This is the first in a list of cities I have visited that I consider, for various reasons, to be among my Top 1o in the world. Beating off competition from Dubrovnik, Jogyakarta, Beijing, Ho Chi Minh City, Munich and Beirut:NUMBER 10 - KIEV
Kiev is one of the grandest cities in Europe, but like most people, I was totally unaware of that until I saw it with my own eyes. From the late ninth century until the mid twelfth century, during the Golden Age, it was the capital of the Kievan Rus empire, and by the time of the Mongol invasion of 1240, it was one of the largest cities in the world.
Kiev has some of the world's greatest Christian buildings, including the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of St Sophia's Cathedral and the massive Pecherska Lavra monastery complex, which was founded nearly a thousand years ago, when the first cave chapels were excavated by Orthodox monks in the hills overlooking the River Dnieper. Kiev may also lay fair claim to being the city with the most beautiful women in the world, and you'll see more leggy, blonde 'supermodels' here than you'll see in a dozen Paris fashion weeks.
The best way to travel around the city is by Kiev Metro. which has the deepest underground stations in the world, and at times as you travel down the steep escalators you feel like you are on a journey to the centre of the earth.