Kyiv had been the capital of the first big Eastern Slavonic civilization, the Russ of Kyiv. Kyiv became a reputed political and cultural centre because of its beauty. Then came decline and revival... Under Russian domination, Kyiv started to grow.
Kiev, the capital of Ukraine
After the destruction of the Soviet Union the largest city of Ukraine became the capital of the newborn country. You will be surprised by Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. A Kiev guide for a day to discover one of the most beautiful, but less known, capital in Europe, planning for skiing in winter or a beach party in summer! And for sure the guide for a night - the nightlife of Kiev. Do not be surprised if sometimes you hear or you read Kyiv, this is not a mistake but the ukrainian transcript of Kiev in Russian. The official language of Ukraine is Ukrainian. You'll find many information signs in that language though the majority of the population speaks Russian. Despite the look of some ukrainians, Kiev is one of the safest capitals in Europe. You can travel without any problems.
Weather at Kiev Ukraine - you are not in Siberia! Winter can be cold but dry very bearable if you are properly clothed. The summer temperatures reach 35 ° c.
Arriving to Kiev the locals may seem cold to you, but once the ice is broken, you'll find quickly the authenticity of the Ukrainians. What concerns the Slavic beauty - you will find that this is not a myth: Kiev is the possibility to meet at the each street, in bars and clubs with beautiful and elegant Ukrainian women who will not leave you indifferent. Kiev is the capital so every woman tries to uphold its status by dressing very nice.
The destination will become trend and with the final phase of Euro 2012 (European Football Championship) that will take place in Ukraine the next year the price of Kiev hotels or rent apartments will probably increase. In 2012, you can still find cheap apartments in Kiev
. Use this opportunity to spend a few days in Kiev this year before the wave of tourism that will sweep the country in 2012. For fans, you can bring a jersey of the legendary club of the city Dynamo Kyiv
(FC Dinamo Kyiv).
How to get to Kiev?
The capital of the largest country in Europe is only three hours of flight from Paris. Ukraine International Airlines (often incorrectly called Air Ukraine or Ukrainian Airlines), the national airline has several daily direct flights Kiev Paris, as well as direct flights Nice Kiev in summer. For many towns of Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, connections are possible.
The airport of Kiev where international flights arrive is the airport Kiev Borispol (IATA code is KBP, Boryspil in Ukrainian). You will arrive at Terminal B (international terminal). If you should later take a domestic flight to Simferopol or Odessa you should pass to Terminal A. From April 2011, Wizz Air
Ukraine, that offers flights Kiev Simferopol will operate from Airport Kiev Zhulany (IATA code IEV) at the south of the city at only 8 km from the center.
Tip: arriving at the airport to the international terminal think of downloading a plan of Kiev. It will be useful for you to find your way in the city itself and in its subway.
You can get to Kiev by train from Berlin and Warsaw in particular but more likely you will have to go through the railway station of Kiev to move within Ukraine. Every day numerous trains connect the capital of Ukraine to all major cities. The travel is quite long but often in the night train, so finally we do not see the time passes. The train Kiev Sebastopol (No. 40) leaves daily from Kiev at 12:53 and arrives to the station of Sevastopol the following day at 6:15 am after a 1092 km of journey. Train Kiev Simferopol (No. 12) departs daily from Kiev at 16:50 to arrive to the capital of Crimea at 8:50 a.m. the next morning, i.e. 15 hours for 1014 km traveled. These are regular trains that run throughout the year. Many extra trains are added in summer for Southern direction of Ukraine: Odessa or the Crimea. If you take the train in Ukraine you should check the schedules that you are given for guidance only. At the station of Kiev if this is the first time you take a train in Ukraine and that you do not speak Russian or Ukrainian mind a minimum of thirty minutes to find the right platform and the right car. For those who buy a train ticket using our service we wait at the station and accompany you to your compartment.
From Central railway station you can take the metro (station: vogzalna) to arrive in few minutes to the historical center of Kiev.
To accomodate at Kiev
It is very simple to move at Kiev. Feel free to take the subway which is one of the most beautiful in the world and much cleaner than these of Europe. Descent for more than one hundred meters underground! It may last longer to descend than to go from one station to another. No security problem. But for the rush hours one should pay attention to the thefts. After the first difficulties to locate yourself, you will quickly get used to this mode of transportation that is much faster than the car. More and more traffic jams make it impossible to get around the city at certain times. The late evening prefer a taxi.
Note, that you can move in two other metro cities of Ukraine: Kharkov (Kharkiv) and Dnipropetrovsk. The subway should be opened in Donetsk in 2011. An original way to get around and reach the Dnieper banks is to take the funicular.
The avenue Khreshchatyk and the Place of Independence (Ma?dan Nezalezhnosti)
Planted with chestnuts, it is the most popular and the most beautiful avenue of Kiev. Do not miss the possibility to walk along «champs ?lysées» of Kiev, admiring its particular architecture and fountains. On the weekend, the street becomes a very nice pedestrianized zone... After World War II, the avenue was rebuilt in an imposing Soviet style. However, the whole city is very nice:
The cathedral of Saint-Sophia
The cathedral (12th century) and the monastery are very interesting for every visitor of Kiev. From the bell-tower of the cathedral you will have a spectacular view on the golden domes of the Monastery of Saint Michael.
The monastery of Saint Michael
Walking near Saint-Sophia, you won't miss the golden domes of the monastery, named after the protector of Kiev. It is situated in the upper part of the city, administrative and historical heart of Kiev...
District Andriyivski Spusk and the church of Saint-Andrew
In this older part of the city, known as the "Montmartre of Kyiv", is situated the museum of Bulgakov. This district transforms for the week-ends in the gigantic gallery of art. It is situated in the historic centre of Kiev, traditional place of artisans and workshops. Lots of painting galleries and souvenir-shops.
Cavern monastery Kyevo-Pecherska Lavra cultural legacy of the world by UNESCO
It overhangs the Dniepr. The part of the left board of Dniepr has been nowadays transformed to beaches..
Islands Trukhaniv and Hydropark will offer you a marvelous view on Lavra.
Even if you are not a fan, the spectacles given by the ballet of Kiev are extraordinary
National museum of art
Opened in 1899. Icons from 12th to 18th century, Ukrainian artists of 19th and 20th centuries.
Museum of the Great patriotic war
opened in 1981, dedicated to the events of the World War II 1941-1945.
The statue of "Mother Patrimony" made of titanium (108 m of height) in «Soviet» style makes an interesting contrast to the golden domes of Pecherskaya Lavra. Adress: street Sichnevogo povstannya - metro station Arsenalnaya
Activities at Kiev and its vicinity
You might be surprised to learn that on the territory of Kiev there are 120 km of beaches! Kiev's left bank is the Dnieper, one of the largest rivers in Europe and the right bank is river Desenka. They are separated by three large islands that become very popular from May to September. The island Venetsianskyi is the best known with its Hydropark. You can get there by subway. Do not swim at the right bank, the Dnieper, but enjoy the superb views of the churches of the monastery Percherska Lavra. Left Bank is the Desenka where you can swim. From this island you can access to the other island - Dolobetskyi, a paradise for swimmers and clubbers ... in summer. The island is surrounded by Desenka, no restriction on swimming. On this island takes place the beach party of Kiev in summer. The third largest island is Trukhaniv. Nothing to do for clubbers, it's more for sportsmen.
but what to do in Kiev in winter? You won't believe me... but you can ski in the very center of the city! Two mechanical lifts in the center, you can rent skis or snowboards right here. The descents are rather short but ideal for some fresh air after spending the night in a club. You can take the metro to go skiing, station: "Druzhba narodiv" then by minibus No. 450. You will also find several skating rinks in Kyiv but theay are often busy, especially on weekends.
Do not leave Ukraine, especially if it is your first experience in Eastern countries, without trying a traditional sauna. Here they do not say sauna but banya. Real art of living in Ukraine as in Russia, it contributes to the maintenance of the physical and mental health. After a good night sprinkled with vodka, it will be very good for anyone. We know only a few of them, but there are many others. Feel free to suggest a sauna to a Ukrainian girl. You can go to the sauna on your own but traditionally they go there in groups.
Metro : Zoloti Vorota
In the very centre of Kiev one of the best sauna offers private areas with sauna, shower, toilet, lounge with TV / DVD and with a swimming pool up to 9 m in length. Alone or in groups up to 6 people the price is the same. You can also ask for a massage.
Shopping at Kiev
Where to eat: restaurants of Kiev
CAFE DE PARIS
During your stay in Kiev do not forget to visit the district Andriyivski spusk and the church of Saint-Andrew. In this older part of the city, known as the "Montmartre of Kyiv", is situated the museum of Bulgakov. The paved street on the weekend turns into a giant outdoor art gallery. It is situated in the historical center of Kiev, traditional place where of artists and workshops. Lots of art galleries and souvenir shops. At the beginning of the descent on the left after the church you will find "Cafe de Paris"! Definitely the best parity quality-price in Kiev. This is not where you experience the Ukrainian cuisine, but simply that you eat well at a good price in a Parisian bistro decor.
Metro Arsenalna then bus (better get there by taxi): Good traditional Ukrainian cuisine in typical decorations, it is very good for tourists, do not miss it. Feel free to visit the restaurant before you check in the hotel. Website: www.tsarske.kiev.ua
Address: Velyka vasylkivska 56
Metro plosha L'va Tolstovo
There's nothing better to learn russian and ukrainian cuisine than pelmeni (russian ravioli)
Metro Kreshatyk / Maidan nezalezhnosti
If you didn't taste a baguette, a good croissant or a bread with chocolate while you were at Kiev, you may find the real french bakery with an aroma of warm bread in the very centre of Kiev.
Sleeping: where to stay at Kiev
At Kiev you won't have a large choice between the hotels of "soviet" style and the overpriced palaces. For a few days in Kiev, do not hesitate to rent an apartment. The most of downtown apartments available for rent are very well equipped. Furthermore you can easily invite your new friend... while at the hotel you may have problems. Don't forget to book your airport transfer in Kiev at the same time as your apartment, you'll economize.
Night Clubs & Disco: Nightlife in Kiev
Kiev is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, and also the main city of the region. Kiev's cafes are everywhere in town, with clubs and cafes spotted at the avenue of Kreshchatyk, offering the open-air terraces in summer. Youth and beua-monde come together at Arena City, located at the end of the avenue. Casual and chic places like the Bar on 8, are concentrated around the Old Town and the hood of Lypky. Summer is the season of nightclubs, clubbing and live music. The cafes stay open until the early hours of the day and most clubs stay open until 6:00.
Address Basseyna 2A, Kiev (on Khreschatyk) Paradise of revelers, the disco club Arena is the most legendary and prestigious in Kiev. The Arena is a large complex which hosts prestigeous DJs as David Guetta, Bob Sinclar, David Vendetta! This is the inevitable club of the city ... We recommend you to visit it to listen to dance music and electro of the best quality and to make a pleasant acquaintances. 4 dancefloors. An impressive sound system. Bars ... The open-air part of the central place often hosts outdoor concerts.
See youtube video of the club
Address: Richniy Vokzal, Kiev. The nightclub on the banks of the Dnieper River, located on a boat, which by its originality and quality of offered music, continues to attract the coolest people of Kiev. Hookahs, shows, delicious cocktails and originality. You'll find all the ingredients to taste the nightlife of Kiev!
12/37 Dekabristov St. "Maximum" is one of the largest complexes of Ukraine. There are few dancefloors but also a bowling alley, a casino and pool. And a bar with strip tease... There's something for any taste and any interest. Good sound and a set of lights is still among the best in Ukraine http://www.maximym.com/
Muzeyny Lane 10, Kiev A nightclub fashion: one of the most popular in Kiev. The 2nd floor is properly designed. A clientelle about twenty years old. Patipa is a club in the centre of Kiev. The closest metro station is the Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti). http://www.patipa.com/en/