Relocation to Kyiv: A Short Guide
What could be better in the world than traveling? Put your life in a small suitcase, grab your favorite gadgets and go on a long voyage, like a glorious uncle Magellan? It’s a good idea, but the quarantine has changed our plans a little.
We invite you to get a ticket for our cruise ship “Relocation to Kyiv: A Short Guide.” Passengers on board, our online sailing begins now. Full speed ahead!
First stop: How to choose your area in the vastness of Kyiv.
Kyiv is a fairly large and colorful city. It is located on both sides of the Dnipro River, dividing the city into the Right and Left Banks, which are completely different from each other.
The very heart of Kyiv is located on the Right Bank. Its attraction is in its beautiful sites, cultural monuments, and buildings breathing history. This is definitely the business center of the city. The Right Bank has many advantages. For example, if you are in business or with an embassy, you will be able to get to your workplace quickly and conveniently. In addition, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the urban aesthetics of old streets, like Reitarska, Volodymyrska, Sofiivska, and many others.
If you prefer to live in a quiet environment away from the hustle and bustle, then the Left Bank with its bedroom neighborhoods will suit your taste. Moreover, it is easy to get to Boryspil Airport from the Left Bank, which adds points. Living on the left side of river is cheaper than on the right, but getting to the center in your own car through traffic jams or in crowded public transportation is one of the major drawbacks. According to TomTom, Kyiv is 7th in the world traffic index.
Our own statistics confirm that expats feel much more comfortable on the Right Bank, so we will tell you more about it. In particular, we want to pay special attention to the very heart of Kyiv, which is so loved by people from abroad.
Our ship’s second stop is “How to find your accommodation in Kyiv.” Housing in Kyiv has always been in high demand. There is a large selection of different apartments and houses on the market. But how do you choose from the many?
To find your cozy home as quickly and easily as possible, you can use several basic rental services.
- Flatfly – A real estate search engine on the secondary market. Collects all relevant ads and has a user-friendly interface to view all offers in one place.
- OLX – A platform for placing ads not only in real estate. When looking for housing, you can often come across zakidukhas*.
- fn.ua – The only site in Ukraine for the sale and rental of all types of real estate, where all units are posted only with photographs.
- rieltor.com – A large database of real estate ads from a wide selection of realtors who have a personal rating.
- Vestor.Estate – A real estate agency specializing in the secondary real estate market in Kyiv’s historical center. Provides a full range of services and legal assistance during the process. Also offers a good selection of exclusive apartments.
If you are interested in any of the units on a site, you can call the number indicated in the ad and arrange a viewing. It is quite difficult to rent a house on a straight line and this is a rarity. In most cases, you will contact a real estate agency, where a broker can help you with further steps. Often, there is a commission for an agent’s services , but not if the property owner handles arrangements themself. So you can feel many advantages of cooperating with real estate agencies.
If everything fits together, you have to sign a contract (without a notary) with the owner for a period of one year. Most often you will be asked to make a payment for the first month and a deposit equal to it. And you have found your home!
*Always keep your eyes open for zakidukhas, there can be many on the market. These are fake ads for either a non-existent or already-rented apartment to grab your attention and entrap you as a client. So, it’s more reliable to contact a real estate agency.
The next stop on our trip is “Foodland.” If you consider yourself a real foodie, Kyiv will fully satisfy your desires. Our city has taken one of the leading positions on the global culinary map. Vegetarian, Chinese, Georgian, Mediterranean, and many other cuisines of the world can be found here. National Ukrainian food can pamper the most demanding customer. The majority of good cafes and restaurants are concentrated in the central part of the city. The streets are full of bright signs with unusual names and delicious dishes. Here is a selection of cool places for you.
- China.hi is a cozy Chinese restaurant on Ivana Franka Street. Taste their spicy dishes and feel the atmosphere of the streets of Beijing.
- Honey is a wonderful confectionery, where you can enjoy not only macarons and cakes, but also full meals.
- Papa Feta is a little bit of Greece on Honchara Street; it will delight you with its gyros and assorted appetizers.
- Pie Spot invites you to enjoy many types of pizza, as well as Asian and Mexican cuisine close to the Kyiv velodrome.
- Yaroslava is an old-style bakery with sweet and savory pastries and, of course, compote.
- 100 Rokiv Tomu Vpered offers modern Ukrainian cuisine that will expand your understanding of Ukrainian tastes and will undoubtedly surprise you. The chef of this restaurant Ievgen Klopotenko made it to the global list of young people shaping gastronomy “50 next”. So big event. Congratulations!
We must separately highlight the city’s coffee culture. Coffee houses occupy a special place on the map of Kyiv. The smell of rich coffee full of fruity notes will delight coffee lovers. In the old part of town, you can taste the most fragrant filter coffee, authentic cappuccino, and strong flat white. Here are our favorites Kyiv spots:
- Kashtan Cafe on Reitarska Street;
- 1900 Coffee Cafe on Honchara Street;
- Bez Dverey on Sitchovyh Striltsiv Street;
- Svit Kavy in Old Podil district.
You can taste something new every day, because Kyiv is developing rapidly and nice new places are constantly appearing.
Maybe you like private meals better? If you want to eat at home or in a park – and during the quarantine this is very important – get carry-out or use a delivery service. They are universal: they deliver not only food, but also other goods you need. Convenient apps will help you choose what you need. The top delivery services are:
Whether on a city restaurant voyage or while relaxing in our Kyiv apartment, we need to stock up on provisions. No wonder they say “A hungry belly has no ears.” So let’s buy some food!
You can easily find the main large supermarkets chains in the central districts. If you are a fan of selecting, smelling, and touching each product – grab a mask, you can buy everything you need from store shelves. Imported and local products coexist peacefully in any chain.
If you want to save time for other things, you can easily order delivery from any store. Choose your favorite supermarket yourself. Our selection below will help you with this.
- Novus – clean and nice;
- Silpo – cozy, colorful, and has a good assortment of local products;
- Auchan – large and always full of customers and lines;
- MegaMarket – nothing special but OK.
You can also always use the small grocery stalls or try something delicious from specialty shops.
In addition, there are several large markets in Kyiv that are attractive for their colors and variety of choice. You can always try a product before buying. And if you like to bargain, you should definitely go there!
- Zhitnyi market in Podil
- Volodyrmyrskyi market near Palats Ukraina
- Lukianivskyi market near the metro of the same name
If you prefer home parties or meals with family or friends, you can improve your chef’s skills with the best local products in your own kitchen.
After delicious restaurant dishes and homemade breakfasts, we sail on to the “Island of Sports.”
A large selection of sports clubs and gyms is available in most areas of Kyiv, and there is especially something to choose from in the center. Depending on your athletic and personal preferences, you can find the best place for physical activity. There are both small gyms and all-inclusive network sport complexes. During quarantine, you can choose online training of various types and stay in shape despite the global pandemic. Social networks have an array of information that will be useful to help you decide. The most popular sports clubs are:
Soon we will dock at the “Shores of pleasant leisure.”
Kyiv has many advantages not only for work and living but also for the great variety of how to spend your leisure time. Parks, museums, cultural and musical events, various festivals, and dynamic quests – all this actively gathered visitors and pleased them before the quarantine. During the pandemic, the opportunities for entertainment and interesting leisure offline have narrowed a bit, but there are still plenty of activities. Many online options have replaced the usual trips to theaters or cinemas. It’s become possible to feel like a visitor to the Viennese Opera, sitting in your favorite chair. Individual classes in pottery, drawing, singing, and dancing have not been lost. Fairs and various food festivals are often held in Kyiv, which are nice entertainment and a good meeting place for friends. No matter what, quarantine is not eternal.
The warm weather is gaining momentum, so walks in the park will be even more enjoyable. Especially in Kyiv’s beloved islands of nature:
- Mariinsky Park;
- Hrishko Botanical Garden;
- Peizazhna Alley;
- Shevchenko Park;
- Fomin Botanical Garden;
- Holosiivskyi Park.
Are you fond of theater? These theaters work in good times:
Do you like dynamic action movies or romantic comedies with a happy ending? Here are some cinemas:
Museums that help you get to know Kyiv better (in the off-quarantine period)
- Honchar Museum near Independence Square;
- Khanenko Museum near Shevchenko Park;
- Pirohovo Museum, located in the village of the same name;
- National Art Museum near Khreshchatyk.
You will be able to feel like a real potter and create your own dishes in pottery:
The motto of our Kyiv liner is “creating and enjoying life in spite of everything.”
So we go further, to the volcano of Kyiv public transportation.
The first thing you should know is that the cost of travel in public transportation is 8 hryvnia (30 cents). Not so long ago, the city authorities introduced the Kyiv Smart Card, which has become universal for travel on various types of public transportation. You will get some savings with this card, so it is more economical than buying one-time tickets. You can pay with a Kyiv Smart Card for a trip in the following:
- metro – warm in winter and cool in summer;
- tram – if you like noisy rides on metal seats;
- trolleybus – yellow horned beetles that have already become recognizable symbols of Kyiv;
- bus – quite fast and with soft seats;
- even the funicular – very quick, but always leaving good impressions.
Moving around the city is quite simple. Try downloading the Kyiv Digital app, where you can buy a QR-ticket and pay for a Kyiv Smart Card, parking, and fines; check the condition of your car if it’s been impounded; and find a guide to current events – it definitely saves your time and nerves.
If public transportation is not your thing, taxis will come to the rescue. There are several basic and quite similar services. Choose the one you like:
Since Kyiv picks up all modern trends, you can rent a bicycle, electric scooter, or even a car using a mobile apps. This is extremely convenient and allows you to move quickly without even having your own vehicle.
Did the quarantine begin to suggest thoughts of traveling to Ukraine? This picturesque country has something to see: from the stormy sea to the vast mountains, from the impenetrable forests to the endless steppes. To get to different parts of Ukraine, you can choose rail transportation or buses. Of course, the Ukrainian railway can be shocking at the first acquaintance, but there are a lot of new trains, in particular Intercity+, which is quite pleasing to passengers. Tickets can be purchased both on the website or in the app, and at the cash desk in the train station. Bus transportation is also reaching a new level. You can choose a luxury bus with all amenities on board.
Before our ship’s final stop, we offer you our short selection of the main useful services in Kyiv:
- OLX – online bulletin board where you will find literally everything;
- Kabanchik – a place where you can order any service, such as a plumber, builder, or even a babysitter;
- Tabletki.ua – online pharmacy where you can search, compare prices, and order medicines with delivery to your chosen pharmacy;
- Rabota.ua and Work.ua – the two main websites for finding a job or employee;
- Rozetka – the most popular online marketplace, it’s the Ukrainian Amazon.com, where you can buy everything, including food and drinks, books, building materials, gadgets, and more.
Our ship named “Relocation to Kyiv” has completed its voyage. We hope you already love Kyiv as much as we do. It is a city that warmly and emotionally welcomes its inhabitants. They will always help you on the street, and in coffee shops you will get some cute picture in the coffee foam. Kyiv offers many opportunities and fills you with new impressions. It is old and modern at the same time. After our little trip, we hope we were able to help you with the basic steps for relocation to Kyiv. If we can be useful in finding housing, complete the form below or check out the list of our exclusive apartments, which are made to meet expats’ wishes.