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Techctzn Mar 17th, 2009 01:27 PM

How Safe Is It In Kiev?

I would like to know how safe it is in Kiev. Is it as bad as Hollywood portrays it?

I am Asian and it would be good to find out what other Asians and minorities have experienced with their visit there. What are the conditions like there especially for minorities. In general what shouldn't be done to ensure safety?

Is it best to stay at a business hotel like the Dnipro?

Also, is there a reliable and recommended tour agency there?

What is the safest taxi service?

Thank you,


tower Mar 17th, 2009 02:00 PM

I'm not Asian, but we had neither qualms nor problems on a recent independent visit....Kiev is trying hard to become world class city and is succeding on several levels. We found the populace to be friendly and command of Russian and/or Ukrainan is less than fair...more people could converse in English than I expected. We stayed at The Hotel Rus which is in a much better location than The Dnipro..taxis available all day and problems. We filled almost a full week in Kiev and enjoyed it very much...saw about everything one would want to see in that time. Food was very good and reasonable in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine...we saw many Asians about...I don't think there's anything to worry about...just be alert as you must be everywhere on this troubled planet of ours...highly recommend The Rus...5 minutes from the marvelous Metro, too. If you wish to have some restaurant recommendations, let me know, directly or on this thread.

Stu Tower [email protected] (Los Angeles)

tower Mar 17th, 2009 02:06 PM


We did not use any tour agency and found our way around nicely...but, at The Rus, they can connect you to approved agents. I would trust them, as we saw several small groups avail themselves of that service. (Food at the Rus buffets was breakfast buffet....)

stu (Here are my Belarus, Kiev pics which may give you some idea of the surroundings...scroll tghrough the Belarus portion if you're not interested....and go on to Kiev.)

tower Mar 17th, 2009 02:08 PM

Tech...set on "slide show", sit back and relax...


Techctzn Mar 17th, 2009 03:28 PM

Hi Stu,

Thank you for all the information! I am greatly relieved to hear that I am not entering a dangerous place! Hollywood sucks in that respect. :) It is great to hear that there is a familiar atmosphere with the English speaking and the Asians running around. I would love to hear your recommendations for restaurants. I also wanted to find out if it is recommended to stay in during the night.



tower Mar 17th, 2009 04:15 PM


<i>I also wanted to find out if it is recommended to stay in during the night.</i>

No, just stay in and around major squares and people are walkng around all night.

The restaurants that we llked are King David's, just across the street from the Palats Sportu Metro Station which is an easy walk from the Rus Hotel...concierge will direct you.
Tasty Gergian food at a reasonable price.

Another was our favorite...Opanas in the heart of Taras Schevchenko's a cab ride..just have the hotel write the name on a card for the driver. Thee are plenty of cabs around later, too. If you're unsure about safety as you seem to be, just have lunch at Opanas...superb, authentic Ukrainian ambience and food.

Another, if you're tired of Ukrainian/Russian food, is an Italian place which also serves Ukrainian and pretty fair pizzas, excellent full,too, is walkable from the
Rus, or a short cab ride..."Il Patio" on 5/13 Naberejno-Khreschatickaya's half a block from the start of Kiev's main street "Khreschatik"..a great street to stroll down..major street and a slew of restaurants, too. AND as I sid above, The Rus has an excellent restaurant open for lunch and dinner, and of course, the included buffet for experience!

tower Mar 17th, 2009 04:31 PM


The Kiev metro is much like Moscows...beautiful stations and easy to get anywhere in town for a pittance. Get a subway map first thing...and you can get anywhere. We particularly liked the Podil district around Kontraktova Square, Andriivsky Street leading from St. Andrews down the so-called Andrew's Descent into Podil..colorful market on the street, especially Sunday.
The colorful Lavra monastery in Pechersk district, The museum (*outdoor and indoor) of The Great Patriotic War is nearby, and Babi Yar park, site of the infamous massacre of September 1941. Kiev is a city of beautful onion dome churches throughout. The Golden Gate to the city is worth a visit also. Get a good guide book, and off you go. YOu'll be safe..just be alert as you would be anywhere.

stu t.

Techctzn Mar 17th, 2009 10:57 PM

Thank you for all your advice Stu!

How is it around the Central Square in the middle of Kiev?


tower Mar 18th, 2009 07:31 AM

Known as Independece Square where aklkl the big rallies are held..after the revolution this place is along the main street in town Khreshchatik..[people all out late strolling...should be no problems..just keep your wits about you...if you got a look at my pix, K street shows up well.

stu t

Techctzn Mar 18th, 2009 10:56 AM

Thank you again Stu. Is there another hotel that you would recommend close to or on Khreshchatik?

tower Mar 18th, 2009 12:23 PM

The fairly new Khreschatik Hotel on K street might be a good bet for you. I still would prefer the Rus which is a nice 10-minute walk to K street.


Techctzn Mar 18th, 2009 11:26 PM

Hi Stu,

What are you thoughts on apartments in Kiev? The agency I was thinking of is UA Rent Kiev. It was mentioned in the Lonely Planet guide to Ukraine. The prices are good and the services are reasonable.



orangetravel Mar 19th, 2009 12:57 AM

I recommend the Sunflower B&B - it's just off Independence Square and the prices are very reasonable. It's clean and the service is good. The post-Soviet hotels are pretty rundown but they are cheap.

The rentals are fine but you've got to look at the location on the map. Some agencies are a bit of a hassle to deal with (wiring money, etc.).

Kiev is safe enough but I would exercise extra caution on the Metro and when walking by large groups of kids drinking on the street. There are unfortunately hate crime incidents but if you really want to visit, it should not deter you. You can also check with the Embassy to see if there are any demonstrations going on -- best to steer far clear of these.

orangetravel Mar 19th, 2009 01:19 AM

Upon further reflection, I'm not sure it's such a good idea to ride the Metro unless you read Cyrillic. The signage is not very good and unless you can figure it out very quickly, you will look very lost which will make you look like an excellent target. Taxi cabs are so cheap -- 30 grv within the center (<$4) and 40-50 between the center and the Lavra ($6). It's your call though.

Techctzn Mar 19th, 2009 11:00 AM

Thank you for the advice. Would there be issues like you described in the business districts or populated places in Kiev? I seems like from what you describe issues occur where people are really not meant to go or just out of the way places? I intend to stay in very populated streets in view of the public and to stay incognito as much as possible. My safety is paramount.

tower Mar 19th, 2009 01:46 PM


If you decide on an apt., please be careful...all on the internet is not what it may seem to be. I learned the hard apt. from hell, which made us switch to a hotel (The Rus) after one miserable night.
If you live in a big city as I do L.A., what is described above pertains to any sizeable city anywhere. I repeat, you're as safe in Kiev if you stay alert, as in any similar sized city anywhere in the world. The police presence there is overwhelming...the Ukrainians put the protection of tourists at the top of their "to do" lists...the last thing they want is a soiled reputation in that regard. Most frmer SSR's usually get a bad rap, mostly undeserved, IMO.

Stop spooking yourself,'ll enjoy this beautiful city and will leave it unscathed. My word...for what it's worth.

stu t.

Techctzn Mar 19th, 2009 03:13 PM

Thanks Stu for the assurances!

I am sorry about the experiences that you went through with the apartment. I just wanted to explore options. What company did you go through for the apartment? The company I was thinking of is UA Rent Kiev. It was in the Lonely Planet guide.



orangetravel Mar 19th, 2009 11:42 PM

Ok, well to each his own. Lots of people around does not guarantee safety. Again, I'd recommend staying off the Metro and staying away from groups of kids drinking and any demonstrations. I wouldn't count on the police too much either..."the Ukrainians put the protection of tourists at the top of their "to do" lists..." I disagree, their own pocketbooks are their main concern...

Also, take another look at Sunflower. I realized in my post it sounded like I was saying it was a post-Soviet hotel -- it is not! Very modern for Kyiv.

Again I'm sure you will be fine, but I think it's important to take appropriate precautions.

Techctzn Mar 19th, 2009 11:56 PM

Thank you for the advice. I don't think there is much tourist value or interest in the Metro, drunk kids, or protests. I would stay away from those types of places and I live in Honolulu!

Still deciding between hotel or appartment...the difference is for me is cost and value. Stu, did the Rus provide cell phone rentals? How about Internet access with a computer?

Say, what are the prices like there for food, clothing, souvenirs, etc? Are they overpriced like any other tourist destination?

tower Mar 20th, 2009 12:28 PM


I've told you all I could... My experiences in Russia and the Ukraine go back to 1968..I can only give you my observations.
No, I did not use an agency for the apartment.

Do whatever you want, with your jangled nerves, as you traipse through Kiev...that'll be sure to spoil your "holiday"...I told you repeatedly to be wary..but don't overdo your vigilance. I hope you have a good time, without peering around every corner to see if the Ukrainan monster man is waiting for you. How ridiculous..and don't shy away from the police, they're there to help, regardless of what anyone says. You be the judge....that's all I can add, Tech...write when you get [email protected]


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