Being a private guide in Kyiv does not mean just to spend a couple of hours on a walking tour. It’s a serious management job. One of the guide’s tasks is politely answering guest’s questions.
Not to turn myself into Info-point or Ms. Google, I decided to gather the most popular questions about Kyiv at one place. Something I can send to my guests even before they think about asking a question.
So here you go – from “is Kyiv safe” to “can I marry 2 girls in Kyiv”. Ain’t no joke.
Is it safe in Kyiv?
One of the top questions about Kyiv. I honestly love making fun of people by answering: “No” and giving them even more reasons why they should never visit Kyiv.
Since not everybody understands my sarcasm (thing i can’t imagine my life without), I will simply answer: “Yes, Kyiv is safe, as long as you are smart”.
If you need details, you can read my article “Is Kyiv safe?”
How to get from Kyiv airport to the city centre?
From Boryspil Airport to Kyiv:
- Bus 322. The bus can take you either to Central Railway Station (100 uah) or to Kharkivska Metro station (60 uah). Then you can either take a metro or taxi. Works 24/7.
- Uber. Keep in mind, that if you buy Ukrainian sim-card in the airport, you will have your data, which makes your life a bit easier. With local sim card, and Uber linked to it, you can pay for taxi either by card or by cash.
- Official taxi. There is the point right in front of arrivals gates, where you can arrange official taxi in Kyiv.
- Local taxi. If you speak some Ukrainian or Russian, you can call local taxi in Kyiv and order a cab. Some of the trusted ones are King Taxi and Elite Taxi.
- Kyiv Airport Pick Up. Awesome Kyiv provide all the guests who booked any of Awesome Kyiv Walking Tours with an opportunity to book an airport pick up in Kyiv.
From Zhuliany Airport to Kyiv
- Trolleybus #9. The trolleybus takes you from Zhuliany airport to Kyiv City Centre (the last stop is Ploshcha Lva Tolstogo (blue metro line stop)) Works till around midnight. The price is 8 UAH.
- Uber, taxi or airport pick up. Just the same as with Boryspil to Kyiv, but a bit cheaper.
Can I get visa on arrival in Kyiv airport?
Yes, you can get visa on arrival in Kyiv, however, it depends on your country of residence, so you need to check with your embassy first.
Getting visa on arrival in Kyiv is always more time consuming than getting visa to Ukraine beforehand. Some people spend in airport up to 6 and more hours. So I would really advise to get your visa to Ukraine in advance and save yourself from extra stress.
However, Ukraine is visa free for a lot of countries.
Where to stay in Kyiv?
There are numerous options for different budgets. However, there are some of the districts in Kyiv that are coller than others. Here I wrote about the best areas to stay in Kyiv, including hostels and hotels in Kyiv.
Airbnb in Kyiv is getting more and more popular, and it is definitely a way to go if you want to save money and still have your privacy. Search for apartments in the areas of Maidan, Zoloti Vorota, Universytet, Pechersk, Podil, and you will not be disappointed.
How many days do I need for Kyiv?
It really depends on what you want to see in Kyiv. You can cover a lot of things even during a full day, the question is: do you really want to run around Kyiv to do your bucket list?
I’d recommend spending at least 5 days here to explore hidden gems of Kyiv, its countryside and nightlife, including a plethora of cool bars in Kyiv. Prolong your stay in this awesome city and explore Kyiv like a local.
What are the secret places in Kyiv?
If you want to discover Kyiv secret places, I would recommend exploring the backyards of the main streets. You can find a lot of Kyiv street art, beautiful balconies and ruins right in the city centre.
You can always book Hidden Backyards Walking Tour in Kyiv and we will go to explore my city together.
Should I walk with my passport in Kyiv?
Many foreigners in Kyiv are thinking that they have to walk with their passport, to show it on request of police.
This is not true, otherwise Ukrainians would already get mad at this and start writing petitions to government (we really enjoy signing petitions). So simply leave your passport at your hotel in Kyiv/apartment and enjoy your walk without any worries.
Where can I exchange money in Kyiv?
- In the airport. With the exchange rates like heaven, obviously (not good kind of heaven). Exhcnage some money in Kyiv airport, to pay for your taxi or just to have money just in case.
- Withdraw from ATM. Sometimes there are some limits (some ATMs have limits like 3000 UAH per withdrawal etc). Also, there is a commission/per withdrawal, which means it is better to withdraw bigger amounts of money. You can try to find the banks that are partners of your country bank, which will lower the commission.
- Currency exchange offices in Kyiv. They are scattered all around the city, sometimes they even work 24/7.
- Banks in Kyiv. You can exchange money in Kyiv banks and get the best rates, however the exchange rat in Kyiv depends from bank to bank. Some of the Kyiv banks will demand your passport for exchanging money. Also, chances are, you will have to wait in lines in some of the most popular banks in Kyiv.
- Your hostel/hotel in Kyiv. You can exchange money in Kyiv at your accommodation. You can even ask your landlord to do it. In most cases, you can get your money echanged at a really good rate.
What’s the weather in Kyiv?
People ask me this questions so much, that sometimes I start to doubt if the weather forecast works for Kyiv. I do not know how strange it sounds, but it does!
We have 4 seasons here. You get really hot summers, cold snowy winters, London’s rains in autumn and blossoming spring. However, sometimes snow in Kyiv stays all the way till middle of April.
Summers here allow you to swim or sunbathe at numerous beaches in Kyiv. In winter you can even go for skiing in Kyiv or snowboarding to the resort called Protasiv Yar, located not far from the city centre.
Is Kyiv radioactive?
With so many people going on Chernobyl Tours I start to worry that we will soon become radioactive. However the radiation in Kyiv is pretty okay for living.
However, this August Kyiv will become really radioactive, because Imagine Dragons concert in Kyiv is really soon (consider it as one more reason to visit Kyiv).
Why people in Kyiv don’t smile?
If you think that grumpy Ukrainians will smile just because of politeness, think again. As it is said, you should deserve a smile of Ukrainians. Simply said, we smile honestly, and when we do, we really mean it. Other than that smiling is not in the culture.
Can I drink on the streets in Kyiv?
Officially – no, because you can be fined if police catch you. However, you know that Ukrainians are rebels. So do not be surprised if you see young people drinking wine on the riverside of Dnipro, on the hills and other romantic places of Kyiv.
If you see happy people (mostly older or middle-aged) men drinking their espresso from tiny espresso cups, there can be some burning stuff inside, bit hotter than coffeine.
Is it safe to ride a bike in Kyiv?
The infrastructure of Kyiv is not very bike-friendly, but the amount of people cycling in Kyiv is growing. You can even rent a bike in Kyiv, joing night rides or become e member of cycling community.
Locals still use a bike as a passtime rather than a way to get around.
Where can I find new friends in Kyiv?
Ukrainians do a lot of small talk: in the shops, in the metro etc. So if you are a master of that, you can show off your skills and maybe even make new friends in Kyiv.
The best way to meet new people in Kyiv is to join international events, such as Awesome Kyiv Meet Up or Habana Language Exchange.
Register at Internations to join a community of expats in Kyiv or join one of facebook Expats Grouos in Kyiv, such as Expats in Kiev or Kiev Expats – Old and New. You can ask your questions about Kyiv there, but look before you leap – the old members there are really great at making fun at dumb questions and use sarcasm as a powerful tool.
Where to buy souvenirs in Kyiv?
Again – everywhere. From underground passages to flea markets. You can go to shopping malls like Ocean Plaza or Gulliver, visit the stores of Ukrainian designers products, such as Vsi Svoi shop at Khreshchatyk street or try your bargaining skills while taking a stroll through Andriivsky Descent.
Where to dance in Kyiv?
If you are a beginner, I’d recommend you starting from your apartment in Kyiv, even better – your apartment in your home country. Or in a dancing school such as Dance My Way.
You can always dance salsa in Kyiv in such places as Buena Vista and Habana. The last one even offer events like «Meet and dance. language exchange” in Kyiv. Drop into Caribbean club for some cool concert or simply dancing night or visit Closer club – one of the top-20 clubs in Europe.
What are some coworkings in Kyiv?
If you are a hardworker and cannot stop working even while travelling, or in case you set up a company in Kyiv, but have not got office yet, then coworking in Kyiv is the right choice.
Where to listen to live music in Kyiv?
I was searching for the location “Everywhere” on GoogleMaps, but failed. So yes, everywhere, from Kyiv metro to streets of the city. From concerts in Palats Sportu, Olimpiysky Stadium etc to National Philarmonic of Ukraine.
If you want to create your own live music – go to karaoke. Most of them work till 6 in the morning and enable you to show your singing talents to the public (or embarass people – choose whatever you want). Mafia is the most popular local chain for karaoke in Kyiv.
Awesome Kyiv is organizing pub crawls on request, where we can combine visiting cool underground bars in Kyiv with live music bars and karaoke places (we even end up watching mesmerizing sunrise in Kyiv!)
Do people in Kyiv speak English?
In addition to being grumpy, we can piss you off by our level of English. That’s why sometimes people in Kyiv might seem unfriendly to you. But if someone did not show you the right direction, it can happen because a person simply does not speak English or feels shy about it.
However, with the growth of tourism in Kyiv, more and more people start to learn English. So we are waiting for you, because every next visitor is a motivation to learn more than “London is the capital of Great Britain”.
What language is more popular in Kyiv: Ukrainian or Russian?
Though Russian language used to prevail Ukrainian capital, more and more Ukrainians tend to speak the official language of a country, which is, of course, Ukrainian. This is the language of studying in schools and universities, the language of menu’s in restaurants and official establishments, and, finally one of top-5 most melodic languages in the world.
Ukrainians understand both Russian and Ukrainian language, and it is happen quite often, that the conversation is being held in two languages. Of course, everybody will be delighted if you learn some basics of Ukrainian, such as thank you (diaukuju), please (bud’ laska) or Hello (Dobry den’).
I used to make private Kyiv tours in English to Ukrainians, and tours in Ukrainian to….guests from Slovac (on their request, by the way).
How to use metro in Kyiv?
Metro in Kyiv is a reliable, fast and cool way of getting around. It’s literally cool, especially when it is 30+ degrees outside.
One ride cost 8 UAH. You either buy a plastic card, or a token. Different metro stations in Kyiv have different schedule, but generally metro in Kyiv starts working at 5:45 and the last time to enter is around 00:15.
Here is a full guide on how to use metro in Kyiv and stay awesome.
How can I go from Kyiv to other cities in Ukraine?
Ukraine is the biggest country in Europe, so walking is probably the wrong idea. Ukrainians tend to use trains and buses (quite often an alternative, if there is no train connection between the places).
You can search and book your train tickets from Kyiv to Lviv, Odessa and other destinations here (yes, there is English version there). You can also fly from Kyiv to Kharkiv, Odessa, Lviv and other bigger cities in Ukraine.
The other frequently used option to get from Kyiv to other places is using Bla Bla Car.
Can I marry two girls in Kyiv?
Blame it on the Internet, that I am answering this question here, but yes, this turns out to be one of the very popular questions about Kyiv.
The answer is No, you cannot, because officially you can be have just one wife or one husband in Ukraine. Though you can try, but if one of them finds out about the existence of the other, you’d better run to a country where it is allowed.
There is even a book, a film and a monument in Kyiv to a guy who tried to marry two girls at the same time. Because you simply can’t kill two birds with one stone.
Why are the trunk of trees in Kyiv painted in white?
The guests of my private tours in Kyiv really love asking this. They even have their guesses about that – from a decorational purpose to shining bright at nights to avoid car accidents.
The answer lies in Ukrainian history as being part of USSR. Back then, it was a must-do way of protecting the trees against insects. That’s why the trunks of the trees were simply painted in lime.
The young generation right now is really trying to fight against this ritual, as it is considered a leftover of soviet time.
I could keep writing this article forever. But at some point I should just post it, so that you get answers to most popular questions about Kyiv. I love interesting questions, so you can always ask more on my Awesome Kyiv Walking Tour – as awesome as you are!