My journey east took me by train from the gorgeous city of Lviv to the bustling Ukrainian capital city, Kiev. It was here that I was able to backpack round the sights of the city, learn more about Ukrainian culture and tour the Chernobyl Exclusion zone (some 29 years after the disaster in the area). My writing about Chernobyl will come in time, and will be detailed.
First up though, I found a small, central backpacker’s hostel to base myself in. I had looked at staying at the Mini Hostel Kiev but because time was tight with me and my Chernobyl tour was leaving from the Maidan Square, then I decided on the Tiu Kreschatik hostel in central Kiev. It was literally a 2 minute walk from where my Chernobyl tour began and the free tours of the city too. This hostel was a perfect location.
The hostel is run by a cool guy, Donny and ticks all the boxes for a classic backpacking hostel. In fact, this hostel is probably the perfect example of a typical hostel through my years of backpacking. It’s so similar to the hostel I stayed in in Moscow, a lot of the Australian ones I used and also bears a resemblance to the Why Not Hostel in Tbilisi, Georgia. I booked into the 10 bed dorm ready to explore Kiev. Here are five cool things about Tiu Kreschatik and why I enjoyed it here.
OK, so this is not always important as I have said before, but the thing about Kiev is, a lot of the main tours run from the same area – Maidan Square and Tiu Kreschatik is the closest hostel to the square and perfect for walking the key sights and even heading to Chernobyl for the day and back to your hostel. It will save you time, energy and money by staying here. For this reason alone, Tiu Kreschatik is worth booking.
2.Like Minded Travellers
When I checked into my room here, I realised there were a lot of similar travellers to me. Not just everyday backpackers wanting to party, tick off another city they know nothing about and move on acting like a backpacking genius. I met people who had travelled a fair bit and away from the textbook backpacker’s trail which made for easy and genuine conversation rather than the “where are you from?” or “what’s the weather like?” garbage that I hear time and time again. Remember, unless anyone dies, neither the weather or a person’s nationality are important. Ask them their name and why they are travelling. Ask them out for drinks.
Owner Donny picks good local staff who also speak good English. Alex checked me in and made sure I had enough info on the city for my visit.
The dorm is just for sleeping in and putting your clothes. I locked all my valuables in the lockers in the lounge which is safe and free to use. Perfect to keep your mind at ease in what can be a daunting city.
5.Relaxed Lounge (read: I used the WiFi and had a beer!)
The lounge or common room has a brace of settees (sofas) in it, a TV, WiFi, a table and tour information. The WiFi here is fast and worked even from my bed. But it was in the relaxed lounge where I got some work done by night over a cold beer. A fridge in the kitchen has beer and soft drinks for sale (all under $1 US), so you can quite easily relax here at night.
Overall, this is a great base for any backpacker in Kiev – selling point for me remains the location on Kreschatik Street itself. To find the hostel, go to the entrance at number 8 and through into the yard. The hostel door is on the right and then you get a lift to the fourth floor.
Here are the details for booking the Tiu Kreschatik:
8b Kreschatik Suite 11 (4th Floor)
Phone: +380 (66) 932 36 76
Tell Donny, I sent you! Here is a video I made in the hostel: