A women’s toilet (tualet) is marked with an upwards-facing triangle or ж (for zhinochy); men’s are marked with a downwards facing triangle, ч or м (for cholovichy or muzhcheny).

Call of Nature

Ukraine simply doesn't do public conveniences – one visit to a vile, stinky, clogged hole with foot markers on either side at a rural bus station will convince you of that. Toilets in cities are better, but sometimes not by much. A tree or bush is always preferable, where possible.

Where it’s not feasible to consult nature, you'll invariably have to pay. At pay toilets an attendant will demand 5uah and proffer an absurdly small amount of toilet paper in exchange. The toilets at newly renovated train stations are quite acceptable, if a bit smelly. Avoid free blue Portaloos, which often stand unemptied for days and can be categorically foul. Cafes and restaurants can often be touchy about noncustomers using their loos.

The bathrooms on the trains are another mucky subject. By the end of a journey, they are usually awash in liquid – but be consoled that it’s usually nothing but water that’s been splashed around from the tap.

Toilet paper in Ukraine is no longer so bad or so rare that you need to carry a major stash. That said, it’s a good idea to always keep a little on hand.