Travel Information in Kiev
Exchange points are located all over the city, in the markets, in the import stores. Usually the signs are in Cyrillic and English. (Obmin Valut or Currency Exchange). You can convert dollars to Koupons easily, but the U.S. bills will be scrutinized for date, rips, etc. and often will not be accepted...so have some "back-up" bills just in case!
Services are held regularly in the churches that have always been open in Kyiv. The Ukrainian Otocephalies Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Catholic Church hold regular services in Kyiv. Catholics of the Byzantine rite hold Divine Liturgy at two outdoor locations in the city. Roman Catholic Mass is celebrated in Polish, Ukrainian, Russian and English in two churches downtown. The Baptist community and a synagogue in the Podil neighborhood also hold religious services.
Several examples of traditional Ukrainian food are Varenyky (small dough pies stuffed with meat, potatoes, cabbage or fruit), Ukrainian Borshch (beet soup) with Pampushki (soft rolls soaked in fresh crushed garlic and oil), Deruny (potato pancakes), Holubtsi (cabbage roll stuffed with meat), and Mlyntsi (stuffed pancakes).
Ukrainians have made a spirited effort to preserve their cultural traditions and customs. There are many things to see and places to visit. We have listed our favorites for you below!
THEATERS AND CONCERT HALLS
With over 20 theaters to choose from, one can see almost anything from ballet to opera. Performances are usually in Ukrainian or Russian. Government subsidies make opera and theater tickets very inexpensive.
MUSEUMS, RECREATION SITES, MONASTERIES
Ukrainian contemporary art includes painting and sculpture in a wide range of experimental and traditional styles. Icons and folk art are displayed in museums purchased in galleries and shops. There are several art museums with collections of Ukrainian and European art. There are also museums with good collections of archaeology, geology, botany, zoology and aerospace.
CENTRAL BOTANICAL GARDEN
Timiryazevska 1. (Tel: 295-4527). Hours: 10am-8pm Mon-Sun. Founded in 1936 the gardens offer a glimpse of a collection comprising nearly 13,000 varieties of trees, bushes, and grass from five different continents. The 11th century Vydubychi monastery is still open to the public on the garden's grounds.
Volodymyrska Uzviz 2. (Tel: 228-3092). This park stretches throughout the center of the city and houses a number of parks and historical complexes including the Mariyinsky Palace, Askold Grave, and the monument to Prince Volodymyr. A breathtaking view of the Dnipro River can be seen from the park's terraces.
Peredimska Sloboda 10. (Tel: 517-1492). Over 900 acres stretch along this riverside park with sandy beaches along the Dnipro River banks. One can enjoy swimming, volleyball, tennis, badminton, sun bathing, or sailing on a rental boat. There is an open-air theater, coffee shop, restaurant, and beer bar. No entrance fee.
MUSEUM OF UKRAINIAN FINE ARTS
Vul. Hrushevskoho 6. (Tel: 228-6429). Hours: 10am-5pm, closed Friday. Spend an afternoon discovering Ukrainian folklore and tradition through art. One can get a glimpse of a valuable collection of ancient Ukrainian icons, paintings, and sculpture.
PECHERSKA LAVRA MONASTERY AND CATACOMBS
Vul. Sichnevoho Povstannya 21. (Tel: 290-7349). Hours: 10am-6pm, closed Tue. Established in 1051, this monastery is one of the oldest and most interesting in Kyiv. On the premises you can visit the caves where monks had been living and many other churches and museums. The miniatures museum and the Scythian gold collection are fascinating sights. For a beautiful view of the city climb up the stairs of the tallest belfry in Ukraine (315 ft.)
REPUBLICAN CENTER OF EXHIBITIONS AND FAIRS
Prospekt Akademika Hlushkova 1. (Tel: 261-7365). Hours: 10am-6pm, break 1-2pm, closed Sunday and Monday. Located in a big cozy park the center is the main site for major exhibitions and fairs taking place in Kyiv. The lovely tree- covered grounds is a nice place to take a stroll especially in summer when a variety of flowers are in bloom.
Vul. Chervonoarmiyska 55. (Tel: 221-5775). With a capacity of 100,000, this stadium is the largest in Ukraine, which includes a soccer field, running tracks, indoor stadium, gymnasium, an artificial surface ski-jump, swimming pool, tennis courts, and a sauna.
ST. SOPHIA CATHEDRAL
Vul. Volodymyrska 24. (Tel: 228-6152). Museum has been closed for one year because of political problems. To enter museum, you must go with tour guide. Built by Prince Yaroslav the Wise in 1037, this church was established to glorify the wisdom of Christianity. One of the most interesting sights is the collection of frescoes and mosaics inside the cathedral.
UKRAINIAN MUSEUM OF FOLK ARCHITECTURE AND PEASANT HOMES
Pyrohovo Village. (Tel: 266-2416). Open daily 10am-5pm; closed Wed. Entrance fee $1.00; $10.00 per person for English-speaking guide. Located in the outskirts of Kyiv, this open air museum takes you through Ukraine's history as you walk through the original homes of the past which have been moved here from all corners of Ukraine and restored. Traditional Ukrainian costume and ceramics are on exhibit.
Prospect Peremohy 32. (Tel: 274-6054). Hours: 9am-6pm, closed Monday. Founded in 1908, Kyiv's zoo is one of the largest in Eastern Europe. One can see over 3,500 specimens of animals and birds here. Amusement park and snack-bar.