Kiev, also known as Kyiv or Київ in Ukrainian is the capital of Ukraine.
It is centrally located in the northern plains, about 600km from the eastern and western borders of Ukraine. With almost three million inhabitants it is the most populous city of Ukraine.
The area around Kiev has been settled since prehistoric times, but the exact date when the city was found is not clear. The traditional founding date is set to 482. Kiev started to prosper after the 9th century, as it developed as a trading centre along the Dnepr river. In 1240 Kiev was destroyed by Mongol armies and only recovered at the end of the 18th century when it became part of the Russian empire.
Nowadays Kiew lacks a clearly identifiable historic core, probably because it suffered massive distruction in World War II and older structures were replaced by modern ones during the Soviet period. There are lots of large buildings on wide streets, most built in Neoclassical or Soviet architecture. Some reconstruction seems to have focused on imposing, Dubai-style buildings, designed to impress.
From a touristic perspective the highlights of Kiev are its beautiful Orthodox churches with their golden domes. Podil, the area immediately north of St Michael's monastery, is quite and reminds a bit of the Montmartre area of Paris.
How to get to Kiev
Kiev is well connected, with two airports, a train station and motorways to the rest of the country.
There are many hotels in and near kiev, most of them bookable via the international booking portals.