Kiev is one of Ukraine’s oldest and largest cities. According to legend, it was settled in the 9th century by Kyi, the leader of a Slavic tribe. “Kiev” is said to mean “Kyi’s land.”
In the 19th century, Kiev became an important shipping port due to its location on the Dnieper River and the railroad that ran by it. Sugar and grain grown in Ukraine’s fertile soils passed through the city on their way to other parts of the Russian Empire.
During the Soviet era, Kiev served as the capital of Soviet Ukraine; shipping and local industry made it the third most important city in the Soviet Union. After the dissolution of the USSR, it continued as the capital of independent Ukraine.
Today, Kiev is an important center of technology, culture and education in Ukraine. It’s also Ukraine’s most populous city, so, there’s a good chance that a lady you meet on our site will reside there. Looking for some things to do when you go to visit? Check out our top picks:
Those looking for a romantic splurge should check out Lipsky Osobnyak. This fine dining restaurant offers authentic Ukrainian food in a gorgeous setting. People who have been there say to eat in the upstairs dining room to enjoy extra privacy while you get to know one another.
French food in Ukraine? Absolutely! Ukrainian cuisine was heavily influenced during the 1700s by French chefs that Peter the Great brought to the Russian court. Visitors to Kiev say that Gorchitsa's Café has a romantic atmosphere, terrific food and great service.
Soviet-era décor and food are all part of the draw at Spotykach. Try the dishes that your Ukrainian honey grew up on, like Salad Olivier, marinated mushrooms and homemade sausages. If you feel like imbibing, try shots of spotykach, the sweet liqueur that the restaurant is named for.
Enjoy a quiet cup of coffee with a lovely Kiev lady at Chasopys. This downtown café has great coffee and treats, free wifi so you can check your mail and a polite and accommodating staff. It’s also a great place to unwind with a book or even get a bit of work done during your trip.
During the daylight hours, Decadence House is an upscale Italian restaurant. When the sun goes down, it transforms into one of Kiev’s most exclusive night clubs. Impress that special lady by dressing to the nines and taking her out for dancing and cocktails at this opulent nightclub.
If a laid-back pub atmosphere is more your speed, head over to O’Brien’s, Kiev’s first Irish bar. They have a number of Irish brews on tap, and a pool table upstairs so you and your lady can pass the time. If you and your lady are more into casual evenings, this pub could be just the place.
If you are looking for luxury, check out the Intercontinental Kiev. The hotel has 155 five-star reviews on travel review site TripAdvisor. Former guests rave about perks like the free in-room mini-bar and the attentive staff. Plus, by international standards, the rooms are quite affordable.
Up for something a bit off the beaten path? If you’ll be renting a car or don’t mind cab rides into town, check out the Diarso Hotel at the outer ring of Diarso Kiev. Amenities include two heated pools (one outdoor, one indoor), free in-room mini-bar, and terrific food available in the hotel restaurant or from room service. Each room is decorated in a different style, and the hallways are adorned with paintings by Ukrainian artists.
Looking for something a little more basic? The Ibis Kiev Shevchenko Boulevard is new, clean and centrally-located. Reviewers praised the polite and efficient staff. This hotel is a nice and inexpensive place to spend your nights if you’d like to budget more of your funds toward daytime fun.
Ever seen entire cityscapes on a grain of rice, or carvings in a single strand of hair? The Mykola Syadristy Microminiatures Museum has some unique pieces that are visible only with the aid of a magnifying glass. Admission is inexpensive, and gives you and your lady access to a whimsical and unusual collection of art. You may even get the chance to meet the artist, Mykola Syadristy.
Landscape Alley is a great area for exploring Kiev on foot. You’ll find sculptures, novelty park benches, coffee carts and street performers along the way. Have some pastries and something to drink while you and your date do a little people-watching.
Saint Sofia Cathedral has stood for nearly one thousand years. Take in the ornate Baroque architecture, mosaics and frescos. The church and the monastery that surround it are on the list of World Heritage Sites.
Photos: St. Sofia's, Diarso, Chasopys, Kiev