Despite the turbulent political history of recent years Kiev is a great city to visit. It’s a real walkers city, old streets alongside wide boulevards, old houses and modern blocks, park, gardens, historical sites and a great buzz that reflects a really lively city. It’s not a flat city so the hills, which contain some of the nicest parts of the city, have vistas and intriguing places.
The Dnieper River or Dnipro runs through Kiev, more than 2000 kms long and flowing through 3 countries before it empties into the Black Sea. It is a focal part of the city with many bridges and islands in the centre of the stream some of which have beaches used in summer months just to have fun. You can take boats along the river walk along it look down in it from parks and gardens and see its relevance in life.
The centre of the city at the Maidan, sits in a sort of bowl with hills around it and narrow roads going up from it and this is an historic area with Cathedrals starts of old building squares built in a European style. The city blends its history and daily life seamlessly making it easy to immerse yourself in the city and its ambience.The city is filled with colours, this is not a city of gray and glass, it has real vibrant colours.
Kiev is an artist’s city, museums, galleries a castle, open air displays by painters ,theatres, libraries, photo exhibitions all abound, and its easy to get to without the trials of having to find transport. Ukrainians enjoy enjoying themselves and that feeling permeates the city. Its fun. There are parks, botanical gardens high on the hills surrounding the city, even a fascinating and historical cemetery if you enjoy that sort of thing, and up on the hill above the city stands the Mother Motherland statue or Brezhnev’s daughter depending on your point of view of history. Made of more than 3000 tons of metal it’s an amazing sight looking down on the city.
A really good way to spend some time is to visit the Pirogovo museum not far outside Kiev where old and ancient buildings have ben preserved as an exhibit that gives you a real insight into how Ukrainians lived through earlier generations. The buildings are set in a park so in summer filled with wild flowers and streams and grasses so it’s a fascinating place to meditate too.
Ukrainians are really hospitable friendly people, so don’t be put off by the troubles of the world it’s a great city to visit.