Kyiv or as some still wrongly say Kiev - is booming!
Updated: Jun 4
***Updated June 2021 with relevant information!***
Rewind yourself to 2014 when the Ukrainian revolution was taking place. Anti-government demonstrations in Kyiv ended abruptly on 18 February 2014, when protesters and police clashed. At least 82 people were killed over the next few days, including 13 policemen; more than 1,100 people were injured. The economy for the next year or so went into recession and the currency massively devalued. I could give my opinion on these events but I won't in this post. I've said many things about it in the past on my YouTube Channel and via other Social Networks. And yet despite this seeming like only yesterday, Kyiv has come out of the slump, inflicted upon itself by the elites who had instigated these political events. Kyiv is now Booming!
I had been visiting Ukraine for many years now - Pre 2014 and post-2014 - I've witnessed some significant changes. A lot of these changes and observations I documented over the years in a series of videos. In this post, I bring to you that journey of observations - starting with my first video on Kyiv - long after my years of visiting and culminating with tips and travel guides for those visiting Kyiv for the first time.
This is the first video I made in Ukraine - I thought it was long overdue to make a video - but it needed to be made - this video was released on YouTube in January 2018 and has since racked up over 43,000+ views.
As I realised there was a demand for content from Ukraine I started making content from the various cities in Ukraine. These included Dnipro, Kharkiv, Lviv & Odesa. However, given that Kyiv is such an Epic city, the city deserved many more videos. And this is exactly what I have done over time. The first place many people see when they arrive in Kyiv is one of the cities two airports - in this video, I offer advice upon landing at Kyiv Zhuliany. Also known as Igor Sikorsky Kyiv International Airport. When Booking flights to Kyiv - I recommend searching for the best deal via SkyScanner.
However, the most popular Airport in Kyiv - is Kyiv Borispil International Airport which is roughly 40 minutes outside Kyiv. If you are curious how to get from Kyiv Borispil (Borispol) Airport then lucky for you I have just made a video (June 2021) on how to get from the Airport to the City Centre.
Now you have got from the Airport to the centre of Kyiv - it would be wise to pick some accommodation. Over the years I've stayed in a selection of amazing places while in Kyiv - ranging from the best five-star hotels to serviced apartments, penthouses and humble hostels for when I've simply arrived during Independence day and realised everything is fully booked! In the first long-form video above I posted some of my accommodation in that video. When in Ukraine I use 3 different websites to book the majority of my accommodation - they all offer something different hence the reason I use all three portals. The portals for booking accommodation that I personally use are Airbnb and Booking . com. and Dobovo.
If you aren't a user of any of these website's I can't recommend them enough. All have been great to me on my travels around Ukraine.
Airbnb - great for living like a local in humble to swanky apartments. If you haven't signed up - this link will give you $20-$70 depending on where you are located off your first reservation. I'm an Airbnb host as well as a frequent Airbnb traveller. I love Airbnb because not only does it make travelling more affordable but it also allows you to stay off the beaten track. Staying with a local or in your own cottage is far more unique than staying in a generic hotel you could find anywhere in the world. Use the map below to search for the perfect Airbnb stay within walking distance of the centre of Kyiv.
Dobovo . com - this is the local Ukrainian booking site that specialises in apartment rentals. Many apartments that don't feature on Airbnb can be found on here. I've been using it for 6-7 years with no problems. Use this Link for 200 UAH off your booking.
So what's the Kyiv Nightlife like? Well as you saw in the first video "An Englishman in Kyiv" - it's pretty epic. It's my favourite place for Techno outside Berlin & Ibiza. Here are some examples of the Techno found in Kyiv.
Before the Decadence brand took over Chi - Decadence used to be at the Touch Cafe. Way back in 2015! I wish I had videos from its Arena days in 2014 but sadly I do not.
Another night hosted by the Decadence boys in the Touch Cafe days of 2015!
And here is Decadence in 2016
And of course when Decadence was at Chi in 2019 hosting Marco Carola.
Many great nights are to be had in Kyiv but when not enjoying good Techno. It's a rather nice place to go for a walk.
In this video I found myself walking from the Centre of Kyiv to Podil. Podil is a fantastic place to go out for lunch, dinner and even at night time.
Of course, I had to do a part 2 to this video.
This Blog is always being updated when new information can be added. In my latest trip to Ukraine, I decided to show my YouTube Audience the Main Street in Kyiv. That street goes by the name Khreshchatyk Street. This street is frequented by every man, woman and their dog at least once in any given year. Celebrations, parades, music and human interaction happen here all year round. The best time to experience Khreshchatyk Street is in the summer when the street is often shut to traffic and people can walk freely. However, in the winter it is also worthy of your time. In this video, I walked all the way down Khreshchatyk Street from North to South.
What if you are feeling lazy and just don't want to walk the streets of Kyiv. Well, there are many options. Kyiv is a very well connected city. Although it is rather too congested. If you must take a Taxi don't be fooled to get a street taxi especially as a foreigner they will overcharge you. To avoid this I would recommend using the Taxi apps when in Kyiv. But which ones?
For Ukraine Taxi's If you would like to use any of these apps - please download via your App Store.
BOLT - Use the Code "HFDHF"
Both these codes will give you money off your first trips used on those apps.
What about if you want to be economical and also green to the planet - well public transport in Kyiv is very good. I'm a particularly a fan of the Kyiv Metro. And I frequently am happy to use the local buses. Although apparently, the local buses are beneath girls who believe in status. I, on the other hand, do not care and think they are great! Here's a video of the Kyiv Metro.
And if you find yourself in Podil and wanting to get back to the centre in a hurry - why not try the Scenic Funicular.
Watch this space or my channel - I'm certain more videos will come out of my visits to Kyiv and Ukraine.
***2021 Update*** Low and behold I decided to take in the Ukraine Metro once again. This time I wanted to see what it was like during Covid-19 Pandemic. I can verify it is safe and working normally. And due to the general fear the elderly have about the virus the Metro is now less busy than before.
If you are needing to escape Kyiv and venture to Lviv or in fact anywhere by Public Transport - you may find this final video useful. In this video, I show how easy it is to use Kyiv's public transport and exit the city.