Kiev or Kyiv is the capital city of Ukraine. With an approximate population of 2,847,200, it is also the largest city of the country and the eighth largest amongst the cities of Europe. The city is a significant scientific, industrial, cultural, and educational hub of Eastern Europe. It also houses several higher education centers, high-tech companies, as well as renowned historical landmarks. Kiev is one of the oldest cities of Eastern Europe and was declared a commercial hub in the early 5th century.
Kiev is categorized under the Polesia ecological zone. However, its unique landscape sets it apart from the neighboring area. The city is located on both sides of the River Dnieper. The older right bank of the river is dotted with various woody hills, small rivers, and ravines. On an average, there are 448 open water bodies surrounding the city. These water bodies occupy nearly 7,949 hectares of the overall territory. Besides, the city is also home to 16 beaches and 35 near-water recreational regions covering 140 hectares and 1,000 hectares, respectively. As per the UN 2011 evaluation, the city and its metropolitan region are free from the risks of natural disasters.
How to Reach :
- By air : Boryspil International Airport lies 36 kms south-east to the main city. There are two major airlines, namely, Ukraine International Airlines and Aerosvit that run to and fro from the city. Other airlines like Alitalia, Aeroflot, British Airways, Czech Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Estonian Air, Finnair, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, and AirBaltic are some of the other options. Besides, budget charters are also considered great options to reach this city.
From Boryspil Airport you can avail the Sky Bus to reach the city center. It operates routine bus service between the Central Railway Station and Airport. During the rush hours, these buses run at frequent intervals, every 15 minutes or so, but by midnight the frequency is low and these buses ply at intervals of 45 minutes.
There is another airport named the Zhulyany Airport, which lies about 8 kms southwest to the city center. Most budget airlines leave and arrive at this airport. Wizzair is perhaps the major airline that has its services here. Once you land at the airport, you can avail any public transport to reach the railway station or the desired hotel.
- By train : Kiev Passazhyrskyi is the central railway station of the city. You can avail direct day and night trains from all prominent towns/cities of Ukraine. Besides, there are good global connections with Russia and central Europe through the railways.
- By car : If you are traveling from the West to Ukraine, then you need to enter the city through Poland. Lvivska Oblast is the only 24 hours post at Krakovets passing which you can reach the city. Once through this post, all you need to do is follow the main road heading toward Lviv on the E40.
- By bus : International buses halt at the central station. You can avail direct buses from Moldova, Poland, and Germany. The city is served by the Euroclub bus from Germany.
The city enjoys a humid continental climate. June, July, and August are the warmest months of the year where the temperature can rise up to 24.8°C. The coldest months include February, January, and December where the temperature can drop down to −32.2°C. You could experience heavy snowfall from mid-November to the end of March. The summers are usually damp and hot while the winters are chilly.
When to Visit :
The best time to visit Kiev is in July and August. On the other hand, if you can tolerate the chilled winds of the winters, then you can plan your visit from May to September as well.
Culture (fairs and festivals) and traditions :
- Ukraine Bike Day : This event for cyclists starts at European Square, Kyiv in Ukraine. Besides the capital city, there are some other Ukrainian cities including Kharkiv, Donetsk, Vinnytsia, Lutsk, Zhytomyr, Odesa, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chernihiv to name a few. This bicycle parade promotes active and healthy lifestyle.
- Ukrainian world music festival "Kraina Mriy" : This global music festival was first held in the year 2004 and since then it has been celebrated every year for a couple of days. The chief idea to organize this festival is to explore the true essence of Ukrainian culture. Both modern and ethnic music form an integral part of this event.
- Architecture and Design Festival : Various exhibiting companies consider this platform to be an ideal option through which they can exhibit their marvelous collection of architecture.
On your tour to Kiev, some of the must visit destinations include :
- Kiev Pecherska Lavra : This monument stands on the Dnipro Hills and was constructed almost nine centuries ago. It houses various churches, which are noted for their architectural wonders, catacombs, and collections of miniatures.
- National Opera House : Located close to the Khreschatyk Street, the Opera House is known for its majestic interiors. You can witness some of the finest collections of classical Russian and Ukrainian ballets and operas here.
- St. Sophia Cathedral : The thirteen golden domes add style and aesthetics to this cathedral with its striking mosaics. Over the years, it has grown to be a prominent, political and cultural center.
- Golden Gate : This wall acted as a barrier to keep off invaders. The place was renovated in 1983, and since then it has turned out to be a major tourist attraction.
- The Horodetsky Building : This striking building was constructed by Horodetsky in 1902. The intricate sculptural ornaments depicting hunting and mythological themes add to the galore of this building.
- Mariyinsky Palace : This striking palace was constructed under the supervision of Ivan Michurin. Located on top of a hill, it was initially used as the residence of the Tsar’s family. However, today it is used for organizing international conferences and presidential meetings.
When it's the holiday season, most people don’t mind planning for a lavish stay. Some such options include the 11 Mirrors Design Hotel, Hyatt Regency Kiev, Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv, InterContinental Kiev, Premier Palace Hotel, Opera Hotel, and Hilton Kiev. On the other hand, if you are running on a tight budget on your tour to Kiev, then look for options like Hotel LaMa, Raziotel Kyiv, Kooperator, Kropivnickogo or the Saturn Hotel.
Last Updated : December 31, 2013