Archive for the ‘Kiev’ Category


Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

Kiev is the capital city of the Ukraine. It sits on the banks of the Dnieper River, the home of 2.7 million inhabitants. The city has a varied and colorful history, the center of East Slavic civilization in the 10th and 12 centuries until it become relatively obscure after the invasion of the Mongols. Kiev is one of the most important industrial, commercial, and cultural centers in Eastern Europe.

Young and old thrive in Kiev, where the modern is enjoying a seamless blend with the past. Historical monuments dot the city, which is also a storehouse of world class art and architecture such as the Cathedral of St. Sophia, known for its 11th century frescoes, and the Ukrainian Baroque Church of St. Andrew. The city’s varied past is not only seen in the arts and architecture but also in the cultural events, where dramas, musicals, and plays are held on a regular basis in venues such as the Ivan Franco theater and the Kiev Opera House. The people of this charming city are hospitable to a fault, ever ready to acquaint any willing visitor with the best that the mother of all Russian cities has to offer.

Kiev’s inhabitants love their public transportation. The three metro lines serve 1.7 million of the population every day. Taxis are abundant and relatively cheap although flagging down private cars for a short jaunt across town will prove to be cheaper. The city is relatively safe, with thieves and pickpockets making up most of what tourists should be wary about. Money scams are also common. The best time to visit Kiev would be during the summer months from June to August.

A Visa Free Regime is now applicable to US citizens for a period of 90 days, with a valid passport from a country with an embassy in Ukraine. Other necessary papers include travel documents confirming that the purpose of the trip is tourism, as well as proof of accommodations and the itinerary of the trip.