Is it safe to live in Kyiv

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.” ― Anita Desai

Kyiv is one of the biggest cities in Europe. It is a bustling capital of independent Ukraine, it is an administrative, economic, scientific, cultural and educational center.

In Kyiv, there are a lot of opportunities, small and large enterprises, good infrastructure and a lot of entertainment.

But after the Revolution of Dignity, and due to political problems, a lot of foreign people have a question: is it safe to live in Kyiv?

Kyiv is a safe place in general. If you following some basic rules, it is not dangerous at all. But if you are looking for problems, it could be dangerous everywhere. Kyiv is a big city so it is necessary to pay attention to things around you.

Top 7 rules you need to follow to be safe:

  1. don’t react to instigation, especially from Romani people. In this situation, it is better simply smile and go away. Just show that you can’t and don’t want to understand their problems;
  2. be aware of the surrounding situation. Pay attention to what kind of people near you. Be careful with your credit card, take all the usual precautions to make sure no one sees or copies your PIN;
  3. put your important items (phone, wallet, passport, cash) in inner pockets. There might be thieves in public transport;
  4. avoid aggressive gangs, political meetings, and protests;
  5. don’t smoke in public places;
  6. avoid being alone at night in parks or secluded places;
  7. lock your compartment door on overnight trains. ⠀

We asked about police, crime, driving and war expat who lives in Kyiv for almost 7 years.

Crime

In general, Kyiv is as safe as most Western European countries. Crimes against travelers are generally at a low level.

In almost 7 years of living in Kyiv, I have never been the victim of a street scam.

Police

Under Ukrainian law, you are supposed to carry your passport with you at all times.

I have never been stopped in the street by the police and very rarely see others being stopped and having their documents checked. I think it much better to leave your passports in a safe place and have a copy with you.

Driving

Be careful on the street. Ukrainians have local unwritten rules. Don’t risk if you see that transportation not going to stop while you crossing the street.

In my opinion, renting a car in Ukraine or driving your own simply isn’t worth the risks. In Kyiv, the underground (Metro) is well spread. Taxis are cheap. If you are traveling to another city or town take the train or bus.

INSIGHT: better use famous taxi services such as Uber. Because taxi drivers can require a bigger sum of money just because you’re foreign and might not know the real price for a taxi. ⠀

War

The war with Russia affects a small part of the southeast of Ukraine. Living in Kyiv you will not feel the impact of war. Do not try to visit the war zone, it might be dangerous for you as a foreigner.

PS: It is safe to live in Kyiv for foreign people. The capital of Ukraine is comfortable and well-developed.

I’m a fellow traveller and explorer of Ukraine. Based in Kyiv. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions. I’m very friendly and always open to discussing new projects, interesting ideas or opportunities to be part of Ukraine.
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