2018 UEFA Champions League final: Guide to Kyiv

Kyiv is...

The capital of Ukraine.

Famous for its tree-lined streets, green space and churches.

The birthplace of greats Oleh Blokhin and Valeriy Lobanovskiy.

Twinned with Baku, Chicago, Edinburgh, Kyoto and Munich, among others.

Safe, cheap and nearly as populous as Madrid: population c. 2,800,000.

Where it is

Originally a trading post, Kyiv stands on both banks of the river Dnipro. Located in the centre of Ukraine, it is warm in the spring and summer, has plenty of beaches and is a little over 2,000km from London and Paris, and roughly equidistant from New York and Shanghai.

Getting to and around Kyiv

Kyiv has two airports, Zhulyany (8km south-west of the city centre) and Boryspil International (35 km east).

Public transport includes buses, trolleybuses, trams and an ever-expanding metro system,

which is clean and elaborately decorated – a contrast with the somewhat less reliable bus service that must contend with the Kyiv traffic.

Getting to and around Kyiv

NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium

Originally built to host the Second All-Ukrainian Spartakiad (or Games), the ground was opened on 12 August 1923. On UEFA EURO 2012 NSC Olimpiyskiy held five fixtures including the final. Situated in central Kyiv – on the right bank of the Dnipro – it has a capacity of just over 70,000.

Where to stay

Kyiv is a major business hub as well as a tourist destination, ensuring there will be a

wide range of overnight options for fans at the UEFA Champions League final.

Where to stay

Champions Festival

The annual UEFA Champions Festival will run from Thursday 24 until Sunday 27 May in Kyiv city centre. The festival is free to attend and will be THE place for entertainment in the days around the final – including the UEFA Ultimate Champions Tournament featuring a host of UEFA Champions League greats.

What to see

Walk along Andriyivski uzviz (Andrew's descent) – the "Montmartre" of Kyiv –

or climb the bell tower at St Sophia Cathedral, Kyiv's most-visited landmark.

Khreshchatyk Street runs through the heart of the city and getting dressed up and strolling down it is a Kyivan pastime,

especially at weekends when it is closed to traffic.

Mariinskyi Park is a nexus for skateboarders and roller-skaters, besides being a great place for a walk.


Eating and drinking

A major capital, Kyiv will have options for even the least adventurous eaters, but if you want to eat like a Ukrainian, then must-trys include borshch. Ukraine is famous for pyrizhky (filled pasties), with kyivska perepichka. Beer and horilka (the local word for vodka) are plentiful, with uzvar (a dried fruit drink) the preferred alcohol-free tipple.

Football in the city

Founded in 1927, Dynamo Kyiv are the city's leading light.

The most successful side in the USSR (with 13 Soviet Top League titles) and Ukraine (15 titles),

Dynamo notably won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1975 and 1986, plus the 1975 UEFA Super Cup.

Kyivans are also proud that local boys Oleh Blokhin (1975), Ihor Belanov (1986) and Andriy Shevchenko (2004) won the Ballon d'Or.

Get out of the city

The open-air Pyrohiv Museum of Folk Architecture and Life in Ukraine on the south side of the city juxtaposes buildings from all over the country to present a panorama of Ukrainian life. Occasional theatre, music and craft displays make it a must-visit for people wishing to understand Ukraine.

Do it in 24 hours

Breakfast options are plentiful. The beaches and attractions of the Hydropark are an up-and-about option,

as are Kyiv's museums – with the Mysteskyi Arsenal (Arsenal of Arts), the Chornobyl Museum,

the open-air Aviation Museum and the Museum of the History of Ukraine in World War II (including a 102m-long Motherland Monument) among the best.

Khreshchatyk Street and Lva Tolstogo Square are key shopping desitnations.

There are various places for late-night entertainment across the city,

though Khreshchatyk Street is perhaps the liveliest area.