- PRICES LIST
- HOTELS (BEST RATED)
- HOTELS (BEST VALUE)
- COFFEE & DRINK
- SIGHTS & LANDMARKS
- MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
- THINGS TO DO
- THINGS TO KNOW
- STAY SAFE
Kiev is the capital and largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population in July 2015 was2,887,974 (though higher estimated numbers have been cited in the press), making Kiev the 8th most populous city in Europe.
Kiev is an important industrial,scientific, educational, and cultural centre of Eastern Europe. It is home to many high-tech industries, higher education institutions and world-famous historical landmarks. The city has an extensive infrastructure and highly developed system of public transport, including the Kiev Metro.
The city's name is said to derive from the name of Kyi, one of its four legendary founders . During its history, Kiev, one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, passed through several stages of great prominence and relative obscurity. The city probably existed as a commercial centre as early as the 5th century. A Slavic settlement on the great trade route between Scandinavia and Constantinople, Kiev was a tributary of the Khazars, until seized by the Varangians (Vikings) in the mid-9th century. Under Varangian rule, the city became a capital of the Kievan Rus', the first East Slavic state. Completely destroyed during theMongol invasion in 1240, the city lost most of its influence for the centuries to come. It was a provincial capital of marginal importance in the outskirts of the territories controlled by its powerful neighbours; first the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, followed by Poland and Russia.
The city prospered again during the Russian Empire's Industrial Revolution in the late 19th century. In 1917, after the Ukrainian National Republic declared independence from the Russian Empire, Kiev became its capital. From 1919 Kiev was an important center of theArmed Forces of South Russia and was controlled by the White Army. From 1921 onwards Kiev was a city of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which was proclaimed by the Red Army, and, from 1934, Kiev was its capital. During World War II, the city again suffered significant damage, but quickly recovered in the post-war years, remaining the third largest city of the Soviet Union.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and Ukrainian independencein 1991, Kiev remained the capital of Ukraine and experienced a steady migration influx of ethnic Ukrainians from other regions of the country.During the country's transformation to a market economy and electoral democracy, Kiev has continued to be Ukraine's largest and richest city. Kiev's armament-dependent industrial output fell after the Soviet collapse, adversely affecting science and technology. But new sectors of the economy such as services and finance facilitated Kiev's growth in salaries and investment, as well as providing continuous funding for the development of housing and urban infrastructure. Kiev emerged as the most pro-Western region of Ukraine where parties advocating tighter integration with the European Union dominate during elections.
|POPULATION :||City: 2,900,920 / Metro: 3,375,000|
|FOUNDED :||482 A.D.|
|TIME ZONE :||EET (UTC+2) Summer: EEST (UTC+3)|
|LANGUAGE :||Ukrainian (official) 67%, Russian 24%, other 9%|
|RELIGION :||Ukrainian Orthodox - Kyiv Patriarchate 50.4%, Ukrainian Orthodox - Moscow Patriarchate 26.1%, Ukrainian Greek Catholic 8%, Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox 7.2%, Others 8%|
|AREA :||839 km2 (324 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||938 m (3,077 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||50°27′00″N 30°31′24″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 46.7% |
• Female: 53.3%
|ETHNIC :||Ukrainians 82.2%, Russians 13.1%, Jews 0.7%, Others 4%|
|AREA CODE :||44|
|POSTAL CODE :||01xxx-04xxx|
|DIALING CODE :||+380 44|
Modern Kiev is a mix of the old and the new, seen in everything from the architecture to the stores and to the people themselves. When the capital of the Ukrainian SSR was moved from Kharkiv to Kiev many new buildings were commissioned to give the city "the gloss and polish of a capital".
Ukrainian independence at the turn of the millennium has heralded other changes. Western-style residential complexes, modern nightclubs, classy restaurants and prestigious hotels opened in the centre.
Ukraine is positioning itself as a prime tourist attraction, with Kiev, among the other large cities, looking to profit from new opportunities. The centre of Kiev has been cleaned up and buildings have been restored and redecorated, especially Khreshchatyk and Maidan Nezalezhnosti. Many historic areas of Kiev, such as Andriyivskyy Descent, have become popular street vendor locations, where one can find traditional Ukrainian art, religious items, books, game sets (most commonly chess) as well as jewellery for sale.
Kiev's most famous historical architecture complexes are the St. Sophia Cathedral and the Kiev Pechersk Lavra (Monastery of the Caves), which are recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
The centre of Kiev (Independence Square and Khreschatyk Street) becomes a large outdoor party place at night during summer months, with thousands of people having a good time in nearby restaurants, clubs and outdoor cafes. The central streets are closed for auto traffic on weekends and holidays. Andriyivskyy Descent is one of the best known historic streets and a major tourist attraction in Kiev.
Kiev also has numerous recreational attractions like bowling alleys, go-cart tracks, paintball venues, billiard halls and even shooting ranges. The 100-year-old Kiev Zoo is located on 40 hectares and according to CBC "the zoo has 2,600 animals from 328 species".
Kiev is home to some 40 different museums.
Kiev is one of the oldest cities of Eastern Europe and has played a pivotal role in the development of the medieval East Slavic civilization as well as in the modern Ukrainian nation.
It is believed that Kiev was founded in the late 9th century. There is little historical evidence pertaining to the period when the city was founded. Scattered Slavic settlements existed in the area from the 6th century, but it is unclear whether any of them later developed into the city. 8th-century fortifications were built upon a Slavic settlement apparently abandoned some decades before. It is still unclear whether these fortifications were built by the Slavs or the Khazars.
In the early 1320s, a Lithuanian army led by Gediminas defeated a Slavic army led by Stanislav of Kiev at the Battle on the Irpen' River, and conquered the city. The Tatars, who also claimed Kiev, retaliated in 1324–1325, so while Kiev was ruled by a Lithuanian prince, it had to pay a tribute to the Golden Horde. Finally, as a result of the Battle of Blue Waters in 1362, Kiev and surrounding areas were incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by Algirdas, Grand Duke of Lithuania.In 1482, the Crimean Tatars sacked and burned much of Kiev.
During the 18th and 19th centuries city life was dominated by the Russian military and ecclesiastical authorities; the Russian Orthodox Church formed a significant part of Kiev's infrastructure and business activity.
During the Russian industrial revolution in the late 19th century, Kiev became an important trade and transportation centre of the Russian Empire, specialising in sugar and grain export by railway and on the Dnieper river. By 1900, the city had also become a significant industrial centre, having a population of 250,000.
In 1934 Kiev became the capital of Soviet Ukraine. The city boomed again during the years of the Soviet industrialization as its population grew rapidly and many industrial giants were created, some of which exist to this day.
In World War II, the city again suffered significant damage, and was occupied by Nazi Germany from 19 September 1941 to 6 November 1943. More than 600,000 Soviet soldiers were killed or captured in the great encirclement Battle of Kiev in 1941.
In the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine was proclaimed in the city by the Ukrainian parliament on 24 August 1991. In 2004–2005, the city played host to until then the largest post-Soviet public demonstrations, in support of the Orange Revolution.
Kiev has a humid continental climate.
The warmest months are June, July, and August, with mean temperatures of 13.8 to 24.8 °C (56.8 to 76.6 °F).
The coldest are December, January, and February, with mean temperatures of −4.6 to −1.1 °C (23.7 to 30.0 °F).
Snow cover usually lies from mid-November to the end of March, with the frost-free period lasting 180 days on average.
Climate data for Kiev
|Record high °C (°F)||11.1|
|Average high °C (°F)||−0.9|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−3.5|
|Average low °C (°F)||−5.8|
|Record low °C (°F)||−31.1|
|Source #1: Pogoda.ru.net|
Geographically, Kiev belongs to the Polesia ecological zone (a part of the European mixed woods). However, the city's unique landscape distinguishes it from the surrounding region.
Kiev is located on both sides of the Dnieper River, which flows south through the city towards the Black Sea. The older right-bank (western) part of the city is represented by numerous woody hills, ravines and small rivers.
The Dnieper River forms a branching system of tributaries, isles, and harbors within the city limits. The city is adjoined by the mouth of the Desna River and the Kiev Reservoir in the north, and the Kaniv Reservoir in the south. Both the Dnieper and Desna rivers are navigable at Kiev, although regulated by the reservoir shipping locks and limited by winter freeze-over.
As with most capital cities, Kiev is a major administrative, cultural and scientific centre of the country. It is the largest city in Ukraine in terms of both population and area and enjoys the highest levels of business activity. On 1 January 2010 there were around 238,000 business entities registered in Kiev.
Official figures show that between 2004 and 2008 Kiev's economy outstripped the rest of the country's, growing by an annual average of 11.5%. Following the global financial crisis that began in 2007, Kiev's economy suffered a severe setback in 2009 with gross regional product contracting by 13.5% in real terms. Although a record high, the decline in activity was 1.6 percentage points smaller than that for the country as a whole. The economy in Kiev, as in the rest of Ukraine, recovered somewhat in 2010 and 2011. Kiev is a middle-income city, with prices currently comparable to many mid-size American cities (i.e., considerably lower than Western Europe).
Because the city boasts a large and diverse economic base and is not dependent on any single industry and/or company, its unemployment rate has historically been relatively low – only 3.75% over 2005–2008. Indeed, even as the rate of joblessness jumped to 7.1% in 2009, it remained far below the national average of 9.6%.
Kiev is the undisputed center of business and commerce of Ukraine and home to the country's largest companies, such as Naftogaz Ukrainy, Energorynok and Kyivstar. In 2010 the city accounted for 18% of national retail sales and 24% of all construction activity. Indeed, real estate is one of the major forces in Kiev's economy. Average prices of apartments are the highest in the country and among the highest in eastern Europe. Kiev also ranks high in terms of commercial real estate for it is here where the country's tallest office buildings (such as Gulliver and Parus) and some of Ukraine's biggest shopping malls (such as Dream Town and Ocean Plaza) are located.
In May 2011 Kiev authorities presented a 15-year development strategy which calls for attracting as much as EUR82 billion of foreign investment by 2025 to modernize the city’s transport and utilities infrastructure and make it more attractive for tourists.
Kiev is divided in 10 districts:
Г — Holosiiv Raion
О — Obolon Raion
Печ — Pechersk Raion
Под — Podil Raion
Ш — Shevchenko Raion
Св — Sviatoshyn Raion
Сол — Solomianka Raion
Дар — Darnytsia Raion
Дес — Desna Raion
Дн — Dnipro Raion
- Main Post Office (Holovposhtamt) (Головпоштамт, No.1 поштове відділення) (M: Maidan Nezhalovsti), , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. M-F 08.00-21.00, Sa 08.00-21.00, Su 09.00-19.00. Internet service with printing UAH8 per hour, UAH1 per A4. Post offices in Kiev, addresses, services, working times. +380 44 2300830, +380 44 2300838
- No.31 Post-office (No. 31 поштове відділення), Vokzalnaya sq., 1 (M: Vokzalna), . , , 24/7. The central railway station, on the 1-st floor.
Mobile (cell) phones: GSM (900/1800) and 3G (CDMA, UMTS) is used in Ukraine. This system is compatible with mobile phone networks used everywhere apart from parts of the Americas and US dominated parts of Asia.
If you have an unlocked GSM phone, you can get an Kyivstar , MTS or life:) [www](Astelit) SIM card for a few dollars at street vendors which will give you a local number and free incoming calls. Note that most of those cards don't have money on their account so you may want to buy a payment card when you buy a sim card. If you don't have an unlocked phone already, new ones can be had for USD30-40 and a touch cheaper if you buy a pay-as-you-go sim card at the same time. Incoming calls are free in Ukraine so in extremis you can just SMS/text a request for a return call for a small charge.
If you are roaming in Kiev, SMS messages do work well. They are confirmed to work for most foreign networks. Do note that the size of the country and the relative low population densities of rural areas means that sometimes there might be 'black-spots' where mobiles will not work. But of course these are away from the main cities/urban areas (and most of the main arterial road and rail routes also have reasonably consistent call signals).
If you are trying to call the US from your GSM phone, you may find that the access numbers for your calling card are blocked. Plan ahead and sign up with a callback service (such as UWT **warning, lead-time required**) before you start your travels and you can provoke them to call you (at much better rates) when you need to make a call.
The easiest way to maintain Internet connectivity if you use your own laptop is to buy a 7-day unlimited Lucky Internet callback card. They are about UAH36 at the street kiosks. When you dial in, you will be initially firewalled off from everything until you activate by visiting their website [www]
You may also buy wireless internet access for your laptop for about 10 UAH per day.[www] for details or just google "wireless internet in Ukraine".
Internet cafés have a good service. They usually have different types of computers with varying prices. Near the metro station on ul Khmelnytskoho (on the left side at a corner) there is one that is very good, open 24 hours non stop. The cheapest computers cover your basic needs, the most expensive ones are usually for hardcore gamers.
Also most foreigner-friendly cafés and a lot of fast food restaurants (including McDonald's) offer free Wi-Fi. Some require password to use their access point, ask waiter to get it.
Prices in Kiev
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€0.50|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€3.80|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€12.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€19.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€24.00|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€2.20|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€1.27|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€0.60|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€3.60|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€4.80|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.04|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€0.90|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€0.70|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€64.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M )||1||€43.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas )||1||€86.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€0.20|
26 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
71 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Boryspil International Airport
- Boryspil International Airport (IATA: KBP) (Міжнародний аеропорт "Бориспіль") (36km south-east from the city centre.), . Boryspil Airport has 3 terminals in operation: B, D, and F. Most international flights arrive in the terminals D or F, whereas terminal B is used for domestic flights. Terminal B is much older than F and dates back to Soviet times, but in fact they differ in small details only. Both terminal B and F are very cramped and inconvenient, while terminal D is newer and larger. Passport control upon both arrival and departure is usually quite fast and usually takes no longer than 10 minutes. Airlines operating to/from KBP include Ukraine's one major international airline: Ukraine International Airlines (Міжнародні Авіалінії України - Mizhnarodni Avialiniyi Ukrayiny), as well as Adria Airlines, Air France, Air Moldova, Austrian Airlines, Azerbaijan Airlines, Belavia, British Airways, Czech Airlines, El Al, Estonian Air, Finnair, KLM, LOT, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, AirBaltic, Windrose, YANAIR and others. There are usually budget charters to Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Dubai, and other destinations. In summer, Ukrainian Mediterranean Airlines runs charters to various destinations including Italy and Turkey. Ukraine International Airlines is the only airline with direct flights to North America.
To/from Boryspil Airport:
A bus, known as the Sky Bus, operates 24-hour service between each terminal of the airport and the southern side of the Central Railway station (UAH60, 70 minutes), with a stop at the Kharkivska Metro Station on the Green Line (UAH35, 45 minutes). If your destination lies on the Left Bank, or if it's rush hour (in which case the bus is likely to run into traffic in the center) and you were going to take the subway anyway, it might be a good idea to exit at Kharkivska. It's a much shorter walk to the metro (especially if you have luggage), and the fare is also slightly cheaper from the airport. To do this the other way around (from the city to the airport) is less convenient, since the bus might skip the stop if it's already full (and even if it does stop, you'd be standing all the way, as most seats are usually taken at the terminus). The bus stop for Sky Bus is marked with an ordinary sign .
If you alight at the last stop, to get to the metro (Vokzalna station) from the bus stop, enter the railway terminal, follow the bridge over the railway, leave the building, and turn left.
For taxis, the minimum price to the city centre is about UAH200 when you book in advance. The official taxi service at the airport (Sky Taxi ) is slightly more expensive at UAH6.50/km. Unofficial cabs may demand higher prices, so always arrange the price before you enter the cab and feel free to bargain.
- Zhulyany Airport'(IATA: IEV) (аеропорт "Жуляни"), Vul. Medova, 2 (7km southwest of the city centre.), . Mostly served by budget airlines, Wizzair is the major airline operating to this airport.
To/from Zhulyany Airport:
A taxi to the city center costs UAH100-150 if booked/negotiated in advance.
- Bus 9 operates service to/from the Vokzalna/Central Railway Station, with connections to Metro Line 1.
- Bus Route 78 operates service to Vasylkivska Metro Station, where connections can be made to Metro Line 2.
- Trolleybus Route 22 operates service to Dorohozhychi Station, where connections can be made to Metro Line 3.
- Volynsky Train Station (Платформа "Київ - Волинський"), Vul. Post-Volynska, (Пост-Волинська вул.) (located 500m from the domestic terminal.).There, elektrichka commuter trains operate service to the central/Vokzalna Railway Station. The intracity Urban Electric Train service also operates at Volynsky train station.
- Kiev Pasazhyrskyi (Київ-Пасажирський), Sq Vokzalnaya, 1 (Close to the city centre.), . Kiev's central railway station. Metro stationVokzalna (метро "Вокзальна") on the M1 line connects to the railway terminal. The terminal building straddles numerous railway tracks, and effectively comprises two separate buildings joined by a bridge. The building on the northern side (next to the metro station) is the main station. The building on the southern side is the south station with its own ticket office and hotel. Public transport stops on both sides of the railway. Buses and trolleybuses to the city centre depart from the main building, buses to the Boryspil and Zhulyany airports operate from the southern station. Direct day and overnight trains are available from all major cities and towns in Ukraine. Express Intercity+ trains to Poltava,Lviv, Kharkiv, and Dnipropetrovsk take 2h50, 4h55, 4h30 and 5h13 respectively. Most express routes have two departures in each direction daily. Slower overnight trains to Lviv, Kharkiv, and Dnipropetrovsk take 9, 8, 12 and 8 hours respectively.
As of March 2014, direct trains to Crimean cities are no longer in operation due to the Russian occupation of Crimea. Non-Ukrainian citizens travelling to the Crimea must first obtain special permission from the Ukrainian government.
- Pivnichna suburban train station (Пiвнiчна) (located under the square adjoining the main station.). This station is separated from the other two buildings and has its own entrance equipped with turnstiles.
- Central station (Автобусний вокзал "Центральний"), Moskovskaya sq, 3(metro station Demyvska, M2 line), . International buses stop at the central station, which is a squalid place that is anything but central. There are frequent direct buses of variable quality from Germany, Poland and Moldova. Kiev is served by Euroclub-bus from various destinations in Germany: Bremen, Cologne, Frankfurt and Rostock and from Vienna in Austria. Inland buses by Autolux and Gunsel.
- Kiev Bus Station (Автостанция "Киев"), Vokzalna sq, 1 (At Central Train Station).
- Polissia Bus Station (Автостанция №2 "Полесье"), Shevchenko Tarasa sq., (пл. Шевченка,) 2 (From metro Kontraktova take nortbound tram), . For northern directions.
- Yuzhnaia or Pivdennya Station (Автостанция №3 "Южная", Автостанція "Південна"), Prosp. Akademika Hlukova, (пр-т академика Глушкова,) 3 (Metro 'Ipodrom'.), . To/from Vinnytsa and other southbound destinations.
- Darnytsia Bus Station (Автостанция №4 "Дарница"), Prosp. Haharina, (пр-т Гагарина,) 1 (Metro 'Chernihivska'), .
- Dachna Bus Station (Автостанция "Дачна"), Prosp. Pobedy (пр-т Победы,) 142 (Metro 'Zhytomyrska', 700m.), . Western directions.
- Podyl Bus Station (Автостанция №6 "Поділ"), Vul. Nizhny Val, (ул. Нижний Вал,) 15-а (Metro 'Kontraaktova' 500m.), .
- Vydubychi Bus Station (Автостанция "Выдубичи" №7), Naberezhno-Pecherskaya Rd, 10 (Metro 'Vydubychy'), . To Kaniv and Cherkassy.
The main route into Ukraine from the West is via Poland. Border crossings include those at Krościenk/Smilnytsya, Medyka/Shehyni, Korczowa/Krakovets, Budomierz/Hrushiv, Hrebenne/Rava Ruska, Dołhobyczó/Uhryniv, Zosin/Ustyluh, and Dorohusk/Yahodyn. When you arrive at the border, the road is fairly narrow (no motorway/autobahn), and there are always a queue of trucks and vans parked to the right of the road. Don't park behind the goods vehicles, slip up the side of them and then feed into the customs area when the guy flags you forward (for courteous Europeans, you're not jumping the queue as commercial traffic goes through a different process). If you're in an EU-registered car then find the EU-passports section. Then, proceed to Ukrainian passport control and then Ukrainian customs and you're through. It used to be a nightmare, with apocryphal tales of 5-6+ hours at the border, but the Ukrainians have made great advances in efficiency with a 1-2 hour, or less, border crossing now possible. Unfortunately, driving back into Poland is still often a nightmare since the Polish side is extremly slow in letting vehicles, regardless of their national registration, into Poland. This situation is made even worse when the Polish Customs officers go on strike.
Once through, just follow the signs towards Kiev.
A further 24-hour entry point to Ukraine from the West is from Slovakia at Uzhgorod, where an extensive border complex has been constructed with financial support from the European Union. This is on the E50 European highway route which should eventually extend from Vienna to Kiev, via Bratislava and Košice. Eastward travel by road experiences little delay, but there are often extensive queues in the other direction. In theory pedestrians are allowed to cross this border, but in practice Slovak guards prevent them. One option for those without their own transport is to walk back down the road and hitch a lift through from a Ukrainian vehicle, which they will generally do free or for USD10/€10.
Transportation - Get Around
Kiev can seem quite foreign to the western tourist, as most signposts are in Cyrillic script. It is still largely a city where very few people know English, and the likelihood of encountering an English speaker is low - but not impossible. For the non-Russian or Ukrainian speaker, it's quite possible to get around easily, and it is a very interesting city to explore. It never hurts to speak English. Often, a shop assistant will ask customers who can speak English to act as translators.
It is advisable, however, to pick up a pocket Russian or Ukrainian phrasebook, and learn the Cyrillic alphabet, which can be fun and is easy to learn. Spend some time practising key words and phrases (e.g. 'hello', 'thank-you' and 'bill please'). Even what you regard as a feeble attempt at Ukrainian or Russian will amuse most people to the point where they become comfortable engaging in pantomime or trying out the little bit of English they know.
It is impolite to chat loudly (e.g., in the Metro), point or wave one's hands. You should also avoid whistling inside or being under-dressed, although in summer very short mini-skirts are widespread. All of these actions will regularly attract the wrong type of attention, including outright hostility.
Pick up a "Kyiv Tour Guide" map book (Geosvit books - around USD3–4), which is available at a number of kiosks or at the central post office.Basic tourist maps are available at the baggage carousel at Boryspil Airport. If you are spending much time in Kiev, get the matching Ukrainian version of your map, many locals have as much trouble with the version that is transliterated to Latin characters as you will have with Cyrillic. They need the version in Cyrillic. When asking for directions or setting out in a taxi, it helps to locate the place you want on the English map and then point out the same spot on the Ukrainian version.
Also, be aware that there (understandably) has recently been another wave of old names being returned to many streets (Horkogo is now Antonovycha,Chorvonoarmiyska is Velyka Vasilkivska and so on); these have by and large filtered down to the online maps, but the signs on the houses often hadn't been changed, and some businesses can still list the old-style addresses - and vice versa, your paper map (and maps on the info stands on the streets) can be out of date. If you suddenly find that the address given to you is either not on the map or points somewhere completely unrelated, ask.
- Tourist Info Centre, Khreshchatyk 19 (same building with metro Khreshchatyk). Daily 10:00-19:00. Here you can pick up all kinds of city maps and brochures, get a free guide, join free walking tours, use Wi-Fi and get an answer for any question. Staff speak English, Russian, French, German, Spanish and other languages. it is not true there is no information at metro station building, also not close by.
The Metro (Ukrainian: Метро) is one of the pleasures of Kiev. It is a clean and fast subway system and it is easy to navigate once you realize that all three metro lines (red, blue and green) go through the city centre. In total there are 50 stations, with ambitious plans for extension.
When you enter the Metro, you must purchase an entrance token from the cash desk, Kasa (Ukrainian: каса) or from a special ticket machine. One token is valid for one trip, no matter how far you go. A token is UAH4 and one needs to slip the token into the turnstile to enter. A note of caution:make sure you walk through the correct side of the turnstile (that's usually on the left side of the turnstile you slip your token in), or you will be hit with a metal gate that will slam shut. You can also obtain an unlimited monthly ticket with a magnetic tape, which is available for sale for UAH95 during the first week of the calendar month or the third week for half the price (but not strictly so).
As of 2012, the Kiev metro has undergone a major improvement with respect to the navigation. Most maps and signposts are translated into English. Additionally, every stations has got its unique three-digit number, with the first digit showing the number of line (M1 for red, M2 for blue, and M3 for green). Once on board, every station is announced by loud speakers and TV screens. These screens show a lot of weird ads between the stations, but flag an impending station before arrival. Upon departure, they then show the next station.
Metro stations where you can interchange have two different names - one for each line. If you are changing lines, the other station can be reached by an overpass in the centre or near one of the ends of the platform.
Trains run every 30 to 150 seconds during business hours, every 5 minutes after 20:00, and every 10–15 minutes after 22.30. Last trains depart from the terminal stations around midnight, so your last chance to catch a train in the city centre is between 00.15 and 00.25 (check the timetable of late departures, which is signposted on each station). Trains are often very crowded. Be prepared to push, as this may be the only way you get on the train during peak hours.
It's interesting to note that the Kiev metro has some of the deepest stations in the world. The Arsenalna station (Ukrainian: Арсенальна) station is the deepest metro station in the world, at 107m deep, and the Universytet station (Ukrainian: Університет) has one of the longest escalators (87m long). Many stations have two long and intimidating escalators in a row.
If you enable "Cell Info Display" on your GSM phone, it will show you the name of the station (in transliterated Latin characters (for UMC and Kyivstar subscribers) just like your map) when you are underground in the vicinity of a station. Your mobile/cell/handy should work on most of the network, including between stations.
Spend some time looking at the stations. The red line features impressive architecture, similar to that seen in the Moscow and Saint Petersburg metro systems. Elaborate mosaics in the Zolotye Vorota station depict rulers and other historical characters of the medieval Kievan Rus.
There are two types of city-run buses available – bus (автобус) and trolleybus (тролейбус) – as well as slow and moribund trams. These can be hailed from assigned stops, which are marked by an inconspicuous sign on a telegraph pole. The buses are often very crowded during peak hours, but the norm is to push your way in. Once on board, you need to get a ticket and validate it by punching a hole with one of the small punchers that are attached to the posts inside the bus. If you can't get near the hole puncher, ask someone to validate your ticket for you. Tickets cost UAH3 and are normally available from a conductor on board (oddly enough, they first sell you as many tickets as you want, then asks you to validate one). Tickets can be also purchased from drivers or in kiosks throughout the city.
You can also travel on so called route taxis or mini-vans called marshrutky (маршрутки). These are privately run vehicles that travel assigned routes, which are listed on the front of the bus. You can hail a marshrutka at the assigned bus stops. When you board, you pay the driver directly or, if you're not near the driver, pass the money to the nearest passenger who will pass it to the driver. Your change will be returned in reverse order, but it is unwise to pass big bills. When you are reaching your destination, simply yell out to the driver to stop “Na zupyntsi" with stress on "-pyn-"', which literally means "on the stop" in Ukrainian, or use Russian: "Na astanovkie", stressing on "-nov-" (some 100 meters in advance to the bus stop you need). If you overshoot you get a nice walk and a driver gets a little extra stress a day. The fare ranges for about UAH5, and is usually stated on the front and sidewalk-side of the vehicle, so you will know how much you pay in advance. It is good to have some change, so you can pay exact amount. Marshrutka routes can be hard to figure out, but they have a list of stops on the window and a Metro logo for the metro stops. The best way to figure out where these go is to ask some of the locals. City maps usually picture all public transport, both normal buses/trolleybuses/trams and marshrutky. The one downside to using marshrutky is that they tend to be a little overpacked (understatement) and very warm or cold, depending on season.
Travelling by tram mostly for on or to suburbs can be an option. In western Kiev maybe a useful end station which is at the Kontraktova metro station. From here depart No.14 far to westward and No.18 to the 'Vokzalna' station. Also from Kontraktova depart to northbound No.11 to Obolon metro station, No.19 to Minsk metro station, No.12 to northwest, a bit out of city limit to Horenka settlement. For more info visit Kievpastrans website.
As with many former Soviet cities, it is perfectly acceptable for any car to stop and pick you up. An unmarked vehicle is a 'gypsy' cab. To hail a ride, simply stand with your arm out. When a car pulls over, negotiate a fare. As a rule of thumb, rides within the downtown should not cost more than UAH20-40 and moving across the city might be anywhere from UAH30 to UAH70 (also depends on car model, time of day, weather and traffic conditions, whether both of you need to get to the same part of the city, etc.). Therefore, you should choose a proper street side, and your gender and numbers usually matter for the price. Generally, girls would find informal taxis easier and cheaper than men. It is safe enough compared to many cities, but in the middle of the night you may be taking a risk. Official company taxis can be hailed, or booked over the phone. There is usually someone who speaks English working for the company. Simply ask 'pa angliski pazhalusta' (or "English please"). The operator will give you a quote, which will save you from the sometimes intimidating process of negotiating on the street. Taxi fares do vary widely. On the same route, a local could pay UAH15 while a foreigner may be quoted UAH60 with the driver being prepared to settle for UAH30. Don't hesitate to bargain!
Funicular (Фунікулер), Vul. Sahaidachnoho Petra, 3 (Lower station near to Metro Poshtova station), . , Summer: 06:00-23:00, winter: 07:00-22:00. A scenic way to get from the upper city down to Podil (or, naturally, the other way around) is to catch the funicular from Mykhaylivs’ka Ploscha to Poshtova Ploscha in Podil. You can enjoy views of the Dnieper and left bank on the way down. To pay the fare, buy a token from the kiosk next to the gates and insert it into the entrance barrier; sometimes the worker in the kiosk will just wave you through without actually giving out the token, so pay attention to his/her body language and to the red/green arrow on the gate. UAH3.00.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
Banks and exchanges booths are easy to find.
Rates at the airport are not as good as in the city centre. Not all hotels will change money and if you arrive in the evening or on a Sunday you could find yourself with no money for dinner if you don't change at least some at the airport. Most banks operate on Saturdays as well as Mondays to Fridays.
ATMs are everywhere and generally work with international credit and debit cards.
Like in most places in Ukraine, having plenty of small change will prevent hassle from shop staff who perpetually lack small money.
- Market at Andrew's Descent, Andrew's Descent, Andriyivskyi Uzviz(Metro: Kontraktova). Saturdays, Sundays. for a nice collection of traditional things, old communist goods (real goods as well as some that are fake and mass-produced), matrioshka dolls, etc.
- Zhitnii (Ринок Житній), Vul. Verkhny Val, (Верхній Вал вул.,) 16(Metro: Kontraktova, 300m), , e-mail: , [email protected]. Tu-Su 07:00-21:00, Mo 07:00-14:00. Covered food market. Already in the 15th century was this market an important shopping centre. There met twice yearly fair. Then remained one of the major shopping centres, because proximity to the Dnieper River and harbour.
- Bessarabskyi market (Бесарабський ринок), Bessarabskaya sq,(Бессарабська пл.,) 2 (Metro: Tolstoho, 10min walk). Covered food market on base level a Billa supermarket. Offers a wide variety of grocery products. The building is a protected monument. Constructed in 1910-1912.
- Samson Shopping Centre (Торговий центр Самсон), Konstantinovskaya str., 2A (Metro: Kontraktova), . Mo-Sa 10:00-20:00, Su 10:00-19:00. Samson - is a two-storey shopping center, which is located in one of the oldest districts of Kiev - Podol. There a store with Belarusian cosmetics , many shops with jewelry, different shops with clothes. Among the famous brands that you can find in Samson presents : DIM, Atlantic, as well as the Ukrainian women's clothing brand Krisstel. There is a fast food restaurant chain's member: Home cooking (Домашня кухня).
- Globus Underground Shopping Centre (Підземний Торговий центр "Глобус"), Nezalezhnosti maidan, 4 (Metro: Maidan Nezalezhnosti), . Boutiques 10:00-22:00, Cafes and restaurants 10:00-23:00. BILLA supermarket. Dozens of cafes, restaurants, fast food and world famous boutiques. - - Mezzanine: - seating area - a restaurant, café; - Intermediate: - fashion men's / women's, shoes, souvenirs, coffee bar, etc. - focus on the more mature buyer; - Lower level - youth fashion, food court, etc. Pharmacy Good day, Street Gifts, instant photo, press, currency exchange, ATM.
- Kvadrat (Торговий центр "Квадрат на Хрещатику"), Kreshchatik str., 32 (Metro: Kreshchatik), . ,
Most bottled waters are sparkling. To purchase regular bottled water, ask for literally "water without gas" (VoDA bez gaza). A 500 mL bottle should cost UAH3-6, occasionally they will inflate the price to UAH10 if you look like a rich tourist.
Do not forget to buy a few big jugs of bottled water such as Staryi Myrhorod (Старий Миргород) or Truskavetska (Трускавецька). Kyivskij tort (київський торт) is another thing you should eat in Kiev if you love cakes. Dark rye bread, Ryazhenka (Ряженка, Ukrainian style yogurt), Kvas (Квас, fermented drink made of bread) could be also be interesting things to taste.
Chocolates, cakes, lollies, crisps and biscuits/cookies are widely available at low cost and very popular with Ukrainians - after years of being deprived western brands, snack foods are becoming big business.
Plastic bags are available but are not free, and some stores do not take credit cards. Bag your own groceries. If you're paying in cash, make sure the cashier gives you correct change back as some are careless or dishonest.
- MegaMarket (МегаМаркет), Vul. Gorkoho, (Горького,) 50 (Metro: Olympiyskyi), , e-mail: , [email protected]. Daily: 8:00-23:00. A leading supermarket chain.This MegaMarket is big but can get busy. Foodstuffs are available on the ground level, and non-food available on the first level. You have to go through the cashier on each level, which means two long lineups on busy days.
- Furshet (Фуршет), Basseynaya Str, 4 ("Khreschatyk" metro station, on the basement level of the Mandarin Plaza, which is at the back of Bessarbabsky Square.), . A leading supermarket chain. - This supermarket stocks many imported goods, and also has five restaurants.
- Velyka kyshenya (Велика кишеня), Pl. Premohy, (пл. Перемоги,) 3 (Metro: Universitet or Metro: Vokzalna), . 24/7. A leading supermarket chain with thirty plus stores in Kiev. - This supermarket is in the Ukraine Shopping Center. - Working hours: around the clock. - Availability of parking: parking by multi-department store "Ukraine". - Directions: Metro station: Vokzal'na, trolleybuses 8, 17, bus 1, 3, 15, tram 18 (stop "Victory Square") bus 439, 558, 404, 720, 230, 5 7, 450, 169. - Own production: meat and fish department, cooking, commercially available baking and confectionery own production networks "Big Pocket". - The presence of other departments, "United Pharmacy", "My Book"
- Silpo (Сільпо), Sagaidachnogo Petra str., 41 (Metro: Poshtova or Kontraktova), . , , Working around the clock. A leading supermarket chain. 24/7.
- Fora Supermarket (Супермаркет фора), Vul. Khmel'nyts'koho Bohdana, (Хмельницького Богдана вул.,) 39 (Metro: Universitet), . is a popular chain of mini-marts that are widely distributed, particularly on the Left Bank side of the city. They are about the size of 7-Eleven and stock most staple items, including toiletries, bread, dairy, sweets, and of course alcohol.
- Erste Bank, Central office (Ерсте банк), Vul. Khreshchatik, 14(Metro: Maidan Nezhalosti), , toll-free: , 0 800 501000, e-mail: [email protected]. M-F 09:00-18:00 (Without break), Cashdesk: 09:30-17:00; Sat: 9:00-16:00
- OTP Bank Ukraine, 12, Sofiyivska Str (Metro: Maidan Nezhalosti, 300 meter), , toll-free: 0 800 300050, e-mail:[email protected]. M-F: 09:00-18:00, lunchtime: - Cashdesk: 09:30-16:30, Night cash mode M-F 16:30-19:00; on Sat 11:00-17:00.
- Piraeus Bank Branch № 9 (greek: Τράπεζα Πειραιώς, Піреус Банк), Yaroslaviv Val str., 6 (Metro: Zolota Vorota), , toll-free: 0 800 308880, fax: , , e-mail: [email protected]. M-F 09:00-18:00 without break, Cashdesk 9:15-18:00.
- Raiffeisen Bank Aval, Shevchenkivske office 15 (Райффайзен банк Аваль), Vul. Khreshchatik, 15 (Metro: Khreshchatik, 100 meter), , toll-free: 0-800 500500. M-Su 10:00-20:00, Cash-desk working hours: 10:00-20:00, without break. Extra long opening time, also on weekends is open!
- UniCredit Bank Ukraine, Bessarabske Outlet, Shevchenka Blvd., 2 (Metro: Tolstoho), , toll-free: 0-800 500020.M-F 09:00-18:00, Cashdesk: same.
In general, it is very cheap to dine in Kiev by European or US standards. So long as you stay away from the places that totally pander to tourists or to the Porsche Cayenne-driving "elite", the food is great and cheap. Try the Borscht and the Mlyntzi and then try absolutely everything else. Baked goods are cheap and great too. Even the ice-cream on the street is great. Try, for example, the one to the right from Khreshchatyk metro exit - blue kiosk with varying length of queues.
When you see vendors selling some liquid from big yellow/blue tanks on the street, you can be sure that it is "Kvas," which is a brewed bread drink. Some people like it and others hate it. It tastes a bit like malt, and the alcohol content is so low (0.05-1.44%) that it is considered acceptable for consumption by children. Try "Odyn Malenkyi" (one small) drink.
You should not drink the tap water (for reasons both chemical and microbial). It is advisable to buy bottles in the supermarkets; they usually have English section on the label for "ingredients". You can always order "Bonaqua" (a brand of sparkling mineral water), but beer is just about as cheap.
- Celentano (Челентано), Velyka Vasylkivska (Chervonoarmiiska) str., 23A (metro:Tolstoho), . M-F 09:00-22:00, Sa-Su 10:00-22:00. Italian food and wine, pizza, salads. Favorite for local youngsters. A couple more places ear to metro stations Khreschatyk str., 10; (metro:Metro Khreschatyk ); Heroiv Stalinhrada ave., 24A,(metro: ) ; Dovzhenka Oleksandra str., 1 (metro:Shuliavska); Yaroslaviv Val str., 37/1 (metro:Zolota Vorota); Velyka Vasylkivska (Chervonoarmiiska) str., 111/113 (metro:Palats Ukraina); Vokzalna sq., 2 (metro:Vokzalna); Telihy Oleny str., 13/14 (metro:Dorohozhychi ); Kotsiubynskoho Mykhaila str., 14 (metro:Universitet). Course from 11$.
- Domashnia kukhnia (Домашня кухня, home kitchen), Konstantinovskaya str., 2A (metro:Kontraktova, 1min by walk), . , M-Su 9:00-22:00. offers a buffet with typical Ukrainian food. Not the best. And Peremohy ave., 31; (metro:Politchniki) Turgenevskaya str., 8-14; (metro:Universitet) Soups from 1$, fish rolls from 2$, different pizzas (450 gr.) 7-10$.
- Korchma Budmo (Корчма Будьмо), Mikhailivska str., (вул. Михайлiвська,) 22a (Metro: Maidan, 5 mins by walk), . Daily 9-00 to 23:00. - national Ukrainian cuisine, simple, but tasty and cheap, pleasant atmosphere. All the major credit cards are accepted.
- Mister Snack (Mістер Cнек), Lva Tolstogo St., 18 (From Vokzalna metro first on Vul. Vokzal than turn on Vul. Tolstogo, 10 mins by walk.), , e-mail: [email protected]. Cheap sandwich and salad chain, hamburgers. More places exmpl. Sakcaganskogo St., 88. Sandwiches from 4$.
- Potato House (Картопляна Хата), str. Nyzhnii Val, 37/20(metro:Kontraktova), . Chain - Mexican food.
- Potato House (Картопляна Хата), str. Bahhovutivska, 17/21(metro:Lukyanivska). and more couple in suburbs.
- Puzata Khata (Ресторан Пузата хата), Khreschatyk str., 15 (Metro Khreschatyk, across from Bessarabski Market;), . - more locations are through the second arch to the right of the Khreshatik Metro station [past McDonald's, turn right through the big decorative arch]; and another on the corner of Sahaidachnoho Street, opposite Bohorodytsi Pyrohoschi (a square with a church on it). There is another one at Kontraktova Square, close to Kontraktova metro station, at the end of a downhill walk from the Andrivskyj Uzviz. "Puzo" is Ukrainian for "belly," and a khata is a traditional Ukrainian hut or shack. If you're from the States this place is like Picadilli, or any other pay-per-plate cafeteria. Popular with locals. Food is good, but almost entirely traditional Ukrainian. They also offer kvas and good Ukrainian beer. Two people can eat like absolute pigs here for less than $US12. You'll be full for the rest of the day, guaranteed. On a more practical side, soups cost below 10 UAH, mains are 15–30 UAH, and beer is only 10UAH for half a liter.
- Shvydko (Швидко), Slavy sq. (Слави пл.) (Metro: Dnipro, 5 mins by walk, Navigator Shopping Center), . , Daily: 09:00-22:00. - The food is 'pseudo-national' , Kartoplia (Картопля) (main dish: mashed potatoes with 1-3 of 30 different kinds of salads), MacSmak (МакСмак) (pizza). - 6 of 9 units find in downtown: Vokzalnaya sq., 1; Maidan Nezalezhnosty; str. Bilorus'ka, 2; ln. Kutuzova, 5; ln. Politekhnichnyi, 7.
- Two Geese - Pechersk (Два гуся), str. Arsenal, 9/11 (Metro: Pecherska, 400m), , fax: , e-mail:[email protected]. Daily 09.30-22.00. serves decent cafeteria-style meals. Look for the signs with two geese on yellow background. Sometimes there's a vintage car painted with their logo out front. Fast, decent, easy, all you have to do is point. No language skills needed.Salads, soups: 1.5$, main dishes: from 2$, six types pizzas from 7 $. (2013).
- Vesuvio Pizza (Бальзака, ТоргЦентр Ґлобал), Reytarska 25 (Рейтарська) (Metro: Zoloti Vorota. Just up the street from Kyiv’s Golden Gate and St Sofia Cathedral), . , Daily 10:00–22:00. Kiev's first North American style pizza, probably the best in the city. 25 types of pizza, pan pizza and thin crust, pastas, lasagna, green salads, starting from approx. More units: bulvar Shevchenko 2 (Шевеченко) - near Khreschatyk (Хрещатик), and Balzak 2a (Global Shopping Centre) . From 7$ per person incl. drinks.
- Viola's Bierstube (Виола), T.Shevchenka bul’v. 1A (In the arc near Bessarabka, Metro station: Khreschatyk), . cheap pub with a great variety of sausages and different meat meals. Also beer here is always good.
- CCCP. Over the road from the entrance to the Great Patriotic War memorial. This Soviet-themed restaurant has staff dressed in costume and dozens of traditional dishes listed on the English-language menu. Try the Uzvar traditional drink made from smoked fruit. Expect to spend USD10 each for lunch; they also have a USD20 business lunch menu. It is possible to spend a lot more though. Live traditional music and farm implements decorate the walls.
- Corsair, Vul. Sahaydachnoho (Сагайдачного). Serves Mediterranean-inspired food. Meals about USD17/person.
- Ikon restaurant & bar, . On Basseinaya str. 5a (Бассейная 5а) About USD40/person complete. Serves fusion cuisine, unique cocktails. Open Su-W 12:00-13:00, Th-Sa 12:00-18:00.
- In Mood café and restaurant, Nizhniy Val 19 (Podol) (Podol), . A Lebanese-Syrian place with excellent kitchen and a stylish, but still cosy ambience. Vegetarians and meat-lovers find fantastic food, good music and very friendly staff. A real enrichment for Kiev! Reservations (in English, Russian, Ukrainian) are advisable
- Karavan, Klovskiy Spusk 10. Serves Uzbek-Tatar food.
- Kureni, 4, Parkova Alley. Wonderful national restaurant with very tasty dishes. Dinner for five persons, including different appetizers, soups, main dishes and gorilka is around €135. It is situated on the bank of the Dnepr river and in summer it is very nice to get dinner in the garden, while in winter inside the main building you can enjoy view through large windows and fire from the fireplace. All major credit cards accepted.
- Lola Pizza, Lva Tolstoho (Льва Толстого). The cost of a large pizza is about UAH100, and it's a very generous size. You can eat in the café area or take-away.
- Oliva, Druzhby Narodiv Blvd 25a (Бульвар Дружбы Народов 25а), Kominternu St 5. Good Italian restaurant with delicious food, and good prices (average price for one person is about UAH100-200. And you can have English breakfast there from early morning until 11:00.
- O’Panas, Shevchenko Park, 10 Tereshchenkivska, . daily 10:00-13:00. Traditional wooden restaurant, popular to tourists. Really good mlyntsi. try the mushroom ones. (USD20/person). If you just want to try the mlyntsi, you can walk-up to a stand on the side of the restaurant and get them to go.
- ResTop, ул. Малая Житомирская, 3/4: Zhitomirskaya 3/4 (Just behind the main square of Maidan Nezalezhnosti), . until 23.00. Offers a sushi menu together with European dishes in a friendly atmosphere. Currently closed for renovation. UAH100-200.
- Tsimmus, 10/5 Sahaydachnoho (That's in the #10 building on the main street, but go around the corner to a side street where the street number would have been 5 had it not been attached to a building that already has an address). Ukrainian-Jewish food. Meal about USD20/person.
- Vernissage, Andrew's Descent 30, . One of a chain of four restaurants in Kiev with the same name, this has a Bohemian feel to it that goes well with the "Montmartre" reputation of Andrew's Descent. Outdoor eating in summer but the small indoor restaurant is nicely decorated and the toilet tucked away in a difficult corner is not to be missed. UAH150-250 but if you don't want a full meal the pancakes are great.
It's also worth checking out pubs and restaurants that offer business lunches during weekday lunch. These are set menus that usually cost around UAH40, and include soup, salad, meat dish and a drink.
- Buddha Bar Kiev, Kreshatik 14; ул. Хрещатик, 14 (in the centre, near Maydan Nezalezhnosty square), , e-mail:[email protected]. 13:00 till 02:00 (till 04:00 on Friday and Saturday). The restaurant has a longest bar in town. Restaurant and Lounge zone. Pan-Asian cuisine: enjoy Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Indian dishes in a exclusive interior.
- Concord. On the roof of the Donbass Centre at Lva Tolstogo Square
- Da Vinci Fish Club, Volodyrmyrska Street (Володимирськa). Seafood-orientated restaurant with an Italian influence. Very delicious food a place to see and be seen. Cost around $60 per person, drinks extra. Metro: Zoloti Vorota
- Mimino, Spaska (Спаська). Based on the Soviet film of the same name about a Georgian pilot. The waiters are attired in '60s influenced flight attendant uniforms. Very nice Georgian food, mainly lots of meat. Good Georgian wine available also. Cost around $US40 per person, drinks extra. Metro: Kontraktova Ploscha.
- Restaurant Patisserie Surprise, ул. Пирогова, 3: Pyrohova 3 (Just parallel to the Metro University crossing st. Bogdana Hmelnitskogo), , e-mail: [email protected]. 09:00 till the last customer. The restaurant has a bar, tea salon, summer terrace, television, etc. Enjoy freshly made pastries, ice cream and sorbets. French and European cuisine.
- Touch cafe. Mostly a restaurant but also turns into a nightclub.
- Two Hares. At the top of Andriyivski Uzviz. 19th-century themed place, good food. Have the rabbit pie (about 90UAH), which is served in a rabbit made of pastry.
- Wolkonsky café, bakery and patissiery. Good croissants and perfect place to have meal.
- Lun Van Chinese restaurant.
- Schnitzel Haus, vul Saksahanskoho 51.
- Tapas Tapas Bar, vul Tarasivska 10a.
- Ukrainian: There are many restaurants that claim to serve authentic Ukrainian food.
- Shynok, 28v Lesi Ukrainki (Pechersk district). Very traditional food and furniture. 11.00-24.00.
- Pervak, vul Rohnidenska 2. Set lunch only 35-42 UAH.
- Italian: Momento on Zlatoustivska (near the Circus), Napule on Mechnikova (near Metro station "Klovska")
- Georgian: Mimino on Spaska (Podil)
- Vietnamese: there are several restaurants, owned by a person from Vietnam (the cuisine is a comprise of "hits", rather than complete luncheon sets; considered above-average within local Vietnamese community; extremely expensive)
- Chinese: There is a good one near Metro Universitet. It's called "Jiu Long", which means "Nine Dragons" (there is a fast food store upfront, but if you go through the arch, you will see an entire Chinese-style building, that's where the real restaurant is; quality is good and prices are lower than some other similarly fancy restaurants). If you don't care about price, go to "Lun Van" near Metro Teatralna. Other above-average venues (but be warned, no one who's experienced anything like the real thing will find satisfactory Chinese food in Kiev) are Mandarin on a floating entertainment complex near the river port in Podil, and Vostokwhich is across the road from Mandarin.
- Japanese: There's one called Hanoi which serves Japanese and Vietnamese food. It is located near Metro Arsenalna. The quality is quite high, although the prices are too. Further, you will find various sushi-bar-chains in Kyiv (namely Sushi-Ya, Murakami and Yakitoria)
- Nobu, 12 Shota Rustaveli St. Good Japanese restaurant, but don't be fooled by the name it's not owned by famous chef Nobu Matsuhisa.
- Sumosan. In The Premier Palace hotel. Sister restaurant to Sumosan in London. Decent sushi.
- King David, Esplanadna 24 (near the Central Synagogue), . Su-F 10.00-23.00. Glatt Kosher, many traditional Eastern European dishes. Many Vegetarian dishes.
- Haiffa, Kostiantynivska 57. Warning: Despite what some guide books (Bradt etc.) may say this restaurant no longer serves kosher food, it has been converted into a strip club, but the signs from the kosher restaurant have not been removed.
Coffe & Drink
There are several nice places in Kiev to get a drink. From small cafés that are only frequented by locals (they look dirty at first sight) to expensive places. Locals often buy drinks (beer) at a stall in the street and drink it in a park, leaving their bottles for the homeless to collect and cash in. However, since 2011, drinking beer in the street is prohibited and whilst you will see locals drinking in the street, you will make yourself an easy target for the police to stop and try for a bribe if you do. Locals often buy some chips or other salted things to go with their drinks.
The prices are quite reasonable by European standards. You will easily find decent Ukrainian beer for 20UAH–30 and get 5cL of vodka or similar alcohol for about UAH20.
If you are not keen about alcohol, try one of the abundant coffee houses. No matter whether their names are well-known and international (Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Russian-based Coffee House and Shokoladnitsa) or weird and local (Coffee Land, Coffee Life, and other similar variations), they are always neat places with similar menu featuring all imaginable versions of coffee, a good choice of tea, fancy milk shakes and smoothies, and a selection of cakes. Their main advantage is free WiFi, while on the downside are the prices that are rather high on Kiev standards. Coffee and piece of cake start from 20 UAH each.
When you urgently need a shot of espresso, you can also try coffee sold on the street. Basically, every second kiosk will offer some kava (Ukrainian word for coffee), but its quality is at best iffy. A safe choice would be special cars equipped with coffee machines. These cars can be found in most public places and next to entrances to the metro stations. They offer decent take-away coffee for 8-10 UAH.
If you prefer places that do not look the same in each town and are not owned by big companies you should try the café "Living-Room" in the vul. Spas'ka, 6, near metro Kontraktova Ploshcha. The small but cosy place is organized by some enthusiasts and musicians. Two pianos and some other instruments can be used by the staff or guests! While most cafés would close at 22.00 h this one is open as long as the staff wants to work. Besides excellent coffee they offer a wide range of very tasty teas, original cakes (e.g. beetroot-chocolate cake!), Beer and so on (no vodka). The kitchen will help you out for the small hunger.
Sights & Landmarks
- Khreshchatyk Street (Хрещатик) (Metro: Maidan Nezalezhnosti or Khreshchatyk.). The main drag of the city centre is closed to traffic on some weekends and full of entertainers and people wandering around. A big happy crowd and very conducive to people watching.
- Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Майдан Незалежності) (On Khreshchatyk Street, Metro: Maidan Nezalezhnosti or Kreshchatyk). Independence Square or Maidan is known throughout the world as the place where supporters of Yulia Tymoshenko, Viktor Yushchenko and the Orange Revolution camped for weeks on end in October 2004 only to see their dreams end in continuing poverty and cronyism before the violent overthrow of a Russophile and corrupt regime ten years later. This is a central meeting place in Kiev.
- Andriyivsky Uzviz or Andrew's Descent(Андріївський узвіз) (Andrew's Descent winds down to Kontraktova Ploshcha in Podil. Metro: Kontraktova ploscha.). At the top of this quaint, very rough, cobblestone street is St Andrew's Church (closed for restoration in 2011). Pavements are gradually being added to the Descent but, meanwhile, take a good pair of shoes. The street is lined with souvenir sellers, restaurants, galleries and museums. Touristy but retains its charm.
- Golden Gate of Kiev or Zoloti Vorota (Золоті ворота) (Metro: Zoloti Vorota). This is a 1982 reconstruction of the Golden Gate of Kiev, described by Mussorgski in "Pictures of an Exhibition". It is quite a nice spot to visit and learn about the town walls. Some nice buildings are also there and you can inspect the Porsche Cayennes, Lexuses, Audis, BMWs and Mercedes of Ukraine's nouveau riche who are very much into conspicuous consumption.
- Mariyinsky Palace and Mariyinsky park (Маріїнський Палац) (Metro: Arsenalna). where the Lovers' Bridge is situated. Under renovation 2012-2014.
- Kiev TV Tower - Televiziyna vezha (Телевізійна вежа), Vul. Dorozhytska, (вул. Дорогожицька,) 10 (Metro: Dorogozhichi.). is a 385m-high (1,263 ft) lattice steel tower built in 1973. It is not accessible for tourists. The operational platform is at 200m.
Kiev Pechersk Lavra complex
- Kiev Pechersk Lavra (Cave Monastery--Печерська лавра), Lavrska street, 9 (Metro station Arsenal'na is a couple blocks away from the main entrance. You can take a trolley from the subway station - 2 stops), . Winter 09:00-18.00, summer 08:00-19:00. One of the oldest and most important monasteries in Ukraine and in the territory of the former Soviet Union. Only the most important monasteries were designated as Lavras; there were only four, of which this Cave Monastery is the oldest. It was founded in 1077 by St Antoniy. The caves were dug out by priests who lived there as hermits. Nowadays, the caves are venerated by the faithful and tourists who visit the mummified monks, and pilgrims are still allowed access to the underground church there. There are two parts to the modern complex: the upper lavra, owned by the state and consisting of a number of museums (entry fee); and the lower lavra, owned by the Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarch) and consisting of the caves (you'll need UAH1` to buy a candle to enter). Do not miss the display of micro-miniatures in the Upper Lavra. It sounds lame, but it is fascinating. You can enter the caves in the lower part if you dress correctly (women MUST cover their hair and wear skirts, no shorts. Expensive scarves are for sale there). Women can only just get away with pants in the winter. Start at the Lower Lavra, visiting the caves before the crowds descend for the day. There are two cave complexes, each housing the mummified remains of monks, as well as religious icons and other relics. Both caves are accessed through churches, with the entrance to the shorter caves at the end of a boardwalk. While it is free to enter the caves, you must purchase a taper candle in order to light your way. The caves are not recommended for the claustrophobic or overly tall. Once you're in there, it's hard, even impossible to turn around and go back out - you have to keep going. Without visiting expositions: UAH3; including visiting exhibitions and guided tour: Adult UAH50, pupil or student UAH25.
- Pechersk Lavra fortification (Фортечні мури Києво-Печерської лаври). A system of walls, towers and other constructions built for the protection of the Cave Monastery. - The fortifications consist of Upper Lavra: - the Southwest Tower, or the tower of Ivan Kuschnik (Вежа Іоанна Кущника); - the South Tower (Південна (Годинникова) вежа), or the Horlogium, 1818; - the North Tower (Північна (Малярна) вежа), also called the Painting Tower; - the East Tower containing the church of Saint Onufry (Онуфріївська вежа), - Economic Gate and the Church of All Saints, - West Gate Holidays to Holy Trinity Church, South (lower) gate 1792-95, - North Gate, 19th century; - Eastern Gate, XIX century; - Wall with a gate at the Great Lavra Belltower , 18-early 19th century and a Retaining wall terraces with viewing platform. The Lower Lavrafortification parts are: - The defensive walls of the Near and Far Caves, XIX century; - Entrance gate , 1840's; - The lower gate at the entrance to the Near and Far caves, 1852-53; - Retaining Wall of D. de Boskhuets, 18th century. - Belfry Far Caves; - Western gate of the lodge, 1883.
- Great Lavra Bell Tower (Ukrainian: Велика Лаврська дзвіниця, Russian: Большая Лаврская колокольня), Vul. Larska, (вул. Лаврська,) 15. is the main bell tower of the ancient cave monastery. Built in 1731–1745. It was designed by the architect Johann Gottfried Schädel. Its total height, with the Christian cross, is 96.5 metres. A neoclassic construction with a total of four tiers, surmounted by a gilded dome. The diameter of the tower's lowest tier at its base is 28.8m, and the thickness of the first tier walls is 8m. The tower's foundations exceed 7m metres. The tower is decorated with many architectural columns: the second tier with 32 Dorian columns, the third with 16 Ionic columns, and the fourth with 8 Corinthian columns. On the fourth tier there is a chiming clock, made in 1903, which has a total weight of 4.5 tonne.
- Refectory Church (Ukrainian: Трапезна Палата, Trapezna Palata; Russian: Трапезная церковь, Trapeznaya tserkov’), Lavrs'ka ( Ivana Mazepy ) str., 21 build. 7. a refectory and an adjoining church of Saint Anthony and Theodosius. Built in 1893-1895. The sturdy dome of the church incorporates some aspects of ancient Byzantium. The interior decoration of the building was designed by Aleksey Shchusev. The marble icons are in the Neo-Russian style. The paintings in both the refectory and the church, painted in the beginning of the 20th century. In 1973-1977, the Refectory interior was thoroughly renovated.
- Church of the Saviour at Berestovo (Ukrainian: Церква Спаса на Берестові, Tserkva Spasa na Berestovi; Russian: Церковь Спаса на Берестове, Tserkov’ Spasa na Berestove), Lavrs'ka ( Ivana Mazepy ) str., 21 build. 4 (Out of the Walls 100m). Berestovo was a suburban residence in 11th century. - Its vaulting may have been unusually complicated, probably echoing the trefoil roofing of the porches. The outside of the church formerly displayed intricate brick patterns: double and treble niches, the meander, and decorative crosses.
- Gate Church of the Trinity (Ukrainian: Троїцька Надбрамна церква, Troits’ka Nadbramna tserkva; Russian: Троицкая Надвратная церковь, Troitskaya Nadvratnaya tserkov’), Lavrska str., 21, building 1(Atop the Holy Gates, which houses the main entrance to the monstery).In 1108 being built as a Kievan Rus' style church, the Gate Church of the Trinity is now decorated in the Ukrainian Baroque style, having been reconstructed many times through its history. Inside: a three-storey wooden gilded iconostasis, (1735); a large sixteen-candle chandelier (1725); The church's frescoes were based on Biblical scenes, and the exteriour decor was based on Ukrainian folklore, including: "Faces of the Holy Martyr," "The Traders Cast Out of the Temple," and "The Council of Nicaea." - Interior frescoes: Allegorical and historical Biblical topics are given in a noncanonical way; some of them are made with Ukrainian national ornaments. Wood-carved chairs, are installed along the western wall. The chairs are covered with oil paintings.
- Near Caves or the Caves of Saint Anthony (Ukrainian: Ближні печери, Blyzhni pechery; Russian: Ближние пещеры, Blizhnie peschery), Lavrs'ka ( Ivana Mazepy ) str., 25, building 41. are historic caves and a network of tunnels with a total length of 383m and depth of 5-20m with the width reaching 1.5m and the height 2.5m. Here is buried the founder of the Cave Monastery of Saint Anthony. Of the three existing entrances to the Near Caves, the original was probably the western one in which you can enter from the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.
- All Saints Church (Всіхсвятська церква), Lavrska str., 21, Building No. 11 (Northern part of the Complex). Founded in 1696–1698. Its style is Ukrainian baroque. The church facades are richly decorated with architectural elements. In 1905, local artists painted the interior walls of the church. The carved wooden iconostasis is multi-tiered and was made in the early 18th century.
- Far Caves (Дальні печери), Lavrska str., 25, build. 73 (Southeast corner of the Complex). Relics of 49 saints, accompanied with plates with names and icons. The total length of underground corridors is 293m. Currently there are three underground cave churches: Annunciation, Nativity and Reverend Theodosius.
- Dormition Cathedral (Успенський собор) (Opposit the man entrance (Gate Church)). is main temple of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. Built in 1073–78. The cathedral consisted basically of one story built on a cruciform plan with a cupola supported by six columns. It had three naves, which on the outside terminated in many-faced apses. In the 17th century with more cupolas and decorative elements, in the Cossack? baroque style were decorated. Inside was decorated with mosaics and frescoes.
- Museum of Historical Treasures of Ukraine (Музей історичних коштовностей України), Lavrska str., 21, build. 12. In the Kovnirivskyi building, which was a former convent bakery and built in 17 century. Reconstructed in 1744-1745. The main facade of buildings made in the same manner as the cell of the Old Cathedral. - one of the leading museums of Ukraine and the world, the subject of the exhibition - historical and artistic monuments of precious metals and precious stones. The museum collection include 56,000 pieces of archeology and applied art. - Here can you find the 'Martynivka Treasure' (Мартинівський скарб) is a hoard consisting of about 120 silver items of 400-900 probe found in Martynivka village (now Cherkasy Oblast) in 1909.
- Book and print history museum (Музей книги та друкарства України), Lavrska str., 21, build. 9, 10. W-M 10:00-17.00. The museum contains a rich treasure book culture of the Ukrainian people (about 56 thousand units). The exhibition highlights the story of the book and of books from Kievan Rus to the present day.
- Museum of Ukrainian folk art (Музей народного декоративного мистецтва), Lavrska str., 21, build. 29, . W-M: 10:00-18:00.. The collection is more than 75,000 works of traditional folk and decorative arts from the 15th to the 20th centuries. It's housed in the former Metropolitan's residence.
- Theatre and Cinematographic Arts Museum (Музей театрального, музичного та кіно-мистецтва України), Lavrska str., 21, building 26, . There is various documentary material that reveals the formation and development of Ukrainian drama and theatrical presentation. Here are Ukrainian folk musical instruments which afford the opportunity to deepen your knowledge of the history of Ukrainian culture, literature and ethnology. The museum has a branch - the house-museum of M.K. Zankovetska, where an exhibition reflects the life and career of the famous Ukrainian actress.
- State historical library (Державна історична бібліотека України), Lavrska str., 24, building 19, . More than 800,000 books, manuscripts and maps.
Other religious buildings
- St Sophia's Cathedral(Собор Святої Софії - Sobor Sviatoyi Sofiyi), Pl. Sofiyivska, (Софіївська пл.) (Metro: Zoloti Vorota). 09:00-16:00. The oldest remaining church in Kiev. Parts date from the 11th century. It is aUNESCO World Heritage site, and has world biggest ensemble of frescoes and mosaics dating from 11th century, including the Virgin Orans mosaic. Several green-robed ladies maintain order and will shout at you if you look like you are planning to take a photo. The gatehouse and other restorations were completed in the 17th century. Outside the gates, there is a statue commemorating hetman Bohdan Khmelnytskyi, who liberated Kiev in the 17th century... then gave the city to the Russian Empire. UAH53 for admission to the complex and church (UAH23 for children). Additional charges to climb the bell tower, visit the museum and have a guided tour.
- St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery, Vul. Trokhsvyatytelska, (Трьохсвятительська,) 8 (a short distance and easily visible from St. Sophia's cathedral). A working monastery that goes back to the 12th Century. Destroyed during the Soviet era, with many of its art works hastily removed, some of which were transferred to the museums in Moscow and St Petersburg, some were moved to St Sophia Cathedral. Some mosaics housed in St Sophia subsequently fell into the hands of the Nazis but were returned... to Hermitage in St Petersburg. Rebuilt in 1997-98. Impressive gold domes best visited on a sunny day. Behind the complex is a pleasant park with views of the Dnieper and, to the left, the entrance to the funicular.
- St Volodymyr's Cathedral(Патріарший кафедральний собор св. Володимира), Bulv. Tarasa Shevchenka, (Шевченка Тараса бульв.,) 20, . Seven domed Ukrainian Orthodox brick cathedral in neo-Byzantine style, built in the 19th century. It barely escaped demolition by the Soviet authorities. Dome height (outer) 49m (161 ft).
- St Andrew's Church(Ukrainian: Андріївська церква; Russian: Андреевская церковь), Andreevsky ds., (Андріївський узвіз, ) 23 (Metro: Kontraktova), . Baroque church, constructed in 1747–1754. Length 31.7m (104 ft). Width 20.4m (67 ft). Height 50m (160 ft). Both the external and internal decoration on the church was carried out at the same time. Cast iron floor slabs were delivered from Moscow. Also, forms were made for the church's windows, doors, walls, and for space under the cupola. The planned iconostasis, designed by the Italian architect Rastrelli, was also added. The wood for the iconostasis, altar canopy, pulpit, and tsar's place were carved out in Saint Petersburg in order to save time. The iconostasis' icons were carried out by Petersburg artists. For gilding, 1,028 slabs of gold were used in the interior.
- Saint Cyril's Monastery (Ukrainian: Кирилівський монастир, translit. Kyrylivs’kyi monastyr), Vul. Teligi Oleny, (Теліги Олени вул.,) 12B(Take to Stadion Spartak stop a tram No.12 or 19 from Metro Kontraktova), . is a medieval monastery. Founded in 1140. Reconstructed by the Ukrainian architect Ivan Hryhorovych-Barskyi during 1750–1760. Saint Cyril's Church, including the medieval interior frescoes and the 1880s murals by the famous Russian painter Mikhail Vrubel, were fortunately preserved. The remaining constructions of the complex, the rest of the monastic walls, one corner tower (see picture), and two buildings constructed by Barskyi were also preserved. Of the monastery's cemetery, only two 18th century graves remained.
Motherland Statue and War memorials
Kiev was pretty much destroyed during the invasion in WWII. The memorial near the motherland statue is pretty gripping. Lots of examples of classic Soviet-era memorial statuary as well as some amazing exhibits of military hardware. The Museum to the Great Patriotic War (WWII) located in the base of the statue is a must-see for visitors interested in the impact the German invasion had on the Soviet Union. Well worth the visit even if you don't speak or read any Russian or Ukrainian (several English language tours are provided daily). It's well curated and full of artifacts (including weapons, battle maps, hundreds of original photographs, and a moving installation at the end of the exhibit symbolizing the great losses suffered). There is also a small museum of the Afghan conflict nearby. Try to enter coming from the top part of the Pecherska Lavra. This way you get submerged with old soviet music and dark statues. Metro: Arsenalna
- Babyn Yar Monument (Національний історико-меморіальний заповідник "Бабин Яр"), Dorozhytska st., (Дорогожицька вул.) (Metro Dorohozhychi). - a ravine which was the site of massacres of Jews, Gypsies, and other civilians by the Nazis and their puppets during World War II. Approximately 60,000 civilians were executed at this site during the war (over 34,000 Jews in the first two days alone). Now a memorial to "Soviet citizens" murdered by the Germans
- German Military graveyard (on the road to Odessa, about 20 km away from Kiev). About 10000 German soldiers are buried here, after the battles around Kiev in 1941 and 1944.
A part of the city on far North. This territories far beyond of its historical neighborhood with the same name. Its current population is 290,000 inhabitants.- The Obolon district encompasses the territories of the former Minsk district and is still sometimes referred to by that name. It also includes the former town of Pushcha-Vodytsia that used to be part of the Podil Raion. The name Obolon comes from the Old-Ukrainian word оболонь → болонь → болоньє (obolon' → bolon' → bolon'ye), which roughly translates as "flood plain" or an area that is being engulfed by water. The district was built up in the 1970s as a microdistrict in Kiev on the Obolon sands to satisfy the growth of the city. Due to the composition of the soil at the time, the majority of the buildings were at most nine-stories tall, and few trees were planted when compared to other parts of the city. That and few other reasons originally made the district not prestigious. With the second construction period (2000–2005), the district has seen new, comfortable apartment buildings constructed closer to the Dnipro river and has become an attractive residential area. The new apartments are also more expensive, although still cheaper than in the center of Kiev. - The district was connected by Metro2 in the 1980s, with a station 'Obolon' opened on November 5, 1980. Now here is 'Minska' and 'Heroiv Dnipra' metro stations, too.
- Yachting club. This place for both kids and adults was opened in around 1990. Recently many of the Obolon lakes were cleaned up in order to make the area more attractive. The area closer to the Dnieper river is a popular relaxation place for Kievliany (residents of Kiev).
- Beer factory Obolon. The area is also well known for the beer factory
- Revival (Probudzhennia) Church (Пробудження, Церква євангельських християн-баптистів), Gaiday Zoi str., 2A (M 'Obolon').This is an evangelic christians-baptists church and a missionary center. It is opened in March 2001, with room for 500 seats.
- Intercession Cathedral on the Obolon (Свято-Покровський собор на Оболоні), Prirechnaya str., 5A. (M Obolon), . Built in 1993. Temple complex occupies an area of 2.6 ha.
- Mezhyhirya Residence, Водогін (ДВС), Obolonskyi district. Opulent residence of Ukraine’s deposed Russophile president Viktor Yanukovych, opened for paid tours after he fled the country in 2014. An exhibition of art, religious icons, and decorative objects from Mezhyhirye was displayed by Kiev's National Art Museum of Ukraine that same year.
- Minsk Square, Obolon (M Obolon. - at the intersection of Avenue Red Cossacks (now - Moscow Avenue ) streets of Novokostyantynivska and Damian Korotchenko (now - St. Helena Teligi ). Former,-in the 1850's-1950's,- was Trinity Square.). Named to Minsk - since 1982. Near the square, is a monument to Archangel Michael - the patron saint of Kyiv.
- The Moskovskyi Bridge (Moscow Bridge, Московський міст) (Metro Petrovka (1.7km)). This built in 1976. It is a cable-stayed bridge, designed by the architect A.V.Dobrovolsky and an engineer by G.B.Fux, with the beam of the main span being held by a cluster of steel ropes which are fixed to a 115 m tall A-pylon. - The bridge consists of two spans: one is 816m long and 31.4m wide span across the Dnieper and another which is 732m long, 29.1m wide and span across the Desyonka, what is a Dnieper tributary. It is a key structure on the northern end of the Kiev Smaller Beltway, connecting Petrivka to the densely-populated north-eastern residential neighborhoods. The bridge was built as a part of high-speed motorway.
- Church of the Nativity (Храм Рождества Христова), Obolonska Naberezhna St, 5 (Metro Petrovka or Obolon (1.5km)). Built the popular architect of Ukraine, V. Isaac in 2006-2007. - The temple was built in the style of post-modern, cross-dome. The church has five domes, four of them are located over the crossbar of the cross. The Mid-Dome decorated with glass, so that give the impression of transparency. When you see it from the outside, it seems inside is very bright.
- Chapel of the St. Catherine, Polupanova street, 10. (Tram 12, 19 to 'Polupanova St'), . This was a Greek Orthodox Private Chapel. - Founded in 1738, when the decree of the Holy Synod was allowed to build a temple. The church was proposed to conduct services for the local Greek community. In 1929, during the Stalinist persecution, a church dedicated to St. Catherine was destroyed. In 2006 the local community was able to arrange a chapel in the newly acquired premises of the Centre of Theological Studies.
- Church of the Intercession on the Pryorka (Свято-Покровська церква на Приорці), Mostitskaya str., 2 (Tram 35 or 36), . A stone church built in 1902-1906 this was replaced the former wooden 'Dimitriyevskoho' house, what is built in 18 century. The new iconostasis, preserved until today, was built in 1944 and decorated by the famous Ukrainian artist Ivan Izhakevichem. In 1953 the house was made major renovations.
- Church of Peter and Paul on the Kurenivka (Храм Петра та Павла на Куренівці), Frunze sq. (Tram 6, 18). The first wooden Church of Saints Peter and Paul Kurenivka known since 1759 (according to other data - from 1735). Since 1944 the church building used plant, club, galvanic shop and factory. In 1986, the temple was destroyed completely. The new church opened in 2003.
- Krishna's Lucidity 'Big' temple (Tовариство Свідомісті Кришни, Великий Храм), Zorianyi lane, 16., .
- Church of St. Cyril and St. Athanasius the Great, Archbp. of Alexandria and Athanasius (Ukrainian: Кирилівська церква, translit. Kyrylivs’ka tserkva, Храм св.Кирила та Афанасія Олександрійських, Кириллівська церква), Dorogozhychi, Telihy Oleny str. (Олени Теліги), 12B (M: Petrivka 1.5km , or M: 'Dorogozhychi' 1.1km. - Mental hospital area. Tram 12, 19 to 'stadion Spartak'). 10:00–17:30. This was established in the 12th century. Dorogozhychi quarter played an important role in the historical destiny of Kyiv. There the fate was solved for many princes pretending to the Kyivan throne on the one hand, and fate of Kyiv itself, on the other hand. Numerous invaders carried out from here their multiple attacks on Kyiv, and Kyivan princes conducted bloody battles with them. Such a strategic importance of this location became one of the reasons for foundation of a monumental church-fortress. In 1139 Vsevolod Olhovych, Prince of Chernigiv approached Dorogozhychi, an important strategic point, on the Kyiv’s north-western outskirts, gained possession of the area and simultaneously obtained a convenient bridgehead at the approaches to Kyiv. In 1140–1146 Vsevolod Olhovych erects St. Cyril’s Church at Dorogozhychi. Construction of a church-fortress is a logical step of Vsevolod as a prince-worrier, and prince-strategist, for the sake of fortifying outskirts of the “capital city” so desired by many. St. Cyril’s monastery is an example of a unique functional combination, because it is a sacred center, patrimonial palace church, and at the same time it is a monumental church-fortress. The church was named after Cyril, the holy hierarch Cyril of Alexandria — Christian patron of the church’s founder, prince Vsevolod Olhovych. - The most precious treasure of the St. Cyril’s Church is its unique mural painting. - In the 12th century walls of the St. Cyril’s Church were painted in fresco technique according to the Christian iconographic canons of that time. In the 17th century the fresco painting of the Church was partially renewed by means of tempera. In the 1800's, during repair of the Church its walls instead of painting were just plastered and whitewashed. - In the 1880s restoration works were carried out in the Church under the guidance of the professor of St. Petersburg University, A. Prakhov. At that time from under centuries-old layers of plaster and whitewash a unique Old Russian mural painting was discovered. However, soon after, in order to provide the mural painting for “grandeur” the frescoes were refreshed with oil paints. In the 1970s a large-scale restoration works on frescoes’ discovery from under layer of oil paint of the 19th century were carried out. - FRESCO painting: Monumental figures of twelve Apostles are located in window piers of the dome’s drum. Four Evangelists are portrayed on sails (architectural spherical triangles serving for transition from the drum’s cycle to the under-dome square). The representation of the EvangelisMark on the south-estern sail has preserved the best of all.- Central arches supporting the dome’s drum are decorated with images of theSeban Martyrs placedewithin medallions literally interconnected by means of loops and hoops. These representations form as if “alive holy chain” protecting the celestial sphere. In the central apse there is a figure of the Holy Mother, Orans with her hands raised in prayer. Oil painting of the 19th century represents the major part of the composition; of the ancient fresco representation only an edge of the Holy Mother’s blue chiton and a podium on which she is standing have survived. Beneath the Orans the Eucharist fresco composition is located featuring the scene of the Apostles’ holy communion, in which the Christ is depicted twice: at the left He serves the body of Christ (bread) to the group of Apostles headed by the St. Peter, and at the right He serves the blood of Christ (cup of wine) to the group of Apostles headed by St. Paul. Similar plot depicting two figures of Christ is already known in miniature of Rossan Code in Asia Minor dated with the 6th century. According to the canon which can be recognized already in the Church of San-Vitale in Ravenna, in the St. Cyril’s Church the center of the composition represents a double dome on pillars over the throne onwhich a cross, a paten with seven round flat breads, a cup of wine and an asterisk are placed. - Belfry: Of the monastic buildings Ivan Hryhorovych-Barskyi constructed within the monastery, his most important construction was a free standing belfry, built in 1760. The belfry combined the idea of a tall campanile with a gate on the ground level and a chapel on the belfry's second tier. The two lower levels of the belfry had some elements of a Ukrainian tripartite church, consisting with the belltower placed over the central part of the nave. This architectural combination in a belfry with two apse-like lower elements on each side. The original roof above the belfry's chapel was a stepped-hipped roof, which was popular at the time. After the fire of 1849, the roof's over the chapel and the cupola were modified from the original. After the Ukrainian SSR's decision on the demolition of the belfry in 1936, the belfry was destroyed a year later, to be used as bricks in construction projects.
This is a historic neighbourhood and an administrative raion (district) in Kiev. It is one of the oldest neighborhoods of Kiev, the birthplace of the city's trade, commerce and industry. It still contains many architectural and historical landmarks, and new archaeological sites are still being revealed. Numerous attractions of Podil particularly include: Frolivskyi and Pokrovskyi Convents, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, House of Ivan Mazepa, House of Peter the Great, Fountain of Samson, Zamkova Hora hill, Andriyivskyy Descent — the main link of Podil to the city's administrative Uppertown, Borychiv Descent, Kiev River Port, Kiev funicular, Poshtova Square, and the Kontraktova Square. Modern Podilskyi Raion, despite its tourism and culture importance, remains one of Kiev's main business, transportation and industrial districts.
- Temple in honour the icon of the Mother of God Vsetsarytsia-Pantanassa (Храм на честь ікони Божої Матері Всецариця-Пантанасса), Rizhskaya str.,1.
- Tarasa Shevchenka Metro station (Тараса Шевченка). This is a station on Kiev Metro's Kurenivsko-Chervonoarmiyska Line. The station was opened on December 19, 1980 in the northern part of the historic Podil neighbourhood and is named after the famous Ukrainian poet, writer, and painter, Taras Shevchenko. It was designed by T.A. Tselikovska, A.S. Krushynskyi, and A. Pratsiuk.The station is located shallow underground and consists of a central hall with rectangular marble pillars. The walls along the tracks have been finished with dark red marble and ceramic tiles with a plant motif. The lighting comes from large round lamps hanging from the ceiling. At the end of the hall is a white stone bust of Taras Shevchenko, surrounded through the same plant motif that is located on the station's walls. The station is accessible by passenger tunnels on the Mezhyhirska and the Olenivska Streets
- Frolivsky Convent (Ascension Convent, Florivsky or Florovsky Monastery (Russian: КИЕВО-Флоровский ВОЗНЕСЕНСКИЙ ЖЕНСКИЙ монастырь),), Frolovskaya ulitsa, 8 (M Kontraktova Ploscha), . Originated in the 16th century as the wooden church of Sts. Florus and Laurus. Its buildings occupy the slopes of the Zamkova Hora. - The main church, or katholikon, is a notable example of Ukrainian Baroque architecture. Its first stone was laid in 1722. Ten years later, the three-domed building was dedicated to the feast of the Ascension of Christ. Its Neoclassical bell-tower is of later construction. The wooden buildings of the monastery were entirely destroyed by fire in 1811. Only the katholikon and a 17th-century refectory were left standing amid the ashes. It was Andrey Melensky, a Neoclassical architect from Kiev, who was in charge of the convent's reconstruction. The convent's notable residents included Princess Natalia Dolgorukova, one of the first Russian women writers. It was closed in 1929 but reopened after the Germans entered the city in 1941.
- National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Natsional'nyi universytet "Kyyevo-Mohylians'ka akademiya" Ukrainian: Національний університет «Києво-Могилянська академія» (НаУКМА)) (M Kontraktova Ploscha (Контрактова площа) 300m SE). Motto in English: "Time is running, Academy is eternal". The library of the old Kyiv Mohyla Academy contained a notable collection of the books. However, the archive was plundered in 1920s when the academy was closed. - The Halshka Hulevychivna house belonging to the university is the oldest civil building in Kyiv.
- House of Ivan Mazepa.
- House of Peter the Great.
- Fountain of Samson.
- Zamkova Hora hill.
- Gostynnyi Dvir.
- Bila Tserkva (ru: Белая Церковь, uk:Біла Церква) (85km S of Kiev).
- Fastiv (72km SW).
- Kaniv (150km SE). Possible visit like a day tour.
- Pereyaslav-Khmelnytskyi (Переяслав-Хмельницкий) (85km SE).
- Vyshhorod (uk:Вишгород, ru:.Вышгород) (21km N). A summer winter resort.
Museums & Galleries
- Blacksmithing and metalworker's museum (Музей Ковальського та слюсарного мистецтва), Andreevsky ds., 20B(Metro Kontraktova, 10 mins by walk).
- Literary and Memorial Bulgakov Museum. House of Turbiny (Дім Турбіних.Літературно-меморіальний музей Булгакова), Andriyivsky Descent 13. (subway station 'Kontraktovaya Ploshchad'), . daily 10:00-18:00 (ticket office open till 17:00) Closed: Wednesday, Monday. The legendary Andriyivsky Descent was the street where the great writer lived with his family and where he ’lodged’ the heroes of his immortal novel "The White Guard." 10 UAH. The cost of excursion - 30 UAH per person.
- Chornobyl Museum (Національний музей Чорнобиль), Khoryv Lane, 1 (Metro “Kontraktova Ploshcha”; Tram : 12, 14, 18, 19), . M-F 10-18; Sat 10-17. A fascinating and moving museum. No signage in English. The cost of istening audio-tour in English or German - 50 UAH. 10 UAH.
- Cultural wealth of Ukraine' Ukrainian icon museum (Міський музей української ікони "Духовні скарби України"), Desyatinnaya str., 12. (Metro: Postova), . Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday.From 11 to 19 hours. The exhibition presents about 300 icons late 15th - early 20th century.
- National Museum of History of Ukraine (Національний музей iсторії України), Vladimirskaya str., 2 (Metro: Postova), . , Th-Tu 10AM - 5PM, Wed: day off.. Museum represents different times from ancient till nowadays.
- One Street Museum (Музей однієї вулиці - Muzey odniyeyi vulytsi), Andreevsky ds., 2B, . The collection of the One Street Museum is dedicated to the history of the Andriyivskyi uzviz (Andrew's Descent) and its famous residents. Open daily from 12 noon to 6PM (closed Mondays). 20 UAH. An excursion in Ukrainian or Russian - 100 UAH, in English - 150 UAH.
- Museum of the Magdeburg law, Museum of Self-Management of Kyiv (Музей Магдeбурзького права, Музей історії київського самоврядування), Pochtovaya sq., 2. (Metro: Postova), . A very interesting permanent exhibition about "On the history of government in Kiev", devoted to 500th anniversary of providing the city of Magdeburg law.
- State Aviation Museum (Державний музей авіації України (Жуляни)), Medovaya str., 1, , e-mail: , ,[email protected]. Inside the old Zhulyany Airport with many impressive Soviet civil and military aircraft on display, including an An-2, Tu-104, Il-62, Il-76, an Il-86 and is constantly improving. The museum is opposite to the airport terminal, which is an industrial zone. To get there, you can either take Trolleybus #9 from the main train station - Kiev Passazhyrskyi (South exit)/Vokzalna metro stop or #22 from Shuliavska (Шулявська) metro station, both until Sevastopolska Square. From there, take the minibus 220 that will take you straight to the museum (last stop). Walking in the surrounding area after dark is not advisable as the area is poorly lit and stray dogs are present. 50 UAH.
- Bee-Farming Museum (Музей Бджільництва), Pokrovskaya str., 9/2. (Metro: Kontraktova or Poshtova). The museum contains materials on the history of beekeeping, photographs of prominent scientists beekeepers are part of apitherapy.
- Open-Air Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life (Музей народної архітектури та побуту - Muzey narodnoyi arkhitektury ta pobutu), Krasnoznamennaya street, 1, Pyrohiv (Bus #156 or #172 from Olimpiiska, Lybidska or Vystavkovy Tsentr Metro stations goes there for USD 0.30 (pay driver). About 30-40 minutes.), .daily. Covering 160 ha, the area shows how people used to live in different parts of Ukraine. Six restored rural Ukrainian villages, with old huts, wooden mills and churches from all over Ukraine have been carefully restored and function as living museums. English-speaking (sort of) guides with expertise on the whole site are available and well worth-it. Ukrainians come on sunny days to relax in the grass.
- Luk'yanivs'ke Cemetery (Лукянівське кладовище), Dorohozhyts'ka street., 7. (Metro: Dorohozhici), . , daily. By the administration building has a museum room, telling stories about the cemetery and its famous "Dwellers".
- Pushkin Museum (Київський музей Пушкіна О.С.), Kudryavskaya str., 9. (Metro: Lukyanivska). W-M 10:00-17:00. The main part of the museum's collection are exhibits first half of the 19th century - a period called the "Pushkin". Among the most valuable items - books with author signatures of friends and contemporaries Pushkin political writings of famous public figures. The pride of the museum editions of the works of the poet, including some sections of the novel "Eugene Onegin."
- Pedagogical Museum (Педагогічний музей), 57 Volodymyr St(Metro station: Zoloti Vorota. Across from the building of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine), , e-mail:[email protected]. M-F: 10.00-17.00. Lunch: 13.00-14.00.. Former the meeting place of the Ukrainian Club, Rodyna, and the Ukrainian Scientific Society. The museum of Lenin which was here until 1982. The first floor of the building now houses the escalators leading to the Kiev Metro station, Zoloti Vorota.
- Golden Gate of Kiev or Zoloti Vorota (Золоті ворота), Str. Vladimir, (вул. Володимирська,) 40a (Metro: Zoloti Vorota), . Tu.:10.00 to 17.00, W-Su.:10.00-18.00, In winter, closed. Built in the 11th century., Destroyed in the 17th century. The rebuilt Golden Gate is a crenellated tower fourteen meters in height. The entrance way is shielded on one side by a metal-covered porticullis of wood and on the other side by doors patterned.
- Ivan Honchar Museum (National Centre of Folk Culture)(Український центр народної культури «Музей Івана Гончара»), Vul. Larska, (вул. Лаврська,) 19 (Near to Lavra, trolley No.38, bus No.24, 470), . , 280-5210Tu-Su: 10:00-17:30. The collection consists of over 15,000 items from the 16th to the early 20th centuries. Icons from the 16th century, 100 paintings by famous Ukrainian artists, over 2,500 textiles from the 18th and 19th centuries, pottery, toys, Easter eggs, wood carvings and Ukrainian folk music instruments. 15 UAH, student 3 UAH.
- Kiev Fortress also known as the Pechersk Fortress((Ukrainian: Київська фортеця; Kyivs'ka fortetsia; Russian: Киевская крепость; Kievskaya krepost' )), 24a Hospitalna St (Metro: Klovska station 1km, Palats Sportu station 1.3km, trolley No.14 'muzey Kyivska phortetsya' stop, 100 meter). A 19th century fortification building, that once belonged to the system of western Russian fortresses. Some of the buildings are restored and turned into a museum called the Kiev Fortress, while others are in use by various military and commercial installations. It is semi-underground.
- The National Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War, 24 Lavrska St., , e-mail: [email protected]. T-Su 10AM-5PM. A fairly large museum starting with WWII, going through Nazi occupation and Soviet occupation until Ukraine's independence. The museum is at the base of the massive Motherland statue. While the displays are mostly in Ukrainian. The museum has laminated cards in each room with varying languages including English, German and French. The museum also offers guided tours in several languages.UAH15/adult, UAH5/student, UAH1/child, UAH30 to take photos within the museum, UAH50 to take videos for up to an hour.
Things to do
- Podil (Metro Poshtova). Stroll around. Start at St Michael's Cathedral in the Upper Town. Catch the funicular behind it down to Poshtova Ploscha, and wander around the grid-like streets of Podil. The area was the merchant's quarter, and was completely rebuilt in the 19th century after fires destroyed the area. It was mainly untouched during WWII and is emerging as a hip restaurant district and is rapidly being gentrified. Finish your stroll by walking up Andriyivsky Uzviz, which will get you back to St Michael's Cathedral.
- On the weekend, go and people watch on Kreshchatyk. Start at Lva Tolstoho Square and head underground. Walk through the Metrograd shopping center, always sticking to your left. Head above-ground at Taras Shevchenko Boulevard (бульвар Тараса Шевченка), from where the council shuts down Kreshchatyk on the weekends. Walking up the street to Maidan, you will be treated to the sight of numerous street performers and animal handlers, or you can simply enjoy seeing families out and about for a weekend stroll.
- St Volodomyr's, Taras Shevchenko Blvd (Metro: Universytet). Go to a service at an Orthodox Church. Services are long and there are no seats in Orthodox churches, however it's perfectly acceptable to come and go as you please. Women must cover their heads before entering the church.
- Hidropark (Metro Hidropark). island in the Dnieper River. Kiev is endowed with natural city beaches that line Dnieper. Many a summer day can be spent in the parks and on the beaches of the islands, where you can buy shashlyk from stalls, play beach volleyball, swim in the river or in the pools on the island, or just soak up the sun.
- Syretska arboretum (Сирецький дендрологічний парк), Tyraspilska str.,(вул. Тираспольська,) 43 (M: Syrets), , e-mail: [email protected]. 8:00-17:00. Different kinds of trees and shrubs on 6.5 hectares. It is a park-monument of landscape art of national importance - it is, above all, diverse flora (900 species). And an extensive opportunity for recreation and harmonious unity with nature.
- Kiev Zoo (Київський Зоопарк), Prosp. Peremogi, (просп. Перемоги,)32 (M: Politekhnichnyi Instytut), . 9:00-18:00 summer, 9:00-16:00 winter. Situated on about 40 hectares. The zoo has 2,600 animals from 328 species. 130 different kinds of trees and bushes decorate the zoo's lands.
- Mamaeva Sloboda open-air museum (Центр народознавстсва Мамаєва Слобода), Dontsia Mykhaila str., 2 (seven kilometers west from centre, take a trolley No.27, 27 K (from Petrivka or Shulyavska metro stations)). 10:00-18:00. A theme park on the 9,2 hectares site and represent a full replica of a historical settlement depicting Ukrainian nature, architecture and the way of life. The architectural ensemble which consists of 98 units. 100 UAH, Photography - 10 UAH.
- A.V. Fomin Botanical Garden or Botanical gardens of the Kyiv university of St. Volodymyr (Ботанічний сад імені академіка Олександра Фоміна, Київського університета Святого Володимира), Bulv. Tarasa Shevchenka,(Шевченка Тараса бульв.)(Metro station Universytet), , e-mail:[email protected]. Tours(except Friday) at 10.00, 13.00 and 15.00. - is 22.5 hectares, with 8,000 plant species. Garden is famous for its exotic plants. Building of greenhouse, which was built for the largest and the oldest palm trees in Northern Eurasia, long time had been considered one of the highest in the world. In 1935, the garden was named after the academician A.V. Fomin, who directed the garden for years.
- Hryshka Botanical Garden (Botanichnyi sad im. M. M. Hryshka, Национальный ботанический сад им. Н. Н. Гришко), Tymiriazivska str., 1 (From metro station Pechersky bus number 62 or bus number 14 to the stop Botanical Garden). Daily May-Aug 08:30-21:00, Sep-Apr 08:00-dusk; Greenhouse complex: W-F 10:00-16:00, Sa,Su 11:00-17:00. The perfect place for a stroll in any season. There are unique floristic complexes on 130 hectares: 'Forests of the plain part of Ukraine1, 'Ukrainian Carpathians', 'Steppes of Ukraine', 'Crimea', 'Caucasus', 'Central Asia', the 'Altai and Western Siberia', 'Far East'. UAH20, Greenhouse UAH5.
- Bar Fidel, Hrushevskoho 4B. Well worth checking out. DJ plays late on a Friday night and there is some serious moshing and crowd surfing in what must be Kiev's lowest bar / club. Great fun, open till 5AM.
- Blyndazh. (Блиндаж, means "entrenchment") at the basement of 15 Mala Zhytomyrska (200 m. off Maidan sq.). Military-themed bar (recently changed its signboard to Blind Age with a cartoon mole with shades on it). Small, cheap and popular, mostly student types.
- Orech (Walnut), vul Velyka Vasylkivska 126. Small, good selection of local beers, used to serve unlimited free walnuts if you drink beer. Recently the walnut servings have been limited unfortunately.
- Trolleybus. A decent pub on Proreznaya St. Their design may look strange until you take a ride on an old USSR-type trolley-bus and fully appreciate the charm of this transport. The pub offers some fancy Ukrainian beer and a selection of home-made vodka-based spirits as well as the full row of typical snacks (dried salted bread, salted fish, calamaris, etc.)
- Viola's Bierstube, bulevard Shevchenka 1a. Well hidden behind a dark door in a small alley.
There are several Irish pubs, none authentic, but OK if you're in need of a Guinness and expat company. One is located near Golden Gate (Zoloti Vorota) on Volodomyrska (called, eponymously, The Golden Gate Pub). Another (and the first in Kiev) is O'Briens on Mykailivska (one of the streets running west off Maidan sq., the one to the right, with a branch of OTP Bank on the corner). Both are expensive by Kiev standards. A new one has opened in Podil, on the corner of Gostyny Dvor, near the Dutch embassy (can't miss it as it's close to the bottom of Andryevsky) called the Belfast Pub. Other than these centrally located ones, others lie scattered around Kiev, they do not cater to the ex-pat crowd and have better prices than you expect to find in any 'western' country. Keep your eyes open. Also try Dockers Pub.
There are two Belgian beer cafés.
- Le Cosmopolite Belgian beer café, Volodymyrska St (located across the road from the Golden Gate,close to the South Korean Delegation).Service is in perfect English usually and they do serve Belgian beer and traditional Belgian food (expensive). €1.3 for 0.5l of Stella Artois and €4.5 for 0.33l of Leffe Blond.
- Belle-Vue Café, Vul. Saksahanskoho 7 (Olympic Stadium). Service is in perfect English usually and they do serve Belgian beer and traditional Belgian food (expensive). €1.3 for 0.5l of Stella Artois and €4.5 for 0.33l of Leffe Blond.
Kiev has a nice club scene. Ranging from very cheap to overly-expensive, you can find what you want.
- Art Club 44, Vul. Khreshchatyk 44/b.. A club that plays live music every day. Hard to find if you have been there. Go through the arch at Khreshchatyk 44/b, there's a small Ukrainian-themed restaurant on the right (quite good actually), you need an unmarked door on the left. Or simply ask just about anybody between 18 and 35, they will probably know. Cover UAH20 on F-Sa.
- D-Lux. Upscale, where a lot of people go to look beautiful, popular on Fridays and Saturdays. Grand, stone steps lead up to the entrance. A well-reviewed restaurant is on the first level. A swanky bar, somewhat in the style of a small Buddha Bar, is on the second level. The disco is on the third and fourth levels, the main dance floor being on the former and extra bars and balconies look down from the latter.
- Faberge Club, Rybalska 22. Also an upscale club, similar to Chaikovsky Deluxe.
- Club Forsage. One of the most known clubs has 3 floors with different music genres, is supposed to have strict face control but you can find some underage students inside, they only look at shoes and make sure its not sport shoes. Entrance on the weekend is 70 UAH for men and 50 UAH for women..
- Patipa. This is one of Kiev's dinosaurs, but still one of the most trendy and best visited clubs in Kiev.
- Shooters, Moskovska 22. This is currently one of the more traveler and expat friendly clubs (it belongs to a group of Scottish expats).
- Sorry Babushka. The interior space of the club is a three-level complex, where each floor has its own concept of music, design, light and sound.
- Stolytsia. An upscale lively place located close to the Water Museum. Expensive and pretentious, but beware of the face control, e.g. no sport shoes allowed.
- Xlib-club, Frunze 12. Brings what is called cutting-edge music to Kiev. The club is neither expensive nor pretentious and exceedingly crowded on Friday and Saturday nights. Located in Podil one of the romantic districts near the Dnieper river.
- A few popular venues are located at the Mandarin Plaza shopping mall (Arena Entertainment complex), rumored to be owned by the Klitschko brothers. The clubs include Arena, Sky Bar, Barsky and Grotesque. They're right next to Bessarabsky market; most of the clubs are accessible from the court.
Things to know
Kiev was part of the former USSR. Some things work well and other things may be broken. There is no point in stressing about this. Arrive with that realization and be prepared to roll with a few surprises.
In general the people in Kiev are hospitable and will be eager to help you. However, if you don't have a knowledge of Ukrainian or Russian you may find service in restaurants and shops difficult, though this is slowly changing among younger generations with more exposure to English.
While 85% of residents claim Ukrainian ethnicity, most Kievans usually speak Russian (all Kievans can understand and speak Ukrainian, nonetheless); Ukrainian is primarily spoken by immigrants from Western or Central Ukraine. Like many former Soviet cities, Kiev is a multicultural place: you will certainly meet ethnic Russians - which form about 13% of the city's population - and also Armenians, Azeris, Belarusians, Georgians and Tatars. There are also people claiming Jewish, Polish, Romanian and Hungarian descent.
Officially, all signs are in Ukrainian only. Since 2011, signs with Latin transliteration are starting to make an appearance throughout Ukraine.
Safety in Kiev
Kiev is a generally open and friendly city and stays lively until at least 11PM in most districts.
Avoid drinking the water from the tap — bottled water is cheap and available everywhere (Morshinska/Моршинська, Mirgorodska/Міргородська is good).
If you are female, and especially if you are traveling alone, try to take a taxi instead of public transit after 9PM These are prime drinking hours and the metro and marshrutky may be crowded with drunken men. This is particularly true on the weekends. Ask a local English-speaker to call the taxi for you and get the amount of the fare in advance; drivers may greatly inflate the fare once hearing your accent.
Robberies and scams on tourists are fairly common in Kiev. The best approach is to be extremely selfish and ignore anyone who approaches you. Avoid eye contact with suspicious looking people. If you do get caught up in a scam (such as the infamous wallet scam or the "Look, I've just found money" scam or even if you are stopped by someone claiming to be a policeman), simply ignore the person and walk away, indicate that you want to call your embassy or go to the next police station to get the problem sorted. That will usually shake the person off.
If you are leaving your baggage in the station, it is better to leave it with the guys in person rather than use a locker. Stories have been heard of people 'assisting' with the locker and overseeing the code, then walking off with the bag afterwards.
On the metro, always keep your belongings securely zipped as close to your skin as possible. Pickpockets are highly organised and often in gangs that know what they are doing.
There are occasional (rare) reports of visitors being shaken down by corrupt officials, often customs officials. Naturally, the best protection is to make sure that you stay on the correct side of the law and, if there is any question, to keep your cool and not become argumentative. It seems that the cost of an error is surrendering the object in question and paying a "fine." The officials are skilled at ensuring that people who argue miss their flights. Making, or giving the impression of making a phone call to your country's embassy has been known to clear up "problems" quicker than actually paying the "fine" --- or pretend to have a very late flight.
Walking around in the tourist areas (e.g. Maydan) at night you will no doubt find yourself stopped by groups of police who will stop you and go through an overly theatrical display of asking to see your passport and other documents, and sometimes even search you for drugs or other prohibited items. To deal with this, firstly always carry your passport, not doing so will give them an easy excuse to extract a bribe. Secondly, making it clear that you speak absolutely no Russian may help. Lastly, don't given them any excuses whatsoever to threaten you with arrest - just because the locals drink in the street doesn't mean you should. Don't cross the road except at authorised points. Try and follow the rules.
Some thieves like to abuse new tourists, for example, by playing plainclothes cop. They are rarely aggressive. They will go to you only if you're walking alone and don't look too familiar with the town. A bit of resisting usually shakes them off (but not too much since you never know).
There is still some corruption in Ukraine; some services might openly ask you to bribe them to process your request, and denying it might make them refuse to help you.
The people are very tolerant and it is only reasonable to assume that they expect the same in return.