Is Kyiv, Ukraine Eastern Europe’s new Berlin?
Few visitors realize the Viking origins of Ukraine’s biggest city and the massive Scandinavian influence in the region’s history.
But what other surprises does this city of roughly 4 million denizens hold for a guy maybe not just traveling Eastern Europe but perhaps planning on setting up shop here?
Since 2014 and the EuroMaidan revolution, Kyiv has opened up even more to Westerners and has become a hotspot for nightlife and electronic music, in particular.
The country as a whole has started to look more westwards and travel infrastructure has dramatically increased in that direction with a boom in flights to Western Europe and Kyiv Tourism making it easier for tourists to visit using English (as opposed to Russian and Ukrainian as in the past).
Increasingly many pioneering Westerners have been moving to Kyiv or buying real estate here to live part of the year in Ukraine’s capital.
The city’s relatively cheap prices compared to Western Europe, close proximity by plane and ‘freedom’ compared to their neighbors further to the east, give the city a bit of a gritty Berlin vibe with some important differences.
Summer versus winter
Kyiv is Ukraine’s capital and the starting point of historical Kievan Rus’ located on the Dnipro in the center north of the country.
It’s definitely a city of seasons. The summer days are long and warm with a vibrant outdoors vibe.
The River Dnipro comes alive with that being a focal point for many of the city summer activities with cruises, summer terraces, city beaches and pool clubs all open on the left and right bank of the river.
Winter on the other hand is bleak and oppressive where Kyiv’s Soviet era architecture matches the weather.
But don’t be deceived! Party-minded Kyivans are letting loose inside away from the freezing temperatures on the streets. The city’s winter clubs are pumping and a many a wild night is enjoyed here.
Which season are you better suited to? Well if you’re scared of the cold then clearly Kyiv in winter is not for you but if you are a clubbing fanatic spending your winters in Europe then this is one of the best cities on the continent to party the frosty frigid season away.
Girls, Girls, Girls!
Like Ukraine as a whole, the beauty of its local lassies is world renowned and definitely the eye candy does not fall short on a summer’s stroll down Khreshchatyk through the city center.
But what do the women of Kyiv think of foreign guys who come for a visit or to share their city for a longer period? Many are enthusiastic and give you plenty of automatic value for just being from further West. However, on the whole the reception can be mixed and you will have to come with your ‘A game’ in order to do well here.
Similar to infamous Odesa Mama (‘scammer central’), be aware of the many romance scams operating in the city and the big cultural differences in dating between the West and Eastern European countries, such as Ukraine.
For sure, a Westerner with game and plenty of time on his hands in Kyiv will be amazed by the dating options here but things will be dramatically more difficult if you are on a ‘smash-and-grab’ weekend break here.
Berlin but better?
Nowadays Berlin’s Mitte has been thoroughly gentrified and the prices in Germany’s capital have skyrocketed. It’s no longer a bohemian mecca for counterculture and partying.
Kyiv is just in its rebirth from Soviet cultural suppression and opening up to the world, plus the prices are 1/3 of big Western European cities and maybe even better than that.
Here you can live the baller lifestyle for a fraction of the price of 2020s Berlin, date more beauty women, the locals have a fresher perspective on newly found ‘freedom’ that have been gained in the last few decades and you are still within a short flight time of London, Paris, Rome and … Berlin itself.