10 Reasons Why I Fell In Love with Kiev, Ukraine

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I spent 7 days in Kiev, Ukraine in October, 2015. In this post, I’m going to share with you my experiences and tell you why this city stole my heart.  

My biggest goal in writing this post is to spread the message to the world that Kiev is a spectacular city and I highly recommend you to visit here.  


General Thoughts about Kiev

If you follow me on any social media channels, then you already know how obsessed I am with Ukraine’s capital city. I have now been to every capital city in Europe and I can proudly say that Kiev is in my Top 3 favorite.

As I’m writing this post from a coffee shop in Kiev, I’m on the final day of my 13-week Eurotrip across some 26 countries and more than 50 cities. It’s been a crazy journey with lots of ups and downs (mostly ups), but I’m thrilled to complete this chapter of my life in such a fascinating city.

“But why on Earth would you go to Ukraine? Isn’t is unsafe?”

…. This was the message that several people warned me before my trip via emails, Instagram comments and messages.

Sure, there was a big Revolution here in January 2014, where several people were killed and tempers were flaring, but doesn’t something like this happen in many other countries too?  Does that always mean that it’s unsafe to visit these places?

My point is, just because of one event in the past doesn’t mean that it’s unsafe to travel to Ukraine today, despite what the media will tell you.  I will admit that the situation is a bit more tense on the Eastern part of Ukraine, but as far as I’m concerned, Kiev is a very safe place to visit.

I walked all around the city during my week long visit.  From what I saw with my own eyes, the daily life in Kiev unfolds just like I’ve seen in any other big city – people ride the underground metro to work, friends hang out in parks, they schmooze in cafes, and they go to bars at night. The city is peaceful during the day and it turns electric when the sun does down.  I love it.

And to be honest with you, it’s almost a good thing that people are scared to travel here because that makes the city even more of a hidden gem. Travelers, like myself, can benefit from virtually no tourists on the streets, because it gives it more authentic feel.

Just let the world think Ukraine is a scary place, and come here for yourself to see how freaking awesome it is!

As I was wandering around Kiev, I noticed how patriotic the people are with a huge sense of national pride. The colors of Ukraine are light blue and yellow (as can be seen in their national flag), and these two colors are seen painted all around the city — on buildings, street signs, walls and cars.

Alright, so now that you have an introduction about my feelings and experiences, here are 10 more reasons why I fell in love with Kiev:

10 Reasons Why I Love Kiev

1.  Affordability – Ukraine is the cheapest country in Europe, and likewise, Kiev is the cheapest capital city that I’ve comes across in the region.   For example, to ride the metro is 4 Hryvinas (about 20 cents USD). I never paid more than $5 for any meal that I ate and the food is delicious.  And any taxi ride across the city won’t be more than $3USD (make sure they don’t rip you off for being a tourist).

2. Amazing Buildings – I had to pinch myself a few times to believe that what I was seeing was real life. Beautiful colors, massive, golden shines…. Did you know the buildings in Kiev were so gorgeous?

I’ll just let the photos do the talking.

3. Lively Nightlife – Kiev comes electric at night. The party starts at midnight and goes until noon the next day. There is a wide variety of fun pubs, bars, swanky lounges and insane nightclubs. Beer and vodka shots can be consumed for $1-2USD, and the people are so friendly that you’re never going to want the night to end.

4. Open-minded People – Speaking of Ukrainians, I met some really cool people who were down to earth and friendly – much friendlier than I found in Ukraine’s neighboring countries.

It’s hard to wipe this smile off my face as I’m thinking about all the new friends I’ve made over the last week.

5. Mother Monument – Climbing to the top of the 102 meter, stainless-steel Mother Monument was one of the best travel experiences of my life.  The status is massive and it overlooks the city of Kiev.  They only accept a few people per day to climb all the way up, and you will need a private guide to take you up the steep ladders and narrow passageways.

After about 15 minutes of intense climbing, you’ll see a tiny window at the top.  Open it up see a view like this – like you can rule the world!

6. Underground markets – Whenever you need to cross a big street in Kiev, you will do so by walking underground through a giant market and over to the next side.   It’s crazy that the majority of the cheap shopping and food stalls are below the street!  You can find anything you’re looking for — clothes, electronics, food, hardware, books, and more.

7. Pop up Cafes – I’ve never seen a city with more pop up cafes and pop-up bars than Kiev has. Just go to any popular area in the city and you’ll notice the street corners and sidewalks lined up with pop up cafes, which usually take the form of graffitied cars!

They all have a different vibe and sell very cheap drinks.

8. Cleanliness – As mentioned in the introduction, Kiev is a very clean city. I was impressed to see the citizens always taking very good care of their home by not throwing trash on the street and putting an effort into maintaining the cleanliness of the buildings.

9. Old and New – I really enjoyed how Kiev has an old and a new feel to it. Many of the buildings in the city center are several hundred years old, but also, I found a variety of impressive 21st century modern complexes that left me stunned.

10. Beautiful Girls – And last but not least are the beautiful women of Ukraine… and I’m sure you could sense this one coming 😉 Sorry if you’re a girl reading this, but for you guys out there, I can tell you that Ukrainian girls are (without question) the most beautiful in Europe and quite likely in the world.

If anything will make you stay in Kiev for a long time, it will be this.

Where to Stay in Kiev?

From cheap hostels to luxury condos, Kiev has a large variety of places to stay that will satisfy your budget needs.  For a comprehensive list of hotels in Kiev with comparable prices, check out TripAdvisor and book your stay today!

And lastly, I will leave you with a few travel tips before you visit Kiev:

– Get your hands on a map, because the city is not well marked (and mostly everything is written in Russian/Ukrainan)
– Don’t ever called a Ukrainian person Russian, or mix up Ukraine and Russia.  Just don’t do it.
– Learn basic Russian words & phrases.  Even though Ukraine has it’s own language (mostly used in the Western part of Ukraine) —  Russian is widely spoken and almost everyone in Kiev can understand it.  English is not as common as you’d think.
– Exchange your Euros or Dollars at an exchange office, because you will get a better rate than an ATM
– If you can’t speak basic Russian, then don’t attempt to get in a taxi on by yourself (because they will rip you off).  You shouldn’t pay more than 80 Hryvinas to get anywhere in the city.  Have a local get one for you on this popular phone app they use to get a good rate (it’s like Uber).
– Try to stay in the city center (there are many cheap hotels and hostels).. I made the mistake of staying a bit outside and it was a hassle to walk to the metro every time.   Or use couch surfing if you can!

Thanks for reading my post about Kiev, and I really hope that this article inspires you to come here and experiences it for yourself!  I know that I’ll definitely be making a visit back to this wonderful place in the near future!

Please comment below or contact me if you have any further questions!

117 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why I Fell In Love with Kiev, Ukraine

  1. Hello,

    Can you tell me if you decided to climb the motherland on arrival to the monument or did you have to book in advance?

    Thank you!

  2. Talking about taxi – you can now use Uber in Kyiv, Odessa, Dnepr, Kharkov and Lviv. And it’s ridiculously cheap. A ride in Kyiv won’t cost you more than $4-5 outside rush hours, and a ride to the airport is about $11.

  3. Thank you for an interesting write up. I have a friend who has been tempting me to visit and thanks to your review I will plan to go. Looking at Kyiv through Google Maps I noticed how clean the city is and the different architecture. It was gorgeous.

    I also appreciate the comments – a lot of good information being shared in them. A great article. Thank you.


  4. Thanks a lot for your post, Drew! And all comments are also very interesting to know diffrent points of view. The best time is May-September in Ukraine when it is warm. Plan Odessa and Lviv as cities to visit next time if you like food and nightlife. And of course Carpathians mountians are very beatiful with hospitable people.

  5. Thanks for such a beautiful story ’bout the great city of Kyiv!
    I couldn’t take my eyes off the text, really exciting and formalized prettu good.
    Tha main point of story why I’d recommend for visiting Kyiv
    at first: prices
    second one: prices
    and the thirst one: prices once again!
    Year, it’s really sagnificantly important, you know, because tons of people even don’t suspect how
    it cheap to have a great fun and almost luxury time for spending time in Kyiv in any sphere of you want!

    I live in Kyiv and if somebody is going to be here for weekend or more, whatever, just drop me a line on my e-mail alexdrakeua@gmail.com or on facebook Alexander Tunick
    Will be glad to help out somehow with information or with hanging somewhere out.

    P.S Year, and don’t let your guards down concerning taxi in Kiyv, that’s true 🙂

  6. I was in Ukraine for 5 weeks and absolutely loved it there. Everything Graham said was spot-on. Cheap, safe, beautiful attractions, gorgeous women, and even in January people and street performers were everywhere. We stayed in an Airbnb for $20/night. The buildings may be run down but the people are anything but ghetto and are always dressed very well. One of the highlights of my visit was Saturday night in Teatralna metro station near downtown. I traveled down the steps and was met by roughly 100 people dancing traditional Ukrainian dances in the subway station. They cannot afford a regular venue so the city fathers gave their blessing to use the subway station with the accordion player, sax player, and drummer playing for tips. It is a beautiful experience watching elderly Ukranians dressed in their finest to socialize and dance and one not to be missed. I have been to all 50 states and over 30 countries and Ukraine.is very close to the top of my favorites.

  7. Hello folks,
    I will be in Kiev from the 30th of July until the 20th of August and I cannot hide that I am so excited! I am going there mainly to learn Russian but I am looking forward to discovering this amazing city. As Italian, I have always been attracted by Eastern Europe and I feel that Kiev has a magical aura. I cannot wait!
    P.s. Drew thank-you very much for your post, really helpful/enjoyable.
    Best wishes to all of you!

  8. I am from Kiev and I want to thank Drew for his kind words about my city.
    Sure even people who’ve been in Kiev many times will be surprised about the history of it and how it influenced cities like Paris and the whole history of France for example some 1000 years ago.
    Read what Harvard Professor has to say about it: http://u-krane.com/ukraine-russia-bear-vs-crane/

  9. Drew, reading your post I noticed a smile appearing on my face. Being a Ukrainian traveler myself I can only thank you for a pleasant description of our capital. This is the time we need this the most! It’s always interesting to hear from people from abroad really think when they visit 🙂 I can only add a recommendation to visit Lviv and Chernivtsi as well, great experience guaranteed!

  10. kyiv <3 I was there and stayed a month in kyiv
    it's a amazing city i loved it very much and miss the streets, buildings, churches and the kind ukrainian people
    i really wish to go to it again ……slava ukraini

  11. I and 2 friends of mine were in Kiev last year on July and visiting on June this year again. We live in California. My friends loved Ukraine and were surprised how nice it is. I was a student in Kiev for 1 year back to 2004 and it was my idea to visit Kiev. We had such an amazing time and are so excited to visit again in 3 weeks!

  12. Nice post, very accurate.
    I was there for the first time early this year and was worried but after the second night I realized how lucky I was to have come here.
    People like foreigners very much, food is very good, lots of “smoked” meat if you like that. Prices are very good, you should change your bucks or euros in a bank and spend local cash.
    Girls / women are very, very beautiful (them Ukraine girls really knocked me out as the Beatles say) and like to enjoy a night out, whatever or wherever you go. A beautiful city that is a must see, cheap, modern and antique as well.
    I’d like to note that after a few hours drinking in the hotel lobby, I realized I left my wallet in a restaurant, it had my and my friends cash and ccards. I took a cab back and when I arrived it was intact,

  13. Hi Drew, thanks for your insight, am from Ghana and planing to visit Ukraine October this year, i hope when ever i contact you, you can give me more information, thank you very much. Am so proud of you

  14. Thank you for your kind words! I’m happy you loved my city. I especially loved the point about pop-up coffee places, because while everyone is universally impressed by the buildings, I am a fan of all the coffee you can get everywhere in Kyiv 😉

    I would say, though, that I would recommend any foreigner to learn basic Ukrainian phrases, too. Yes, Russian is pretty common, sad as it is, but for most Ukrainians who are patriotic and love their country and take pride in their language, it’s very pleasant to hear that a foreigner made effort and actually learned at least a couple of words in their language. So there’s that. 🙂

    P.S. You absolutely should visit Kyiv in May sometime. It’s the best month for it 😉

    1. I will be arriving in Kyiv on May 4th. I have heard a lot of folks talking about the beautiful Ukrainian wildflowers that one can see in May. True or not true and if so; Where is the best spot to see them? Looking forward to the Ukraine with not a little excitement. Mike

  15. I am planning on spending 4 nights and 5 days in the city. is that enough time to see it all? too much time …. what do you suggest? Will i get bored.

    1. Thank you so much for spreading a good word about Kiev, Drew!
      These words about Kiev are so warm and kind, you really had much fun and pleasure in the city I guess))
      Are you coming in May for the Eurovision contest 2017?)

    1. Are you going to visit Kiev in near future? Meeting at airport holding a nameplate. Accompaniment and interpreter service. Activities and events, accommodation service, personal English-speaking driver, individual approach. For more information please contact us. We will make everything to make your arrival and staying here comfortable. Skype: big-city-info. Visit us on big-city(dot)kiev(dot)ua

  16. Hey Drew,
    I loved the article, but there’s a big NO NO you put at the end.
    “Ukraine does have it’s own language, ” that’s simply not true.
    I was born in Ukraine and I have lived there for several years before I moved to the UK and I know personally Ukrainian is an actual language and it is spoken widely in Ukraine.
    A lot of people in areas like Kiev speak a mix of Russian and Ukrainian, while in more eastern areas Ukrainian is very widespread.
    Ukrainian is also taught in schools all over Ukraine- it’s compulsory.

  17. Dear Drew, this is a “super fantastique” story! You listed here a large variety of “exquisite” entertainment possibilities, but for some reason I do not see in this story any museum, historical places, theatre, concert, etc… Or were you only interested in night clubs and easy Ukrainian women? But I understand it is difficult to expect from Americans to understand other than their own pop culture… Best wishes to your future endevours!

    1. I am not a museum person, I prefer food, nightlife and fun — hence the name of my blog. So if you aren’t interested in reading, then please read another blog

  18. Hey, Drew! That’s very nice post from your side. I’m as Kiyv born want to say «Thank you!» for writing this article and make other foreigners believe that Ukraine is nice to visit! Hugs and love 🙂

  19. When i discover Kiev in 2011, I coudlnt believe such a place does exist in Europe. Then I moved to Kiev in 2012 from “safe” Germany.

    Great post and i can only agree. BUT… all these points are only bla, bla, bla compare to what i am going to write.
    There are 3 things which are extraordinery in Kiev and you will NOT find it nowhere else on the world.
    1.) Perfekt and cheap food
    2.) Amazing partys, bars and clubs
    3.) Most beautiful white girls on the world, they wan to f**k.

    I write a bit more about the point 3. You have places on the world, where are white pretty girls, but they dont f**k as much as in Ukrgirls. Ukrain girls LOVES sex and are even cheatting on theyr boyfriends and husbends. They cant stop it, they must f**k. I got laid in last 5 years more then 300 girls and most of then was amazing quality and very young. And also to mention: didnt pay any money directly for s*x. Only paid for some coctails and dates. But most of them pulled directly from clubs.

    Second thing is, these girls dont care how old are you. You can be even 50 and get laid with 20 y.o. chick.

    But of course there are a lots of minuses:
    – Ukrainien people are biggest liers I ever met. They are cheatting a lot, It is like a national sport. They cant stop it.
    – Thatswhy NEVER EVER come on the idea, to married Ukrainien women. You get mad, and every time she will visit Ukraine she will get laid with some local ukrainien idiot. (or with some foraigners like me.;))
    – Ukrainine people dosnt have VERY LOOOW standart. It look here like here stop the time in begining of 90s, but noone cars. The guys are terrible dressed (wel they dont have to be nice, they get laid anyway with the most beautiful chickas)
    – you can not agree nothing. Contract means NOTHING here. Dont try to do some business in Ukraine. Your budget will be vanished i matter of weeks.
    – Ukrainien people are the biggest nationalist. Ukrainien are treated in Europe like a person of second or even 3th categori. BUT if you come to Ukraine, you will be trieted like a pease of sh**t. They really believe, they are something special… I just can not stop to laugh.

    Ukrainien people are very diferent from EUs. Even Russian are more Europien then Ukraine. This is crazy but it is true. So, the only way to survieve in Ukraine and save you nervs and money is, avoind ANY contact with local people and try to meet only foreigners or Russian. And of course… beautiful chicks..;)

    Ukrainien people are completely brainwashed. They really believe, that they are fighting for freedom against Russia. I just cant stop to laught. They think that if they break contact to Russia, and than someone opens the door to EU and we Europien will feed them and give them salery 2000 eurs/month. This is such a joke.

    They are proud of Ukraine, paiting street with yellow, blue color, but the true is, there is NOTHING to be proud of, appart of beautiful girls they want to f**k. Me and my foraign friends (also fans of girls and living here couple of years) just cant stop to laugh…:))))

    Kiew is amazing city, but the people are a big joke. But still it is like a drog: Everyone knows it is bad, but everyone who tries Kiev once, he comes again and agian…

    Cheers from Kiev, PickUpArtist

    1. Dude, you should check Ukraine again nowadays.
      After 2014 Revolution of Dignity people minds change really hard. Now they becoming more and more liberal and pushing for EU as much as they can. It’s like die or push yourself to Europe.
      And I’m really surprised that even after Russia making mess all around the globe, you still think that Russians are better then Ukrainians. Looks like you had very pro-Russian circle in Ukraine which is not good, once Putin sending troops to Eastern Ukraine to make a war.

      And just for you as you are from Germanystan!
      Any contract signed with Russia doesn’t worth the paper on which it is written.
      – Otto von Bismarck (hope you know who is it 🙂 )

    2. man, it seems to me that you wrote your reply only to boast of 300 girls you got laid with, and of course no doubt it is truth. But I am in doubt that you have ever been to Ukraine, because Ukrainians are one of the most intelligent, open-minded and kind people all over the world. Or maybe you write it on purpose as a russian agent. There are a lot of pro-russian disinformators who trying to bring in the mire my country.

    3. Who is this joke? I am from Kiev originally and still live here, I garantee you, all this dude wrote is his sick fantasy and has nothing to do with reality. There are some losers like this dude who comes to Ukraine sometimes, girls call them sex tourists out here , they are easy to identify cos they all telling the stories about how many times they visited Ukraine at every corner. I don’t really understand why any Ukrainian mentally normal girl had to sleep with with ugly old sex tourist and even for free – this even sounds silly and ridiculous. I recommend this dude to contact psychologist, seriously. Ukrainian women are very family oriented and cheating from women side almost never happens ( at least none of my girlfriend cheated their husbands ever) nowadays they have no problems to leave the country and go to live whenever they like ( there are tones of programs for students and job offers), and I think that they are not stupid to understand that sex tourists like that won’t take them anywhere, some of them maybe will go out for a lunch with his from the feeling of pity for poor old guy lost in the town but that’s it. Not they only don’t need any loosers like that, they try to avoid them ( very often I observed the picture when foreigner asks the girl on Kreschatik main street – do you speak English and she answers with perfect English with almost no accent -” who, me? No, I have no one idea what English language is” .Honestly, the only chance he had to get laid with anyone is very very drunk village naive girl who came to Kiev the day before and heard nothing of sex tourists.
      In terms of business, I have 2 businesses in Kiev and I have never had any problem with somebodys lies or cheating, on the contrary I would say Ukrainians are the most sincere, hard working people.But if you are loser and behave like the jerk, then probably you should not start any business in Ukraine and probably any business anywhere in the world too, probably because people will see that you are ” not very smart” and ” not very good person”.
      That’s it.
      Regarding Drews article – I agree with all info

    4. What a low life sleazeball….probably a short sighted shepherd who confused is ewes for hot chiks after too much to drink one night ….but thats an insult to sheep sh***ers ….he’s just a goat *****r!

  20. Hi Drew, it was very interesting to read about my city from this point of view:) I have already thought why some people told me, they like it. Because I know the city as it was about 20 years ago, as I was a little girl. And know it is quite different: the monument you have on the picture (Nr. 2 Amazing Buildings) and the shopping center in the underground have replaced wonderful fountains. Instead of so many parks and old buildings (that were actually listed buildings) there are so many skyscrappers…

  21. I love Ukraine , I’ve been there 4 times at least a month at a time . My wife and I teach English in the Summer and share the gospel of Christ . Drew you really need to stay longer to get the feel of the cultural warmth of these wonderful and genuine people . Their love for their country run deep . Ukrainians strive to be the best that they can be in the arts and what ever education needed to become successful . They have not yet been exposed to the anarchy of some Americans mind set for the most part . Many want to come to American but I don’t candy coat anything . Ukraine is a young country with tremendous potential . Kyiv is a beautiful city and there are many others like Zitohiomeir , Chrvenitsi and Ivano-Franskivi . I pray God hand will be upon Ukraine and democracy will prevail . Slava Ukraine !!!

  22. Hey!!!What an article. It’s an honour to me as Ukrainian you love it so much. I like to show my city to open-minded travelers. So if somehow you guys need some help here or just an english speaking driver with good attitude and behavior, I’d be glad to help!
    PS: I tr@vel a lot and always get a lot of help from loc@ls..so I think should do the same to my fellow travelers)). Enjoy Kyiv!

  23. Awesome post – thanks for sharing and thanks for visiting 😀 (Oh, yeah, and thanks for the compliment re: Ukrainian girls 🙂 )

    Your tips are point on (because I told all my non-Ukrainian friends those as well… with the latest addition of the “Don’t mix Ukrainians and Russians.”)

    Special kudos to you for not saying “THE Ukraine” 😀

  24. I studied and lived in Kiev for almost 6 years. Those were my best days. Never even for a day did I think or feel unsafe in Kiev even walking all by myself. Experienced the Orange Revolution and even that was peaceful. I miss Kiev all the time and wish I could turn back time and experience it all over again. Thanks for this article, love it

  25. Drew, it’s nice to see a positive article about Kyiv. However, it is hugely offensive to see that “several people were killed” in the 2014 Maidan Revolution. It was over 100, a mass slaughter. And it is KYIV. Kiev is the offensive Russian spelling. Kyivan Rus’ is the capital of Ukraine. Its only contact with Russians has been through their violent and deceptive invasions of our homeland. Trying to maintain a “hip, flip” tone to your articles does not give you the right to be flippant about our home, our heritage and our very lives.

  26. A couple people didn’t die in the revolution. 100+ people died in the revolution. Please don’t make that look like a small thing. That’s offensive.

  27. Kyiv is a beautiful city I am glad you enjoyed it…it is also spelled “Kyiv” in English and not “Kiev” – Kiev reflects the Russian pronunciation of the city’s name and not the Ukrainian pronunciation.

    1. Gene, I was thinking the same thing, Kievapts would have really helped Drew! Always nice to stay in the clean apartments in great locations in the city.

  28. Kyiv is for tourists, Odessa is the best city in Ukraine by far; beaches, wealthier Ukrainians and all the things you love about Kyiv listed above… except one; no metros.

    1. The last freaking problem this country has is the spelling of Kiev/Kyiv. Get a life, people. Kiev – is the most widely known spelling of the Ukrainian capital. Disclamer: I am Ukrainian and hate putin

  29. The city is amazing, you should also visit Lviv. It’s old structure and natural beauty are amazing. Also Lviv has a place called the tunnel of love, trust me its the best possible place to spend with your second half 🙂

  30. Thanks man for promoting me! )) It was a great pleasure to hang out with you, if you’ll ever come back again you’re welcome to my place!

  31. Drew, thanks for so nice review about our capital!
    Kiev is compact and cozy but that won’t hinder to have many interesting popular and unpopular places 🙂
    I suggest you to visit also:
    Kiev fortress on Hospitalnaya street /*not so popular but very interesting place in territory of actual hospital*/,
    Landscape Walkway /*nice art objects*/,
    Kiev-Pechersk Lavra /*old buildings, churches and caves*/,
    House with Chrmaeras /*just good architectural object*/ ,
    Pirogovo Villarge musseum,
    the Museum of Water,
    Holoseevo friary /*not bad buildings and park*/.
    Also we have some good places for diggers /*so match I can’t list all this*/, a not big but nice rope park “Seiklar”, trolley over Dniper river near European square, rope jumping, etc.
    You are welcome! 😉

  32. Nice review of the city I call home.

    You should come here in mid-summer the river and the islands are astonishing with 10s of kilometres of beaches, you can hire jet-skis, kayaks, rowing boats while on the river banks there are loads of inexpensive bars, cafes and restaurants. Hydropark is a good place to start, it’s on an island in the middle of the river and even has its own metro station. If you liked Kyiv in the Autumn you will love it in the summer.

  33. Loved the article, but as a Canadian born Ukrainian, I am obligated to point out an obvious and common error. The correct spelling for the capital city of Ukraine is KYIV. Kiev is the Russian and incorrect pronunciation and spelling.

  34. Thanks for sharing your perspective on Kyiv! I served in Ukraine as a Peace Corps volunteer from 2010-12 and loved seeing all of your photos, your blog post brought back many great memories of exploring Kyiv. I would have also highlighted checking out the old souvenir market downhill from St. Andrews – “Andriyeevsky” Descent 🙂

  35. Was there Sept of last year, then went back for the month over Nov. Loved it so much, will be there in April 2016. I visited Kyiv and a few other cities and cannot get enough. Even started taking Ukrainian language classes. Like the pictures from Lavra and Motherland.

    See you soon Kyiv.
    Слава Україні!

  36. Great post, and very accurate! I married one of those beautiful Ukrainian girls 16 years ago. She’s still beautiful and I’m still in Ukraine.

  37. It’s so cool to read, that someone likes my home city that much. I love it too. I lived in Germany for ten years, but returned back to Kiev, because I love people here and the overall atmosphere. It’s also fun to see that you like things, which many Kiev citizens absolutely hate – the Underground Markets (not the the shopping malls like Globus, the little cheap ones, you know..) and the Pop-Up Cafes 😀 We have a group on facebook called NeinteresniyKiev (“Uninteresting Kiev”) where we rant about these things, haha. Anyways. Thank you for this article, Drew. Great photos as well.

  38. If you love it so much, write it correctly – KYIV! “Kiev” is a transliteration from the Russian. A no-no anyway, but particularly now, with all the Russian aggression in the east.

  39. I was in the Ukraine in April, 2014. I LOVED it there!!! Was in Dnepropetsk and Zaporozhye. People were great and very friendly. But American culture and products not much into their market. Didn’t get to spend time in Kiev though. Your list is top notch. And the women are very beautiful!!!

  40. Hey I an American living in Kyiv and you might want to also mention the taxi app you missed app: Uklon. It works great here and you can under the special section ask for English speaking drivers amongst other things such as a larger vehicle and more. I find it to be very popular here. Slava Ukraine

  41. Hey Drew. Love your blog and snap chat! Myself and my boyfriend are considering visiting Kiev in December. I have read it will be extremely cold, but hopefully it will be worth it. We plan to see Chernobyl and all the main churches. Just wondering if you can give us any recommendations on a guide/driver..its going to be so cold we don’t fancy doing lots and lots of walking. 🙂 Christine (Ireland)

    1. Hey Christine — thanks for the love! Kiev is a fantastic city, and you are going to love it. Unfortunately, I don’t really know where or how to get a driver — but you can just take public transportation underground. It won’t be THAT cold, I think it’ll be bearable 🙂



  42. Hehe 🙂 Always feel so damned please when people rave about my home city. While just as the most locals, don’t really like those eclectic coffee stalls everywhere (have you seen that giant pink snails?! I thought I’m going nuts when I walked into one late at night for the first time), I suppose they do add up smth to the city vibe from a foreign perspective 🙂

  43. Great post! I’m off to Ukraine in December and this is exactly the post I needed to get me excited about my trip. Do you have to contact anyone in advance to climb that monument or do you just inquire when you’re there? Would love to do it!

      1. I think the problem was that you focused too much on women, which seems slightly chauvinist. You assume all your readers are heterosexual men or lesbian women – quite far from the truth.

        Not a criticism, just an observation.

  44. So awesome that you like my city too much!
    Now I want to stopp my journey and come back to enjoy it. 🙂
    Thanks a lot!

  45. Great post, Drew! I’ve heard nothing but good things about Kiev and lviv since I’ve been in Europe and plan to head there next week. This information is very helpful. Cheers!

  46. I was there a couple of months ago and as you say it’s a lovely place to visit and I totally agree that it’s safe but there are many tensions lurking underneath the calm appearance that visitors are unlikely to pick up on. If you are interested I touched upon them in some posts I did on the country. Glad to see you promoting places like this that tourists avoid at the first bad news headline. http://wp.me/p3wRIr-FC http://wp.me/p3wRIr-Eh http://wp.me/p3wRIr-Ge

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