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Where to stay for a weekend in Kiev

hellomagazine.com

Kiev may be considered off the beaten track when it comes to exploring Eastern Europe, outshone by more popular destinations such as Prague and Budapest. But those visiting Ukraine's capital city will be pleasantly surprised; there is much to see and do, from admiring the breathtaking churches to relaxing on an idyllic river cruise, from spending the day at the beach to exploring the lush gardens and parks.

Most tourists opt to stay in the centre of Kiev, and there's no better location than this designer modern apartment situated just a five-minute walk from Independence Square, and a two-minute walk from the beautiful St Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery. Owned by Airbnb host Arnold, the apartment sleeps six people divided between two decent-sized bedrooms, featuring air conditioning and queen-sized beds, and a large pull-out sofa in the open plan living-dining room.

The design is modern and minimalistic, with copper lights, exposed brick walls and an American-style bar in the kitchen. All your home comforts are included, such as WiFi, a large flat-screen TV and a mood lighting system. The kitchen opens up to a spacious terrace which overlooks a quiet courtyard, while the bathroom features a rainfall shower and a Jacuzzi.

Arnold our host was fantastic. He was friendly, professional and extremely helpful when it came to organising the stay. He arranged a safe and convenient airport transfer for a reasonable $20 each way, and was quick in responding to any queries. The location of his apartment is the real winner.

The neighbourhood is safe, bustling and touristic, although the property is tucked away down a quiet road, meaning there were no issues with noise at night. Independence Square, a few minutes' walk away, is the hub of the city, where tourists can make the most of free guided walking tours – a great introduction to Kiev. St Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery is also a quick stroll away as is Saint Sophia's Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And don't miss the nearby Andriyivskyy Descent, a quaint cobblestoned street where you can stock up on souvenirs including pieces of art, jewellery and Russian dolls.

For more information visit airbnb.co.uk/rooms/13839717.

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