If any of you had been wondering “Where is Champions League final 2018?” we are happy to announce that it is, in fact, closer than ever. The grand sports event of this spring will feature a match between the two-time defending champions Spanish Real Madrid and English Liverpool. The winners will earn the right to compete in 2018 UEFA Super Cup and semi-finals of the 2018 FIFA Club World Cup, but before we make any predictions, let's have a look at the best way to settle in Kiev to witness the May match.
Luckily, Ukraine isn’t the first-timer in hosting large sport events. Ever since UEFA Euro 2012, Kiev and other Ukrainian cities have accustomed to the practice of welcoming football fans from all over the world. Many of them have already reserved the date of Champions League Final 2018 — May 26. The match date conveniently coincides with Ukrainian May holidays (May 26—28), which means the city won’t be as crowded with the ever-hurrying passers-by. As for the location, just like many other sports events, UEFA Champions League 2018 Final will take place at the Olimpiyskiy stadium in Kiev. The large venue is conveniently located in the center of the city right near the same-named metro station. Many music fans rejoice as UEFA announced the opening performance of the evening - the rising pop star Dua Lipa will light up the stadium before the match.
Where to Stay in Kiev
The location in the downtown is also beneficial in terms of housing — there are plenty hotels in the area, from hostels to the five-star venues that would satisfy anyone’s needs and budget for Champions League Final 2018. The closest place to stay is Park Inn by Radisson Kyiv Troyitska, located in 200 meters from the Olimpiyskiy stadium. The four-star hotel has English-speaking staff and offers transfer to and from the airport for their guests. Another 4-star hotel located closely is Holiday Inn, which offers the same services. Destinations has made guides on the best 5-star and 4-star hotels in Kiev for the tourists’ convenience.
Another option is renting an apartment from locals, as many rent their venues close to the area or the stadium itself. It is always better to apply to the safe sites like airbnb.com, where the landlord’s information is thoroughly checked.
How to Get to the Venue
Luckily, Ukraine is conveniently accessed by various airlines. Starting 2018, many low-cost airlines like WizzAir launched new routes to Kyiv’s two airports: Boryspil (KBP) and Zhuliany (IEV). The latter is a smaller airport located in the city. The most popular one to reach Kiev, however, is Boryspil airport (KBP), situated in a 40-minute drive from city’s downtown. There are several ways to get to the city from the airport: one is taking a shuttle – Sky Bus – which leaves several times an hour and takes you to the nearest metro station, Kharkivska, or to the main railway station Pivdenny, located in the center of Kiev. Usually, Sky Bus follows the next schedule: leaves every 15 minutes from 6 A.M. to 10 P.M. and every 45 minutes from 10 P.M. to 6 A.M. The ticket costs UAH 80.
Read: 10 Kyiv Hostels Recommended by TripAdvisor
Another way to get to the capital is a taxi, either from the ones that are present at the airport or taxi services like Uber or Uklon. It will cost about UAH 240-400, depending on the destination and taxi service. It's worth to note that taxi service isn't usually too expensive in Kiev, so this might be a convenient point while budgeting how much to take with you to the Final Champions League 2018.
As we’ve mentioned before, the Olimpiyskiy stadium is located right near the Olimpiiska metro station, making it easy to access from any point of the city. A single metro ride costs UAH 5. You can either buy tokens or use your credit card with PayPass system.
Packing for the Trip & Budgeting
Firstly, it is important to remember about customs while going to Kiev to UEFA Champions League 2018 Final. The customs officers will need to see your valid passport and a valid visa (if needed). Needless to say, items such as weapons, drugs, pornography, fresh meats, vegetables, pets, and plants are prohibited to import. Make sure you make a copy of your passport or ID, as well as information about the venue you are staying at, and carry it in a bag on in clothes’ pockets. It’s rare that the police stop anyone on the streets demanding documents, but the papers would be beneficial in case any doubtful situation arises.
Read: Interesting Places to Visit for Free in Kiev
As for the budget, in 2018 Kiev was named the cheapest city for tourists in the world. To give an idea, a night in the 4-star hotel usually costs about UAH 3000 (~USD 100), and hostels come even cheaper. Prices for food generally stay under 5 dollars, which is true for 1 liter of milk, bread, cheese, apples, 1 kilogram of beef, cheese, 1 kilogram of rice, as well as 1.5-liter water bottle. Price of a meal for 2 people at a mid-range restaurant starts at 15 dollars. Leisure is quite accessible as well: about 3 dollars for a movie ticket.
Tips & Warnings
The question of safety often arises while traveling to Ukraine, let alone on a large sports event. With the foolproof tips and common sense, Ukraine poses no more threat than any other country. Firstly, it's important to remember about personal measures of security: avoid walking alone late at night in dark or poorly lit streets; keep the valuables and cash safe and out of sight, especially in crowded areas, tourist spots and public transport. It is recommended to have an ID with you, as well as the Embassy number saved in contacts. In case of emergency, it is always better to contact the Embassy of your country.
While at the match, take a mental note of emergency exits from the stadium. Do not engage in any kind of illegal-looking activity, provoking other fans or fights. Keep your valuables at a minimum and concealed. After the game, try to avoid large crowds of people, especially while standing on the metro platform.
Mind that from 12 to 31 May, traffic in the center of Kiev will be restricted or completely banned on major streets like Khreshchatyk, Prorizna, Lva Tostoho, Saksahanskoho, Lesi Ukrainky Boulevard. Luckily, the work of public transport, including subway, will be extended to 3 P.M. on May 26.
Read: Ukraine Travel Warnings: Myths and Truth
One of the most useful things one can do when going to Kiev is to buy or download a phrasebook, as Google translator does not always give accurate translations of long sentences. If you are lost or have any questions, you may apply to the passers-by for help. Note that the younger generation usually understands English well, and is more responsive, while the elderly may have trouble to get by. Besides, there are plenty of apps that have maps, phrasebook, list of sightseeing spots and restaurants combined in one — they will prove useful as well. It will be convenient to download the metro app as well: not only does it show the map, but estimates time of arrival to the needed spot, or finds the station closest to you.
Electricity standard in Ukraine is 220 volts, 50Hz. If you are coming from North America or Asia, consider purchasing an Eastern-European adapter.
Kiev is certainly prepared to welcome everyone for the 2018 UEFA Champions League Final this May — have a great stay!
Photo sources: shutterstock.com, unplash.com. All images belong to their rightful authors.