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Kiev, the Capital

MONUMENTAL KIEV, THE CAPITAL

Just One City, But With The History of Eternity Inside

St Petersburg is ayoung city, Moscow is ancient, but Kiev is eternal. This is Rome East..

Honore de Balzac

Your first impression of this most ancient capital is bound to be one of surprise. This cradle of Slavic culture, this receptacle of New Ukrainian wealth, this paradise of shady politicians and serene port of multiple business clans, is nothing short of beautiful. Peerless Kiev will seize you at first glance.

When you gaze upon its gold domes that light up the leafy banks of the Dnipro River, youll feel as if youve taken a casual step back to a time more appealing.

It must have been Kievs natural beauty that inspired its original settlers to choose it more than 1500 years ago.A city built upon seven hills, all strangely hidden in mist and bathed by the freshness of dew in the early mornings, Kiev never ceases to overwhelm.Visitors will be treated with a variety of architectural styles, a series of amazing cathedrals, as well as several magnificent twenty-first century venues.

Modern-day Kyiv is centuries-long mosaics of the times of Kyivan Rus, quiet echo of Soviet Union, velvet tenor of pure Ukrainian nationalism and sweet soprano of Capitalist luxury. Turn-of-the-20th-century architecture mixes with Soviet monumentalism and flashy modern office buildings. Statues glorify characters as diverse as Lesi Ukrainka, Vladimir Lenin and Valeriy Lobanovsky.

Believe it or not, big money resides in Kyiv.Anyone involved in the, shall we say, gray world of Ukrainian big business maintains a private apartment in the capital.Aggressive drivers and late-model BMWs are the norm, as are expensive gourmet restaurants, upscale boutiques (Brioni, Ulisse Nardyn, Cartier), luxury night-clubs, and 5-star hotels such as Hyatt, Radisson SAS, and Intercontinental.Adorned in the latest collections of Chanel and Escada, the wives of Kyiv rich and famous are readily observed in its pricier neighborhoods.This effect, however, is perfectly diluted by thousands of ordinary workers who commute in from the outer suburbs and provinces, as well as by throngs of trendy students occupying Kievs every corner. And this reality falls asleep and wakes up in the rhythm of Your heart.

Just when youve been distracted by the citys intriguing mix of humanity, the artistic churches, the plentiful old growth trees, the well-placed public parks, most charming brides and the impressive architecture re-take your attention.Suddenly you realize that Kyivs splendid landscapes, its eye-catching hills and cliffs, its endless descents, and charming streets and bridges, make it one of the most gorgeous travel spots in Europe.Kyiv, too often viewed as just one of many former Soviet capitals, is easily navigated, safe, and cozy.It offers the traveler a compact and modern infrastructure system, and it oozes the nostalgia of bygone Soviet hierarchy mixed with the pride and cleanliness of most modern European capitals, all surrounded by centuries of history that will keep one amused and awe-inspired for days, if not weeks. This is exactly how Kiev asserts itself, as a new Mecca of European Tourism!

The list of Must Sees for every visitor is endless, but it would definitely include the mummified monks of the Lavra Cave Monastery and the charming Andriyivsky Uzviz (descent), not forgetting to allow time to join the ever-present local crowds and simply soak in the atmosphere.Wander through the hilltop parkland overlooking the Dnipro River; view the Soviet-built suburbs on the far bank; visit the Arch of Friendship, and do not forget the Golden Gate and Independence Square.A walk along the main street of Khreshchatyk, the shortest - yet widest - central street in Europe, is more than worthwhile.Take in a meal & have a beer while you chat up the locals.If you are young - or maybe just young at heart - try a bit of clubbing, Kyiv style.From the live bands that play downstairs at the Golden Gate Pub to the high tech atmosphere of Barsky or Arena, Kyiv boasts nightspots that could give even Las Vegas a few new ideas.Whatever you do, however, let yourself go and allow this special city to sweep you off your feet.If you give it just a bit of time, it will find ten different ways to do so!