Ukraine has no visa regulation (tourist, business or for private visit) for Switzerland, Liechtenstein and for EU-countries. Swiss citizens need a visa only for a stay longer than 90 days, for entering Ukraine for work reasons or for study. The registration duty is fulfilled with the small little form you fill out at entrance. Please keep the second stub during your stay, at exit point you might be asked for. Visas can be obtained only from the Ukrainian diplomatic mission abroad. For further information you can contact the Embassy of Ukraine in Bern and visit the following website: www.ukremb.ch.
Methods of payment
Currency : Hryvnia UAH, was introduced in 1996. The strong currency policy has facilitated the stability of the Hryvnia, as the country smoothly moved to an openly floating exchange rate in 2000-2005. As the euro zone plays the most important role in Ukraine’s foreign trade structure, the UAH/EURO rate is being watched carefully. At the End of January 2006, the ex-change rate of Hryvnia against the US dollar was UAH 5.10 and against EURO it was UAH 6.2. Generally, over the last two years, the Hryvnia has been stable against the dollar but has declined against the EURO. Exchange rate for CHF hovers around 3.70. Visa, Master Card, American Express are accepted in major boutiques, hotels, restaurants and in some department stores. You might be asked for an identification document (passport). Credit card fraud is frequent, it is therefore recommended to use the credit card only in reputated establishments and to watch, as far as possible, how it is handled. Personal cheques are not favored. American Dollars and Euro are easily converted in many exchange offices located throughout the city. Other currencies such as Swiss Francs can be exchanged at major Ukrainian banks or some exchange stations, however at less favorable rates (it is therefore not recommended to bring Swiss Francs). You should never change money on the street by other people; there is usually little difference in rates and you will al-most surely be cheated.
The code to call Ukraine from outside is 0038. There are codes for each region. The caller dials the country code 0038, then the code for the region (for example 044 for Kyiv) and the phone number (seven digits for big cities or five digits for small cities and villages). For calls within Ukraine, dial the nine digit number for calls within the same area code. For long distance calls within Ukraine or calls to another mobile phone, you must dial 8 (fixed line: wait for the dialing tone), and then dial either the area code or the code of the mobile operator. For calls from Ukraine to a foreign country, you need to dial 8 (fixed line: wait for the dialing tone), followed by 10 (international access code), followed by the respective country code (e.g. for a call to Bern, dial 8 - 10 - 41 - 31....). The rate for calling Switzerland from Ukraine is 5.00 (1 USD) per minute. Mobil phones have special codes (8 050 for UMC, 8 067 for Kyiv Star, 8 039 for Golden Telecom). In essence do not be surprised upon returning home to find your mobile phone nicely inflated.
Area: 603,700 sq. km. Ukraine is located in Eastern Europe. It borders the Russian Federation to the east, Belarus to the north, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania to the west, and the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov to the south. Population: 46.96 millions, of which 77% are ethnic Ukrainians Regional Structure: Ukraine is a unitary state divided into 24 oblasts (regions), the Autonomous republic of Crimea and cities with a special status Kyiv and Sevastopol. Capital: Kyiv, with 2,62 Mio Principal cities: Kyiv, Donetzk, Zaporozhje, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Lviv, Odessa Natural resources: iron ore, coal, manganese, natural gas, oil, salt, sulfur, graphite, titanium, magnesium, kaolin, nickel, mercury, timber, and the famous black soil for agricultural products. Key economic sectors: metallurgy, machine building, oil and gas industry, agriculture, food processing, wood industry, construction, retail trade Religions: Orthodox
Business hours: Monday to Thursday 08:00 – 12:30 and 13:30 – 17:00, Friday 08:00 – 12:00
There are 9 days of public holidays around the year. Following holidays are timed on the Gregorian calendar:
1st of January
7th of January
April or May (date fluctuates)
1st and 2nd of May
9th of May
June (date fluctuates)
28th of June
Day of Independence
24th of August
If public holidays fall on a Saturday or Sunday, they are normally compensated with another day, which is fixed on relatively short notice. It is therefore advisable to check two or three weeks ahead of your planned visit for possible holidays! Government offices and banks are closed on Saturday and Sunday. But some private sector companies work on Saturday.
The regular business week in Ukraine is Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m/9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m./6:00 p.m., with an hour break for lunch. But in practically all local offices it is usually futile to call before 09.00, but then no problem until 18.00. Banks: Monday through Friday, 9:00 – 13:00 and 14:00 – 18:00, open for payment till 16:00/17:00). You will find bancomats at the streets, in big supermarkets, at banks and commercial centers, providing cash (UAH) 24 hours a day. Shops: usually, Monday through Saturday, 8:00/9:00 – 20:00/22:00 and on Sundays from 10:00/11:00 to 18:00/19:00. Many shops, however, in particular big department stores and shopping malls, are open longer hours, on Sundays and do not close for lunch-time.
Ukrainians must apply for a visa at the Swiss embassy in Kyiv. There are two international gateways, Zurich airport located at Kloten (15 min taxi and 6 min train ride to the center) and Geneva airport (20 min taxi and 10 min train ride to the center). There are no forms to be filled out. Be aware that Swiss customs officers are very strict on alcohol and cigarettes; 1 liter of spirits above 14% and 2 liters below 14% and 200 cigarettes per adult person respectively. There are only official taxis at curbside, the ride to the center costs around CHF 60.--.
Methods of payment
Currency: The Swiss Franc (CHF) with 100 Rappen (cents) to the Franc. The exchange rate (beginning of 2006) was EURO 1 equals Franc 1.55, USD 1 to 1.3 Franc. Visa, Master Card, American Express are accepted in all boutiques, hotels, restaurants and in all department stores. You might be asked for an identification document (passport). Personal cheques are not accepted. American Dollars and Euro are converted in all banks and in practically all hotels as well as in larger Railway Stations. Please observe banking hours from 09.00 to 16.30 in most cases. There are no exchange booths as in Ukraine.
The code to call Switzerland from outside is +41. There are codes for each region. The caller dials the country code +41, then the code for the region (for example 44 for Zurich) and the phone number (seven digits). Phone call to Switzerland, for instance +41 44 XXX XXXX for a Zurich number. For any calls within Switzerland, dial the nine digit number, like for a number in Bern 031 XXX XXXX, or to a mobile number 079 XXX XXXX. For calls from Switzerland to a foreign country, you need to dial the international country code (Ukraine +38, the regional code 044, then nine digit number.
The regular business week in Switzerland is Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m./6:00 p.m., with an hour break for lunch. As good habit, despite the early working time (many Swiss start at 07.00) do not call before 09.00 unless specifically asked for. Also for private calls (except to very very good friends) do not call private homes after 21.00. Banks: Monday through Friday, 9:00 – 16.30, without lunch break. You will find bancomats in big supermarkets, at banks and commercial centers, providing cash CHF or EURO 24 hours a day. Shops: usually, Monday through Saturday, 8:00/9:00 – latest 19.00, one day a week (usually Thursday) till 20.00. From Saturday 16.00/17.00 till Monday 09.00 all shops are closed (except shops in railway stations).
7.1 Millionen (UN, 2005)
Bern (+1 GMT)
15,940 sq miles
German, French, Italian, Rumantsch
76 years (men), 82 years (women) (UN)
1 Swiss Franc = 100 Rappen
Machinery and electronics, chemicals, precision instruments, watches
GNI per capita:
US $48,230 (World Bank, 2005)
International dialling code:
There are federal holidays, valid and observed country wide:
1st and 2nd of January
between 22nd of March and 25th of April
49 days after Easter
1st of Mai
Thursday, 39 days after Easter
1st of August
25th and 26th of December
There are cantonal and local holidays, based on either religious or custom habit. Like Zurich in Spring with "Sechseläuten" (burning the winter) and in September "Knabenschiessen" (boy’s shooting), or "escalade" in Geneva.