Kiev Travel Guide

Culture

Kiev was the historic cultural centre of the East Slavic civilization and a major cradle for the Christianization of Kievan Rus'. Kiev retained through centuries its cultural importance and even at times of relative decay, it remained the centre of the Eastern Orthodox Christianity of the primary importance. Its sacred sites, which include the Kiev Pechersk Lavra (the Monastery of the Caves) and the Saint Sophia Cathedral are probably the most famous, attracted pilgrims for centuries and now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site remain the primary religious centres as well as the major tourist attraction. The above mentioned sites are also part of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine collection.

Kiev's theatres include, the Kiev Opera House, Ivan Franko National Academic Drama Theatre, Lesya Ukrainka National Academic Theater of Russian Drama, the Kiev Puppet Theater, October Palace and National Philharmonic of Ukraine and others. In 1946 Kiev had four theatres, one opera house and one concert hall. But most tickets then where allocated to "privileged groups".

Other significant cultural centres include the Dovzhenko Film Studios, and the Kiev Circus. The most important of the city's many museums are the Kiev State Historical Museum, Museum of the Great Patriotic War, the National Art Museum, the Museum of Western and Oriental Art, the Pinchuk Art Centre and the National Museum of Russian art.

In 2005 Kiev hosted the 50th annual Eurovision Song Contest as a result of Ruslana's "Wild Dances" victory in 2004.

There are numerous songs, paintings, photos dedicated to the city. Among them there is an extensive Russian, Ukrainian, Polish folklore, less known are German and Jewish. One of the better songs are called (poet L.Dukhovny), (poet Dmytro Lutsenko), (poet Yuri Rybchynsky), and many others. Renowned Ukrainian composer Oleksandr Bilash wrote an operetta called "Legend of Kiev".

Attractions

It is said that one can walk from one end of Kiev to the other in the summertime without leaving the shade of its many trees. Most characteristic are the horse-chestnuts .

Kiev is known as a green city with two botanical gardens and numerous large and small parks. The World War II Museum is located here, which offers both indoor and outdoor displays of military history and equipment surrounded by verdant hills overlooking the Dnieper river.

Among the numerous islands, Venetsianskyi (or Hidropark) is the most developed. It is accessible by metro or by car, and includes an amusement park, swimming beaches, boat rentals, and night clubs. The Victory Park (Park Peremohy) located near Darnytsia subway station is a popular destination for strollers, joggers, and cyclists.

Boating, fishing, and water sports are popular pastimes in Kiev. The area lakes and rivers freeze over in the winter and ice fishermen are a frequent sight, as are children with their ice skates. However, the peak of summer draws out a greater mass of people to the shores for swimming or sunbathing, with daytime high temperatures sometimes reaching .

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. The hill is the site of the Castle of Richard the Lionheart; the baroque-style St Andrew's Church; the home of Kiev born writer, Mikhail Bulgakov; the monument to Yaroslav the Wise, the Grand Prince of Kiev and of Novgorod; and numerous other monuments.

A wide variety of farm produce is available in many of Kiev's farmer markets with the Besarabsky Market located in the very centre of the city being most famous. Each residential region has its own market, or rynok. Here one will find table after table of individuals hawking everything imaginable: vegetables, fresh and smoked meats, fish, cheese, honey, dairy products such as milk and home-made smetana (sour cream), caviar, cut flowers, housewares, tools and hardware, and clothing. Each of the markets has its own unique mix of products with some markets devoted solely to specific wares such as automobiles, car parts, pets, clothing, flowers, and other things.

At the city's southern outskirts, near the historic Pyrohiv village, there is an outdoor museum, officially called the Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukraine It has an area of . This territory houses several "mini-villages" that represent by region the traditional rural architecture of Ukraine.

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".

Museums and galleries

Kiev is home to some 40 different museums. In 2009 they recorded a total of 4.3 million visits.

The Museum of the Great Patriotic War: is a memorial complex commemorating the Great Patriotic War located in the hills on the right-bank of the Dnieper River in Pechersk. Kiev fortress is the 19th-century fortification buildings situated in Ukrainian capital Kiev, that once belonged to western Russian fortresses. These structures (once a united complex) were built in the Pechersk and neighbourhoods by the Russian army. Now some of the buildings are restored and turned into a museum called the Kiev Fortress, while others are in use in various military and commercial installations. The National Art Museum of Ukraine is a museum dedicated to Ukrainian art. The Golden Gate: is a historic gateway in the ancient city's walls. The name Zoloti Vorota is also used for a nearby theatre and a station of the Kiev Metro. The small Ukrainian National Chernobyl Museum acts as both a memorial and historical center devoted to the events surrounding the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and its effect on the Ukrainian people, the environment, and subsequent attitudes toward the safety of nuclear power as a whole.

Sports

Kiev has many professional and amateur football clubs, including Dynamo Kyiv, Arsenal Kyiv and FC Obolon Kyiv which play in the Ukrainian Premier League. Of these three, Dynamo Kyiv has had the most success over the course of its history. For example, up until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the club won 13 USSR Championships, 9 USSR Cups, and 3 USSR Super Cups, thus making Dynamo the most successful club in the history of the Soviet Top League.

Other prominent non-football sport clubs in the city include: the Sokil Kyiv ice hockey club and BC Kyiv basketball club. Both of these teams play in the highest Ukrainian leagues for their respective sports and whilst BC Kyiv was founded just recently in 1999, Sokil was founded in 1963, during the existence of the Soviet Union. Both these teams play their home games at the Kiev Palace of Sports.

During the 1980 Summer Olympics held in the Soviet Union, Kiev held the preliminary matches and the quarter-finals of the football tournament at its Olympic Stadium, which was reconstructed specially for the event. From 1 December 2008 stadium the stadium underwent a full-scale reconstruction in order to satisfy standards put in place by UEFA for hosting the Euro 2012 football tournament; the opening ceremony took place in the presence of president Viktor Yanukovich on 8 October 2011, with the first major event being a Shakira concert which was specially planned to coincide with the stadium's re-opening during Euro 2012. Other notable sport stadiums/sport complexes in Kiev include the Lobanovsky Dynamo Stadium, the Palace of Sports, among many others.

Most Ukrainian national teams play their home international matches in Kiev. The Ukraine national football team, for example, will play matches at the re-constructed Olympic Stadium from 2011.

Tourism

Since introducing a visa-free regime for EU-member states and Switzerland in 2005, Ukraine has seen a steady increase in the number of foreign tourists visiting the country. Prior to the 2008–2009 recession the average annual growth in the number of foreign visits in Kiev was 23% over three-year period. In 2009 a total of 1.6 million tourists stayed in Kiev hotels of which almost 259,000 (ca. 16%) were foreigners.

source: Wikipedia

Things To Do in Kiev See All Things To Do in Kiev

Hotels in Kiev (114 Hotels) See All Kiev Hotels

  • Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv

    Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv is one of the ideal, finest places to remain in Kiev. Perfectly positioned near Wine & Food, The Ascension Convent - Florivski Monastery and Kie...

  • Oselya

    Located in Kiev, Oselya is conveniently found close to PinchukArtCentre, Saxon Club and Mantra Party Bar. Various other prominent points of interest nearby include Каrusе...

  • Holiday Inn Kiev

    Located within Kiev, Holiday Inn Kiev is a premium hotel comfortably placed around St. Nicolas Cathedral, Tour 2 Chernobyl and M17 Contemporary Art Center. Various other ...

  • Kozatskiy Hotel on Antonova

    Including Termen Fountains, Church of the Nativity of Christ and Forsage ideally placed near the two star hotel, Kozatskiy Hotel on Antonova; this hotel is wonderfully po...

Top Destinations in Ukraine