A trip to Europe is usually centered in the same cliche places like France, England, and maybe Germany. This makes Eastern European countries to be somehow undervalued when choosing a travel destination. Taking Kiev in Ukraine is a good example of an underrated European haven. The city carries a lot of historical value from its architecture to its people’s culture. Russian speakers would especially have a good time in Kyiv as Russian is the second unofficial language of Ukraine. Ukrainians speak Russian fluently together with the official language which is Ukrainian.
Kiev happens to be ranked seventh most populated city in Europe. A steady increase in city inhabitants can be attributed to the comfortable life that Kiev has to offer. People have moved there for work, education and even pleasure. Industrial and Scientific advancements have created employment for a lot of Kiev’s residents with the majority working in major Tech industries. Ukraine’s capital city is enjoying good momentum in terms of the startup industry which is impressive considering its economic situation. In Europe, it is ranked thirty-fourth for being favorable to startup companies that rely on innovators and IT professionals. For anyone looking to have a career in this line of work, Kiev is really the place to be.
Another reason to visit Kiev is its long and interesting history as one of Eastern Europe’s oldest cities. The name Kiev is said to have been derived from its early founders. After its founding, it went on to serve as a commercial center in the 5th century for the Slavic civilization. Kiev’s strategic location on the trade routes used at the time is what gave it much importance. Vikings are recorded to have once concurred the city, ruling it with an iron fist some time in the 9th century. Mongols came soon thereafter and almost destroyed Kiev. It served as an administrative center for the outskirt territories belonging to them.
In the late 19th century, which is a more recent time, the Russians had control of most of Asia and Europe. Ukraine’s Peoples Republic fought for its independence leading to it being a soviet country. Kiev went on to survive both of the world wars despite being flattened by the conflicts. A lot has happened there since that time from revolutions to tragic events caused by complicated political events. All of this history was documented to be displayed in world heritage sites across the city and in museums. Travel to this historically rich city to see images, paintings, and artifacts that defined these time periods.
Architecture in Kiev, especially the beautiful golden dome churches, is the most iconic in Eastern Europe. The churches are so well-built that it is difficult to pick a favorite. UNESCO recognized the Pechersk Larva Complex as a world heritage site, giving protection from destruction. Orthodox churches within Kiev are also listed to have historical relevance that attracts tourists. Ukraine’s history with the Soviet Union did not only affect its political situation and language but also its architecture. Kiev has over three million inhabitants which means that many infrastructures was needed to sustain the population. Soviet city planning styles and the old design styles are very pleasing to look at.
Street art in Kiev is one of the reasons it is Eastern Europe’s Center for modern artwork. Considering the vast area covered by Kiev, it is almost impossible to view all the street artwork in one day. A startup recently created an app that maps out where the best murals and graffiti are, so you can easily find them. The food scene in Kiev is very vibrant with restaurants serving unique and tasty dishes. What makes the food here even better is that it is extremely cheap.
Politically, Ukraine is a better place than it was thirty years ago, having recently joined the European Union. This greatly opened the country economically to other countries within the union. Ukraine’s relationship with its former Soviet power Russia has not been good, ever since they gained independence. Russia and Ukraine still fight in violent conflicts to control territories along the border. Kyiv felt a huge blow when Russia annexed Crimea from it and this went to further worsen their relations. To non-residents the politics there is so complicated that it is normal for tourists to think they are in Russia whenever they visit Kyiv. A simple internet search should give you more information about Kyiv including the fact that it is in Ukraine.