What is special about traveling to the Ukrainian capital
Traveling to Kyiv is like nowhere else. Hidden gem of Eastern Europe, Kyiv has so much to offer any avid traveler. If you think about the reasons for visiting the Ukrainian capital, the number one that pops up in the mind is exploring Chornobyl that is located 150m km from Kyiv to the North. The exclusion zone has been known as one of the top travel destinations during the last 5 years at least.
From my personal experience working as a tour guide in Kyiv, I can confirm it. As every second tourist or a group of tourists that I have primarily come to Ukraine because of the interest in visiting the Chornobyl exclusive zone. And since you are already in Ukraine, why not explore the capital on a private tour with a professional local Kyiv guide.
Travelers come to Kyiv without any big expectations from a former Soviet republic. All my guests shared with me their thoughts. Their opinion and impressions about the Ukrainian capital after visiting it change dramatically. Because what opens to their eyes is so much different from any other travel destination. Beautiful and clean city, various architecture from different epochs, great variety of international cuisines restaurants with delicious food, and such affordable prices.
Whatever your travel expectations are – they can be satisfied in the Ukrainian capital. Aside from the mentioned above, Kyiv is a city with at least 1500 years of history. And let me explain to you why you need to explore the city on a guided tour with a local private Kyiv tour guide.
Why You Need a Private Guided Tour of Kyiv
- The local population of Kyiv doesn’t speak English as you are used to seeing it in the rest of Europe.
As you may know, Ukraine is an Eastern Slavik country with a Cyrillic alphabet. That’s the harsh reality here, people have been learning English for many years, but they cannot master it and move further than elementary level. I can’t talk about the reasons for this phenomenon as I am not the scientist who researched this question. But I can totally confirm it from my own observation.
What you can expect in the terms of English knowledge in Kyiv is some kind of basic and pre-intermediate levels in the customer service area, like hotels receptionist, waiters in restaurants, sellers in tourist souvenir shops and markets. That’s it. So be prepared to use a translator app in urgent cases when you need to explain what you need to a passerby.
- Ukrainians have a specific mentality which is quite different from the Western world people.
Due to historical events that were happening on this land during the centuries (things like wars, revolutions, invasions, famines, suppressions, etc) the Ukrainian nation has certain mentality features and cultural differences that may give false or wrong assumptions about the people. And it’s not about the negative side.
For example, it’s not common in Ukraine to smile at strangers and passers-byes, or even give a smile back. Somehow, we are not used to doing it and it doesn’t mean that we are not a friendly and sympathetic nation. Cause as soon as you become an acquaintance of a Ukrainian you will wholeheartedly feel hospitality and care towards yourself. So, to avoid similar misunderstandings in communication and interaction with locals and be on the safe side, I would suggest hiring a local private Kyiv guide and learning more about this aspect.
- History of Kyiv city goes back to 1500 years. Sounds fascinating isn’t!
You should understand that visiting a city with such a rich history and just walking around, watching and eating is certainly a crime. You will probably be happy and tick off Kyiv on your long bucket list. But will that mean that you have really explored the Ukrainian capital as a travel destination? I believe no. On a guided tour with a local professional Kyiv tour guide (or it can be any group Kyiv walking tour), you will get under the skin of ‘real Kyiv’ and moreover learn about Ukrainian culture, background, lifestyle from a local.
The guide will give you explanations of different aspects of the history and culture of the nation. Introduce you to local customs and traditions. Tell the stories behind the famous landmarks. And show you off the beaten hidden spots of the city. You will have insiders recommendations from your local tour guide of places to visit in Kyiv, interesting things to do in Kyiv, and of course, what national Ukrainian dishes you should try.
- If you visit Kyiv for a short period of time and want to see and visit all the essential sites, but you don’t know how to organise everything in terms of logistics and timing.
Be sure that booking a private tour with a local Kyiv guide is the best option. That’s the best part about hiring a tour guide. You will not lose a single minute of your precious time. Within the timing that you have, your expert guide will create the itinerary that fits your interests. Under professional guidance, you will see all the main sites and many of the secret ones.
Kyiv is a huge city, some of the interesting places are scattered in different neighborhoods, and managing the logistics is definitely not the strong suit of a first-time visitor. Entrust your plans to the trustful guide who will take great professional care of you all the way.
- If your trip to Kyiv lasts several days, you might need all possible recommendations for non touristic places to eat, fun things to do in Kyiv, where to shop, what kind of fraud to be warned about, and etc. etc.
You may rely on the tips and recommendations of your local Kyiv guide and take advantage to learn more about anything you need to know about the city. So that the rest of your time you spend efficiently. The insider information that you will receive from a citizen of the city is precious, you will never find anything of that kind on the internet. Unless you spend weeks or months browsing the forums before your trip. But your time on travel is priceless, isn’t it!
About the author
Hello! My name is Victoria, I’m a private tour guide in Kyiv, and fingers and lens behind this blog. If you plan a trip to the Ukrainian capital, I would be happy to customize your perfect Kyiv private tour. I can create a tour on a wide range of topics from ancient and medieval times to Soviet-era and modern Kyiv, architecture and street art, and local gastronomy.
Just tell me your ideas and I will design a tour built around a theme of particular interest that you wish to learn more about. I will take great professional care of you, making your visit one to remember.
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