I just spent a third summer in Kiev.
The capital of Ukraine is such an awesome destination. Especially in the summer time.
The city is very photogenic and offers a lot of world class sightseeing. In addition I have a solid social circle and I love the Ukrainian food. Finally Kiev has some of the most beautiful girls on the planet!
It’s close to being perfect.
But there’s one thing that has always annoyed me: the constant overcharging for apartment rentals on Airbnb. To make matters worse, it’s sometimes a real hassle finding an apartment that has the amenities we are used to in the west.
Some Airbnb places have been real disasters!
So what to do, if you neither want to fork out tons of cash nor live in a Soviet era dump? Well I have some good news. During my many months here I learnt a few hacks where to rent an apartment in Kiev. And those I will share with you in this article.
But before we talk about how to rent an apartment in Kiev, let’s first answer where to stay in Kiev.
Where To Stay In Kiev
Kiev is divided by the Dnieper River into an east and west side. The west side is where you want to stay and this is where the city center, all the tourist sites and the business district is located. The locals call the west side the “right side” (I know it’s confusing at first). The Eastern side consists mostly of old Soviet style residential buildings.
Most visitors and expats end up staying close to the central Khreshchatyk Street. My favorite locations are Arena city and Maidan square. Taras Shevchenko Park/University and around Olimpiiska are also good locations.
Another good location where to stay in Kiev is the old neighboorhod of Podil. But if you decide to live here I recommend to stay within walking distance to a Metro station.
How To Rent An Apartment in Kiev
From my observations, people usually end up finding apartments from three sources: Airbnb, Facebook or any of the local Ukrainian sites. Airbnb is by far the most popular source but there are situations where the other two makes sense.
Follow along and I will explain each one in more details.
Airbnb is the first choice for travelers nowadays. With just a few clicks you can rent apartments anywhere in the world, ranging from just one day up to many months. This is the obvious choice for shorter trips.
But Airbnb is not perfect. One issue is the high rent you will pay for apartments in Kiev. Far higher than what the locals will pay. On trips ranging many months this will be quite noticeable.
The higher prices I believe are caused by the following two reasons:
- Airbnb adds their own fees on top of the rent. Those can be quite high in many cases
- Since Airbnb is mostly used by foreigners, the landlords knows they can charge higher prices
If you do decide to use Airbnb I recommend to try negotiate the rent. In some cases I have been able to shave at least $100 off the monthly cost.
If you subscribe to my newsletter I will send you the template I am using for my successful Airbnb rent negotiations! This is for a limited time only so hurry!
There are a few expats groups where you may be able to find some good value apartments. The largest Facebook group is called Expats in Kiev. One of my friends successfully found an apartment a couple of blocks from Khreshchatyk Street for $300 per months using that group.
You won’t be able to find that kind of deal on Airbnb. Even when using good negotiation tactics.
Sadly neither site is in English. If you don’t know Ukrainian or Russian, maybe you can get help from a friend.
In addition most landlords on these sites usually requires a stay of several months. Sometimes up to one year.
If you are staying for a shorter time, for example less than one month, Airbnb makes most sense. But if you want to enjoy Kiev for a longer period of time I recommend to try Facebook or one of the local Ukrainian sites.
If you have other info where to rent an apartment in Kiev please share them in the comment section below.
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