In less than 2 weeks Eurovision Song Contest 27 officially kicks off in Kyiv. The capital of Ukraine is ready to meet and greet numerous foreign guests. «Destinations» rounds up some handy tips for all the international guests who will be arriving to Kyiv, in order to make their stay comfortable and convenient.
Kyiv has 2 international airports, Boryspil International Airport and Kyiv International Airport (Zhuliany). Most international mainstream airlines fly into Boryspil International Airport (KBP), which is located a bit further outside the city center.
There are three terminals at Boryspil International Airport: ‘B’ for domestic flights, ‘D’ and ‘F’ for international flights. CUSS (Common Use Self Service) Check-in Kiosks operate in the ‘D’ terminal.
To get to and from Boryspil the passengers can use:
taxi service (there is also official taxi service with fixed prices at the ‘D’ terminal)
Sky Bus (operates between the airport and the Southern vestibule of the Central Railway Station via Kharkivska metro station.Kharkivska Metro Station – UAH 50 ( 1.75 Euros), Kyiv Central Station (Pivdenny Railway Station) – UAH 80 (2.80 Euros))
Airport Shuttle Bus (operates between terminals and airport hotel).
You can also rent a car directly at the airport order a taxi via UBER or other on-line taxi service.
To get to and from Kyiv Airport the passengers can use official Zhulyany-Kyiv taxi service with fixed prices, preorder private transfer at the hotel or use public transport, which is not the worst option as the airport is located within the city line, not far away from the center.
Kyiv is a megapolis with millions of people, directions, places, and, of course, traffic jams, however, the transport system in Kyiv is quite efficient and cheap. You can always use UBER or the Kyiv Metro in order to get around the city - these would be easiest transportation options.
Kyiv Metro is the fastest and most popular means of transport in the city; it is also one of the cheapest. Bear in mind that the city’s Metro is always crowded and you should be alert of pickpockets as in any other big city and always guard your purses, wallets, phones and belongings at all times. Metro system consists of 3 lines (Green, Red and Blue), 52 stations and 3 transfer hubs (all located in the city center). Each station is unique with its own decor and characteristic.
• Red Line 1 – (Sviatoshynsko-Brovarska)
• Blue Line 2 – (Kurenivsko-Chervonoarmiyska)
• Green Line 3 – (Syretsko-Pecherska)
Photo: the map of the Kyiv subway system.
The Metro operates from 05.30 AM to 00:00 AM; during Eurovision it might run for longer hours, but this information hasn’t been confirmed yet. A ride on the Metro will cost you UAH 4 (0.14 Euros).
You can buy tokens from the cashier or automatic exchange machines at the Metro Station. You can also buy a Top Up Card at the cashier and top up your card with up to 50 trips either at the cashier or at the automatic machines found in the stations.
Photo: automatic exchange machines selling tokens in Kyiv subway.
How to get to International Exhibition Centre
If you want to travel to the International Exhibition Centre, where the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 will be taking place, then the subway is one of the quickest and cheapest options. You should take the Red Line in order to get to the Eurovision venue and get down at Livoberezhna Station.
Photo: International Exhibition Centre that will host Euroviosion 2017 Song Contest.
Khreschatyk Station (one of the most central subway stations in Kyiv) is only 4 stops away from Livoberezhna Station and it will take 10-12 minutes by subway from Kyiv’s downtown. Then from there it is a 10-minute walk to the International Exhibition Centre.
During Eurovision, accredited media will be able to use the special shuttle bus service from downtown Kyiv to the Eurovision venue (more information will be released in due course). Shuttle buses will be also running from the IEC (Eurovision venue) to the Euroclub, Eurovision Village and Kyiv city center.
Photo: the entrance to the Livoberezhna Station, the nearest subway station to the International Exhibition Centre.
Accommodation in Kyiv
Kyiv can offer wide range of standard and luxury hotels as well as modern cozy hostels and apartments for rental. If you want to rent an apartment please use the real estate agent services to avoid any risk of fraud. Information about specifics ofApartment Rental by Foreigners in Ukraine can help you as well. Some Tips for Apartment Rental and Ukrainian Real Estate Sites in English can make things easier.
Read: Top 3 Hostels in Kiev
Cultural events in the city
The city of Kyiv is gearing up for the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest and prepared a diverse and busy program of massive cultural events that will be taking place all over the city. Sofiivska Square will be housing a Fan Zone from 30 April- 14 May accommodating up to 10,000 visitors. The fan zone will be divided into cultural, art, information, recreation, entertainment zones and will include food courts. More information on events on Sofiivska Square Fan Zone can be found under the link .
On 4 - 7 May Eurovision guests will get the chance to visit the 2017 Kyiv Art Week. The Toronto-Kyiv Business Center will be the main location of the festival in 2017, which will host the Kyiv Art Fair, the Museum of Private Collections Exhibition and the special BIRUCHIY Art Residence Project. More information on this most anticipated art event of the year can be found here.
Kontraktova Square will host the Feel Ukraine cultural and artistic project. The motifs of Ukrainian embroidery will be used in the decorations of all the stages and zones. Every day will reveal a new theme (Ukrainian jazz, local ethnic crafts, literature day, fine art, national costumes and jewelry day etc).
Poshtova Square will host the Eurovision: Retrospective cultural and art project. The Kyiv Light Fest 3D Mapping Show will be held as part of the International Light and Media Art Festival from 12-14 May at Kontraktova Square, Poshtova Square and Kyoto Park.
Photo: the shot has been taken during the Kyiv Light Fest in 2016.
Sightseeing in Kyiv
As for the non-Eurovision related activities, Kyiv, being a capital of Ukraine, offers an array of interesting and exciting places to see and to visit. In fact, even experienced travelers can get lost among all the possibilities of sightseeing, clubbing, cultural program and fine dining. This is, without any doubt, one of the oldest and most beautiful cities of the country. Andriyivsky Descent, Maidan Nezalezhnosti, Podil area and many others are must-see places. You can check our Attractions in Kyiv article on the best places to visit in the capital of Ukraine during your stay.
Souvenirs and shopping
Travelers always want to bring home some little keepsakes that would remind us of the memories associated with the visited places once we are back home. In case you are more into conventional souvenirs but would like to have a bit of artistic touch to them visit Andriyivsky Uzviz (also known as Andriyivsky descent). This street is a kind of open-air gift shop. It is often referred to as the Montmartre of Kyiv. This street is always full of artists and craftsmen selling pictures, decorations, glass and ceramic objects, as well as artsy Kyiv souvenirs. Bohemian atmosphere reigns here.
The numerous artistic salons, galleries, and art-cafes on the street reinforce this aura of Andriyivsky Descent. For other original gift option check out our article on Gift Stores and Interesting Souvenirs in Kyiv.
As for the shopping in general, with Soviet-era austerity now a thing of the past, you can buy absolutely anything you desire in the capital of Ukraine, you just have to know where to look. In February 2016, iconic fashion editorial VOGUE named Kyiv the ultimate European capital to head for shopping. Here shoppers will find covetable vintage pieces as well as luxury outposts. In recent years Kyiv truly turned into shopping heaven with impressive selection of brands, shops and pop-up fashion fairs. If you are searching for Ukrainian brands, go to Vsi Svoi store located at Kreshchatyk street just close to TSUM (Central Department Store). For more details please check out Kyiv shopping guide here.
Food and Drinks
At Andriyivsky Descent you can also taste Ukrainian dishes in Kanapa - one of the best restaurants of authentic national cuisine. For more simple interpretation of Ukrainian kitchen you can visit Puzata Khata chain of restaurants located in different parts of the city (at Podil area as well, just down Andriyivsky Descent). In general Kyiv can offer restaurants of different cuisines. Bar culture in Kyiv is booming as well, so don’t miss a chance to visit popular bars in the city.
Photo: the interior of Prynada restuarant.
We hope you will enjoy your stay in Kyiv and would find many reasons to return to the capital of Ukraine numerous times.