"Kyiv, Ukraine" Kiev by Lensa
Kiev Travel Guide: 1,662 reviews and 4,236 photos
Kyiv is a wonderful city. It is considered a Mother of Russian cities. When you get to Kiev you can feel that specific atmosphere which makes you want to come back again and again.
Little Info about Kyiv
Kyiv (Kiev), a scenic city situated on the Dnipro River, is the bustling capital of Ukraine. Ancient Kievan Rus, which reached its greatest period of ascendancy during the 11th and 12th centuries, was a center of trade routes between the Baltic and the Mediterranean. The city of Kyiv and the power of Kievan Rus were destroyed in 1240 by Mongol invaders and the lands of Kievan Rus were divided into principalities located to the west and north: Galicia, Volynia, Muscovy and later, Poland, Lithuania, and Russia. Once a powerful force on the European scene, Ukraine's fate in modern times has been decided in far-off capitals. As a result, modern Ukrainian history, for the most part, has been defined by foreign occupation.
Kyiv suffered severely during World War II, and many irreplaceable architectural and art treasures were destroyed. Earlier in the 1930's the Soviet authorities systematically destroyed many churches.
Extensive restoration has revived much of historic Kyiv. The city hit the headlines in April 1986, when the nuclear reactor at nearby Chernobyl exploded, but scientists generally agree that the city is now safe from radiation effects.
Despite repressions, suffering, political turmoil, and ecological disasters, Ukraine's spirit and national identity have never died. On August 24, 1991, after the aborted coup in Moscow, Ukraine proclaimed its independence. As of 1994, Ukraine has diplomatic relations with over 135 countries and close to 60 diplomatic missions are established in Kyiv. News correspondents, business representatives, and students from all over the world reside in Kyiv, and the flow of foreign tourists and official delegations is heavy year round.
The art and architecture of Kyiv are world treasures. The Cathedral of St. Sophia, where the princes of Kyiv were crowned in the years of Kyiv's grandeur, has outstanding mosaics and frescoes dating back to the 11th century. Overlooking the old section of Kyiv, Podol, stands the Ukrainian Baroque church of St. Andrew, much beloved by Ukrainians. The Percherska Lavra, the Monastery of the Caves, a short trolley ride from the center of town, has two 11th-century cathedrals on its grounds, in addition to its world-famous catacombs, bell tower, and museum collections. Close to the center of town stands the Golden Gate, a structure which dates back to 1037. This recently reconstructed remains of the former fortified wall of the city defined the limits of the city in centuries past. Several blocks away, stands the magnificent 19th-century Cathedral of St. Volodymyr.
Theater buffs will find much to choose from here. Most performances are in Ukrainian or Russian. The Kyiv Opera House presents very good opera as well as a broad repertoire of ballets. The Kyiv Young Theater is very popular and stages innovative plays in Ukrainian or Russian. The Ivan Franko Theater is the center of Ukrainian drama, comedy, and musicals.
The modern center with surviving parts of the old city are on the hilly west, or right bank, of the Dnipro River. The main street, Khreshchatik, runs between two steep hills. Parallel about half a kilometer west, is vulytsya Volodymyrska, the main street of the Old Kyiv area (Staryj Kyiv). From the north end of Khreshchatik, vulytsya Hrushevskoho rises southeast along a ridge to the Caves Monastery at Perchersk. Woods and parks cover most of the steep right-bank slopes. The capital's newer sections stretch out on the flat left bank. These are characterized by large housing developments and industrialized neighborhoods.
Ukrainian pottery, embroidery, and handicrafts are available throughout the city, particularly in shops on Andrievsky Uzviz, at Percherska Lavra, and St. Sophia's church. Quality and quantity vary from shop to shop. A growing number of hard currency stores stock Western food, alcohol, clothing, and electrical appliances. Most prices, in hard-currency stores, are higher than those in the West, and availability of stock is unpredictable.
The Kyiv Central Post Office is at 22 Khreschatyk Str. and works from 8 am til 9pm Monday through Saturday and from 9am till 7pm on Sunday. Here you can find stamps, post cards, use fax-machines, send emails(use internet), letters or packages, and make international calls.
For calles around Kyiv or Ukraine you can use public telephones located all over the city. usually they are blue color, and you will need a phone card which you can buy at any post office or press kiosks.
There are also coin phones, usually inside the metro, but there are not very many of them around Kyiv.
* Ukraine currency is Hryvnia.
* Don't change money with private individuals.
* You can easily change dollars or euros in Ukraine at the special exchange points called "Obmen valyut" or at the banks.
* Make sure your foreign currency bills are not rumpled, torn or written on. You might experience problems while changing them.
Kiev is one of the easiest Ukrainian cities to visit. If you've never been to Ukraine, start with Kiev.
- Pros:Beautiful "warm" very livable city!
Great place to relax, built your fire, bake potatoes, swim in the lake and just enjoy the nature! Take a tram number 12... more travel advice
The Kyiv Central Post Office is at 22 Khreschatyk Str. and works from 8 am til 9pm Monday through Saturday and from 9am... more travel advice
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