Kiev is a wonderful place to live and explore! Kiev is a megapolis with all attributes and things you would expect from a megapolis.

The cost of living in Kiev

Kiev_night_the_river

Kiev is not an expensive city to live in comparing to London or New York for example. Most of the expenses attribute to rent if you decide to rent your own apartment. These expenses will be greatly reduced if you decide to share a rent with somebody else, for example with another teacher or your friend.

silpo_servicingFood is not expensive in Ukraine and is of much better quality. You can be pretty safe to say that you will be spending USD 150 or UAH 2000 per month, that including restaurants, take away food, desserts and the food of best quality from the supermarkets.

Transport is not expensive in Kiev. There are three types of transport in Kiev a) public transport such as metro, buses, trams and trolleys b) private transport turnicet_metrsuch as small buses called marshrutka which are extremely popular in Ukraine and Kiev in particular as they allow to get from any part of the city to any other part and c) taxi. The cost of public transport is: USD 0.25 for a subway and 0.15 for trolley/tram/bus. The cost of small bus or marshrutka is about USD 0.30.

You can also buy a monthly ticket for public transport or for any of its kind, for example for a subway. The cost of taxi differs but on the average you can drive half of the city for USD 6 and through the whole city for USD 10.

Clothes is a little bit expensive in Ukraine than you can find in Turkey or America for example so it is advisable to bring your favorite clothes with you so that you don’t miss your favorite things!

seeing_a_doctorHealth care is not expensive. A visit to a private doctor will range from USD 5 to 25. Visit to the dentist and tooth filling will range from USD 10 to 40. There is also a public healthcare and we advise our teachers on it.

You can add expenses on entertainment/sport club/yoga/skating ring or dancing lessons which will not exceed USD 150 per month and you will receive your cost of living in Ukraine.

Also, if you plan your vacation to the Crimea for example (the Black sea) you can start saving about USD 60 every month to cover your vacation in the Crimea at the Black sea in summer. Rent at the sea costs USD 10 – 20 a day depending on the season, whether it is peak or not, and the deal that offered.

The school organizes tours and/or recreation and will help to find accommodation or book the rent on vacation for a teacher.

Food in Ukraine

food_store4Food in Ukraine is not expensive and is much better in quality. There are food stores and supermarkets. The small food stores are almost at every corner. They sell mostly sausages, ham, cheese, bread, yogurt, milk, canned products such as corn, mushrooms and sometimes processed food for heating. Supermarkets sell all kind of food including live fish, meat, dairy products and exotic fruit. There are different supermarket chains with greater of lesser assortment. But there is at least one supermarket for every ten blocks. Interesting! According to the experience of other teachers even in the food stores or supermarkets such food as tomatoes, meat and bread tastes much better than in America for example. And much less expensive!

food_marketAnd also there are open markets which are very popular in Ukraine. In the open market the one can buy food from farmers at the price often less than in a supermarket. Open markets are very popular in Kiev. You can find one almost in any district. You can buy greens, vegetables, fruit, meat, milk and sour cream there from people who usually grow this stuff. Food in Ukraine is really good!

shopp_cent_The below are prices for food in general which are true both for the food stores, supermarkets and open markets

Here are some examples of prices for food in Ukraine and Kiev in particular

Red meat - USD 6 for a kg

Chicken meat – from USD 2 to USD 4 depending whether it is a fillet or thigh

Ketchup – less than USD 1 (of best brand and quality)

Porridge – ranging from USD 0.4 to 1.5 for a kg all sorts including buckwheat, oatmeal, millet and rice

Eggs – USD 1 for 10 eggs in summer time and about USD 1.2 in winter time  

Fresh carrot – USD 0.25

Fresh beat – USD 0.5

Cabbage – about 0.25 on sale and about USD 1.2 in winter time

Apples – USD 0.6 – USD 1 for a kg depending on the time of the year

Bread – USD 0.5 – USD 1 and up for a loaf depending on a kind of bread (there are all types of bread sold with raisings, seeds and other supplements)

papa_dzonAnd of course there are restaurants, fast food, cafés, pizza places and food stands in Kiev in plenty. There are a few very popular not expensive restaurants that sell national cuisine such as “Puzata Khata” or “Zdorovenki Buly”. You can buy a meal of three dishes there with the first meal, a garnish, dessert and a drink for about USD 10. Pizza is very popular in Ukraine and Kiev in particular. There are all sorts of restaurants that offer pizza and take away service. There are pizzerias that work round clock and deliver pizza to homes. Price for the pizza ranges from USD 8 to 20.

sushia2But even more than pizza Japanese food is popular in Ukraine. Sushi is a hit in Ukraine and in Kiev. You will find a sushi restaurant in any district or location in Kiev. Sushi are offered on delivery round the clock, as a take away, and there are even master classes organized by some of the restaurants teaching how to cook sushi. You will find all the ingredients in almost every supermarket needed to cook sushi at home. However, be cautious and beware buying ready sushi in the supermarket as they are known for causing poisoning as they are usually not fresh.

To sum up you can say that about USD 150 or UAH 1200 per month will be sufficient to spend for one person on food. And if you want to go to a restaurant every week or order takeaway meal that will be plus another about USD 120 or UAH 1000.

At most you can say that USD 250 or UAH 2000 will be enough to cover all your culinary needs for a month.

Will you need warm clothes in Kiev? (What is the weather like in Ukraine?)

Kiev_winter8To start with clothes is quite expensive in Ukraine and particularly in Kiev. So if you have a pair of jeans or a good winter coat it is better to bring it here with you. On the other hand, winter coat which saved you in California or New York in America will not save you here in Ukraine when the temperature drops minus 25 by Celsius.

Winter in Ukraine usually requires a warm synthetic coat, the one you would wear in some northern states of America or in Canada. Climate in Ukraine is much more mild than in Russia but still is more severe than in Europe, America or Britain. The minus 25 degree frost and winds in winter are attributable to the continental weather conditions and absence of mitigating factors such as Golf Stream and other warm winds from the ocean. The weather in Ukraine is continental which means it can be harsh at times.

Weather during winter time

Kiev_winter4On the average during winter temperature stays at 0 to minus 5 or minus 12 by Celsius. There are only several weeks, usually two or three, when the temperature drops to minus 25 degrees by Celsius and severe snow falls and blizzards usually expected at this time. This happens usually in February and in March. At all the rest time the winter is not very harsh and often temperature stays at 0 or above degree by Celsius.

Snowfalls usually start in January and February. Sometimes the snow lays until the late March. Snowfalls and a thick cover of snow is another exotic thing to experience and bring wonderful pictures to your friends!

The_Dnieper_winter2 Ukraine_summer2

Fall usually starts in the middle of September when leaves turn yellow. Leaves fall off the trees by the end of October and the first frost is usually expected that time or at the beginning of November.

The longest nights are in November. Since December and after the New Year the day starts growing and the sun comes out often. The sun is shining even with snow outside, reflecting at the snow creating lots of light even in the evenings and at night.

Spring and summer time

Andr_churchThe spring starts in April but gains full momentum in May when everything turns green and blooming.

Summer starts in June and in the middle of June is usually the time when you need a real summer clothes and a swimming suite.

The hot weather varies throughout the summer and it is common to expect the most hot weather in August just before autumn onset. The highest temperature can reach 30-34 above 0 by Celsius in the shadow which happens usually in August.

What is an average day of a Kiev citizen like?

deti_poopNormally working hours in Kiev are from 9 am till 6 pm. People get up at about 7 or 6 am, get children ready for kindergarten or school, bring them to kindergarten or school by 7.30 or 8:00 and go to work. Lunch time is usually from 12:00 to 13:00 or from 13:00 to 14:00. Some offices work on the schedule from 10 am till 7 pm. Teachers in language schools for adults usually work from 6 pm till 10 pm. However, teachers in EnglishKid usually never work past 8 pm, 9 pm at the latest.

In the evening people get back home by 7 or 8 pm. On their way to home people go to the supermarket, buy some food and cook dinner and breakfast for the next day or go to the cinema, watch TV or go to eat out. Usually people go to sleep at about 10 or 11 pm.

office_city

city

Kiev is a city with many firms, offices, banks, representations, government offices and hence Kiev is the place where clerks thrive. Therefore clerk working hours are the most commonspread in Kiev.

What is healthcare like?

policlinic_checkpointpoliclinicThere is a public healthcare and private healthcare in Ukraine and Kiev in particular. Public healthcare is usually taken advantage of by pensioners as it is for free for them. However, there are ways to take advantage of public healthcare by other people of working age as well.

There are many other firms and private clinics that provide healthcare with a wide range of prices. You can find a private clinic on the Internet or by its local sign at your locality. Most popular private clinics advertize in the classified ads and in public transport, such as subway on screen shots and advertisement boards. However, word of the mouth works best of all and if you need to find some healthcare it is better to ask people you know.

A patient in the need of healthcare usually comes to the hospital and stands in line there to wait to see the doctor. Sometimes a patient can invite a doctor to home but this service is provided not by all clinics and should be extra paid.

In private clinics a patient can call in and make an appointment in advance. The appointment is usually paid after the visit to the doctor.

There is also an emergency ambulance. The local phone to call the emergency is 103.

Where to buy food and clothes?

silpoThere are a number of food supermarkets chains and shopping malls in Kiev. Shopping malls are usually combined with the entertainment centers. There are also open markets for clothes which are not all flea markets. Usually there is always a local open market for clothes in every district where the one can buy simple and necessary things in daily life like socks, T-shirts, hats or scarves, wallets or purse etc.

supermarket_foodThere are food stores at virtually every corner and a supermarket in every small district.

Besides, there are open markets for food where you can buy fresh products, meat, eggs, milk products and fruit from farmers at a very affordable price often lower than in a supermarket. The open markets are popular for natural product. The supermarkets are popular for such products as oil, cheese, ketchup, flour, porridge, canned products, drinks and sweets.

Technical progress and access to the modern world accomplishments

dream_town_insideKiev has taken advantages of all the important advancements in technology and technical progress in the world.

On the shelves of the electronic stores you will find latest models of technical devices and gadgets. You will find all worldwide brands here. Computer range and notebooks are represented by Lenovo, HP, Asus, Samsung, Apple, LG and other brands.

Mobile phone range is represented by Nokia, Samsung, LG, Apple and dozens of other brands. There are smart phones and IPods in abundance displayed on the shelves. Almost every Ukrainian student has a notebook. The technical devices are also sold on loan to pay off over half a year / a year or two. A smart phone will cost approximately USD 200. A Lenovo laptop is sold for about USD 400-500.

Accommodation or where will I live?

aptapt3Rent in Kiev is expensive comparing to the overall prices. Yes, the major share of your expenses will be spent on rent. To mitigate the cost of the rent you can share the rent and apartment with somebody else.

On the average the rent for a 1 bed apartment ranges between USD 400 and 500. The rent for 2 bed apartment for two people to share would be about USD 550 – 650.

But if you want to share an apartment the cost for one person might be as low as USD 250 or 300 and at the same time you will have a separate room. Two room or three room apartments are the apartments which are usually shared.

The rent usually requires a security payment for 1 month ahead. The apartments are rent out on the Contract and without a Contract. For your own safety we recommend that you rent on a contract.

Difficulties that may occur

transport_ukrKiev is a hospitable and friendly place with no serious difficulties to present to a visitor.

Typical difficulty is pickpockets and minor thieves. It is important to remember to keep your wallet on the bottom of your bag and never carry it in a pocket. The same can be said about mobile phone or any valuable device. Remember that almost all foreigners who don’t hide their wallets or mobile phones deep in their bags get pickpocketed in the first 2 months of their stay in Ukraine.

Never carry all the money with you.

Another difficulty is the scarcity of signs and directions in English. Gladly, Euro12 championship greatly contributed to the improvement in this area. Now all the maps and routes in the subway are in two languages – Ukrainian and English, and the stops are announced by a native English speaker in a second line.

The difficulty of insufficient English public signs and directions in English can be easily overcome by the use of Internet.

One more difficulty can be lack of public WC around the city. However this can easily be resolved through the restaurants who will let any visitor access their public utilities.

How do people travel in Ukraine?

metro_trainSpeaking of transport system in Ukraine in general there is a railway, flights, buses, trams, trolleys, subway, boats, cars and even a funicular.

Speaking of people’s habits in general, people in their majority prefer public transport such as subway, small buses (called “marshrutka” here), trains and trolleys.

Number of private cars grows every year in Kiev and Ukraine in general, but still public transport, subway, buses and marshrutka (a small bus up to 20 people) are the most popular means of transportation in the city and intercity.marshrutka_bogdan

Even people who own a car sometimes don’t use it for many reasons. Because they want to save on a petrol, because of the traffic jams and sometimes because of weather conditions.

If somebody plans to spend the whole day travelling on the city roads then often it makes more sense to travel by the metro, it will be faster and save time tremendously in the traffic jams.

In Ukraine in winter the snowfalls sometimes so heavy, even if they last only for a week that people cannot move in the cars from the yard. Also the winter weather in Ukraine is very volatile and after the snow the sun might come out and melt the snow and after this the frost will set in at night and all the snow will turn into ice.

So public transport remains most popular way of transportation in Ukraine. There are bus stops on every street and buses come and go every 10 or 15 minutes.

Speaking about Kiev, subway is the leader among the means of transport. Kiev subway is a beautiful place with air conditioning, police and security workers. Trains in a subway come and go every 2 or 5 minutes. It is valued so much and is popular because the metro is indeed the most reliable means of transport.

The cost of fare is about a quarter of a dollar for the metro and less than a quarter for trams/buses/trolleys. Cost in the private small buses (marshrutkas) varies from a quarter of a dollar to slightly more.

What holidays do people celebrate in Ukraine?

Kiev_New_Year

Ukrainians love holidays very much. Major holidays are a New Year, Christmas which is celebrated on the January 7th and May holidays with Easter. New Year and Christmas are usually celebrated for a week or two. May holidays and Easter are also usually celebrated for a week and sometimes even for two weeks.

There are other smaller, one day holidays such as The Day of The Constitution, Kiev City Day, The Trinity and The Independence day.