My trip to Ukraine – visiting Kiev

Scenic Panoram of KievAs I mentioned before, our next planned stop was Kiev, the administrative and business center of Ukraine. We spent in Kiev 2 days and were staying with my cousin who moved to the city in mid 90’s and has lived and worked there ever since.

Kiev is a city of parks, churches and construction sites. As you approach it by railroad you can see many scenic views with a mix of all three. The river that splits Kiev into two parts also contributes to the overall beauty of the area.

Construction in KievBeing the capital Kiev attracts more investment and business than any other city in Ukraine. Imagine Washington DC, New York, and San Francisco combined in one piece. Of course you should scale it down to Ukrainian size but you get the idea.

The growth of business opportunities has caused property prices to skyrocket in Kiev. The 2 bedroom apartment my cousin owns now costs about as much as my 3 bedroom house in suburban Chicago. Prices for apartments in Kiev are approximately $100-200 per square foot with prices gradually going down as you go further from city center.

Church in KievAbundance of business is the reason why my cousin moved to Kiev in 90’s. He is a professional freelance sound engineer who has worked with every possible rock and pop band in Ukraine. In 2005 he happened to be at the audio console when then elected president of Ukraine Victor Yanukovish was giving a press conference (the results of that election were later overthrown by supreme court).

Besides his main business my cousin owns a small sound recording studio and sells some equipment on a side. Given his skills there is no way he could have accomplished what he did in any other place in Ukraine. If I didn’t get a job in the US I would probably move to Kiev as well.

My cousin at drumsMy cousin also has a great sense of humor. You can see it from some of the pictures here. On one of them he is posing in his studio at the drums. The other one is taken in Botanic Garden which is a huge park we visited together in Kiev. The sign says: “Beware of ticks. Stay on the trail”. In the background, my wife, my cousin and his wife stage three dangerous ticks. :-)

Forest TicksForest ticks and encephalitis they spread are a big problem in rural areas of Ukraine and Russia. This article (rus) claims that a total of 270,000 people in Russia have become victims of forest ticks since the beginning of the year. I don’t remember this to be such an issue when I lived in Ukraine, but then maybe I didn’t travel that much.

Kiev has even more cars on the streets than Kharkiv making traffic jams a daily attribute of life in the city. The roads are however somewhat better than in Kharkiv. Streets often have clearly marked dividers and drivers can be somewhat polite to each other.

My next stop is Zaporozhye, the city of many factories and the birth place of Ukrainian kazaks. Stay tuned!

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3 Responses to “My trip to Ukraine – visiting Kiev”

  1. 1 mike g. Jul 25th, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    Excellent post. Well there goes my trip to the Ukraine! One of my wife’s biggest fears are ticks!

  2. 2 Sam Sep 13th, 2008 at 2:38 am

    Great article. Is it possible to get advice about rock groups and studio costs in Kiev. thanks

  3. 3 Laura Jan 15th, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I may be in Kiev for a class in August which would leave me the evenings and one weekend free for sightseeing. I don’t know yet where in Kiev we would be. But, in general, do you have any insider tips for visiting? Lovely scenic areas or off the beaten path ideas? Things to avoid?
    Thanks, Laura

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