The only hotel I have been there is is Boryspil Hotel. There, the water, the hot water, electricity and food is just fine. (Apartments are another story) Are these commodities reliable in other hotels? If so or not so, what is there to do there with tourists other than a man looking for a date?
I'm not quite sure I understand the question ("what is there to do?"). Probably the simplest answer, is that in all my time in Kyiv, I never encountered a western family there just for sight-seeing.
It depends on who the tourists are, of course -- their background and interests. If they have any Ukrainian ancestry, then it could be especially interesting for them, and they might want to see if they could locate any relatives there. If they're interested generally in Russian/Soviet history and culture, Ukraine is a sort of gentle initiation, with a more European flavor (at least in Kyiv) than the cities of Russia.
I would say first, the best times are around May and September -- winter weather can sometimes be very cold, and sight-seeing is not so convenient or enjoyable. In recent years summers have had some intense heat waves.
Personally, I enjoy Kyiv very much. The "old city" (roughly, the area around Maidan Nezhaleznosti known to so many of us guys) has delightful architecture. Attractions include two botanic gardens, the war memorial, the Monastery of Caves (Pecherskaya Lavra), the Golden Gate (the only remnant from when Kyiv was a walled city), and a fascinating museum of Folk Architecture in parkland in the south of the city. In nice weather, there are plenty of boat rides on the Dnipro. There are fine (and reasonably priced) performances at the Opera House.
For those wishing to delve deeper into some of the somber aspects of local history, there are memorials in Babi Yar (right in town), and if you take a tour of Chernobyl, you'll see how near the power station is to Kyiv.
Though it's hardly Kyiv, there's a gorgeous park (Sofiyivka) in Uman, a town south of the city. On a day of beautiful weather, it's well worth the long rides to see.
When you write "family," I don't have much of an idea what would be interesting for children -- in fine weather there are some very nice parks; the zoo is a pleasant place for people, with unfortunately a terrible history of taking care of its animals.
Though I haven't been, Crimea has a great reputation for beauty, including some rather magical-looking romantic buildings perched on cliffs above the black sea. And in the west, Lviv (also spelled Lvov) is supposed to be one of Europe's most beautiful cities.
I guess the problem with Ukraine as a tourist destination, is that for about the same money most people can visit Rome, Paris, London, Prague etc. -- places that are much more famous, abounding with world-famous monuments and buildings, world-class musems, etc. So tourism in Ukraine is mostly limited to those who have a special interest (family connection, historical interest, religious affiliation, etc.), or people from the FSU for whom it's hard to get visas to "real Europe."
Thanks, Mr. Durak. That's pretty much what I figured.
You spoke of Kyiv. I guess it's pretty much the same story throughout the FSU. Language, the food and accommodations are other barriers to tourism.
The most fascinating to me were the catacombs in the churches at Kyiv. There were saints there, hundreds of years since they died, still visible in their glass coffins, and people still kneel in prayer before them. (I am not making a religious judgment here. It's just what was there). It is quiet and somber under there. My date slapped my hand lightly for holding the candle the wrong way.
Their oldest reference to their church, as I recall, was the year 1000 and as Mr. Durak says,probably more fascinating are 1000 years before that and even earlier, with the Roman and Christian history in Egypt or Italy.
One thing that is of concern is the children. If FSU is not for children tourists, is it for FSU children? My thoughts are they must grow up fast.
agree that Ukraine isnt most westerners family tourist destinations.
That doesnt mean that Ukraine doesnt have many unique and interesting things to do as a family.
My second oldest son will come here in March so I can show him the places I love.
When Im not being insomniac trying to adjust to time difference I will post the places I like
LR1701 said: "I will go places and take a little risk,,, but when it comes to my future family,, if ever,,, I donít take chances with them."
I dont think Ukraine is a risk to take family but that opinion comes as someone with significant experience. I spend alot of time here.
As such, there are many places I would like to take kids that they would enjoy. My kids would love Great Patriotic War museum and all the tanks and planes
outside, the State Aviation Museum at Zhulyany airport, the monastery caves at Pechersk Lavra, the Chornobyl museum in Podol area, Pirogovo Open-Air Museum which details early life in Ukraine as well as the Mall underground at Independence Square. Thats just Kiev and just off the top of my head. The Dolphinarium in Kharkiv is another place I instantly think of. Crimea also has so many interesting places to explore I can't even begin to list including the cliff city, submarine base....
How anyone can say there is not many family things to do in Ukraine just doesnt know Ukraine. Some of you spend so much time obsessed with girls that you dont realize all the things a country 1500+ years older than America offers. The outdoor ice skating area in the park by the Rada Parliamentary building is preparing to open next weekend and it is one of the largest skating areas in Europe. A person can live a very good, fun filled life here.
Russia also offers a variety of interesting family activities as well, especially Moscow. Dont ever think you cant bring your new "blended" family here especially if you marry a girl from here.
Im not knocking you LR, just simply saying you are wrong on this one,lol
I have taken my kids to Ukraine twice. Once for holiday and once for wedding. In the large cities there is not much difficulty to find multi lingual people in shops and restaurants. The biggest surprise for the kids was taking my 13 and 16 yo daughters to a nightclub in Arcadia in Odessa. No trouble getting them in or ordering alcoholic drinks. They were pretty shocked seeing the antic of some of the drunken girls performing on the dance floor.
I have spent a total of 1 night in a hotel in Kiev in a total of about 2 years in Ukraine. It was on the wedding night. Pretty nice room as it should have been for 600 euro. Otherwise I always would get centrally located apartments. Never had any real issues and I enjoy having the option to cook for myself.
Underaged drinking - well what we would considr underaged anyway - is a real proble,
Went to a small disco in Poltava with a friend and I couldn't believe how old some of the dancers were - as young as 14. I assumed of course that they must have snuck in and that this was a rarety. But apparently not.
Rick,,, I was about to start this post with something like,,, Going to Ukraine isnít exactly like going to Canada?!! Lol But then I reconsidered! I have more stories about that, than I care to share today.
There is danger where ever you go in the world,,, even in oneís own country. However,,, I dislike cities here too!
One thing about Ukraine,,,, and we just talked about it recently, are things like the raid on the hotel Slavutich. Someone may have been killed,, and it might have been by a cop on the take?? It was done in a very public place.
I also think about the very first minutes after getting off of the plane,,,, the taxi drivers at the airport. Then at the hotel,,, walking the kids past the working girls?? Iím sure a son would love to see the juggling act,,,, or jiggling act the one girl did for me,,, I know I enjoyed it!
I never said there wasnít anything to do or see,,, Ukraine is full of history and natural beauty,,, but so is the U.S. I have covered 75% of this country and still have a lot to see.
For me,,, itís also the hassle of air travel! I hate the airports and the long flights. If they would rip out two rows of seats, and let me install my leather recliner,,, that would be different!
I would take the ďblendedĒ family over and just try to steer clear of danger. And who knows,,, they might come here too?!
Jet,, GD,, These young girls,, were they dancers on stage or on the dance floor??? You havenít forgot that the age of consent is 16,,, and not 18! I donít know what their drinking age is,,,,, if they have one??
In Lugansk, I found beer in a soda can like vending machine!
I have also seen kids in night clubs,, on their own.
Under aged drinking and prostitution are not that serious to me in bringing family to FSU. Just past the border to Tijuana, Mexico was such a place where these were prevalent was such a place. That is, until the drug wars started. It is robberies and murders that will deter me from recommending any place.
It's not as prevalent now as it used to be, but Hollywood and Las Vegas are places where prostitution exists. In fact, it is even legal in some outlying cities in Las Vegas. Las Vegas has many attractions for children. Hollywood Blvd is where the would be stars hang out where they do their dancing, singing and performing on the streets for tips, along with the other attractions.
We cannot shield children from this. We acknowledge them because whether or not we do, they know about it. My purpose in starting this thread is is we do go into this FSU venture, we should be able to bring friends, and family with us or even have them visit us if we decide to go and live there.
For my very first trip to Moscow, Russia,, I never told anyone I was going. My sister started asking questions because I was buying suits,,,,, and insisted I tell her where I was going.
I told her,,,,a little southeast of St Petersburg. She assumed Florida!!