My first trip to the biggest city in the Ukraine was in 2006. I was able to visit again in November 2018 and here I would like to share some of the experiences in that wonderful city in Eastern Europe. And just to mention ahead, Kiev as most of the parts in Ukraine are totally safe to visit and travel in. The only provinces which should be avoided are Kharkiv, Luhansk and Donetsk in the fast east. Crimea on the other side can be visited but only from Russia. 

Arrival
I arrived at Kiev Boryspil Airport and took the Airport Bus which runs to the Kharkivska Station or the Vokzalna and you may choose what’s best to change to the Green or Red line depending on your destination in the city. The fare for the bus ride is maximal 100 UAH.


In the airport bus from Boryspil to the city.


Vokalna, the Kiev Station. Changing from the bus to the metro station.


A "traditional" car on the way from the Underground station to my Apartment.

In the city
After having checked in I decided to go for a late night walk in town. I walked to the Independence Square (Majdan Nesaleschnosti, Майдан Незалежності) which was famous during the Orange revolution in 2004 and during the Euromajdan protests in 2013 and 2014.


Majdan


The Ukraina Hotel at the Majdan


Car free roads near Majdan square.


Saint Sophia's Cathedral in the background.


Opera of Ukraine

There are three must see monasteries in Kiev. Two of them are right in the city center and one is located in the eastern part of the city. The ones you shouldn't miss are Saint Sophia's Cathedral, St. Michael's Golden Domed Monastery and Kiev Pechersk Lavra.

Saint Sophia's Cathedral


Saint Sophia's Cathedral seen from Sofiyivska Square.


The Cathedral from the bell tower at the main entrance.

The Saint Sophia cathedral is in the center of Kiev. It is believed that the cathedral was founded in 1011 and it got its name from the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople (now Istanbul). The cathedral was amongst the first two UNESCO World Heritage sites to be inscribed in Ukraine. The bell tower at the main entrance offers and excellent view over the city and the complex.

St. Michael's Golden Domed Monastery


St. Michael's Golden Domed Monastery at a cold winter night.

The St. Michael's Golden Domed Monastery (Михайлівський золотоверхий монастир, Mykhaylivs’kyi zolotoverkhyi monastyr) is located within a short walking distance of Majdan Square and the Saint Sophia's Cathedral. The monastery was founded in the Middle Age. The exterior reflects Ukrainian Baroque style from the 18th century while the interior is based on Byzantine style. The Soviets demolished the original cathedral but after Ukrainian independence in 1991 it was reconstructed.

Kiev Pechersk Lavra

The Pechersk Lavra Monastery is the center of Eastern Orthodox Christianity in Eastern Europe. The cave monastery was founded back in 1051. Together with the Saint Sophia Cathedral it was inscribed among the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Ukraine. The complex is quite huge and includes a lot of different buildings and churches.


The main entrance to the monastery complex


At the Dormition Cathedral


Behind the Dormition Cathedral


At the Church of the Elevation of the Cross at the Near Caves.


Kiev Pechersk Lavra caverns include a cave system with underground corridors which are around 1-2 meter high and wide. The Near Caves have a length of 383 meter and a dept of 5 to 20 meter.


Moskvitch car at the Church of the Conception of St. Anne

The Motherland Monument is a giant statue within walking distance of the Pechersk Lavra Monastery.


The sword alone is 16 meter high and 9 tons heavy.

Near the main statue there is a little Museum and a an area with aircrafts, tanks, rocket launchers and so on. To enter a small fee needs to be paid. You can optionally pay a bit more and sit inside the Li-2 and the MIG 23. I went for this option and the lady taking care of the area insisted in taking a lot of pictures for me.


Kiev Pechersk Lavra is located nearby the Motherland Monument.


The "silent" message about the political situation in Ukraine.


Monument next to the Motherland Monument.

From the Motherland Monument I walked down to the Kiev Founders Monument at Dnieper river and walked along there until I reached the Dnipro metro station.


Watch your nuts while walking in this park


Along Dnieper river

The Kiev Metro system is affordable and easy to navigate. It is possible to reach the most important places in the city.


Inside the Universytet station in Kiev.


The token for a subway ride.


The stations in Kiev are really deep.


Most signs are in Ukrainian and English, so its easy to navigate. 

Arsenalna in Kiev is depending on the source the deepest Underground station in the world. The station is 105.5 metres (346 ft) deep. The following video shows the way from the track to the outside of the station.


The Video of the way out at Arsenalna station.

The park on the Volodymyrska Hill is just behind the St. Michael's Golden Domed Monastery and near the little train running to the banks of Dnieper river. On top you have a nice view over the northeastern parts of Kiev.


Volodymyrska Hill