Kyiv or Kiev (Ukrainian: Ñ) is the capital and largest city of Ukraine with – officially – approximately 3 million inhabitants (unofficially up to 4 million inhabitants). The city was founded on the banks of Dnipro River. The transliteration of the city’s name from Ukrainian is “Kyiv”, and this variation is now promoted in English language materials in Ukraine, international organizations and suggested for use in major English-speaking countries. The spelling of the city’s name is a linguistic controversy, as it is argued by some that the long-established “Kiev” spelling is based on the Russian transliteration that was prevalent during the Soviet period and therefore is a reminder of Russian influence over Ukraine (although the city itself and the name predate the existence of Russia). Others argue that the spelling ‘Kiev’ is simply the established English-language name and is still used by publications such as the Financial Times and The Economist, and that its use does not imply Russian imperialist connotations.Ukrainians are very proud of their capital’s role in establishing European civilization in Eastern Europe. Kyiv is one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, dating back to the 5th century, although settlements at this location existed much earlier. By the late 9th century, Kyiv had become the de facto capital of an emerging 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 Kyivan Rus, (Rus-Ukraine). This state created the religious and cultural foundations for modern Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia.In the middle of the 13th century, Kyivan Rus was overrun by the Mongols. Later that century, Kyiv became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In 1569 the city was absorbed into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and in 1654 it was liberated from that Commonwealth by the Cossack, Bohdan Khmelnytskyi, who then promptly signed the city over to Russia. This action continues to be a sore point for Ukrainian nationalists.In 1775, Kyiv was annexed by the Russian Empire. The city remained under Russian rule, with brief but uncertain periods of independence between 1918 and 1920. Over these two centuries, Kyiv experienced growing Russification and Russian immigration. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, it became the capital of independent Ukraine and is now discovering its place as a large European capital.It is generally acknowledged that the population is over 3,000,000 (2006 estimates). About 85% claim Ukrainian ethnicity and about 12% Russian. However, the census numbers are believed to be unreliable so these percentages must be taken with a pinch of salt. There are many minorities in the city, including Armenians, Azeris, Belarussians, Jewish, Georgians, Polish, Romanians and Tatars. Since 2001, not only has the population of Kyiv increased, but also the percentage of people claiming Ukrainian ethnicity. This is probably a result of the strong nationalist movement centered in Kyiv during the Orange Revolution (October 2004 to January 2005). Officially, all signs are in Ukrainian only. Since 2011, signs with Latin transliteration have been installed in the city center. Although many people continue to speak Russian, even most of these are ethnically Ukrainian. Hearing Ukrainian on the streets is now increasingly common. Although many Russian language-learning programs offer trips to the city, the usefulness of these trips is decreasing as the Ukrainian language in now in resurgence and the main language of the city again, after having been rarely heard since the beginning of the 20th century when it was discouraged by Soviet authorities.According to the national census taken in 2001, about 93% of the population has a secondary education, and nearly 46% received higher education.In general the people in Kyiv are hospitable and will be eager to help you. However, if you don’t have a knowledge of Ukrainian or Russian you may find service in restaurants and shops difficult, although this will change with time as more people begin to study English.Kyiv has a humid continental climate like the rest of Eastern Europe. Despite being at the same latitude as Prague and Paris, Kiev has much colder winters due to the heavy influence from Siberia. Temperatures usually remain below or around freezing all day and during the night they get below -5C (23 F). The mercury can occasionally dip to -15C (5 F) when strong cold waves hit and, in rarer cases, below -20C (-4 F). The record low is -33C (-27 F). Keep in mind that it may feel much colder due to the high humidity (83% in January). Snow cover usually lasts from late November to late March but it can start and end earlier or later. Spring and autumn are very brief and have large variations in temperatures. While the ground isn’t usually covered with snow, snowfalls can occur in April and October and very rarely in May. Summer is pleasantly warm with the average high being 25C (77 F) and the average low at 16C (61 F). Heat waves can push temperatures above 30C (86 F) occasionally and the record high is 39.5C (103 F). This also the rainiest part of the year.Boryspil International Airport (IATA: KBP) (ÑÑ Ñ “ÑÑ”) is a major airport in Eastern Europe, located 36km south-east from the Kyiv city centre. As of 2018, the most affordable tickets (2-way from 50) are usually to the other cities of Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Turkey. As of July 2018, nonstop services to North America are operated by Ukrainian International Airlines to New York City-JFK and Toronto-Pearson.As the number of passengers kept growing, Boryspil Airport now has 3 terminals in operation: B, D, and F. Most international flights arrive in the terminals D or F. Since the terminal buildings are disconnected, there is a bus operating between them. Better beforehand to check which terminal your airline operates to as this may affect your public transport options.As of 2018 March, Terminal D has good rates for currency exchange (only about 1-2% less than downtown at the best airport rate), however when you exit arrivals at terminal D, the exchange offices you see there all have the same bad rates, if you walk all the way to the left there is another office that offers out 7% better rates than the offices you will see at first.Several options are available:The journey takes 38 minutes, and the trains (PESA 90-seaters) run roughly 1-2 times per hour. The trains are more comfortable than the bus, with spacious seating and luggage racks inside the train. It provides a predictable schedule as opposite to the bus that may be affected by the typical Kyiv traffic jams. Single ticket costs 80 UAH (~3) one way, which makes rail the most affordable option to get to the city center. It’s not possible to book the ticket online. Just before leaving the arrival hall of terminal D building the ticket can be purchased from the ticket machines, where you can also check the schedule. There is a 100 meter walk after you exit the airport building to the train platform – follow the signs. The journey ends at the Kyiv main train station (aka Vokzal), that has metro and bus connections, as well as train connections to most Ukrainian cities.For the return journey from city center to the airport the train leaves from the same place it arrives – platform 14 of the main train station (Vokzal). There is also a designated small waiting lounge directly by the access to platform 14. Tickets can be purchased at one of the ticket machines next to the waiting lounge at platform 14. The ticket machines take card only and no cash. Tickets can be bought with cards or UAH cash at windows 50 and 52 located on the north and south sides of the train station, but leave enough time as the ticket windows take various short breaks throughout the day.In-between airport and Vokzal stations, the only stop train makes is Darnytsia train station (not to be confused with Darnytsia metro station). In some hours the train gets pretty crowded. So it’s the best to check Google Maps app on your phone for a specific departure time to see how crowded it would be, and pick an option that fits you the best.A bus, known as the Sky Bus or 322, operates 24-hour service between each terminal of the airport and the southern side of the Central Railway station (100 = 3.15, 60 minutes), with a stop at the Kharkivska Metro Station on the Green Line (60 = 1.90, 30 minutes) from where you may switch to the Metro and get straight to the city center for 8 (0.25) (e.g. to Maidan Nezalezhnosti or Lva Tolstoho stations) to omit the traffic jams in the city center. If you alight at the last stop, to get to the metro (Vokzalna station) from the bus stop, enter the railway terminal, follow the bridge over the railway, leave the building, and turn left. There is no sign at the metro entrance, just a small text near the door including word “metro”. The bus driver will only accept hryvnias (Ukrainian currency). You simply take your place on the bus and before departure, the bus driver walks around and sells tickets. Actually Google Maps provides some coverage and estimates for the public transportation in Kyiv, you may specify the time of departure as well. Then you may decide what will be the best fit for you, either bus+metro or taxi. The total time from the KBP to the city center by public transportation may be approximately 1 h 10 minutes. While getting back to the airport from the city, if you are catching the bus on the stop near Kharkivska Metro Station (15 – 20 minutes to Airport), some man may approach you and suggest a ride in the car for the same price as the bus (50 = 1.58). Such “taxi driver” gets 4 passengers into the car. No problem with such way of transportation as well. Please note that there is no currency exchange outlet in the departure area, so consider getting rid of all of your hryvnias prior to arriving at the airport – as it is very hard to exchange this currency outside of Ukraine.The price to the city center is starting from 300 ($10). Many locals would get the taxi through the taxi apps. Uber is reliably operating in Kyiv and became very popular among locals and travelers. Another popular alternative is Uklon taxi app. There’s no need to exchange money or buy a local sim-card right away since you may use the wi-fi in the arrivals of the airport. On the other hand, the official taxi service at the exit of KBP airport would typically charge around 580 ($23) to get to the city center. Unofficial cabs may demand even higher prices, so always arrange the price before you enter their cab and feel free to bargain. Do NOT go with anyone who approaches you offering a taxi while you are inside the airport building

Airport: KBP Boryspil International Airport Cities in Ukraine

Country: Ukraine