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Locally known as the ‘city of a thousand domes,’ Kyiv is the capital of Ukraine and one of the oldest cities in Europe.
Book a flight to Kyiv with Qatar Airways and you’ll discover a city that wears its rich history on its elegant sleeve. The city’s golden domes rise up against the backdrop of pine forests and mountains, while under the streets, visitors can explore subterranean caves. Visiting Kyiv is like stepping into a beautifully-illustrated Gothic fairy-tale.
Kyiv is home to notable tourist attractions, most importantly the Pecherska Lavra,a huge complex of cave monasteries is over 1000 years old and a UNESCO World’s Heritage Site. Since the foundation, it has been the very center of Eastern Orthodox Church in that part of the world. The monasteries showcase intricate golden domes that shine in the sun. But the insides are even better.
If you would like to experience a 'small town feel' in the Ukranian capital, head to Andriyivskyy Descent and Podil. This part of the city is where Kyiv’s artists used to live, and why it is often referred to as the "Montmarte of Kyiv”. It is best to see the area from the surrounding hills and Zamkova Hora that offer a spectacular views of this colourful part of the city.
If you are prepared to go off the beaten track, ask around for Sculptures Alley. Founded in the 1980s, it’s an ever-evolving art installation featuring bold and exciting sculptures. More are added each year, so it’s worth travelling to Kyiv just to see the latest additions.
If the cityscape leaves you yearning for some wide-open space, the obvious answer is to head for Kyiv’s centre. There, you’ll find Holosiiyiskyi Park, offering over 4,500 hectares of forest, grassland, lakes and wetlands. The park is home to an abundance of flora and fauna. Wildlife enthusiasts will find it’s not long before you’re spotting endangered butterflies, birds, lizards, bats and even polecats. Getting around the park is easy enough, all you have to do is pack a picnic, hire a bike, and leave the busy streets behind you.
Café culture is tremendously popular in Kyiv, and if you just want to sit and watch the world go by, Independence Square is the best place to do it. Packed with cafés, the square contains some beautiful fountains, but the centrepiece is undoubtedly the impressive Statue to Ukrainian Independence. Maidan, as the square is known by the locals, has been the site of many political rallies and the spirit of freedom is very much in the air here.
Ukrainian cuisine is eclectic and extends far beyond the traditional borscht soup you might first think of. The most popular restaurants are to be found around Podil district, where you can expect dishes such as caviar and blinis (pancakes), various types of varenyky (dumplings) and lamb served with a barley risotto.
You might also want to sample some of street food on your trip to Kyiv, which offers everything from take-away soup and healthy sandwiches to gourmet burgers and international cuisine.
When it comes to shopping, Kyiv is a surprising mix of markets and malls. Besarabsky Market is perhaps the most famous market in the city, offering fresh fruits and local culinary delights. Travelling to Kyiv puts you in touch with a modern city that also embraces its traditional heritage, which can be seen in the crafts and particularly the embroidery on offer in various street boutiques and modern shopping malls.
Clean, sleek malls are more popular and these are where you’ll find high-end goods, such as clothes and electronics. Check out the Mandarin Plaza, which has seven levels of stores and restaurants.
Essential facts about Kyiv
Enjoy a hassle-free journey with all the information you need to know before your trip