Populated by approximately 3 million people, Kiev is the capital on Dnep River and holds some valued cultural treasures of the world. Although Ukraine might not have the reputation of the well developed states, which is understandable due to its tormented political past, one must know that Kiev has always been a place of progress, prosperity and great dynamics, ever since its early days. Fortunately, its people take pride in all that Kiev has to display, are very hospitable and eager to introduce you to the Slavic specific elements of the area. The locals are also keen on public celebrations and you may witness some of such feasts. Foreign feasts like Halloween and Valentine's have also been welcome here and don't go unnoticed.
There is considerable involvement in the spiritual life. Like Russia, Ukraine is an Orthodox Christian country, and Kiev is has been an important center for the matter. You will be in contact here with a side of this religion very different from the Western tradition. Since this was mentioned, note that Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra is a monastery complex which is fascinating even to the less spiritual. There are several churches and cathedrals to visit there, as well as narrow underground tunnels and crypts for all the deceased monks. The baroque church of St. Andrew, together with St. Vladimir Cathedral and the St. Sophia, are other gems to be included in your itinerary. Also, one cannot miss the Kiev historical center.
For the rather modern side, the Maidan Nezalezhnost is the central square, large and impressive through its tall column monument. Besides, it is enriched with fountains and features modern domes around, being a place that draws locals and visitors alike in the sunny days, as well as during important events. Underneath, there is an underground shopping mall.
Considering the relaxation and entertainment part, there is anything from the refined arts to the street celebrations and the trendy and buzzing nightlife. The numerous theatrical performances are part of the common entertainment here, along with the opera and ballet shows. The Dnieper or Dnep River, which is navigable, flows through the city offering attractive leisure activities and has many picturesque isles and tributaries within the urban limits. Numerous beaches and recreational areas are adding great fun opportunities for everyone. Additionally, there are other hundreds of bodies of water, most of them suitable for various activities.
Charming gardens, parks and surrounding forests thrive in the temperate continental climate. Spring and summer are the best seasons for tourism, given the hot temperatures. The fall brings substantial precipitation. The location and weather have been typical for the growth of mixed forests, which are part of the ecological region of Polesia. Kiev itself is a green city – its panorama shows a high density of vegetation within its limits, which makes it attractive and pleasant. Even the residential suburbs are not as grey as expected, given the constructivist architecture that dominates them.