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Flights to Kiev


Kyiv (as it is called in Ukrainian) is the capital (and largest city) of Ukraine with 3 million inhabitants and sits on the banks of the Dnipro River.

Kyiv is one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, dating back to the 5th century. It has a turbulent history.
By the end of the 9th century; Kiev had become the de facto capital of a nascent Eastern Slavic state. Between the 10th and early 13th centuries, the city reached its golden age as the capital of the first Ukrainian state (known today as Kievan Rus), creating the religious and cultural foundations for modern Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia.
However, by the middle of the 13th century, Kyivan Rus was overrun by the Mongols. But by the end of that century, Kyiv had become part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which in 1569 became the Polish-Lithuanian Kingdom.
In 1775, Kiev was annexed by the Russian Empire. The city remained under Russian, and then Soviet rule, with tumultuous periods of independence between 1918 and 1920.
Following the end of Communism, it became the capital of an independent Ukraine and is now discovering its place as a prominent European capital.
In general, the people of Kiev are hospitable and will be eager to help you.
Kiev can seem quite bewildering to the western tourist, as most signposts are in Cyrillic script, but recently signs in the Latin alphabet have been erected. It is still largely a city where English is not widely spoken. However getting around is easy with a simple Metro system aiding the way, and it is a fascinating city to explore. 
Why not pick up a Ukrainian phrasebook and try a few words, you will be surprised how much it is appreciated, and helps 'break the ice.'
Places to visit:

Go to the market at Andrew's Descent, for an array of traditional fayre, old communist goods (real goods as well as its fair share of mass-produced fakes), matryoshka dolls, etc. The best days are Saturdays and, especially, Sundays.
Khreshchatyk  Street - The main boulevard of the city center. It is pedestrianized, on some weekends, and is busy with plenty of entertainment. A big, boisterous crowd and perfect for watching the world go by. Metro: Maidan Nezalezhnosti or Khreshchatyk.
Kiev Pechersk Lavra (Cave Monastery) One of the oldest, and most famous monasteries in Ukraine, and of the former Soviet Union. Only the most significant monasteries were designated as Lavras (there were only four), of which this Cave Monastery is the oldest.
Open-Air Museum of Folk, Architecture, and Rural Life. Covering 160 ha, the Museum features six restored rural Ukranian villages, with old huts, wooden mills and churches from all over Ukraine, which have been lovingly restored, and function as living museums. English-speaking guides with expertise on the whole site are available. Ukrainians come on sunny days to relax in the grass.  
St Sophia's Cathedral. The oldest remaining church in Kiev. St Sophia's is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and also has the world's biggest collection of frescoes and mosaics, dating from 11th century, including the Virgin Orans mosaic.
Maidan Nezalezhnosti  - Independence Square, located on Khreshchatyk Street. Maidan is renowned, as the place where the Orange Revolution was born. A central gathering point in Kiev. Metro: Maidan Nezalezhnosti or Kreshchatyk.
Mariyinsky Palace, and Mariyinsky park, (metro station Arsenal'na is one block away from the park entrance). Mariinsky Park is one of the most popular and beautiful.The park is located on the banks of the Dnieper River.
Mariyinsky Palace was constructed, in Baroque style, at the end of the eighteenth century, by the Russian Empress Elizaveta Petrovna. The Palace was designed by the famous architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli, (of Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg fame). Mariyinsky Palace adjoins the neo-classical building of the Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament).
State Aviation Museum - located inside the old Zhulyany Airport, with many impressive Soviet civil and military aircraft on display.
Golden Gate of Kiev - Metro: Zoloti Vorota. A 1982 reconstruction of the Golden Gate of Kiev, described by Mussorgsky in his painting "Pictures at an Exhibition."
Why not take the metro to Hidropark island, in the Dnipro river. Kiev is blessed with city beaches along the Dnipro River. Many a summers day can be spent in the parks and on the beaches of the islands.
Eating out:

By Western standards, Kiev is very cheap to dine. Try the Borscht, chebureki, chicken Kiev and then try absolutely everything else. Baked goods are cheap and good quality. Ice Cream from street vendors is a particular delight.
Getting There:

Boryspil Airport is 36km southeast of the city center.
The cheapest tickets are usually to the other cities of Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Turkey. As of November 2016, the only nonstop service to North America is by Ukrainian International Airlines, to New York City-JFK.
Zhulyany Airport is 8km southwest of the city center. It is popular with budget airlines. Wizzair is the major airline flying from this airport. The best flight deals are offered by http://www.paylessflights.com