Kiev surprises the tourist with its beauty: pompous sights, enchanting Monasteries and the exoticism of Eastern Europe leave their mark on the visitor.
KIEV AS A DESTINATION
A different city break in Kiev
The capital of Ukraine, Kiev, is a foreign travel destination that surprises the visitor with a tremendously diverse offer. Historical Monuments, magnificent churches, Eastern European alleys – all this can be found in beautiful Kiev.
Kiev is a city of more than two million inhabitants, located in the northern part of Ukraine. Like the rest of the country, the city is inhabited by both Ukrainian and Russian speakers, so both languages are widely used.
Churches and monasteries of Kiev
Mixing ornate domes and rugged Soviet style, Kiev is known above all for its magnificent churches and monasteries. Pechersk Lavra Monastery and Hagia Sophia are some of the city’s most famous attractions.
There is also plenty of choice in museums – the most interesting options are, for example, the Museum of the Great Patriotic War at the foot of the Mother Earth statue and the museum documenting the Chernobyl nuclear accident.
Those interested in a nuclear power plant disaster can also take a day trip to Chernobyl. For those who want more idyllic landscapes, the charming village museum of Pyrohiv is suitable as an excursion destination.
Eastern European delicacies and inexpensive gifts
In Kiev, you should not shy away from local cuisine: the city has excellent Ukrainian and Russian delicacies. As in Eastern Europe, Kiev also prefers hearty home-cooked food such as Kotlety po chicken or Russian-style dumplings. Traditional dishes such as borscht and cabbage rolls are also common in the city. A traveler hunting for an authentic Ukrainian food experience differs from the self-service restaurants favored by the locals.
Those looking for shopping should get local crafts and art as a gift, which can be found, for example, on the city’s most famous street, the picturesque cobbled Andriyivsky Uzviz. From the street favored by artists, you can still make inexpensive discoveries in Finnish.
Alcohol products are also cheap in Ukraine, and many say they grab a bottle of local vodka.
Good to know about Kiev
Kiev is a suitable destination for city travelers who are interested in religious and historical monuments. The Ukrainian capital also offers something new for more experienced travelers.
Kiev has a continental climate, which means hot summers and cold winters. The best time to travel to Kiev is early summer or autumn, when the weather is mild and there are fewer tourists. Especially flowering May is a good time to experience Kiev.
Kiev is a safe destination, but like other big cities, you have to watch out for pickpockets. The price level in the city is affordable.
Both Ukraine and Russia are spoken in Kiev. Proficiency in English has become more common over the years, but the tourist should learn the basics of the Cyrillic alphabet, for example, to travel on the subway.
EU citizens do not need a visa in Ukraine if the trip takes less than 90 days.
FLIGHTS, ACCOMMODATION AND MOVEMENT IN KIEV
Flights to Kiev
Kiev is not one of the most typical city holiday destinations, but a few Finnish travel agencies offer package tours to the city. Ukraine International Airlines flies from Helsinki to Kiev five times a week. The direct flight takes about two hours. For example, Air Baltic offers connecting flights from Helsinki to Kiev.
Kiev Boryspil Airport is less than an hour’s bus ride from the city center.
If you want to avoid flying, you can also travel to Kiev by train via St. Petersburg or Moscow. However, travel by rail is quite slow.
Accommodation in Kiev
Kiev’s accommodation offer has developed tremendously in recent years. Alongside Soviet-style hotels, international hotel chains have emerged, as well as stylish boutique accommodation, among which there are options for all kinds of budgets.
The city also has low-cost hostels, especially popular with young people and backpackers.
Getting around Kiev
In Kiev, the sights are easy to get around even on foot – all you need is a good map and comfortable shoes. The most convenient means of public transport is the metro. The Kiev subway is neat and affordable, but stations that are marked with the Cyrillic alphabet may cause a headache for the traveler. The metro runs from morning until midnight, and tickets are in place instead of tickets.
When using taxis, the price should be agreed with the driver in advance.
Tourists planning trips to other parts of Ukraine may also want to consider renting a car. However, it is worth noting that the roads are in poor condition in some places.
ATTRACTIONS IN KIEV
The Mother Earth statue is a landmark in Kiev
In the middle of Kiev, rising Mother Earth, it is impossible not to notice – the statue over a hundred meters is the city’s famous landmark. The sun-shining Mother Earth also offers the best views over Kiev, as the statue’s arm can be reached by elevator. In connection with the statue, there is also the Museum of the Great Patriotic War, where it is worth popping on the same trip.
Pechersk Lavra monastery area
The beautiful monastery area of Pechersk is considered the main attraction of Kiev. If you want, you can spend a whole day in the churches and museums of the area, but for most a shorter visit is enough. Exciting caves and tunnels can also be found in the vast area built along the Dnieper River as early as 1051.
Church of St. Sophia
The crown jewels of Kiev’s numerous churches include St. Sophia Cathedral and the monastery. The oldest church in Ukraine, dating back to the millennium, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The monastery of St. Michael is a magnificent new architecture
Beautifully rebuilt respecting the traditions of St. Michael’s monastery does not believe in the 90’s towards the end of a fabrication. Originally built in the 12th century, the monastery is still one of the most important religious and architectural attractions in Kiev.
Kiev’s Independence Square, or Maidan Nezalezhnosti, may be familiar to some tourists on television – the square served as the scene of the so-called Orange Revolution in 2004. Independence Square is also a gathering place for locals to sit and follow the usual Ukrainian way of life.
THE BEST OF KIEV
The best experiences of Kiev
- Experience Kiev’s historic churches and monasteries.
- Walk on Andriyivsky Uzviz, the most picturesque street in Kiev.
- Taste the traditional delicacies of Ukrainian cuisine.
- Deviate from Kiev’s interesting museums.
- Take a day trip to the Pyrohiv Village Museum or the Chernobyl nuclear power plant area.
The best attractions in Kiev
- Pechersk Lavra monastery area
- Church of Sophia
- Monastery of St. Michael
- Andriyivsky Uzviz
- Mother Earth statue
Disadvantages of Kiev
- The language barrier may bully tourists in Kiev.
- In Kiev, as in other major cities, beware of pickpockets.