Visiting Kiev all you need to know
Top things to do, How to get around, travel tips advice and more
Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, is a city of contrasts, with a rich history and cultural heritage that is reflected in its architecture, monuments, and museums. Known as the "Mother of Russian Cities," Kiev is one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, with a history dating back over 1,500 years. From its medieval Old Town to its grand Soviet-era buildings, Kiev is a fascinating destination for travelers looking to explore a unique blend of Eastern European culture and history.
Climate-wise, Kiev has a continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. The best time to visit is from May to September, when the weather is warm and the city is in full bloom. This is also the peak tourist season, so it's best to book accommodations and flights well in advance.
One of the main tourist attractions in Kiev is the Old Town, which is home to the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is considered one of the most important Orthodox monasteries in Eastern Europe. The complex includes the Dormition Cathedral, the Refectory Church, and the Cave Monastery, where the remains of many saints are preserved.
Another must-see attraction in Kiev is the St. Sophia Cathedral, an 11th-century church that is considered one of the most important cultural and historical monuments in Ukraine. The cathedral features intricate mosaics, frescoes, and frescoes, and is a popular spot for photography enthusiasts.
For a taste of Soviet-era architecture, head to Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti), where you'll find the towering Kiev City Hall and the grandiose National Bank of Ukraine. The square is also home to a number of monuments and statues that commemorate Ukraine's independence.
If you're looking for a day trip from Kiev, consider visiting the nearby towns of Chernobyl and Pripyat, which were devastated by the nuclear disaster in 1986. While it's not recommended to visit the actual exclusion zone, tour operators offer organized tours that take you to the nearby towns and provide an in-depth look at the history and impact of the disaster.
For food and drink, Kiev is known for its hearty traditional Ukrainian cuisine, which includes dishes such as borscht, dumplings, and varenyky. Some popular restaurants in Kiev include Puzata Hata, a chain of Ukrainian fast-food restaurants, and Kompot, which specializes in traditional Ukrainian cuisine. For a more upscale dining experience, head to Le Jardin, a French-inspired restaurant that is a favorite among locals.
For a night out on the town, head to the trendy Andriyivsky Uzviz neighborhood, where you'll find a lively mix of bars, pubs, and clubs. Some popular bars in the area include B-hush, which offers a rooftop terrace with views of the city, and Vozdvyzhenka, which is known for its great cocktails and live music.
Getting around Kiev is relatively easy, with a well-developed public transportation system that includes buses, trams, and the metro. The metro is the most efficient way to get around the city, with several lines that connect the major tourist attractions. Taxis are also widely available, and many hotels and restaurants offer shuttle services.
In conclusion, Kiev is a city full of contrasts and surprises. With its rich history, cultural heritage and delicious food, it's a destination that should be on every traveler's list. From the famous Kiev Pechersk Lavra, to the nightlife in the Andriyivsky Uzviz neighborhood and day trips to Chernobyl and Pripyat, Kiev offers something for everyone.