We love travelling and we would have started an online travel guide, if it wasn't for the fact that this is not our mission. But this wouldn't be Rapunzels Today if we didn't write a brief impression of this exciting city.
We can put quite simply that if you live in a radius of, let's say, 4000 kilometres, you should have seen Kiev at least once in your life.
For most tourists, a trip to the capital of Ukraine begins at the ultra-modern airport Borispil where busses will take you to the main railway station in the heart of the city. After a long flight you must be starving, so go to the left corner of the station square and find a little food shop from a babushka who sells delicious 'pirizhok', a fried cake with stuffing like potatoes or meat. It should be enough reason for you to keep coming back :)
The extensive subway system in Kiev is not only a practical, convenient way to move around, but also an awe-inspiring work of art. With ceilings decorated with frescos, floors of marble and walls with mosaics, it's like entering an art gallery. Like many metro stations in former soviet countries, they belong to the most beautiful in the world!
Exploring the city starts of course at the Maidan, the independance square at the very centre. A few monuments and shrines remind us of the terrible things that happened years ago on that place, that divided the nation so sadly into two parts.
Depending on your interests, do different things. Like shopping? Walk directly towards the mainstreet Khreshchatyk where you find shops for everything you need or probably just want. Like beaches? Take the metro to Hydropark. Like football? Go to the Dynamo stadium. Like nature? Go to the Botanical Gardens or one of the many parks. Sore feet from walking? Drink delicious Ukrainian beer on a sunny terrace and watch people passing.
There are of course must sees for everyone, like the stunningly beautiful Pechersk Lavra Monastery situated high above the banks of the river Dnjepr. It's one of the most serene places in Kiev and even if you're not a religious person, you can become completely mindful when walking the grounds.
If you, just like me, have a strange fascination for the weird and obscure, then book a day tour to Tjernobyl and the ghost town Pripyat, which is only a short ride from Kiev. Yes, it's save for a day to be in the exclusion zone and no, you will not glow in the dark when you come back.
As you can see, it's not necessary to have a dull moment in the biggest city of Ukraine and if you think you've seen everything, go to the railway station where trains take you to any direction. They even speak a bit English at the international ticket counter!
Sometimes people ask me if Ukraine is save to travel. With all my heart I can say: yes, provided that you use your common sense it's perfectly save. Needless to say, avoid conflict areas in the Eastern part of the country. Crime does exist in big cities, but less than in London or New York. So don't let that hold you back from a vacation in Ukraine because the country needs tourists. Lots of them.