Cost of Living in Ukraine

Expenses of living in Ukraine
Image source: Shutterstock


Ukraine is a country that boasts low-cost living, modern facilities and great opportunities for expats. In fact, Ukraine is considered one of the cheapest places to live in Europe. But don’t let that misguide you, the capital Kyiv is still quite pricey. However, leaving a comfortable and decent life is easily achievable around the whole country. 

The country’s currency is the Ukrainian hryvnia (code: UAH, symbol: ₴). The current exchange rate of 1 UAH  is 0.027 GBP. A single person living in the capital will need between ₴21,000 and ₴24,000 (£573-655) per month while living outside the capital will cost approximately ₴17,000-18,500 (£464-505). Having in mind that, you can understand why many see Ukraine as a desirable destination to start their new life.

How to open a bank account in Ukraine

Are you considering moving to Ukraine? Then, at some point, you will need to think about opening a bank account. That is why in this section we explain the most important thing you need to know about setting up a bank account in Ukraine as an expat. 

Can I set up a bank account as a non-resident?

Ukrainian banks don’t necessarily require residence permits to open bank accounts! Though each bank has its own system and terms, the process for non-residents is not much different from the one for residents. However, if you want to open an account in Ukraine but you don’t have a residence permit or you don’t speak the local language, it is advisable to try with a major bank as they are more likely to have experience with opening accounts for foreigners. 

Can I set up a bank account from abroad?

Unfortunately, it is still not possible to open a bank account from abroad as you are required to visit a physical branch and present the required documents in person when setting up a new account. 

What documents do I need to open a bank account in Ukraine?

The set of documents that you will need to prepare before visiting a branch consists of:

  • Valid passport
  • Proof of address
  • Tax reference number (required for residents only)
  • Minimum deposit to activate the account

Accommodation Cost in Ukraine

Wherever you choose to live in Ukraine, in a major city or a coast town, you will be able to find a modern and cosy furnished home for low prices. In Ukraine, as in most countries, the rent cost will be the biggest chunk of your monthly budget so prepare half of your salary to go for this expense. There are two options expats might consider when moving to Ukraine and those are renting and buying. You can find out more about those two in the following sections.

Rents

In general, renting prices in Ukraine are cheap, mostly. This will highly depend on the city of choice and the neighbourhood. Kyiv in recent years has become quite an expensive place to rent. Plus, as an expat, you will also have to make sure you are not getting ripped off. In Ukraine many people tend to use the service of an agent, however, agents charge around 50% of the monthly rent just for finding you the place. If you want to avoid that, you can always use a property website. You can also check expats dedicated websites and forums.

Here are some of the pricing examples for renting an apartment:

Property Price in UAH Price in GBP
1-bedroom apartment (city centre) ₴9,000-11,000 £245-300
1-bedroom apartment (outside the city centre) ₴5,500-7,500 £150-205
3-bedroom apartment (city centre) ₴15,000-17,000 £409-464
3-bedroom apartment (outside the city centre) ₴11,000-13,000 £300-355

Buying

Since the banking crisis of 2013 and the decline of real estate prices, many foreigners have become to see property ownership in Ukraine as a smart investment. If you are also considering the option of buying yourself a nice new home in Ukraine, you should know the price per square metre in the city centre goes for 33,462 UAH (£912.68) and outside of the centre stands around 20,448 UAH (£557.72). Keep in mind the following taxes and fees that go hand in hand with buying a property in Ukraine:

  • Pension fund fee (1% from the property amount)
  • Notary fee (usually around ₴2,500-5,000 / £68-136)

Cost of Utility Bills

In Ukraine, natural gas is used as the main means of heating in rural areas. Unfortunately, there has been a very recent rise in gas tariffs and many residents find it hard to heat their homes during the colder months. Other basic utility costs in the country are also not very cheap in comparison to the average Ukrainian income. For example, the price of electricity is based on a fixed tariff of 1.68 UAH for 1 kW/h (incl. VAT), while the water tariff of a household stands around 5,40 UAH per cubic meter.

In Ukraine, natural gas is used as the main means of heating in rural areas. Unfortunately, there has been a very recent rise in gas tariffs and many residents find it hard to heat their homes during the colder months. Other basic utility costs in the country are also not very cheap in comparison to the average Ukrainian income. For example, the price of electricity is based on a fixed tariff of 1.68 UAH for 1 kW/h (incl. VAT), while the water tariff of a household stands around 5,40 UAH per cubic meter.

To understand better what to expect in terms of monthly utility costs in Ukraine, check the approximate prices in the table:

Service Price in UAH Price in GBP
Basic utility (electricity, heating, water,…) for 1 person in a 45m² flat ₴1,299-1,400 £35.43-38.19
Internet ₴171 £4.66
1 min. of prepaid phone tariff ₴0.98 £0.03

Transportation expenses

Getting around Ukraine and its cities is easy as the transportation system is well developed, organised and the public transport is reliable and much more affordable in comparison to Western countries. A single ticket with public transport can cost you 8 UAH (£0.22). By holding a monthly pass your everyday travel will become much cheaper and more pleasant. You can get one for around 325 UAH (£8.86). Student and retiree cards are also available. For a ride with Uber in the city, expect to pay 150-300 UAH (£4.09-8.18). Now, if you prefer the comfort and convenience of driving your own car, keep in mind the fuel cost which is 28.50 UAH (£0.78) per 1 Litre of gasoline.

Cost of necessities

Food costs in Ukraine are not very expensive. Even if you want to go very low on the budget, don’t worry, it is achievable there as long as you know from where to shop. On the other hand, shopping for attire can be costly, especially if you are used to Western brands.

Food costs in Ukraine

Check the prices of the most common fridge products:

Product Unit Price in UAH Price in GBP
Milk 1 Litre ₴23.93 £0.65
Eggs 12 ₴36.09 £0.98
Loaf of bread 0.5kg ₴13.60 £0.37
Chicken 1kg ₴105.38 £2.87
Cheese 1kg ₴212.35 £5.79
Rice 1kg ₴30.92 £0.84
Apples 1kg ₴23.87 £0.65
Tomatoes 1kg ₴38.48 £1.05
Potatoes 1kg ₴12.93 £0.35
Domestic beer 0.5l bottle ₴21.28 £0.58
Wine (mid-range) Standart bottle ₴130 £3.55
Water 1.5l bottle ₴13.13 £0.36
Cigarettes (Marlboro) Pack of 20 ₴59 £1.61

Whether you tend to eat out from time to time, grab a cup of nice warm coffee or have a drink with friends at a nightclub, there are plenty of places that are suitable for every budget. Prices can be very affordable, especially compared to the UK prices.

Eating out:

  • Combo meal at a fast-food restaurant: 120 UAH (£3.27)
  • Meal for a single person at a restaurant: 150-200 UAH (£4.09-5.46)
  • Meal for 2 at a mid-range restaurant (three-course): 400-600 UAH (£10.91-16.37)

Grabbing a drink:

  • Coffee: 30 – 50 UAH (£0.82-1.36)
  • Beer at a bar: 30 – 60 UAH (£0.82-1.64)
  • Cocktail: 100-200 UAH (£2.73-5.46)

Attire and personal car

Attire prices are not inexpensive in Ukraine. If you are used to some common Western brands, keep in mind that those are relatively expensive for the living standard of Eastern European countries. Here you can see the average prices of common clothing items:

Product Price in UAH Price in GBP
1 Pair of jeans (Levis 501 or similar) ₴1,915 £71.77
1 Summer dress in a chain store (Zara, H&M, …) ₴1,212 £33.06
1 Pair of Nike running shoes (mid-range) ₴2,642 £72.06
1 Pair of men’s leather business shoes ₴3,025 £82.51

Takeaways

  • Ukraine is one of the cheapest European countries and prices there can be quite low.
  • Even as a non-resident you can open an account in a Ukrainian bank, however, you will still need to visit a branch.
  • Kyiv is the most expensive city to live in, though it is still possible to find nice accommodation there for good prices.
  • Utility bills have become quite costly in recent years, particularly those of heating and electricity.
  • Getting around Ukraine is easily affordable but by getting yourself a monthly pass you can make your travelling even cheaper.
  • Grocery shopping in Ukraine is inexpensive, unlike shopping for attire, which can be hard on the budget.

100.00 % of readers found this article helpful.

Click a star to add your vote
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, 100.00 % )
Loading...

Sign Me Up for Fresh Updates I want to have fantastic stories delivered straight to my inbox for free.

Comments are closed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This