The currency of Ukraine is the hryvnia (usually shortened to UAH), which is subdivided into 100 kopiyok. As at 19/02/13 there are approx 11.7 UAH to the pound.
Kharkiv/Kharkov (I'm going to stick with Kharkov from now on as that seems to be the more used version) has an international airport. However, there are no direct flights there from the UK. Options are:
- fly from London to Kiev, and then catch a connection to Kharkov
- fly to Istanbul and from there to Kharkov
An alternative to flying from Kiev to Kharkov is to do the journey by bus or train. One advantage of the bus is that there's a service direct from Kiev airport to Kharkov. There are half a dozen services a day, and the journey time is 6-7 hours. The train service from Kiev to Kharkov is more frequent, but you've got to get from the airport into Kiev to be able to use it! The journey time and price varies greatly. The fastest service costs a lot more, but the cost on all services depends on the class of coach you're in. One option is to catch an overnight sleeper, thus saving on a hotel. Seat 61 has, amongst other things. links to sites where you can buy tickets for trains in the Ukraine.
Assuming that you arrive in Kharkov by air, the cheapest way to get from the airport to the centre is by public transport. You catch trolleybus number 5 from the airport, either getting off at Prospect Gagarina metro station or continuing through to the city centre. The fare is 3 UAH. If there's a group of you then you could instead do it by Marshrutka. If you decide to take a taxi it's strongly recommended that you agree the fare in advance. Even so it'll work out a lot more expensive than the alternatives.
Getting from Kiev to Kharkov by bus or train
Kharkov airport info
Kharkov has an excellent public transport system comprising a metro, trams, and buses. Fares are normally 2 UAH.
Kharkov transport guide
Places to stay
There are plenty of hotels and apartments in Kharkov, and some good deals to be had. I'm guessing that some of the hotels were opened especially for Euro 2012 as they aren't on Google Street View yet. You could actually rent an apartment right next to the ground, although I've no idea why anyone would want to. It's a horrible area - think Eastern Block, characterless apartment buildings surrounded by vast open spaces.
Where to drink
Logically there must be some traditional locals' bars, but if there are then I haven't come across any. The bars that do exist all seem to be western style pubs, or bars aimed primarily at foreign tourists, and all of them haven't been around long. Of the places I'm aware of, I'd suggest one of the following:
- Shato Slavootych on Freedom Square (brewery pub, handy for the metro to the ground)
- Pivobar on Frunze Street (less than 10 minutes' walk from Arkhitektora metro station)
There are two Pivobars in Kharkov. They have a extensive selection of beers, although I would stick to the local draught stuff. Put it this way, a 33cl bottle of Broon is 36 UAH, or you can get a litre of draught for the same 36 UAH. Click here here for their full menu of beers.
If you happen to decide to walk to the ground, then you may pass the Liverpool pub/restaurant on the way. It's about a 15 minute walk from the ground.
There are kiosks outside the ground that sell beer. Whether or not they'll be open and selling alcoholic beer (as opposed to non-alcoholic) is another matter.
The bars mentioned above, as well as several others, are marked on the map at the bottom of the page.
Metalist Stadium was renovated for the 2012 Euros. The capacity is just over 40,000 and the Toon fans are in section 30. The ground is a good mile and a half from the centre, or two miles from Freedom Square and the area where most of the bars are. In theory you can catch a red line metro from the centre to the ground, getting off at Sportyvna. However, there's a chance that the station may be closed before and after the game. A better bet could therefore be tram number 5. If you're coming from Freedom Square, then catch a green line metro to Metrobudivnykiv station.
Kharkov Euro 2012 site
Euro 2012 fan guide (downloadable pdf, very comprehensive)