Best Things To Do in Kiev City Tour, Ukraine

Kiev or Kyiv, one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe is the capital city of Ukraine. River Dnipro bisects Kiev into Historical Kiev (Upper Neighbourhood) and Modern Kiev ( Podil – Lower Neighbourhood).  Kiev is the best example of reinvention and transition, as it was destroyed several times in the past.  Kiev has a glorious history with the great confluence of Western & Russian cultures. Kiev’s history dates back to 1500 years, which can be depicted through several cathedrals, churches, and monuments.  Let’s go and check for Best Things to Do in Kiev City Tour, Ukraine.

Best Things To Do in Kiev City Tour, Ukraine

 Kiev Pechersk Lavra 

Situated on the grassy hilltop beside Dnipro river, this is UNESCO listed, 11th-century monastery.  Ornately decorated religious building with golden domes has been a prominent center of Eastern Orthodox Church of Eastern Europe.  Beneath this structure, there lie an underground catacomb of narrow passages and caves through which you can see and worship the preserved bodies of monks and saints.  This is the holiest pilgrimage in Ukraine. 

20 Best Things to Do in Kiev City Tour, Ukraine
Kiev Pechersk Lavra

 Saint Sophia’s Cathedral, Kiev 

It is one of the most magnificent architectural landmarks and top visited sights of Kiev/Kyiv. It is the oldest Orthodox Cathedral of Kiev, constructed in 1037 with 13 golden and green colored domes.  It has beautiful interiors with Byzantine frescoes, mosaics and gilded ornamental everywhere on the roof as well as walls.  This complex survived many disasters of political unrest and fires.  It is also a UNESCO listed site.  The bell tower of this cathedral offers a great view of the whole city.  But you have to climb upstairs through the narrow passage for getting a beautiful aerial view of the city.  This cathedral is closed on Thursdays.

20 Best Things to Do in Kiev City Tour, Ukraine
St. Sophia’s Cathedral, Kiev

 Khreshchatyk

 Khreshchatyk is Kiev’s main street/road which stretches along 1.2 km.  It is a pedestrian’s delight and is the main artery of Kiev.  This street was completely destroyed during World War II and now has been restored completely according to Stalinist style.  This is the most lively place of Kiev even during late nights also.  There are many Soviet styled buildings, hotels, cafes, quirky bars, street food options, street performers, adult clubs along this road.  On weekends, 4 laned roads are closed for traffic and pedestrians gather on road for fun and frolic.  I booked my stay here and have walked several times on this road.  Tip – Try to book your stay along this road or nearby area.



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 Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square

 It is the central square or heart of Kiev.  Lies across Khreshchatyk, it the widest and beautiful space in Kiev.  This place is surrounded by buildings from the 19th century. The slender cylindrical monument in the center point of this place celebrates Ukraine’s break-up with the Soviet Union in 1991. This place hosts the city’s major national events like parades and public celebrations. 

 Andriyivskyy Descent  

This is a Historic street which connects Kiev’s Upper Town to Lower Town known as Podil.  This street is known Montmartre of Kiev which is a major tourist attraction of Kiev. You will find artists, craftspersons, handicraft vendors on both of this sloppy street selling all artistic and authentic stuff.  This descent is surrounded by the artist’s homes, galleries, cafes and bars with spectacular views of colorful houses.  At the lowest part, you reach Podil where buildings are not very rich but very colorful and quirky types.  Early evening or late afternoon walk is recommended in this area. 

 Golden Gate, Kiev

  It was constructed during the Kiev Rus period in the 11th century which is also listed in UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It was a defense structure and was a great entrance to Kiev.  It was completely destroyed in the Middle Ages and rebuilt in 1982 by Soviet authorities.  This Gate is an imitation of the Golden Gate of Constantinople. 

20 Best Things to Do in Kiev City Tour, Ukraine
Golden Gate

 St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery

 This is the first monastery in Ukraine whose dome was gilded and therefore it is also named as Golden-Domed Monastery.  Built-in Middle Ages, it was also destroyed several times, especially during World War II.  In 1999, it was fully restored and rebuilt and opened for public.  Free entrance to this Monastery.

20 Best Things To Do in Kiev City Tour, Ukraine
St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery

Rodina-Mat-Mother (Motherland Monument) 

This 102m high sculpture is located on the right bank of Dnipro River. 

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Motherland Monument

This sculpture comprises of a woman holding the sword in one hand and shield in another hand. 

 St. Andrew’s Church, Kiev

  This Baroque styled church is one of the most beautiful churches in Kiev.  It is built on artificial hills at the very location at Andriyivskyy Descent, which overlooks oldest areas of Kiev. It was hit by lightning twice. 

20 Best Things To Do in Kiev City Tour, Ukraine
Saint Andrew’s Church

Pyrohiv Folk Architecture Museum 

This place is on the outskirts of Kiev towards the south of Kiev.  It can reach through taxi or Rent a car.  This Outdoor museum comprises of Ukrainian Folk Architecture and countryside life.  These are samples of wooden architectures of Ukraine and rural life of 16th – 19th century.  Book your guided tour to Pyrohiv Folk Architecture Museum. Read complete details about Pirogovo Open Air Museum. 

 St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral 

This cathedral built in a Neo-Byzantine style with bright yellow exteriors and interiors were painted by famous artists Mikhail Vrubel.  It is built in honor of Prince Vladimir of Kiev, who introduced Christianity to Kiev Rus in 988 A.D.  It is located in a most central part of the city. 

20 Best Things To Do in Kiev City Tour, Ukraine
St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral

National Museum of the History of Ukraine in World War II 

This open-air memorial Museum was built to commemorate the German-Soviet war. You can also see war tanks, air jets there. 

Mariinsky Park

 This widespread 130 years old park is located in front of the Parliament of Ukraine. 

20 Best Things To Do in Kiev City Tour, Ukraine
Mariinsky Park

 People’s Friendship Arch 

20 Best Things To Do in Kiev City Tour, Ukraine
Friendship Arch

This monument of Kiev was made to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of USSR.  During evenings, this arch illuminates in Rainbow colors.

 

 

 

 

 Mariyinsky Palace 

This is an official residence of the President of Ukraine in Kiev. It is located adjoining to Neo-classical styled Parliament building of Ukraine. 20 Best Things To Do in Kiev City Tour, Ukraine

Mezhyhirya Residence 

Also know as President’s Palace and is located on the outskirts of Kiev.  This large green estate where Mr. Viktor liven when he was Prime-Minister and then President of Ukraine.  This ornate house now turned into a museum is surrounded by a beautiful park, lakes, Golf Estate, Sports facilities, Fountains, Car collection Museum, and Private Zoo.  It is spread around 350 Acres on the banks of River Dnipro. You can rent a Golf Cart / Scooters on Entrance to go along the whole property. Click here to book your 3 hours guided tour to Mezhyhirya Palace. 

20 Best Things To Do in Kiev City Tour, Ukraine
Mezhyhirya Residence (President palace)

Ukraine State Aviation Museum 

This Aviation museum has impressive collections of Aircraft and displays a wide variety of Societ technology. 

National Opera House 

It was constructed in 1867 and was burnt down in 1896 but has been rebuilt afterward. By the 1920’s this Opera was one of the most prestigious cultural stages in Russia.  This Opera House survived both World Wars.  If you are attending any show in this theatre then check in with the classy dress as you will be refused to enter in jeans, shorts or sneakers. 

20 Best Things To Do in Kiev City Tour, Ukraine
Opera House

 Olympic Sports Complex 

It is a premier sports venue in Ukraine and is the second largest in Eastern Europe. Seating capacity of this complex is 70,000 people and have been known for hosting major football matches. 

Arsenalna Metro Station 

It is the deepest  Metro Station in the world. You have to go down 105.5 m (346 ft) to catch your metro rides.  You would pass through a very deep and narrow Escalator Tunnel and it takes around 5 minutes to reach down.  The people having Vertigo or Height Problem can avoid this or they should not look down. 

I covered these  Best Things To Do in Kiev City Tour, Ukraine,  during 3 Days, 4 Nights. There are many Unusual and Quirky Things to do in Kiev which I will cover in my next article.

TIPS AND USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT KIEV –

  • I recommend booking your stay near Maidan Square or on Khreschatyk Street. I stayed in a very historic styled hotel that is very iconic in whole Kiev – Ukraine Hotel and click here to check my stay. 
  • Kiev offers various cuisines and you will not find any problem regards eating out. Kiev even has a beautiful street food culture.  Vegetarians can find many options in Italian, Georgian, Indian and Grilled Section of Ukrainian Cuisines.
  • Kiev is well known for vibrant Nightlife. Nightlife lovers will enjoy these places. Mostly all Nightlife areas are located on Khreschatyk Street.
  • Go for an Underground tour of Kiev to see the forgotten nuclear bunkers of the cold war during Kiev / Kyiv.  Click here to book Underground tour of Kiev. 
  • Go for 10 hours private missile Base tour with a chance to press the Red button while going underground for 45 meters.  Click here to book this tour
  • For transportation in Kiev, you can use Uber, Metro and walk. Walking along Historic town is best. Uber is also quite efficient here. 
  • The currency of Ukraine is the Ukrainian Hryvnia, also known as UAH. 
  • Spring and Summers (April to September) are the best times to visit Kiev.
  • Enjoy greenery in Kiev, as Kiev is the Greenest Capital of Europe.
  • Kiev is safe and only you have to take general precautions.
  • Kiev is not very expensive. Shopping in Kiev is good and affordable.
  • There are 2 International Airports in Kiev.
  • From Kiev, you can also plan your trip to Lviv and Odessa (besides the Black Sea) which are well-known cities of Ukraine.  I will talk about what to do in Lviv and Odessa in my other post.
  • Check closing days of monuments, museums, and cathedral before planning your visit.
  • People do not understand ENGLISH much so there can be Language problem but you can rid of by using Google Translator. Always keep your Google Translator ready.  Google Translator or any Translator App on your mobile is a must in Kyiv.  
  • Go for a day trip to Tunnel of Love and Tarakaniv fort. Click here to book this tour.
  •  There are many famous Day Trips from Kiev which I recommend to take. If you are in Kiev then ever thought of visiting or exploring an abandoned city – Pripyat known from Chernobyl Nuclear Plant Disaster. It is the world’s worst nuclear disaster where approximately 30 years ago, a town blasted 400 times the radiation of the bomb of Hiroshima. As this place is very sensitive and has many check-points, it is recommended to go through special tour operators which are officially recognized. Read more about how to book for Chernobyl Tours in advance as it requires prior bookings and permissions too. You can read 15 books about the Chernobyl and the Chernobyl disaster
  • There are different Visa formalities for Ukraine. Check on their website for more information.   Check this official website for Visa information. 
  • Check Ukraine Official Tourism Website for more information.
20 Best Things to Do in Kiev City Tour, Ukraine
Maidan Square

So, till then KEEP TRAVELING……………… KEEP EXPLORING……………………………………………………

All photos are taken by me and use of photos without permission would result in legal action.

DISCLAIMER – The content of the blog is solely my views of a place or a thing. This is not to offend any class, religion, ethnicity or nation. My views can change from time to time. This blog may contain some advertisements or links to commercial products and for that, this site is not responsible after you click those advertisements.  We are the independent owner of this site and views expressed in this are our own. All photographs are owned by me.  There can be slight differences in distances, locations or some details for which I (owner) am not responsible.  This post may contain some affiliate links, means at no additional cost to you.  I will earn if you will click through affiliates and make a purchase

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93 Comments

  1. Kiev seems such a vibrant city with plenty of things to see and do. Your photos are gorgeous.The Mariyinsky Palace looks so magnificient. I am also very fascinated by hilltop churches and cathedrals the city has to offer. All look so amazing. It’s also good to know about the deepest metro station in Kiev. I would love to visit all these sites whenever I plan a visit there. Thanks for all the detailed information and tips 🙂

    1. Yes Anjali, Kiev is really very vibrant and with lots of things to do. Not very famous in Tourism world, but it is equally beautiful like other famous places.

  2. I am absolutely mesmerized by the onion-shaped rooftops. If I visited, I’d probably take 10,234 photos of them, kind of like all of the doorways in Greece! 🙂

  3. While I am a big fan of war tanks and air jets, St. Sophia’s Cathedral looks exactly like how I picture a Russian Cathedral. The onion domes and bright colors make it look like a dollhouse.

  4. Wow, you made it to Ukraine. I love this Kiev’s architecture. Thanks for such an elaborate guide, it will help people like me plan a trip in future.

  5. What a colorful city! The buildings are so beautiful with the bright hues and the gold, oh that gold! I could spend weeks just photographing them.

  6. What a lively city! Russian architecture is so ornate. I am always marveling by the churches and buildings in Ukraine and countries of the erstwhile Soviet Union. Good to know that Ukraine offers VoA to Indian passport holders.

  7. I love that it’s one of the greenest capitals!! That is one thing we barely see! But my gosh their cathedrals are stunning!!!! I could stare all day!!

  8. Kiev looks like a beautiful city – walkable, and full of history. I would love to check out some of the UNESCO sites, plus St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery. Thanks for compiling such a comprehensive guide, and including where to stay, which is always a challenge.

  9. What wonderful photos you have here! I am positively surprised that Kiev is so beautiful (and the greenest European capital as ou mentioned!). Loved the colours and particularly the friendship arch!

  10. Wow, I had no idea Kiev is so beautiful and colourful. The churches are so pretty and the photos have all come out so great. I’m really curious to learn more about Kiev now!

    1. I will be writing on more Ukranian cities like on Lviv and Odessa and some quirky places of Kiev… Keep reading! Thanks for appreciation!

  11. Kiev looks so pretty, especially in the sunshine. I know nothing about its history or heritage, and I definitely didn’t know about its incredible monasteries either. I appreciate the tips about visiting; I’m not big on nightlife, but would have a beer or two in the centre. I never knew the currency either so thanks for that! Wonderful photos as always.

  12. Thanks for this wonderful post on Kiev. I would love to visit there, as I am of Ukrainian heritage, and I think some of am ancestors came from that area. You’d be surprised at how many churches in Canada resemble St. Sophia’s Cathedral and some of the others you mention, as Father Run from Ukraine came to Canada in the early 20th century and helped build a number of churches that resembled the ones in the homeland.

    1. Wow Doreen great information and I was not knowing about this lovely information. So I am adding Canada to my wish list now.

  13. Very interesting post. Great photos, I had no idea that Kiev was so pretty. I will have to add Kiev to my constantly growing bucket list.

  14. Kiev looks like a great place to explore! And I love the architecture in Eastern Europe, those religious buildings are really impressive. I would love to visit it one day, I’m sure it would make for a perfect trip with my girlfriends!

  15. Visiting an 11th century monastery that is also UNESCO heritage would be amazing! What history would be at the Kiev Pechersk Lavra. Kiev looks like such an incredible city to visit. And ohhhh what a beautiful history and architecture. I also love that you can visit the Mariyinsky Palace, loving the colors of the building!

  16. Such a wealth of beautiful and often colourful architecture to explore, it looks like the real treasure of Kiev. Great photos! I’d love to do a city break here and make my way to all these sites.

  17. Kiev is such a beautiful city with Cathedrals. It is my kind of place because I really enjoy historic places and love visiting monuments.
    Your photographs taken me to virtual tour of the city. Kiev Pechersk Lavra and night shots are one of my favorite.

  18. The Kiev Pechersk Lavra is beautiful, wow! It reminds me of places like Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in Russia. Same with Saint Sophia’s Cathedral. The I love Kyiv sign is so cute! St Michael’s Golden-Domed Monsatery reminds me of churches in Moscow. The architectural style is just very appealing to me. I would most definitely enjoy visiting Kiev!!

  19. Would love to get to Kiev, but they didn’t let me in. I have a russian passport. 🙁 They send me back from airport in Kiev.

  20. Fabulous display of Neo-Byzantine Architecture. The buildings are superb. The two most prominent aspect of all these buildings are their colors and their dome. This type of dome is unique and very hard to find anywhere else. Loved the photographs and the article.

  21. The erstwhile Soviet union is like a black box to me. I enjoyed reading about this beautiful city. The architecture from your photos is stunning. Time for me to explore some of the ‘stans’!

  22. Your pictures are beautiful and make Kiev look lovely. Thank you for such a detailed, informative post on things to do in Kiev. I also like the tips and it’s actually a relief to hear that not much English is spoken. Makes you have to learn more about the culture and the language.

  23. You have made a comprehensive list of places to see in Kiev here. It’s interesting to know that they have a lot of churches scattered around a single city. I would like to experience that amazing train station, too. I could imagine that 100 meters down is already like going 20 floors down!

    1. Yes, Jing, 100 metres down is amazing station and that too it was made during ancient times. It also acts as bunker or hideout when city is in danger

  24. I haven’t been to Kiev but sure does look like a lot of things to do based on your lists. Couldn’t agree more to the cathedrals that have amazing architectures. It’s very inviting to see and stare closely at every detail of it. And the Golden Gate, I was actually looking for a literal golden gate! lol

  25. No doubt about it, Kiev’s architecture is stunning! My favourite is Saint Sophia’s Cathedral, but I’d also love to explore the museum of Ukraine’s WW2 experience – a sad but fascinating time in history. This feels like a relaxed way to tour the most important parts of the city 🙂

  26. Some of the photos with the architecture look like lego…definitely has some character!

    Ukraine is definitely on my bucket list, considering as you said, it’s fairly cheap compared to the rest of europe. But what did you think of the food??

    1. Food is very good in Ukraine with many wide varieties. Also You can get Italian, Indian, Georgian and Continental varieties a lot. They have very unique themed cafes and restaurants.

  27. Love this post. Ukraine is certainly on our to-visit list. The architecture in Kiev looks just amazing. No worries on the little English being spoken … hands and feet and smiles and gestures have gotten me many places in the world where my spoken language and the country I am visiting are not in synch. How hard is it to learn the most basic of phrases though .. that to me is a must!

  28. The churches and cathedrals are absolutely stunning! The colors are striking and unique. These photos alone make us want to visit Kiev sooner than later!

  29. That’s a fantastic guide for Kiev! I love the architecture of Kiev Pechersk Lavra, so refreshing and pretty. Also, Saint Sophia’s cathedral looks superb. I’d definitely want to hang out in Independence Square, I imagine the vibe would be nice there. Also, St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral looks really cool. Kiev is going on my bucket list now!

  30. Wow, what an amazing city! I love Orthodox cathedrals – the artwork is so ornate and beautiful. Looks like Kiev has a lot of them! It also looks like a very vibrant and lively city. Great article with excellent photos.

  31. Wow! There are so many beautiful places to visit in Kiev! I would love to visit the UNESCO site, Kiev Pechersk Lavra. Also, I’d like to walk on the historic street Andriyivskyy Descent as well. National Museum and the Mariyinsky Palace are definitely on my list as well. Thank you for sharing an interesting post.

  32. I don’t know much about Kiev and loved learning about some of the highlights of this city as there is so much there I would enjoy. The monasteries, Kiev Pechersk Lavra and Golden Dome, are just gorgeous, and would for sure be on my must see list. Thanks so much for all the tips!

  33. The monestaries and cathedrals are just stunning! I love how they’re so colorful and unique. This is definitely making me wanna visit Ukraine now. Will be sure to download Google Translate too on my phone when I go. Thanks for the tips and recommendations!

  34. Honestly, this is the first time I am reading about Kiev and I loved learning about this stunning city. Now I dream to visit Ukraine and Kiev someday to experience the rich heritage of this city.

  35. Kiev looks like a beautiful city which I would love to visit one day. The list you’ve provided is huge and interesting . Thanks for sharing your knowledge

  36. Kiev seems to have so much vibrance packed in a single city. Kiev Pechersk Lavra is magnificent. So are the views from the bell tower. And the pop of color across the city is noticeable. Definitely a must visit.

  37. Kiev comes across as a charming city with so many sights and experiences. I found the Kiev Pechersk Lavra amazing with its architecture and am quite intrigued with the fact that it has secret catacombs and chambers, will be doing some online research to learn more about this. It would be a lovely experience to saunter along the Khreshchatyk, it looks so impressive.

    1. Those catacombs are really unique where saints buried themselves without any preservatives and you can still worship their mummified bodies now also.

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