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Ukrainians are sincerely proud of their country, they talk about it with pleasure and in colors when they are abroad. But what do foreigners see and feel when they come to our country by themselves? We are always interested to look from the outside, because Ukraine leaves no one indifferent!
Ukrainianhotel chain Premier and New Time are conducting a social project "Personal experience". The idea of the project is to show Ukraine with its tourist realities and possibilities through the eyes of a guest who discovers the country.
We announced an international competition and invited a foreigner who, after traveling around Ukraine will share his tourist impressions.
The hero of the project became the American Richard Benton, who was already in Ukraine 25 years ago.
Read about his impressions in the second part of the special project "Personal Experience".
About Kiev Metro
- The Kiev Metro has a lot of advantages: firstly, it’s cheap for a foreigner [8 hryvnias = $ 0.30], and secondly, it’s easy to buy tickets and pay with a card through special terminals.
On this trip, I took the subway to meet with a colleague at the station Svyatoshyn. This station is far from tourist routes, but I was impressed. Excellent repair. The subway in New York looks less comfortable and worse lit.
The appearance of the city
- A lot of outdoor advertising, but you notice it not immediately. In this regard, Kiev recalled European cities. But it would be good if the advertising signs more closely match the architectural style.
I love to walk and today I walked around the city a lot. I was in the Mikhailovsky Cathedral, passed by the National Opera. At home [in the USA] I cannot afford this, we have very long distances and no one walks on foot, so while traveling I try to enjoy walks.
And I also love public transport - sat down and went somewhere. In the 90s there were no minibuses, only buses and trams. I used to like the route that went along Khreshchatyk, now it was canceled.
Frankly, I did not notice the signs with the list of tourist places in the center. And I was very surprised when you told me about it. But I think this is not a problem. Now, when everyone is using Google maps or other applications, it’s easy to find the right route.
Premier Palace Hotel Kyiv
- I generally like the local cuisine. I specifically choose dishes that I can find only in Ukraine. I had breakfast at the Premier Palace Hotel. There was a whole table with Ukrainian dishes to choose from, it is here called Fresh Organic Traditional. In general, I heard a lot about gastro tourism in Ukraine and I know that borsch is loved all over the world.
I was amazed at the diversity of Kiev restaurants. For every taste. Many restaurants are vegetarian and there are healthy food restaurants.
And I also noticed - everyone wants to feed you. This is some kind of national trait, right? As if you are always hungry. And if you refuse the offer, people are offended. But in principle, such care is very pleasant.
In addition, you can’t drink bad coffee anywhere - they do it very good everywhere, especially I enjoyed it in an unusual cafe under a yellow lantern on Shota Rustaveli street.
About communication methods
- Buy a local SIM card - an easy task. I found out in the tourist center on Khreshchatyk, where the nearest store and after 10 minutes my daughters watched videos online and guessed which city I was in. I left it a secret for them when I left. At first they thought that in Berlin, but then they guessed.
There is another advantage - SIM cards of local operators that provide communication and the Internet are very inexpensive for a foreigner.
About taxi rides
- During my first visit to Ukraine, I did not take a taxi at all, because I had to bargain with the taxi drivers and I don’t like it. But now the prices for trips are very affordable and you don’t need to bargain with anyone, you see the fare before ordering a car and you decide for yourself whether it suits you or not.
There are convenient international taxi services operating in all countries. Therefore, I gladly used this method of movement. A nice bonus was a conversation with a taxi driver, we remembered Kiev 25 years ago together.
Of course, I was engaged in planning my trip by myself. But listening to advice from the outside, especially from the locals, is always a valuable experience. That is why I turned to the hotel concierge [Premier Palace Hotel]. We had a very interesting conversation with him, he told us where it is necessary to go in Kiev, having only two days at our disposal. It was the person who advised the tasting of Ukrainian cuisine, calling the restaurants where you should definitely go, for example, the Kanapa restaurant of new Ukrainian cuisine. And what is more, he advised the route, which will hent most of the places. It is needed to start your way from Shevchenko Park, along Vladimirskaya Street to reach St. Andrew’s Church, see the Golden Gate, the National Opera, Bogdan Khmelnitsky Street. Then turn to the Mikhailovsky Monastery. The route takes 90 minutes and thanks to it, you can see the main architectural ensemble of the city center.
Richard's next travel destination is Lviv. See you there. Do not switch.
* Premier hotel chain - is a national hotel operator with 15 years of experience. Today the chain consists of 19 hotels in 14 Ukrainian tourist destinations. The vector of development of the company, as an ambassador of Ukrainian tourism, is focused on the management of hotel facilities, hotel consulting, capital construction, franchising and education in the field of hospitality. In 2019, the network will expand due to the opening of an apart-hotel in Bukovel, Premier Resort Hotel Bukovel and a completely reconstructed hotel Yunost Premier Resort Hotel Odesa in Odessa. All hotels of the network are united by a single standards of quality of facilities and services. www.phnr.com
*Project partner Turkish Airlines operates its flights to 124 countries that makes it a world leader among other airlines. The company flies to 306 world destinations. Turkish Airlines’ fleet consists of 332 aircraft and is one of the youngest in Europe. Turkish Airlines has repeatedly received many awards in recognition of its high quality service in business and economy class and its CIP Lounge at Istanbul Atatürk Airport has been recognized many times as the best business lounge in the world.