Here’s how much a trip to Kyiv will cost you
Kyiv is a beautiful European capital with loads of historic places, for bright nights, cultural life, and tasty cuisine. However, we are leaving the description of the sights to the travel agencies. This article will focus on the financial side of your trip, instead.
- Flights. Naturally, the price of your flight depends on the point of departure, season, promotions, airline, and many more factors. The good news is that low-costers like Wizz Air, Ryanair, SkyUp, or Ernest Airlines do operate in the city of Kyiv. You can also check the Ukrainian International Airlines (UIA) website as it offers numerous flight options. The price range is really impressive. For instance, you can find tickets as cheap as €6 at Jetcost today. The Expedia search engine displays roundtrip offers starting from $155 to $592.
According to the resource cheapflights.co.uk, the cheapest month for flights to Kyiv is March, whereas the most expensive month is August. At the moment, Monday is the most economical day to take a flight to Kyiv. Tuesday is likely to be the most costly. Moreover, afternoon flights seem to be the cheapest, while flying in the early morning may be much pricier. Keeping that in mind, you may go ahead and make your choice.
You can also get to Kyiv by train or bus from many European countries.
- Transfer. Travelers booking flights to Kyiv may decide to fly into either Boryspil International Airport (KBP) or Kyiv International Airport (Zhulyany) (IEV). If you choose the first option, you will need an additional transfer from the airport to the city itself. There’s a convenient train service called Kyiv Boryspil Express that departs about every hour (more often at peak times). It costs UAH 80 (approximately €2.75 or $3).
The Sky Bus service will take you to Kyiv for UAH 60-100 (depending on your destination). Tickets can be bought directly from the bus driver using cash; at “KyiAvia” booking offices in terminals B and F; through payment terminals of PrivatBank and Bank24. A passenger can also book a seat online and pay for the ticket with their credit card. In this case, you’ll receive a Passenger Route Sheet via e-mail. You should print it and give it to the driver when boarding the bus.
You can also rent a car directly at the airport or take one of the taxis available. Official airport taxis with fixed prices for the services depart from terminal D’s first line. Payment for taxi use is effected upon arrival at the destination according to taximeter data. The cars are equipped with payment terminals for international credit/debit cards like Visa, MasterCard, or Maestro. Unofficial local taxi drivers may charge less, yet you have to be prepared to pay cash. You can also use Uber or Bolt (Taxify) apps to book a ride. The cost of the taxi may vary from UAH 200 to UAH 500.
- Getting around the city. Public transport in Kyiv is represented by metro, city train, buses, trams, trolleybuses, and the funicular. The cost for one ride at most transportation means is about UAH 8. Cash is accepted everywhere, while payment terminals are still quite a rarity. The most convenient option for cashless trips is the metro. Here you can use subway cards, bank cards, and mobile apps like Google Pay and Apple Pay, which allow you to pay directly at a yellow turnstile.
However, this year, city officials have introduced a new single electronic ticket to pay for travel on public transport called Kyiv Smart Card. You can buy a one-time QR ticket or a monthly pass. Activate the card by attaching it to the validator or turnstile, wait for the sound and text signal of the device – voila, your travel has been paid!
Smart Cards can be bought:
- at the offices of the Kyiv Metro stations: Khreshchatyk, Teatralna, Independence Square, Akedemmistechko, Lisova, Arsenal, Teremky, Vydubichi, Syrets, and Pochayna;
- in T-kiosks located close to public transport stops.
The card can be topped up:
- In the personal e-cabinet of the citizen of Kyiv;
- In the mobile application Kyiv Smart City;
- At the Kyiv Metro Ticket Office;
- Using self-service terminals iBox, EasyPay, 2click;
- Using KyivPayBot: in Telegram or on Facebook;
- Via KyivMetroBot: in Telegram or on Facebook;
- With the Portmone payment portal.
Since May 2019, there’s a possibility to add Kyiv Smart Card to your Apple Wallet. Hence, you can validate payment with your iPhone or Apple Watch. The same option for Android is expected.
Accommodation in Kyiv
For those travelers arriving in Kyiv for a while, Booking.com suggests both low-cost hostels UAH 85 – UAH 760 (separate room in a hostel) per person per night, and luxurious hotel suites. The latter may cost UAH 5800 – UAH 13000 ($225-505) a night. You can book a room or a bed without prepaying. Transactions mostly take place directly between the guest and the host. The majority of hotel chains accept credit cards and cash. Digital wallets may not always be a valid payment option.
If you prefer private apartments, Airbnb has various housing options ranging from $10 to $1000+ per night. The average price is $90. The payment is collected in full from guests after booking. Yet money is held by Airbnb for 24 hours after check-in. If you don’t like the housing and refuse to stay there, your money will be returned to your bank account.
In Kyiv, you’ll find restaurants and cafes for every taste. According to Numbeo.com, the current average cost for a meal in an inexpensive restaurant is approximately UAH 150. A three-course meal for 2 people at a mid-range restaurant will take about UAH 500 – UAH 800. A quick snack at fast-food facilities such as McDonald’s or KFC can be bought for around UAH 100. All in all, you can easily find a delicious meal for $4 – $23. It is best to avoid places that cater specifically to tourists. They are usually overpriced. The best way to choose a cozy budget dining place is to ask for locals’ advice. If you don’t know any, check the local reviews.
Exquisite dinner at a fine restaurant may cost you quite a lot. The price range of dishes at the best-rated Kyiv restaurants varies from UAH 155 to UAH 2,199 ($6 – $85). Therefore, a small meal for two may cost up to $200 – $300. Of course, it is all individual.
Usually, it’s not a problem to pay with your credit card. Some places also accept Apple Pay and Google Pay, but you’d better check beforehand.
Kyiv has something to offer to all kinds of tourists. Thankfully, entertainment here also has a reasonable pricing policy.
- As in every progressive European city, the nightlife in Kyiv is lively and vivid. At the same time, the costs of entrance and beverages are quite low compared to many European countries. The average bill is about $50 per person. The price for a drink at bars & pubs is around $1 – $2.5, while in nightclubs they’ll charge twice as much.
- For those who appreciate history and culture, the doors of numerous museums are open for as little as $0.5 – $2. Some extra fees may be charged for the assistance of an English-speaking guide, but the costs are also rather low. Theater and art performances will cost $3. You can find the tickets to the upcoming events in Kyiv here.
- Kyiv is often a host for music festivals such as Atlas Weekend, UPark Festival, Brave Factory, White Nights, Belive, etc. This autumn, it will also present an annual international classical music festival – Kyiv Music Fest, as well as Comic Con Ukraine, aimed at fans of comics, fantasy and cosplay, gamers, and all those who love pop culture.
The single ticket for all days of Atlas Weekend in 2020 will cost $74 plus $25 – $30 for those wishing to stay at the camping venue during the festival. A 3-day pass for UPark 2019 costs around $135 – $235.
- Guided excursions around the city are offered by many travel agencies. There are both walking and bus tours around the capital of Ukraine. The services of English-speaking guides are usually more expensive than those of Ukrainian/Russian speakers.
The tours are cheaper for larger groups. Thus, if you are a part of the group of 8-15 people, you’ll pay around EUR 15 for a 3-4-hour excursion. A personal guide for one tourist may charge up to EUR 120. Big groups of around 25-50 people may see all the Kyiv sights for EUR 5.
- A day-long excursion to Chernobyl is extremely popular among tourists after the popular HBO series. If you wish to see the Exclusion Chernobyl Zone, Pripyat-town, and the disaster’s power plant with your own eyes, get ready to pay at least $99. Some longer 2-3-days tours include the cost of lunch or staying at a hotel overnight. They may cost around $280 – 400. All tour packages include compulsory medical insurance. This excursion is usually not recommended for pregnant women and children under 18.
Some tourists may enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the Ghost town and Chernobyl Zone. Helicopter tours over Pripyat and Chernobyl take up to 2 hours and will cost around $435 per passenger in a group of three.