Kiev has a long, rich, and often turbulent history that dates back to the 5th century. It is one of the oldest and historically richest cities in Eastern Europe. It is said that Kiev was founded by three brothers – Kyi, Shcheck, Khoriv, and their sister Lybid, leaders of the Polyanian tribe of the East Slavs. The eldest brother Kyi was bestowed with the honour of having the city named after him. In Ukrainian Kyiv means “city of Kyi”. History of Kiev started back in 882, where Kiev was a strong hillside fortress city which oversaw and guarded the main East European trade route via the River Dnieper which linked the Greeks and the Norse Vikings. It was a major centre for trade between the Mediterranean and Baltic nations.

In 1654 Pereyaslav agreement was signed, effectively submitting Ukraine to Moscow. What followed was a prolonged period of confusion and destruction which eventually lead to the Truce of Andrusovo in 1667. This agreement meant that Ukraine was divided between Poland and Russia. In 1686 yet another treaty was agreed by Poland and Russia called the Treaty of Eternal Peace, this gave complete control of Kiev to Russia. 

During the 18th and 19th centuries culture and education flourished and Kiev developed as a major focus for Ukrainian nationalism. Writers and intellectuals were inspired to revive Ukrainian language, culture and traditions none were more influential or important than Taras Hryhorovych Shevchenko (1814-1861) who is considered the greatest poet of Ukraine and founder of modern Ukrainian literature.

During the 19th century modern factory industry appeared and Kiev became integral to the expanding economic importance of Ukraine. In 1860 Kiev was connected by rail to Moscow and the Black Sea port of Odessa, establishing its growing importance for industry, commerce and administration

After World War II reconstruction and development was undertaken. The city prospered and its industrial base strengthened, but the people of Ukraine continued to suffer under Russian dictatorship. Stalin adopted a police state, ordering Mass exiles and executions against anyone opposing the state. Under the leadership of Khrushchev and Brezhnev, the Russian state intensified its efforts wipe out Ukrainian identity and to impose its own culture. The Ukrainian language was forbidden in parliament and education. This policy worked remarkably well, now Russian is spoken as the first language in Kiev and many other large cities in Central and Eastern Ukraine.

After 57 years as the capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union, Kiev became the capital of independent Ukraine in 1991.

Lately Ukraine has became a more and more a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. Plus a visa free regime for a short term basis makes it very easy to hop on a plane and enjoy a hassle free holiday without any paperwork to worry about.

Kiev or if to be more specific and correct its Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine. With its population of nearly 2,887,974 people.

The Ukrainian capital has two different spellings Kiev and Kyiv. People are trying to use Kyiv more and more often now in modern Ukraine, even though most major English-language news sources like the BBC, The Economist, and the New York Times continue to prefer Kiev, places like The White House has officially switched to Kyiv.

There are two main airports, Zhulianu is one of the two passenger airports of the Ukrainian capital and Boryspil, which considers main business aviation airport in Ukraine, and one of the busiest business aviation hubs in Europe. Boryspil Kyiv International will be used as a destination airport by A Game Changer Tour with a bus / car pick up outside the main entrance. There will be a person meeting you on arrival with your name on a card.

There are many duty-free shops once through security offering a wide variety of goods. Numerous cafes, restaurants and snack bars are available in terminals, with free WIFI, There is also a smoking zone once through security. In the arrivals lounge there are currency exchanges, ATM’s and banks.

The currency of Ukraine is the Hryvnia UAH and this can be withdrawn from the ATMs in the arrival’s hall.

The distance from the airport to the city centre is 35 km only, that will take you about 35-50 minutes, depending on traffic.

Once in Kiev, you will see it is located on both sides of the Dnieper River, which flows south through the city towards the Black Sea.

Sunbathing in Ukraine is an equally popular activity since the warmth of the sun makes a welcome change from the cold of winter. This is the one time during the year when Ukrainians can relax, soak up some vitamin D and catch a tan. People of all ages enjoy sunbathing along the various shorelines and riverbanks scattered throughout the country.

  • To refresh from everyday heat during the summer, people will make their way to the Dnieper River. This beautiful and long river stretches for miles and miles and features dozens of free public beaches.
  • If you are not a big fan of crowded beaches Kiev can offer you many options like beach Clubs. There you will find swimming pools, surrounded by comfortable bungalows and palm trees and a sandy beach of the Dnieper river with a range of beach-loungers.
  • If you are the kind of person who would not want to travel to the beach and who wishes to stay in the city and enjoy the swimming pool, there are few urban beach resort, practically in the centre of the city.

Kiev has a humid continental climate, with very hot summers and very harsh winters. The warmest months are June, July and August and the coldest being December, January and February.

In the summer, day time temperatures reach 25 to 30 degrees but sometimes it could be as high as 36 degrees, the summer months are usually dry with sunny spells most of the time but thunderstorms may occur, usually at the end of the day but do not normally last long. The best period is May till September, with warm days and cooler nights. The autumn period is a bit chilly, with more rain and wind. 

Don’t forget your swimwear for the summer and a warm coat with a hat, if you visiting in the winter.

Where To Go - Tourist Attractions

While being a cultural attraction, the monastery is once again active, with over 100 monks in residence. it is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Set on 28 hectares of grassy hills above the Dnipro River, this is simply the holiest ground in three East Slavic countries – Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.

Even if you are not religious or a big God believer, you have to visit and see the amazing architecture and underground caves.

Men are obliged to remove their hats, and wearing shorts and sleeveless T-shirts is forbidden.

Khreshchatyk is the main street of Kyiv. The street is 1.3 km long, it stretches from the European Square (northeast) through the Maidan and to Bessarabska Square (southwest) where the Besarabsky Market is located.

In the winter of 2004, Khreshchatyk and Maidan Nezalezhnosti became the centre of the main public protests of the Orange Revolution. Late 2013 Khreshchatyk also became one of the centre of the Euromaidan protests.

But nowadays Khreshchatyk is a popular attraction for tourists. During weekends and public holidays, the street is closed to road traffic and reserved for pedestrians. There are many up-market stores, cafés, and restaurants along the street.

Why visit metro, you would ask? Kiev metro is something different and unique. Explore the most beautiful of Kiev’s Soviet-time metro station, admire the extravagant decor, chandeliers and sculptures at the stations, including Zoloti Vorota (Eng. Golden Gate), with its iconic mosaics.

Arsenalna is currently the deepest station in the world (105.5 metres (346 ft). The escalator ride consists of two separate tunnels linked in between by a smaller hall. The ride on the escalators itself is one of the longest, up to five minutes. Also unique is the station's design which lacks a central concourse thus similar in layout to stations of the London Underground.

The descent, 720 metres (2,360 ft) in length, is constructed of laid cobblestones and connects Old Kyiv (Upper city) with Podil (Lower city). the street is once again thriving thanks to its unique topology, architecture, rich history and also many gift shops and small art galleries showcasing various paintings and sculptures by Ukrainian artists. According to legend, a man walked up the hill here, took out a cross and prophesied: 'A great city will stand on this spot'. That man was the Apostle Andrew, hence the name of Kyiv's steep cobbled street. Its highlight is the stunning gold and blue St Andrew's Church, a five-domed, cross-shaped baroque masterpiece that celebrates the apostle legend.

It's a functional monastery to this day and it is impossible to ignore the gold-domed blue church. Just look how beautiful it is. This is a must-see destination in Kiev! It is especially beautiful in June when the rose garden of the cathedral is in full bloom.

Where To Eat

Thanks to innovative entrepreneurs from Ukraine, visitors can now choose from a vast range of options of local and international cuisine. New establishments with new themes open regularly as the quality of food, service, and decor improve as well. Equally appetising moderately priced and budget options are widely available in all parts of the city. When the weather has warmed up sufficiently, many of the cafes and bars around the centre will set up outdoor seating.

Don’t miss out on a wide range of culinary experiences, from traditional Borshch to trendy dinners, Kiev has it all.

Top 10 Restaurants in Kiev

This popular restaurant is located near Lev Tolstoy square and it is a good choice both for lunch and dinner. The décor of stained glass windows and a giant chandelier, gives the place a very nice and cosy feeling. Velyka Vasylkivska vul. 21, Kiev, Ukraine, +380 44 234 2181
Located on Andrew’s Descent, one of Kiev’s most famous streets, Kanapa perfectly reflects the area’s historic and creative significance by serving modern reinterpretations of traditional Eastern European dishes like caviar and beetroot soup. 19 Andriyivskyy descent, Kiev, Ukraine, +380 44 425 4548
This place is a mix of traditional and modern. Hidden up a little alley on a quiet street you'll find this restaurant. Super relaxed and beautifully designed. Spotykach has the idea of bringing nostalgia and presenting it in a modern form, like blue and yellow coloured dumplings served as a Ukrainian flag or dishes packed into metal tubes like an astronaut's food. Customers loving their cosmic napoleon cake 16 Volodymyrska, Kiev 01601, Ukraine, +380 44 586 4095
You must visit this restaurant, on the 8th floor of the Hyatt Hotel, excellent location, beautiful views, perfect spot to have an amazing dinner and enjoy the sunset. Tarasovoi Ally 5 | Hyatt Regency Hotel, 8th floor, Kiev 01001, Ukraine, +380 44 581 1234
A unique experience named in honour of the American actor-director Quentin Tarantino. The décor is modern-Hollywoodish on two floors. The menu is reasonably priced and the staff are very friendly and able to communicate in English. Sagaidachnogo St., 35, Kiev 04070, Ukraine, +380 44 353 6703
Translating from Russian means “Favourite Uncle” can offer you a great oriental cuisine in a nice setting. Wonderful food, simple when needed and spicy if you ask for it. Pankovskaya St., 20, Kiev, Ukraine, +380 67 506 3198
Italian food in beautiful surroundings! Not only is there a cosy restaurant but across the street is a fenced in dining area complete with a fountain that creates a nice and relaxed atmosphere Il`inskaya St, 18, Kiev 03115, Ukraine, +380 67 214 1818
Authentic Italian fare in the heart of Kyiv. Choose from a variety of classic dishes including fresh leafy salads, lasagne, penne, spaghetti, grilled salmon and ribs. The authentic Italian-style pizzas come topped with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, prosciutto, oregano, etc., and are baked next to an open flame in an old-style oven. Chervonoarmiis'ka St., 49A, Kiev, Ukraine, +380 98 114 3300
It's a nice and cosy restaurant offering traditional Georgian food and wine. The prices are moderately average and the interior amazing to marvel at. You should definitely try Khachapuri, the combination of soft, tasty dough and melted warm cheese is amazing there! Velyka Vasylkivska vul. 44, Kiev 01004, Ukraine, +380 50 425 0404
Established a decade ago this restaurant has a high standard. Take a trip back in time to early 20th century Kyiv. Friendly waiting staff in costumes serve up a variety of hearty Ukrainian dishes with inventive names. Rognedinskaya St., 2, Kiev 01004, Ukraine, +380 44 235 0952

Kiev Nightlife

Kiev’s nightlife scene has seen dramatic growth in the last couple of years, with many new clubs and bars opening in the city. The capital of Ukraine is famous with its luxury nightclubs, good bars and beautiful ladies. There are all kinds of entertainment in the capital of Ukraine: disco night clubs, karaoke restaurants, lounge luxury restaurants, pubs with live music, lounge bars on rooftops with panoramic views of Kiev, strip clubs and exquisite restaurant-ship on the Dnieper river with Ukrainian traditional food. Most of these places are open until 6am.

In summer, there are artificial beaches with swimming pools and disco parties day-and-night. Same parties on the real beaches on the Dnieper river.

It is a large entertainment complex in Kiev city centre and a home to a number of clubs, bars, pubs and restaurants. Arena is partially owned by the famous boxers – Klitchko brothers frequently make an appearance at the first floor sports bar.

The luxurious club, named after its location on the upper floor of Arena city, offers the rich and famous spectacular views of the city centre. The place is more of a lively lounge bar than a nightclub, but it has a dance floor surrounded by comfy seating, there is also a karaoke lounge and a summer terrace

Caribbean Club Is one of the oldest clubs in Kyiv. It was opened first in 1998. Today Caribbean Club is a unique place in Kiev. There are concerts and parties every day. The place is very popular for its Latin American music and can be described as the most famous and popular one.

From its state-of-the-art space in the centre of Kiev, Shooters provides a music program specializing in various genres of music. Kiev’s Shooters is a great place to relax with friends. Shooters is a breath of fresh air in Kiev’s dense nightlife scene, offering a laid back casual nightlife experience with good crowds and well-priced drinks.

This location has a special atmosphere of rampant fun and the main attraction – its a fiery Coyote Girls, who pour drinks and dance on the bar counter from 20.00 till morning. You can enjoy not only the most spacious bar counter of the city, but also lounge area.

When it’s time to really party, the D*Lux Nightclub will give you an unmatched experience in clubbing. This two-level spacious party domain can comfortable accommodate up to 1000 excited and energetic guests. Live shows and visiting internationally renowned DJs keep the energy level peaked into the daybreak morning. A large dance floor and a comfortable and ample seating area help make the night a pleasant and enjoyable party experience.