Cheap Doesn’t Mean Bad
Each time conducting a regular Kiev tour for my dear tourists I hear their amazement at finding out the prices for certain services or goods.
The reason why they are surprised is not only in the difference in price comparing to their homeland or any other Western European country, the USA, or the UK.
The cheap price here, in Kiev city, doesn’t mean the bad quality.
It doesn’t mean the poor service or dismissive attitude towards the customer.
Moreover, it even exceeds tourists’ expectations.
Having been a private tour guide in Kiev for more than 7 years, I’ve collected most frequent things which get my tourists open-mouthed.
Let me share with you some valuable information about Kiev which you will definitely like.
My Top 5 List of the things with the high quality-price ratio
Beer and Pubs
Kiev is quite a beer city, and there are pubs at every step, especially in the city center.
In summer you can see not only men but also women with bottles of beer in the streets or on the Kiev beaches.
Kyiv residents can have a mug of beer of a variety of countries production – Belgium, Britain, Germany, Czech Republic …
However, there is nothing quite like drinking a gulp of fresh, just brewed beer, which can be enjoyed only at the brewery.
There is a vast choice of pubs with their own brewery in Kiev.
My favorites are BBQ restaurant on the left bank of Kiev “Solod Enjoy Bar”( prices $1,61 for 0,5 l), two locations’ brewery “Solomenskaya browarnya”, one of its restaurants is located in the Andrews decent, Kiev Montmartre Street ( prices $1,46 for 0,5 l).
Coffee and Coffee shops
Love of coffee among Ukrainians, over the past few years, has grown into love to the exceptionally good coffee.
From an invigorating morning drink, it turned into a true object for gourmets, savvy in the intricacies of the taste palette.
There is a fair amount of inspirational coffee shops, posh coffee bars (in a good sense), eccentric, hipster and other different on the whole in Kiev.
And new places continue to open with an enviable constancy.
We still don’t have enough coffee shops for the Kiev population.
It seems that there are a lot because basically they are all concentrated in one location.
In the suburbs of Kiev, nothing interesting happens of that sort.
If you walk along the city center streets, metro stations, transport interchange nodes in the morning working rush hour you will see queues near the mobile coffee shops.
And on weekends you will hardly find a free place at the most favorite coffee bars among the Kievans.
You can hardly get around all the worthy places during the day.
However, baristas can brew quite different coffee at different places, actually speak different languages, but each of them will for sure make a delicious coffee.
My favorites which are all located in the city center are: “Come & Stay” (prices from $1 for 250ml cappuccino), “One Love Espresso Bar” (prices from $1,38 per espresso cup), “Coffeelactica” ( prices from $1,40 per 250 ml cappuccino).
The Internet and mobile connection
I’ve been using one and the same mobile number for 10 years.
I’ve become a customer of “lifecell” mobile operator when I was working in this company 10 years ago ))
And I continue using its services nowadays. Their tariffs are very friendly.
I have a prepaid tariff for which I pay 69UAH=$2,52 monthly.
It includes 4GB data, unlimited lifecell minutes, 200 minutes to other networks, 200 SMS messages within 30 days.
And I don’t remember I was in trouble with lacking any minutes or data till the end of the month.
As for the average speed (20.84 Mbps) and quality of Internet access, Ukraine is on the 39 place among 190 countries in the world – ahead of such countries as Greece (83th), Italy (88th) and Poland (45).
If you take the price/quality ratio, Ukraine will enter the top ten countries with the best Internet connection.
Almost nowhere else in the world, most of the population can get high-speed Internet from 20 up to 100 Mbit/c the equivalent to $ 5-8 per month.
Food. Ukrainian cuisine
Ukrainian cuisine is one of the richest and most interesting cuisines in the world.
With a variety of excellent dishes and fine tastes, it has spread far beyond the borders of Ukraine.
It should be noted that the national Ukrainian cuisine varies regionally.
The recipes use a wide range of ingredients typical for the country and include fruit and vegetables, meat (especially pork), fish, mushrooms, and berries. And, of course, salo ( pork fat).
In general, Ukrainian cuisine is fairly simple, but a skillful combination of common ingredients, the addition of spices and herbs, such as garlic, horseradish, caraway, dill, parsley, creates truly delicious culinary masterpieces.
The most distinctive feature of Ukrainian cuisine is a combined heat treatment technology of products. It lies in the fact that a crude product – it can be of animal or vegetable origin – first, undergoes a light roasting and a relatively quick sautéing or frying, and only after that – a longer heat treatment, ie, boiling, baking or stewing.
I personally adore Ukrainian cuisine, though I’m a big fan of Japan sushi, Italian pizza, and Chinese noodles. There are a lot of places with reasonable prices for people who appreciate quality, where you can taste Ukrainian dishes. I myself very often eat at “Puzata Hata”, “Drova”, “Olivie”. These are chains of different restaurants of national cuisine in Kiev, which are located throughout the city.
Kiev nightlife entertainment
Kiev has quite a vibrant nightlife scene with disco clubs, pubs, karaoke restaurants, lounge bars spread across the city.Those in the center are usually more popular with foreign tourists and expatriates while those found further out have a more local clientele.
Kiev main street Khreschatyk, which is closed to car traffic at weekends, has the highest concentration of cafés, restaurants, pubs, clubs and in the city and makes a good starting point.
Foreign visitors should aware of high entrance prices and expensive drinks in some clubs, and men, in particular, should be wary of attractive young women. They are recruited by some clubs, the restaurant staff calls them “princesses”.
These “working ladies” get acquainted with the visitors, pretending to be normal girls and then order hugely overpriced drinks.
For which they receive their commission from the restaurant.
And the Conclusion Is
But even taking into account the various schemes, Kiev is still cheap enough for most foreign tourists to be able to enjoy.
The standard in Kiev entertainment places is generally very high, the clubbing culture is quite at a high level.
You will be impressed to see how Ukrainian wealthy men spend their time with their women.
There is a Russian proverb “Let’s go the whole way!”. And it easily can be referred to the culture of rest of Ukrainians.
There is 80/20 ratio or even more – that is 8 girls for every 2 guys in Kiev night clubs.
Every other girl looks like a model, and these are typical for Ukraine appearances.
Whatever your expectations are – they can be satisfied with Kiev nightlife.
You won’t for sure go broke at the end of the night, even after a dozen drinks, and treating cocktails a few stunning girls.
Prices are low relative to other European capitals.
I personally do not like loud nightclubs, and have little experience with hookah bars and strip clubs, though visited some.
I prefer outdoor café, lounges, live music pubs or restaurants.
But in case you need an advice do not hesitate to contact me!
So, while thousands of people rack their brains in which European city to spend weekends, cheap, tasty, for the benefit of self-development, you already know – it’s about Kiev.
The city has an ancient history, rich culture, awesome architectural masterpieces, beautiful and hospitable people.
Kiev private tours which I provide for my tourists will expose you to Ukraine’s rich culture and history.
You will get my useful tips as for the perfect time spending in this amazing city.
And don’t forget we’ll have Eurovision 2017 contest here in Kiev! Hope to see you in Ukraine soon!