kamila

Can’t live without travels! Wherever she goes she always looks for alternative spots or street art. A huge fan of Central Europe and off the beaten path places and a living proof that you can balance full time job and extensive travel!

Is Kiev worth visiting?

Lately I’ve been getting quite many travel related questions from friends and readers and I thought it might be actually better to answer them in here so not only the asking person would benefit from my answer. Who knows, maybe some of you are also wondering about these issues and may use my answers (I hope so!). And if you also have some questions about travelling, places to visit, prices, getting around, safety, solo travel etc feel free to contact me, post your question in the comment here or in my FB page, I’ll be more than happy to answer!


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A friend of mine asked me couple of days ago if Kiev is worth visiting. She was already in Lviv last year and liked it a lot (no wonder, I loved it there as well, I still have to cover this trip here on the blog). Recently she found cheap tickets to Kiev (Katowice-Kiev with Wizzair, less than 200PLN/50€ return) but didn’t know if she should book them or not. And the question came up. I bet you already know my answer ;)

I was there in April 2012, only for the weekend as I found some pretty cheap flights too. I must say I didn’t know much about Kiev before visiting it, nothing rung a bell when I thought of this city. The only reason why I’ve decided to go there was the price and the fact I haven’t been to Ukraine before (even if it’s the closest country from where I live). In Poland we know a lot about Lviv as back in time it used to be a Polish city but that’s where our knowledge about Ukraine ends, sadly.

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It is a huge city but you can spend 48 hours in Kiev and see a lot! The population is around 3 milions and you can clearly see it: the road from Borispol airport leads through suburbs with tall post-Soviet blocks, the metro is a constant flow of people – you don’t need to think how to exit the station, the crowd will take you there for sure – main streets are busy with people, especially on the weekends when wide Khreshchatyk street is for pedestrians. Kiev is considered the cultural and spiritual center of Eastern Europe and with 12 centuries of rich history it well deserves this title.

There are so many things to see in Kiev that 3 days I’ve spent there weren’t enough. I’ve already written the post about top 5 things to see there but these are just main attractions. Your days there will be busy with visiting numerous golden dome churches that will left you speachless, admiring great examples of monumental post-Soviet architecture, relaxing in various parks and eating delicious yet heavy Ukrainian food (the post about it comming soon!). And for more adventurous people there are Chernobyl tours available – I didn’t have time to go there but I’d definiely love to, I have a reason to go back!

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But Kiev might be a challenging destination too. Even if things imporoved after last year European Football Championships and the tourism infrastructure (including lots of good and affordable accomodation possibilities) is really good there you might be slightly overwhelmed – what I love about Eastern Europe and what makes it special may not be so fascinating to everyone. It seems chaotic, busy, dirty (even if it’s not) and the post-Soviet spirit is very much felt. Also you might expect some minor language issues if you don’t know Cyrylic letters (I spent one afternoon just before the trip to learn them, it still took me a while to understand what’s going on around me but it definitely was much easier!) but well, there’re always hands and smile to help! Kiev also seemed like a safe city to me. Of course don’t go into the dark backstreets, use the common sense, like everywhere else and you will be fine!

If you think that when you’ve already visited Lviv you don’t have to go to Kiev you’re so wrong! These cities are so far from being similar. While Lviv has the XIXth century Galician charm, feels like a small town and is full of baroque churches and old tenements that need renovation Kiev is the oposite. Monumental post-Soviet architecture, wide streets, golden domed Orthodox churches and the real Eastern Europe atmosphere. But I think in every country it’s like that: Warsaw – Krakow, Berlin – Munchen, Amsterdam-Rotterdam are all so different from each other, and these are just few examples! So my suggestion? Visit both cities!

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So if anyone else has doubts if it’s worth going to Kiev I can recommend it with my whole heart! This city is so interesting, so complex, so full of great places that when leaving Kiev after the busy days of exploting you’ll already think about returning there. I know I do!

Would you like to visit Kiev?? Do you have any questions you’d like me to answer here?


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If you think of visiting Ukraine or just want to read more about the country take a look what else I wrote about it!

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15 maja '13

There are 18 Comments.

  1. I’m so glad I’ve discovered your blog and had chance to read about the city I miss so much. If I had a chance to visit the capital of my motherland, I would do that right away!
    Antonina latest post…Around India in half an hour :)My Profile

    • kami
      20:58 31/01/2015

      Kiev is really such a fantastic city! I would love to visit it again! Hopefully you will get a chance to return there soon too!

  2. I like Kiev, cool town, been there twice and found myself wanting more. Also must admit the Chernobyl trip I did 6 years ago or so was a highlight

    • that’s what I’d love to do as well, Chernobyl is so high on my list!!

    • Do it for sure. I went before it was (cough) legal actually with the coolest tour guide ever. We did have a moment where he was madly wielding the Geiger counter as we drove further into the irradiated forest and the levels were off the charts. Ya pretty sure that was a bad idea. Oh and the French guy on my your who declared when we reached Pripryat that “he had been here many times before and could lead us all” because he played some video game.

      • Nik S
        13:08 31/03/2016

        Haha. I know that game, it’s very good actually, called Stalker.

        I think I shall visit Kiev on my way back from China.

  3. bardzo mi się podoba tytuł “Kami answers:…”

  4. Want to go to Kiev!! Booked a trip to India next!

  5. There’s a blogger (The Hungry Partier) who made a really nice snapchat story from Kiev and it was actually him who convinced me to visit. :-) I’ve been to Lviv and loved it too.
    Kinga latest post…Yo soy tu regalo de cumpleaños! Barcelona day II.My Profile

    • kami
      23:22 07/12/2015

      Kiev is so different from Lviv but also amazing in its own way! I prefer Lviv but Kiev is pretty high on my list too! And I really should finally figure out snapchat!

  6. RC
    03:21 22/08/2016

    Would you recommend Kiev for a brown skinned person? I am American, half black half white… Can you give me an honest assessment? Obviousl you can’t tell the future, but the general atmosphere for people of color?

    • kami
      12:48 31/08/2016

      I’ve seen couple of black people in Kiev and they seemed to be just fine there. I would say it’s ok to travel there. You might get some looks but I think not more than that. I felt really safe in Kiev!

  7. Victoria
    21:01 09/02/2017

    I’m in love with Kiev since the first time I visited it in my youth. The city is amazing, eternal, ancient, beautiful. I enjoy my occupation of a Kiev private guide. As I’m really proud showing Kiev around to the tourists.. Thank you for the nice review and warm words,Kami!

    • kami
      15:44 10/02/2017

      I really enjoy Kiev too, such a wonderful place it is! It’s always such a pleasure to return there!

  8. Jane
    22:42 24/06/2017

    I’ve been in Kiev twice. First time in business so didn’t have time for sightseeing, ukrainian food etc. Second time didn’t prepare for the meeting with this city as well, but took a local guide just for a few hours to show me around. In general its quite lovely place with nice people. I wish someday i will have enough time for this site.

    • kami
      21:25 21/08/2017

      Kiev really is a nice and worth visiting place, isn’t it? I hope you enjoyed your stays there!

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