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Kiev, or Kyiv, as the Ukrainians would prefer we spelled it now, is one of Europe’s oldest cities. Some of Kyiv’s buildings date back to the 5th century, though there were people living on this spot on the banks of the Dnipro River even earlier. Between the 10th and 13th centuries Kyiv was the capital of the state which would go on to become Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. As you would expect with such an historically significant location, Kyiv is awash with grand and beautiful architecture, but it’s also a surprisingly eclectic place. The best places to stay in Kiev are probably those in the heart of the action, around the river and Kreshchatyk the main avenue, but our Guru’s recommendations also include some more modern offerings.
Modern Kyiv has been through two revolutions in the past couple of decades, so despite its age it still feels fresh and even a bit rebellious. There’s a delicate balance here between the city's historic ties to Russia, seen in the architecture of many of the main sights and the nationalist movement which has been bubbling to the surface.
What Not To Miss
- Kreshchatyk is a good place to start your explorations of the city, it’s a great place to people watch and get an idea of the city’s layout. You might then want to visit the National Museum of Ukrainian History to get up to speed. After that it might be time to start seeing the churches... Green, white and gold St. Sophia’s Cathedral is the city’s oldest church and is adjacent to the Royal Palace.
- Then there’s St. Michael’s Monastery, which has more wonderful golden domes and is at the other end of Proyizd Volodymyrsky. The monastery of Kyeno-Percherska Lavra is on the hill and has more wonderful golden domes.
- The Museum of Folk Architecture is another interesting heritage museum. It's an open air museum with six carefully restored Ukrainian villages collected from all over the country.
- The military and war museums and the Motherland Statue and war memorials offer a fascinating insight into that page of Kyiv’s history.
- Don’t just see Kyiv’s old sights, Maidan Nezalezhnosti might be recognisable to you from recent news reports when it was transformed into a guerrilla camp besieged by government forces. It also played a key role in the Orange Revolution in 2004. On a normal day it’s a lively place where you can expect to hear music and buy souvenirs.
- The Chernobyl Museum is another monument to recent history which would be a shame to miss.
It might seem like our recommendations are focussed on understanding Kyiv’s past, but it’s also a lively, forward-looking city, so you could also totally ignore anything but the present and enjoy your time strolling around the Podil and the Hidropark and hanging out at the beach and in cafes and restaurants.
Our pick of the best places to stay in Kiev offers stylish modern accommodation in the heart of this fascinating city.
For a central location
- The 11 Mirrors Hotel is fashionable and centrally located with 47 rooms and great concierge service. There’s also an excellent bar, lounge and restaurant.
For an apartment
- If you'd prefer a self-catering option for your holiday - don't hesitate to visit our online partner Booking.com for a great selection of properties ideal for exploring this fascinating city.
- Fly to Kyiv Boryspil International Airport located 36km (22 miles) from the city centre with a range of International and domestic carriers.
- The airport also has a Sky Bus that connects it with the central railway station.
- Or catch a train to Kiev, with train connections to all major cities in Ukraine alongside International destinations such as Budapest, Prague and Moscow.
- if you want to rent a car, for prices visit our online partner Rentalcars
- Best time to visit - the warmer months from May through to September typically provide warm weather ideal for exploring everything the city has to offer.
Still ot sure?
Best Hotels in Kiev
11 Mirrors Hotel 47 rooms from $242Kiev
Style, comfort and guest satisfaction are key in this fashionable, centrally-located design hotel. 11 Mirrors prides itself on services from booking tickets to sold-out concerts, to securing reservations in exclusive restaurants. This is well complimented by an excellent restaurant, bar and lounge.Concierge - Notable concierge - go out of their way to organise events and days for guestsElegantSwimming Pool - Swimming pool off-siteSpa - Spa off-site