Kiev City Breaks
The origins of Kiev date all the way back the fifth century and so Ukraine's capital is easily one of the oldest cities in Europe. In this time, it has survived many historical events, such as the Mongol invasion, World War Two and even Communist city planning. This troubled past has helped to create a city which is clearly historically important at heart but that has managed to attract a new wave of modern tourists through its contemporary developments.
With beautiful buildings galore, numerous museums and areas of natural beauty, a Kiev city break can offer you everything you are looking for in a holiday of this kind. Families will love a trip to Kiev zoo or and the man-made beach at Hidropark, whilst couples can enjoy a romantic meal at of the many restaurants which offer a mixture of cuisines from Asian and French to local specialities.
If you're looking for ways to spend your time after exploring the main tourist attractions then there is a great network of cycle paths and places which offer bike rentals that will give you a different view of Kiev.
- Flight time from London: 3 hours 15 min
- Kyiv International Airport (Zhuliany): 9km from the city centre; transfer time about 28 min
- Nearest railway station: Kiev Passazhirskiy
- Currency: Ukrainian hryvnia
Recovering from the Soviet past, Kiev is becoming a capital city of European standards with all the attributes such as large shopping and recreation centres, boutiques and top designer shops. Nowadays, Kiev has a terrific choice of shopping opportunities to choose from.
There are nine big shopping malls across the city, selling everything from high-fashion clothing, antiques and furniture to cheese and wine. All the big name brands are here, and some very pricey local producers too. There is also a number of boutiques and souvenir shops around the Old Town and main tourist attractions.
The culinary geography of Kiev embraces many countries of the world. Whether you are seeking traditional Ukrainian restaurants or those serving classical French and Italian cuisines, you will find many suitable establishments.
But remember, do not miss an opportunity to taste traditional Ukrainian cuisine in the form of varenik (small dough pies with different stuffings), famous Ukrainian borsch (beet soup) with pampushki (soft rolls soaked in fresh crushed garlic and oil) and other dishes. Most eateries in Kiev are located in the Old Town and are also close to main tourist attractions.
Despite its large size, almost everything worth seeing is contained within the historical Pechersk and Podil neighbourhoods. Both are easily reachable on foot.
St. Sophia Cathedral
Dating back to the 11th century, the exquisite green and gold-domed St. Sophia Cathedral was an important centre for Soviet Russia.
Kiev-Pechersk Lavra (Caves Monastery)
It is a fascinating living piece of history dating back to 1051. It is the oldest Orthodox monastery in Ukraine that attracted thousands of pilgrims and many monks. It is a UNESCO heritage building that is visited by lots of tourists.
Great Patriotic War Museum
Dominated by the enormous, towering statue of the Motherland (looking like the sword-wielding sister of the Statue Of Liberty) above it, the Great Patriotic War Museum houses a fascinating collection of World War Two artefacts in a Soviet-built building.
Pirogovo Folk Architecture and Life Museum
This is an outdoor museum that depicts folk architecture and Ukrainian folk life. See the windmills and the wooden buildings and take the opportunity to meet local artisans selling their crafts.
Chernobyl Catastrophe Museum
The museum is home to more than 7,000 exhibits that depict life in the Chernobyl region and the effects of the Chernobyl disaster on Ukraine's ecology.
Kiev offers a good range of nightlife and entertainment options. Whether it is clubbing, casino, classical music or theatre, you will definitely find something to your tastes. You can visit the cinema or opera, take in a play at the theatre or dance the night away at clubs, bars, music venues and dance parties. Once you are in Kiev, you will feel the special atmosphere of this old Slavic city. It is well known that the hospitable venues of Kiev will charm you with their unique spirit.