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Kiev

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Travel Guide Europe Ukraine Kiev

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Introduction

St.Sophia Cathedral

St.Sophia Cathedral

© All Rights Reserved galka_mak

Kiev is the capital of Ukraine and with almost 3 million people it is also the largest. It is located in the central north of the country along the Dnjepr River. The city (and the country in general) have become more popular during the last years and it is not difficult to see why when you just walk around this impressive city. On the one hand, there are the typical wide 6 lane boulevards with massive buildings alongside and monuments for everything and everyone, on the other hand it has some beautiful Orthodox churches like the St. Sophia Cathedral. The Monastery of the Caves is another highlight places on the UNESCO World Heritage List. 'Maidan' or Independence Square and the Khreschatyk boulevard are the heart of the city where you will find good food and excellent nightlife as well. The welcome mix of new and old makes this city a place to spend a few days before exploring the rest of the country.

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Sights and Activities

  • St. Sophia Cathedral - Original, 13th century cathedral modelled on Aya Sophia in Istanbul
  • The Lavra caves - Place of pilgrimage for Ukrainian Orthodox followers, a large complex of parks, churches and the 'caves', including underground chapels and corridors lined with the preserved bodies of priests in glass coffins. Do not wear shorts; women must cover their head and cannot wear trousers - you can hire coverings and skirts there, but expect to queue to do so. The caves are free, but entry to the complex requires tickets
  • Andreyvskiy Spusk - a traditionally Bohemian street in the north part of the centre of Kiev containing bric-a-brac and souvenir stalls and several small, fascinating museums
  • The Museum of Folk Art and Architecture - located in a village 40 minutes south of Kiev (at the end of the line of local bus 156) contains traditional houses, windmills etc. saved from all around the country.

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Weather

Kiev is cold and dismal between November and April. The best time to visit is in the summer months when the weather is generally warm and sunny with temperatures averaging 25 °C during the day from June to August. Highs of 35 °C have been recorded though, as well as winternights way below -20 °C. Precipitation is fairly even throughout the year, with some more rain in summer though and snowfall in during winter.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max-2.6 °C-1.1 °C4.3 °C13.6 °C20.5 °C23.5 °C24.5 °C24 °C19.1 °C12.3 °C4.8 °C0.1 °C
Avg Min-8.2 °C-6.8 °C-2.1 °C4.8 °C10.7 °C13.8 °C15.1 °C14.4 °C10 °C4.8 °C0 °C-4.6 °C
Rainfall47.7 mm46 mm38.9 mm48.3 mm52.5 mm72.5 mm88 mm69.2 mm46.7 mm35.1 mm51.3 mm51.7 mm
Rain Days16.714.212.911.611.813.113.310.810.29.914.817.4

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Getting There

By Plane

Boryspil International Airport (KBP) near the capital is the base of Ukraine International Airlines, the national airline of Ukraine. International destinations of the airline include Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Dubai, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Kuwait, Lisbon, London, Manchester, Madrid, Milan, Paris, Rome, Tbilisi, Vienna and Zürich. Several dozen other airlines serve Kiev as well, mainly from European cities and former Soviet Union Republics.

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. Both terminal B and F are very cramped and inconvenient, while terminal D is newer and larger. Expect long queues at the immigration control, which is inevitably haphazard. Despite separate lanes for Ukraine citizens, 'non-visa', and 'visa' passengers, few booths are usually in operation so getting through immigration can take over 30 minutes.

Getting to/from the airport
The simplest way to get to the city centre from Boryspil (KBP) is the Sky Bus - Shuttle, which operates a regular bus service between the airport and Central Railway station (South terminal). Buses depart every 15 minutes during rush hour, or every 45 minutes in the middle of the night, 24 hours per day, and the cost is 40 UAH (4€). The journey to the city center takes 40 to 70 minutes. The buses stop in the front of every terminal. Buses terminate at the southern side of the railway station. To get to the subway 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 center is about 300 UAH when you book in advance. Unofficial cabs may demand higher prices, so always arrange the price before you enter the cab and feel free to bargain.

Several bus and minibus lines serve the airport, connecting it to the closest stations of the Syretsko-Pecherska Line Syretsko-Pecherska Line and the central railway station. Many intercity bus routes to or from Kiev make dedicated stopover at the airport to cater for airline passengers from other cities. E.g., a Kiev-Donetsk (southeast-bound) bus would travel from Kiev Central Bus Station through the airport, while a Kiev-Lviv (southwest-bound) bus would start in the airport and then proceed to Lviv through the Central Bus Station in Kiev. Overall, at least 35 intercity bus routes transit Boryspil Airport. All long-distance and Kiev-bound buses arrive to the airport's bus station located near the "B" terminal.

Kyiv Zhuliany International Airport (IEV) is located 4 kilometres southwest of the center city. It is mostly served by budget airlines. Some of the main destinations include Athens, Moscow, Dubai, Dortmund, Sofia, Vilnius and Valencia. From Kyiv (IEV) you can use Kiev's public transport to reach your accommodation or the train station. There are two terminals -they are around 1 kilometer away of each other. They're connected by trolleybus no. 8, that takes you further to downtown.

By Train

Kiev Central Railway station is located near the city centre. In Kiev, there are several other railway stations, but it is unlikely you will need to go there.All passenger trains in Ukraine and to other countries depart from the central railway station (subway st. Vokzalna). The central railway station is the city transport terminal which consists of suburban train station and the south terminal, which is a new part of the central terminal.
To the South Railway Station you can use the Skybus (see above).

By Bus

The central bus station is located in Kiev at the Moscow sq, 3 (phone: +38(044) 527-9986, (044) 525-5774).

Schedule to the central bus station in Ukraine and international buses can be found online.

Also in the city are several bus stations:

  • Bus station "Vladimirska", st. Vladimir-Libidska, 25, Phone: (044) 269-7293
  • Bus station "Darnitsa" Str. Yuri Gagarin, 1, phone: (044) 559-4618. Schedule online.
  • Bus station "Dachna", Blvd. Peremogy, d.142, Phone: (044) 424-1503. Schedule.
  • Bus station "Podol", str. Lower Shaft, 15-a, Phone: (044) 417-3542
  • Bus station "Poles'e", sq. Taras Shevchenko, 2, Phone: (044) 430-3554
  • Bus station "South", Blvd. Glushkov, 3, Phone: (044) 257-4004

The schedule of buses at bus stations in Ukraine can be found online.

The new bus station "Kiev" is at Railway Station Square, 1 (near Central railway Station). Departure of buses on intercity and international routes.

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Getting Around

By Public Transport

The metro system is extensive and co-ordinates with local minibuses. Buy plastic tokens for the metro in the entrance hall to each metro station. Metro maps and station signs are all in Cyrillic.

By Foot

Central Kiev and the main sites can be reached by foot. The Caves Monastery requires using public transport (or a much longer walk) - take the metro to Arsenalna and follow the main road east/southeast.

By Bike

Kiev is not a good city for cycling around.

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Sleep

Budget

Depending on the location of the hotel prices are variable. You can view prices for the central hostel at [http://www.hostel.kiev.ua|their website]]. The hostel is located near Khreschatyk Street and Golden Gate monument.
Five-star hotels cost US$300 a night or more.

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
HI Hostel Really Central Kiev10, Bogdana Khmelnitskogo str. Floor 2. Apt. 50Hostel72
Hi Independence Square Hostel12, Kropyvnytskogo str. floor 5. apartment 18,Hostel72
Hostelukraine Kiev Backpackers28 Yaroslaviv Val str., 4th floor Apt. 13Hostel-
International Youth Hostel Kiev52-A, Artema street Korpus 2, 8th floorHostel-
International Youth Hostel Yaroslav10, Yaroslavska str.Hostel74
Kiev Central Apartment3 Basseina Street 8 Yaroslaviv Val St, Kiev, UkraineApartment-
Kiev Lodging Hostel5 Pushkinskaya str., 2nd floor, apt. 10Hostel88
Kiev-Art HostelKonstantinovskaya 20, office 29Hostel78
Lvivska Brama10, Artema str. Apt. 15. Floor 2Hostel-
One Step Independence Square HostelProrizna str. 18/1 G Floor 4. Apt. 35Hostel79
Perova Apartmentblv Perova 16-v ap.3Apartment89
TIU - Kiev Central StationGogolivska 25 Apt 15Hostel92
TIU Chillout Hostel KievGorkogo 22B/35Hostel87
TIU KievBackpackersApt 15 Krasnoarmejska st 18Hostel82
TIU KreschatikApt 11 Kreschatik 8bHostel94
KievRent Apartments20 Malaya Zhitomirskaya str office 31 entrance code 340Apartment-
welcome 2 kiev Apartment10 Lesi Ukrainki blvApartment-
Lybid Hotel1 Peremohy SquareHotel-
City Center HostelSofiivska Str. Nr 2 apt. Nr 10Hostel80
Hotel Golosiyvskiavenue, 40-richcha Zhovtnya 93Hotel-
Ecotel Nivki16-E Akademika Tupoleva streetHOTEL78
Dream Party Hostel47 Chervonoarmiis'ka St.HOSTEL90
Salve Hostel18/1G, Prorizna Street, Floor 6, Apt. 46HOSTEL86
DiscoverKyivVerhniy Val, 48/28, 7Hostel79
Uavoyage5 Mala Zhytomyrs'ka StreetApartment-
Eurohostel Kievapt. 31, bldg. 11, blvd. Lesi Ukrainki, Kiev,Hostel-
Why not? KievSaksahanskoho Street 30A/3HOSTEL-
Art Lounge Hostel18B(Б) Horkoho (Antonovycha) str., apt. 14HOSTEL-
St.Sophia HostelHeorhiivs'kyi lane 2, Apt.2, Floor 1HOSTEL-
Golden Gate Properties KievLyesnko 4Apartment-
Magic Bus Kiev31 Saksaganskogo Str, apt.3HOSTEL88
D'Lux Kiev Hostel10 Observatorna, 6th floor, apr. 6HOSTEL-
Main Square HostelProrizna street 7..apt 72 .4th FloorHOSTEL59
Hotel Mir70, 40-richya Zhovtnya Av.Hotel-
Hostel Kozatskiy on AntonovaAviakonstruktora Antonova 2/32 block 76HOTEL-
Hostel Kiev city centerPushkinskaya str. 5Hostel-
BBQ HostelKrushinka Village Lesna Street building 1HOSTEL-
Dream House Hostel & Bar2D Andriyivskyy UzvizHOSTEL91
HOLLYWOOD VIP HostelKiev Gor'kogo str, 16, ap.9Hostel-
The Hub66B SaksaganskogoHOSTEL78
Vydubychi4, Promyslova St.HOSTEL-
Status Apartments Mini-HotelMikhailovskaya Str., 24vAPARTMENT-
Hotel President-Kiev12, Hospitalna StreetHOTEL-
Hotel Express38/40 Shevchenko Blv, Kiev, Ukraine, 01032HOTEL79
Park Hostel KievLane Zadorozhnyi, Building 5, Block 2HOSTEL-
MilaKosmichna str., bldg 6, apt. 21HOSTEL-
Ars Hostel16, PechenizHOSTEL-
Smart Hostel KievPredslavinskaya str. 12HOSTEL79
Green Hostel KievBerdyanskaya str., 12Hostel-
ZigZag Hostel3A Gor'kogo str., 6th floor, apt. 18HOSTEL82
Kiev Reunion HostelKreshatik 29, 7th floor, apt. 48HOSTEL-
Hostel Delil14b, Jaroslavov Val street, Apt. 27HOSTEL-
Red VillaVoroshulova, 5a StAPARTMENT-
hostel BramaArtema str. 10, apt 15Hostel-
Olive Hostel KievUl. Schota Ustaveli 29B, kv. 11HOSTEL91
Mini Hostel Kiev43, Chervonoarmiis'ka St.HOSTEL-
IrinApartmentsTeremkovskaya 2GAPARTMENT-
Apart-hostel CapitalYaroslaviv Val Str. 26 Apt.5 (3rd floor)HOSTEL-
Panorama HostelDniprovska Embankment, Building 1, Apt.39. Floor 1HOSTEL-
VMB HouseSvyatoshinskaya ploscha 1, app 127HOSTEL-
Roots Kiev HostelProreznaya 23 Apt. 5HOSTEL81
Rusanovka HouseRusanivska Naberegna 22GUESTHOUSE-
Darwin HouseKhreschatyk Str. 21 entance 5, floor 4HOSTEL81
Livoberezhna ApartmentChelyabins'ka 19/68APARTMENT-
Kiev Apartments Euro 201213, Akhmatova Anna StreetAPARTMENT-
Korona Hostel5, Boryspilska Str, ChubynskeHOSTEL-
LabHostel on Chapayevaul. Chapayeva 12, kv. 8APARTMENT-
LabHostel on Levoberezhnayaul. Sadova 23, bud. 14HOSTEL-
LabHostel on PodolNizhneyurkovskaya 31aHOSTEL-
Main square hostelProrizna str 7 apt 72 4th Floor dial on the door 72kHostel-
Hostival-Kiev3 Metalistiv StHostel-
Plus Hostel12 Predslavinskaya str. 03150 Entrance from the streetHostel-
Hostel Looks26/24, Mejigirska Str, Apart. 19HOSTEL-
Real Club HostelKropivnickogo street 6HOSTEL-
Hostel ComfortElectrical Engineering st., 18 (Troyeshchina)HOSTEL-
Gagarin Hostel11, Pervomaiskoho Leonida StrHOSTEL85
5DOORS6/2 Krutyi Uzviz street, door code 022,7th floor,34 appHostel80
City Hostel Kiev28 SadovayaHOSTEL-
B-63 HostelVyshhorods'ka St, 63HOSTEL-
Sunland hostelChervonoarmijs'ka str, 42, apt 9HOSTEL-
Khreshchatyk Central Hostel1/10, Bankova Street, KievHOSTEL-
Honey Rest HouseKievskaya Oblast, Makarovsky region, Village BerezGUESTHOUSE-
Pumba HostelSimona Petlyury St, 18, KievHOSTEL-
United HostelKostelnaya 9 st., ap. 5HOSTEL-
Kiev Style HostelKhreshatik Street 15 ap 138HOSTEL-
Ester HostelBolshaya Vasilkovskaya, 111|113 strHOSTEL-
Abrikos HostelUl. Abrikosovaja 8 Ul.Marshala Grechko 7HOSTEL-
Hostel Crownul. Sribnokil'skaya 1 Podezd 1, floor 15, ap. 101HOSTEL-
Kiev FAN Zone Hostel53 Zhylianska StreetHostel-
FanZone Hostelul. Zhiljanskaja 53HOSTEL-
YAK Olympic HostelChervonoarmiyska 72, Flat 36, floor 16HOSTEL-
Sun Home Hostel4 Kropivnitskogo Str 3rd floorHostel-
Olympic Stadium HostelIvana Fyodorova 1GUESTHOUSE-
Hotel VoshodPushkina Street 14 (Lesya Kurbasa Prospekt 19)HOTEL-
OK Hostel28 Striletskaya Str.HOSTEL-
Kozatskiy Hotel1/3 Myhailivska StreetHOTEL-
Lybid Hotel Kiev1, Peremohy SquareHOTEL-
Obolon HouseBogatirska Street 14APARTMENT-
Rus Hotel Kiev4, Hospitalna Str.HOTEL-
Hostel KoronaChubinskoe Borispol districtHostel-
Kyiv Hotel Kiev26/1 Hrushevskoho St.HOTEL-
Bakkara Art Hotel1, Venice Island, Hydropark metro stationHOTEL-
Royal City Hotelstreet. Demetrius 13aHOTEL-
Ukraine Hotel Kiev4 Instytutska str.HOTEL-
Chernobyl Countryside guesthouse1, Naberejna Street, Orane Village, Kyiv RegionGUESTHOUSE-
Chernobyl hostel1, Naberejna Street, Orane Village, Kyiv RegionHOSTEL-
Khreschatyk Hotel14 Khreschatyk Str.HOTEL-
Podil 3-rooms apartmentVoloshkaya str., 20 Podol, KievAPARTMENT-
Almateya2 Tarasa Shevchenko BlvdGuesthouse-
Tourist HotelR. Okypnoy Str., 2GUESTHOUSE-
Kapital K ServiceKyiv, 126/23 Zhilyanskaya St., R201APARTMENT-

Mid-Range

Hotel Turist on the East bank: Kiev's biggest hotel; 27 floors, you might be lucky and get a good view back towards the city centre. Price includes breakfast (unusual in Ukraine).

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet develops quickly in Ukraine, and therefore, today it is no problem to get access to the world wide web - both wired and wireless. There are more access points in big cities, nevertheless there are also some in small settlements. The majority of Ukrainian hostels and hotels of different level have Wi-Fi points, which allow visitors to use high-speed Internet. Most Ukrainian restaurants and many cafes are equipped with internet access points, there are also Wi-Fi zones in terminals of the international airports. You may also access Internet from your cell phone, if your device supports GPRS or one of the 3G standards. All cellular carriers in Ukraine offer access to the mobile internet. Moreover, it's usually no problem to find Internet-cafe in Ukrainian cities. "Ukrtelecom" company offers Internet access as well. Its offices are easy to find in any town of Ukraine. The cost of one hour of Internet access usually doesn't exceed €1-2.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international phone code for Ukraine is 380. The general emergency phone number is 112 and there are special ones for fire -(101), police (102), ambulance (103) and even gas leaks (104).

Although cell phones are becoming more and more popular, a lot of people still use phonecards and this might be a good and cheaper option for travellers as well. If you are here for any length of time it is worth investing in a local sim-card for your mobile. No major international mobile operators exist in Ukraine (yet) so if you have Vodaphone or T-mobile (etc) your phone may not work here. Kyivstar and MTS are the biggest Ukrainian operators.

Post

Ukraine Poshta is the national postal service of Ukraine (website is rather slow and not always working). Unfortunately, the postal service in Ukraine is unreliable or at least inefficient and slow. Most packages get stolen or searched for things that can be sold. Post offices exist in all cities and towns and postcards can be sent quite safely, but the service may be slow. Like many other businesses, post offices are open from around 9:00am to 6:00pm with a lunchbreak between 1:00pm and 2:00pm, though opening times may vary. Smaller ones in rural towns keep shorter hours, while the largest ones in Kiev are usually open very late, during weekends or even 24 hours! If you want to send a letter or postcard and buy stamps, just queue up at the line where you see envelops and cards. Be prepared to wait a while, also regarding the time it takes to send a postcard to Europe (a week) or the USA (two weeks), let alone places further afield. Always send letters by airmail (avia in Ukrainian). For faster (but more expensive) sendings of parcels, try companies like TNT, DHL, UPS or FedEx.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 50.44222
  • Longitude: 30.536718

Contributors

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Kiev Travel Helpers

  • Svitlanka

    I am Ukrainian born in Kiev. I graduated courses on tour guidance over Kiev and established own company on hospitality and tourist caring services in Kiev and Ukraine so I know about Kiev a lot and can help to get aquainted with my native city. I can advice you best locations, entertaining centers, sights, restaurants, salons and anything. I can arrange for you excursions, transfers, interpreting, SPA and health procedures. I can hepl you to get all that you need with the best quality and for resonable money. So if you have any question dont hesitate to contact me!

    Ask Svitlanka a question about Kiev

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