Tips & Resources for Your Visit
If you can’t speak Ukrainian or Russian, don’t worry. You’ll find Ukrainians are very patient and helpful! And it will surprise you how many people in Yaremche understand English. Your best bet would be Ukrainians who are 16 to 30 years old. Many younger employees working in hotels or restaurants will have some level of English proficiency. Additionally, there are tourist companies with employees who speak English. Many restaurants will have English menus or pictures of the food. It may also be helpful to have Google translate downloaded onto your phone in Ukrainian just in case your communication falls through.
Carry cash. Ukraine is still a cash-based society, and even more so in its mountain villages. You’ll want cash to pay for transportation, food, and souvenirs. Credit cards may be accepted at larger hotels and restaurants, but bringing cash is strongly advised.
Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Any adventure is best in comfy clothes. A visit to Yaremche often involves walking or hiking on rugged terrain, so your footwear should be comfortable and durable. Be prepared for changing weather conditions. In colder months, a pair of cheap microspikes are a good investment to be prepared for icy surfaces.
In cafes and restaurants, ask waiters for bottled still or sparkling water. Some places offer filtered water for free, while in Kyiv, for example, there are public well-rooms with artesian water where you can fill your bottle. While in the Carpathians you can drink water from specially equipped natural springs. Unfiltered tap water is intended for washing or other domestic use.
Smoking and drinking alcoholic drinks in public places is officially banned. Public places include transport, bus stops, underground crossings, cultural, sports and governmental establishments, playgrounds, and parks.
English Guides and Tours
While you can navigate the Carpathians on your own, hiring an English-speaking local guide for a portion of your trip will add even more depth to your Carpathian Adventure. Much more than just acting as a translator, Carpathian guides act as cultural liaisons. If you’re considering hiring a guide, we recommend you reach out at least two weeks before your visit to ensure availability as well as to discuss your plans as they might have recommendations or specialties.
Two firms you may wish to contact are:
Karpaty Travel (tourism company)
Rate: $70.25 - $281 per day
Includes: Transportation, English Guide, Entrance Fees, Itinerary Planning (food & lodging not incl). Rates variable depending on group size. Discounted with more people.
Specialties: Mountain Trails
Rate: $7.25 - $9 per hour
Includes: English Translation (all other costs not included)
Private Tours (Ukrainian-Speaking)
You can book a seat on a private tour bus in Yaremche to access certain popular hiking trails such as Hoverla as well as to visit popular sites such as Bukovel, Pip Ivan, and the Pysanka Museum, Carpathian Waterfalls, interesting sights in Verkhovyna, and traditional Hutsul churches. Prices can be as low as $11 for a simple walking excursion around Yaremche, and start around $36 for more involved mountain excursions. Keep in mind, the tours will be in Ukrainian unless you hire English-speaking guides directly beforehand.
Two firms you may wish to contact are:
Address: вулиця Свободи,264, Яремче
GPS: 48°26’57.8”N 24°33’12.8”E
Address: вулиця Свободи, 210, Яремче
GPS: 48°27’23.0”N 24°33’34.2”E
Tel: +380687451749; +380950887342; +380638391406
Health & Safety
Overall, Ukraine is a safe country for travelers. Popular destinations in the country like the capital Kyiv, Lviv, and Carpathian towns and villages are safe and enjoyable. Troubled areas affected by the conflict with Russia are located in the southeast of the country, very far from the capital and much farther from Western Ukraine (over 600 miles east of Yaremche).
As a best practice when traveling (everywhere, not just Ukraine):
Carry your passport at all times for ID purposes
Keep your wallet and belongings close, particularly on public transport and in crowded spots
Store your valuables in the hostel lockers. Traveler-on traveler crime is a bigger issue than local-on-traveler crime.
Lock your compartment door on overnight trains
Don’t flash your cash or other valuable items
Avoid walking alone at night in poor-lit streets and parks
While the Ukrainian Carpathians are a very safe place, accidents can happen. Just in case, useful numbers and addresses are below. For an all purpose emergency line for English speakers, dial 112.
Yaremche City Hospital
Address: вулиця Олекси Довбуша, 5, Яремче
GPS: 48°27’01.2”N 24°33’04.5”E
Tel (Non Emergency): +380343422228
Tel (Ambulance Emergency): 103
Be sure to book travel insurance before arriving in Ukraine to cover the costs.
GPS: 48°27’23.6”N 24°33’40.0”E
Tel (Non Emergency): +380343422301
Tel (Fire Emergency): 101
Yaremche Police Station
Address: вулиця Руднєва, 13, Яремче
GPS: 48°27’10.2”N 24°33’30.3”E
Tel (Non Emergency): +380343422202
Tel Police Emergency): 102
Mountain Rescue Service
Tel: +380673420491 (Vorokhta, Zarosliak); +380673420494 (Yaremche);
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Ukrainian Mobile Networks
Ukraine has a wealth of options for cell networks. Make sure you have an unlocked mobile phone before leaving for Ukraine. If not, you may wish to buy an affordable burner phone after landing in Ukraine. You’ll be able to find SIM cards sold at kiosks around the airport and major grocery stores, but we recommend buying them directly from a mobile network’s brick-and-mortar location
Ukraine’s Top 3 Mobile Networks:
All offer SIM cards with competitive pricing with 4-week plans starting under $2. Data limits are quite generous relative to those in North America and even exempt certain popular apps from their data caps. Regardless, you’ll be hard pressed to find a plan over $13.
While coverage varies in rural areas, 3G and 4G speeds are available in Yaremche and surrounding villages. As a good rule of thumb, don’t plan on having coverage while hiking in the mountains. You may wish to download apps, such as Google Translate or AllTrails, in off-line mode to be on the safe side. Before leaving Ukraine, be sure to deactivate your SIM card either at a network's store or by dialing the number *100*93*3# .