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Basic information

  • Area: 839 km² (323.9 sq mi)
  • Calling Code: +380 44
  • Currency: Hryvnia (UAH)
  • Population (EST): 2,819,566
  • Official language: Ukrainian
  • Time Zone: EET (UTC+2)

Kiev – Overview

The city of Kiev is located in the north central part of the Ukraine, on the Dnieper River. It is the capital and largest city of the country, home to over 2.6 million people. Kiev attracts many visitors all year round for its scientific, industrial, educational and cultural importance in Eastern Europe. As well as this, visitors are fascinated by Kiev’s rich history and its mix of old and new throughout the city.

Modern Kiev is filled with historical monuments, such as the Kiev Pechersk Lavra (the Monastery of the Caves) and the Saint Sophia Cathedral which are part of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine Collection. There are many classy restaurants, nightclubs and theatres in the centre, such as the Kiev Opera House, which are central to the city’s culture. Shoppers looking for traditional items will be attracted to the historic area of Andriyivskyy Descent, selling books, religious artifacts, games and jewelry.

Kiev is now home to several prestigious hotels in the centre. The choice varies from cheap to luxurious; in the heart of the city’s bustling city centre or surrounded by picturesque monuments and sites. Those looking for a 5* luxury experience will enjoy a stay at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, located in the centre of many government offices, cultural centers, theatres, restaurants and shops. Visitors looking for a more laid-back stay can settle in one of Kiev’s largest hotels – the Tourist Hotel, located on the Dnieper River in one of the town’s most picturesque locations. Whilst close to both the city’s parks and beaches, the Tourist Hotel is also near to the metro station to take visitors into the town center.

Kiev boasts hundreds of restaurants bars and cafes, serving their diners in both comfort and style, and offering an impressive variety of cuisines. While Kiev embraces many cuisines from all over the world, visitors should not miss the opportunity to try traditional Ukrainian dishes such as varenik (small dough pies with different stuffings), and famous Ukrainian borsch (beet soup) with pampushki (soft rolls soaked in fresh crushed garlic and oil). Ukrainian cuisine is rich in both taste and nutritional value, with influences including Russian, Polish, German and Turkish. Don’t be shy to ask for second helpings, Ukrainians consider this a show for appreciation of their food! Popular alcoholic beverages include strong spirits such as Russian Vodka and Samohon (moonshine) with infusions of fruit, spices or hot peppers. Popular non-alcoholic beverages include fruit compotes, made up of sweet, dried-fruits boiled in water. On entrance to upscale restaurants, expect coats and bags to be checked

Kiev has a continental climate; with snowy winters reaching as low as -20C and hot summers reaching up to +35C. Rain is common throughout autumn to spring, with the summer warmth beginning around May through to the end of September. Kiev is known for its Indian summers where the climate is pleasant, with slight rain and warm temperature levels between +20-25C.

The official currency in Kiev is the Hrivna (pronounced Grivna). Conveniently, there are ATM and bank machines every 100 yards in the town. As well as this, traveller’s cheques can also be cashed in at local banks for a 3% charge. It is best to use cash rather than cards in the Ukraine, as credit card fraud is often and so it is highly recommended not to use credit cards during your stay.