All financial transactions in Ukraine can only be settled in the national currency – the hryvnia. One hryvnia (UAH) =100 kopiykas. The coins of 1, 2, 5 kopiykas are made of white alloy, while 10, 25 and 50 kopiyka coins, as well as 1 and 2 hryvnia coins are of yellow alloy.
The notes of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 hryvnias are currently in circulation. The obverse side of each note features portraits of famous historic personalities of Ukraine and the inscription of the National Bank of Ukraine, whilst the reverse side features historic monuments of architecture of Ukraine. Denominations are printed on the both sides of the notes both using figures and spelled out. The design of the notes includes ornaments, rosaces, arrays and ribbons produced by means of chromatic printing. Portraits, signatures and individual decorative elements are produced by means of baserelief printing. Special banknote paper in which watermarks are incorporated during the paper forming process is used. It also has visible threads, located chaotically on the both sides of the note, as well as invisible threads which could be identified only in ultra-violet rays.
There are numerous currency exchange desks in Kharkiv, especially in the downtown area. Most of them trade in USD, Euro and Russian roubles. The exchange rate may differ slightly at different currency exchange desks, thus it might be worth finding a better exchange rate instead of exchanging your money at the first desk you run into.
It is better to exchange currency at day time, as many desks close in the late afternoon.
One should know that after a currency exchange transaction is completed, a cashier must issue a receipt.
Never use services of private dealers.
Payment via pay cards is not widely spread in Kharkiv: in most cheap restaurants and shops only cash will be accepted. Usually there is a special note on the door or cashdesk of a shop or hotel indicating which payment cards are accepted.
There are quite many ATM machines in the city (they are located in major shopping centres, supermarkets, some underground station and even out of doors), but it is highly recommended to have a small amount of cash, just to be on the save side.
Tips in Kharkiv are quite similar to those in Europe and are about 10 per- cent of the amount on the receipt. In some restaurants tips are included on the receipt.
The names of the streets and numbers of houses in Kharkiv, like in many cities of the world, are indicated on special street name signs adjusted on the walls of buildings. These signs were produced at different times and, thus, look differently. In the new neighbourhoods of the city, numbers of houses are written in large figures right on the walls of the blocks of flats. Not only numerals, but also letters are used to identify houses (i.e., 28a), the numbers of blocs (i.e. 28, Pushkinska St., bloc 1). As a rule, houses with even numbers are situated along the right-hand side of the street, whilst houses with uneven numbers — along the left-hand side.
Medicines can be bought in pharmacies which are numerous in all neighbourhoods of the city. One should bear in mind that not all of them work on a 24-hour basis (if a pharmacy is closed, the location of a nearby all-night pharmacy will be displayed in the pharmacy window). Besides, there are prescription only medicines which can be sold by a pharmacist only if prescribed by a doctor.
Specialists working in pharmacies are highly skilled and can always advise you on choosing this or that medication. Information on the medicine availability in the pharmacies of the city can be obtained by telephone: 1567 (Mon-Fri — 8am-5pm)
At present there are seven- and sixdigit telephone numbers in Kharkiv. Telephone connection services are charged according to a fixed time rate. The rates for intercity and international calls are lower on holidays and daysoff, as well as on week-days after 6pm.
Public payphones are located near underground stations, shops or just independently in the streets. The new payphones are dark blue, but in the suburbs one can also run into the old ones of silver colour. In order to use a phone like that, you will need a telephone card which can be purchased at any post office, in big shops, newsagents and in a few stalls located in the underground passages. International calls and calls to mobile phones can be made from any public payphone of a new type. The area codes can be found in the ‘Kharkiv. Golden Pages’ Directory.
In Kharkiv, you can use a mobile phone of a GSM, CDMA or 3G standard. The Kyivstar, MTS, Life and Beeline mobile operators support the GSM 1900, 1800 and 900 standard, whilst People Net and Utel offer their services within the 3G standard.
If you come for a couple of days, it is more advantageous to use roaming. If you come for a longer period, it is better to use the services of local mobile operators.
You can send or receive an e-mail in any Internet-café of the city. Access to the Internet is available almost in all Kharkiv hotels.
Post service in Ukraine is provided by the UkrPoshta Company. In any post office, you can buy envelopes and marks, as well as postcards, newspapers and lottery tickets. Here you can also send a letter, a telegramme or a small parcel, make a photocopy, buy a telephone or an Internet card. Some post offices also offer a fax service.
Post marks are available only at post offices. The cost of sending a letter depends on its weight and the country of destination. The address on the envelope in arranged according to European standard. It takes 2–5 days for a letter to be delivered within the country, whilst the delivery to Europe takes up to 7–10 days.
The Central Post Office’s working hours are 8am–7pm. Post Office 52 in Pryvokzalna Square is open 8am to 8pm.
City post offices are open Monday till Saturday, usually 8am to 5pm. Sunday is a day off.
Offices of many international and Ukrainian courier services operate in Kharkiv. They deliver correspondence, flowers, parcels, as well as cargos and documents within Ukraine, the Commonwealth of Independent States and abroad.