Ukraine's capital is a historical goldmine, full of fascinating museums, sights and a lot of beautiful architecture and delicious food to discover. A Kiev flight and hotel deal is an ideal way to see this unique and surprisingly accessible European marvel, which is both very affordable and different from other places you might consider for city breaks. Kiev is ancient, gorgeous and a must for those looking to see a different side of Europe.
What to know before visiting Kiev
Ukraine is not in the European Union, but UK visitors can enjoy stays for up to 90 days without a visa. Its currency is the Ukrainian hryvnia, which is pronounced ‘ryve-near’. The time is two hours ahead of London's, and the official language is Ukrainian. Like Russian, it uses the Cyrillic alphabet, and if you’re a language buff, then learning the sounds of the alphabet will be interesting and help with street signs, menus and the like.
That said, the Ukrainian capital is very accustomed to English-speaking visitors, and you’ll find service industry workers’ command of English to be decent during your Kiev package holidays. There are two airports close by: Zhulyany Airport (IEV) and Kiev Boryspil International Airport (KBP). The latter, where you'll most likely arrive, is well served by both London and Manchester flights.
When is the best time to visit Kiev?
While November to March is chilly in Kiev, the temperatures in the city are not as extreme as you might imagine – Ukraine is further south than many people realise. In reality, it’s just a few degrees colder than what you’d get in London on average. In fact, the summers tend to be even warmer than the UK's. There’s really no bad time to book Kiev city breaks and take in the colours of this elegant city.
May is a great time to catch national festivals including Victory Day on the 9th and Kiev Day on the last weekend of the month. While many shops will be closed on these days, you'll be able to enjoy the spirit of authentic Ukrainian festivities. Kiev Summer Music Festival offers a variety of concerts in the great outdoors, while St Sophia Square puts on a fantastic show of lights and markets at Christmas time.
What to do in Kiev
There’s a wide range of activities to enjoy during a Kiev weekend trip:
Take one of many specialised tours, perhaps of the city’s Jewish heritage or its stunning, museum-like metro stations.
Walk around the gold-topped 11th-century St Sophia Cathedral and nearby Independence Square.
See the Podil quarter in the sunshine and soak in the atmosphere of the historic surroundings.
Take the kids to one of many water parks, such as Hidropark and Jurassic Dream Island Aquapark.
Places to visit in Kiev
Kiev city breaks offer a wealth of great sights to behold:
See the core of Kiev on bustling Khreshchatyk Street.
Experience the sobering Chernobyl Museum.
See the street art at Landscape Alley.
Visit the rather unique and surprisingly fascinating Toilet History Museum.
Gaze at the beautiful plants in the AV Fomin Botanical Garden.
The city’s most famous dish abroad is definitely Chicken Kiev, a delicious dish stuffed with garlic butter. Kiev city breaks can also be spent enjoying the delicious offerings of the wonderfully affordable restaurants around town.
Try borscht , a beet soup, or wholesome pirog, a pastry filled with meat or fruit or cheese. If you fancy something more casual or familiar on your Kiev package holidays, fast food and international options are easy to find around the city centre. A Kiev weekend spent eating out every night won’t cost you much at all.
What to bring from Kiev?
When you book your Kiev flight and hotel, you can look forward to walking around the markets and craft shops in the city streets. You’ll see a colourful range of options for souvenirs and treats to give loved ones back home. Painted wooden eggs and babushka nesting dolls are very typical gifts to bring from Kiev. The Ukrainian city of Lviv is famed for its chocolate, and you’ll find many shops in Kiev selling it.
Handcrafted ceramics are also commonly sold in Kiev and make for beautiful mementoes. If you know someone who’d appreciate a bottle, pick up a bottle of local cherry or plum liqueur.
Explore other destinations
If a city break in Kiev doesn't quite convince you, why not explore other exciting cities? Check out our amazing flight and hotel packages for your next holiday adventure!