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Kiev (Kyiv) and surrounding cities - where to go (Euro 2012)

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Hey all;

I've been digging through the archives and thought I'd consolidate some of the excellent questions/info I've found on this site.

I'm planning on going to Poland/Ukraine and other Eastern European countries next June, for Euro 2012. We have tickets to a match in Kiev (Kyiv) on June 19, and would like to be in the city for the Finals on July 1. This gives us about 1.5 weeks to play with.

We're having difficulty determining the following:

a) How to fly cheaply into Kiev
b) What other cities to visit. I would like to hit up Bratislava, and perhaps swing down through Slovenia and Croatia. I have been to Vienna and Budapest before, but am not against returning.
c) Depending on the answer to b), what is the best way to get around? Most people think night trains, but they can be upwards of 16 hrs, which seems a touch extreme. Would renting a car from just inside the Ukrainian border and driving to Kiev and back to the rental city, and then doing trains the rest of the way be worthwhile, or just a huge waste of time/effort?

Sorry for the verbal barfing of ideas in my head. I've been looking at maps and Fodor forums and googling airlines (Wizz Air, etc) for about 8 hrs and can't find any concrete solutions.

Cheers in advance

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