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What to See and Do in Kyiv, Ukraine

Sucheta Pradhan Jul 29, 2020
Kyiv or Kiev is the vibrant and colorful capital city of Ukraine in Eastern Europe.
With over 1,500 years of tumultuous history that is reflected through its numerous cathedrals, city squares, and pastel-colored edifices, Kyiv offers a lot to discover and learn. Keep going for some of the best things to see and do in this mighty city!
See Kyiv Pechersk Lavra …
… a.k.a. Kiev Monastery of the Caves, the historic monastery of Eastern Orthodox Christianity and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Kyiv Pechersk Lavra is a complex of beautiful churches, soaring bell towers, and a network of subterranean caves.
It also houses mummified relics of canonized monks, which are pretty curious.
Climb down the Andriyivskyy Descent …
… Kyiv’s most popular street, descending from the city’s Upper Town to Podil Quarter on the Dnieper river.
At the top of the slope is the 18th century Baroque-style St. Andrew’s Church. Climb down the cobblestone street to arrive in a 19th century neighborhood lined with chic cafés and street side art shops!
Visit the Motherland Monument …
… a gigantic stainless-steel statue of a woman, holding a sword and shield, that can be seen from pretty much anywhere in Kyiv.
Commemorating the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazis in WWII, the monument has two observation decks, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the city from up top.
Stroll across Maidan Nezalezhnosti …
… Kyiv’s Independence Square, to catch the real vibe of the city. This place has been the center of political activism since 1990, and is today one of the most popular tourist spots in the city.
The square is also home to the posh Hotel Ukraine and the regal portico of the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy, the city’s crowning glory.
Explore Khreschatyk …
… Kyiv’s famous shopping street that connects the Independence Square with the rest of the city.
The street is lined with WWII era edifices built in the Soviet Neoclassical style. Visit on a weekend when traffic is prohibited on the street, so there’s ample space to roam around!
Picnic at the M. M. Hryshko National Botanical Garden …
… managed by the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. It has over 13,000 species of flowers, shrubs, and trees from the world over.
If you’re visiting during spring or early summer, you will see several colorful flowers in full bloom. The terrarium houses many reptile species too!
Don’t Miss the Oleg Antonov State Aviation Museum …
… located inside Zhuliany Airport’s Old Terminal building. It houses numerous Soviet military aircrafts like Ilyushins, Antonovs, Sukhois, Tupolevs, Yakovlevs, and MiGs.
The exhibits include more than 70 original Soviet aircrafts, making it the 2nd largest museum of its kind in all formerly Soviet nations.
Roam Across the Landscape Alley …
… a mesmerizing green space displaying numerous interesting pieces of public art.
Very popular with kids, this tourist spot is adorned with several colorful but whimsical sculptures covered with mosaic tiles.
Visit Kyiv’s Art Museums …
… to learn about the city’s and Ukraine’s art history and folk culture. The collections in the city’s museums will truly fascinate you.
Kyiv has several art museums – Museum of Kyiv History, National Art Museum of Ukraine, Pinchuk Art Center, The Bohdan and Varvara Khanenko National Museum of Arts, Museum of Modern Art of Ukraine, etc.
Go to a Party …
… pretty much anywhere in Kyiv. The nightlife and party scene is extremely vibrant in the city.
Get into one of the craft beer bars in Podil and grab yourself a drink. Then cross the river and enter into a party with the locals.