Majestic Kiev

Hello my friends. I hope that the sun is shining at your back and your eyes have a lovely view of your future!

Recently, I needed to visit my team of developers in Kiev who are working on the interface for JourneyHero. So, I decided to take my own advice and combine business with pleasure into a ‘bleisure’ trip. I’m so glad I did! Kiev is an exciting city full of beautiful and friendly people!

Kiev (more properly written asKyiv’ or ‘KNNB’ in the Cyrillic alphabet) is the seventh largest city in Europe with a population of over three million people. It is the capital and largest city in the Ukraine, and it is one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe. It was already a commercial centre in the Fifth Century but in the Ninth Century it was captured by the Varangians (Vikings) and became the capital of the Kingdom of the Rus.

Kiev - Love Kyiv

Kiev – Love Kyiv

However, because of its strategic location on the Dnieper River, it was captured by the invading Mongols in 1240 AD and it never quite recovered its former glory. It was a battleground during World War II but recovered to be the third most important regional capital under the Soviet Union. Since independence in 1991, Kiev has developed into a modern high-tech hub that attracts population growth in a country that is otherwise losing its young citizens to immigration.
St Sophia Cathedral

St Sophia Church inspired by the Sophia Hagia in Istanbul

I spent three good days working with my team in the recently renovated Vozdvyzhensky Descent neighbourhood which is one of the new centres of high-tech companies in Kiev. This architectural gem neighbourhood is brightly coloured with neo-classical and art deco multi-story dwellings that are surprisingly close to downtown. From the top of the descent, Saint Andrew’s church is only 300 meters (1000 feet). I was thrilled with the cool neighbourhood with its stylish, Instagram-ready venues with posh cafes, coffee houses and restaurants.

After working with the team, however, I decided to spend two days exploring. The first of these days, I spent learning about this beautiful city by walking its clean streets and tidy neighbourhoods.

The Church of Saint Andrew’s is a baroque masterpiece with a commanding view over the river and city below. The church is decorated with beautiful turquoise cupolas trimmed in gold. The Church of Saint Sophia is another baroque style church situated on a beautiful square in the city. The soul of Kiev, however, is indelibly tied to Saint Michael’s Church, the landmark of Kiev. This beautiful monument to faith is a working monastery and is a place for peaceful contemplation of the divine.
St Andrews Church

The Masterpiece ~ Church of St Andrew

The Golden Domes of the Saint Michaels Monastery

Saint Michael’s is surrounded by a beautiful park and connected to monuments that are sited to offer vistas over the city and river below.

Lest you think that Kiev is only a city of Churches, let me tell you that the city comes alive at night and is full of restaurants, bars, and cool nightclubs. Culture is all ‘well and good’ during the day, but a martini, a good meal, and a relaxing late-night venue offer a good break from the hard work of the office. Kiev has a young and attractive population that parties well into the wee hours.

The second day of the leisure portion of my trip, I took an eleven-hour tour to Chernobyl, the site of the 1986 nuclear accident that has recently been dramatized in a new mini-series. It was a sombre and sobering experience but I’m glad I went to pay my respects to those that died in that terrible disaster. The day was filled with stories like the bravery of the first responders that tackled the mighty blaze. After just thirty minutes fighting the fire, they already had ‘radiation tans’ and they knew that they must

die but they redoubled their efforts to quench the fire that, if not stopped, would have caused an enormous environmental catastrophe. They were true heroes.

chernobyl-disaster

The scene of the 1986 nuclear catastrophe

I also visited haunting Pripyat. This city, designed for the workers at the powerplant and their families, was a model for modern life in the Soviet Union. The contaminated community had to be hastily evacuated when the scale of the disaster became clear after just 36 hours. Now, Pripyat is being reclaimed by the forest and it’s a ghost town of crumbling buildings, rusting playgrounds and decomposing infrastructure. The sight of a child’s schoolbook rotting in the weather because it is radioactive is one that will stay with me for a long time. Although it was a haunting and sombre tour, it also spoke of hope and human resilience when faced with life and death situations.

Travelling to and in Kiev is easy. The international airport is modern and convenient and there are links from almost all major airports worldwide. Visas are generally not required and there is a welcoming atmosphere. Lines are long though, so patience is required. Taxis are readily available and both Uber and Bolt ride-sharing cars are always close at hand. All of the drivers know at least a little English so communication isn’t a problem. There is a convenient tram service but the signs are in Cyrillic so a ride-sharing service might be the best bet unless you speak Ukrainian or Russian.

Kiev - cityscape

Beautiful, friendly and fast growing – Kiev

Here’s a pro-tip: Most of the young Ukrainians are fluent in English and are pleased to translate for you if you need help. Just look forlorn and have ‘Google Translate’ open on your phone. A friendly young person will be along shortly to help you!

 

Major hotel chains are widely available in Kiev including luxury brands like The Fairmont and Intercontinental. There are also several thousand other properties that range from high-end boutique to budget venues. Hotels are a good value in Kiev so you’ll find something that is comfortable within any price range.

 

The local food is fantastic and fresh. The Ukraine is a major food producer in the region and local recipes are yummy. I enjoyed food from the Odessa region with its emphasis on fresh fish and fresh produce. The meat dishes are hearty and an excellent value. There are many healthy alternatives to fit any taste and dietary requirement.

 

I hope you find time to visit lovely Kiev. It’s a fantastic and forward-looking city!

 

Love

Isabella

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Isabella’s Checklist

What to see: Church of St Andrew, Church of St Sophia and the St Michaels Church & Monastery. Also, a trip to Chernobyl and Pripyat is recommended. (http://www.inkyiv.info/, andriyivska-tserkva.kiev.ua , http://www.archangel.kiev.ua/, www.st-sophia.org.ua/en/home , http://pripyat.com/en)

Where to stay: The Fairmont or the Intercontinental (fairmont.com/kyiv/ , http://kyiv.intercontinental.com/) But there are lots of accommodation options for a great stay in Kiev.

What to eat & drink:   Fresh seafood and produce is available everywhere & make sure you drink Horilka ( Vodka).  Try Kanapa for some tradition Ukrainian food.  (https://www.borysov.com.ua/en/kanapa) Lastly of course, maybe eat some Chicken Kiev!

What to buy:  Matryoshka/Babushka Dolls, Lviv Chocolate & Pysanky painted wooden Eggs are all on the buy list

Horilka Anyone!
Isabella’s Checklist

What to see: Church of St Andrew, Church of St Sophia and the St Michaels Church & Monastery. Also, a trip to Chernobyl and Pripyat is recommended. (http://www.inkyiv.info/, andriyivska-tserkva.kiev.ua , http://www.archangel.kiev.ua/, www.st-sophia.org.ua/en/home , http://pripyat.com/en)

Where to stay: The Fairmont or the Intercontinental (fairmont.com/kyiv/ , http://kyiv.intercontinental.com/) But there are lots of accommodation options for a great stay in Kiev.

What to eat & drink:   Fresh seafood and produce is available everywhere & make sure you drink Horilka ( Vodka).  Try Kanapa for some tradition Ukrainian food.  (https://www.borysov.com.ua/en/kanapa) Lastly of course, maybe eat some Chicken Kiev!

What to buy:  Matryoshka/Babushka Dolls, Lviv Chocolate & Pysanky painted wooden Eggs are all on the buy list

Horilka Anyone!

3 Comments to “Majestic Kiev”

  1. I am really thankful to the owner of this web page who has shared this wonderful post at here.| а

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    медицинские справки тверская at 8:38 am
    1. Thank you so much for your message! We want to create a blog that will be interesting and also useful to our readers. We are very pleased that you like it.
      Warm regards, Isabella and Karolina

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      Karolina Machova at 9:27 pm
    2. Thank you for your kind comment! We are so glad that you enjoy it. Stay tuned for more!
      Have a nice day Isabella and Karolina

      0
      Karolina Machova at 7:47 am

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