If you're going to Ukraine for the first time I recommend you stay in centrally located 4* hotels which provide good security.
Don't stay in apartments, especially those arranged by marriage or dating agencies or those you are corresponding with.
When meeting your chosen lady or ladies, choose a restaurant or café either inside your hotel or close by. Don't let her choose the meeting venue.
Keep your wits about you especially when withdrawing money at ATM's. I have been approached several times during this process. Try not to use ATM's which are on the street but those inside banks or hotels where you are in a more secure environment.
If arriving to Ukraine by air, try to have your hotel arrange the airport transfer. This is far safer than negotiating with some random taxi guy at the airport. I've been accosted in the airport on several occasions.
I've never been robbed or assaulted so far because I'm two steps ahead of the curve.
If anyone needs any recommendations regarding good hotels especially in Kiev, Odessa or Kharkiv please don't hesitate to PM me. I'm here to help and offer my expertise.
Interesting responses here. As I said, I've been to Ukraine eight times, all since 2007. I was there last year, 2014. I have always been asked for my passport and nothing more. I was not asked where I was staying here, about money, proof of funds, medical insurance, nothing. As for taxi drivers who swarm at you at the airports, let them bid until you find one that sounds reasonable.
Don't take a taxi. Taxis in Europe are armed thieves.. Have your lady show you she is the real deal, use the bus to get the train station for <50 uah and let her call a taxi or find you the way to hotel or her place.
But if take the take don't put keep you luggage near you not in the trunk.
Manipulation is their # 1 and only way of making a living.
I had them bid at KBP,,,, and the fare came down a little. There were also a lot of drivers there,,,, swarm?? Mob!
I flew into ODS twice and Luhansk once,,,, and two of the times it was really late,,,,,, and they had the exact number of taxi drivers as passengers. I haggled the second time in Odesa and got a lower price.
If anyone needs a taxi service in Kyiv for airport pickup or a personal driver I highly recommend Anatoliy
He speaks English and is friendly. I personally can vouch for him. He's a good guy and I highly recommend using his service. He will be waiting there for you in the airport with your name on a card. It sure beats dealing with the taxi sharks at the airport.
You can also arrange with him a transfer to another city if that is where you need to go.
Tom wrote "As mentioned before try to have the hotel you are staying at arrange the taxi transfer."
Only IF you are a fool! spoken like a true tourist. The hotels charge more than the taxi drivers at the airport.
KBP has an officially registered taxi service now which is metered and regulated. Currently they are all in Hyundai Sonatas
which makes them easy to recognize. Its about $12 to the left bank and about $20 to the center of Kyiv.
better yet, as kaiserdag said, take the bus from the airport to the center of Kyiv(main train station) for $2
Tom also advocates for staying in overpriced hotels in which your feet hang over the edge of the bed and you cant roll over lest you fall out of bed.
There is absolutely NOTHING WRONG WITH STAYING IN AN APARTMENT. They have more amenities and a kitchen so you can make your own breakfast and can make
something day or night.
If you need an airport pickup from Kyiv or Odesa I can pick you up myself or have my driver do it and I wont rob you on the way.
TomZ only has experience as a tourist and can tell you where to go for a $100 introduction to a lady in which there is a very likely chance she is also an escort when
she isnt writing letters for the marriage agency
Yes, some hotels charge exorbitant fees for airport transfers. All you have to do is ask them first how much will it be then accept or reject their offer and if you are in Kyiv I highly recommend Anatoliy at the link above (and not Rick4Littlegirl)
Certainly there are advantages of staying in an apartment. There are disadvantages as well such as lack of security. I don't use hotels exclusively. I use both apartments and hotels depending on the situation. If you are visiting Ukraine for the first time I recommend you choose a central 4* hotel as it will in most cases provide you with all the services and amenities you require.
You certainly don't want to be stuck out in the suburbs in some dingy apartment where nothing is accessible and no one speaks your language.
One other reason I like staying in 4* hotels is I enjoy having the maids come in and clean up the room every day. I enjoy being able to order room service and not have to cook for myself. I enjoy going downstairs and ordering from the breakfast menu which is included in the room.
Prices for hotels and apartments are comparable now in Ukraine (check Booking.com). The choice is up you where you'd feel more comfortable staying. If you are short term 10-14 days I'd recommend staying in a good hotel. There are plenty of them in Kyiv as well as other cities.
wow, 3 whole months and still not lucky in love......
but really, all the usual obligatory trash talk aside, I will give you credit for the 3 months which is the average amount of time it takes to find a girl and cultivate a
good relationship organically, meaning finding a normal girl in the normal way and not through agencies. 3 months means you
have the dedication most wife seekers dont and have significantly increased the odds in your favor. Kudos
dcguy wrote: "Are there many panhandlers like those when you cross the Mexican border or on the Vegas strip?"
usually not at the airport although I have seen them at "B" terminal from time to time.
walking the street you will come across old ladies begging for money, some guys will bum a cigarette if they see you smoking as a way to see if you are
receptive to giving a couple bills.
in the parks, especially in Odesa and Kyiv you can often see one or small groups of kids playing an instrument and singing with an open case to collect money.
In these cases, I very often give some as you are getting something in return for your donation. Often street performers are quite talented.
In Kherson on pedestrian street there was an old gentleman, nearly blind, who used to always sing and had a beautiful voice. I havent seen him since fall and hope he didnt die
over winter. I stopped to talk to him some evenings and walked for awhile as he returned home on occasion. Super interesting guy who had some fascinating stories. Even though
I went nearly a year back in 2008 without seeing him he actually remembered me by name simply from my voice.
TomZ wrote "And I told you before I'm not seeking a wife. I'm seeking a girlfriend and I have one. Don't know if I'm going to marry this one."
At least your goals are more clearly defined and realistic than most who come to Ukraine thinking that they will find and meet a girl willing to marry them in a 7 to 10 day trip.
Although I would like to get married again one day, as you I am perfectly content with a girlfriend I can hang out with, do stuff with and find out if it leads to something
more in time. Im pretty sure that's how it is supposed to work everywhere in the non fantasy world.
"How would you know? Tell that to the girl in my hotel room."
Usually girls that go to hotels rooms are hookers!! generally....
I don't stay in Hotels in Ukraine, they are for those that need someone to hold their hand. For first timers, yea, I think it is better. IMO, Nothing beats an apt, they are not 'cookie cutter rooms' and have a full kitchen.....which I have always made my breakfast( reminds me of being home) and each apt has its own taste. Also possible to make a dinner if a girl cooks well. Tom, I am sure you just prefer hotels, to each their own!!!
" I have taken that bus and it's no picnic. You are sometimes waiting for up to an hour for it to load fully with passengers."
Tom, you do know that those sky buses have a scheduled departure throughout the day? There is a mid day break (2 hours?) where no buses run.
beemer18 my long time girlfriend? But that's not true at all. I've had plenty of normal girls who are not hookers come up with me to my hotel room and we get the hanky panky on...
As I mentioned I use both hotels and apartments. The best variant of that is what's known as an apart-hotel. It is a combination of a hotel room and an apartment. In other words it's a hotel room but it also has a full kitchen. Here's an example of one I stayed in Kyiv: