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Kyiv’s major gateway, the Boryspil State International Airport is located 35km outside the city and has direct flights from various countries. The second and smaller one, Zhulyani Airport, located 8km from the city centre, handles mostly Wizz Air flights from Europe as well as domestic flights within the country.
Buses run from both airports to Kyiv’s central station where passengers can continue by metro or bus. There are also taxis for those who are in a hurry.
With a population of about 2,887,974 people, the city is located in the north-central part of the country and bisected by the Dnieper River. One of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, Kyiv is also the 7th most populous city in Europe.
A bustling and vibrant city with a unique blend of Soviet and Western European culture and buildings of picturesque wall murals, Kyiv is rich with beautiful architecture and mind-blowing history. There is so much to see and do; for instance a visit to the Pechersk Lavra will reveal an 11th-century pilgrimage site consisting of several gold-domed churches. Underneath the site, visitors will find its catacombs filled with gold objects from ancient Scythian times as well as burial chambers of Orthodox monks.
A Chernobyl tour is by far one of the best things to do in Kyiv. People travel from far and wide to visit this abandoned town and get transported to communist life in the 1980s. A unique peek into Ukraine’s past, Chernobyl is the site of a catastrophic nuclear accident, and the tour tells the story of this occurrence as it takes you through Pripyat, a ghost town which had to be evacuated under just a few hours. Filled with abandoned hospitals, schools, homes, shops and even a theme park, the tour gives a solemn cautionary tale through the history of this once vibrant community.
Excursion to this location is better to book in advance due to legal issues. You only have to take comfortable shoes and clothes, and, of course, do not forget to buy plane tickets to Kyiv.
Built to commemorate the German-Soviet War, this large outdoor museum showcases over 15,000 exhibits from the war, including the soldier’s weapons, personal belongings, official documents, awards, photographs, and fragments of military correspondence. The site also has an alleyway, which is an art of work in relief dedicated to the people that fought in WW II.
The most compelling of structures in the museum however is the Rodina Mat statue or “Motherland Monument”, which is so huge and imposing, it can be seen from almost all parts of the city. The scultpture, which is that of a woman holding a sword in one hand, and a shield in the other, represents the unswerving spirit of the people who can always come together to overcome any adversity. The Rodina Mat stands at 335 ft and weighs 560 tons.
For a price, visitors with no phobia for heights can ride an elevator up her right leg to her head, and view Kyiv through her very own eyes.
The complexity of Ukrainian dishes have been influenced by climatic conditions, the rich soil, neighbouring countries and hard-working locals. Most dishes have garlic as the main seasoning, which give Ukrainian soups their distinct taste.
Speaking of soups, a visit to Kyiv is incomplete without having a bowl of delicious Borscht. This beet red soup is known all over the world and consists mainly of carrots, cabbage, potato, onions, meat of choice, as well as the beets, which give it its intense red colour.
Another popular dish is Deruny, thin potato pancakes served with sour cream and sometimes filled with meat or mushrooms. Salo, which is strips of bacon or lard, is also very popular with the locals, especially on a piece of bread, served with a clove of garlic.
For a drink, visitors can try some Uzvar, which is a traditional drink made from plums, pears and apples. It is a great drink for summer, but also served during Christmas festivities.
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