The 2018 UEFA Champions League Final will be the final match of the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League, the 63rd season of Europe's premier club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 26th season since it was renamed from the European Champion Clubs' Cup to the UEFA Champions League. It will be played at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine on 26 May 2018.
Originally a trading post, Kyiv stands on both banks of the river Dnipro. Located in the centre of Ukraine, it is warm in the spring and summer, has plenty of beaches and is a little over 2,000km from London and Paris, and roughly equidistant from New York and Shanghai.
Kyiv has two airports, Zhulyany (8km south-west of the city centre) and Boryspil International (35km east). Public transport includes buses, trolleybuses, trams and an ever-expanding metro system, which is clean and elaborately decorated – a contrast with the somewhat less reliable bus service that must contend with the Kyiv traffic.
Kyiv is a major business hub as well as a tourist destination, ensuring there will be a wide range of overnight options for fans at the UEFA Champions League final.
For culture: Walk along Andriyivski uzviz (Andrew's descent) – the 'Montmartre of Kyiv' – or climb the bell tower at St Sophia Cathedral, Kyiv's most-visited landmark.
For atmosphere: Khreshchatyk Street runs through the heart of the city and getting dressed up and strolling down it is a Kyivan pastime, especially at weekends when it is closed to traffic.
For fresh air: Mariinskyi Park is a nexus for skateboarders and roller-skaters, besides being a great place for a walk, while the colourful Landscape Alley is a child-friendly sculpture park.
A major capital, Kyiv will have options for even the least adventurous eaters, but if you want to eat like a Ukrainian, then must-trys include borshch (beetroot-based soup), often combined with pampushky z chasnykom (garlic doughnuts) instead of bread, and varenyky or halushky (different types of dumplings) for a main course. Ukraine is famous for pyrizhky (filled pasties), with kyivska perepichka (Kyiv pig in blanket) a local speciality, sold in just one place at the corner of Khreshchatyk and Khmelnytskyi Streets – the huge queue should show you exactly where. Also recommended are holubtsi (cooked cabbage leaves with a variety of fillings), deruny (potato pancakes), pechenya (roast potatoes and meat) and salo (cured and salted pork fat) served with black bread and garlic. Beer and horilka (the local word for vodka) are plentiful, with uzvar (a dried fruit drink) the preferred alcohol-free tipple.
Founded in 1927, Dynamo Kyiv are the city's leading light, with Arsenal Kyiv and Obolon Kyiv in the shadow of the Bilo-Syni (White-Blues). The most successful side in the USSR (with 13 Soviet Top League titles) and Ukraine (15 titles), Dynamo notably won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1975 and 1986, plus the 1975 UEFA Super Cup.
Football was introduced to Kyiv in 1900 by foreign – mainly Czech – factory workers, but really took off in 1954 as Dynamo won their first Soviet Cup, heralding an era when they were their nation's dominant footballing force. Kyivans are also proud that local boys Oleh Blokhin (1975), Ihor Belanov (1986) and Andriy Shevchenko (2004) won the Ballon d'Or.
The open-air Pyrohiv Museum of Folk Architecture and Life in Ukraine on the south side of the city juxtaposes buildings from all over the country to present a panorama of Ukrainian life. Occasional theatre, music and craft displays make it a must-visit for people wishing to understand Ukraine.
The 2019 Calendar is available to order now! As always, the calendar is free. Their are two themes this year: mountain and Blue Hole Belize. Check it out!