Travel tips to European Countries: UK

Travel tips to European Countries: UK

About the county

The United Kingdom also called as England or Great Britain is the country which once ruled nearly the entire world a century ago. The glory might have been lost but people are still proud of their country and heritage. It has come a long way from a colonial empire to a member of the EU. The country comprises mainly of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The country is full of scenic locales and energetic cities. Also the county is home to nearly two million heritage points. The capital city of UK is London. A city beyond comparison, representing itself as an icon of diversity with people from different races, creeds and all walks of life blended into its culture. It is also home to many architectural marvels and one of them is the London Bridge. While York and Durham manifests the bygone era of country, Liverpool and Newcastle are modern industrial marvels. Not to forget the scenic Lake District and Edinburg still attract people from all over the world.

Population & Languages

The population is around 61 million and the official language is English. Other regional languages spoke are Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, and Irish etc.

Electricity

The voltage is 230-240 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The type of plug used is rectangular blade.

Geographic Location

It is located in Western Europe and consists of islands including the northern one-sixth of the Ireland. It is 22 miles from the France border and linked by a under sea tunnel. The terrain is mostly rolling lowlands and low mountains.

Climate

It has a moderate climate but lots of rain with around half of the years being overcast. The lowest temperatures never go below −15 °C (5 °F) and in summer the average maximum is 34 °C (93.2 °F). It also gets snow in winter and early spring.

Local Customs

The handshake is customary when you are meeting somebody for the first time. When visiting someone’s house a small gift like flowers or chocolates is customary. Waiting till everyone is served before eating is also one of the etiquettes. Tipping is usually 10-15% in hotels, restaurants and taxis. Smoking and non-smoking areas are clearly designated and thus should be taken care of.

Places to see

London – Buckingham Palace, Hampton Court Palace, Kensington Palace, Whitehall Palace and the Tower of London
Scotland - The Bannockburn Heritage Centre and Ben Lawers Mountains
Wales - Aberdulais Falls, King Arthur's Labyrinth, Dolaucothi Gold Mines, Great Orme Mines, Portmeirion Village, Rhossili Visitor Centre, Taff Valley Activity Centre and TechinQuest

Travel

By Air – The domestic airlines is British Airways which also connects almost all major world destinations. Almost all airlines connect UK through London which is hub for all international flights between east to west and west to east. Heathrow and Gatwick are international airports of London.

By Sea – Since UK is surrounded by water from almost all sides it has many ports. There are many ferry services operating between Europe and UK.

By Rail – Trains connect Ferries at Dover, Folkestone, Newhaven, Portsmouth and Weymouth, sailing for Belgium, France, Germany and Spain (you need to board at Victoria Station in London); and at Harwich, sailing for Germany, The Netherlands and Scandinavia (you need to board at Liverpool Street). Eurostar train connects London with Brussels and Paris through channel tunnel.

By Road – The vehicles can enter UK through channel tunnel. Cars and motorcycles, coaches, minibuses, caravans, campervans and other vehicles over 1.85m (6.07ft) can also use channel tunnel. Bicycles are also provided for.

Duty Free Items
1. Up to 3200 cigarettes
2. 400 cigarillos or 200 cigars
3. 1 liter spirit over 22% or 2 liter wine or 32 liter beer
4. Perfumes
5. Gifts up to ₤145

Prohibited Items
Narcotics, firearms, ammunition, weapons, most meat and dairy products, eggs, plants, endangered species, fireworks and alcoholic beverages that contain more than sixty per cent alcohol.



Travel tips to European Countries: Ukraine

About the county

Ukraine which is located in Eastern Europe is one of the largest country in that region of Europe bordering Russia in the northeast, Belarus in the north, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary in the west, Romania and Moldova in the southwest and also Black Sea and Sea of Azov in the south. It is a popular tourist destination especially for tourists from Western Europe and North America. The main selling point is the rich historical character of the country with as many five hundred cities dating back as early as nine hundred years. Visitors are spellbound by the architectural beauty of Ukraine. Kiev is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine where most travelers begin their journey.

Population & Languages

Ukraine has a population of roughly 46.7 million and the official language is Ukrainian. The other languages spoken here are Russian, Romanian, Polish and Hungarian.

Electricity

Voltage - 220 volts, Frequency - 50Hz. Standard European Round pin attachment plug

Geographic Location

Ukraine is located in Eastern Europe bordering Russia in the northeast, Belarus in the north, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary in the west, Romania and Moldova in the southwest and also Black Sea and Sea of Azov in the south. The strategic location of Ukraine between Asia and Europe made it a transportation hub in the region.

Local Customs

Ukrainians are warm hearted and welcoming people. Casual dressing is mostly worn here though it will be a good idea to wear smartly for theatres. Small gifts are appreciated. Tipping is not very common; service is usually included in fine restaurants and hotel bills.

Places to see
St Sophia Cathedral – As old as nine centuries, it is one of the architectural marvels of Ukraine.
Kiev-Pechersk Lavra (Caves Monastery) – These caves are as old as one millennium and dating back to 11th century.
Great Patriotic War Museum
Statue of the Motherland, Kiev 

Travel

By Air – The national airline of Ukraine is Ukrainian International Airlines. In collaboration with Aer Fi Group and Austrian Airline it links Kyiv to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Rome, Rotterdam, Vienna and Zurich. There is one more airline in Ukraine called Air Ukraine which serves relatively less number of European cities. Lviv is also connected to New York, Warsaw and Washington. It is connected to Turkey through Simferopol and to UK through IvanoFrankivsk. The major airport is Boryspil State International Airport (KBP) which is located twenty five miles from Kiev.

By Sea – The primary ports of Ukraine are Izmail and Odessa which are situated on the River Danube. The ferry services connect Ukraine with Russia and Georgia. They also connect various cities on the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. Sevastopol is the port which connects Istanbul, Turkey. 

By Rail – Ukraine has approximately 14,000 miles of railway tracks linking most towns and cities. Kyiv and Lviv are the main stations which connect with Moscow on a daily basis. Ukraine also has direct lines to Berlin (Germany), Budapest (Hungary), Warsaw (Poland) and Bucharest (Romania).

By Road – Ukraine has an extensive network of roads with approximately 107,000 mile of road network out of which nearly 18,000 mile is main or national roads. 

Duty Free Items
1. Up to 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 gm tobacco
2. 1 liter spirit over 22% or 2 liter wine or 32 liter beer
3. Goods for personal use with a combined value of €200

Prohibited Items
Narcotics, firearms, ammunition, weapons, most meat and dairy products, eggs, plants, endangered species, fireworks and alcoholic beverages that contain more than sixty per cent alcohol.

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