Written on: 06/12/2005 by richwatson (4 reviews written)
Nice Apartment, Helpful staff, Cheap food.
Dangerous area, Dangerous access to apartment, Corrupt Police. Very high possibility of being mugged.
Recently my friend and I decided to visit the city of Kiev in the Ukraine for a 10 day holiday. I booked flights with Expedia to fly from London Heathrow to Vienna, then onto Kiev, £144.00. I had booked an apartment with Kievlet.com at Apartment (104) 77, Building 10/2, Mechinikova Street, Kiev, Ukraine for 52 Euros per night.
Kievlet arranged an airport pick up by taxi costing 20 Euro. The only slight inconvenience was the driver spoke very little English.
Arriving at the apartment the entrance was via a secure steel door then up a very unattractive stairway or lift to the 5th floor. The apartment had a 3 inch thick steel door as a secure entrance.
The apartment was pleasant yet basic and hot water was only available before late evening. It was hit or miss depending on the usage from the rest of the building.
It was suggested that we got taxis everywhere as street mugging is common. We soon found that anyone, taxi or not will pick you up for between 10-20 grivnia (Local currency).
The main entertainment area was Mandarin Plaza, about 5 minutes taxi ride away.
Here, there were 3 nightclubs. We found the people to be friendly, however we suspected that we were paying higher prices for drinks than the locals and prices were generally high.
The best club and most exclusive seemed to be Arena. Large with good dance area, lighting and music. This place had very attractive girls in it. Many of which are said to be after your money in one way or another.
After staying in Kiev 5 days, unfortunately we saw the bad side of things. We met up with a Ukrainian friend and went to play pool in the Opera bar, opposite the main Opera House. Here her bag was stolen. The same day a woman snatched my mobile telephone.
In the early hours of the following morning after leaving a nightclub my friend was walking alone in KRESHATIK square when he was approached for money. He was beaten up then robbed of his wallet, jacket, camera, phone and watch.
I think Kiev may be a nice place to visit as long as you keep to early nights but I must highlight the dangers are high. The Police also seemed to be corrupt. I visited them to report my telephone where I found myself being accused of things and the mention of payment of Whiskey to be released. So if you do visit Kiev I would advise not to go to the Police but go to your Embassy instead.