip and was (African American male that I am) spat on by 3 drunk skinhead types, shoved by an old woman as she unintelligibly said something that sounded like nigger, and punched in the back of my head by one guy who ran away as I got my sense back and turned around.
Racism is everywhere. In fact you and I are racist too, in way or another. I am an Indian guy who just came back from Ukraine after a short stay, visiting my girlfriend. I encountered no problems other than the occasional stares due to curiosity. Just don’t be cocky and show off like some of the foreigners I encountered there.
No racism is not everywhere. There are countries in the world where people don’t try to beat you down simply because they think you are of another “race”.
That being said, to the brotha. I have been to Kiev several times. Not once was I even approached. But I don’t go to places where I am not going to be accepted. I usually stay in tourist areas and at the bigger hotels. I only ran into an issue in Odessa, where a skinhead type was staring at me. But dude, some of the most wonderful people I have ever met were in Ukraine.
Arrived in Kiev last night. Left my hotel to walk and get dinner and made it about 15 minutes before being stopped by the police. I had left my passport at the hotel (my fault, I know) and my US driver’s license did nothing to dissuade them. They walked me into a dark side street and I had to pay them off – 200 (about $25). I’m here for work and can’t say much about the other merits or dangers of this city, but it was definitely a disappointing way to start my stay. I can only imagine how much money the police will make from Euro 2012.
I went to Kiev 5 months ago and I am on my way in 3 weeks. They have some racism, but it’s only from ignorant people just like anywhere in the world. I met girls at the university who wanted to practice their English and Spanish and were very friendly and showed me the city. The city is very beautiful with a lot of exotic architecture and gorgeous women all over the place. If you are of African, Middle Eastern or Hindu you should expect people to stare at you as you will look very different from every body else. On the other side if you are from Europe, the Americas, Australia, New Zealand or have European roots you will be treated just like everybody else.
I’ve been in Ukraine for one year. Being African, I have definitely experienced racism; in the mildest form though so I’d say I’m lucky. Although I get called names and get hard and hostile stares, I ‘m like who cares! I just walk on since insults don’t grow on your skin. If you’re white, you don’t have a problem with racism in Ukraine although a few of my American and Asian friends complain of racial slurs. It’s hard to call all Ukrainians racist because I’ve been helped and assisted by a few of them even with me being African and brown skinned. A case was when I couldn’t get a train ticket back to my city from Kiev. I’d tried all I could and not being able to speak Russian worsened the whole situation. I walked up to an Ukrainian lad who looked every inch like a skinhead and in broken Russian explained my plight to him. He proved to be my godsend that day. The rest is history but I’d never forget that act of kindness. I also admired a babushka telling off a drunk man who was about getting on me while I was riding in a trolleybus in Kiev. Also, I had a racist tell me to walk away from where I was somewhere outside the train station still in Kiev because it wasn’t safe for me and I could get robbed or harassed. About the police I also have never been stopped on the street either in Kiev, Ternopil, Lviv or Chernivtsi. On one occasion, I had a friend visit me from Czech Republic and there was a cop at the door. He got bribed and walked and that’s not so racist to be fair. He pushed his colleagues to come for more but I never opened the door after then. I’d also say the drunks are the most racist as they get more dangerous when they are drunk. Skinheads? Heard of them but never saw one. I got ripped off by a taxi driver in Kiev because I didn’t know my way but that happens in every big city I guess. All in all I’d say black people are subject to racism in Ukraine more than white people and even if you’re black and hang out with the right people, don’t get drunk, understand the place you live, you stand a chance of living peacefully with little or no brush-offs with racists.
I would have to say as an African-American, i agree mostly with your comments. I run into racism on the south side of Chicago. I have not run into worse in Ukraine.
Kiev is nice, you can relax and have a beer without being hassled. Stand up to the police and they will leave you alone, do not pay them.
I am an African and i am about to go to Ukraine in 3 days! I can already imagine the disasters i am going to face. This is traumatizing!
It will be okay dude. If you are out at night, just be with your friends. Otherwise, simply get to where you need quickly. It may be more expensive and less convenient in a hotel, but you will mostly be safe. And not everything has to do with race. You could be targeted because you have cash on you. Remember, you simply cannot label an entire culture because of a few knuckleheads.
That’s what racists did to us. Let us not judge others in the same light.
O my God! All you write is terrible! But I am Ukrainian and don’t see so much trouble, not more than in any other country. Don’t drink so much to loose your brain, don’t hang nights in the shady places, taxi with taximeter and with whores is the situation same as in YOUR country. Will you find a good girl? She, as a rule, doesn’t meet you in the street (maybe in university, library, office, but not in the nightclub, or pub).
I have visited Ukraine four times. Though I am Caucasian and of EU status, I have been once treated badly by Ukrainians but on the whole the people are very helpful and bar a few horrible taxi drivers very honest. One young lady ran after me to hand in the right change as she overcharged me! Such is their honesty. I am much in love with my girlfriend who has been very honest and upstanding despite difficult times!
Andrew!! I am from Kiev! About the Shooters club!! You are wrong about it. It is not only for whites. This club belongs to Turkish people and there are many people not from Ukraine!
I was planning on travelling to Ukraine for Euro 2012. I’m now having serious reservations as my best mate is black.
I find it amazing that "face control" exists anywhere in the world.
It’s a shame. I was really looking forward to it. There is no doubt about it, Ukrainian girls are beautiful. I agree there are many beautiful girls everywhere. But there is something about that accent and green eyes.
After reading a lot of peoples ‘reports’ on here I would never visit Kiev or the Ukraine,had I not already visited many times & know the vast bulk of these to be false or more likely exaggerated.
I have stayed at various hotels & lived in various apartments amongst the local population & been perfectly fine.
Police-personally never had an issue having been stopped twice,once as a passenger in a car that was clearly speeding & the other for being more than mildly tipsy walking home without my passport(the only time I never carried it & the only time I was stopped). The Police neither fined me nor assaulted me,just checked me for drugs then I was immediately released.
Skinheads? Never seen one here.
Racism? I have encountered some racism notably when myself & an Indian friend were not allowed into several nightclubs(& I believe Shooters was one of them) because we were ‘drunk’ when we weren’t. It was evidently because of his skin colour. However he himself had been in the city working for 6 months & this was only the second time it had occurred so it is not endemic although it was very annoying & humiliating,particularly for him. And disconcerting. Also was walking with a girl when she stopped & started pointing & laughing at some passers by saying ‘Ch-ee-na’ then making slanty eye impressions when clearly I failed top see what there was to be excited about. I realised that the people were Chinese but she was the only one on the very busy street doing it & she was from a provincial town where there were no/few ethnics so I assume it was just the novelty of it for her. I would also add that when Nik & I were playing pool with the locals in the bar none of them were bothered by his skin colour so again I think it is just a few uneducated people. It is also worth noting that a lot of people come to work in Kiev from the country & I was informed more than once that these people are the issue. Your average main city dweller is accustomed to seeing different ethnicities.
Stray dogs? Yes there are but dangerous? I have never witnessed this either on or near Khreschatik or in the crappy areas around the beaches in Odessa in the evening or on early morning runs. They wanna avoid you & get an easy meal.
Taxis-they are trying to make a quick buck,they know foreigners are naive about the ways of the city & are really no different to taxi drivers in many big cities. Arrange the fare BEFORE you get into the cab,not at the end of the journey & if you are with a local get them to arrange the price & then laugh at the look on the drivers face when you begin speaking in English AFTER the fare has been agreed.
From my experience, which is not exhaustive but is certainly accomplished, Kiev is a beautiful city. It is full of history,culture,wonderful food & yes,beautiful women, although if you think the ones in Kiev are great you should visit Odessa! The women are not only beautiful & stylish & sexy,but if you look past the hookers in the hotel bars & clubs trying to hook any western man for marriage,you will find women who are loving, loyal, faithful, womanly & fantastic partners & mothers who think & fight for the traditional family unit which is what they seek. The reason why a lot of women seek foreign men is not money, it is because they respect & value women more than Ukrainian men do, many of whom see women as an extra ‘household appliance’,nothing more. I have come across several ex-pats who live & work in the Ukraine on local wages but the women want someone to love them & to love.
The food is wonderful,I loved it. The culture & the language is great,bother to make the effort to speak some Russian & the people will warm to you,as people always do when foreigners try to learn their language & be polite.
The Ukrainian way is to often remain impassive(which is why so many foreigners stand out) & you will see it on the street as the locals do not smile. However Ukrainians are a very friendly folk,warm,hearty & happy once you make the effort. They like foreigners coming to their country & usually want you to like it & them & their culture.
In short I love the Ukraine,have walked up some dodgy places alone at night & never been mugged or harassed. The food,culture & architecture is wonderful. I adore the Russian language & if you go for the women (I do not mean the sex industry here) you will find that the greater majority are genuine although there are snakes in every society who will rob you & deceive you.
If you visit, make the effort & I am sure you will enjoy it as I have & I enjoyed it so much I am taking my son to visit very soon. I would not do this if I perceived the place to be more dangerous than any other city I have visited.
Summed it up beautifully Mark. I have also visited Kiev on 3 separate occasions and Odessa. I agree with everything you have written. People, DO NOT be put off visiting the Ukraine, it is the same with all foreign travel, just act normal and the Ukraine people will be fine. I have found it to be a wonderful experience on each time I have been there.
Thank you for your supportive comments. Humanity exists in such a nation. I have a lady friend with contacts in Kiev and Karkhiv. I am going for three months and would like to take my car as l have so much to share with my new friends. I am a writer and need to travel to the Carpathians for research and interest. Any suggestions would be welcome. I would like to go from mid May until September. I have a small private income of $1,000 a month which will have to suffice.
I had visited Kiev in 2010. Like other Western cities there is an amount of racism latent in Kiev also. Have seen mugging instances a couple of time. Some nightclubs have face control which disallow African & Asian visitors. The girls are supposed to be the most beautiful ones. However they also turn to be racist when you are of Asian or African background and approach them. They prefer rich American or European grooms rather than Asians. You see the same with all hookers from Ukraine who have flooded the UAE cities.
That is not true. I have met wonderful women in Ukraine and had relationships, the whole nine.
The problem with Ukraine is that the bar is set very low in the first place. Before you even begin to consider racism, you should understand that Ukrainians are thoroughly unpleasant to each other. No social mobility, huge wealth gap, rising costs, and a huge security apparatus: there really ain’t much to smile about. No-one from a western European country would tolerate the life that a Ukrainian has.
More fool to those sex tourists that go there simply for the women. As an intelligent individual posted earlier on, there are beautiful girls in every city of the world. It is the social rejects of the West that need to flash their EU passport and income in what is a developing country, that rave so much about Ukraine.
Without doubt Ukraine is an even more thoroughly unpleasant place for any non-white person – but this is not a problem if you don’t go there. If it’s girls you are after, get a female friend and ask her to tell you in all honesty why you are unable to get a girlfriend back home. Then act on it: go to the gym, read more, take up interesting hobbies, develop your career, take baths regularly – whatever it takes to rejoin society at home. Jumping on a plane and risking your life to buy a bride is not the solution to your problem. And understand this: Western divorce law and privileges are extended to Ukrainian nationals. If you bring one home and she gets approached by a guy that is richer than you / better looking than you, once her spouse visa is confirmed she will be gone in a flash.
Final point: the Russian government is openly racist and their stated aim of minimising racial mixing as they see it as posing a threat to the ‘white race’. They cite western Europe as a case study of what happens when you have racial mixing (apparently, we have something to learn from them). They see this concern as valid and are happy to state the steps they take to protect the ‘white race’ – namely sending African and middle Eastern asylum seekers out to Siberia and keeping them in complete isolation. Ukraine wants to join the EU and understands that this kind of talk cannot be permitted for an EU applicant, so they play dumb about the racial attacks that happen frequently across Kiev and Ukraine, and maintain that there are no incidents of racism. Remove the veneer, and you are still dealing with a modern day neo-Nazi administration.
My advice, let them keep their girls (many of which are chargeable by the hour) and STAY AWAY!
Just wanted to add something on the stray dogs: I’m an expat living in Kiev and I often bike around Kiev and several times I had stray dogs trying to snap at my heels. That happened even close to Kreshatik. I think if you walk slowly they ignore you. Once near a beach down at the river I saw a pack of dogs going through a rubbish bin. Even locals felt uneasy then and tried not to provoke them.
What a nonsense! I live for 5 years in Bila Tserkva and go regularly to Kiev. Yes, been stopped by the police, but out of standard control. Never had to pay and never had issues. In my town live black people, indian people, asians. I am myself asian looking. I do not speak the language well, but if you are friendly to people and do not show off, everything will be ok. Skinheads? Don’t see them. See young people with short hair, but they are no skinheads. Of course, from drunken youth I get sometimes remarks, like "look! a Chinese".
But, like I care. They are drunk. I don’t trouble them, they do not trouble me. Had a few times issue with drunk men. Talk to them normally and they are as you and I. They do not hang out to frighten the foreigner. They do not understand you and find you then a prick. Maybe a lot of (coloured) foreigners should behave normally, instead of being pricks.
That is why you are beaten up, not because of racism. Ukraine knows foreigners and coloured people since soviet times. People from Cuba, Angola, Vietnam, Cambodja came a lot here. So it is more about your behaviour, than that people are racists. And about Ukrainian girls, they are loyal to you, if you treat them good. I became jobless and without money for already 4 years, because of the world crisis. My Ukrainian wife does still love me and stick with me through my bad times. She loves me, because I treat her very well.
See a Western woman doing that. They will immediately abandon you.
So to any foreigner I would say, come here for the country, the culture and the gastronomic culture. Only to meet girls, you ask for trouble. You will meet people who will cheat you, rob you or just after your money. Just come here and have a good time. Make a talk with people on the street and the beautiful girl, that is worth it, will come by itself. Local girls here want nice, good treating husbands. Money is not the issue here. But they do not want to be treated like whores. They are normally nice girls, who like to be treated well, something a lot of men in generally do not any more, especially local men.They are classically raised and learned to keep a man to marry to have a family and a husband for life. Further people here are intelligent and if you act dumb, of course you get ripped off.
I’m a Canadian who spent a month last summer in Kyiv and absolutely loved my time there. I made many new friends, saw many interesting sites and cannot wait to return in 2011. By the way, the most beautiful women in the world are in Kyiv and if you are a well dressed, friendly, knowledgeable westerner it is not difficult to meet a nice woman there 🙂
I’m about to visit Ukraine in 24 days. I am a pretty dark guy and after reading these blogs I think I will cancel my trip. I’m not really afraid because I am a professional boxer and feel that I can handle my own – unless someone shoots me, but I hate racism and unwarranted confrontation. I think I will visit Jamaica instead!!
James VILLIERS, everyone will have a different experience in Ukraine. You cannot compare your trip to another foreigner’s trip. Just because you received grade "A" service doesn’t mean the next person will. Maybe they are not as attractive as you are.
He’s not attractive. Believe me. 🙂
It’s surprising that all the people of a darker persuasion have reported unfavorable experiences in the Ukraine. I can understand some locals not appreciating this fact and want to paint a nicer picture of their homeland. I was planning to travel to Ukraine as it looks like a beautiful country. However, it seems apparent that they are somewhat behind in their tolerances to foreigners, especially dark skinned ones. I do hope things change there. I hate going to places where I stick out like an pink elephant and feel insecure.
I forgot to add earlier that during my last visit to the city of Kiev they were even singing the Spanish song " besame, besame mucho " on Kreshatik. It seems to be popular there. I also heard it in a restaurant. I found it interesting. The song is actually Mexican in origin. I am a different Spanish. I married a very sincere and nice Ukrainian girl. I am happy to report that she is happy with me here in the States. She is going to school and working. If you are single and honest you can find your girl too.
Yes, I have seen my friend from Africa suffer severe and apparent racism. As a caucasian, I didnt. So the articles here about racism are absolutely TRUE. I understand Ukrainians who are downplaying it. And for the dark foreigners who say, there isnt any racism.Guys, you were lucky so far! And I hope you continue to be lucky.
Ukrainians are ignorant in this regard and biased. Otherwise I find them very hospitable and cordial. A lot has to do with exposure to other races. N word is still legal in this part, they just seem to ignore that world has changed for better since 1960s.
Comparison of crime in Ukraine and New York is bizzare.
Girls, are good here as there are in most countries of the world. They are more open to foreign partners and relocation due to economical factor. Somebody wrote about Bradd Pitt looks on this page, I’m afraid that wont help much. They have their own Bradd Pitts in every village. What they need is a life with social security and proserity.
There was also a figure, claiming 80% girls in Kiev are not from Kiev. I have something similar to tell. About the same percentage about 80 or even may be 90% of expats that I meet in this region, looking for brides are generally a loser in life. They were at some point not well accepted by their own society, so they run to other societies where just being a man and having a passport of EU or America in itself is a very big qualification. All those who are successful in states or in the EU are sought after guys in their own countries. Why would they come here for wives? They usually have no time. And most of the rich guys think a Easter European bride is for a looser. With which I dont agree, but that’s the perception.
So I urge everybody, not to adopt perception as truth. Accept reality and enjoy the life.
Kiev is beautiful. People are friendly and mostly helpful. Its an advantage if you have a Ukrainian friend along with you when you go around the city. I came to Ukraine three times and really spent good time going around the country (of course I had trouble with police and all but hey who doesn’t?). Oh and, I’m a dark skinned Indian and I got attacked too (hit/punch/kick) during my last visit to Kiev, right in the center of city when I was walking down Kreschatik from Independence Square.
One must be extra careful when they hit the road. My advice – when you sense trouble – VANISH – RUN – disappear but don’t be standing there trying to analyse the situation. Skinheads know you’re a foreigner and you can’t do jack and they can attack you and walk free. Oh and don’t expect passersby to rescue you.
I’m a bit skeptical about my next visit but I miss my love so much that the incident seems unimportant. If you crave for something just go for it Nike style.
Hey Venky, I am also an Indian planning to visit in a month to Kyiv, I read your tips and your incidents which occurred. Somewhat sounds scary just getting attacked in the middle of the street. Any other tips would be great if you could share. Where to stay where might be safe to hang out. I am not worried about the police.. But what I am reading about these skinheads. I want to go out to the clubs and bars to so i can have a look. I would be visiting my girlfriend she would be with me throughout the trip. Any advise would be helpful thanks
Please Hunter. I am also Indian. Tell me where I can get a visa for Ukraine.
The Ukrainian embassy in India might be a good place to start.
I am a New Yorker, like David above. I am also Hispanic. I went to the Ukraine TWO times in 2009. It is a beautiful city. I like it and like in any other city in the world you have to use logic to stay safe. I stayed at the Rus Hotel. It was a very nice hotel. No problems there. The breakfast was abundant, great and tasty. The beds were not that soft to tell you the truth. I went out may be only once at night. I took a chance because someone close to the hotel tried to play that little " wallet on the floor scam " on me. I did not stop and I simply kept on walking. The best time to go out is during the day, especially if you are not from there. It is just plain logic. You don’t go out at night in places that you are not familiar with or where people can immediately sense you as a foreigner. I made friends with people. I made friends with some girls. One of them travelled to meet me and I am happy to say that she was so sincere in her heart that we got married a few months ago. I invited her to New York and the second time around we got married here in the " Big Apple " as they call it. I am different from her and she is different from me, only physically. It is the heart that speaks. We are similar inside and this is why we chose each other. In summary, don’t judge a country by the acts of one or two immoral characters. It can be disgusting yes, but there are beautiful people too in every country and I am not talking about looks. Avoid danger by using logic. Most people in the Ukraine are awesome and friendly. I agree with someone who says here that our language can make them confused. Remember also that this country is trying to survive economically because of the great world depression that we all have to live through recently so whether you go to Kiev or Spain or Germany there might be risks because people are trying to survive, but it does not mean that everyone is bad or evil. I am happy with my girl and I will remain loyal to her and help her for the rest of my life. She says she will be the same with me too. Take care everyone.
I`m a citizen of suburb of Kiev. As a Ukrainian I can say that most of us are friendly and polite. There are some racists in Kiev, but there are not many of them and usually they are not aggressive. You can be at a bigger danger in some American or European cities than in Kiev. Big streets and the subway are always safe places till the late night.
Of course if you want to find problems you will do it. But if you want to find good friends or meet beautiful girls you will do it too.
I have been to Kiev three times. The city is very old and interesting. So many things to see and even still, I haven’t seen everything I’d like to.
However, I must say that if I didn’t have friends in Kiev, it would be tough to do everything I’d like to do when visiting. There is an undercurrent of racism in the city for sure. I wasn’t mindlessly assaulted or anything strange like that, but saw quite a lot of violence in my most recent trip in 2010 (the previous trips showed no sign of such activity).
I would like to chalk this up to the economic downturn, which hits a country like Ukraine much harder than western countries because of the fragility of their economy and government.
I will say the people I do know and love in Kiev are some of the most loyal friends I have ever made. If you should ever get the chance to meet people and develop relationships there, it will be to your advantage.
I would just like to alert you about racism at Shooters Club in Kiev, Ukraine. On Sunday 3 days ago, I and my friend Nauman went to Shooters alone at around 11 pm to try and get into the club’s restaurant. This was the night of a big Halloween party. We were not allowed in. The bouncer told us that the restaurant was full. He asked us if we had a reservation and we said no, because we did not. But since this was the night of a big Halloween party, it is plausible that the restaurant was indeed full. Note however that I am of South Indian descent (dark skin) and my friend Nauman is also of South Asian descent (dark skin though not as dark as mine – somewhat Middle Eastern looking). We are both in our 30s.
But then, today (Wednesday), we had a repeat experience. This time, I called in the afternoon and made a reservation at the Shooters restaurant under my name Andrew Rajkumar, for 11 pm, for four people – me, my friend Nauman and two Ukrainian girls (white, also young). We went to the restaurant around 11 pm – we were all quite well dressed. The bouncer was the same as the one on Sunday. We told him that we had made a reservation, but he told us that the place is full.
I immediately called the restaurant using my cellphone. I told them that we were standing outside, and we had a reservation, and they should let us in. I was told that the reservation means nothing if we do not get past "face control". I asked to speak to a manager or supervisor, but I was told that none is available, that the bouncer is the only person I can speak to.
Note that Shooters is supposed to be a night where expatriates go often, and from what I understand Wednesday night is an especially good night for foreigners to go. I suppose this is only for white or light-skinned expatriates, since there can be no other explanation for us not being allowed in except racism.
I experienced what you experienced first hand. Try not to let it get you down mate, there are nicer friendlier countries to visit that welcomes tourists no matter what you look like, where you are from etc.
I saw some comments hailing Ukraine as friendly and not racist. Its OK if you’re white and from America or Europe. Otherwise its a hell for you. Don’t go there if you’re not white.
I have been to Kiev for a long business trip (I’m from Bucharest) and never had any problem. No skinheads, no mafia, no police harassment. Stray dogs do exist, but fewer then reported (at least in the area where I stayed). The city is beautiful, especially in the spring and autumn. But the best part are the women, really beautiful. Prices are ok for a large European capital. I really don’t understand those who claim they were racially abused or whatever. Maybe they were living on the moon or something and they can’t cope with the human society. I can’t find another explanation.
Quote: “I really don’t understand those who claim they were racially abused.”
You must have a low IQ. Or maybe the Nile ain’t just a river in Egypt. If you understand English read the experiences of those who posted about being assaulted, subjected to ethnic slurs, or turned away from a club/restaurant. Visible minorities frequently experience some sort of harassment when in Russia or Ukraine.
Those of us who are Asians (South Asian in my case) frequently steer clear of this part of the world for that very reason. As an Asian American I feel safe traveling all over the US. The places I avoid here are the ones all tourists shun including white Caucasians.
I’m a software engineer who has to travel overseas frequently for projects so I can clearly state that the kind of crap that goes on in Russia/Ukraine is not normal. The biggest benefit in my line of work is being able to check out museums and admire the urban architecture if I have time before leaving a country. On an irrelevant side-note, I feel bad for what Ukrainians are going through and hope they find peace soon.
When I was in Kiev I loved it and I didn’t see much racism. Well there is racism everywhere, but the main thing you have to show them is that you`re not scared. I lived all my life with criminals therefore I’m used to that. Don`t let them scare you.
Be careful about people who come to you and show you a large packet of money. It is a scenario . After that someone will come and will blame you that you have picked his lost money. Then some other will come and ask you to show him your money. They will try to pick your money before your eyes and escape. Tolstoho Ploshad is the most dangerous place for this sot of crime!
I have been to Kiev (two times – each time lasting a month) back in February and August 2009. It is a beautiful city to visit. The language barrier would present a problem to the single traveller like me, however I was not afraid. What I was afraid of was the groups of wild dogs roaming around in the city. I could see them from my 14th floor room at the Rus which was a very nice hotel. Their breakfast was delicious and abundant. You should not go outside at night by yourself though if you are travelling by yourself. I heard about the wallet scam and while I was on my way to the hotel (at night time, my mistake) someone threw a wallet close to my feet. I quickly walked faster and faster towards the hotel and did not look back. Whoever did it must have been sitting in one of those cars that you see parked all the time on the sidewalk. They were probably just watching who they would pick on. Carry a bunch of bills on you in your back pocket and some change if someone really means to attack you. Do not resist. Just give them all your bills (make them in small denominations). I was afraid because in my pouch I was carrying my money and my passport with credit cards and other identifications. It would have been a real problem to lose them. In the hotel they offer you a safe, but you never know either. So, it is a problem. Hide your documents in your shoes I guess if you need to be outside. The dogs I noticed come out late at night. The city is charming. I ended up marrying a very nice and decent girl from there. Amazing. I am happy. In general if you are honest with yourself you will attract honest people. Just remember that.
The wallet scam can happen anywhere there in Kiev, especially where foreign tourists congregate such as hotels, restaurants, etc. So just don’t pay attention when they play that little trick on you. Just keep walking and always know who is around you. Don’t carry so much cash on you. Carry several bills in your front and back pockets just in case they come and attack you. Do not resist. Just give it to them. Use logic. Don’t go out by yourself especially at night unless you are in a group. Groups are better. It is only logical. Do not drink and walk all by yourself. You will only get into trouble. Practice logic my friends.
I’m British and I lived and worked in central Kiev for a whole year. In that time I didn’t see one bit of trouble or ever get stopped by the police. Everything is cheap and the people are friendly, the women do see you as more attractive because of your western wealth. But hey would your girl in England or the US be with you if you were jobless and had no cash?
I’ve been here for the past 7 years. Kiev is beautiful and great. But there are some flaws in security. The biggest risk is of getting thrashed if you meet some drunk fellows. Racism is here but has decreased to an extent. I encountered it when some fellows were trying to provoke me by telling me to go back to my motherland.
But if you are calm enough and careful this will avoid the problem in most cases.
The police are corrupt, but where are they not? But here its openly seen. In 2003 they used to harass you even for a 35 cent hot-dog!
But if you know the language here it will save you. So, good luck for your next trip
I’ve been here in Kiev so long and I’ve never seen anything like some of you said. The thing is that men here are so masculine and tough.That’s why so many people think they’re racists but they’re not. In fact they’re very very friendly and kind.They just don’t understand your language and that makes them confused. This place is heaven and i don’t believe any of this stuff happened to you.
I visited Kyiv and Bucha in October 2019.
It was refreshing to see men act like men, and women like women without people confused about what gender they are.
What?! First the skinheads, then the gypsies, then cars driving on the streets! Who else you going to pick on? The Americans are the biggest annoyance in Kiev as they constantly remind you that no corner of the world is untouched. And there are more racists on this site I think than in Ukraine! I have never seen any of the problems listed above and I go there once a month. I drive, I stay in apartments, I go out to all the bars and clubs. I get stopped and ‘play the game’ with the police half a dozen times for each visit. You can drive on the walkways. It is for parking or taking shortcuts. The dogs are actually very friendly (why pick on the dogs?) and the gypsies too actually if you are friendly to them! It is NORMAL. It is Ukraine! Love it or leave it.
I don’t hate Ukraine or the people living there. I was beaten ruthlessly even though I begged for mercy but it seems this attribute is not taught in their families. It’s a no go area for blacks.
When I went to Ukraine, I was very friendly, courteous and respectful of the fact I was a visitor.
The people I met had all sorts of questions about America, and they were all huge fans of President Trump.
I spent my 10 days there talking to locals, immersing myself in the culture. I came away wishing the USA had many traits found in Ukrainian people, the parenting in particular.
The children were all fit, intelligent, very friendly, and were much healthier than the average American child.
I plan on returning. Ukraine felt like a home away from home. Maybe it’s the fact that some of my ancestors come from there.
Racists and Skin-heads in Kiev? I don’t think so. I was there in November 2009 and I felt safe and welcome. I rode the trains, the buses and taxis. Everyone treated me very nice. If you want to go to a nice place where people welcome you, you go to Kiev. Don’t believe all that "racist" BS. I’m Hispanic and the people loved it when I spoke Spanish.
Exactly! I got completely turned around on the way to the airport, and a native who worked at the university guided me o the Metro.
If you know even the most primitive Russian or Ukrainian, are friendly and good at charades, you will have a great time.
The Ukrainian people are wonderful!
What a nightmare. I was racially abused from the moment I saw the immigration guy to the moment I left. Everyone in Kyiv is a racist – be very careful. Travelling in the Metro is a terrifying affair, gangs of youths threaten you and I was pushed towards a train on a platform by a skinhead and narrowly missed the train. This place is awful – never again.
Very, very dodgy city. Not recommended to go out at nights. Lads are very aggressive when they drink and most of women, despite of being beautiful, are hookers. The city is beautiful though.
Indeed most of the young ladies are hookers.
I am Iranian origin but have lived all my life in Europe and the United States I have been many times in Kiev and never felt someone was not kind to me. I have been in most night clubs and had young girls with me in restaurants and walked with them on streets, even late at night. I never felt that people were staring at me or had some bad thing happen to me.
I live in eastern Ukraine and have never had any problems apart from the jolly old gendarmes trying to hit me for bribes for imaginary motoring infringements. I now take a hard line on that and insist that they take me to the police station, which normally does the trick of being released without paying.
Kiev is a nightmare to drive around or through as there are few road signs, even for major destinations such as the airport or main routes. The traffic is generally moving so fast that one does not have the time to hesitate or look around to find ones way.
Whilst Ukrainians don’t show many visible signs of being friendly, they are in fact very hospitable and very helpful, especially if you have a problem such as a car breakdown or puncture.
Well, I hope these racists will pay a good price some day!
Skinheads in the Ukraine? You’ve got the wrong country bud. I’ve been all over the Ukraine during my 14 visits there and have NEVER seen a skinhead. Yes, most Ukrainians might be racist against non-Caucasians, but Americans are usually welcomed everywhere as they bring income into the country. I’ve never been mugged, robbed or ripped off by anyone. If you are looking for skinheads, go to England and Germany, I have only seen them there.
And as a Caucasian yourself you feel that you are able to speak on behalf of every ethnicity in Ukraine? Just because you haven’t seen a skinhead, which obviously wouldn’t be noticeable nor an issue for a Caucasian, it doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. If you were more enlightened you’d know that many right wing people have taken example from the Russian skinheads regarding torturing, robbing, killing, assaulting and foreigners.
Stopped by a cop at the entrance to my apartment building and asked for documents. Pulled out a drivers license. Officer explained I would need to come with him as I need a passport to which I provided him with a bribe and he said "Spasibo" and let me on my way!
Kiev? Unfriendly, menacing, dangerous. I’ve never visited another city in which I’ve been made to feel so unwelcome. The locals see Western visitors as an exploitable resource. Was massively ripped off in a hotel bar – was charged for $500 bottle of champagne which was never ordered and never even seen at table. When I questioned this, was surrounded by a crowd of security guards and forced to pay – despite protests. Extortion, threats, robbery and intimidation – all within one of biggest hotels in Kiev. Will never return!
I’m an American who has lived and worked in Kiev. Like any big city, one has to be aware of his/her surroundings. My first impression (as a New Yorker) was that everything is dangerous. Street lighting is inadequate by western standards and the entrances to many older apartment buildings face the poorly-lit rear of the building–an ideal spot for a mugging. But you get used to this with time. The most dangerous things a foreigner can do is get really drunk and to ride in ordinary cars instead of in licensed taxis (a common practice for locals). Also ATM theft is risky–don’t use them if possible. Other than that, just keep your wits about you, don’t flash lots of cash and you’ll be as safe as in any other big city.
I have just got back from a trip to Kiev and I experienced racism from police, officials and hotel staff. I also was spit at and pushed on the Metro and streets of Kiev. If you look dark do not go to Ukraine. They are racist.
Racism against foreigners by skinheads and harassment by police is the biggest problem for foreigners in Ukraine.
Gypsies are an absolute nightmare at the main train station. Watch your bags very carefully here.
Cars driving on the pavement seems to be an increasing problem. The main offenders are usually the drivers of expensive cars who think that the pavement is an extra lane that has been created especially for rich people.
That’s generally what pavement is for, driving on.
Stray dogs are also a bit a problem in Kiev. They tend to roam around in packs and are most noticeable around some of the Metro stations in the suburbs. I’ve generally found that if you completely ignore them, they’ll leave you alone too.
Hi, I went to Kiev for a month and experienced or witnessed many of the problems that I have read on this web page and unfortunately it’s because there is a large ignorant population that live in the Ukraine, compounded with the fact that most of the police are corrupt. I have traveled extensively in Europe and this has got to be one of the worst countries in Europe for exhibiting the ugliest things human nature has to offer on such a large scale. Someone needs to get into power and remove the idiots from the streets, the racists, the drunks, the morons and get people more educated. Bring the country into the 21st Century and only then will the country have a real opportunity of moving forward and out of the dark ages. What a shame!
I don’t believe you were ever there.
Ukraine is acclaimed for having the best education system in Europe. The vast majority of the population speak Russian, Ukrainian and English.
Everyone I met was clean, friendly, well spoken and very civilized.
I was there for 10 days and had an absolutely wonderful time.!