Kyiv is a lively city with an active day and nightlife. Things to do in Kyiv include concerts, theater performances, modern art galleries, historical exhibitions, cinema festivals, museums, live music, restaurants, night clubs. Cultural and modern life activity is a reason to spend some more days in Kyiv.
Prices for cultural events depend on the place and performance. But I can assure you that you’ll not find such reasonable prices for high quality theater performance and classical concert anywhere than in Kyiv. For example, a ticket to the National Opera cost approximately 10-20 Euro, Philharmonic – 7-10 Euro, film festival – 5-10 Euro.
10 things to do in Kyiv
1. Visit Mystetskiy (Art) Arsenal which is the biggest modern art museum based in the historical building of a former weapon plant. The plant Arsenal was founded in 1764 but stopped working in 2009. Old walls are home to numerous cultural events, exhibitions, festivals, cultural and educational practices. Look at the schedule before a visit to find more information.
2. Listen to a classical concert in St. Nicholas Cathedral. It works not only as a Roman Catholic cathedral but as the National organ and chamber music hall. Rieger-Kloss Organ constructed in the Check Republic has 55 registers, 3945 pipes that perform a variety of sounds, classical and modern styles. The Cathedral was built by the architect Vladyslav Gorodetskiy in 1909 and impresses with its new-Gothic architecture, stained glass, reinforced concrete structures, acoustics.
3. Visit the National Opera which proposes the best opera and ballet performances of Ukrainian and world-known authors. We make an acquaintance with Ukrainian culture in performances “Zaporozhian Beyond The Danube” or “Natalka Poltavka”. World culture is represented by “Carmen”, “Viennese waltz”, “Il Barbiere di Siviglia”, “Don Quixote”, “Romeo and Juliet” and many others. Tickets are sold online or in the cash-desk. Usually, it’s necessary to book tickets in advance for Friday, Saturday, or touring performances. Tickets for other performances can be bought directly in a cash-desk on the same day or the day before.
4. Take a boat trip along the Dnipro river is a good option for summertime. Navigation starts at River Port in April and ends in October. The most popular is a one-hour trip but a tour to the artificial Kyivan Sea or Mezhygiriya residence is more impressive with panoramic views of the river and bridges. The tickets prices vary a little bit at different boats. Beverages, ice-cream, some snacks are proposed on board for an extra payment.
5. Walk along Khreschatyk street. Good option to stroll along the street at the week-end when it closed for traffic. Feel the lively and energetic atmosphere created by teenagers, street musicians, and dancers. Go up to the 6th floor of TSUM (Central Department Store), find an open space café, buy a glass of champagne, and enjoy a panoramic view of architecture of Khreschatyk Street.
6. Find a souvenir at Andrew’s Descent. Walk down the street, take a look at a great panoramic view of the city, admire the paintings of local artists, buy a souvenir, find Michail Bulgakov museum, feel the atmosphere of the early 20th century. Bulgakov is a world-known writer who created the “Master and Margarita” novel. The museum exhibition is dedicated to Kyivan period of his life and the novel “White Guard” describing the period of civil war in 1917-1920.
7. Visit the local market. Ukrainian quisine is part of traditional culture. Buy some Ukrainian food at Zhytniy market – baked pork lard (salo), bacon, fruits, and vegetables. Near the main entrance, you can find a shop of sweet factory ROSHEN and buy sweets, candies, cakes. The most known is the Kyivan cake considered a gastronomic symbol of the city. The recipe is kept secret since 1956.
8. See the worship of Ukrainian new-pagan believers that take place every Sunday morning near the Museum of History of Ukraine. Some public and religious organizations revive Old Slavic religion and traditions. They wear embroidered clothes, burn the ritual fire and pray to different gods of nature, for example, Rod (heavenly patron of the family).
9. See the House with Chimeras. It’s located on Bankova Street opposite the President’s Administration. Gorgeous sculptures look different at day and at night. Find a crocodile among cement sculptures, make a wish and it will come true. Unfortunately, the interior is closed for all visitors. The house serves as a residence for the official meetings of the President.
10. Take a photo in Mariinskiy park and Mariinsky Palace. Walk along the park, visit the palace, cross the Bridge of Love, read the story of a couple who met each other after fifty-year separation, take a picture of a palace and House of Parliament, look through the telescope to find a man sitting at the roof of the helicopter pad, buy an ice-cream and sit at a bench enjoying a fountain.