Kyiv is a big megalopolis, a destination for tourists who like to research old history and explore modern life. As some tourists said: “I love your city, it’s very lively”. “It’s unique and not similar to other cities”. “There are so many great panoramic views”. We’ve chosen top places must see in Kyiv and feel the spirit of our city. All recommendations are based on the experience of many travelers.
1. Maidan and Khreshcatyk Street
This is downtown that keeps the city’s lively spirit of freedom and youth and hosts numerous shops, restaurants, live music, and street musicians. Local people like to stroll along the street on weekends when the traffic stop moving. Maidan (Independence Square) is known for three revolutions in 1990, 2004, and 2014. Memorial sites are reminiscent of people who were killed during the Revolution of Dignity (EuroMaidan) in 2014. There are four places to observe nice panoramic views and take a picture. The first is located on the top floor of TSUM (Central Department Store) in a café. The second is on the pedestrian bridge near hotel Ukraine (Україна) at Maidan. The third is at the Arch of Friendship and a pedestrian bridge with a view of the Dnipro River and the outskirts. The fourth place is located in the Museum of EuroMaidan Revolution on the first floor. Maidan is a busy area during the day so I prefer to visit it early in the morning or at night.
2. St. Sophia Cathedral
1000 year old cathedral is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as it keeps a unique collection of 11th-century mosaics and frescoes. This is a world of Medieval architecture, history, and art. The belfry is a good observation deck for an amazing picture of St. Sophia and St. Michael squares. A museum starts working at 10.00 am and finishes at 06.00 pm.
3. St. Michael Golden-Domed Monastery
It’s an active monastery founded in the 12th century. Unfortunately, it was ruined by the Soviet atheist regime in 1935 and rebuild again in 2000. On the right side to the entrance there is a long wall with the pictures of Ukrainian soldiers who died in the hybrid Russian-Ukrainian war which is still going on. The main entrance to the monastery is closed at 8.00 pm but there is one more entrance on the right side. Electric lighting makes a Cathedral magic at night.
4. St. Andrew’s church
The Italian Baroque style church stands on a top hill over the Dnipro River. Buy a ticket and go upstairs to admire great panoramic view. On the right side there is a stair leading to Artist Alley and other panoramic views of the Kyiv for free.
5. Andrew’s Descent
Andrew’s Descent is the biggest souvenir market and art exhibition on the open air. It is one of the oldest streets has beautiful architecture and charm of old city. Visit Michail Bulgakov Museum or the One Street Museum and get back to 100 years ago.
6. Kyiv Pechersk (Caves) Lavra Monastery
Founded in the 11th century, Lavra was a place of pilgrimages for Orthodox believers. Now it’s partly state museum and partly an active monastery included in UNESCO World Heritage Site List. People visit the catacombs and bow the relics of saint monks. It’s possible to spend a whole day on the terristory of Lavra. There many museums, for example, the Museum of micro-miniatures and the Museum of Historical Treasures. Big Lavra Belfry is a highly recommended place to see a city panoramic view.
7. Motherland Statue
A big Soviet-style statue 96 meters high is located at the territory of the Museum of History of Ukraine in World War II. There are two observation decks on the statue – 36 meters and 91 meters high. The first observation deck is on top of the base of Motherland Statue, the second one is behind its shield. You can also see an exhibition of weapon and military technique.
8. Poshtova Square (Post Square)
A river port is a popular place to spend a weekend among the locals. This is a start point for boat river trips along the Dnipro River. Enter the river port, look at some modern art drawings, and enjoy a panoramic view of the river.
9. Kontraktova Square (Contract Square)
It’s a lovely place to walk around, visit Kyiv Mohyla Academy University, sit at an open terrace and have some fun. Chornobyl museum is located nearby.
10. National Opera
Enjoy an astonishing architecture and excellent opera and ballet performances. We don’t need to book tickets for some months in advance. You can buy tickets just one ot two days before or the same day of the performance and see the high-quality opera and ballet. It’s necessary to book in advance only high popular performances. The season starts at September and finishes at June.