Kyiv is the capital of Ukraine, capital of its cultural, spiritual and political life. It is one of the oldest cities in the world which has a lot of historical and cultural places. Kyiv was founded in the beginning of the VI century by three brothers Kyi, Shchek, Horiv and their sister Lybid. City was named after the older brother Kyi.
If you arrive to Ukraine by plane you can see its beauty already from the plane landing at the Boryspil airport. From the airport you can go to the city by low-cost bus, taxi, or use Avis services order transfer or rent a car.
It is a bit difficult to park the car in the city center during the day but you can leave it on the paid or underground parking. Its cost about 10 UAH/hour what is about 1-1,3 USD.
All excursions start from the city center, so guests and tourists can visit more places of interest. Before EURO 2012 the most visited place is Olympic Stadium that will host the final of the championship. Near the downtown is better to leave the car on the parking and walk to the center. There you can visit a beautiful building of the T.G. Shevchenko National Opera and Ballet Theatre built in the early 20th century, a little further on museum of the Golden Gate and the St. Sophia Cathedral which were built in 1037.
On the Sofia square before the cathedral there is a monument to the famous Ukrainian hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky. Opposite the cathedral there is the St. Michael's Golden Domed cathedral with a monument to Princess Olga, Apostle Andrew, Cyril and Methodius. In 5 minutes from St. Michael's Cathedral there is the world-famous Andrijivskyi uzviz, named after the Andrew's church. In different periods on this street lived and worked welll-known artists Dyachenko, Krasitskyi, Makushenko, writers Tyutyunnyk and Bulgakov and famous doctor Theophilus Yanovskyi.
On uzviz you can visit Bulgakov’s and Kavaleridze’s museums, museum of 1 Street and the castle of Richard the Lionheart. When you come to the uzviz you see that it is like a "souvenir shop". On both sides of it the street there are plenty of wooden and ceramic gifts, paintings, antiques, national clothes etc. Tourists usually buy there many souvenirs for themselves, friends or family.
Walking along the Andrijivskyi uzviz you will come to the Podol a historic part of the city. Long time ago it was the main trade and craft center. Nowadays here you can visit the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, a river port, the mansion of the Russian Emperor Peter I, Florovsky and Pokrovsky monastery, funicular and the Guest House.
Walking from the Podol in the center direction you will come to the European Square that is in 5 minutes from the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and Mariinskyi park. In the park you will feel like you are in time of the emperors coz in the middle of it there is an old and magnificent Mariinskyi palace. It was built by the order of the Empress Elizabeth in 1744 by architect Rastrelli. Today palace is the ceremonial residence of the president of Ukraine. In 10 minutes from the Mariinskyi palace there is holly place of all orthodox Christians the Kyiv-Pecherska Lavra. It is an ancient monastery which was listed to the World’s Culture Heritage by UNESCO. In the monastery you can visit divine service, lower and upper caves with holy relics, gallery of the Golden Treasury of Ukraine etc. There you feel how time stops, feel the breath of centuries, power of faith and peace.
From Lavra you can go back to the center along Grushevskogo street that will take you to the Maydan Nezalezhnosti the main square of Ukraine. It also serves like the main scene for many concerts, festivals and celebrations, such celebrities like Elton John, Bryan Adams, Paul McCartney and others sang there their well-known songs.
If you walk from the center you see less crowded and noisy streets. On many of them are houses of famous writers, scientists, musicians, politicians or artists who lived there before.
In the evening don’t miss an opportunity to enjoy the comfort of restaurants with tasty cuisine, walk in parks, go shopping to one of the malls or go for a boat trip on the Dnieper River.
Those guests or tourists who want to know more about Ukrainian traditions and customs or taste national food can go to the museum of national architecture in Pirogovo. It is in 25 minutes from downtown if you go by car. Near the entrance to the museum there is a parking so you can leave the car and enjoy your time. If you come there during national holidays you can participate in festival, concert or theatrical performances. After visiting old national houses and churches, buying hand-made souvenirs it is the right time to a dinner coz you did not eat anything tasty before. Girls in national Ukrainian costumes will bring you hot borsch, varenyky, pickled vegetables, uzvar and honey cakes. In Pirogovo you can spend the whole day, it is really a nice place to rest with friends or family.
Kyiv has a very long history and nice places of interest; it always inspired thousands of guests, tourists, artists, writers and composers. It has many secrets and legends that you can discover for yourself. Open a new Kyiv for you, open it with Avis!