Gay Kiev, Ukraine: A Travel Report

Author: , January 31st, 2010
by Harry, Villa Mansland, Prague, Czech Republic

Email Harry | Visit the Villa Mansland Website


Official language: Ukrainian

Most spoken language: Russian


Alphabet: only kyrillic
Capital: Kiev
Form of government: semi-presidential republic


Inhabitants: 47 million
Independence: 24 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Area code: +380

Kiev (Ukrainian Київ/Kyjiw; Russian Киев/Kijew) is the capital and biggest city of the Ukraine as well as administrative centre of the Oblast Kiev, of which it is not a part. It is located at the Dnepr (Ukrainian Дніпро/Dnipro), which up to here is passable by smaller sea-going vessels and it has 2,700,000 inhabitants, as an urban agglomeration 3,015,108 (January 1st 2005).

The university was founded in 1834. Furthermore there are 99 academies, 25 museums, a planetarium, a theatre, botanical and zoological gardens. Because of its historial importance as the centre of the Kievan Rus, the city is often called the mother of all Russian cities. And because of its many churches and monasteries and its importance for the orthodox Christians since the middle ages Kiev is also called the Jerusalem of the north. After World War II Kiev was awarded the name “city of heroes”.

On September 22nd 2009 we had a 16 hour trip with the night train from Simferopol to Kiev. I remained with the group, even though I was tempted to fly with www.wizzair.com, which would have significantly shortened the journey and would have also been more comfortable and cheaper. But I didn’t want to miss the experience of such a long train ride in the Ukrainian night.

At 11 a.m. We finally arrived at Kiev main station, that is Lothar from Heidelberg, Nazar from Lviv, Alex from Kiev and myself. After four metro stations we arrived at our accommodation that was centrally located at the “Maidan Neshaleshnosti” square, in the middle of the “Chreschtschtik” avenue, where you also find the monument of independence. An insignificant three-storey building.
The lady from the accommodation service was already waiting for us. We filled in the rental contract, payed for five days in Kiev, approximately 50 USD per day, and started unpacking. I can only recommend our flat: 2 separate bathrooms, 2 sleeping rooms, a fully equipped kitchen and a balcony, where we spend quite some delightful hours.

Kiev is a fascinating big city. On one hand it shows spendor and glory of the Ukraine, that is bundled here: spaciously laid out boulevards, places with trick fountains, never seen before in Europe, illumination of the buildings in the Ukrainian national colours yellow and blue, elegant cafes and restaurants, gourmet temples and the orthodox churches with unbelievable richness and spendor.
On the other hand you see a lot of poor people, mainly old people, begging for money around every corner and trying to sell their last belongings. The metro is overcrowded almost during the whole day. There is an incredible lot to see.

I name just a few site seeing tours, you could do on your own:

  • city tour 1 “wonder of nativeness”
  • city tour 2 “wonder of harmony”
  • city tour 3 “wonder of chestnuts”
  • city tour 4 “wonder of realization”
  • city tour 5 “common wonder”
  • city tour 6 “wonder of reflection”
You can find it in the illustrated UKRAINE CITY GUIDE in German or English, that you can buy for 64 rph in libraries and tourist offices.

The opera house is yet another attraction and for a few euros you have pure pleasure on the best seats. I went to an opera performance with rural, national content. I have never heard of this opera before and I cannot tell you which national opera performance it was, as everything was in Russian and in cyrillic. But I was really impressed by the music, the costumes and the scenes.

We stayed for five days in Kiev. I stayed one day longer, because I wanted to fly back to Prague via Oslo. But due to the complicated security checks at Kiev airport I missed my plane and had to take the next plane to Dusseldorf, from where I flew with www.germanwings.com to Prague the next day.
Gay places in Kiev: you will be best informed looking into the Spartacus Gay Guide or under www.Google.com with the keywords “GAY Kiev” or “Gay Ukraine”. There you will find a lot of information.

Men: you can meet young men, but you must speak the language. This is true for all parts of the Ukraine. Everywhere you see the most beautiful men you can imagine. So many beautiful and attractive young people you will find in Europe only in Riga, Latvia (same language problems but not with the cyrillic alphabet).

Weather: Every day in September it was warm as summer, around 25 degrees Celsius, almost no rain and mild nights. In Odessa and in the Crimea it was especially pleasant, because the Black Sea prevents cold temperatures even in the winter.
I recommend everyone to visit the Ukraine. For regular guests of the Villa I suggest two Ukrainian boys who live in the Czech Republic und and are happy to show their country to others. Therefore I have decided to write an epilogue, in which Michal and Igor in two videospots will present you their country.
I would be happy if you could send me your own experiences and comments. At this point I let the pictures speak for themselves. They tell more about Kiev, the fantastic capital of the Ukraine, than 1,000 words.


Recommended accommodation service in Kiev: www.home-hotel.net or www.homehotel.com.ua email info@home-hotel.com.ua, Tel.: +38(044)5924619 or +38(044)5411570

Villa Mansland, Prague, was awarded three crowns, the highest number possible, by the Spartacus International Hotel & Restaurant Guide, in its 2nd, 3rd and 4th editions. It earned this distinction for being exclusively gay, for its pleasant atmosphere and for its very attractive appearance. It is the only hotel in the Czech Republic to have received three Spartacus crowns and it ranks among the small number of European hotels which have also received the top award.

CT1,the Czech first television channel, recently broadcast a very positive report about the gay hotel, Villa Mansland, in peak viewing time.

Hawaii Declining as Gay Travel Destination

Author: , January 25th, 2010

As Hawaii prepares to again deal with the legal rights of same-sex couples, its desirability among gays and lesbians as a travel destination is on the decline. That’s the analysis by researchers of a new marketing study of gay and lesbian tourism trends.

The 14th annual report by Community Marketing Inc. of San Francisco, released Dec. 28, barely mentions Hawaii and makes no mention of Honolulu or Maui. Yet, competing destinations such as New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco are cited repeatedly. Even smaller cities like Seattle, Boston and Denver are proving to be a draw.

“Hawaii has been slipping for a decade,” said David Paisley, senior program manager for Community Marketing. “Last year it was ranked 17th as a leisure destination, but this year you are 18th, tied with New Orleans and Atlanta.”

Full Story from Pacific Business News

Purple Roofs Finally Has a Blog

Author: , January 23rd, 2010

Welcome to the new Purple Roofs Gay & Lesbian Travels blog.  We’ll be posting our newsletter articles here from now on, along with anything else that catches our fancy. 🙂


To wrote to us about the site or this blog, just send an email to wheretostay@purpleroofs.com.


We’ll talk to you soon!


🙂


–Scott & Mark
Purple Roofs