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Tips for Handling Money in Ukraine

25. August 2011 by Christy 0 Comments

When traveling to a foreign country, it always pays to be prepared. With this mind, here are a few tips on handling money in Ukraine.

 

Using Cash, Exchanging Currency

By far, cash is the easiest way to pay for goods and services in Ukraine. LonelyPlanet reports that U.S. dollars, Russian roubles, and the euro are the easiest currencies to exchange in Ukraine, while the British pound can be a bit of a headache unless you’re staying in Kiev or Crimea. Travelers can exchange currency at banks or exchange booths throughout the country, though rates vary by location. Please note that it’s extremely important to bring crisp, whole, unmarked bills to Ukraine as banks may refuse to exchange tattered bills or those issued before 1990. Even a creased bill might prompt extra checks for counterfeiting.

 

ATMs

Cash is the easiest way to pay for goods in Ukraine, and ATMs are the easiest way to access cash. Unless you’re in a very remote area, ATMs, or bankomats as they’re called in Ukraine, are easy find and easy to use. The ATMs recognize Cirrus, Plus, Visa, MasterCard/EuroCard and other global networks and can be found in airport terminals, hotel lobbies, post offices, banks, and even some pubs. Before leaving your home country, be sure to tell your bank that you’ll be traveling abroad or you won’t be able to access your funds. You may also want to ask about the fee your bank charges for taking out foreign currency.

 

Credit Cards

Though credit cards are accepted in many expensive restaurants, hotels, and boutiques, not all locations accept cards and it’s generally easier if customers use cash. Visa and MasterCard are commonly accepted in Ukraine, with some establishments also accepting American Express.

 

Using Travellers Cheques

Tourists should avoid using travellers cheques as it is difficult to find banks that will accept them. Not only that, but the exchange process is lengthy and involves a lot of tiresome paperwork. LonelyPlanet advises men and women who must use travellers cheques to take Thomas Cook, American Express, or Visa cheques in US dollars and look for cheque-friendly establishments at Raiffeisen Bank Aval or UKRExim Bank. Travelers should also expect to pay a 2% commission.

 

Good luck and happy travels!

 

Sources: LonelyPlanet, TryUkraine