It is a common misconception by new visitors to think that Kiev is a cheap city. While it is substantially less expensive than many other European capitals, it probably can not be categorized as ‘cheap’.
Cost of living in Ukraine…
Cost of living in Ukraine varies widely depending on the region and the city. Naturally, large cities such as Kiev & Odessa have much higher cost of living than smaller ones such as Nikolaev or Kherson. Rural areas are even cheaper, also with much lower costs of labor. Overall, however, Ukraine has a relatively low cost of living, especially if one is able to replicate a Western salary while living here. According to recent score, Ukraine ranked around 70th place on the cost of living global scale.
The central part of Kiev contains the same boutiques as large cities such as Moscow, Rome, Paris and others, with prices being approximately the same on the items sold there. Many apartments in the central part of Kiev are also very expensive, particularly those located on the main street of Kreschatik and ones containing luxury amenities. However, those that spend an extended period of time in Kiev, learn that there are many ways to bypass the relative high cost of living in Kiev and realize that in comparison to other European capitals, Kiev is in fact fairly cheap.
The cost of living in Ukraine is low in comparison to other places in Europe. This is based on a comparison of locally collected prices for defined quantities of the same goods and services, converted to USD. Sources include local service providers in each location, international service providers, official governmental statistics and global agency data. The data is quality assured and manually checked by Xpatulator Analysts. The prices of similar related items have been grouped together into 13 basket groups and the cost of living index calculated for each basket in each location. These cost of living indexes are only available in the premium content calculators. The 13 basket groups are the result of extensive research of actual spending habits ensuring the cost of living indexes reflect a reality-based international expenditure pattern applicable to internationally mobile senior staff such as specialists, professionals, managers and executives. The current cost of living overview for each basket is as follows:
Alcohol & Tobacco costs for items such as beer, spirits, wine and tobacco related products such as cigarettes are very low in comparison to other places. Note: Where alcohol is not legally available only tobacco products are included.
Clothing costs for items such as business, casual and children’s clothing and footwear are very high in comparison to other places.
Communication costs for various communication costs such as home telephone rental, internet subscription, mobile tariff and data costs are very low in comparison to other places.
Education costs for items such as creche / pre-school fees, primary school fees, high school fees and tertiary study fees are low in comparison to other places.
Furniture & Appliance costs for items such as dining table and chairs, home entertainment, kitchen appliances, and sofas are high in comparison to other places.
Grocery costs for items such as consumables, cleaning products, dairy, fresh fruit & vegetables, general food products, snacks, soft drinks are very low in comparison to other places.
Healthcare costs for doctor visits, hospital stays, non-prescription medicine, and medical insurance are low in comparison to other places.
Household Accommodation costs for items such as apartment purchase, mortgage rate, rental, and utilities are high in comparison to other places.
Miscellaneous costs for items such as dry cleaning, linen, magazines, newspapers, office supplies, and postage stamps are average in comparison to other places.
Personal Care costs for items such as cosmetics, hair care, and toiletries are high in comparison to other places.
Recreation and Culture costs for items such as books, cinema, sport and theatre tickets are low in comparison to other places.
Restaurants, Meals Out and Hotel costs for items such as hotel daily room rates, meals and beverages in restaurants, and take away food and beverages are low in comparison to other places.
Transport costs for items such as fuel (petrol/gasoline), public transport, vehicle purchase and maintenance are very low in comparison to other places.
Note: The cost of living index for each basket above for Ukraine is only available using our online calculators that enable users to create personalized cost of living comparison reports.
Hardship Hardship in the context of an expatriate and their family refers to the degree of hardship they are likely to experience and the relative impact on their lifestyle in a host location. The degree of hardship correlates to the degree of difference between the home and host location. Hardship pay is compensation for the hardship likely to be endured during an international assignment in order to encourage people to move, in particular to less desirable locations. Hardship factors include-:
Economic Factors: Such as poverty levels and level of service provision
Political Factors: Such as freedom/tolerance towards different points of view / lifestyle
Religious Factors: Such as freedom/tolerance towards different religions
Public Service Factors: Such as provision of water, electricity, sanitation, work permits etc.
Environment/Climate Factors: Such as extreme weather
Personal Safety Factors: Such as personal safety / level of crime
Health Factors: Such as prevalence of disease and health standards
Education Factors: Such as education standards, prevalence of international schools
Transportation Factors: Such as prevalence of public transport, fuel and road safety. The ratings for hardship are classified into four main groups and can be described as follows:
Minimal Hardship (10% Hardship Premium)
Some Hardship (20% Hardship Premium)
High degree of Hardship (30% Hardship Premium)
Extreme Hardship (40% Hardship Premium). Ukraine is ranked as high degree of hardship with a typical hardship premium of 30%.
Reference The information on this page is updated quarterly using data collected over the previous 12 months. The international cost of living & hardship indexes are only available using Xpatulator.com expatriate calculators that enable users to create personalized cost of living comparison reports:
To get a more comprehensive review of cost of living in Kiev you can .
Odessa Ukraine is cheaper than Kiev for the most part, particularly in regards to apartments (both rentals and sales) except for rentals during July & August when many vacation in the city during the summer months. Real estate as a rule of thumb is about half as expensive as that of Kiev and services and products are typically 15%-20% than that of Kiev.
The central part of Odessa contains the same boutiques as large cities such as Moscow, Rome, Paris and others, with prices being approximately the same on the items sold there. Many apartments in the central part of Odessa are also fairly expensive, particularly those located on the main street of Deribasovskaya and ones containing luxury amenities. However, those that spend an extended period of time in Odessa, learn that there are many ways to bypass the seemingly high cost of living in Odessa.
To give you an idea of the cost of everyday items in Ukraine, here is a list of approximate prices of things in Kiev in US dollars (as of March 2010). Prices had been rising in the past several years before the financial crisis, gradually approaching western levels in many instances and sometimes passing them. Some things that are traditionally inexpensive in the West (bowling, public tennis courts, monthly pass to a trendy gym) can be significantly more expensive in Ukraine, as they are often considered “elite.”
– Rent for one-bedroom apt. (not directly in center) — $150-600/mo.
– 15-minute taxi ride — $5-10
– 1 hour at tennis courts — $10-15
– 1 hour of bowling — $6-15
– 1 hour of table tennis at Hidropark island — $1.20
– Ice or roller-skating rink, depending on time of day — $4-10
– Admission to trendy night club: — $8-30
– Admission to concert of classical music — $5-20
– Decent umbrella — $8-25
– Average-sized novel — $4-8
– Unlicensed CD — $4-8
– Meal at McDonald’s — $3-6
– Meal at cafeteria-style restaurant “Puzata Khata” — $4-8
– Cup of tea in classy cafe — $1-4
– Cup of tea in inexpensive cafe — $0.50
– Hot dog on Khreschatik — $0.75
– Loaf of bread — $0.30 Ride in “marshrutka” (minibus) — $0.25
– Ride in metro (subway) — $0.20
– Typical sum given to beggars — $0.06-0.25
Travel Discounts with the Ukrainian Student Card.
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Available for students, and youths aged 12 to 26.
Contact us for more details.