This post is about how to get a Ukrainian SIM card in Kyiv, Ukraine. I will give two carrier options and let you know which one I prefer after a bit of trial and error throughout the years. I have decided to only list two locations on here as I have had good luck with both over the years in Kyiv and trust them.
Moreover, I am only listing two actual locations to get the SIM cards as I know the locations are trustworthy and authorized by Kyivstar and Vodafone headquarters.
Do You Need a SIM Card in Kyiv?
There is actually pretty good wifi in Kyiv and it is pretty much accessible from anywhere. However, I would definitely suggest getting a SIM card in Ukraine. They are extremely affordable and you get a lot of data with them so you’ll never be without wifi in Kyiv ever. It will also be helpful with Google Maps and other apps you have (translation apps included) if you don’t have adequate storage on your phone.
Besides, if you don’t have a SIM card, how will you show off dill abuse and mirror selfies with friends to the world in an instant?
Should You Get a Ukrainian SIM Card at the Airport?
You can, yes, but I wouldn’t suggest it. Sometimes I have received different prices at the airport than in the city regardless of the company I am going to purchase a Ukrainian SIM Card with. I actually think it is better to take the train from Boryspil Airport to Kyiv city center and purchase on there.
Should You Get a Ukrainian SIM Card at the Kyiv Train Station?
I have actually done this before but wouldn’t recommend it. I went through Vodafone and struggled to communicate with the female working there when I did it. People in Kyiv speak pretty good English usually, but we had a language barrier and there was a lot of miscommunication as a result. In addition, there are several kiosks that have Ukrainian mobile carriers on them that you may struggle to find an authentic dealer. I recommend going to the city to purchase.
Where to Buy a Ukraine SIM Card in Kiev
There are several reputable places to purchase a Ukrainian SIM card in Kyiv, but I recommend heading toward Maidan Nezalezhnosti (or Khreshchatyk), which is the main street and square in Kyiv. From here, you find several large mobile shops and places to purchase a Ukraine SIM Card.
Traditionally, I have headed straight to Vodafone to purchase. But this past time, I ended up going with Kyivstar. Both are wonderful options… the reason I didn’t go with Vodafone this time is that I got into the mobile shop a bit late and they were out of stock with prepaid SIM cards. They sent Aram and me over to Kyivstar just a minute away to get one there.
I have avoided using Kyivstar throughout the years. The reason? I hate their logo. It looks like the Walmart logo and I can’t stop thinking about that when I pass the shop each and every time. The only reason I went there this time was that Vodafone was out of prepaid cards. Fortunately, Kyivstar’s service was exceptional and I can get over their terrible logo. Kind of.
When I went to Kyivstar to get my Ukrainian SIM, I didn’t actually have to show a passport but I did carry it with me. Rules constantly change so I would advise you to take yours too, just in case.
Calls to other Kyivstar customers is always free. You can take a peek here to look at the prepaid plans for Kyivstar as they will be the most current or you can view what they are below as of February 8, 2019:
2 GB of data and 30 minutes of call time outside Kyivstar for 75 UAH (about $2.75)
4 GB of data and 60 minutes of call time outside Kyivstar for 100 UAH (about $3.70)
9 GB of data and 150 minutes of call time outside Kyivstar for 150 UAH (about $5.50)
Unlimited data and 300 minutes of call time outside Kyivstar for 225 UAH (about $8.30)
There are multiple Kyivstar locations on Khreschatyk in Kyiv city center. Just ensure you go to an actual shop, like the one at Khreschatyk St 52.
I have traditionally gotten my Ukraine SIM cards with Vodafone as mentioned before just simply out of habit. I never had any issues with them in the past and would have gotten one again this time had they had them in stock (but Kyivstar was great so it was fun to try something new). I would also bring your passport with you to get this card even though they may not require it at the time. Better safe than sorry.
To see what tariffs are offered currently, head to Vodafone’s website here. All prepaid tariffs include unlimited calls to Vodafone Ukraine customers. Below are the options that were available on February 8, 2019 for prepaid customers:
4 GB of data and 65 minutes of call time outside Kyivstar for 65 UAH (about $2.40)
8 GB of data and 100 minutes of call time outside Kyivstar for 85 UAH (about $3.15)
Unlimited data and 150 minutes of call time outside Kyivstar for 115 UAH (about $4.25)
Another plus of getting a Ukraine SIM card with Vodafone is that you can pay 3 UAH daily and receive unlimited international calls. That is really rad if you ask me. 3 UAH is approximately $0.10.
There are quite a few Vodafone shops in Kyiv, but the one I always go to is located at Khreschatyk Street 15. If they do not have cards in stock again, there is a Kyivstar right there too.
What to Bring to Get Your SIM Card in Ukraine
Bring a passport and depending on what time of the day you head in there, bring exact change or close to it. I went at the end of the day and they had already pretty much closed up and it was inconvenient for them to get me change.
Getting a SIM card in Kyiv is pretty much straight to the point and fairly easy. Just figure out which plan you want (Vodafone is clearly the cheaper option) and what is the most important features for you when purchasing a SIM card and go with it. The addresses of the places to purchase a Ukrainian SIM card in Kyiv are above next to Kyivstar and Vodafone details.
Additional Reading Before Your Ukraine Trip
My friend, Lena, wrote an amazing book about traveling in Ukraine. She is from western Ukraine and this book touches upon that part of the country as well as Kyiv. It is available in both paperback and Kindle. Click here to get your hands on Insane Ukraine!