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» Information » Money » Cost of Living in Ukraine

The Cost of Living in Ukraine

Last update: Aug. 3, 2010 (some new prices added)

Ukraine is a country that can seem expensive to one person and inexpensive to another. The range of prices one may pay for food, transportation, and housing is very large. It is possible to spend thousands of dollars a month or to get by in Ukraine on a very low budget.

How much do things cost in Ukraine?

You will find a few general price patterns in Ukraine:
Most basic services (haircuts, etc.) are cheaper because labor is cheaper.
Corporate services cost roughly the same as in other countries.
Imported goods (electronics, name brand clothes and high-quality equipment, etc.) cost noticeably more than in the U.S. and Western Europe.
Goods produced in Ukraine tend to cost slightly less than their equivalents in the developed world (this applies to food products).
Ukraine's public transportation is far cheaper even than in neighboring Poland. Taxis are somewhat cheaper.
Real estate prices (rent and purchase) in major cities are comparable to those in Central Europe. Utilities cost significantly less.
Poor hotels are cheaper, and good hotels more expensive than in most developed countries.
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) — $350-600/mo.
Rent for nice Euro-level apt. with several rooms — $1000-3000
10-hour train ride halfway across Ukraine (there & back) — $22-40
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