A Mini Guide to Kiev:
What can you Tell me About Kiev?
The city is one of the oldest in Europe and is credited with having civilised Eastern Europe and laid the foundation for the future of Russia
. It was eventually swallowed up by the country and only regained its independence as part of Ukraine after the fall of the Soviet Union. It’s the capital of the second largest country in Europe and one of the host cities of the 2012 UEFA Euro Championships. In the travel world it’s considered to be the ‘next Prague
’ in terms of prospective popularity as a short break destination with its old centre and attractive architecture set on the River Dnieper.
How can I get to Kiev?
Kiev has two airports but one is only used for domestic flights. Boryspil International Airport has flights from all over Europe as well as flights with AeroSvit to the US
. Flights from the UK
are with BA, Wizzair and AeroSvit from Heathrow
. From the airport the Skybus takes you into the city centre at a very reasonable cost with regular departures from the airport.
What Shouldn’t I Miss Whilst in Kiev?
One of the most momentous events in European history was the Chernobyl nuclear accident and it’s commemorated in the museum of the same name in Khoryv Lane. Even though the displays are in Ukrainian you can rent English audio guides for a moving experience.
Then visit the cave monastery at Pechersk which is the oldest and most important of the cave monasteries in Europe and a major pilgrimage site for Orthodox Christians.
A reminder of the Russian influence can be seen in the Museum of the Great Patriotic War. It’s a huge park laid out with statues demonstrating Russian might and with plenty of old military hardware scattered around. The best part though is the huge statue of ‘Mother’, to represent the motherland and inside it the main museum which documents the sacrifices made in the Second World War.
For a very poignant reminder of the horrors of war go to Babyn Yar, a ravine which, whilst beautiful and peaceful today, was the site of the murder of over 60,000 people from the city, including nearly 50,000 Jews, by the occupying Nazis.