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The New York Times Sings the Praises of Kiev, Ukraine

22. June 2012 by Dasha 0 Comments

Thinking of heading to Kiev, Ukraine’s capital city? Located on the Dnieper River, Kiev is home to over 2.6 million people and has enjoyed a steady increase of tourists over the last few years. In fact, Ukraine is currently co-hosting Euro 2012, a European football championship that draws thousands of fans and spectators.

In a recent article, The New York Times talked up Kiev and its fun-loving citizens, calling Kievans “a resilient lot whose hearty sense of humor and a seemingly boundless hunger for fun are reflected in the city’s bustling cafes, thronged beaches and bars that never close.”

If you’re headed to Kiev, here are a few recommendations from The New York Times’ Finn Olaf-Jones.

Independence Square

Located in the center of Kiev, Independence Square was the site of the 2004 Orange Revolution and features a mix of old Soviet architecture and modern attractions. A luxury mall is just off the square, and travelers can also relax in one of the center’s fine restaurants or sidewalk cafes. Independence Square is also a great spot for people watching as political protestors, street performers, and vendors frequent the area.

Tsarske Selo Restaurant

Located in the heart of Kiev next to the Pecherskaya Lavra, or Monastery of the Caves, Tsarske Selo opened its doors in 1998 and has been wowing patrons with its perfectly-prepared, authentic Ukrainian dishes ever since. Diners can enjoy the usual staples here -  borsch, varenky and salo, and kvass are all available. However, adventurous souls may wish to try more creative dishes like chocolate dipped salo or cabbage soup in a bread bowl.

Pecherskaya Lavra

Pecherskaya Lavra, or Monastery of the Caves, was founded in 1015 by St. Anthony of Kiev, one of the first Russian monks to establish monastic practice in Kiev. St. Anthony founded the monastery in a cave in a mount near the Dnieper River which grew after the mount was given to the monks by Iziaslav I of Kiev, grandson of Prince Vladimir the Great. Pecherskaya Lavra is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Museum of Microminiatures

The Museum of Microminiatures features tiny exhibits created by celebrated artist Mykola Syadristy. A full chessboard on the head of a pin and a flea wearing golden shoes are just two of the many exhibits on display under the museum’s microscopes. “The dapper Mr. Syadristy is often on hand himself to give tours of his unique museum and to describe how he created these micron-size projects,” Olaf-Jones writes.

Check out the New York Times’ “36 Hours in Kiev, Ukraine” for more recommendations, and be sure to explore our “Best of Ukraine” category!