Welcome to Kiev!
With its gold-topped church domes, Soviet-style architecture, and wide sprawling squares, Kiev, Ukraine, is an interesting city that many people traveling to Europe, often overlook. The old city is full of amazing things to discover and see, that are both part of Ukraine’s old traditions and newer more contemporary ideals.
Kiev is the capital of--and the largest city in--Ukraine, and although having to suffer during numerous wars and revolutions, the city emerges in the 21st century as one of the most important ones in Eastern Europe. Locals know how to maneuver their way around the city, and with this guide, you’ll find that in Kiev, time flies by faster than you can order a bowl of borscht--as long as you’re a worldwide local.
Worldwide Local Tip: The public transportation in the city, is one of the best in Eastern Europe. The metro is fast efficient and running through all major parts of the central area of the city. Almost all signage will be posted in English and Ukrainian. There is a contactless payment system available for those who don’t want to buy a pass. It’s easily the best way to get around the city.
Getting around the city is easy and has some of the deepest metro stations in the world. Once you’ve got the hang of getting around town, start your journey at the heart of the city in Maidan Square. The large center square is located near many landmarks and nice Kiev hotels. It was the site of protests in 2004 and 2013 but is now a pretty calm and welcoming place to hang out, especially when the Kiev weather is nice. On a hot summer day, you’ll see locals here hanging out and meeting up with friends.
Worldwide Local Tip: There are a lot of free walking tours available in the city, almost all of which start at Maidan Square. If you’re looking to get on a tour and see some sights around the city, look for the statue of the angel and join a group.
Religion in Kiev
Ukraine and most of Eastern Europe have a large Orthodox community and as a result, there are a plethora of amazing old churches to marvel at. Kiev has many of these golden-domed churches many of which are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The Pechersk Lavra Complex is probably one of the most iconic Kiev churches, but there are also other great local landmarks, such as St. Volodymyr’s and St. Sophia’s, that are just as lavish and beautiful.
Worldwide Local Tip: One of the best perks, when visiting the church of St. Sophia, is the interior. But also you can climb to the top of the bell tower and take in one of the best views of Kiev, from one of the most iconic landmarks of the city.
Any worldwide local knows that the best way to get a feel for a city is to taste your way through it. Kiev is a burgeoning city where you can find any type of cuisine you’re craving, from Thai to barbecue. You’ll probably want to try some classic Ukrainian dishes while you’re here. Heading to one of the many markets around the city will grant you access to some delicious local fare. The Bessarabsky Market is always bustling with locals buying food, and it’s relatively upscale as well. Browse the aisles of interesting jars of pickled food or just sit back and people watch.
Worldwide Local Tip: Maybe you had a night of one too many vodkas, or you may just be looking for a street snack--try perepichka! This local delicacy is served fast and cheap, made from a salty dough that’s deep fried and filled with a hotdog-like sausage. Typically, this is the only thing on the menu and it only costs around 50 cents.
Enjoy Your Time in Kiev, Now that You’re a Worldwide Local!
Kiev is an interesting place that many visitors in Europe miss out on. As a result, the city is overwhelmingly populated with tourists, but there is still that medieval old city and grand architecture that can be found here. Because of its position in Eastern Europe, Kiev has a certain uniqueness in the way it presents itself. Every worldwide local knows that finding that unique part of a city makes it even more special.