- Adam Pate
NSC Olympiyskiy – FC Dynamo Kyiv
Photos by Adam Pate, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.14
NSC Olympiyskiy Velyka Vasylkivska St, 55 Kyiv, 02000, Ukraine
FC Dynamo Kyiv website NSC Olympiyskiy website
Year Opened: 1923 Capacity: 70,050
The NSC Olympiyskiy, located in the heart of downtown Kyiv, is Ukraine’s pinnacle of stadium experiences. Excellent facilities allow over 70,000 fans to pack in to enjoy their match days. Since the reopening in 2012, the stadium has held both the final of the Champions League in 2018 and the Euro Champs of 2012, placing it at the forefront of European football.
Food & Beverage 4
The food and beverage options at the Olympiyskiy varies vastly depending on which match day you are attending. Sitting in the VIP section for a big final, offerings are abundant. A quiet league in the main stand and bringing your snacks is preferable.
When sitting in the VIP area, there is a hot buffet with various sausages and potatoes available and a popcorn seller for the children. Lines move quickly there but slow down when in the main stands. Depending on the attendance, there will be several food outlets around the main concourse, with similar food. Credit cards can be used as well as cash.
Alcohol is available in the VIP section only at Olympiyskiy for visitors. There is a full bar, with spirits and a wine list, so it is advantageous to arrive early. In the main areas, there are several soft drink options as well as alcohol-free beer.
It is worth paying the extra money to visit the VIP section; tasty sausages await those who dare. Otherwise, many restaurants around the ground offer other eating options pre-game.
With a full crowd, the NSC Olympiyskiy will provide an experience on a par with all the other great stadia of Europe. It is a testament to the building prowess of the 21st century. Sadly, Ukrainian football fails to fill even half the ground for even the biggest match.
The two-tier bowl is reminiscent of many other stadiums around Europe, with the primary side of the ground reserved for VIP visitors and journalists. The speaker system is pumped full volume before the game, with the Dynamo anthem played and the National anthem sung. The concourse runs around the ground, with the visiting section fenced off for protection. Nevertheless, it is feasible to mix with many supporters during the game. The second tier is accessible via escalator and staircase, while extensive toilet facilities are available underground. The modern scoreboard keeps fans engaged with the game while offering highlights of key action moments.
The PA announcer is quite happy to share positive news throughout a Dynamo Kyiv game at the stadium. He likes to get the crowd involved at all times. There is a quite professional-looking organization for the pre-game flag-waving. Sadly, though, the club goes a little further than that at the moment.
The main Ultra groups sit behind the goal, so best to head there for the atmosphere. They prefer the goal nearer to the city centre. Each section has its own price range, but there are few checks to view the game from many locations. The VIP seats have additional padding and a beer cup holder – a bonus. All places have a great view of the pitch despite the running track getting in the way.
The NSC Olympiyskyi is the beating heart of downtown Kyiv. Located within a five-minute walk from the main thoroughfare, it is served by all the amenities of a global city.
Arena City, just a few hundred metres from the ground, is host to many restaurants and a popular meeting place for tourists. Closer to the ground, Dogs and Tails provides tasty hot dogs while Pervak can give a more traditional experience. The Just Beer Bar and BelleVue offer delicious drinks to get ready for the game. Milk Bar is a trendy breakfast hangout for those needing a next day cure for their hangovers.
With Kolos Kovlivka and Olimpik Donetsk using Kyiv as its base this year (2020), you will not be short of teams to visit in the city during football season. In warmer weather, enjoy strolling down the main street or take a trip to the city’s beaches. Around the stadium, there are endless coffee shops to pass the time in. For cultural vultures, the city hosts numerous museums and art galleries, all walkable from the complex.
Hotel’s Rus, President, and Aloft are all within a few hundred metres of the ground and offer international level facilities. They are worth considering for a visit. On the other hand, there are numerous apartments to rent in central locations for a weekend via Air BnB. Being the capital city of Ukraine, the choice is endless.
NSC Olympiyskyi is home to Dynamo Kyiv, followed by some of the most loyal fans in European football. The Ultra section will sing throughout the game, with other fans joining in intermittently.
Dynamo’s home average of over 14,000 people is the highest in the league despite supporters being banned for the first game of the year. Sadly though, this number does get lost in a stadium as large as NSC Olympiyskyi. For bigger games against Shakhtar or European nights, the stadium can reach over 50% capacity and gets incredibly noisy. Avoid Sectors 41-45 if you are not a fan of loud noises, plenty of fireworks are set off in that part of the ground.
Pre-game, the Dynamo song is played to get fans in the mood for the game, and the Ultra sectors start preparing their banners for the fan entrance. Throughout the match, there is a cacophony of noise from these Sectors, with the leaders responsible for keeping the sound going throughout the game. It is noticeably more engaging than other stadiums around the country.
NSC Olympiyskyi is one of the easiest grounds to visit in Europe. Numerous access points and ease makes it a delightful experience.
Being at the crosspoint of Palats Sportu and Olympiyskyi metro stations, public transport is easy for games. On more significant matches, they close these stations straight after the game, but the next stops are ten minutes’ walk away. The underground system makes bus and car transport unnecessary as traffic is quite unpleasant in central Kyiv. Nearest airports are Borispol and Zhuliany, both on the edge of this great city.
Being located in the heart of the city, the traffic is quite fierce at all times. However, there is a parking option under the stadium if you really desire.
All gates enter into the main compound where you can walk freely to all parts of the stadium. Every entrance has electronic ticket readers and security checks. The security will also check bags if you need to take one in with you.
Being an international standard stadium, the accessibility is world-class, there are escalators and lifts to go between the floors. Wide concourses allow for a smooth flow of people. Visitors, who need more support, will find plenty of seating options at ground level where the pitch is underneath them.
Return on Investment 5
Being located in the heart of Ukraine’s capital, a trip to NSC Olympiyskyi will set you back a bit more than elsewhere. Nevertheless, the facilities, which this international stadium has on offer, will make it worth your while.
Tickets can cost between 1 and 15 USD, depending on where you choose to sit in the ground. I recommend the top end as it provides you with access to the VIP lounge before the game. Public transport to the stadium can cost as little as 0.25USD. However, eating out in Kyiv is slightly more expensive, with prices more akin to central Europe.
You should remember that if you wish to avoid the VIP area, the cheapest ticket will grant you access to all areas. More often than not, seats are available. There are affordable food options around the stadium, but it is worth doing your research ahead.
The Club Shop and museum are exceptional extras at NSC Olympiyskyi. They are undoubtedly worth dropping in to visit.
A trip to NSC Olympiyskyi is a highlight of any Ukraine visit. The standout facilities are equal to any other experience around Europe. Sit back and enjoy your day.