Kyiv Guide

Kyiv Guide

unofficial spelling: Kiev
Area:834 square kilometers(322 square miles)
Population:2,819,566 (based on 2008 census)
Language:Ukrainian and Russian
Territorial Location:50 degrees 27’00” North 30 degrees 31’24” East
Time Zone:EET (UTC + 2)
Phone Area Code:+380 44
Climate:Moderately continental with mild winters and warm summers
Average Temperature:24°C = 75.2 F (in summer)
-19°C = -2.2 F (in winter)
Average Annual Precipitation:600 mm on average

Kyiv is the capital city of Ukraine and one of the oldest cities in Europe, dating back to more than 1500 years. It is believed to have been founded as early as the 5th century and has always figured prominently in the annals of Easterm European history – from being the political and cultural capital of Kievan Rus in the 10th to 12 century, the cradle of Christianity in the Russian Empire during the 17th and 18th centuries, its commercial rise during the late 19th century Industrial Revolution in Eastern Europe, right  to its emergence as the capital of independent Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The city was believed to have been founded by four legendary siblings – brothers Kyi (from whom the name Kyiv was derived), Schek, Khoryv and sister Lybid. Today, Kyiv is undoubtedly the largest economic, political, financial and industrial centre of Ukraine.


The city is subdivided into 10 raions, or districts which are relatively autonomous and have their own local governments. The 10 raions are: Darnytskyi, Desnianskyi, Dniprovskyi, Holosiivksyi, Obolonskyi, Pecherskyi, Podilskyi, Shevchenkivskyi, Solomianskyi, and Sviatoshynskyi. Kyiv enjoys a relatively higher level of self governance amongst all the cities in Ukraine, with an elected Mayor who concurrently holds the position of the Head of the City Council. Of the more than 2.8 million population in the city, a large majority are Ukrainians with Russians a far second in the ethnic group division. There are a number of minority ethnic groups which include Belarusians, Poles, Tatars, Georgians, Moldovans and Jews. Even though Kyiv is a large metropolis, English is still rarely spoken in the city. Locals speak Ukrainian and Russian.

Strategically situated on the biggest waterway of Ukraine, the Dnipro River, much of Kyiv’s progress has come from its advantageous geographical location: within its boundaries are about 448 bodies of water, with woody hills, ravines and slopes on the right bank part, sandy beaches and an abundance of greenery all around the territory. The climate in Kyiv is moderately continental with winters that are relatively mild and summers temperately warm. 

The city of Kyiv is a well planned urban area. Its transportation network connects the city with all of Europe and Russia. It has two airports: Boryspil International Airport located 30 kms outside of the city which services mainly international flights and connects the city with more than 40 world capitals and the Kyiv Domestic Airport which mainly services local flights. As well there are nine freight terminals that service cargo transit through the city. On land, Kyiv boasts of a transport network that includes stretches of underground coaches and tram lines, trolley bus lines and over 1300 km of bus routes. The Kyiv-Passazhyrskyi is the city’s central railway station and its metro station, the Vozkalna links right to the railway station. Another mode of transportation which can be found in Kyiv is the funicular which connects the Uppertown and the lower neighborhood of Podil. Whilst its transportation system is capable of serving its more than 2 million commuters, the roads are in need of serious repair and improvement.

Kyiv is also recognized as a scientific powerhouse, accounting for a number of Ukraine’s research and design institutes, higher and special technical schools as well as scientific institutions. 

The city is steeped in cultural richness and nowhere is this more evident than in the impressive architecture of its buildings and manmade structures. Historic areas such as the Andriyivskyy Descent, the Kreschatyk street and the Independence Square hold an array of cultural landmarks that speak of the city’s rich traditions and legacies from its churches, museums, castles, parks, military fortresses to its art centres and theatres. The Golden Gate is one of the city’s most important historic landmark built in the mid-11th century and said to have been modeled after the Golden Gate of Constantinople.  consistent growth and modernization has opened Kyiv to more western influences, the influx of tourism is proving to be beneficial not only to the city’s economy but to the rest of Ukraine as well. The city’s landscape is burgeoning with new hotels, restaurants, office buildings and other recreational spots to cater to visitors coming from the West.