When traveling to the Ukrainian capital, you may need a Kyiv private tour guide
What is special about traveling to the Ukrainian capital
Traveling to Kyiv is like nowhere else. A hidden gem of Eastern Europe, Kyiv has so much to offer any avid traveler. From my personal experience working as a tour guide in Kyiv, I can say that one of the main reasons for visiting Ukraine among my former guests was exploring Chornobyl. Which is located 150m km from Kyiv to the North. The exclusion zone has been known as one of the top travel destinations during the last 5 years at least.
Travelers come to Kyiv without any big expectations from a former Soviet republic. All my guests shared with me their thoughts. Their opinion and impressions about the Ukrainian capital after visiting it change dramatically. Because what opens to their eyes is so much different from any other travel destination. Beautiful and clean city, with various architecture from different epochs, a great variety of international cuisines restaurants with delicious food, and such affordable prices.
Whatever your travel expectations are – they can be satisfied in the Ukrainian capital. Aside from the mentioned above, Kyiv is a city with at least 1500 years of history. And let me explain to you why you need to explore the city on a guided tour with a local private Kyiv tour guide.
Why You Need a Private Guided Tour of Kyiv
- The local population of Kyiv doesn’t speak English as you are used to seeing in the rest of Europe.
As you may know, Ukraine is an Eastern Slavik country with a Cyrillic alphabet. I know personally so many people who have been learning English for many years, but they cannot master it and move further than the elementary level. I can’t talk about the reasons for this phenomenon as I’m not the scientist who has researched this question. But I can totally confirm it from my own observation.
What you can expect in the terms of English knowledge in Kyiv is some kind of basic and pre-intermediate levels in the customer service area, like hotels receptionist, waiters in restaurants, and sellers in tourist souvenir shops and markets. That’s it. So be prepared to use a translator app in urgent cases when you need to explain what you need to a passerby.
- Ukrainians have a specific mentality that is quite different from the Western world people.
Due to historical events that were happening on this land during the centuries (things like wars, revolutions, invasions, famines, suppressions, etc), the Ukrainian nation has certain mentality features and cultural differences that may give false or wrong assumptions about the people. And it’s not about the negative side.
For example, it’s not common in Ukraine to smile at strangers and passers-byes, or even give a smile back. Somehow, we are not used to doing it and it doesn’t mean that we are not a friendly and sympathetic nation. Cause as soon as you become an acquaintance of a Ukrainian you will wholeheartedly feel the hospitality and care towards yourself.
In essence, to avoid similar misunderstandings in communication and interaction with locals and be on the safe side, I would suggest hiring a local private Kyiv guide and learning more about this aspect.
- The history of Kyiv city goes back 1500 years. Sounds fascinating isn’t it?
You should understand that visiting a city with such a rich history and just walking around, watching, and eating is certainly a crime. You will probably be happy and tick off Kyiv on your long bucket list. But will that mean that you have really explored the Ukrainian capital as a travel destination? I believe not. On a guided tour with a local Kyiv tour guide (or it can be any group Kyiv walking tour), you will get under the skin of ‘real Kyiv’ and moreover learn about Ukrainian culture, background, and lifestyle from a local.
The guide will give you explanations of different aspects of the history and culture of the nation. Introduce you to local customs and traditions. Tell the stories behind the famous landmarks. And show you off the beaten hidden spots of the city. You will have insider recommendations from your local tour guide of places to visit in Kyiv, interesting things to do in Kyiv, and of course, what national Ukrainian dishes you should try.
- If you visit Kyiv for a short period of time and want to see and visit all the essential sites, but don’t know how to organize everything in terms of logistics and timing.
Be sure that booking a private tour with a local Kyiv guide is the best option. That’s the best part about hiring a tour guide. You will not lose a single minute of your precious time. Within the time that you have, your expert guide will create the itinerary that fits your interests. Under professional guidance, you will see all the main sites and many of the secret ones.
Kyiv is a huge city, some of the interesting places are scattered in different neighborhoods, and managing the logistics is definitely not the strong suit of a first-time visitor. Entrust your plans to the trustful guide who will take great professional care of you all the way.
- If your trip to Kyiv lasts several days, you might need all possible recommendations for non-touristic places to eat, fun things to do in Kyiv, where to shop, what kind of fraud to be warned about, etc.
You may rely on the tips and recommendations of your local Kyiv guide and take advantage to learn more about anything you need to know about the city. So that the rest of your time you spend efficiently. The insider information that you will receive from a citizen of the city is precious, you will never find anything of that kind on the internet. Unless you spend weeks or months browsing the forums before your trip. But your time on travel is priceless, isn’t it?
About the author
Greetings! My name is Victoria and I am both a private tour guide in Kyiv and the creative force behind this blog. If you’re considering a trip to the Ukrainian capital, I would be delighted to work with you to design the perfect Kyiv private tour tailored to your interests.
Whether you’re fascinated by ancient and medieval history, Soviet-era architecture, or local gastronomy and street art, I am equipped to provide an experience that will exceed your expectations.
All you need to do is share your ideas with me and I’ll create a custom tour centered around the theme that interests you the most. I take great pride in providing exceptional and professional care to all of my clients, and I am confident that your visit to Kyiv will be an unforgettable one.
You can visit my website at www.bestkievguide.com for more information. I look forward to hearing from you!
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7 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why You Need a Private Guided Tour in Kyiv”
I can’t agree more Victoria! Next year in May 2022 I plan to visit Kyiv and you will be my guide Victoria!
What great news! Welcome to Kyiv! I will guide you with great pleasure!
I really want to go to Kyiv in order to go to Chernobyl and do many other things. But there’s always something that prevents me from going. First it’s the ongoing COVID pandemic, and second it’s the possibility of a Russian invasion.
I hope Russia doesn’t invade Ukraine and occupy it fully, because that would permanently close the door on my dream to see Chernobyl.
Do you think there’s enough people in Kyiv who speak English to help my dad and I, if we need it, in the event that we get to go to Kyiv? I can speak a very small amount of Russian and very little Ukrainian. Do you think we will have a big language barrier?
I have a question about the public transportation system in Kyiv. Can I use the Kyiv Smart card to pay for all forms of public transportation, Metro, Bus, Trolleybus, Tram, and Light Rail? I know Marshrutkas are paid in cash only.
Hopefully I can come to Kyiv soon.
Thanks for your help
I understand your concern about your safety. And be please don’t worry about the language issue)) Things are not that pathetic as you picture in your mind! Ukrainians are very friendly and hospitable people, even though they don’t speak English they will try to help you as much as possible! And yes, with Kyiv Smart card you will pay for all forms of public transportation. Hope you will have an unforgettable trip to Ukraine one day!
Thank you for your help Victoria. I’m sure I will have a great time in Kyiv if I am able to go.
I’m sure that I will find some people in Kyiv who speak at least some English. Maybe not as many people as in Western European countries, but I have seen videos on YouTube where Ukrainians speak English, so that is a good sign. Plus the announcements on the Metro and Buses are in English, so I am happy about that.
Do you know if the ATM scam is still a problem in Kyiv, or is it no longer a problem? If you don’t know what the ATM scam is, it’s where an ATM has been tampered with and traps people’s cards inside, instead of dispensing money.
Scams happen in many countries around the world, so please don’t think I am singling out Ukraine for having scams. For example, I came very close to having my phone stolen from me when I went to Berlin. A guy approached me who was wearing a Mickey Mouse costume. He took my phone from me, took a selfie of me and him, gave me back my phone, and then made this hand gesture that means “give me money” . I said no to him and he walked away. I almost fell for the photo scam. Luckily the guy didn’t run off with my phone.
I think I worry too much about what might happen. But it’s sometimes hard, especially when I read things that say that you should watch out for things when you go to Ukraine. It’s the same with any destination. Some destinations may have more things to watch out for than other destinations do. The things that the articles and the United States Department of State (equivalent to a Foreign Ministry) says such negative things about Ukraine. But maybe they have to exaggerate because in the event something does happen, they could be blamed for not warning US citizens.
Anyway. I’m sure I will have a great time in Kyiv.
With the withdrawal of cash from ATM, I would recommend you use those that are installed inside the bank branch offices, not those that are randomly standing in shopping malls, underground passages, etc.
There are people wearing animal costumes in the area of Independence Square as well, if you don’t want to pay them for a selfie together, please avoid talking to them.
Also, there are people on the Alley of Heavenly Hundred selling wristbands as if for the purpose of charity for veterans of the current war in the East, etc, also please avoid talking to them, they are scammers.
Watch your belongings and backpack while walking in the underground passages, esp in the area of Independence Square, Khreschatyk Street, there are pickpocket thieves.
And please, do not exaggerate the safety issue in Kyiv . The biggest part of my guests-customers is Americans. All of them told they felt in Kyiv safer than in main Western European cities.
And please check the reviews people leave for me on Tripadvisor (the link you may find on the Testimonial page of my website), you will find out the real impressions of foreign guests after visiting Kyiv and Ukraine.
I hope you all are safe, prays to you and families.