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Coordinates: 50°27′00″N 30°31′24″E / 50.45°N 30.52333°E / 50.45; 30.52333

From top left: Kiev Pechersk Lavra, Golden Gate, Maidan Nezalezhnosti, Verkhovna Rada, Motherland statue, Dnieper River


Coat of arms
Map of Ukraine with Kiev highlighted
Coordinates: 50°27′00″N 30°31′24″E / 50.45°N 30.52333°E / 50.45; 30.52333
Country  Ukraine
Municipality Kiev City Municipality
Founded 5th Century
 - Mayor Leonid Chernovetskyi
 - Total 839 km2 (323.9 sq mi)
Elevation 179 m (587 ft)
Population (2008 census)
 - Total 2,819,566
 Density 3,299/km2 (8,544.4/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 - Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Postal code 01xxx-04xxx
Area code(s) +380 44
License plate AA (before 2004: КА,КВ,КЕ,КН,КІ,KT)
Sister cities Ankara, Athens, Baku, Belgrade,
Brussels, Budapest, Chicago,
Chişinău, Edinburgh, Florence,
Helsinki, Kraków, Kyoto, Leipzig,
Minsk, Munich, Odense, Paris,
Pretoria, Riga, Rome,
Santiago de Chile, Sofia,
Stockholm, Tallinn, Tampere, Tbilisi,
Toronto, Toulouse, Warsaw,
Wuhan, Vienna, Vilnius, Pereira, Yerevan

Kiev or Kyiv (Ukrainian: About this sound Київ , Kyiv, IPA: [ˈkɪjiw]; Russian Киев, 'Kiev', see also Cities' alternative names), is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press.[1]

Kiev is an important industrial, scientific, educational and cultural centre of Eastern Europe. It is home to many high-tech industries, higher education institutions and world-famous historical landmarks. The city has an extensive infrastructure and highly developed system of public transport, including the Kiev Metro.

The name Kiev is said to derive from the name of Kyi, one of four legendary founders of the city (brothers Kyi, Shchek, Khoryv, and sister Lybid). During its history, Kiev, one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, passed through several stages of great prominence and relative obscurity. The city may have been founded in the 5th century as a trading post, perhaps part of the land of the early Slavs. It gradually acquired eminence as the centre of the East Slavic civilization, becoming in the tenth to twelfth centuries a political and cultural capital of Rus', a medieval East Slavic state. Completely destroyed during the Mongol invasion in 1240, the city lost most of its influence for the centuries to come. It was a provincial capital of marginal importance in the outskirts of the territories controlled by its powerful neighbours; first the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, followed by Poland and Russia.

The city prospered again during the Russian Empire's industrial revolution in the late 19th century. After the turbulent period following the Russian Revolution of 1917, from 1921 onwards Kiev was an important city of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and, from 1934, its capital. During World War II, the city again suffered significant damage, but quickly recovered in the post-war years remaining the third largest city of the Soviet Union. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Ukrainian independence of 1991, Kiev remained the capital of Ukraine.





Landsat 7 image of Kiev and the Dnieper River.

Geographically, Kiev belongs to the Polesia ecological zone (a part of the European mixed woods). However, the city's unique landscape distinguishes it from the surrounding region.

Kiev is located on both sides of the Dnieper River, which flows south through the city towards the Black Sea. The older right-bank (western) part of the city is represented by numerous woody hills, ravines and small rivers. It is a part of the larger Dnieper Upland adjoining the western bank of the Dnieper in its mid-flow. Kiev expanded to the Dnieper's lowland left bank (to the east) only in the twentieth century. Significant areas of the left-bank Dnieper valley were artificially sand-deposited, and are protected by dams.

The Dnieper River forms a branching system of tributaries, isles, and harbors within the city limits. The city is adjoined by the mouth of the Desna River and the Kiev Reservoir in the north, and the Kaniv Reservoir in the south. Both the Dnieper and Desna rivers are navigable at Kiev, although regulated by the reservoir shipping locks and limited by winter freeze-over.

In total, there are 447 bodies of open water within boundaries of Kiev, which include Dnieper itself, its reservoirs, and several small rivers, dozens of lakes and artificially created ponds. They occupy 7949 hectares of territory. Additionally, the city boasts of 16 developed beaches (totalling 140 hectares) and 35 near-water recreational areas (covering more than 1000 hectares). Many are used for pleasure and recreation, although some of the bodies of water are not suitable for swimming.[2]


Kiev has a continental humid climate. The warmest months are June, July, and August, with mean temperatures of 13.8 to 24.8 °C (57 to 77 °F). The coldest are December, January, and February, with mean temperatures of -4.6 to -1.1 °C (24 to 30 °F). The highest ever temperature recorded in the city was 39.4 °C (102.9 °F) on 31 July 1936. The coldest temperature ever recorded in the city was −32.2 °C (−26 °F) on 7 & 9 February 1929. Snow cover usually lies from mid-November to the end of March, with the frost-free period lasting 180 days on average, but surpassing 200 days in recent years.

Climate data for Kiev
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 11.1
Average high °C (°F) -2.9
Average low °C (°F) -8.4
Record low °C (°F) -31.1
Precipitation mm (inches) 47
Source:[3] 8.09.2007


Monument to the Founders of Kiev, erected 1982

Kiev is one of the oldest cities of Eastern Europe and has played a pivotal role in the development of the medieval East Slavic civilization as well as in the modern Ukrainian nation.

It is believed that Kiev was founded in 482 CE. The legend of Kyi, Schek and Khoryv speaks of a founder-family consisting of a Slavic tribe leader Kyi, the eldest, his brothers Schek and Khoriv, and also their sister Lybid, who founded the city (The Primary Chronicle). Kyiv/Kiev is translated as "belonging to Kyi". The most enthusiastic ones managed to find the city in Ptolemy’s work as the Metropolity (the 2nd century).[4]

The non-legendary time of the founding of the city is harder to ascertain. Scattered Slavic settlements existed in the area from the 6th century, but it is unclear whether any of them later developed into the city. Eighth century fortifications were built upon a Slavic settlement apparently abandoned some decades before. It is still unclear whether these fortifications were built by the Slavs or the Khazars. If it was the Slavic peoples then it is also uncertain when Kiev fell under the rule of the Khazar empire or whether the city was, in fact, founded by the Khazars. The Primary Chronicle (a main source of information about the early history of the area) mentions Slavic Kievans telling Askold and Dir that they live without a local ruler and pay a tribute to the Khazars in an event attributed to the 9th century. At least during the 8th and 9th centuries Kiev functioned as an outpost of the Khazar empire. A hill-fortress, called Sambat (Old Turkic for "High Place") was built to defend the area. At some point during the late ninth or early tenth century Kiev fell under the rule of Varangians (see Askold and Dir, and Oleg of Novgorod) and became the nucleus of the Rus' polity. The date given for Oleg's conquest of the town in the Primary Chronicle is 882, but some historians, such as Omeljan Pritsak and Constantine Zuckerman, dispute this and maintain that Khazar rule continued as late as the 920s (documentary evidence exists to support this assertion — see the Kievian Letter and Schechter Letter.) Other historians suggest that the Magyar tribes ruled the city between 840 and 878, before migrating with some Khazar tribes to Hungary.

During the eighth and ninth centuries, Kiev was an outpost of the Khazar empire. Starting in the late ninth century or early tenth century Kiev was ruled by the Varangian nobility and became the nucleus of the Rus' polity, whose 'Golden Age' (eleventh to early twelfth centuries) has from the nineteenth century become referred to as Kievan Rus'. In 968, the nomadic Pechenegs attacked and then besieged the city.[5] In 1203 Kiev was captured and burned by Prince Rurik Rostislavich and his Kipchak allies. In the 1230s the city was besieged and ravaged by different Moscovite princes several times. In 1240 the Mongol invasion of Rus led by Batu Khan completely destroyed Kiev,[6] an event that had a profound effect on the future of the city and the East Slavic civilization. At the time of the Mongol destruction, Kiev was reputed as one of the largest cities in the world, with a population exceeding one hundred thousand.

The Podol (Podil) neighborhood of Kiev. 1890 postcard.

In early 1320s, a Lithuanian army led by Gediminas defeated a Slavic army led by Stanislav of Kiev at the Battle on the Irpen' River, and conquered the city. The Tatars, who also claimed Kiev, retaliated in 1324–1325, so while Kiev was ruled by a Lithuanian prince, it had to pay a tribute to the Golden Horde. Finally, as a result of the Battle of Blue Waters in 1362, Kiev and surrounding areas were incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania by Algirdas, Grand Duke of Lithuania.[7] In 1569 (Lublin Union), when the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was established, the Lithuanian-controlled lands of the Kiev region, Podolia, Volhynia, and Podlachia, were transferred from Grand Duchy of Lithuania to the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, and Kiev became the capital of Kiev Voivodeship.[8] In 1658 (Treaty of Hadiach), Kiev became the capital of the Grand Duchy of Rus'.[9] From 1667 (Truce of Andrusovo), Kiev enjoyed a degree of autonomy within the Russia. In the Russian Empire Kiev was a primary Christian centre, attracting pilgrims, and the cradle of many of the empire's most important religious figures, but until the 19th century the city's commercial importance remained marginal.

In 1834, St Vladimir University was established; it is now known as the Kiev University). The poet Taras Shevchenko cooperated with its geography department as a field researcher and editor.

Kiev in the late 19th century.

During the 18th and 19th centuries city life was dominated by the Russian military and ecclesiastical authorities; the Russian Orthodox Church formed a significant part of Kiev's infrastructure and business activity. In the late 1840s, the historian, Mykola Kostomarov (Russian: Nikolay Kostomarov)), founded a secret political society, the Brotherhood of Saint Cyril and Methodius, whose members put forward the idea of a federation of free Slavic people with Ukrainians as a distinct and separate group rather than a subordinate part of the Russian nation; the society was quickly suppressed by the authorities.

Following the gradual loss of Ukraine's autonomy, Kiev experienced growing Russification in the 19th century by means of Russian migration, administrative actions and social modernization. At the beginning of the 20th century, the city was dominated by Russian-speaking population, while the lower classes retained Ukrainian folk culture to a significant extent. However, enthusiasts among ethnic Ukrainian nobles, military and merchants made recurrent attempts to preserve native culture in Kiev (by clandestine book-printing, amateur theatre, folk studies etc.)

Kiev in 1930.

During the Russian industrial revolution in the late 19th century, Kiev became an important trade and transportation centre of the Russian Empire, specialising in sugar and grain export by railway and on the Dnieper river. As of 1900, the city also became a significant industrial centre, having a population of 250,000. Landmarks of that period include the railway infrastructure, the foundation of numerous educational and cultural facilities as well as notable architectural monuments (mostly merchant-oriented). The first electric tram line of the Russian Empire was established in Kiev (arguably, the first in the world).

Kiev prospered again during the late nineteenth century industrial revolution in the Russian Empire, when it became the third most important city of the Empire and the major centre of commerce of its southwest. In the turbulent period following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Kiev became the capital of several short-lived Ukrainian states and was caught in the middle of several conflicts: World War I, the Russian Civil War, and the Polish-Soviet War. Kiev changed hands sixteen times from the end of 1918 to August 1920.[10]

Ruins of Kiev, as seen during World War II.

From 1921 the city was a part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, a founding republic of the Soviet Union. Kiev was greatly affected by all the major processes that took place in Soviet Ukraine during the interwar period: the 1920s Ukrainization as well as the migration of the rural Ukrainophone population made the recently Russophone city partly Ukrainian-speaking and propped up the development of the Ukrainian cultural life in the city; the Soviet Industrialization that started in end-1920s turned the city, a former centre of commerce and religion, into a major industrial, technological and scientific centre, the 1932-1933 Great Famine devastated the part of the migrant population not registered for the ration cards, and Joseph Stalin's Great Purge of 1937–1938 almost eliminated the city's intelligentsia[11][12][13]

Orange-clad demonstrators gather in the Independence Square in Kiev on November 22, 2004.

In 1934 Kiev became the capital of Soviet Ukraine. The city boomed again during the years of the Soviet industrialization as its population grew rapidly and many industrial giants were created, some of which exist to this day.

In World War II, the city again suffered significant damage, but quickly recovered in the post-war years, becoming once again the third most important city of the Soviet Union. The catastrophic accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant occurred only 100 km (62 mi) north of the city. However, the prevailing northward winds blew the most substantial radioactive debris away from the city.

In the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine was proclaimed in the city by the Ukrainian parliament on August 24, 1991. Kiev is the capital of independent Ukraine.


The municipality of the city of Kiev has a special legal status within Ukraine compared to the other administrative subdivisions of the country. The most significant difference is that the city is subordinated directly to the national-level branches of the Government of Ukraine, skipping the regional level authorities of Kiev Oblast. Additionally, the Head of City Administration—the leading executive position is held by a directly elected, rather than appointed, figure, who is also the Head of City Council—the Mayor of Kiev, and municipal institutions have a higher level of self governance than elsewhere in Ukraine.


See also: Category:Neighborhoods and raions of Kiev

President's administrative building

The first known formal subdivision of Kiev dates to 1810 when the city was subdivided into 4 parts: Pechersk, Starokyiv, and the first and the second parts of Podil. In 1833-1834 according to Tsar Nicholas I's decree, Kiev was subdivided into 6 police raions; later being increased to 10. As of 1917, there were 8 Raion Councils (Duma), which were reorganised by bolsheviks into 6 Party-Territory Raions.

Over the Soviet time, as city was expanding, the number of raions was gradually increasing. The raions has been also commonly named after Soviet party leaders, and as political situation was changing and some leaders were overturned by the other, so raion names were also changing.

The last raion reform took place in 2001 when the number of raions has been decreased from 14 to 10.

Under Oleksandr Omelchenko (mayor from 1999 to 2006), there were further plans for the merger of some raions and revision of their boundaries, and the total number of raions had been planned to be decreased from 10 to 7. With the election of the new mayor-elect (Leonid Chernovetsky) in 2006, these plans were conducted.

Foreign Ministry building

Formal subdivision

Administratively, the city is divided into "raions" ("districts"), which have their own locally elected governments with jurisdiction over a limited scope of affairs. Presently, there are 10 raions.

Informal subdivision

The Dnieper River naturally divides Kiev into the Right Bank and the Left Bank areas. Historically located on the western right bank of the river, the city expanded into the left bank only in the twentieth century. Most of the Kiev's attractions as well as the majority of business and governmental institutions are located at the right bank. The eastern Left Bank is predominantly residential. There are large industrial and green areas in both the Right Bank and the Left Bank.

Kiev is further informally divided into historical or territorial neighbourhoods, each housing from about 5,000 to 100,000 inhabitants. Raions in Kiev city includes:


the All-Ukrainian Census conducted on December 5, 2001, the population of Kiev is 2,611,300.[1] The historic changes in population is shown in the side table.

Kiev skyline at dusk
Historical populations
Year Pop.  %±
1913 499,900
1960 1,129,600 126.0%
1965 1,280,600 13.4%
1975 1,919,000 49.9%
1980 2,191,500 14.2%
1985 2,461,000 12.3%
1991 2,643,400 7.4%
1996 2,637,900 −0.2%
2000 2,615,300 −0.9%
2005 2,666,400 2.0%
2009 2,765,500 3.7%
as of January 1st of respective year.[14]

According to the census, men accounted for 1,219,000 persons, or 46.7%, and women for 1,393,000 persons, or 53.3%. Comparing the results with the previous census (1989) shows the trend of population aging which, while prevalent throughout the country, is partly offset in Kiev by the inflow of working age migrants. According to the census data, more than 130 nationalities and ethnic groups reside within the territory of Kiev. Ukrainians constitute the largest ethnic group in Kiev, and they account for 2,110,800 people, or 82.2% of the population. Russians comprise 337,300 (13.1%), Jews 17,900 (0.7%), Belarusians 16,500 (0.6%), Poles 6,900 (0.3%), Armenians 4,900 (0.2%), Azerbaijanis 2,600 (0.1%), Tatars 2,500 (0.1%), Georgians 2,400 (0.1%), Moldovans 1,900 (0.1%). Both Ukrainian and Russian are commonly spoken in the city, with Russian being more widely used in the city centre despite the fact that Ukrainian is claimed as their native language by almost three times as many residents as those who claim Russian.[15] According to a 2006 survey, Ukrainian is used at home by 23% of Kievites, as 52% use Russian and 24% switch between both.[16] Some 1,069,700 people have higher or completed secondary education, a significant increase of 21.7% since 1989. The latest (April, 2007) municipal estimate of the city population is of 2.7 million residents.[1] Other much higher estimates are often published. For instance, the amount of bakery products sold in the city (thus including temporary visitors and commuters) gives a minimum of 3.5 million people (June, 2007).[1]

Modern Kiev

Meeting of supporters of the Alliance of National Unity on Maidan Nezalezhnosti (April 17, 2007).
Maidan Nezalezhnosti as seen from the Hotel Ukraina on the May Day in 2006.

Modern Kiev is a mix of the old and the new, seen in everything from the architecture to the stores and to the people themselves. Experiencing rapid population growth between the 1970s and the mid-'90s, the city has continued its consistent growth after the turn of the millennium. As a result, Kiev's "downtown" is a dotted contrast of new, modern buildings amongst the pale yellows, blues and grays of older apartments. Urban sprawl has gradually reduced, while population densities of suburbs has increased. The most expensive properties are located in the Pechersk, and Khreshchatyk areas. It is also prestigious to own a property in newly constructed buildings in the Kharkivskyi Raion or Obolon along the Dnieper.

Ukrainian independence at the turn of the millennium has heralded other changes. Western-style residential complexes, modern nightclubs, classy restaurants and prestigious hotels opened in the centre. Music from Europe and North America started appearing on Ukrainian music charts. And most importantly, with the easing of the visa rules in 2005,[17] Ukraine is positioning itself as a prime tourist attraction, with Kiev, among the other large cities, looking to profit from new opportunities. The centre of Kiev has been cleaned up and buildings have been restored and redecorated, especially the Khreshchatyk street and the Independence Square. Many historic areas of Kiev, such as Andriyivskyy Descent, have become popular street vendor locations, where one can find traditional Ukrainian art, religious items, books, game sets (most commonly chess) as well as jewelry for sale.[18]

At the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 Kiev was the only CIS city to have been inscribed into the TOP30 European Green City Index (placed 30th).[19]


See also: Category:Kiev city culture

Ivan Franko Ukrainian drama theatre

Kiev was the historic cultural centre of the East Slavic civilization and a major cradle for the Christianization for 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.

An important part of Kiev's culture is the many theatres in the city, which include: Kiev Opera House, Ivan Franko National Academic Drama Theatre, Lesya Ukrainka National Academic Theater of Russian Drama, the Kiev Puppet Theater, October Palace, National Philharmonic of Ukraine and many others.

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.


See also: Category:Sport in Kiev

Dynamo Sports Stadium

Football is the most popular spectator sport in Kiev, followed by basketball and ice hockey. Kiev has many professional and amateur football clubs, including the Kyiv Arsenal and Kyiv Dynamo, which both play in the top division of the Ukrainian Premier League. Other less prominent sport clubs in the city include: the FC Obolon Kyiv soccer club, the Sokil Kyiv hockey club and BC Kyiv basketball club.

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. The complex is the largest Ukrainian stadium among Kiev's 15 stadiums/sport complexes. Initially constructed for audience of 100,000, following the installation of individual seats it can now accommodate 83,053 spectators. Other notable sport stadiums/sport complexes in Kiev include the Lobanovsky Dynamo Stadium, the Palace of Sports, among many others.

Kiev is the host of field games, indoor sports, and aquatic sports, which take place on the Kiev Reservoir at Vyshhorod, and on Trukhaniv Island in the Dnieper river, opposite the city centre, where there are many fine beaches and recreational facilities. In addition to that, cross country bicycling is another favourite sport, also taking place on the Trukhaniv Island.

Together with a few other cities of Poland and Ukraine, Kiev will house the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship. Three group matches, a quarter final and the final are scheduled to be played at Kiev NSK Olimpiyskyi stadium.


See also: Category:Buildings and structures in Kiev

Maidan buildings

Kiev's most famous historical architecture complexes are the St. Sophia Cathedral and the Kiev Pechersk Lavra (Monastery of the Caves), which are recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Kiev apartment

Noteworthy historical architectural landmarks also include the Mariyinsky Palace (designed and constructed from 1745 to 1752, then reconstructed in 1870), several Orthodox churches such as St. Michael's Cathedral, St. Andrew's, St. Vladimir's, the reconstructed Golden Gate and others.

One of Kiev's widely recognized modern landmarks is the highly visible giant Mother Motherland statue made of titanium standing at the Museum of the Great Patriotic War on the Right bank of the Dnieper River. Other notable sites is the cylindrical Salut hotel, located across from Glory Square and the eternal flame at the World War Two memorial Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the House with Chimaeras.

Among Kiev's best-known monuments are Mikeshin's statue of Bohdan Khmelnytsky astride his horse located near St. Sophia Cathedral, the venerated Vladimir the Great (St. Vladimir), the baptizer of Rus', overlooking the river above Podil, the monument to Kyi, Schek and Khoryv and Lybid, the legendary founders of the city located at the Dnieper embankment. On Independence Square in the city centre, two monuments elevate two of the city protectors; the historic protector of Kiev Michael Archangel atop a reconstruction of one of the old city's gates and a modern invention, the goddess-protector Berehynia atop a tall column.

Architectural monuments


Local transportation

Kiev lower station
Kiev metro arriving at the station
Kiev port
E40, the longest of all European routes, going through Kiev.

Public transportation in Kiev includes the metro (underground), buses, trolleybuses and trams. The publicly owned and operated Kiev Metro system is the fastest, the most convenient and affordable network that covers most, but not all, of the city. The metro is continuously expanding towards the city limits to meet growing demand, while the other kinds of public transport are not that well maintained. In particular, the public bus service has an unreliable schedule. Public electric trolleybus and tram lines are more reliable, but have aged equipment and are underfunded. The historic tram system, which once was a well maintained and widely used method of transport, is now gradually being phased out in favor of buses and trolleybuses.

One unique mode of public transportation Kiev has is the funicular, that climbs up the steep right bank of the Dnieper River. It transports 10,000-15,000 passengers daily.

All public road transport in Kiev is operated by the united Kyivpastrans[20] municipal company. It is heavily subsidized by the city as large groups of passengers (pensioners, etc.) are granted free service on its lines. The Kiev public transport system uses a simple tariff system regardless of distance travelled: tickets for ground transportation must be purchased each time a vehicle boarded. Discount passes are available for grade school and higher education students. Pensioners use public transportation free. Monthly passes, which are sold at the price of 60 rides, are also available in all combinations of public transportation: metro, bus, trolley, tram. Recently, privately owned minibuses, marshrutkas, have appeared on Kiev streets. They provide good coverage of smaller residential streets and have convenient routes. Minibuses take fewer passengers, run faster, stop on demand and are more available, although with an increased frequency of accidents. Ticket price and itinerary of private minibuses are regulated by the city government, and the cost of one ride, while higher than on public buses, is still far lower than in Western Europe.

The taxi market in Kiev is expansive but not adequately regulated. In particular, the taxi fare per kilometer is not regulated. There is strong competition between private taxi companies. Many allow scheduling a pick-up by phone. Also, it is quite common for a local with a car (or even people from other parts of Ukraine) to provide taxi service on the ad hoc basis, generally by picking up people looking for a taxi by the roadside. Traffic jams and lack of parking space are growing problems for taxi services in Kiev. Current regulations allow for parking on pavements, which pedestrians may find inconvenient.

Suburban transportation

Suburban transportation is provided by buses and short-range trains (elektrichkas). There are a few bus stations inside the city providing suburban transportation. Private minibuses (marshrutkas) provide faster and more frequent suburban service, currently winning the competition against large buses.

Elektrichkas are serviced by the publicly owned Ukrzaliznytsia company. The suburban train service is fast, and unbeatably safe in terms of traffic accidents. But the trains are not reliable, as they may fail significantly behind schedule, may not be safe in terms of crime, and the elektrichka cars are poorly maintained and are overcrowded in rush hours.

There are 5 elektrichka directions from Kiev:

More than a dozen of elektrichka stops are located within the city allowing residents of different neighborhoods to use the suburban trains.

The previously extensive riverboat service along the Dnieper featuring the Meteor and Raketa hydrofoil ships is no longer available, limiting Kiev's river transport to cargo and tour boats and private pleasure craft.


Railways are Kiev’s main mode of intercity transportation. The city has a developed railroad infrastructure including a long-distance passenger station, 6 cargo stations, depots, and repairing facilities. However, this system still fails to meet the demand for passenger service. Particularly, the Kiev Passenger Railway Station is the city's only long-distance passenger terminal (vokzal).

Construction is underway for turning the large Darnytsia Railway Station on the left-bank part of Kiev into a long-distance passenger hub, which may ease traffic at the central station.[21] Bridges over the Dnieper River are another problem restricting the development of city’s railway system. Presently, only one rail bridge out of two is available for intense train traffic. A new combined rail-auto bridge is under construction, as a part of Darnytsia project.

Air transport

Air passengers arrive in Kiev through one of two airports: the Boryspil Airport which is served by many international airlines, and the smaller Zhulyany Airport, serving mostly domestic flights and limited flights to nearby countries. The international passenger terminal at Boryspil is small, yet modern, being expanded in 2006. There is a separate terminal for domestic flights within walking distance. Passengers flying to other countries from Ukraine usually travel through Boryspil, as other airports in Ukraine such as Donetsk, Simferopol, Odessa, provide very limited international connections. There is also Gostomel cargo airport in Kiev's north-western suburb of Hostomel.

Kiev is notable in the world of aviation industry as the headquarters for Antonov aircraft manufacturing company.


Kiev roads are in poor technical condition and road maintenance is poor. According to the Kyivavtodor municipal road corporation 80% of the road surfaces in Kiev have been in use for 15 to 30 years, which is 1.5 till 3 times more than the standard period (12 years).[22]

Sites of interest

Museum of the Great Patriotic War Kliopennaya mat' monument

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.

The museum has moved twice before ending up in the current location, where it was ceremonially opened on May 9, 1981, Victory Day, by then Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. On June 21, 1996, the museum was accorded its current status as a National Museum by a special decree signed by Leonid Kuchma, the then President of Ukraine. It is one of the largest museums in Ukraine with over 300,000 exhibits, and is centered around the 62-meter tall Motherland statue, which has become one of the most well known landmarks in the city. The museum has been visited by over 21 million visitors.

Painted battle tanks at the World War II memorial

The memorial complex covers the area of 10 hectares (approximately 24.7 acres) on the hill, overlooking the Dnieper River. It contains the giant bowl "The Glory Flame", a site with World War II military equipment, and the "Alley of the Hero Cities". One of the museums also displays the armaments used by the Soviet army post World War II. The sculptures in the alley depict the courageous defence of the Soviet border from the 1941 German invasion, terrors of the Nazi occupation, partisan struggle, devoted work on the home front, and the 1943 Battle of the Dnieper.

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 museum called the Kiev Fortress, while others are in use of various military and commercial installations.

Having lost their military importance in 20th century, buildings continued to be used as barracks, storage and incarceration facilities. However, some of them played independent historical roles. The Kosyi Kaponir ("Skew Caponier") became a prison for the political inmates in the 1900s–1920s and was later turned into a Soviet museum. Now it is the center of the modern museum. A small fortress built in 1872 on the legendary Lysa Hora (Bald Mountain) in 1906 became a place of executions for convicted political inmates. It is now a landscape reserve and part of the museum complex.

Constructed in 1898, by architect Vladislav Gorodetsky, the building was originally designed as the museum for the local society of patrons of arts and antique lovers. The facade of the building conveys a classic architecture form - precise reproduction of a six-column porch of Doric order with entablature, triglyphs, metopes and frieze decoration depicting the Triumph of Arts. The architectural composition featuring figures of gryphons and large concrete lions at the top of the stairs were created by an Italian sculptor, Emilio Sala.

The National Art Museum of Ukraine is a museum dedicated to Ukrainian art. Originally called the Kiev City Museum of Antiques and Art, the founders set out to put together a collection of pieces representative of Ukrainian fine art. Ranging from medieval icons to portraits of military and church leaders during Cossack times, some depicting caricatures of Mamay. Works include those of Taras Shevchenko, Ilya Yefimovich Repin, Vladimir Borovikovsky, Vasily Andreevich Tropinin, Mykola Pimonenko, Mikhail Vrubel, Nikolai Ge, and Oleksandr Murashko. Today, the museum continues to expand its collection. Some new additions include a unique icon relief of St. George and works by the international Kiev born pioneer of Geometric abstract art Kazimir Malevich.

The current exhibition includes over 20 thousand pieces. Among many are works by the constructivist, Vasiliy Yermilov, and Cubo-Futurist Alexander Bogomazov. The Ukrainian side is represented by works by artists such as David Burliuk, Aleksandra Ekster, Vadim Meller, Kliment Red'ko, Solomon Nikritin, Victor Palmov, Maria Sinyakova, Mikhail Boichuk and Mykola Pymonenko.

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. This gateway was one of three constructed by Yaroslav the Wise, Prince of Kiev, in the mid-11th century. It was reputedly modelled on the Golden Gate of Constantinople, from which it took its name. In 1240 it was partially destroyed by Batu Khan's Golden Horde. It remained as a gate to the city (often used for ceremonies) through the 18th century, although it gradually fell into ruins. In 1832 the ruins were excavated and an initial survey for their conservation was undertaken. Further works in the 1970s added an adjacent pavilion, housing a museum of the gate. In the museum one can learn about the history of construction of the Golden gate as well as ancient Kiev. In 1982, the gate was completely reconstructed for the 1500th anniversary of Kiev, although there is no solid evidence as to what the original gates looked like. Some art historians called for this reconstruction to be demolished and for the ruins of the original gate to be exposed to public view. In 1989, with the expansion of the Kiev Metro, the Zoloti Vorota station was opened nearby to serve the landmark. What makes it unique is that its architectural ensemble is very much based on the internal decorations of ancient Ruthenian churches.


The city across the Dnieper River in the twilight.

See also: Category:Visitor attractions in Kiev

Attractions in Kiev

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 (Ukrainian: каштани, kashtany).

Kiev is known as a green city with two botanical gardens and numerous large and small parks. The green nature of the city is probably most notable by the green hills of the right bank along the Dnieper river that have been relatively untouched by development. 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.

St Michael's Cathedral

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 30 to 34 °C (86–93 °F).

Founders of Kiev

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.[23][24]

Lilacs in the Central Botanical Garden, with Vydubychi Monastery and the Left Bank of Kiev in the background. Photo copyright R. Lezhoev.

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, etc.. There is also a popular book market by the Petrivka metro station.

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 1.5 square kilometres (1 sq mi). 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 carries over 2,000 specimens.


Kiev skyscrapers
TsUM Department Store in Kiev

See also: Category:Economy of Kiev, Economy of Ukraine

As most capital cities, Kiev is a major administrative, cultural and scientific centre of the country. It is the largest city in Ukraine in terms of both population and area and enjoys the highest levels of business activity. As of January 1st, 2009 there were around 230,000 business entities registered in Kiev.[25]

Engineering products of Kiev area include aircraft (see: Antonov), hydraulic elevators, electrical instruments, armatures, river-and-sea crafts, motorcycles, and cinematography equipment.[citation needed]


See also: Category:Education in Kiev

The main entrance to the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, one of the oldest and most influential centres of education in Ukrainian history.

Kiev hosts many universities, the major ones being Kiev National Taras Shevchenko University,[26] the National Technical University "Kiev Polytechnic Institute",[27] and the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.[28] The total number of institutions of higher education in Kiev approaches 200,[29] allowing young people to pursue almost any line of study. While education traditionally remains largely in the hands of the state there are several accredited private institutions in the city.

There are about 530 general secondary schools and ca. 680 nursery schools and kindergartens in Kiev.[30] Additionally, there are evening schools for adults, and specialist technical schools. Scientific research is conducted in many of the institutes of the higher education and, additionally, in many research institutes affiliated with the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences[31] and several of Ukrainian industrial ministries. Kiev is also noted for its research in medicine and computer science.

There are many libraries in the city with the Vernadsky library affiliated with the Academy of Science being the largest and most important one.[32]

City name evolution

A fragment of Russiae, Moscoviae et Tartariae map by Anthony Jenkinson (London 1562) published by Ortelius in 1570.

Currently, Kiev is the traditional and most commonly used English name for the city,[33] but since the 1995 adoption of Kyiv by the Ukrainian government as a preferred spelling, the Ukrainianized version Kyiv is gaining usage.

As a prominent city with a long history, its English name was subject to gradual evolution. The early English spelling was derived from Old East Slavic form Kyjevъ (Cyrillic: Къıєвъ[34]), derived from Kyi (Кий), the legendary founder of the city.

Early English sources use various names, including Kiou, Kiow, Kiew, Kiovia. On one of the oldest English maps of the region, Russiae, Moscoviae et Tartariae published by Ortelius (London, 1570) the name of the city is spelled Kiou. On the 1650 map by Guillaume de Beauplan, the name of the city is Kiiow, and the region was named Kÿowia. In the book Travels, by Joseph Marshall (London, 1772), the city is referred to as Kiovia.[35] While the choice of these spellings have likely been influenced by the Polish name of the city (Polish: Kijów) as until mid-seventeenth century the city was controlled by Poland, the name Kiev [ˈkijef] that started to take hold at later times, likely originates on the basis of Russian orthography and pronunciation [ˈkijef], during a time when Kiev was in the Russian Empire (since 1708 a centre of a Governorate).

In English, Kiev was used in print as early as in 1804 in the John Cary's "New map of Europe, from the latest authorities" in "Cary's new universal atlas" published in London. The English travelogue titled New Russia: Journey from Riga to the Crimea by way of Kiev, by Mary Holderness was published in 1823.[36] By 1883, the Oxford English Dictionary included Kiev in a quotation. Kiev is also based on the old Ukrainian language spelling of the city name and was used by Ukrainians and their ancestors from the time of Kievan Rus until only about the last century.[37]

A fragment from an 1804 John Cary's "New map of Europe, from the latest authorities" published in "Cary's new universal atlas", London, 1808.

Kyiv ([ˈkɪjiw]) is the romanized version of the name of the city used in modern Ukrainian. Starting from the twentieth century it has been used in English-language publications of the Ukrainian diaspora and in some academic publications concerning Ukraine. Following the independence in 1991, the Ukrainian government introduced the national rules for transliteration of geographic names from Ukrainian into English. According to the rules, the Ukrainian Київ transliterates into Kyiv. This has established the use of the spelling Kyiv in all official documents issued by the governmental authorities since October 1995. The spelling is used by the United Nations, all English-speaking foreign diplomatic missions,[38] several international organizations,[39] Encarta encyclopedia, and by some media, notably in Canada and Ukraine.[40] On October 3, 2006, the United States federal government changed its official spelling of the city name to Kyiv.[41] The proponents of Kyiv are using different ways to promote this spelling. In February 2008 Kyiv was competing for a spot in new Monopoly World Edition game board. The internet voting organized by Monopoly's producer, Hasbro has attracted attention of Ukrainian net users.[42]

The alternate romanizations Kyyiv (BGN/PCGN transliteration) and Kyjiv (scholarly) are also in use in English-language atlases. Most major English-language news sources continue to use Kiev.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Kiev is twinned with:



  1. ^ a b c d The most recent Ukrainian census, conducted on December 5, 2001, gave the population of Kiev as 2611.3 thousand ( - Kyiv city URL accessed on August 4, 2007). Estimates based on the amount of bakery products sold in the city (thus including temporary visitors and commuters) suggest a minimum of 3.5 million. "There are up to 1.5 mln undercounted residents in Kiev",, June 15, 2005. (Russian)
  2. ^ Design by Maxim Tkachuk, web-architecture by Volkova Dasha, templated by Alexey Kovtanets, programming by Irina Batvina, Maxim Bielushkin, Sergey Bogatyrchuk, Vitaliy Galkin, Victor Lushkin, Dmitry Medun, Igor Sitnikov, Vladimir Tarasov, Alexander Filippov, Sergei Koshelev. "Где в Киеве лучше не купаться » Новости в Киеве – Корреспондент". Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  3. ^ "" (in Russian). Retrieved September 8, 2007. 
  4. ^ Wilson, Andrew (2000). The Ukrainians. Unexpected Nation. Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-08355-6
  5. ^ The Pechenegs, Steven Lowe and Dmitriy V. Ryaboy
  6. ^ The Destruction of Kiev, University of Toronto Research Repository
  7. ^ Jones, Michael (2000). The New Cambridge Medieval History, Volume 6, c.1300–c.1415. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521362900
  8. ^ Davies, Norman (1982). God's Playground: A History of Poland, Vol. 1: The Origins to 1795. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0231053518
  9. ^ Magocsi, Paul Robert (1996). A History of Ukraine, University of Washington Press. ISBN 0-295-97580-6
  10. ^ Eksteins, Modris (1999). Walking Since Daybreak. Houghton Mifflin. p. 87. ISBN 061808231X. 
  11. ^ "The Great Purge under Stalin 1937-38". Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  12. ^ Orlando Figes The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia, 2007, ISBN 0-08050-7461-9, pages 227-315.
  13. ^ Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler: The Age of Social Catastrophe. By Robert Gellately. 2007. Knopf. 720 pages ISBN 1400040051
  14. ^ Vilenchuk, S. R.; Yatsuk, T.B. (eds.) (2009). Kyiv Statistical Yearbook for 2008. Kiev: Vydavnytstvo Konsultant LLC. p. 213. ISBN 978-966-8459-28-3. 
  15. ^ According to the official 2001 census data: "Всеукраїнський перепис населення 2001". Retrieved 2010-01-14.  & "Всеукраїнський перепис населення 2001". Retrieved 2010-01-14.  approximately 75% of Kiev's population responded 'Ukrainian' to the native language (ridna mova) census question, and roughly 25% responded 'Russian'. On the other hand, when the question 'What language do you use in everyday life?' was asked in the 2003 sociological survey, the Kievans' answers were distributed as follows: 'mostly Russian': 52%, 'both Russian and Ukrainian in equal measure': 32%, 'mostly Ukrainian': 14%, 'exclusively Ukrainian': 4.3%.
    "What language is spoken in Ukraine?". Welcome to Ukraine. 2003/2. 
  16. ^ "Kiev: the city, its residents, problems of today, wishes for tomorrow.", Zerkalo Nedeli, April 29 - May 12, 2006. in Russian, in Ukrainian
  17. ^ Retrieved July 30, 2006
  18. ^ Retrieved June 20, 2006.
  19. ^ Kyiv found among greenest cities in Europe, Emirates News Agency (December 10, 2009)
  20. ^ See also: Kyivpastrans official website. Retrieved July 28, 2006.
  21. ^ (Russian) Retrieved June 20, 2006.
  22. ^ Kyiv Administration: Roads Are In Poor Technical State Because They Have Reached End Of Their Service Lives And Annual Maintenance Volume Is Low, Ukrainian News Agency (June 12, 2009)
  23. ^ "Andreyevskiy Spusk". Optima Tours. Retrieved June 20, 2006. 
  24. ^ "Andreevsky spusk" (in Russian). Kyiv Guide. Retrieved June 20, 2006. 
  25. ^ Vilenchuk, S. R.; Yatsuk, T.B. (eds.) (2009). Kyiv Statistical Yearbook for 2008. Kiev: Vydavnytstvo Konsultant LLC. p. 58. ISBN 978-966-8459-28-3. 
  26. ^ See also:Kiev University official website. Retrieved July 28, 2006.
  27. ^ See also: KPI official website. Retrieved July 28, 2006.
  28. ^ See also: Kyiv-Mohyla Academy official website. Retrieved July 28, 2006.
  29. ^ See also: URL accessed on June 20, 2006
  30. ^ Vilenchuk, S. R.; Yatsuk, T.B. (eds.) (2009). Kyiv Statistical Yearbook for 2008. Kiev: Vydavnytstvo Konsultant LLC. p. 283. ISBN 978-966-8459-28-3. 
  31. ^ See also: NASU official website. Retrieved July 28, 2006.
  32. ^ The Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine
  33. ^ As of 2008, the Oxford English Dictionary includes 19 quotations with 'Kiev' and none with any other spelling. This spelling is also given by Britannica and Columbia Encyclopedia.
  34. ^ The form "Къıєвъ" (Kyiev) is used in old Rus chronicles like Lavretian Chronicle (Мстиславъ Къıєвьскъıи, Mstislav Kyievski; Къıӕне, Kyiene (Kievans)), Novgorod Chronicles and others.
  35. ^ Marshall, Joseph, fl.1770 (1971) [1772]. Travels through Germany, Russia, and Poland in the years 1769 and 1770.. New York: Arno Press. LCCN 77-135821. ISBN 040502763X.  Originally published: London, J. Almon, 1773, LCCN 03-005435.
  36. ^ Holderness, Mary. Journey from Riga to the Crimea, with some account of the manners and customs of the colonists of new Russia.. London: Sherwood, Jones and co.. pp. 316. LCCN 04-024846. OCLC 5073195. 
  37. ^ Edward Burstynsky, former head of the Linguistics department at the University of Toronto, cited by Andrew Gregorovich in Kiev or Kyiv?, FORUM Ukrainian Review, No. 92, Spring 1995
  38. ^ Embassies of Australia, Great Britain, Canada, United States
  39. ^ The list includes NATO, OSCE, World Bank
  40. ^ Kyiv Post, the leading English language publication in Ukraine.
  41. ^ State Department briefing discussing the BGN spelling decision, October 19, 2006.
  42. ^ Kyiv may be included in new Monopoly World Edition game board UNIAN. 28.01.2008
  43. ^ "Leipzig - International Relations". © 2009 Leipzig City Council, Office for European and International Affairs. Retrieved 2009-07-17. 
  44. ^ "Ankara Metropolitan Municipality: Sister Cities of Ankara". © 2007 Ankara Büyükşehir Belediyesi - Tüm Hakları Saklıdır. Kullanım Koşulları & Gizlilik.. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  45. ^ "The main directions of foreign relations of the executive authorities of Baku". Retrieved 2007-07-15. 
  46. ^ (Russian)"Executive Power of the Baku City". Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  47. ^ "Sister Cities". Beijing Municipal Government. Retrieved 2008-09-23. 
  48. ^ "International Cooperation". Official website. Retrieved 2007-07-10. 
  49. ^ "Beograd: Međunarodni odnosi". Stalna konferencija gradova i opština Srbije. Retrieved 2007-06-18. 
  50. ^ "Council okays peace committees: Lahore and Chicago to be declared twin cities.". The Post. 2007-01-28. Retrieved 2007-05-16. 
  51. ^ "Bratislava City - Twin Towns". © 2003-2009 Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  52. ^ "Sister City - Budapest". Official website of New York City. Retrieved 2008-05-14. 
  53. ^ "Sister cities of Budapest" (in Hungarian). Official Website of Budapest. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  54. ^ "Who knows less about Budapest? A quiz with mayor candidates" (in Hungarian). Index. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  55. ^ "Chicago Sister Cities". Chicago Sister Cities International. 2009. Retrieved 22 July 2009. 
  56. ^ Berdes, PhD, Celia; Levin, Andrew. "Director Emeritus James Webster Looks Backward, Forward". Annual Report 2008. Buehler Center on Aging, Health & Society. pp. 5–7. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  57. ^ "Edinburgh - Twin and Partner Cities". © 2008 The City of Edinburgh Council, City Chambers, High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1YJ Scotland. Retrieved 2008-12-21. 
  58. ^ "Kraków otwarty na świat". Retrieved 2009-07-19. 
  59. ^ "Kyoto City Web / Data Box / Sister Cities". Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  60. ^ "Twin towns of Minsk". © 2008 The department of protocol and international relations of Minsk City Executive Committee. Retrieved 2008-12-08. 
  61. ^ "Les pactes d'amitié et de coopération". Mairie de Paris. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  62. ^ "International relations : special partners". Mairie de Paris. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  63. ^ "Twin cities of Riga". Riga City Council. Retrieved 2009-07-27. 
  64. ^ "Twinning Cities: International Relations" (PDF). Municipality of Tirana. Retrieved 2009-06-23. 
  65. ^ "Tbilisi Municipal Portal - Sister Cities". © 2009 - Tbilisi City Hall. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  66. ^ "Miasta partnerskie Warszawy". Biuro Promocji Miasta. 2005-05-04. Retrieved 2008-08-29. 
  67. ^ "Yerevan Municipality - Sister Cities". © 2005-2009 Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  68. ^ "Yerevan Municipality - Partner Cities". © 2005-2009 Retrieved 2009-11-30. 

External links


Kiev or Kyiv? Official documents:

Non-official documents:

Preceded by
Istanbul 2004
Eurovision Song Contest Hosts Kiev
Succeeded by
Athens 2006

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

The center of Kiev as seen from the Saint Sophia Belltower.
The center of Kiev as seen from the Saint Sophia Belltower.
The Kiev Pechersk Lavra in Kiev. First built in 1051.
The Kiev Pechersk Lavra in Kiev. First built in 1051.
National Opera House
National Opera House
St. Michael's Golden-Domed Cathedral
St. Michael's Golden-Domed Cathedral

Kiev (Ukrainian: Київ - Kyiv, Russian: Киев - "Kiev") is the capital and largest city of Ukraine with - officially - over 2.7 million inhabitants (unofficially claimed number is up to 4.0 million inhabitants). The city is in north central Ukraine on the Dnipro (Dniepr) river.


Ukrainians are understandably very proud of their capital's role in establishing European civilisation in Eastern Europe.

Kiev is one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, its official history dating back to the 5th century, although settlement on this location was present since much earlier. By late 9th century Kiev became the chef-lieu of the emerging state of the Eastern Slavic tribes, and between the 10th and early 13th century, it reached its golden age as the capital of the first Ukrainian state known today as Kievan Rus, (Kyivan Ruthenia, or Rus-Ukraine), which predated modern Ukraine, Belarus and Russia.

In the middle of the 13th century Kievan Rus was overrun by the Mongols, and later this century Kiev became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and later the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1654 Kiev was liberated from the commonwealth by Cossack Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky, who then promptly signed the city over to become a protectorate of Russia.

In 1775 it was completely annexed by the Russian Empire. The city remained under Russian rule, with brief, but uncertain, periods of independence in between 1918 and 1920. During these two centuries, Kiev experienced growing Russification and Russian immigration. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Kiev became the capital of independent Ukraine and is now quickly learning the role of a large European capital.

According to the last census (2001) Kiev has a population of 2,600,000, although it's generally acknowledged that, in 2006, that the population is over 3 million. About 85% declare themselves as Ukrainians, 12% as Russians, there are also Armenian, Azeri, Belarusian, Jewish, Georgian, Polish, Romanian and Tatar minorities. Today, not only has the population of Kiev likely increased, but also percentage of Ukrainians declaring Ukrainian nationality, as a result of the strong nationalist movement after the October 2004 Orange Revolution. Nevertheless, even most ethnic Ukrainians in Kiev tend to use Russian more frequently than Ukrainian both in business and in everyday conversation.

According to the national census taken in 2001 about 93% of the population has secondary education, nearly 46% of them received higher education. [1]

The average summer temperature is 24°C, and in winter is -19°C.

Russian is widely spoken in Kiev, particularly in business, including shops and restaurants. The common English name for the city, "Kiev," is a transliteration from the Russian language. The transliteration of the city's name from Ukrainian is "Kyiv", and this variation is used in many English language materials in the Ukraine.

Many people in Kyiv are hospitable and will be eager to help you. However, if you're from Western Europe or North America, you may find service in restaurants and shops less attentive than you're accustomed to.

Get in

By plane

The Boryspil International Airport (KBP) [2] (Міжнародний аеропорт "Бориспіль") is about 40 minutes from the city center. The city's second airport Zhulyany (IEV) (аеропорт "Жуляни"), used mostly for domestic flights, is located 20 minutes from city center.

Ukraine has two major international airlines - Ukraine International Airlines [3] (Міжнародні Авіалінії України - Mizhnarodni Avialiniyi Ukrayiny) and Aerosvit [4] (АероСвіт). These airlines have daily flights to major European cities. Aeroflot, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Czech Airlines [5], Delta [6], Finnair, KLM, Lufthansa, Malev and other airlines have scheduled flights to Borispol airport. Semi-Budget airlines flying to Kiev include AirBaltic and Estonian Air. Budget airline Wizz Air [7] have flights to several european cities. There are occasional budget charters from Italy, and in summer, Ukrainian Mediterranean Airlines runs charters to destinations including Italy and Turkey. Aerosvit and Delta are the only airlines with non-stop service to North America.

The simplest way to get to the city center is to take a marshrutka. They leave very regularly, cost 25UAH, and go to the plaza behind the main train station, from which you can easily get onto the Metro and to many places in Kiev. A taxi will cost five to ten times as much, particularly if you take one from one of the people who meet travellers off the plane with the promise of taxis.

There is a regular bus service between airport and Kiev city center (ploshcha Peremohy (площа Перемоги) and Central Railway station (bus schedule [8]). Buses depart frequently and the cost is approximately four dollars. On average it takes 60-70 minutes to get to city center by bus.

Boryspil Departure Advisory

During Spring of 2008, the Passport Control and Security checkpoints for Terminal B (international) departures have been rearranged. In the present configuration, during busy travel times, there can be very large queues waiting to go through security. Travelers flying to the United States may be required to go through a second security checkpoint. Going through check-in queue, passport control queue, and security queue may be as fast as 30 minutes. Check-in counters open two hours before the scheduled departure time and going from the city to the airport may take anything between 30 minutes and 2 hours depending on city traffic.

It can also take a lot of time when you arrive. Passport control upon arrival can take more than an hour if there are several flights arriving around the same time. Plan your first day schedule accordingly. Standing in line is not the norm for Ukrainians, so learn to line hop if you want to get though passport control quickly.

The Central Railway Station.
The Central Railway Station.

Kiev's central railway station, Kyiv-Passazhyrskyi (Київ-Пасажирський), is located close to city centre. The metro station "Vokzalna" (метро "Вокзальна") links to the railway station.

It has daily trains to all major cities and towns in Ukraine. International trains to Austria, Belarus, Germany, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia.

Railway timetable in English [9]

Average travel time by train to some European cities: Berlin - 24 hours, Moscow - 14 hours, Vienna - 33 hours, Warsaw - 18 hours, Bucharest - 27 hours, Chisinau - 17 hours, Krakow - 19 hours.

Average traveltime by train to some Ukrainian cities: Lviv - 10 hours, Kharkiv - 8 hours, Simferopol - 18 hours. From Lviv there is also an express-train that leaves 6.35 in the morning and arrives in Kiev at 13:00.

Trains can be booked in advance to Kiev from European cities such as Krakow from [10] (Update: DB were unable to book trainjourneys into Ukraine from Krakow, as of Mar 09)

By car

The main route into Ukraine from the West is via Poland - the only 24 hour customs post is in Lvivska Oblast at a place called Krakovets , which as a 'place' is essentially just the customs post - and it's not marked on most maps either. The nearest significant town on the Polish side is Przemysl, and it's straightforward to find by following route # 4 (which passes through Przemysl). When you arrive, the road is fairly narrow (no motorway/autobahn this) with a queue of trucks and vans parked to the right of the road. Don't park behind the goods vehicles, slip up the side of them and then feed into the customs area when the guy flags you forward (for courteous Europeans, you're not jumping the queue - commercial traffic goes through a different process). If you're in an EU registered car then make for the EU-passports, passport control section. Thence to Ukrainian passport control and then Ukrainian customs and then you're through. It used to be a nightmare, with apocryphal tales of 5-6+ hours at the border, but the Ukrainians have made great advances in efficiency.

Once through, just follow the main road towards Lviv (Львів) on the E40 - this is the route right across Ukraine to Kiev (and thence on to the East). Stick to this - the main towns on the way are Lviv, Rivne (Рівне), Zhytomyr (Житомир).Other than that, take care on the road, which although the main East/West highway, and the main road route into the EU, still remains in a miserable condition.

By bus

International buses stop at the central station. There are buses coming in from Germany

By boat

It is possible to organize trips down the Dnipro to the Black Sea in the summer months. A travel agency in Ukraine can book these trips for you.

Get around

Kiev can seem quite foreign to the western tourist, as all signage is in Cyrillic script. Kiev is still largely a city where very few people know English, and the likelihood of encountering an English speaker is low - but not impossible. For the non-Russian or Ukrainian speaker, it's quite possible to get around easily, and it is a very interesting city to explore. And it never hurts to speak English - often, a shop assistant will ask customers if they can speak English and act as a translator.

It is advisable, however, to pick up a pocket Russian or Ukrainian phrasebook, and learn the Cyrillic alphabet, which can be fun and is easy to learn. Spend some time practising key words and phrases (e.g. 'hello', 'thank-you' and 'bill please'). Even what you regard as a feeble attempt at Ukrainian or Russian will amuse most people to the point where they are comfortable engaging in pantomime or trying out the little bit of English they know.

It is impolite to chat loudly (e.g., in Metro), point, and wave one's hands.


Pick up a "Kyiv Tour Guide" map book (Geosvit books - around US$3-4), which is available at a number of kiosks or at the central post office. Basic tourist maps are available at the baggage carousel at Boryspil Airport. If you are spending much time in Kiev, get the matching Ukrainian version of your map, many locals have as much trouble with the version that is transliterated to latin characters as you have with the version in the cyrillic characters. When asking for directions or setting out in a taxi, it helps to locate the place you want on the English map and then point out the same spot on the Ukrainian version.

By bus

There are two types of city-run buses available: bus (автобус) and trolleybus (троллейбус). These can be hailed from assigned stops, which are marked by a sign on an telegraph pole. These are often very crowded during peak hours, but then the norm is to push your way in. Once on board, you need to validate your ticket by punching a hole in it. If you can't get near the hole puncher, ask someone to validate your ticket for you. Cost for both is currently 1.50 UAH and tickets are available from kiosks throughout the city.

You can also comfortably travel short distances on route taxis or mini-vans called "Marshrutky" (Маршрутки). These are private run vehicles that travel assigned routes, which are listed on the front of the bus. You can hail a Marshrutka at the assigned bus stops. When you board, you pay the driver directly, or, if you're not near the driver, pass the money to the nearest passenger who will pass it to the driver. Your change will be returned in reverse order. When you are reaching your destination, simply yell out to the driver to stop (some 100 meters in advance to the bus stop you need). If you overshoot (mini-vans are quite material bodies having inertia, and not unlikely to move by central or left side of the road), you get a nice walk and a driver gets a little extra stress a day. The fare ranges from 1.50 UAH to 2.50 UAH.

Marshruka routes can be hard to figure out, but they have a list of stops on the window and a Metro logo for the metro stops. The best way to figure out where these go is to ask some of the locals. Also, certain city maps feature the routes of the Marshrutky (better re-check, especially in case of last-year guide and time shortage). The one downside to using Marshutka's however is that they tend to be a little overpacked (understatement) and very hot.

By taxi

There are two types of taxi in Kiev - official company taxis, and 'gypsy' cabs.

As with many former Soviet cities, it's perfectly acceptable for any car to stop and pick you up if you hail a cab. An unmarked vehicle is a 'gypsy' cab. To hail a ride, simply stand with your arm out, palm down. When a car pulls over, negotiate a fare - as a rule of thumb, rides within the downtown are should not cost more than 15 UAH and moving across the city might be anywhere from 30 to 50 UAH (also depends on car model, day time, weather and traffic conditions, whether both of you need to get to at least same part of the city so choose proper street side, and to some degree on your gender and numbers -- generally, a few girls would find it way more easy to get by than several slightly drunk men; it's also safe enough compared to, e.g., New York {where one would be wise to make use of the 24hr subway} for a single girl at 3AM to use this kind of transport when taxi's not available although don't count on this 100%).

Official company taxis can be hailed, or booked over the phone. There is usually someone who speaks English on the other end of the phone, simply ask 'pa angliskiy pazhalsta' (or, probably, "English please"). The operator will give you a quote, which will save you from the sometimes intimidating process of negotiating on the street.

However, fares do vary widely. On the same route, a local paid UAH15 and the driver quoted this author UAH60 and settled for UAH30. YMMV too.

By metro

The Metro (Ukrainian: Метро) is a very fast subway system, and is easy to navigate once you realize that all three metro lines (red, blue and green) go through city centre. In total there are 47 metro stations in Kiev as of May, 2009.

When you enter the Metro, you must purchase a token to travel from the cashdesk, Kasa (Ukrainian: каса). One token is valid for one trip, no matter how far you go. A token is 1.70 UAH (17 eurocents/ 22 cents as of May, 2009) and one needs to slip the token into the turnstyles to enter. (Just a note of caution, make sure you walk through the correct side of the turn style or you will be hit with a metal gate that will slam shut.) You can also obtain a monthly ticket with a magnet tape, which is only available for sale during the first week of the calendar month or the third week for half the price (actually not strictly so).

At platform level, all signage is in Cyrillic [11], so it's best to correlate the Cyrillic station names on the wall to the transliterated names on your map book. Once inside the train, the metro route maps over central windows have names transliterated into latin letters, and there is a station announcement as the metro approaches each station as well as TV screens in all carraiges that between stations show adverts, but flag up the impending station as it approaches it, and the next staion as it departs. Unfortunately not all trains are equipped with the TV screens.

Metro stations where you can interchange have two different names - one for each line. If you're changing lines, the other station can be reached by an overpass in the centre or one of the ends of the platform.

Trains run every 30 sec. to 2:30 minutes in business hours and from 10 to 15 minutes from 11PM till 1PM at the last station. Even so, they are often very crowded. And be prepared to push, as this may be the only way you get on the train, during peak hours.

It's interesting to note that the Kiev metro has some of the deepest stations in the world. The Arsenal'na station (Ukrainian: Арсенальна) station is the deepest metro station in the world, at 107 meters deep, and the Universytet station (Ukrainian: Університет) has one of the longest escalators in the world (87 meters long).

If you enable "Cell Info Display" on your GSM phone, it will show you the name of the station (in transliterated Latin characters... (for UMC and Kyivstar) just like your map) when you are underground in the vicinity of a station. And your mobile/cell/handy should work on most of the network, including between stations.

By other

Other forms of public transport in Kiev include:

  • Tram: Streetcars (Трамвай) run in a number of areas, including Podil and around the circus off Taras Ševčenko boulevard.
  • Funicular: A scenic way to get from the upper city down to Podil is to catch the funicular from Mykhailvs’ka Ploscha to Poshtova Ploscha in Podil. You can enjoy views of the Dnipro and left bank on the way down. The cost is 50 kopecks. (Update September 2009: the funicular appears to be closed for maintenance, unsure for how long. Update September 28, 2009 - Funicular was running today.)
The Main square
The Main square
'Mother' Motherland statue in Kiev stands in the centre of the Musuem of the Great Patriotic War.
'Mother' Motherland statue in Kiev stands in the centre of the Musuem of the Great Patriotic War.
  • Chernobyl' Museum (музей Чорнобиль) - A fascinating museum, but no signage in English. It's recommended to arrange in advance for an English-speaking guide, otherwise it's hard to get the most out of the museum. Metro: Kontraktova Plošča.
  • Hreschatik (Хрещатик) Street - The main drag of the city centre. It is closed to traffic on weekends and full of entertainers and people wandering around. A big happy crowd and very conducive to peoplewatching. Metro: Majdan Nezaležnosti or Hreščatik.
  • Pecherska Lavra (Печерська лавра) - The cave monastery was founded in the 11th century by St Antoniy. The caves were dug out by priests who lived there as hermits. Nowadays, the caves are venerated by the faithful and tourists who visit the mummified monks, and pilgrims are still allowed access to the underground church there.

There are two parts to the modern complex: the upper lavra, owned by the state and consisting of a number of museums (entry fee); and the lower lavra, owned by the Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriach) and consisting of the caves (you'll need 1 UAH to buy a candle to enter). Do not miss the display of micro-miniatures in the upper lavra. It sounds lame, but it it fascinating.

You can enter the caves in the lower part if you dress correctly (women MUST cover their hair and wear skirts, no shorts. Expensive scarves are for sale there). Women can only just get away with pants in the winter. Metro: Arsenal'na

  • Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Life (Музей народної архітектури та побуту - Muzey narodnoyi arkhitetury ta pobutu) - 6 restored rural Ukranian villiages. English-speaking (sort of) guides with expertise on the whole site are available and well worth-it. Ukrainians come on sunny days to relax in the grass. Bus #156 from Respubliksy Stadion Metro station goes there for US$0.30 (pay driver).
  • St Sophia's Cathedral (Собор Святої Софії - Sobor Sviatoyi Sofiyi)- The oldest remaining church in Kiev. Parts of Sofivskiy date from the 11th century, and is the site of the Virgin Orans mosaic. The gatehouse and other restorations were completed in the 17th century. Outside the gates, there is a statue commemorating Bogdan Hmelnitski, who liberated Kiev in the 17th century... then gave the city to the Russian Empire. Metro: Zoloti Vorota
  • Motherland Statue and War memorials - Kiev was pretty much destroyed during the invasion in WWII. The memorial near the motherland statue is pretty gripping. Lots of examples of classic Soviet-era memorial statuary as well as some amazing exhibits of military hardware. The Museum to the Great Patriotic War (WWII) located in the base of the statue is a must-see for visitors interested in the impact the German invasion had on the Soviet Union. Well worth the visit even if you don't speak or read any Russian (several English language tours are provided daily). It's well curated and full of artifacts (including weapons, battle maps, hundreds of original photographs, and a moving installation at the end of the exhibit symbolizing the great losses suffered). There is also a small museum of the Afghan conflict nearby. Try to enter coming from the top part of the Pecherska Lavra. This way you get submerged with old soviet music and dark statues. Metro: Pečerska, Arsenalna
  • Babiy Yar - a ravine which was the site of massacres of Jews, Gypsies, and other civilians by the Nazis and their puppets during World War II. Approximately 60,000 civilians were executed at this site during the war (over 34,000 Jews in the first two days alone). Now a memorial to "Soviet citizens" murdered by the Germans, the park can be reached via the metro.
  • Zoloti Vorota (Золоті ворота) - This is 1982 reconstruction of the Golden Gates of Kiev. Metro: Zoloti Vorota
  • Maydan Nezalezhnosti (Майдан Незалежності) - Independence Square, located on Khreschatyk Street. Maidan is known throughout the world as the place where supporters of Yuschenko and the Orange Revolution camped for weeks on end in October 2004. This is a central meeting place in Kiev. Metro: Maydan Nezalezhnosti or Kreschatik
  • Kiev TV Tower (Телевезійна вежа - Televezijna vezha) is the tallest lattice tower in the world. It is not accessible for tourists.
  • Andriyivskiy Uzviz (Андріївський узвіз) or Andrew's Descent - At the top of this quaint cobblestone street is St Andrew's Church. Andrew's Descent starts here and winds down to Kontraktova Ploscha in Podil. The street is lined with souvenir sellers, restaurants, galleries and museums. Touristy but retains charm.
  • One Street Museum (Музей однієї вулиці - Muzej odniei vulitsi). (Andriyivskij uzviz (Андріївський узвіз), 2-B Kyiv.) The collection of the One Street Museum is dedicated to the history of the Andriyivskyi uzviz (Andrew's Descent) and its famous residents. Open daily from 12 noon to 6PM (closed Mondays) Web-site of the One Street Museum [12]
  • Mariyinskiy Palace (Мариїнський Палац) and Mariyinsky park where Lovers' bridge [13] is situated.
  • Kiev Startpagina [14] gives a quick overview of all attractions.
  • State Aviation Museum - located inside the old Zhulyany Airport [15] with many impressive Soviet civil and military aircraft on display, including an An-2, Tu-104, Il-62, Il-76 and an Il-86. The museum is opposite to the airport terminal, which is an industrial zone. Take Trolleybus #9 from the train station or #22 from Šuljavska (Шулявська) metro station, both will take you only to the terminal. From there, take a taxi, or exit the terminal complex and walk clockwise along the perimeter of the airport (30-40 minutes). You should see an ATM machine and a trolleybus depot along the way (remember your way back too as the roads tend to be converging towards the museum while diverging on the way back!). Walking after dark is not advisable as the area is poorly lit and stray dogs are present. Admission: 12UAH.
  • German Military graveyard- located on the road to Odessa, about 20 km away from kiev, next to the Kiev cemetetary. A proof for the peoples connecting works of the german "Kriegsgräberfürsorge". About 10000 german soldiers are burried here, after the battles around Kiev in 1941 and 1944.AS hamburg
  • Great Gate of Kiev - desribed by Mr. Mussorgski in "Pictures of an Exhibition", rebuild in the eighties, quite a nice spot to visit and learn about the town walls. some nice buildings are also around as well as luxury cars parking on the side walks.
  • Kiev Pechersk Lavra (Cave Monastery), (Metro station Arsenal'na is a couple blocks away from the main entrance. You can take a trolley from the subway station - 2 stops). One of the oldest and most important monasteries in Ukraine and on the teritory of the former Soviet Union. Only the most important monasteries were designated as Lavras; there were only 4, of which Cave Monastery is the oldest. It was founded in 1077.  edit


Full day in Kiev:

  • Visit the Perchersk Lavra. Start at the Lower Lavra, visiting the caves before the crowds descend for the day. There are two caves complexes, each housing the mummified remains of monks, as well as religous icons and other relics. Both caves are accessed through churches, with the shorter caves entrance at the end of a boardwalk.

While it is free to enter the caves, you must purchase a taper candle in order to light your way. The caves are not recommended for the claustrophobic or overly tall. Once you're in there, it's hard, even impossible to turn around and go back out - you have to keep going.

For the second half of the day, visit the museums and churches in the Upper Lavra. English speaking guides - both official and unofficial - are available to show you around the sights.

Metro: Percherska

  • Defence of the Motherland monument and war museum.
  • Catch the metro to Hidropark island in the Dnipro river. Kiev is endowed with natural city beaches that line the Dnipro. Many a summer day can be spent in the parks and on the beaches of the islands, where you can buy shashlyk from stalls, play beach volleyball, swim in the river or in the pools on the island, or just soak up the sun.

Metro: Hidropark

  • Stroll around Podil. Start at St Michael's Monastery in the Upper Town. Catch the funicular down to Poshtova Ploscha, and wander around the grid-like streets of Podil. The area was the merchant's quarter, and was completely rebuilt in the 19th century after fires destroyed the area. It was mainly untouched during WWII and is emerging as a hip restaurant district. Finish your stroll by walking up Andreiivsky Uzviz.

Half day in Kiev:

  • Spend some time viewing the impressive Soviet metro system. The red line features impressive architecture, similar to that seen in the Moscow and Saint Petersburg metro systems. The metro stations were constructed from former mass bomb shelters, and feature some of the deepest stations in the world.
  • If you're in Kiev on the weekend, go and people watch on Kreshchatyk. Start at Lva Tolstogo Square and head underground. Walk through the Metrograd shopping center, always sticking to your left. Head above-ground at Taras Shevchenko Boulevard (бульвар Тараса Шевченка), from where the council shuts down Kreshchatyk on the weekends. Walking up the street to Maidan, you will be treated to the sight of numerous street performers and animal handlers, or you can simply enjoy seeing families out and about for a weekend stroll.
  • Go to a service at an Orthodox Church. The best one to visit is St Volodomyr's on Taras Shevchenko Boulevard. Services are long and there are no seats, however it's perfectly acceptable to come and go as you please. Women must cover their heads before entering the church. Metro: Universityet
  • Fun Things, 5 Pushkinskaya str., 2nd floor, apt. 10, 04108, Kiev, +380938133958, [16]. 3. AK47 ASSAULT RIFLE SHOOTING contact Kiev lodging Hostel ask for Robert  edit
  • National University Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Національний університет «Києво-Могилянська академія» - Natsionalnyi universytet "Kyyevo-Mohylians'ka akademiya") Is the leading university in the Ukraine with regards to political related fields. The university's professors offered support to Yuschenko and various international media outlets during the Orange Revolution that resulted in the election of Viktor Yuschenko in late 2004. [17] (English)
  • Kyiv Shevchenko University (Київський національний університет імені Тараса Шевченка - Kyivsky natsionalny universytet imeni Tarasa Shechenka) The university is the largest and one of the more important universities. Its enrollment is over 30,000 [18] (English)

There are a number of private schools where you can learn Ukrainian or Russian, either part-time or full time [19]. There are also experienced teachers in the city - check out resources such as Kyiv In Your Pocket, The Kyiv Post [20], and What's On Weekly for details of schools and teachers.


Foreigners can sometimes find work teaching their native language (English, Swedish, whatever). Pay is usually decent enough to live on in Kiev if you get enough pupils and live by local standards.

As is the nature in a global economy, professionals with skills in demand, e.g. accountants and IT professionals, can be employed with global firms in Kiev, without knowledge of Russian or Ukrainian languages.

Getting a working permit (visa) is a necessity for foreigners if they are going to be employed by any legal entity (Exceptions apply only for international institutions and representative offices of foreign companies). The working permit is significantly different from the "classical" form as it is more of a hiring permit. The potential employer has to apply with the labour administration for hiring an non-resident employee. With the application a complete cv as well as documents showing an accredited education have to be submitted.


Go to Andriyivskyy Descent (Andriyivskyi Uzviz) for a nice collection of things. They sell traditional thing, old communistic goods (real good but also fake mass-produced), folkloric things, ... Every Sunday there's a market. The rest of the week there are a few people selling things, but it's usally not worth to go.


The unit of currency is the Hryvnia (UAH) (гривня) [pronounced: Hryvnia (in Ukrainian), Grivna (in Russian)] and has currently fallen to about 8 UAH to the US Dollar and 12 UAH to the Euro. There are many exchanges that will convert USD or Euro to UAH, just look for signs with exchange rates posted on just about any block. Exchange rates vary a lot and deteriorate fast when you get into less competitive places or outside of standard business hours. You should also make sure to get a receipt when buying UAH. Due to the global economic slow down, US Dollars are in high demand and you would save yourself a considerable amount of money (and headaches) by withdrawing your UAH from an ATM. Do not change money at the airport unless you have to, since rates there are not as good as in the city center.

It is often expected that one carries small change in Kiev. Most retail establishments will scowl at you if you try to pay for a UAH4 purchase with a UAH20 note. They generally keep very little change on hand and will always ask if you have the right amount of kopeks. The EU is currently investigating whether Ukraine has a kopek deficiency. Keep small change to use the restrooms!

All major credit cards and debit cards can be used any ATM throughout Ukraine. You can withdraw UAH but in some cases also US dollars. Be sure to contact your credit card company prior to your visit or they will freeze your card! As a backup, it is possible to get dollars from most banks using a cash advance from a Visa or Mastercard. There is a small service charge (3%) to do this in addition to whatever your bank charges. Debit cards such as maestro do work in ATMs.

Cirrus/Maestro/Plus bank cards could be most effective way to get cash in Ukraine. Many ATMs, such as Aval Bank and Expres Bank ATMs do not charge any transaction cost to cash withdrawal transactions from foreign cards (unless you are withdrawing dollars). Not all ATMs indicate that they support the Plus system, but in most cases they do support it if they support Visa. PrivatBank ATMs do indicate that they support Plus, but at least in August 2009 they do not work with North American cards. Your bank may charge you some amount for these transactions (e.g. Commonwealth Bank of Australia charges AUD $5, TD in Canada charges CAD $5, Citizens Bank of Canada does not charge any fee, most British banks charge about £1.50)

Exchange rate in this case is usually better than in currency exchange booths.

For many people in Ukraine the word 'ATM' may sound unfamiliar - 'ATM' is translated as 'bankomat' (банкомат) and can be found everywhere.


In general, it is very cheap to dine in Kiev by US standards. So long as you stay away from the places that totally pander to tourists, the food is great and cheap. Try the Borscht and the Mlyntzi and then try absolutely everything else. Baked goods are cheap and great too. Even the ice-cream on the street is great. An especially distinctive one is to the right from Khreshchatyk subway exit - blue kiosk with varying lengh of queue.

When you see vendors selling some liquid from big yellow/blue tanks on the street, you can be sure that it is "Kvas," which is a brewed bread drink. Some people like it and others hate it. It tastes a bit like malt, and the alcohol content is so low (0.05-1.44%) that it is considered acceptable for consumption by children. Try "Odyn Malenkyi" (one small) drink.

You should not drink the tap water. It is advisable to buy 5l. bottles in the supermarkets; they usually have English section for "ingredients". You can always order "Bonaqua" (sparkling mineral water), but beer is just about as cheap.


Fast-food chains:

  • Puzata Khata -- "Puzo" is Ukrainian for "belly," and a khata is a traditional Ukrainian hut or shack. If you're from the states this place is like Picadilli, or any other pay-per-plate cafeteria. Popular with locals for nostalgia and prices, prepare to be in a big line at peak hours on weekends. Food is usually great, and almost entirely traditional Ukrainian. Two people can eat like absolute pigs here for under $12. You'll be full for the rest of the day, guaranteed.

Three locations [I know of] -- across from Bessarabski Market; through the second arch to the right of the Khreshatik Metro station [past McDonald's, turn right through the big decorative arch]; and another on the corner of Sahaidachnoho Street, opposite Bohorodytsi Pyrohoschi [a square with a church on it]. There is another one at Kontraktova Square, close to Kontraktova metro station, at the end of a downhill walk from the Andrivskyj Uzviz.

  • Vesuvio Pizza, 3 locations - Reytarska 25 (Рейтарська), bulvar Shevchenko 2 (Шевеченко) - near Khreschatyk (Хрещатик), and Balzak 2a (Global Shopping Centre) (Бальзака, ТоргЦентр Ґлобал). Kyiv's first North American style pizza, probably the best in Kyiv. 25 types of pizzas, pan pizza and thin crust, pastas, lasagna, green salads, starting from approx. $5 per person incl drinks. Eat in, take out and delivery 235 6681 and 278 3028.
  • Shvydko (Швидко) (pseudo-national), Kartoplia (Картопля) (main dish: mashed potatoe with 1-3 of 30 different kinds of salads), MacSmak (МакСмак) (pizza)
  • "Two Geese" ("Два гуся")serves decent cafeteria-style meals. Look for the signs with two geese on yellow background. Sometimes there's a vintage car painted with their logo out front. Fast, decent, easy, all you have to do is point. No language skills needed.
  • Domashnia kukhnia (Домашня кухня, home kitchen) offers a buffet with typical Ukrainian food. Some say it's nice, others get sick of it. It's a favorite for Ukrainian students.
  • Celentano (Челентано) (pizza, salads)
  • Potato House (Картопляна Хата) chain - pseudo Mexican food
  • Mister Snack (містер снек) - cheap sanwich and salad chain. Also do hamburgers
  • Korchma Bud'mo (Корчма Будьмо), 22a, Mikhailivska str. (вул. Михайлiвська) - national ukrainian cuisine, simple, but tasty and cheap, pleasant atmosphere. All the major credit cards are accepted.

For anyone near Kyiv-Mohyla university, there's a small cafetria-style place down a few steps on the ground floor of a building on the main square (near Illins'ka st).

  • Viola's Bierstube (Виола) - cheap pub with a great variety of sausages and different meat meals. Also beer here is always good. (In the arc near with Bessarabka)


The leading supermarket chains are "MegaMarket" (МегаМаркет), "Furshet" (Фуршет), "Velyka kyshenya" (Велика кишеня), which are conveniently located to the city centre. The closest MegaMarket to town is on 50 Gorkoho (Горького). This MegaMarket is big but can get busy. Foodstuffs are available on the ground level, and non-food available on the first level. You have to go through the cashier on each level, which means two long lineups on busy days.

The closest Furshet to the city centre, and most central supermarket, is on the basement level of the Mandarin Plaza, which is at the back of Bessarbabsky Square. This supermarket stocks many imported goods, and also has five restaurants.

"Fora" (фора) is a popular chain of mini-marts that are widely distributed, particularly on the Left Bank side of the city. They are about the size of 7-11 and stock most staple items, including toiletries, bread, dairy, sweets, and of course alcohol. Plastic bags are available but are not free, and they do not take credit cards. Bag your own groceries.

Most bottled waters are gassed, similar to Club Soda in the US. To purchase regular bottled water, ask for Water Without Gas (VoDA bez gaza). A 500ml bottled water cost UAH 3-UAH 6 in August 2009, occasionally they will inflate the price to UAH 10 if you look like a rich tourist.

Do not forget to buy a few big jugs of bottled water such as Staryi Myrhorod (Старий Миргород) or Truskavetska (Трускавецька). Kyivskij tort (київський торт) is another thing you should eat in Kiev if you love cakes. Dark rye bread, Ryazhenka (Ряженка, ukrainian style yogurt), Kvas (Квас, fermented drink made of bread) could be also be interesting things to taste.

Chocolates, cakes, lollies, crisps and biscuits/cookies are widely available at low cost and very popular with Ukrainians - after years of being deprived western brands, snackfoods are becoming big business.

  • Corsair, on Sahaydachnoho (Сагайдачного) - about $17/person complete. Serves Mediterranean-inspired food.
  • Vesuvio Pizza, 3 locations - Reytarska 25 (Рейтарська), bulvar Shevchenko 2 (Шевеченко) - near Hreschatik (Хрещатик), and Balzaka (Global Shopping Centre) (Бальзака, ТоргЦентр Ґлобал). Kyiv's first Italian style pizza, probably the best in Kyiv. 25 types of pizzas, pan pizza and thin crust, pastas, lasagna, green salads, approx. $15 per person incl drinks. Eat in, take out and delivery 235 6681 and 278 3028.
  • O’Panas, Ševčenko Park, 10 Tereščenkivska, 235-2132. Open daily from 10PM till 1PM Traditional wooden restaurant, popular to tourists. Really good Blinčiki... try the mushroom ones. ($10-$20/person). If you just want to try the blinčiki, you can walk-up to a stand on the side of the restaurant and get them to go.
  • Tsimmus, 10/5 Sahaydachnoho for Ukrainian-Jewish food. [That's in the #10 building on the main street, but go around the corner to a side street where the street number would have been 5 had it not been attached to a building that already has an address] (about $20/person complete)
  • CCCP, over the road from the entrance to the Great Patriotic War memorial. This Soviet-theme restaurant has staff dressed in traditional costume and dozens of traditional dishes listed on the English-language menu. Try the Uzvar traditional drink made from smoked fruit. Expect to spend US$10 each for lunch; they also have a US$20 business lunch menu. It would be possible to spend a lot more though. Live traditional music and farm implements decorate the wall.
  • Lola Pizza, on Lva Tolstogo (Льва Толстого). The cost of a large pizza is about 100 UAH, and is a very generous size. You can eat in the cafe area or take-away.
  • Pica, Krasnoarmejskaja (Красноармeйская) - Could be classified as a budget restaurant. Lunch for two people, with one pizza, a soup, two salads and soft drink is around 140 UAH.
  • Kureni, 4, Parkova Alley - wonderful national restaurant with very tasty dishes. Dinner for five persons, including different appetizers, soups, main dishes and gorilka is around €135. It is situated on the bank of the Dnepr river and in summer it is very nice to get dinner in the garden, while in winter inside the main building you can enjoy view through large windows and fire from the fire-place. all the major credit-cards are accepted.

It's also worth checking out pubs and restaurants that offer business lunches during weekday lunch. These are set menus that usually cost around 40 UAH, and include soup, salad, meat dish and a drink.

  • Two Hares, at the top of Andreiski Uzviz. 19th-century themed place, good food. Have the rabbit pie (about 90UAH), which is served in a rabbit made of pastry.
  • Da Vinci Fish Club, Volodyrmyrski Street (Володимирський). Seafood orientated restaurant with an Italian influence. Very delicious food - a place to see and be seen. Cost around $60 per person, drinks extra. Metro: Zoloti Vorota
  • Mimino, on Spaska (Спаська). Based on the Soviet film of the same name about a Georgian pilot. The waitstaff are attired in 60s influenced flight attendant uniforms. Very nice Georgian food, mainly lots of meat. Good Georgian wine available also. Cost around $40 per person, drinks extra. Metro: Kontraktova Ploscha.
  • Sumosan, in The Premier Palace hotel. Sister restaurant to Sumosan in London. Decent sushi.
  • Nobu, 12 Shota Rustaveli Street. Good Japenese restaurant, but don't be fooled by the name it's not owned by famous chef Nobu Matsuhisa.
  • Concord - on the roof of the Donbass Centre at Lva Tolstogo Square
  • Decadence House - mostly a restaurant but also turns into a nightclub
  • Breakfast at the Premier Palace Hotel
  • Lun Van Chinese restaurant
  • Schnitzel Haus, ul Sakhanskoho 51.
  • Tapas Tapas Bar, ul Tarasovskaya 10a.
  • Ukrainian: There are many restaurants that claim to serve authentic Ukrainian food, but often they prepare Cossack food (which is basically the same, as they are Ukrainian ancestors.

Shynok : in the Pechersk district. 28v Lesi Ukrainki, very traditional food and furniture. 11.00-0.00. Shynok

Pervak : vul Rognidenska 2 , set lunch only 35-42 Uz .......

  • Irish: there are several Irish pubs, none authentic Irish, but OK if you're in need of a Guinness and X-pat company. One is located near Golden Gate (Zoloti Vorota) on Volodomyrska (called, eponymous, The Golden Gate Pub). Another (and the first in Kyiv) is O'Briens on Mykailovska (one of the streets running west off Maidan sq., the one to the right, with a branch of OTP Bank on the corner). Both are expensive by Kiev standards. A new one is open in Podil, on the corner of Gostyny Dvor, near the Dutch embassy (can't miss it as it's close to the bottom of Andryevsky) called the Belfast Pub. Other than these centrally located ones, others lie scattered around Kiev, these do not cater to the ex-pat crowd and have better prices than you expect to find in any 'western' country. Keep your eyes open.
  • Italian: Momento on Zlatoustovskaya (near the Circus), Napule on Mechnikova (near Metro station "Klovska")
  • Georgian: Mimino on Spasskaya (Podil)
  • Vietnamese: there are several restaurants, owned by a person from Vietnam (the cuisine is a comprise of "hits", rather than complete luncheon sets; considered above-average within local Vietnamese community; extremely expensive)
  • Chinese: There is a good one near Metro Universitet. It's called "Jiu Long", which means "Nine Dragons" (there is a fast food store upfront, but if you go through the arch, you will see an entire Chinese-style building, that's where the real restaurant is; quality is good and prices are lower than some other similarly fancy restaurants). If you don't care about price, go to "Lun Van" near Metro Teatralna. Other above-average venues (but be warned, no one who's experienced anything like the real thing will find satisfactory Chinese food in Kyiv) are Mandarin on a floating entertainment complex near the river port in Podil, and Vostok which is across the road from Mandarin.
  • Japanese: There's one called Hanoi which serves Japanese and Vietnamese food. It is located near Metro Arsenalna. The quality is quite high, although the prices are too. Further, you will find various sushi-bar-chains in Kyiv (namely Sushi-Ya, Murakami and Yakitoria)
  • King David Esplanadna 24 tel 044 235 7436 near the Central Synagogue, Glatt Kosher, many traditional Eastern European dishes. Many Vegetarian dishes. Open 10.00 to 23.00, closed Saturdays
  • Haiffa Kostiantynivska 57 Warning: Despite what some guide books (Bradt etc.) may say this restaurant no longer serves kosher food, it has been converted into a strip joint, but the signs from the kosher restaurant have not been removed. This is one of the things I love about wikitravel:up to date info.


There are several nice places in Kiev to get a drink. From small cafés that are only frequented by locals (they look dirty at first sight) to expensive places. Most locals buy some drinks (beer or vodka) at a stall in the street and drink it in a park, leaving their bottle for the homeless to collect and cash in. With this they often buy some chips or other salted things (I think it's squid, not sure, though tastes like seasalt).

As said in the Food section, Eric owns many venues. The prices are rather high for Kiev, which means quite reasonable by European standards. Beer is around $3, iirc.

  • Art club 44 (vul. Khreschatyk 44/b) it's a club that plays live music every day. Hard to find if you haven't been there. Go through the arch at Khreschatyk 44/b, there's a small Ukrainian-themed restaurant on the right (quite good actually), you need an unmarked door on the left. Or simply ask just about anybody between 18 and 35, they will probably know. Cover 20 UAH on Fri-Sat.
  • Viola's Bierstube (bulevard Shevchenka 1a) is also well hidden behind a dark door in a small alley.
  • Bar Fidel (Grushevskogo 4B, Kiev, Ukraine) Well worth checking out. DJ plays late on a friday night and there is some serious moshing and crowd surfing in what must be Kiev's lowest bar / club. Great fun, open till 5am.
  • Orech ("Walnut") (ul Bolshaya Vasilkovskaya 126) - small, good selection of local beers, used to serve unlimited free walnuts if you drink beer. Recently the walnut servings have been limited unfortunately.
  • Arena Bar & Sports bar (close to Bessarabsky market) - always a good place to meet other travelers and expats, and a good starting point for a night out.
  • If you looking for the all-out American in Kiev, then just drop into T.G.I. Friday's, the haven for any home-sick American. All staff speaks English, and the food has shapes you are familiar with. Again, just around Bessarabsky market (back-side). O'Briens, off Independence Square, has the same sort of thing.

There's another "brand" of cafés called "Babooin" ("Бабуин", means baboon). They had 3 places located in Kiev downtown, but now due to high rent fees the only one is still open:

  • Antresol (vul T. Shevchenko 2) - directly in the center, they offer a nice selection of food to your coffee or drink, and they have Wi-Fi during the day for free.

Military-themed bar Blyndazh (Блиндаж, means "entrenchment") at the basement of 15 Mala Zhitomyrska (200 m. off Maidan sq.). Small, cheap and popular, mostly student types.

There are two Belgian beer cafés. One is located across the road from the Golden Gate, close to the South Korean Delegation (Le Cosmopolite, Vladimirskaya Ul.). The other is close to the Olympic Stadium (Belle-Vue; Ul. Saksahanskoho 7). Prices range between normal western prices (1.3 Euro for 0.5L of Stella Artois) and splurge western prices (4.5 Euro for 0.33L of Leffe Blond). Service is in perfect English usually and they do serve Belgian beer and traditional Belgian food (expensive).

There are more theme cafés over Kiev, but they are often hard to find. Therefore try meeting English speaking people in the above mentioned cafés.


Kiev has a nice club scene. Ranging from very cheap to overly-expensive you can find what you want.

  • Tsar Project is an upscale lively place located close to the Water Museum. Expensive and pretentious, full of good-looking people though (beware of the face control, e.g. no sport shoes allowed).
  • Patipa is one of Kiev's dinosaurs, but still one of the most trendy and best visited clubs in Kiev.
  • Faberge also an upscale club, address Rybalska 22, similar to Chaikovsky Deluxe
  • A few popular venues are located at the Mandarin Plaza shopping mall (Arena Entertainment complex), rumored to be owned by Klitschko bros. The clubs include Arena, Sky Bar, Barsky and Grotesque. It's right next to Bessarabsky market, most of the clubs are accessible from the court.
  • Art Club 44 (see above) is packed on Friday and Saturday nights. Live music, mixed crowd of expats and local students.
  • Shooters, located on Moskovskaya 22, is currently one of the more traveler and X-pat friendly clubs (it belongs to a group of English X-pats). Not particuarly foreigner friendly, may ask where you are from if you do not understand Ukrainian and refuse entry citing "face control". (Perhaps expecting a bribe)
  • Xlib-club brings what is called cutting-edge music to Kiev. The club is neither expensive nor pretencious and exceedingly crowded on Friday and Saturday nights. Located in Podil - one of the most romantic districts in Kiev near the Dnieper river. Address Frunze 12.
  • TIU Hostels, (). In association with Hostelling International is the only independent chain of hostels in Ukraine owned and operated by backpackers. They are a collection of friends and travelers. Their aim is to improve standards, lower prices and develop a secure friendly hostel network throughout Ukraine. All their hostels have been inspected and licensed by the Hostelling International - Ukraine representative. All their hostels have Fully-Equipped Kitchens, Free Wi-Fi internet access, Friendly English-speaking staff, Common rooms with big-screen TVs and DVD libraries, Private Rooms, Frequent Pub Crawls, Security Lockers and Digital coded front door locks.  edit
    • TIU Kiev Backpackers, 18 Krasnoarmeyskaya Apt. 15 - Kiev City Center (+380 96 997 8398)
    • TIU Kreschatik, 8b Kreschatik Apt. 11 - On the Main Street next to the Independence Square (+380 50 331 1847)
    • TIU Kiev Central Station, 25 Gogolivska Apt. 15 - Closest hostel to the Train Station (+38 098 669 4783)
    • TIU Chillout Hostel, 22v Gorkogo Apt. 35
  • Kiev lodging Hostel, 5 Pushkinskaya str., 2nd floor, apt. 10, 04108, Kiev., +38-093-813-3958 (), [21]. checkin: 1200; checkout: 1300. Facebook name: Kiev Lodging Hostel Hostelukraine Kiev Lodging Hostel has a common room, free WiFi internet access and free cable TV. A tru backpacker hostel with English speaking staff. It is in the city centre 10 min from independence sq. (the main sq. They also have Chernobyl tours, AK 47 shooting and will take you out to the clubs at night.  edit
  • Diplomat Hotel, Zhilyanska street 59, [22]. The apartments offers fully renovated classic single and double rooms, each with ensuite facilities, including plated breakfast. All of the accommodations come equipped with individually controlled air conditioning, heating, desk, safe deposit box, mini bar, hairdryer, double glassed windows and satellite TV. Prices from 100USD  edit
  • Hotel Kozatskiy, 1/3 Mihaylivska Street (Kiev, 01001), +38 044 279 49 14, [23]. checkin: 13-00; checkout: 12-00. It is 3 stars hotel in the city centre (Independence Area). from $70 per night.  edit
  • Hotel Lybid', [24]. The Hotel Lybid' is a standard European hotel in Kiev at around US$115/night. It is a short Subway or Shuttle ride from the city center.  edit
  • President Hotel, Hospitalna Street 12, [25]. The President Hotel is a 4 star hotel with 325 rooms and 13 suites set out over 10 floors. Situated close to the city centre is in a cultural and historical quiet green area of Kiev. With your choice of either the fitness centre, leisure centre or health club. Prices starts from US$130/room/night  edit
  • City Park Hotel, 20-A, Vorovsky Str. (Kiev, Ukraine), +38 (044)503-7790, [26]. is a new boutique hotel located in the cultural, historical business part of Kiev.* Gintama Hotel, Trekhsvyatitelskaya Street 9, [27]. Centrally located boutique hotel with 23 rooms. Prices start from 180USD/room/night  edit  edit  edit
  • Hotel Rus, Hospitalna Street 4, [28]. One of oldest hotels in the city. Rooms are good, but service is Soviet. from US$183.  edit
  • Hotel Tourist, 2 R. Okipnoi St., Kyiv, Ukraine, 02002 ”). (metro station Livoberezhna), [29]. Rooms are good, but service is Soviet. Especially breakfast. reception ok, english speaking. Bring your own teabags or instant coffee. 29 floors.Restaurant with english menue. Close to Metro, market and shopping centre. Overlooking soviet style housing flats, view on city from 3 km away. strange bath tube. from 60 €.  edit
  • Hyatt Regency Kiev (Hyatt Regency Kiev), 5, A. Tarasova Street (in the centre of Kiev, overlooking Saint Sophia Square), +380 44 581 1234 (), [30]. Opened in June 2007, Hyatt Regency Kiev is a new 5 star luxury hotel in Kiev (Kyiv). The hotel offers great views of the cathedral and the old city and feautures a 25m indoor swimming pool, spa and fitness centre.  edit
  • InterContinental Kiev (Velyka Zhytomyrska 2A), Kiev (, +380442191919, [31]. InterContinental Kiev is the first InterContinental Hotel to be open in Ukraine. It is in Kiev city centre between three of the most famous churches of ancient Eastern Christendom – St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery, Saint Andrew's Church of Kiev and the St. Sophia Cathedral. The 11-storey hotel is designed by celebrated Ukrainian architect Sergey Babushkin. Its angular marble-and-glass façade is a blend of classical and contemporary features, highlighted by a three-metre statue of the Greek Goddess Nike (mythology) by Ukrainian sculptor Michael Reva. InterContinental Kiev has 272 deluxe rooms, five Ambassador Suites, Royal Suite and Presidential Suite, both overlooking St Michael’s Square.  edit
  • The Opera Hotel (The Opera Hotel), B. Khmelnystkoho Street, [32]. The Opera Hotel is on B. Khmelnystkoho Street its (5*) and member of the leading hotels of the world. Newly (2006) opened and owned by Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine's wealthiest billionaire. +500$ per night.  edit
  • The Premier Palace Hotel (The Premier Palace Hotel), [33]. The Premier Palace Hotel is nice 5-star hotel in a historic building, expect prices of over $500 per night.  edit
  • Kiev apartments Grata, 9a Mikhailivsky lane off.3, +38(044) 468 0757, [34]. checkin: 13.00; checkout: 12.00. Serviced apartments for business and vacation travellers. Car rental service, 24 hours support. $50. ($180,) edit
  • Accommodation Kiev, 3 Luteranska atr. of 58, +38(044) 414-8939, [35]. checkin: 13.00; checkout: 12.00. Completely equipped for for residing comfortable private apartments in the centre of Kiev. $60. ($350,) edit
  • Kiev Apartments, 11 Gorodetskogo St, office 34 (50 Meters from Kreschatyk Street), + 38-093-685-0076, [36]. checkin: 13:00; checkout: 12:00. Fully serviced private apartments next to Kreschtyk Street. Simple studios accommodating 1-2 people starting from $50 up to $350 for luxurious 5 bedroom units designed for large groups. High end properties feature Jacuzzi, outdoor patios, Saunas, etc. 50-350.  edit
  • Partner Guest House, 19 Baseina Street, +380 44 2285511, [37]. checkin: 13:00; checkout: 12:00. Modern brand new luxury apartments from $60 per night in the very heart of Kiev city centre - on Baseina Street. High-speed internet connection, English speaking staff, Jacuzzi, plasma TV-sets etc. Reception.  edit
  • UARent (Kiev Apartments Rent), 24 B Mykhaylivs'ka St Office 80a (first floor) Kiev 01001, +38044 278 8363, [38]. Comfortable fully furnished and fully equipped apartments in historical city center from Kiev lodging expert - UARent. Full range of hotel services: cleaning, transportation, guide-interpreter, laundry, food delivery etc. Reasonable rates.  edit

Stay safe

The usual "don't be stupid" advice seems to be adequate. Avoid drinking the water from the tap--bottled water is cheap and available everywhere (Morshinska/Морщинська is good). Kiev is a generally open and friendly city and stays lively until at least 11PM in most districts.

If you are female, and especially if you are traveling alone, try to take a taxi instead of public transit after 9 p.m. These are prime drinking hours and the metro and marshrutky may be crowded with drunken men. This is particularly true on the weekends. Ask a local English-speaker to call the taxi for you and get the amount of the fare in advance; drivers may greatly inflate the fare once hearing your accent.

Robberies and scams on tourists are fairly common in Kiev. The best approach is to be extremely selfish and ignore anyone who approaches you. Avoid eye contact with suspicious looking people. If you do get caught up in a scam (such as the infamous wallet scam or the "Look, I've just found money" scam or even if you are stopped by someone claiming to be a policeman), simply ignore the person and walk away, indicate that you want to call your embassy, or take them to the embassy to get the problem sorted. That will usually shake the person off.

If you areleaving your baggage in the station, it is better to leave it with the guys in person rather than use a locker. Stories have been heard of people 'assisting' with the locker and overseeing the code, then walking off with the bag afterwards.

On the metro, always keep your belongings securely zipped as close to your skin as possible. Pickpockets are highly organised and often in gangs that know what they are doing.

There are occasional (rare) reports of visitors being shaken down by corrupt officials, often customs officials. Naturally, the best protection is to make sure that you stay on the correct side of the law and, if there is any question, to keep your cool and not become argumentative. It seems that the cost of an error is surrendering the object in question and paying a "fine." The officials are skilled at ensuring that people who argue miss their flights. Making, or giving the impresion of making, a cellphone call to your country's embassy has been known to clear up "problems" quicker than actually paying the "fine." --- or petretend to have a very late flight :-)

Some thieves like to abuse new tourists, for example, by playing plainclothes cop. They are rarely aggressive. They will go to you only if you're walking alone and don't look too familiar with the town. A bit of resisting usually shakes them off (but not too muchm since you never know).

There is still some corruption in Ukraine; some services might openly ask you to bribe them to process your request, and denying it might make them refuse to help you.

The people are very tolerant and it is only reasonable to assume that they expect the same in return.



Mobile (cell) phones: GSM 900/1800 is used in Ukraine. This system is compatible with mobile phone networks used in Europe, most of Asia, Australia, New Zealand.

If you have unlocked GSM phone, you can get an ACE & BASE (Kyivstar) [39], Sim-Sim [40], Jeans (UMC/MTS) or Life:) [41] (Astelit) SIM card for a few dollars at street vendors which will give you a local number and free incoming calls. If you don't have an unlocked phone already, new ones can be had for USD 15-20 and a touch cheaper if you buy a pay-as-you-go sim card at the same time. Incoming calls are free in Ukraine so in extremis you can just SMS/text a request for a return call for a small charge.

T-mobile customers can get their (3 or 4-band) phones activated for travel, but the rates are unfriendly. If this is you, use SMS when you can.

If you are roaming in Kiev, SMS messages do work well. They are confirmed to work for US and UK T-mobile customers as well as UK Vodaphone customers and local Kyivstar customers. Do note that the size of the country and the relative low population densities of rural areas means that sometimes there are 'black-spots' where mobile/cell/handy's will not work. But of course these are away from the main cities/urban areas (and most of the main arterial road and rail routes also have reasonably consistent call signals)

If you are trying to call the US from your GSM phone, you may find that the access numbers for your calling card are blocked. Plan ahead and sign up with a callback service (such as UWT [42] **warning, lead-time required**) before you start your travels and you can provoke them to call you (at much more favaroable rates) when you need to make a call.


The easiest way to maintain internet connectivity if you use your own laptop is to buy a 7-day unlimited Lucky Internet callback card. They are about UAH36 at the street kiosks. When you dial in, you will be initially firewalled off from everything until you activate by visiting their website [43]

Internet cafes have a good service. They usually have different types of computers with varrying prices. A bit higher than the metrostation on ul Khmelnytskoho (on the left side at a corner) there is one that is very good, open 24 hours non stop. The cheapest computers cover your basic needs, the most expensive ones are usually for hardcore gamers.

Also most foreigner-friendly cafés (see "Drink" section above) offer free Wi-Fi.


Kiev was part of the former USSR. Some things work well and other things may be broken. There is no point in stressing about this. Arrive with that realization and be prepared to roll with a few surprises.

  • Canada, 31, Yaroslaviv Val St., Kyiv, Ukraine, 01901, (011 380-44) 590-3100 (, fax: (011 380-44) 590-3134), [44]. Monday to Friday: 08:30 - 13:00 and 14:00 - 17:00.  edit
  • United States, [45].  edit
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

KIEV, a city of Russia, capital of the above government, on the right or west bank of the Dnieper, in 50 0 27' 12" N. and 30° 30' 18" E., 628 m. by rail S.W. of Moscow and 406 m. by rail N.N.E. of Odessa. The site of the greater part of the town consists of hills or bluffs separated by ravines and hollows, the elevation of the central portions being about 300 ft. above the ordinary level of the Dnieper. On the opposite side of the river the country spreads out low and level like a sea. Having received all its important tributaries, the Dnieper is here a broad (400 to 580 yds.) and navigable stream; but as it approaches the town it divides into two arms and forms a low grassy island of considerable extent called Tukhanov. During the spring floods there is a rise of 16 or even 20 ft., and not only the island but the country along the left bank and thelower grounds on the right bank are laid under water. The bed of the river is sandy and shifting, and it is only by costly engineering works that the main stream has been kept from returning to the more eastern channel, along which it formerly flowed. Opposite the southern part of the town, where the currents have again united, the river is crossed by a suspension bridge, which at the time of its erection (1848-1853) was the largest enterprise of the kind in Europe. It is about half a mile in length and 522 ft. in breadth, and the four principal spans are each 440 ft. The bridge was designed by Vignoles, and cost about £400,000. Steamers ply in summer to Kremenchug, Ekaterinoslav, Mogilev, Pinsk and Chernigov. Altogether Kiev is one of the most beautiful cities in Russia, and the vicinity too is picturesque.

Until 1837 the town proper consisted of the Old Town, Pechersk and Podoli; but in that year three districts were added, and in 1879 the limits were extended to include Kurenevka, Lukyanovka, Shulyavka and Solomenka. The administrative area of the town is 13,500 acres.

The Old Town, or Old Kiev quarter (Starokievskaya Chast), occupies the highest of the range of hills. Here the houses are most closely built, and stone structures most abundant. In some of the principal streets are buildings of three to five storeys, a comparatively rare thing in Russia, indeed in the main street (Kreshchatik) fine structures have been erected since 1896. In the 11th century the area was enclosed by earthen ramparts, with bastions and gateways; but of these the only surviving remnant is the Golden Gate. In the centre of the Old Town stands the cathedral of St Sophia, the oldest cathedral in the Russian empire. Its external walls are of a pale green and white colour, and it has ten cupolas, four spangled with stars and six surmounted each with a cross. The golden cupola of the four-storeyed campanile is visible for many miles across the steppes. The statement frequently made that the church was a copy of St Sophia's in Constantinople has been shown to be a mistake. The building measures in length 177 ft., while its breadth is 118 ft. But though the plan shows no imitation of the great Byzantine church, the decorations of the interior (mosaics, frescoes, &c.) do indicate direct Byzantine influence. During the occupation of the church by the Uniats or United Greek Church in the 17th century these were covered with whitewash, and were only discovered in 1842, after which the cathedral was internally restored; but the chapel of the Three Pontiffs has been left untouched to show how carefully the old style has been preserved or copied. Among the mosaics is a colossal representation of the Virgin, 15 ft. in height, which, like the so-called " indestructible wall " in which it is inlaid, dates from the time (1019-1054) of Prince Yarosla y. This prince founded the church in 1037 in gratitude for his victory over the Petchenegs, a Turkish race then settled in the Dnieper valley. His sarcophagus, curiously sculptured with palms, fishes, &c., is preserved. The church of St Andrew the Apostle occupies the spot where, according to Russian tradition, that apostle stood when as yet Kiev was not, and declared that the hill would become the site of a great city. The present building, in florid rococo style, dates from 1744-1767. The church of the Tithes, rebuilt in 1828-1842, was founded in the close of the 10th century by Prince Vladimir in honour of two martyrs whom he had put to death; and the monastery of St Michael (or of the Golden Heads - so called from the fifteen gilded cupolas of the original church) claims to have been built in 1108 by Svyatopolk II., and was restored in 1655 by the Cossack chieftain Bogdan Chmielnicki. On a plateau above the river, the favourite promenade of the citizens, stands the Vladimir monument (1853) in bronze. In this quarter, some distance back from the river, is the new and richly decorated Vladimir cathedral (1862-1896), in the Byzantine style, distinguished for the beauty and richness of its paintings.

Until 1820 the south-eastern district of Pechersk was the industrial and commercial quarter; but it has been greatly altered in carrying out fortifications commenced in that year by Tsar Nicholas I. Most of the houses are small and oldfashioned. The monastery - the Kievo-Pecherskaya - is the chief establishment of its kind in Russia; it is visited every year by about 250,000 pilgrims. Of its ten or twelve conventual churches the chief is that of the Assumption. There are four distinct quarters in the monastery, each under a superior, subject to the archimandrite: the Laura proper or New Monastery, that of the Infirmary, and those of the Nearer and the Further Caves. These caves or catacombs are the most striking characteristic of the place; the name Pechersk, indeed, is connected with the Russian peshchera, " a cave." The first series of caves, dedicated to St Anthony, contains eighty saints' tombs; the second, dedicated to St Theodosius, a saint greatly venerated in Russia, about forty-five. The bodies were formerly exposed to view; but the pilgrims who now pass through the galleries see nothing but the draperies and the inscriptions. Among the more notable names are those of Nestor the chronicler, and Iliya of Murom, the Old Cossack of the Russian epics. The foundation of the monastery is ascribed to two saints of the 11th century - Anthony and Hilarion, the latter metropolitan of Kiev. By the middle of the 12th century it had become wealthy and beautiful. Completely ruined by the Mongol prince Batu in 1240, it remained deserted for more than two centuries. Prince Simeon Oblkovich was the first to begin the restoration. A conflagration laid the buildings waste in 1716, and their present aspect is largely due to Peter the Great. The cathedral of the Assumption, with seven gilded cupolas, was dedicated in 1089, destroyed by the Mongols in 1240, and restored in 1729; the wall-paintings of the interior are by V. Vereshchagin. The monastery contains a school of picturemakers of ancient origin, whose productions are widely diffused throughout the empire, and a printing press, from which have issued liturgical and religious works, the oldest known examples bearing the date 1616. It possesses a wonderworking ikon or image of the " Death of the Virgin," said to have been brought from Constantinople in 1073, and the second highest bell-tower in Russia.

The Podol quarter lies on the low ground at the foot of the bluffs. It is the industrial and trading quarter of the city, and the seat of the great fair of the " Contracts," the transference of which from Dubno in 1797 largely stimulated the commercial prosperity of Kiev. The present regular arrangement of its streets arose after the great fire of 1811. Lipki district (from the lipki or lime trees, destroyed in 1833) is of recent origin, and is mainly inhabited by the well-to-do classes. It is sometimes called the palace quarter, from the royal palace erected between 1868 and 1870, on the site of the older structure dating from the time of Tsaritsa Elizabeth. Gardens and parks abound; the palace garden is exceptionally fine, and in the same neighbourhood are the public gardens with the place of amusement known as the Chateau des Fleurs.

In the New Buildings, or the Lybed quarter, are the university and the botanical gardens. The Ploskaya Chast (Flat quarter) or Obolon contains the lunatic asylum; the Lukyanovka Chast, the penitentiary and the camp and barracks; and the Bulvarnaya Chast, the military gymnasium of St Vladimir and the railway station. The educational and scientific institutions of Kiev rank next to those of the two capitals. Its university, removed from Vilna to Kiev in 1834, has about 2500 students, and is well provided with observatories, laboratories, libraries and museums; five scientific societies and two societies for aid to poor students are attached to it. There are, besides, a theological academy, founded in 1615; a society of church archaeology, which possesses a museum built in 1900, very rich in old ikons, crosses, &c., both Russian and Oriental; an imperial academy of music; university courses for ladies; a polytechnic, with 1300 students - the building was completed in 190o and stands on the other side of Old Kiev, away from the river. Of the learned societies the more important are the medical (1840), the naturalists' (1869), the juridical (1876), the historical of Nestor the Chronicler (1872), the horticultural (1875), and the dramatic (1879), the archaeological commission (1843), and the society of church archaeology.

Kiev is the principal centre for the sugar industry of Russia, as well as for the general trade of the region. Its Stryetenskaya fair is important. More than twenty caves were discovered on the slope of a hill (Kirilov Street), and one of them, excavated in 1876, proved to have belonged to neolithic troglodytes. Numerous graves, both from the pagan and the Christian periods, the latter containing more than 2000 skeletons, with a great number of small articles, were discovered in the same year in the same neighbourhood. Many colonial Roman coins of the 3rd and 4th centuries, and silver dirhems, stamped at Samarkand, Balkh, Merv, &c., were also found in 1869.

In 1862 the population of Kiev was returned as 70,341; in 1874 the total was given as 127,251; and in 1902 as 319,000. This includes 20,000 Poles and 12,000 Jews. Kiev is the headquarters of the IX. Army Corps, and of a metropolitan of the Orthodox Greek Church.

The history of Kiev cannot he satisfactorily separated from that of Russia. According to Nestor's legend it was founded in 864 by three brothers, Kiy, Shchek and Khoriv, and after their deaths the principality was seized by two Varangians (Scandinavians), Askold and Dir, followers of Rurik, also in 864. Rurik's successor Oleg conquered Kiev in 882 and made it the chief town of his principality. It was in the waters of the Dnieper opposite the town that Prince Vladimir, the first saint of the Russian church, caused his people to be baptized (988), and Kiev became the seat of the first Christian church, of the first Christian school, and of the first library in Russia. For three hundred and seventy-six years it was an independent Russian city; for eighty years (1240-1320) it was subject to the Mongols; for two hundred and forty-nine years (1320-1569) it belonged to the Lithuanian principality; and for eighty-five years to Poland (1569-1654). It was finally united to the Russian empire in 1686. The city was devastated by the khan of the Crimea in 1483. The Magdeburg rights, which the city enjoyed from 1516, were abolished in 1835, and the ordinary form of town government introduced; and in 1840 it was made subject to the common civil law of the empire.

The Russian literature concerning Kiev is voluminous. Its bibliography will be found in the Russian Geographical Dictionary of P. Semenov, and in the Russian Encyclopaedic Dictionary, published by Brockhaus and Efron (vol. xv., 1895). Among recent publications are: Rambaud's La Russie epique (Paris, 1876); Avenarius, Kniga o Kievskikh Bogatuiryakh (St Petersburg, 1876), dealing with the early Kiev heroes; Zakrevski, Opisanie Kieva (1868); the materials issued by the commission for the investigation of the ancient records of the city; Taranovskiy, Gorod Kiev (Kiev, 1881); De Baye, Kiev, la mere des villes cusses (Paris, 1896) Goetz, Das Kiewer Hohlenkloster als Kulturzentrum des Vormongolischen Russlands (Passau, 1904). See also Count Bobrinsky, Kurgans of Smiela (1897); and N. Byelyashevsky, The Mints of Kiev. (P. A. K.; J. T. BE.)

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Alternative spellings

  • Kyiv, Kyjiv, Kyyiv


Russian Киев (Kíjev), from the name of a legendary founder, Кий (Kij). Compare Ukrainian Київ (Kýïv) < Кий (Kyj). (see Kyi, Shchek and Khoryv in Wikipedia)

More at Київ.

Proper noun

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  1. The capital of Ukraine.
  2. The medieval principality centred on Kiev; the Kievan state or Kievan Rus.
  3. Kiev province (oblast) of Ukraine.


  • (province): Kiev Oblast, Kyiv Oblast


Derived terms



Dutch Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia nl

Proper noun


  1. Kiev

Simple English

Coat of arms
File:Map of Ukraine political simple city

Kyiv or Kiev (Ukrainian: Київ) is the capital city of the country of Ukraine. Almost three million people live there.




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