What an amazing, beautiful city! In my opinion Kiev is the forgotten treasure in Europe. It's streets ooze dynamism, people are beautiful, architecture is breathtaking. On weekends they close the main street so it turns into a pedestrian street. Even the metro stations are imposing! Everything's very cheap so you can enjoy your stay there with no problems. Visiting Lavra Monastery is a must, but the whole city will captivate you at first sight. One negative point is that cleaning in the streets is conspicuous by its absence.
Kiev is a nice city. There is no info center in the city and no one can talk english in the city so the info at my hostel was a must.
Kiev is great, but has nothing in common with Prague. It is very interesting, cheap, and safe, but I would not really call it beautiful except for the Orthodox churches. Those make it an Orthodox Rome and the monastery is superb. The city itself reminded me more of Moscow but smaller. English usually does not help -- there are very few tourists.
This city will soon surpass Prague as the cool new destination. Public transit only 10 cents U.S. Admission to museums and clubs is very cheap, and food is cheaper than central Europe. Folks are fairly polite, even lining up patiently for many buses. Lots of folks riding public transit, which is mildly crowded, but I did not have a sense of concern for pickpockets or personal safety here, ever. The main touristic areas are first rate, easy to access, and have a good variety of restaurants nearby.
Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, is a city confused. The local language is called surzhyk and is a mix of Russian and Ukrainian that full-blooded Russians don’t consider Russian and Ukrainians don’t consider Ukrainian. Very few people here use the country’s language of Ukrainian.
Kiev is a large city, and what makes it seem even bigger is that everything is so spread out. Each nightclub is a taxi ride away from the next because there is no concentrated area of good clubs and pubs. Even the sights are not easy to get to.
Kiev hostels are all over the place as well, although there are more around the main street: Kreshchatyk, than in other areas of the city. From this area there are a few very cheap places to eat, with food reminiscent of a school cafeteria: cheap and cooked in large quantities.
Kiev hostels seem to almost all be members of two chains. If you stay at one of the hostels in a chain, they will try to force you to stay at another of theirs in a different city. We recommend doing your own research and deciding based on that. I would also say check on the map where the Kiev hostels are as many of them will bend the truth about how close really are to the sights or train station.
Many Kiev hostel owners seem to live in their hostels. In this kind of hostel the owners do their cooking, eating, and sleeping in either the common room or in the dorm with the other backpackers. These hostels are also run more like coach surfing places than a normal hostel, but if that is what you like then you will be happy there.