I expected little, yet Kiev won me over. I thought it would be an ex-Soviet city like many others, indeed it has a similar selection of churches and Soviet landmarks, yet all are superlative. Oddly given what has transpired since my October visit, Kiev had the most relaxed vibe I have gotten in the ex-Soviet capitals. I hope Ukraine is back on its feet soon and seriously battles corruption. It should be a prime tourist destination in East Europe.
Kiev is hilly and the metro is good for getting around though requires so much walking, it is probably closer for most 1-2 stop rides to skip the metro. Like many former-Soviet cities, they have a fun funicular, useful for returning to the heights of the city near St Michael’s and St Andrew’s after descending to the Lavra.