Caution! This site is meant for people, who have never been in the CIS countries. Others please skip it, or at least do not laugh at the following councils :)

While transcribing Ukrainian words, letters in bold indicate stress.

Traffic rules
In Lviv there are none in force. You shouldn't pay any attention to road signs or traffic lights, because nobody does it. To survive, you should predict, when and from which direction other road users would attack.
It's a little better in other cities.

Public transport
It's based on state-owned streetcars and trolley buses, and private marshrutkas.
Routes of all means of transport are placed here.
In most cities, in streetcars and trolley buses tickets are sold by a lady, who approaches all passengers consecutively. In 2008 ticket-stamping machines were introduced in Lviv. Tickets are sold by the driver. Ticket price: 1,00 UAH (0,12 USD) [2009].
In the marshrutkas tickets are sold by the driver or (more seldom) by a lady sitting next to him. Ticket price: 1,75 UAH (0,22 USD) [2009].
When you want to buy one ticket using 2 UAH note (or change), it's enough to hand the money to the driver. In any other case you should specify the amount of tickets you want to buy, pronouncing appropriate numeral (odyn, dva, try, chotyry, pyat', shist', sim, visim, devyat', desyat'...).
Caution! In marshrutkas "tickets" are only a theoretical concept. You don't get any confirmation of paying the fare.
If you got on using rear door or you don't have money in hand while getting on, you should pass it to the driver through other passengers, at best by nudging them and saying "peredayte na (put an appropriate numeral here)".
To get off, you should yell to the driver: "zupynit', bud' laska". Caution! The marshrutkas theoretically have appointed stops, in practice, depending on the place, time of day, and driver's mood, the reaction to the above-mentioned yelling may be either stopping at the nearest stop, or stopping "on the spot".
If the vehicle stands still in a place, where there's no stop (like a traffic jam), you may try to get off by yelling "vidkryite, bud' laska". It's likely, that you will succeed, unless the place is prospekt Svobody (Freedom Ave.), where, out of a mysterious reason, most of the drivers abide by the rule that forbids to open the door out of a stop.
If you want to get off using rear door, you should yell "vidkryite zadni". Caution! Newer vehicles are equipped with "stop on demand" buttons (sometimes they even have a description). You may try to use them :)
Getting inside the vehicle far from the door with a large luggage may result in an impossibility to get off on desired stop.
To elbow you way through other people to get off (or in any other circumstances), you should utter the spell "dozvolte proyty".
There's no public transport operating at night.
When taking a taxi, you should ask for the price before you get in the car.

The language
You shouldn't speak Russian, because, depending on the strength of nationalistic feelings of the encountered person:

  • you may be scolded,
  • you may be ignored,
  • if you get an answer, it will be in Ukrainian anyway.
    You shouldn't speak English, because chances of encountering someone speaking this language at a level that would make communication possible are close to zero.
    You may try to use Polish if you can.

    It's best to exchange money not earlier, than in Przemyśl. The bureaux de change are located near the railway station, on both northern and southern sides.
    In Lviv, it's best to exchange money on prospekt Svobody. The usual rule is: the farther from the Opera House, the better exchange rate.

    Useful links

  • Suputnyk (copy of a site that doesn't exist anymore)
  • English-Ukrainian phrase book
  • Lviv Online Facebook Facebook
  • Visit Lviv