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Kyiv or some might say Kiev’s history starts with a well believed myth which says that a family of three brothers and a sister founded this city at the end of the 5th century and named it after their elder brother Kyi. Kyiv means the city of Kyiv. Later many ancient tribes started to gather around this city.
Great Prince Vladimir took over the city in 988 and turned it into the political center of the East Europe. At that time Christianity became the official religion of Kyiv. After the death of Kiev`s great Prince Vladimir Monomakh in 1125, Kiev Rus became involved in a long period of feudal wars. Foreign powers were quick to take advantage of this situation. In the fall of 1240, Kievan Rus was under the series of long bloody battles with Tatar-Mongols led by Baty-khan, who later captured the city and ruled for almost a century. Then it went under control of the Great Lithuanian Duchy and became united with Poland in 1569.
The Ukrainian Cossacks rose against Poland in 1648, and Kiev became center of the Ukrainian State. But soon, the armies of Polish and Lithuanian feudal lords came to claim it. Later the city was acquired by Moscow after Ukraine's union with Russia in 1654. During a long period of domination by the Russian Empire Ukraine in the 17th and 18th centuries managed to preserve and enjoy some of its rich political, economic, cultural, and religious achievements. Ukraine experienced a brief period of independence till January 22, 1918. But shortly, the Ukrainian National Republic was defeated in a war against Polish expansionists in 1919.
After Bolshevik and Communist forces retook Ukrainian lands, Josef Stalin caused the Great Famine of 1932-33 by forcibly collecting grain as a mean to control the population. Nearly ten million people starved to death. World War II and entered Kyiv in September 1941 which demolished most of the city. Soviet forces retook the city after a fierce fight in November 1943, and began their final domination of Ukraine for almost next fifty years.

On August, 24, 1991 the Supreme Soviet of Ukraine proclaimed the Declaration of Independence. In a referendum held on December 1, 1991 the people of Ukraine sanctioned independence and voted Leonid Makarovych Kravchuk as Ukraine's first ever democratically elected President.

Location and size

Kiev is located on both sides of the Dnieper River, which is one of the major rivers of Europe. It flows from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, towards the Black Sea. Desna River is also navigable from Kiev. The City occupies the area of 839 km2 (324 sq. mi).


As a result of long Russian rule on this region, nearly 70% of the population speaks Russian despite of existence of their own Ukranian language aswell. Ukrainian is spoken mainly by immigrants from Western or Central Ukraine. Russian is recognized as official national language of Ukraine. It is always helpful for the tourist to get a little know how of Russian as there are very few English speakers over there.

General characteristics of the locals

Whether its table manners or keeping your voice down at public places People of Kiev are considered very sophisticated and well-mannered people, even often underdressing is considered an impolite act. They are very hospitable people but you might find them a bit hesitant towards you if they don’t understand English and most of them don’t. So it is advised to learn small words for you own convenience.


Pirogovo Open-Air Museum: Also known as Pyrohiv, a countryside in south of Kiev which is now converted to an Open-Air Museum of Folk Architecture. A unique display of Ukraine’s rural culture containing old wooden houses, farmsteads and Churches.
Great Patriotic War Museum: This museum was founded in commemoration of 30th anniversary of Ukraine's liberation from the Nazi invaders from World War 2. An emotional display of suffering of the Great War and Contains other war crafts and military monuments.
Chernobyl Museum: This museum is built in the memory of Chernobyl disaster, the worse nuclear disaster the world has ever seen. It houses a huge collection of scale models, visual media, memorabilia, artifacts related to disaster. It is designed to enlighten about many aspects of the Chernobyl disaster.
One Street Museum: this museum shows the life and work of many prominent figures of Russian science and culture, including Mikhail Bulgakov, who lived in the Andreyevsky Street from 19th century. It has many Old photographs, paintings, rare books and autographs from that era.
State Aviation Museum: Opened in September 2003 and became one of the largest aviation Museum which. It exhibits Soviet technology of aircraft.
Mykola Syadristy Micro-miniatures Museum: This is the first and probably the only museum of its kind. It showcases Mykola Syadristy’s unique work of micro-miniatures. Each piece is made by hand with unique micro technology for each piece which cannot be seen without a microscope.


Kiev Pechersk Lavra: also known as the Kiev Monastery of the Caves was founded in 1051. It is declared as World heritage site by UNESCO. It houses numerous historic monuments such as the Great Lavra Belltower, The Gate Church of the Trinity which is at the entrance of the Monastery, The All Saint Church, Church of the Saviour at Berestov and a compound system of narrow underground corridors called Caverns.

St Sophia's Cathedral: It is also one of World’s Heritage site by UNESCO and the oldest church in Kiev dating back to 11th Century. It also includes a bell tower, the House of Metropolitan, and others.

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery: As the name suggests is famous for It golden Domes and unique structure. This church dates back to 12th century. The monastery comprises of the main building Golden Domed Church itself and the Refectory of St. John the Divine.
Motherland Statue and War memorials: This sculpture was built as the part of the Great Patriotic War Museum located at the base of the statue. It symbolizes the sacrifices of great army men and workers during German invasion on the Soviet Union.
Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti): is located in the city center of Kiev. Currently known simply as Maidan is famous as the place where followers of the Orange Revolution camped for weeks till October 2004.
Andrew's Descent (Andriyivsky Uzviz): also known as "Montmartre of Kiev" is a historic descent connecting Kiev's Upper Town neighborhood with historically commercial Podil neighborhood. The street is souvenir sellers, restaurants, galleries and museums.

Day trip

Poltava Battle & city of Poltava Tour: Watch the phenomenal Ukrainian countryside Visit historical city of Poltava and famous battle-ground between Russian army and alliance of Swedish king. See the monument of Iron Column of Glory built in recognition of the Great Russian victory.

Ancient City of Chernigov full-day Tour: Visit Chernigov, one of the oldest city in Ukraine. Trip include visit to holy Savior Cathedral dating back to 11th century, Cathedral of St Boris and Gleb and Eletsky Monastery, Mansions of Cossack’s leaders. It also includes a visit to Chernigov’s own cave monastery, Antoniy Caves; a complex of 315 meters of passageways, chambers and chapels from early middle-ages.

For Families

Kiev is a very family friendly destination. There are a lot of public parks and gardens that are perfect to rest with friends, family. Hyrdopark is a very nice place, where several clean beaches, restaurants, sport grounds, various roller coasters for kids, walking zones and a unique open air sport ground. Take you kids to Kiev Zoo to see nearly 2000 species of animals. Botanical Gardens are also an interesting and informative place to visit.


It is comparatively less expensive to dine in Kiev by international standards. So Kiev literally has everything to suit all tastes and budgets. Very few of the cities can boast on having their signature dish, do try Chicken Kiev while you’re there. There are other delicious Ukrainian must-try specialties like borsch, solyanka and varenyky. From cheap fast food chains to prestigious international standard cuisines Kiev have all kinds of places to choose from. Most famous restaurants include. Gorchitsa café is a best visitor’s choice both by taste and budget (trip Advisor). Buddha Bar is a famous Pan-Asian cuisine, Walter's for Italian cuisine, Lipsky Osobnyak for traditional Ukrainian food, Pizzeria Napule for pizza lovers. Other popular choices include Il Patio, Da Vinci Fish Club, and Fellini.


From conventional bars to eminent cocktail taverns, from upmarket casinos to classy jazz venues, Kiev has got a bit of everything. Kyiv’s most active scene for nightlife is at Khreschatyk street especially on weekends when its closed for traffic and can get really crowded. O'Briens and Golden Gate are among those Kiev’s famous classy Irish pubs. D-Lux is famous choice, offering restaurant bar and disco all under one roof. Go PaTiPa if you prefer slightly low paced environment. Caribbean Club is a famous Latin-American dance club. Faberge, Decadence House and Arena are also among famous night choices.


Khreshchatyk Street: Is the main and most crowded shopping street of Kiev which has many stalls of crafts, gifts, antiques, souvenirs and other stuff. Bessarabka market at Bessarabka Square is more like a food market offering all kinds of fruits, vegetables, cheese, meat, seafood, fish, caviar, spices and flowers. Kiev has some state of the art shopping malls and there is a growing Market for designers in some of newly established shopping malls of Kiev. Other than boutiques, and designer shops you will fine cafes, cinemas, and salons and other facilities in the malls aswell. Some of the famous malls are Metrograd, City-Centre, Globus, Arena City, Magellan and more to be opened soon.


Kiev has a very conventional European weather. Wet and snowy during winters, mildly warm in summers and very pleasant but short springs and autumn. Best recommended time to visit Kiev is summers. Average temperature during peak summer months are 25 to 35 °C and 0.0 to -5.5 °C during winters.

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