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Good to know

City map Kiev

Points of interest: Your selected categories
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    Good to know

    Kiev – a brief overview

    Straddling the banks of the River Dnieper, Ukraine’s capital is an interesting mix of the Soviet and the medieval with golden onion-domed churches nestled beside huge Stalinesque skyscrapers. Maydan Nezalezhnosti, a huge central square, is the hub around which the city turns and was the focus for the 2014 demonstrations in favour of the EU as well as the 2004 Orange Revolution.

    Although the revolutionary fervour has since subsided, you don’t have to look far for the scars of the recent past, whether that’s the remnants of barricades in Maydan or the haunting Chernobyl Museum. Despite recent troubles, Kiev is a friendly modern metropolis with designer boutiques, stylish bars and elegant eateries.

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    Top 10 sights in Kiev

    ListMap
    Kiew, Ukraine, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Travel Guide

    Chernobyl Museum

    Khoryv Lane 1
    04071 Kiev
    Ukraine
    Tel: (044) 417 5422
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon-Fri 1000-1800
    Sat 1000-1700

    Set within a former fire station, Kiev’s Chernobyl Museum takes you through an interactive account of the 1986 nuclear meltdown and its horrific consequences.

    St Andrew's Street

    Andrijiwskyj Uswis
    Kiev
    Ukraine
    Show on map

    One of the prettiest streets in Kiev, this winding medieval road is home to a smattering of art galleries, plenty of unusual boutiques and the imposing neo-Gothic ‘Richard’s Castle’.

    Maydan Nezalezhnosti

    Maydan Nezalezhnosti
    Kiev
    Ukraine
    Show on map

    The epicentre of Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution as well as the more recent pro-Europe protests, Maydan Nezalezhnosti (or Maydan as it’s popularly known) is the beating heart of the city. It’s a vast central square filled with pretty fountains.

    Bulgakov Museum

    13, Andriivs'kyi descent
    Kiev
    Ukraine
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Mon 1200-1800
    Tue and Thu-Sun 1000-1800

    An eccentric little museum dedicated to Kiev’s most famous son, the writer Mikhail Bulgakov. Highlights include fragile personal possessions dating from the early years of the 20th century and interesting displays themed around his novels.

    Kiev Caves Monastery

    21 Lavrska Str.
    Kiev 01015
    Ukraine
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0930-1900

    Kiev’s UNESCO-listed medieval monastery is perched on the banks of the Dnieper and boasts a series of striking golden-domed churches. Beneath them is an underground monastery, the final resting place of several Ukrainian saints.

    Golden Gates

    Wladimirskaja-Str., 40-а.
    Kiev
    Ukraine
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue 1000-1700, Wed-Sun 1000-1800 (summer only)

    Despite their ancient appearance, Kiev’s Golden Gates were actually built in 1982 and are a recreation of the 10th-century gates that stood on the spot for 300 years before being destroyed by an invading Mongol horde.

    MM Gryshko National Botanic Garden

    Symona Petlyury St, 1
    01032 Kiev
    Ukraine
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0830-2100 (May-Aug)
    0800-dusk (Sep-Apr)

    Perched on the banks of the Dnieper next to the beautiful Vydubychi Monastery, the botanic garden is home to a well-stocked arboretum and notably large collection of flowering lilacs.

    National Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945

    Lavrskaya st., 24
    Kiev
    Ukraine
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sun 1000-1700 (Jul-May)
    Daily 1000-1700 (Jun)

    A mixture of museum and memorial, with displays paying tribute to the people who lived and died during the Nazi occupation – a toll that included half of Kiev’s citizens.

    St Mykhail’s Monastery

    Mychajliwska ploschtscha
    Kiew
    Ukraine
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0800-1900

    It might look old, but the gloriously golden-domed St Mykhail’s Monastery has occupied its site for barely more than a decade. It’s the latest in a long line of ecclesiastical buildings to sit on Mykhailivska Square, its predecessor having been destroyed by Stalin in 1937.

    Pinchuk Art Centre

    Khoryv Lane 1
    04071 Kiev
    Ukraine
    Tel: (044) 417 5422
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tues-Sun 1200-2100

    An excellent contemporary art museum with a small collection of works by modern masters such as Picasso and Chagall. Pieces by established and up-and-coming local talent complete an extremely interesting picture.

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    Good to know

    Country information

    Country overview

    Vast and vaguely mysterious, Ukraine is barely known to outsiders despite being one of the largest countries in Europe.

    Long associated with its colossal neighbour Russia, it’s a country of varied landscapes and surprising cultural diversity.

    Geography

    Ukraine is bordered by the Russian Federation to the north and east; Belarus to the north; Poland, the Slovak Republic and Hungary to the west; and Romania and Moldova to the southwest. It is a varied country with mountains in the west, plains in the centre and the Black Sea views to the south.

    The north of the state is dominated by forests. Its other two main features are wooded steppe with beech and oak forests and the treeless steppe. The River Dnieper divides Ukraine roughly in half, and flows into the Black Sea.

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 44,573,205

    Population Density (per sq km): 74

    Capital: Kiev.

    Language

    Ukrainian is the sole official state language. It is still widely spoken in western and central Ukraine, although Russian is spoken by virtually everyone. Russian is the main language spoken in Kiev, eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

    Currency

    Hryvnya (UAH) = 100 kopiyok (singular: kopiyka). Notes are in denominations of UAH500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1. Coins are in denominations of UAH1 and 50, 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 kopiyok.

    Electricity

    220 volts AC, 50Hz. European plugs with two round pins are used.

    General business opening hours

    Mon-Fri 0900-1700/1800. Lunch tends to be at least one and a half hours.

    Public holidays

    Below are Public Holidays for the January 2014-December 2015 period.

    Note

    Holidays falling on the weekend are observed the following Monday. Holidays falling on Tuesday or Thursday may be observed the preceding Monday or following Friday.

    2015

    New Year’s Day: 01. January 2015
    Orthodox Christmas Day: 07. January 2015
    International Women’s Day: 08. March 2015
    Orthodox Easter Sunday: 12. April 2015
    Labour Days: 01. May 2015
    Victory Day: 09. May 2015
    Orthodox Pentecost: 31. May 2015
    Constitution Day: 28. June 2015
    Independence Day: 24. August 2015

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    Nightlife in Kiev

    ListMap

    Kiev is a vibrant place once the sun sets, with everything from seedy-looking local bars to sleek lounges and mega clubs on offer.

    Drinking on the street is prohibited, so avoid this unless you’re happy to pay local police a hefty bribe.

    Blyndazh

    15 Mala Zhytomyrska St.
    Kiev
    Ukraine
    Show on map

    A quirky military-themed bar popular with students and anyone in search of a cheap drink.

    Belle-Vue

    ulitsa Saksaganskogo, 7
    Kiev
    Ukraine, 01033
    Show on map

    An upmarket café that serves excellent Belgian beer on tap.

    Orech

    vul Velyka Vasylkivska 126
    Kiev
    Ukraine
    Show on map

    The place to go for artisan local beers served up with huge bowls of walnuts.

    SkyBar

    Velyka Vasylkivska street, 5
    Kiev
    Ukraine
    Show on map

    Owned by the Klitschko brothers, SkyBar does great cocktails and has stunning views of Kiev.

    Faberge

    Rybal'skaya ulitsa, 22,
    Kiev
    Ukraine
    Show on map

    A huge glitzy club where local hipsters go to impress their friends while sipping champagne.

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    Restaurants in Kiev

    ListMap

    Eating out costs little in Kiev and as a result, locals dine out almost every day of the week.

    And there’s plenty to choose from too, with everything from Ukrainian and Russian fare to British, Japanese and Italian cuisine.

    Da Vinci Fish Club

    ulitsa Vladimirskaya, 12
    Kiev
    Ukraine 01025
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Kiev’s smartest restaurant serves every sort of seafood imaginable, most of which is cooked Italian style.

    Buddha Bar

    ulitsa Kreshchatik, 14
    Kiev
    Ukraine
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Pan-Asian food and the longest bar in town have made this a favourite with well-heeled locals.

    SSSR

    42/1 Lavrska Ulitsa
    Kiev
    Ukraine
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    A quirky Soviet-themed restaurant serving up tasty Ukrainian fare.

    Kureni

    Parkovaya doroga, 4
    Kiev
    Ukraine 01021
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    A really good place to try local food, Kureni is family run and specialises in hearty portions.

    Korchma Budmo

    Mikhailovskaya str., 22A
    Kiev
    Ukraine
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    Simple local food served up in enormous helpings in a central Kiev café.

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    Calendar of events

    Ukrainian Independence Day

    24 August 2014

    August 24 1991 marks the date of Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union. This is celebrated throughout Kiev with bunting, national flags and military parades through the city centre. After dark, a spectacular firework display lights up the city sky.

    Kiev Summer Music Festival

    End of May – mid July 2015

    Venue: Central Park of Culture.

    This long-running classical music festival presents outdoor concerts every weekend and is extremely popular with locals as well as tourists. Concerts begin at 1800 and range from symphony orchestras performing classical works to solo piano recitals and even jazz evenings.

    Molodist

    25 October – 2 November 2014
    Website

    Venue: Kyiv Cinema, Chervonoarmiyska 19.

    This widely respected international film festival aims to support films made by young emerging directors. Each year, more than 250 films from around the world are shown in the search for fresh talent. Retrospectives of established directors and film schools of world cinema also feature.

    New Year's Day

    1 January 2015

    More celebrated than Christmas, which falls a week later in Ukraine, New Year is a time for parties, family gatherings, lengthy meals and plenty of drinking. This is also when the Ukrainian equivalent of Santa Claus, Dyed Moroz (Father Frost), visits homes to leave children presents under the decorated New Year’s Day tree.

    Christmas Country of Dreams Festival

    1 – 7 January 2015
    Website

    Venue: Mamaeva Slododa.

    The Ukrainian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas in early January with an annual Christmas Country of Dreams Festival at the Mamaeva Sloboda open air folk village located 7km (4.5 miles) west of the city centre. As well as a Christmas Market, expect food stalls serving traditional dishes and musical performances. There is also a recreated Cossack village with its three-domed wooden church to explore.

    April Fools' Day

    1 April 2015

    Venue: Central Kiev.

    Kiev’s citizens make a big thing of April Fools’ Day, taking to the streets in silly costumes and on inappropriate transport like skis and office chairs. Practical jokes and sending friends on fool’s errands are de rigueur.

    Victory Day

    9 May 2015

    Venue: Dnieper Park.

    On 9 May each year, thousands pay respects to the war dead by laying flowers at Kiev’s eternal flame and the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This is an important holiday for Ukrainians, especially the older generation who remember the horrors of WWII and the subsequent Nazi invasion.

    Kiev Day

    29 – 31 May 2015

    Venue: Kiev city centre.

    Kiev’s very own city day celebrations take place annually on the last weekend in May. City centre streets are closed to traffic and Kiev’s citizens congregate to stroll and enjoy the party atmosphere, with outdoor performances of music and theatre. Elsewhere in the city, events such as fishing competitions, bicycle races and fun runs are held. The day closes with an evening fireworks display.

    Sand Sculpture Festival

    June 2015

    Venue: Trukhaniv Island.

    Held in June each year when wonderful sandy creations spring up on the beaches of Kiev’s Hydropark on the banks of the Dnieper River.

    Kraina Mriy

    19 – 20 June 2015
    Website

    Venue: Spivoche Pole.

    Translating as ‘Country of Dreams’, Kraina Mriy is a renowned international musical folklore festival that brings together folk groups from all over Europe and beyond. As well as traditional folk music, more cutting-edge fusion acts from all over Europe also perform. In addition to the musical entertainment, a wide variety of events and activities take place at the festival that includes folk dancing, Cossack entertainment, folk painting, literature and ethnic food.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.

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    Hotels in Kiev

    ListMap

    Along with big international names, Kiev is home to a smattering of boutique hotels as well as numerous cheap and cheerful bed and breakfasts and pensions.

    Most are comfortable and good value, although some of the bigger brands can be pricy.

    The Opera Hotel

    ulitsa Bogdana Khmelnitskogo, 53
    01054, Kiev
    Ukraine
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    An elegant sleeping spot crammed with antiques, this hotel is within walking distance of the main sights.

    Intercontinental Kiev

    Velyka Zhytomyrska 2A
    01001 Kiev
    Ukraine
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Huge and comfortably appointed with the usual high standards you’d expect from an Intercontinental.

    Oselya Hotel

    Kamenyariv St, 11
    Kiev
    Ukraine
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    One of Kiev’s growing number of boutique hotels, the Oselya is chic but sits 7km from the centre.

    Gintama Hotel

    Tr'okhsvyatytel's'ka St, 9
    Kiev
    Ukraine
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Extremely smart but relatively expensive, the Gintama is centrally located and popular with the style set.

    Status Apartments

    Khoryv Lane 1
    04071 Kiev
    Ukraine
    Tel: (044) 417 5422
    Show on map
    Mykhailovskaya Street 24V
    01019, Kiew
    Ukraine
    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    Affordable yet stylish, these self-catering apartments are just a short stroll from the golden-domed St Mykhail’s Monastery.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Wednesday, 26.11.2014 18:00

    cloudy

    temperature


    -5°C


    23°F

    wind direction

    wind speed

    4.375 mph

    humidity

    83%

    7 days forecast

    Thursday

    27.11.2014

    -2°C / -6°C

    28°F / 21°F

    Friday

    28.11.2014

    -3°C / -7°C

    27°F / 19°F

    Saturday

    29.11.2014

    -2°C / -6°C

    28°F / 21°F

    Sunday

    30.11.2014

    -2°C / -6°C

    28°F / 21°F

    Monday

    01.12.2014

    -2°C / -6°C

    28°F / 21°F

    Tuesday

    02.12.2014

    -3°C / -5°C

    27°F / 23°F

    Wednesday

    03.12.2014

    -4°C / -5°C

    25°F / 23°F

    Climate & best time to visit Ukraine

    Ukraine has a temperate continental climate with cold, snowy winters and warm summers. Summer is generally the best time to visit (between June and September), although it can occasionally be uncomfortably hot and many hotels do not have air conditioning. July and August are peak holiday months in Crimea and its resorts can become crowded with domestic and Russian tourists. Spring and autumn are both fairly short and both tend to be reasonably mild.

    The best season for trekking in the Carpathian Mountains is May and October when it is driest.

    The northeast of Ukraine has the coldest winters and the Crimean peninsula has the warmest temperatures. The wettest part of Ukraine is the Carpathian Mountains region of the far west.

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    10 °C

    50 °F

    -31 °C

    -23.8 °F

    16 °C

    60.8 °F

    -32 °C

    -25.6 °F

    22 °C

    71.6 °F

    -24 °C

    -11.2 °F

    29 °C

    84.2 °F

    -10 °C

    14 °F

    33 °C

    91.4 °F

    -2 °C

    28.4 °F

    35 °C

    95 °F

    2 °C

    35.6 °F

    39 °C

    102.2 °F

    5 °C

    41 °F

    39 °C

    102.2 °F

    2 °C

    35.6 °F

    33 °C

    91.4 °F

    -2 °C

    28.4 °F

    28 °C

    82.4 °F

    -17 °C

    1.4 °F

    23 °C

    73.4 °F

    -21 °C

    -5.8 °F

    13 °C

    55.4 °F

    -30 °C

    -22 °F

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    47 mm

    46 mm

    39 mm

    49 mm

    53 mm

    73 mm

    88 mm

    69 mm

    47 mm

    35 mm

    51 mm

    52 mm

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    1 h

    2 h

    3 h

    5 h

    8 h

    9 h

    9 h

    8 h

    6 h

    4 h

    1 h

    1 h

    JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

    87 %

    85 %

    79 %

    67 %

    59 %

    62 %

    63 %

    67 %

    70 %

    77 %

    87 %

    89 %

    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute minØ absolute minrelative humidityØ depositdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
    Jan10 °C-31 °C-3 °C-8 °C87 %47 mm91.4 h
    Feb16 °C-32 °C-2 °C-8 °C85 %46 mm82.3 h
    Mar22 °C-24 °C3 °C-3 °C79 %39 mm83.6 h
    Apr29 °C-10 °C12 °C3 °C67 %49 mm85.4 h
    May33 °C-2 °C20 °C9 °C59 %53 mm88.3 h
    Jun35 °C2 °C23 °C13 °C62 %73 mm109.1 h
    Jul39 °C5 °C25 °C14 °C63 %88 mm109.3 h
    Aug39 °C2 °C24 °C14 °C67 %69 mm88.1 h
    Sep33 °C-2 °C19 °C9 °C70 %47 mm76.3 h
    Oct28 °C-17 °C12 °C4 °C77 %35 mm64.0 h
    Nov23 °C-21 °C4 °C-1 °C87 %51 mm91.7 h
    Dec13 °C-30 °C-1 °C-5 °C89 %52 mm101.0 h
    year39 °C-32 °C11 °C3 °C74 %649 mm1015.0 h

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing code: +380

    Telephone

    You can buy telephone cards of UAH20, 50 or 100 for public payphones in post offices and at kiosks. Many post offices have international phone booths where calls can be made after paying a deposit. International phone cards are also available in the larger cities, but by far the cheapest connections are those found at internet cafés.

    Mobile Telephone

    Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone companies. Ukraine’s mobile phone coverage is good and local SIM cards (Kyivstar or UMC) are available.

    Internet

    Internet cafés are available in all cities and towns. Connections are usually reasonable. Some hotels offer Wi-Fi connectivity.

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    Shopping in Kiev

    Stadtführer, Lufthansa, Travelguide, Shopping, Einkaufen

    Key Areas

    Like Moscow, Kiev’s shopping scene consists of several markets selling local crafts and communist memorabilia, huge glitzy shopping malls and the odd street lined with interesting boutiques. For the first, Andriyivskyi Uzviz is the place to go thanks to the stalls clustered along its length, many of which specialise in Soviet antiques. For fashion, try Mandarin Plaza which, in addition to high-street chains, is where you can find local and international designer boutiques.

    Markets

    Kiev has over 100 markets selling everything from food to antiques, although the best is arguably the famous Besarabsky Market in the city centre.

    Shopping Centres

    Mandarin Plaza (Baseina 4) is the newest and most expensive mall, while Ocean Plaza (Horkoho 176), which boasts more than 400 shops, is the largest.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    Ukrainian people are generally warm and friendly to visitors. It is not at all uncommon for Ukrainians to invite strangers into their own homes. Shoes should be removed on entering a home. Formal attire is rarely required, though people dress smartly for the theatre.

    Visitors should avoid ostentatious displays of wealth in public places. Men should not shake a woman’s hand unless it is offered to them. Women should cover their heads when entering a church or mosque.

    Flight and accommodation

    Good to know

    Health

    Food & Drink

    Water used for drinking, brushing teeth or making ice should have first been boiled or otherwise sterilised. Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served hot. Vegetables should be cooked and fruit peeled. Street food is generally safe if it is fresh and hot. Freshwater fish and mushrooms or berries gathered in the area around Chernobyl north of Kiev are best avoided.

    Other Risks

    Vaccinations against tuberculosis and hepatitis B are sometimes advised. Tick-borne encephalitis is quite common in the Ukrainian countryside between April and August. Visitors should take precautions against ticks in forested areas by wearing long sleeves and trousers and a hat.

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