Make your football journey safer!
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has issued travel advice for the week leading up to the big final, including a reminder of areas for which it advises against travel.
Fortunately, Kyiv (sometimes called Kiev) is not one of those areas, but if you’re planning to do some travelling while you’re over there, this is important to know.
NB: It’s illegal to enter Ukraine via a border that isn’t controlled by Ukrainian authorities – this includes those areas where the FCO advises against travel, i.e. Crimea, Luhansk, and Donetsk. But there are so many other amazing places to see in Ukraine, you really don’t need to go to the troubled zones.
If you’re flying in and out of Kyiv you don’t have to worry, but if you’re travelling by road or rail you should double-check your route to make sure you avoid problem areas and borders.
At The Match
We hope you’ve booked your tickets by now, which means you should know where you’re sitting and which entrance to use! Just in case you need to confirm, the FCO advises that Liverpool FC fans will be seated in:
- BLOCKS 37-55 ON THE LOWER LEVEL (north stands)
- BLOCKS 40-56 ON THE UPPER LEVEL (north stands)
- The best entrances to use are from Esplanadna and Saksahanskogo streets
- The nearest metro station (Olimpiyska) will be closed before and after the match. You can use other stations though, or walk from the city centre (30-40 minutes)
Buying tickets from unauthorised ticket touts is illegal. You may be asked to show your passport at the stadium to prove your identity so keep it safe - i.e. not in an open pocket.
- Don’t lose your passport! An emergency travel document will cost you £100
- Carry money, passport and valuables in a secure bag or moneybelt – pickpocketing is a danger here, just as it is at any crowded event.
- Large bags aren’t allowed though – the official limit is 20x25x45cm but rather use a smaller bag to avoid problems. Larger bags will have to be left in lockers near the stadium and will cause you an unwanted delay.
You’ll need to pay for drinks, snacks, etc. at the stadium in the local currency. According to the FCO, US$ and Euro are the easiest to exchange – do this well before the match, at banks and foreign exchange offices. Some places will exchange £ sterling, but none will take Northern Ireland or Scottish currency.
General Safety Measures
There are bound to be strict security checks, so you should get to airports, stations, and the stadium with plenty of time to spare. The stadium will open three hours before kick-off.
As with any big event, you should remember basic safety tips:
- Report any suspicious items or behaviour immediately
- Plan your entry and exit routes well in advance (and save a map/screenshot as mobile reception will probably be scarce with such a huge crowd.)
- Remain calm and follow instructions given by authorities – before, during, and after the match. There will probably be a wait to exit so sit back and relax; don’t be impatient.
- Be friendly and courteous to locals, even if you feel someone has been rude, and even if they insult your team. It’s not worth getting into an altercation.
- Refresh your knowledge of the “Run, Hide, Tell” advice in the unlikely event of an incident
- Make sure you have all the appropriate travel insurance* for your trip. Remember, you can’t use an EHIC card in Ukraine so you’d have to pay any medical expenses up front if you don’t have travel insurance.
The FCO strongly advises having appropriate travel insurance – even if you’re only going for one day.
As you’re no doubt aware, Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and while things have been relatively peaceful in the capital recently, you should be aware of possible tensions and avoid any demonstrations or other political gatherings.
The FCO also advises that there have been a few attacks on tourists in Kyiv which may have been racially motivated. Keep your eyes open and avoid anyone who may be looking for a fight.
Have Fun Responsibly
Please be a responsible supporter and don’t get carried away with the celebrations. Remember that it’s illegal to drink alcohol in public in Ukraine (except for in a bar or restaurant) and these rules are taken pretty seriously.
Smoking is also prohibited in public places – that includes the stadium, bus stops, stations, and other public spaces. Find a designated smoking area if you’re desperate!
Looking for more information? You can read the FCO’s full guide for visitors to the UEFA Champions League Final on their website.
*Please note that Safe Journey covers acts of terrorism and it’s a great top-up for extra peace of mind, but for general travel insurance (including medical, etc.) you can visit our sister site, www.onestop4.co.uk
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