The average temperature in January is about minus 6.1 degrees Celsius, and plus 19.2 degrees C in July.
Kiev is a green city
Situated within the city limits are:
- the Botanical Garden named after Academician O.V. Fomin;
- the Central Botanical Garden of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine;
- Syretsky Dendrological Park;
- The Zoo;
- Several natural and artificial parks.
The total area of green space is 43,600 hectares - about 168 sq. meters per one resident.
The city is served by a relatively good transportation network. Trunk railways and highways link it to Moscow, Kharkov and the Donets Basin, southern and western Ukraine, and Poland. Within the city itself, there is an efficient subway, rail, and bus service.
The Dnieper River is navigable about nine months of the year, and Boryspil international airport operates flights to other Ukrainian cities and to Europe, Asia, and North America.
As the capital of Ukraine, Kiev has major administrative functions, and its ministries employ a considerable number of people. It is also an important industrial center, producing a wide range of goods.
Kiev was founded in the 8th century. By the late 9th century, its princes established their suzerainty over several other East Slavic principalities and founded the state called the Kievan Rus.
Throughout the history of the Kievan Rus, the town was engaged in ceaseless warfare against the Khazars, Pechenegs, and other nomadic peoples of the steppes.
In the late 12th century, its power declined in the face of neverending nomad attacks and warfare with other Slavic princes. In 1240, the town was completely destroyed by the Tatars of the Golden Horde under Batu, the grandson of Genghis Khan. Thereafter, Kiev passed to the control of Lithuania, of Poland, and then of the Cossacks.
In 1793, it was incorporated into the Russian state. In 1917, the Ukrainian SSR was formed. Kiev became its capital in 1934.
The center of the city was destroyed during the World War II, but, after the war, it was repopulated and fully restored, regained its position as a major industrial and cultural center of Ukraine.
The city originally occupied the high and steep right (west) bank of the Dnieper River. But, since the World War II, rapid growth extended Kiev onto the wide low flat floodplain on the left bank.
Local industry is the concentration of over 350 large industrial enterprises, mainly in machine-building, food processing and consumer goods industry. Also, Kiev has a powerful building (construction) industry.
Engineering industries - including manufacturing of complex machinery, precision tools and instruments - are of primary importance. Chemical, consumer-goods, food-processing, lumber-milling, and publishing industries play an important role.
The most important center of research and education in Ukraine, Kiev is home to many universities, colleges, and research institutions, notably, the Kiev State University of T.G.Shevchenko (1834) and the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.
Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada)
Kiev attractions in brief
The focus of present day Kiev is its ancient Upper Town, crowning the high bluff above the Dnieper River. It has most of survived historical and architectural monuments.
The Cathedral of St. Sophia, built in the 11th-century, one of the most beautiful examples of the Russo-Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture, and the striking 18th-century Baroque Church of St. Andrew are both state museums nowadays.
Other survived relics include the ruins of the 11th-century Golden Gate, the 18th-century Zaborovskyy Gate, and the 19th-century five-domed Desyatynna Church, built on the site of a church founded by St. Vladimir in the 10th century.
The axis of the center of Kiev is the tree-lined Kreshchatyk, the main shopping street. A lot of the museums and theaters are located within and adjacent to the former Old Town.
Russian and Ukrainian drama can be seen at the Shevchenko Theater of Opera and Ballet, the 12,000-seat Palace of Sport, and open-air theaters. Musical concerts are given regularly at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory.
To the north of the Old Town, there is a former Jewish and trading quarter, Podil with a river port. To the Old Town’s south and along the top of the riverbank, there is the Percherskiy district.
This area has many administrative buildings. At the southern end of the district, there is the 11th-century Kyevo-Pecherska Lavra (the Monastery of the Caves), where the monk Nestor wrote the earliest survived Russian chronicle.
Beneath the monastery, a system of catacombs stores mummified bodies of monks and saints, including the body of Nestor. Surrounding these central districts and extending to the west bank of the Dnieper River, there are suburbs of factories and residential neighborhoods.
In the Kiev downtown, there is a picturesque mountain skiing hill with 2 elevators. It is open from November till April. You can always spend your spare time there. The upper part of the hill is very steep, but the lower part is sloping - a skier of any class will find what to do there.
Having a break, you can spend some time in small restaurants where you can find traditional Ukraine cuisine and hot coffee. Or you can sit on open place watching “shashlik” being fried for you.
Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosty)
Music school for children
The city has plenty of various places of interest, here are some of them.
Churches and Monasteries
St. Sophia Cathedral. The oldest preserved architectural monument of ancient Russia, one of the largest Christian churches of its time. The cathedral was founded by Prince Vladimir the Great in 1011.
This grand cathedral was built by Byzantine masters. The Cathedral of St. Sophia in Constantinople was the model of it. The cathedral gained its current style of the Ukrainian Baroque after reconstruction made in the 17th century.
St. Sophia Cathedral is in the list of World Heritage Sites. Around the cathedral, you can see monastic buildings of the 17th-18th centuries. Vladimirskaya Street, 24. Opening hours: 10:00-17:30 (Wednesday: 10:00-16:30), day off - Thursday.
Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. The oldest monastery of ancient Russia, the main center of Russian Orthodoxy, the object of world cultural heritage. The monastery was founded by Anthony of Pechersk as a cave monastery in 1051.
The Great Lavra Bell Tower (1731-1745) is the highest point in Kiev (96.5 meters, 374 steps). It is open to the public. You can also visit the caves. On the territory of the monastery, there are several museums. At the entrance to the monastery, you can find a tour desk selling guidebooks in different languages.
When visiting churches and caves, women should be in skirts below the knee, and with their heads covered (at the entrance to the caves, you can rent a skirt). I. Mazepa Street, 21-25. Opening hours: 9:00-19:00 (in winter - 9:30-18:00).
St. Michael Cathedral. This cathedral is dedicated to the Archangel Michael, who is considered to be the protector and patron of Kiev. The cathedral was built in the 12th century. It was almost completely destroyed during the Soviet era in 1934-1937. In 1999, it was rebuilt. Trehsvyatitelskaya (Three Saints) Street, 6.
St. Andrew Church. This Baroque pearl is the main attraction of St. Andrew Descent. Opening hours: 13:00-17:00, day off - Wednesday.
St. Cyril Church. It is a unique monument of architecture and art founded in the first half of the 12th century. Frescoes of the 12th century are almost completely preserved. O. Telihy Street, 12-B. Opening hours: 10:00-17.30, day off - Friday.
St. Vladimir Cathedral. This cathedral, built in 1882, is a classic example of the Russian-Byzantine style of temple architecture. The height of the cross of the main dome is 49 meters.
Since 1992, it is the main cathedral of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kiev Patriarchate. T. Shevchenko Boulevard, 20. Opening hours: 9:00-18:00.
St. Nicholas Catholic Church. Two 60-meter medieval Gothic towers of the church are richly decorated with sculptures made of artificial stone. Since Soviet times, the church is used as the House of Organ and Chamber Music. In 1992, the service was resumed. B. Vasilkovskaya Street, 75.
Pokrovsky Convent. The main building is the magnificent Cathedral of St. Nicholas (1911), designed by architect V. Nikolaev in traditional forms of ancient Russian architecture. Behterevsky Lane, 15.
Florovskiy Convent. It is the oldest existing convent in Kiev. Pritisko-Nikolskaya Street, 5.
Vydubitsky (Saint Michael) Monastery. It is one of the first monasteries in Kiev. Vydubitskaya Street, 40.
The Theophany. Beautiful countryside located on the southern outskirts of Kiev. This area has the status of a monument of landscape art. The park is a popular place of rest among city residents. Academician Lebedev Street.
The Central Botanical Garden. The National Botanical Garden occupies an area of about 130 hectares. Landscaped and botanical sites show different parts of Ukraine. The collection of plants consists of more than 10 thousand species.
In the greenhouse complex, you can find exotic tropical and subtropical plants. The park is especially popular in spring. Timiryazevskaya Street, 1. Opening hours: 8:00-21:00 (in winter - until dusk).
Kreschatiy (Kupecheskiy) Park. In the water tower (1877) located nearby, there is a museum of water. The building resembling a fairy tale castle next to it is the new building of the Kiev Puppet Theater.
The park is connected with the Tsar’s Garden by sixty-meter Park Bridge - one of the most romantic places in Kiev. The observation deck offers a beautiful view of the city. Vladimirskiy Descent, 2.
Pechersk Landscape Park (also known as Pevcheye Pole - “the field for singing”). The park is situated on the slopes of the Dnieper River. It is located between Kiev-Pechersk Lavra and the National Museum of the Great Patriotic War.
The park regularly hosts exhibitions of flowers, and music festivals on Pevcheye Pole. I. Mazepa Street, 31. Opening hours: 9:00-21:00.
Kiev in Miniature. This collection of miniature models of the most famous sights of Kiev is located in the park on the banks of the Dnieper River, on the territory of the hydropark.
You can see 48 models of the most recognizable buildings, monuments and structures in scale 1:33. The park is open all year round. Brovarskoy Avenue, 9-v. Opening hours: 10:00-19:00 (Saturday, Sunday 10:00-20:00).
Syretsky Arboretum. It is a monument of landscape architecture. The arboretum doesn’t have its own entrance. To get on its territory, it is necessary to pass through a checkpoint of an agricultural firm “Kvity Ukraine”. Tiraspolskaya Street, 43. Opening hours: 10:00-17:00 (Saturday, Sunday 10:00-16:00).
Bulgakov Museum. The museum is open in the so-called “house of Turbins”, where the writer lived from 1906 to 1919. The heroes of the novel “The White Guard” were living in this house. St. Andrew Descent, 13. Opening hours: 10:00-18:00 (in winter 10:00-17:00), day off - Wednesday.
The Museum of the Great Patriotic War. This grandiose memorial complex was built in 1981. The colossal 62-meter statue of the Motherland (102 meters with a pedestal) is made of special stainless steel.
Special lift takes you to the observation deck (37 meters), and by special arrangement - to the top of the shield (92 meters). The museum has an interesting exhibition of military equipment and weapons. Lavrskaya Street, 24. Opening hours: 10:00-17:00, day off - Monday.
The Museum of Folk Architecture in Pirogovo. It is one of the largest open-air museums in the world, a popular holiday destination. The museum displays landscapes, architecture and rural life of different regions of Ukraine.
In total, the collection includes more than 300 wooden buildings of the 17th-20th centuries, brought from different parts of the country. Pirogovo Village. Opening hours: 9:00-17:00, day off - Wednesday.
The Aviation Museum. It is the largest technical museum in Ukraine, located near the airport “Zhulyany”. The museum has almost all main types of aircraft of the Soviet civil aviation and the Air Forces of the USSR. Medovaya Street, 1. Opening hours: 10:00-19:00 (in winter - 10:00-16:00).
The Museum of History of Ukraine. The museum funds include 600 thousand exhibits reflecting all periods of the development of society in the country. It has a unique collection of Scythian gold. Vladimirskaya Street, 2. Opening hours: 10:00-17:30, day off - Wednesday.
The Museum of Art. One of the oldest and largest museums in Ukraine with a unique collection of paintings and sculptures (about 40 thousand exhibits). Grushevskiy Street, 6. Opening hours: 10:00-18:00, day off - Monday, Tuesday.
The Museum of Medicine. The exhibition shows the development of medicine in Ukraine from ancient times to the present day. The museum has a lot of paintings on the topic.
It is one of the biggest and most original museums of medicine not only in Ukraine but also in Europe. B. Khmelnytsky Street, 37. Opening hours: 10:00-17:30, day off - Sunday.
The Museum of Military History. The museum is devoted to the development of warfare: the Cimmerian-Scythian period, the Kievan Rus, the Cossack era, the World War I, the National Liberation Fight, the World War II, the Cold War, the armed forces of the independent Ukraine. Grushevskiy Street, 30/1. Opening hours: 10:00-18:00 (Friday 10:00-17:00), day off - Monday.
The Museum of Contemporary Art. It is the first private museum in Ukraine exhibiting works of contemporary Ukrainian artists. The collection includes over 4,500 unique exhibits. Glubochitskaya Street, 17. Opening hours: 11:00-19:00, day off - Monday.
Khanenko’s Museum. The museum has a collection of Western European art of the 14th-18th centuries (paintings, drawings, sculptures), and a huge collection of art of the Middle and Far East. Tereschenkovskaya Street, 15-17. Opening hours: 10:30-17:30, days off - Monday, Tuesday.
The Museum of Natural History (Zoology). The museum brings together five museums: archaeological, geological, paleontological, zoological, and botanical.
The exhibition includes more than 30 thousand exhibits telling us about the origin of the Earth, its structure and evolution, plant and animal life, and the history of material culture of the tribes and peoples who lived on the territory of Ukraine. B. Khmelnytsky Street, 15. Opening hours: 10:00-17:00, days off - Monday, Tuesday.
Chernobyl Museum. The exhibition is devoted to the Chernobyl accident occurred in 1986. About 7 thousand exhibits are presented (declassified documents, maps, photographs, special equipment, personal belongings of liquidators, and items from the exclusion zone).
Also, there is a three phase diorama “The Chernobyl nuclear power plant before, during and after the accident” as well as a working model of power unit of the station. Khoriva Lane, 1. Opening hours: 10:00-17:45, day off - Sunday.
The Museum of Russian Art. The exhibition reflects all stages of the development of Russian painting from the 13th century to the present day. The pride of the museum is a unique collection of Mikhail Vrubel’s works.
Also, there is a fairly extensive collection of great masters of almost all former Soviet republics. Tereschenkovskaya Street, 9. Opening hours: 10:00-18:00, days off - Monday, Thursday.
Kiev Fortress. This museum complex on the basis of one of the world’s largest preserved stone-earthen forts was founded in 1927. Gospitalnaya Street, 24-a. Opening hours: 10:00-18:00, day off - Monday.
The House with Chimeras. The house is located on a steep slope. That’s why on one side it has three floors, and on the other - six. The facades are decorated with sculptures on the theme of ancient myths and hunting served as the first advertisement of a new building material - cement. Bankovskaya Street, 10.
Mariinsky Palace. One of the most beautiful palaces in Ukraine. This Baroque building was constructed in 1750-1755. Nowadays, the palace is the ceremonial residence of the President of Ukraine. Excursions are organized by the museum of Kiev history. Grushevskiy Street, 5-a.
The Opera House. The National Opera of Ukraine named after T. Shevchenko is one of the most famous opera and ballet scenes in Europe. The building was constructed in the French Renaissance style. In 1911, here, in front of Nicholas II and the public, Stolypin, the Prime Minister of the Russian Empire, was killed. Vladimirskaya Street, 50.
The National Bank of Ukraine. It is a magnificent building constructed in the style of the Italian Renaissance. On Wednesdays and Fridays after 14:00, you can go on a tour to the Museum of Money (written application is required).
The exposition is devoted to the circulation of money in the Ukrainian lands from ancient times to the present day. A special permit is also required to visit the Museum of Treasures “Treasury of Ukraine”. Institutskaya Street, 9.
The Golden Gate. It is one of the few preserved monuments of ancient fortifications of Kiev. Vladimirskaya Street, 40-a. Opening hours: 10:00-18:00 (from May to September).
Prince Vladimir Monument. The oldest sculptural monument in Kiev, one of the symbols of the city. Vladimirskiy Descent, 1 (“Vladimir’s Hill” park).
Bohdan Khmelnitsky Monument. One of the oldest and most prominent monuments in the city, the hallmark of Kiev. Sofia Square.
Kiev Founders Monument. The monument is erected in the park, on the bank of the Dnieper River.
According to an ancient legend, Kiev was founded by three brothers - Kiy, Scheck and Horiv - and their sister Lybid. The sculptural composition is made in the form of a boat with the figures of the founders. Naberezhnoye Highway, Navodnitsky park.
The Memorial to the Victims of the Holodomor. The memorial complex is located in the Park of Glory over the Dnieper River. I. Mazepa Street, 15-a.
Other places of interest
Maidan Nezalezhnosty (Independence Square). The main square of the city, a symbol of freedom.
Khreschatyk. It is the main street of Kiev, the most popular walking place of local residents from the 19th century and to this day. On weekends and public holidays, Khreschatyk becomes a pedestrian zone. Concerts and other public events are held here.
St. Andrew Descent. This historic street connects the Upper Town with the Podil. This is the place where you can feel the spirit of the old Kiev. There are museums, theaters, art galleries, antique shops, restaurants and cafes on this street. Also, it is occupied by artists and vendors of souvenirs, a lot of tourists come here.
More Interesting Places…
Starokievskaya (Old Kiev) Mountain. The historical center of Kiev. It is the place where, according to a legend, Prince Kyi founded his city in the 5th century. Vladimirskaya Street , 2.
Mamai Sloboda. This cultural and entertainment center is a reconstruction of the Cossack village of the 18th century. The complex is named after the legendary Cossack Mamai, one of the most popular characters of Ukrainian folk tales. M. Donets Street, 2. Open: Saturday, Sunday.
Peyzazhnaya (Landscape) Alley. Since 2009, the sculptor Constantin Skretutsky is decorating this alley by fabulous characters: strange cats, elephants, giant sparrows, etc. Desyatinny Lane.
PinchukArtCentre. It is an international center for contemporary art. B. Vasilkovskaya Street, 1-3, Arena-City. Opening hours: 12:00-21:00, day off - Monday.
Kiev Cableway. In 1905, this exotic transport connected the Upper Town with the Podil. It was the second cableway in the Russian Empire after the one in Odessa. Sagaydachniy Street, 3 (Postal Square). Opening hours: 7:00-23:00 (weekends - from 8:00, in winter - 22:00).
The Puppet Theater. Beautiful building of the theater constructed in the form of a fairytale castle is located in Kreschatiy Park. The theater has an exhibition of dolls. Nearby, there is a light and music fountain “Thumbelina”. Grushevskiy Street, 1-a. Opening hours: ticket-office - 11:00-19:00 (break: 14:00-15:00), day off - Monday.
Kontraktovaya Square. In the 13th-18th centuries, this square was the center of the city and the main place for trade fairs.
The city has a lot of hotels. Here are some of them of the middle price category and with positive reviews of the visitors.
Hotel “Rus Accord Hotel”. The hotel is located in the center of Kiev, in a green area on the hill above the stadium “Olympic”, a ten minute walk from Khreschatyk. The complex includes a beauty salon, Thai massage, fitness room.
450 comfortable rooms, including 36 deluxe rooms overlooking the city. Most rooms have a personal safe and internet access. There are rooms for non-smokers, people with disabilities, people with allergies.
The hotel has an Italian restaurant “Venice”, a banquet hall “Rus” with traditional European and Ukrainian cuisine. The price includes breakfast, Wi-Fi, parking. Additional services: currency exchange, excursions, transfer, car rental. Hospitalna Street, 4. Phones: +38 044 256 40 00 , +38 044 256 40 20 (reservation), +38 044 256 40 79 (reservation).
Hotel “Lavilia”. This cosy hotel is located near the center of Kiev in an ecologically clean Goloseevo area famous for its parks, clean air and developed infrastructure. Finnish sauna, massages, theme nights and cooking classes.
27 rooms of different categories. The hotel is designed in bright warm colors, all rooms have different styles. The price includes breakfast, Wi-Fi, parking. It is not allowed to smoke in the hotel. Uspishna Street, 20. Phones: +380 67 329 39 84 , +380 44 229 42 49 , +380 44 351 22 40.
Hotel “Bratislava”. The hotel is located on the left bank of Kiev near the metro station “Darnitsa” and a park, close to the historical and architectural monuments.
327 rooms of different level of comfort. There is a spacious restaurant with Ukrainian and European cuisine. Additional services: 5 meeting rooms, business center, internet, beauty salon, taxi call, currency exchange. A. Malyshka Street, 1. Phones: + 38 044 537 39 99, +38 044 543 84 46 , +38 044 537 39 75 (reservation).
Hotel “Lybid”. The hotel is located in the center of Kiev on Peremohy (Victory) Square, near the circus, about one kilometer from the railway station.
273 rooms, including 32 deluxe rooms and three and four bedroom apartments. There are floors with rooms for non-smokers.
There is a restaurant with European and national Ukrainian cuisine. Additional services: 3 conference rooms, business center, tours, gift shop, hair salon, dry cleaning, laundry and currency exchange. Peremohy Square, 1. Phones : +380 44 239 7600 , +380 44 236 0063 , +380 44 236 9572 (reservation), +380 44 236 6023 (reservation).
Hotel “Park Inn by Radisson Troyitska”. The high-rise building of the hotel is located in the center of Kiev, near the sports complex “Olympic” and the metro station. The hotel offers modern conference rooms, meeting rooms, fitness center. Underground parking has 500 parking places.
199 comfortable rooms of different categories with Wi-Fi, individual climate control. All-day restaurant offers burgers, pizza, and the best dishes of Ukrainian cuisine. Also, there is a sports bar with panoramic views of the city on the top floor of the building. Velyka Vasylkivska Street, 55. Phone: +7 495 961 2200.
Hotel “Tourist”. 27-story hotel building is standing on the left bank of the Dnieper River, near the metro station “Livoberezhna”, close to the International Exhibition Center.
377 rooms of three categories. The price includes breakfast, Wi-Fi in the hotel lobby and restaurant. Additional services: 2 conference rooms, business center, hair salon, gym, massage. R. Okypnoy Street, 2. Phones: +380 44 568 42 54, +380 44 568 40 17 (reservation).
Hotel “Mir”. The hotel is located in a 10 minute drive from the historical center of Kiev near Holosiivskyi Park. The nearest metro station “Holosiivskyi” is located directly at the entrance to the hotel.
270 comfortable rooms of different categories with air conditioning, satellite TV, phone, Wi-Fi. There are 3 restaurants and a lobby bar. Additional services: fitness center, 4 meeting rooms, translation services, ATM, currency exchange, beauty salon, tours, transfer, car rental. 40-richya Zhovtnya Avenue, 70 (Holosiivskyi Avenue). Phone: +38 044 520 26 09.
Hotel “Bakkara”. The hotel is standing on the bank of the Dnieper River in the Hydropark area.
200 comfortable rooms of different categories. There is a restaurant overlooking the river offering European, Japanese, Italian and Ukrainian cuisine. The price includes breakfast, Wi-Fi, secure parking.
Additional services: a conference room, business center, laundry, currency exchange, ATM, booking tickets, transfer, car rental, river trips. Venice Island, 1, Hydropark metro station. Phones: +38 044 369 31 31, +38 044 369 32 32 (reservation).