Fly To Kiev, Ukraine
Ukraine has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons, but crisis is nothing new here, and Kiev will stand both before and after any new upheaval. While in Kiev, take a visit to the ghost town of Pripyat, which was abandoned following the Chernobyl disaster.
Enjoy the cheap cost of living and browse Beserabka Market for caviar. As elsewhere in Europe, Ukrainians enjoy their football. The city is served by two airports: Boryspil International, and the much smaller Zhulyany.
Why visit Kiev?
- The beaches. Surprised? Cross the river and soak up the sun with the locals in the heart of the Ukrainian capital!
- The night-life. Ukrainians like their vodka cold and their dancefloors smokin', so check out the clubs & vodka bar scene!
- Culture and points of interest: Maidan Square is at the centre of it all!
Winter weather can be severe in Ukraine, so it's better to travel in spring or summer when average temperatures make things much more pleasant.
The official language of the country is Ukrainian; however, Russian is understood just about everywhere in the capital. If you're planning on learning some of the local language, opt for Russian. Outside of the upmarket hotels and bars, proficient English speakers will be few and far between.
- The McDonald's at Kiev railway station is the third most visited McDonalds in the world.
- Arsenalnaya Metro Station is the deepest in the world, at 105m. Think Cold War bunkers and secret hideaways.
- You can see the famous flea with shoes at Kiev's Museum of Miniatures.
The funicular will take you up the hill for the equivalent of a few euro cents. From the top, admire the vista of the city and the views of the Russian-Ukrainian "friendship" bridge. The crypt at Pechersk Lavra has the mummified remains of saints, while delicious and hearty modern Ukrainian food is served up at Vagon at bargain prices.
Ukrainian food can be quite meat-heavy, although the national dish, Borshch (a beetroot soup) is vegetarian. Brunch is a popular phenomenon in Kiev with excellent eggs, pancakes, and cake. Traditional cafeterias sell food by weight.
Ukrainians have been described as quite fatalistic- after all, they live in a country where life can be unpredictable. However, they are extremely generous and social occasions always involve generous amounts of food. Ukrainians tend to drink quite a lot and can be suspicious of those who don't drink at all- offering a medical reason if you simply don't want to drink can make life easier.
The crime rate isn't high in Kiev, but the usual precautions should still be taken, especially at night. Public demonstrations should be avoided, as they can turn violent. That said, the majority of visits to Kiev are trouble-free.
South African travellers will need a Ukrainian Tourist Visa to enter Kiev. Along with the application form for this visa, documents such as valid a South African passport, passport photograph, copy of ID document or proof of status and a tourist voucher are required. A single entry 90 day Visa takes around 30 business days to be processed, and costs about $154.95.
South African Embassy to the Ukraine
Address: 9/2 Velyka Vasylkivska Street,
Phone: + 380 44 289 8840
Fax: + 380 44 289 8840
|Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant||R90||R100||R69|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)||R22||R20||R7|
|Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)||R10||R12||R39|
|Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro)||R35||R35||R14|
Getting around the city of Kiev
In a city that is shrouded in mystery, ancient tradition and greenery, there is much to see and do in Kiev. Stroll through the botanical gardens and various small parks, visit the World War II Museum, take the metro to Venetsianskyi (aka Hydropark) to see the amusement park, beaches and clubs, see the historical attractions along Andriyivskyy Descent or, if you’re visiting in summer, head to the city centre to enjoy the non-stop street party atmosphere.
Shopping options in Kiev vary from modern malls selling every possible designer item, to more traditional markets that offer an entirely different variety of goods (not all entirely legal). ROSHEN Chocolate on Moskva Ploschit is good for Ukraine sweet treats to take home, while you should also look for honey (sold at markets such as Andriyivskiy Uzviz in Podil region), bulavy (spiked clubs carried by Cossack hetmans), ceramics and jewellery.
Public transport is very accessible, with plenty of ways to get around the city. Bus stations are situated at various parts of the city and its outlying suburbs. There is also the metro, which is a high speed railway line running across Kiev and into other parts of the country (or even beyond). Other ways to get around include tram, trolleybus or even tour boat if you want to travel on the river Dnieper.
Kiev Airport – IEV
Known as Kyiv International Airport, this airport is one of two passenger airports in the city, and is situated in the Zhuliany neighbourhood in the southern part of Kiev. Once you step off the plane, you will soon get your first sight of the city and what it has to offer!
Food and beverage: Grand Coffee is situated on the ground floor of international arrivals, along with Portobello and a small Café. Aerocafe is on the first floor.
Currency Exchange: ATM and currency exchange can be done at Sberbank Rossii bank on the first floor of terminal A (international flights), or Khreschatik bank in the right wing of terminal B (domestic flights).
Lost Luggage: look for the Lost&Found office in the baggage claim area – here you can complete an application form to have your luggage returned to you.
Airport Hotels: hotels near to the airport include Hyatt Regency Kiev, InterContinental Kiev, Park Hostel Kiev, Lybid Hotel, Ecos Hotel Osvity and Cosmopolite Hotel.
Car Hire: Budget and Sixt are the primary car hire providers at this airport.
Airport Hub: this airport is a hub for a number of airlines, including Wizz Air flights to and from Budapest and London.
The information on this page is correct as of November 2015. While every effort is made to keep information as fresh as possible, Travelstart.co.za takes no responsibility for any of the information being out of date or incorrectly noted.