In the land of borscht, horilka, and beautiful churches, there is an abundance of things to see and do. But what to do when your budget doesn’t allow for much more than borscht? Not to worry, there’s still ample fun to be had on even the smallest of budgets!
Public transit – yes, it is scary during rush hour, but it’s a great way to get around the city on the cheap. I rely on Google Maps to plan every trip; the trolley bus, marshrutka, and metro routes are very accurate. If you pay close enough attention, Google Maps even tells you what exit to take out of the metro station. This is a lifesaver if your internal compass is a little rusty as mine often is. Believe me, nothing is more frustrating than coming out of the wrong exit and feeling like you’ve ended up on the other side of the world. When public transit is out of the question, try a rideshare company like Bolt. Better yet: download Uber, Uklon, and Bolt to compare prices and choose your best option.
Stroll the Streets
Head to Khreschatyk for some window shopping: you can look, but you don’t have to buy. Have a gander around Bessarabskyi market, then make your way to the end of Khreschatyk and enjoy the view from the pedestrian bridge. This route is perfect in almost any weather as the main street is lined with bars, cafés, and shops to easily escape the elements. Not far from Khreschatyk is Andriivskyi Uzviz. Of course, summertime brings out the most vendors, but the view of Saint Andrew’s church is breathtaking at any time of the year. If the weather’s nice, spend time meandering through Kyiv Pechersk Lavra. It costs next to nothing to get into the extensive grounds, and the view from the Bell Tower is undoubtedly one of the best in the city.
Eat your Heart Out
The famed Puzata Hata is a budget-friendly choice for food. This place gives true meaning to the phrase “cheap like borsch”, but fear not – the taste doesn’t disappoint. Puzata Hata will give you the fuel needed to continue on, and you’ll still have some leftover bread money (or beer money). Insider note: Puzata Hata in Dream Town Mall is a step-up from the usual décor. It’s circus-themed with glowing neon signs and other fun details that resemble the interior of a circus tent!
Crazy – and cheap – Cocktails
If social drinks are on the schedule, your usual cocktail bars will have to take a backseat. Instead, plan a visit to Palata No. 6, where the drinks are cheap, but the alcohol is strong. Be forewarned: this is one place that can be found only if you know where to look. A great meeting place for both locals and tourists, the entrance to Palata No. 6 is hidden in a courtyard with no signs giving away the entrance. For a memorable experience, try ordering from the Extreme Cocktails menu. The rumours are true: the flaming helmet cocktail really does come with a flaming helmet.
Bang for your Buck
Whatever your budget allows, Kyiv is a fantastic city with many affordable activities to partake in. With so much of its beauty on public display and music filling many of the most popular public places, you will always get your money’s worth.
Palata No. 6
Puzata Hata Dream Town