Itinerary Suggestions

Aug 13th, 2009, 04:48 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 55
Itinerary Suggestions

I have been invited to Kiev, Ukraine to give a talk on a Thursday in November (12th). We are planning on leaving San Francisco Sunday the 8th and returning on Sunday the 15th.

On the one hand, I think it would be nice to spend all the time in Kiev and get to know the city. On the other hand, I am thinking that while we are way out there on the other side of the planet, it might be a good time to visit another Eastern European city, like Budapest. The problem is, if we do that, we can only really tour around each city for a few days.

Anyone here been to Kiev? Is there enough to do for the full week (minus the one day for the conference)? I am an avid photographer. I imagine Budapest is a very photographic city. But I am not sure about Kiev. Any thoughts?

I realize this is a very subjective question (how much packing and unpacking do we want to do in a week), but I always have gotten great advice from this forum, so I thought I would put it out there and see what people say.

danielsonkin is offline  
Aug 29th, 2009, 06:36 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
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I understand your problem. I had the same problem. We will be going to the Ukraine in less than 2 weeks. I debated for weeks about stopping in Poland or Istanbul on our way to and from Kiev. In the end I decided to spend all of our time in the Ukraine.

The following web addresses have some wonderful pictures.

At another website you can read about the many museums:

We won't have time but there is a beautiful old city about 100 miles NE of Kiev called Chernihiv. It looks beautiful.
sun_and_oil is offline  
Aug 29th, 2009, 06:53 AM
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I didn't get to Kiev, but I did visit Lviv, Kolomiya and the Crimea, and had a great time. You might find my TR helpful - - pix at - do try to at least make it to Lviv.

Budapest is also a good destination (click on my name for my TR) but not the easiest place to reach from Kiev.
thursdaysd is offline  
Aug 29th, 2009, 08:33 AM
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Kiev, should get some great shots of gun runners, drug smugglers, pimps and dope heads. Other than that it is a very clean city.

At least in Budapest these things are generally not acceptable
bilboburgler is offline  
Aug 29th, 2009, 08:52 AM
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That's sounds a bit extreme. When were you there?
thursdaysd is offline  
Aug 29th, 2009, 12:58 PM
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last 2 years
bilboburgler is offline  
Sep 6th, 2009, 09:37 PM
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Thanks for all the good links to information and photos. I think we will keep it to one country this time.
Take care,
danielsonkin is offline  
Sep 14th, 2009, 06:58 PM
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I was in Kiev in early July and there's really much to see and do. The 'Caves' Monastery immediately comes to mind and of course there are many other historic and interesting places to visit. We spent a Sunday evening in the city center, just people watching--very enjoyable. We didn't spend a lot of time in the city, as were visiting friends in Eastern Ukraine and also spent a few days in Crimea.

Incidently, we never were aware of a single gun runner, drug smuggler, etc., although I suppose there are some, just as in any other large (or not so large) city.
geribrum is online now  
Sep 20th, 2009, 11:56 AM
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I hope that the Kiev airport is now a little less hectic/chaotic-be prepared!
Kiev is really too far east to do much other than the city itself. Thr Pecherska Lavra ( monastery w/ caves and 2 catherdrals) could take up a whole day-huge!
I liked St Andrew's church-now a museum so expect to pay if you go in/take photos but the cobblestoned street is fun,lined with street vendors.Remember to bargain with them!
St Sofia catherdral is another worthwhile visit-huge!
In the Taras Shevchenko park there is a restaurant called Taras-good typical Ukrainian food w/the workers dressed in Ukrainian folk outfits-all want to speak English!
I also enjoyed a trip down the Dniporo River to Kaniv where Taras Shevchenko is buried-he is the poet of Ukraine-much revered-beautiful spot and a nice peaceful break from Kiev.
Just remember to drink bottled water-even brush your teech with it!
chapla is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 08:46 AM
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I have just returned from a first trip to Kiev. We stayed 11 nights at the Khreshatyk hotel (possibly a three star, quiet rooms in back, noisy when the Buddha Bar next door cranks up on weekends, but helpful staff and a great breakfast buffet included, used on the mile long main street of the same name (wonderfully pedestrian- only on weekends). We were busy on the weekends, but I got to sightsee during the week. Kiev is a beautiful, cosmopolitan (many different kinds of cuisines), very walkable albeit hilly city. The metro is easy to use and readily available. I even rode three different buses. I never felt unsafe, although I did wear a money belt and kept my purse close. There was a scam of a dropped wallet (don't retrieve anything for anyone!) occurring to our conference attendees on two different occasions where one person dropped the wallet and after the unsuspecting good Samaritan picked it up a "Police Officer" intervened when the person who dropped it started accusing the Samaritan of taking all the money out of the wallet. But I never saw drug runners, etc. I didn't have nearly enough time to visit all the interesting museums. Chornoybyl and Lavra (has many museums....Folk art and Scythian treasures were both wonderful...if female, wear a skirt and scarf to get into the caves) were highlights. If you need directions while out on the streets, try asking any of the many 20-30 somethings if they speak English...many can. The people are very friendly. I also went to the Folk Architecture and Life Museum (many acres, lots of buildings from all over the country set up region by region) 12 miles south of the city....wonderful, but would be even better on a weekend when more of the many buildings would be open. We went numerous times to the Crimean restaurant KPYM on Independence Square across from the large McDonalds, enjoyed several meals at the Indian restaurant on Khreschatyk (Himilaya, upstairs, #23 I think)and liked the Italian restaurant, Osteria Pantagruel across the street from the Golden Gate. The Ukrainian cafeterias were easy to eat at and had good food during September...November may not have as many selections with fresh vegetables as we had. I loved Ukrainian food, coming from strong German heritage myself. The cuisine has many similar ingredients...dill, beets, potatoes, cabbage, vinegar, sausages. We went to the Opera (Puccini) one night and it was good, not great but very entertaining with good music...quite reasonable entertainment for $20 a ticket. (National Opera House). The National Museum of Art is in Kiev, as is the National Museum of History. Another spouse insisted that St Michael's was the best Orthodox Church to go inside and see. We didn't get inside that one, but liked seeing the mosaics inside St Sophia's. I was ready to come home but would go again because there is plenty I didn't have time to see and was sorry I missed. Explore the covered farmers market near Bessarabs'ka square (flowers, produce and meats) and then pop into the wonderful small craft store a short block down Khreschatyk with the red sign and door that faces a very tall (leafless in Nov!) tree with about three large windows full of folk art displays facing the street (odd numbered side of the street). Do wind your way down the curving Andrivs'kyi uzviz (art street), preferably on a weekend when more artists might display their paintings (will it be too cold in November?) past the wonderful St Andrew's church. You can get a GREAT, free map at the airport that has the downtown area with all the buildings drawn in detail and color on it as they appear in real life...a great help when orienting yourself and trying to get to destinations. In summary, I suggest that you only go to Kiev for a week, so you can enjoy it longer.
luvtogo07 is offline  
Oct 1st, 2009, 07:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 184
Great tips! I'm planning my trip for next month. This is such handy information.
trsny is offline  

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