Kiev’s main Square, Maidan Nezalezhnosti (sometimes referred to as Maiden for short), has huge old buildings that will take your breath away. It is at the center of the main street that runs through the city, Khreschatyk. Those majestic buildings you see in the pictures were spared from World War II. On the weekends, the main street actually closes down to cars so that pedestrians can enjoy it. If you visit it regularly, you might begin to recognize some familiar faces. One of my favorites is a woman who is panhandling, but for her cat who is elaborately dressed and leads a life of extravagance. You can find her always on Khreshchatyk, but not always in the same spot. The Main Square if probably one of the more tourist friendly areas. Maidan offers some great restaurants and 24 hour coffee shops (not as good as Golden Ducat though). It is where almost everything happens in Kiev, concerts and political events.
Speaking of political events, the above and below pictures are a protest for Yulia Tymoshenko, the former Prime Minister of Ukraine who most believe was wrongly jailed. In comparison to an Occupy protest, I would consider them very low in noise level and pretty tame. There are no real barricades to keep the crowds back on a Friday night.
Khreshchatyk is a great place to find a restaurant of any persuasion. Within a block of the metro station is are Indian, Japanese, traditional Ukrainian and Latin style restaurants. After about 24 hours in Ukriane, you will realize that sushi seems to be available at virtually every restaurant, so you don’t need to limit yourself to one nationality.
One thing that may be surprising to a foreigners is the parking rules in Kiev, of which there are none. You will literally see people driving on the sidewalk, and more often than that, you will see people parking on the sidewalk. Or anywhere really. It never stopped shocking me. Maybe I will provide some pictures later. What do you think of Main Squares? Are they relevant? Would you bear the tourists to see it?
I have some exciting blog news, Airports Made Simple reblogged my post providing airport and flight advice, the post is titled Come Fly with Me: Tips for a Somewhat Comfortable Flight. Feel free to peek at the AMS website and see what else is going on!