The average salary in Kyiv is about 15 000 UAH ($600 or €560) and Kyiv has been recently ranked as the cheapest capital in Europe. So does it make Kyiv a cheap city to visit and to live? The quick and easy answer is DEFINITELY YES! A more realistic one would rather be: it can be pretty cheap if you know how to look for things on a budget and don’t fall into tourists and foreigners traps. So let’s break things down.
in the center: 12 000 UAH ($500 or €450) monthly and 800 UAH ($33 or €30) per day
outside of center: 8000 UAH ($330 or €300) monthly and 600 UAH ($25 or €23) per day
in the center: 6 000 UAH ($250 or €230) monthly and 400 UAH ($16 or €14) per day
outside of center: 3000 UAH ($125 or €115) monthly and 300 UAH ($12 or €11) per day
Hotel room: 1200 UAH ($50 or €45)
Hostel bed: 300 UAH ($13 or €12)
The sad truth about flat hunting in Kyiv is that it is hard to find a nice place for a fair price as a foreigner. The landlords and flat owners tend to think that people from other countries are filthy rich and increase the rent up to 20 percent. The good news is that Facebook groups are full of decent English-speaking people offering their flats for rent. Mind that usually the rent doesn’t include utility bills and those can be pretty high in the cold season.
In terms of hotels, Kyiv has offers for all tastes and wallets. You will find here nice boutique hotels, luxury appartments and trendy hostels. If you are more into exotic experience, try out one of the old hotels from the soviet period, like Saliut or Dnipro. On Airbnb you can often get more for the same price but make sure you read up about the location. Checking the reviews before you book is not a bad idea neither as many places are not as well maintained as the pictures may imply.
The food in Ukraine is generally very tasty and much more bio than in most of the EU countries. There are many markets with local farm bio products that are open every day. The supermarkets are often open 24h and for 1000 UAH ($41 or €37) you can easily buy products for at least one week without limiting yourself.
When it comes to eating out, Kyiv has a lot to offer. The local restaurant scene is thriving and dozens of new restaurants pop up every month. The prices range from close to nothing to super expensive bills. Street food, coffee shops, fancy restaurants, kiosks, coworkings, food courts, fast foods, slow foods, revisited traditional restaurants, hipster concept whatever, cocktail bars, hidden bars, open bars – Kyiv HAS IT ALL and you’ll need one more life to try everything out. Mind that tips are usually not included in the bill and leaving 10% on top is probably the best thing to do.
Meal in an average restaurant: 200 UAH ($8 or €7)
Sandwich to go: 70 UAH ($2.9 or €2.6)
Bottle of water: 15 UAH ($0.6 or €0.5)
Bottle of beer: 40 UAH ($1.6 or €1.5)
Cappuccino: 35 UAH ($1.4 or €1.3)
Cigarettes pack: 45 UAH ($1.8 or €1.7)
One-way ticket for public transport: 8 UAH ($0.33 or €0.3)
Monthly pass: 400 UAH ($16.5 or €15) in average
Taxi: min 50 UAH ($2 or €1.9) and 7 UAH per km in average
Even though Kyiv is a very nice city to walk around, it’s pretty huge and located on hills, so even the most die-hard walkers will have to use public transports here. Good news: compared to most European cities it’s extremely cheap. Bad news: it’s pretty chaotic as well. The subway is open till midnight and we’ve heard some rumours that night busses do exist! There are almost no bike lanes and the cyclist should be really very careful on the roads as the drivers and pedestrians are not that used to sharing the streets with bikes. As for the taxis, the best option is to use Uber or it’s local version Uklon.
The city of Kyiv is huge and it offers you a wide range of different places to hang out. Check the public parks, Dnipro river banks, Exposition center or try out one (or all) of the Kyiv art galleries. The admission to them is often cheap or costs very little and it’ll give you an idea about the local (and extremely dynamic) art scene.
Don’t forget to check the Events section at SEE-KYIV – our hand-picked selection of the most exciting things happening in Kyiv, updated every two weeks. Finally, follow us on Instagram to get some more insights on interesting stuff to do.