On Saturday 26th April 1986 the fourth reactor of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine (62 miles north of Kiev) went under a routine safety test. Just minutes later the reactor exploded polluting the air with millions of tons of deadly radioactive substance.
Today, you can visit the ghost town of Pripyat and visit the memorial 500 yards away from the fourth reactor on a semi private tour.
You can read about our visit to Chernobyl here.
St Sophia’s Cathedral
Saint Sophia’s Cathedral is an outstanding complex; work started on it in 1037 and lasted for just three years.
As the architectural monument has had only a few reconstructions, you can marvel at the Byzantine cathedral in close to its original form. In addition, as it is located at the intersection of the four leading roads in Kiev, climb to the cathedral’s bell tower and you’ll be rewarded with a magnificent view from the top.
St Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery
Named after Kyiv’s patron saint St Michael’s is a fresh copy (opened in 2001) of the original (built in 1108), which was torn down by the Soviets in 1937.
The church’s fascinating history is explained in great detail (in Ukrainian and English placards) in a museum in the monastery’s bell tower.
Standing proudly over the Kiev skyline is the 340-foot tall, stainless steel Soviet Mother Motherland statue.
Originally intended to be even taller, the sword of the statue was cut because it was higher than the cross of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, a renowned Orthodox Christian Monastery. She ranks 18th on the list of the world’s tallest statues. For a bit of comparison, The Statue of Liberty ranks about 42nd.
Held in the statue’s left hand is a shield with the State Emblem of the Soviet Union. For a small fee, you can go up to the height of the shield for a breath-taking view of the Kyiv skyline.
Kyivo-Pechers’ka Lavra, the monastery which made Kyiv the “Rome” of Orthodox Christianity and received pilgrims from all over Europe continues to attract droves of visitors today. It was the Ukraine’s first world heritage site.
Its territory of 28ha contains not only churches, towers and an underground cave system but also some of Kyiv’s most interesting museums.
Monks worshipped, lived and were buried in caves, where a cool and humid atmosphere enabled their bodies to mummify naturally. This apparent miracle further enhanced the monastery’s reputation. The monks’ bodies have been almost perfectly preserved to this day, a fact you can see yourself by descending into the caves with a candle to lead the way.
This tour will give you admission as well as acess to the bell tower and a secret roof which has breath taking views of Kiev.
One of the world’s best microminiaturist, Nicolaï Siadristy displays his lifetime of tiny creations in this museum.
Widely considered the world’s best microminiaturist, Nicolaï Siadristy has a lifetime’s worth of tiny creations on display in this museum. What does a microminiturist create? A tray complete with a wine bottle and glasses, all set on a grain of salt, or the human being at various stages of life, represented on a gold thread 400-times thinner than a human hair.
Insomnia Haunted House
INSOMNIA is the place where your greatest fears turn into reality, and the instinct of self-preservation turns off common sense. Turning into the heroes of the horror film you need to go through all the rooms and save your life. Thrills, unforgettable emotions and adrenaline are provided to you.
trip advisor – Defo got ptsd
Arsenalna is a station on Kyiv Metro’s Red Line Line.
It’s made its way onto this list because it is currently the deepest station in the world at 105.5 metres (346 ft).
It may not be one of the most aesthetically pleasing stations on the Kiev underground but the five minute journey on 2 flights of long escalators will give you more than enough time to tick it off your bucket list.
Check out our top picks for beautiful Kiev metro stations
This 114 year old funicular is 238 metres in length and goes from Mykhailivska at the upper station down to Poshtova at the lower station in around 3 minutes. As you are travelling up or down on one of the two cars you’ll see wonderful views over the river Dnipro.
At the top you can visit Saint Michael’s Monastery and Saint Sophia’s Cathedral and are you are just 5 minutes walk to Andriivs’kyi descent.
Shevchenko Park is not just a monument of gardening and landscape architecture; it is Kyiv’s embodiment of everything beautiful.
The park is located on the corner of Volodymyrs’ka and Shevchenka bul’v., opposite Taras Shevchenko National University and can be accessed via the Kiev Funicular.
For decades, this has been the prominent scene for chess enthusiasts, who reign over the park’s south-west corner. Verbal disputes and even scuffles between opponents are a common sight, as vodka and gambling are indispensable parts of the game.
There is also a monument in the centre of the park of the man himself, Taras Shevchenko, a Ukrainian poet, writer, artist, public and political figure.
Admission is free.
The National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War is a memorial commemorating the German-Soviet War in Kiev during the 1941 German invasion.
It is one of the largest museums in Ukraine with over 300,000 exhibits and is centered around the famous 62-meter tall Motherland statue
Popular exhibits are The Flame of Glory, various Military equipment used during WWII, the Alley of the Hero Cities, and displays of armaments used by the Soviet army post World War II
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a war memorial dedicated to the memory of all the unknown Ukrainian soldiers who gave their lives in the Liberation of Ukraine, It is situated inside the Park of Eternal Glory.
The monument has become a divisive symbol between the pro-Russian population and the nationalist population. On 7 November 2017 vandals filled the eternal flame with wet cement, thus ceasing the flame for the first time since its inception. It has since been re-lit.
It is official protocol for dignitaries on state visits to lay wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier when visiting Ukraine.
If ex soviet style shooting ranges are your kind of fun then spend some time at a outdoor shooting range in Kiev with a variety of weapons.
Keep your head clear and your arms steady as you navigate your way through a Kalashnikov, Glock-17 pistol, Steyr AUG, sniper rifle, Beretta 92 FS and Mosin-Nagant plus many more.
You will receive instructions for safe operation from an expert instructor.
Valeriy Lobanovskyi Dynamo Stadium
The Valeriy Lobanovskyi Dynamo Stadium is the home stadium of FC Dynamo Kyiv although they have played home games at the larger Olympic Stadium since 1980.
The stadium was originally built during the transfer of the Soviet capital from Kharkiv to Kyiv. It grew in notoroity when details of a “Death Match” occured in 1942 where a team of Kyiv All-Stars from Dynamo & Lokomotyv Kiev played a series of football matches against German teams.
There are many contrasting accounts as to what actually happened in this stadium.
Legend has it that they beat Flakelf 5–1 and the Germans arrested nine of the players, and they were then rounded up and killed. However, this has been refuted by witnesses who say the Germans arrested nine of the players, the first being nine days after the match and that five players were murdered by the SS, three of them half a year after the match.
The death match has inspired numerous films and books including The Longest Yard, Escape to Victory and Two Half Times in Hell
State Aviation Museum
The Oleg Antonov State Aviation Museum is one of the largest aviation museums in Eastern Europe showcasing soviet technology.
It is located on the former Educational Air Base of KIIGA around XX from Kiev city centre.
Today the museum has more than 80 aircraft and helicopters on show from the soviet era including 9 MiG’s, 9 Tupolev’s , 5 Ilyushin’s and 2 Aero’s plus a selection other planes and engines including Antonov’s, Sukhoi’s, Yakovleva’s and Kamov’s.
Independence Square also known as Maidan Nezalezhnosti is one of the city’s main squares, celebrating the country’s independence in 1991.
There is an underground shopping mall called Hlobus located underneath the square.
The square was the site of Euromaidan protests which began in November 2013 in which violent clashes occurred for three months during the Ukrainian revolution.
Famous landmarks in the square include the Independence Monument which celebrates the country’s independence in 1991 and the Lach Gates, which were the main fortification during the siege of Kyiv in 1240.
The Mezhyhirya Residence
Journey to the Mezhyhirya Residence in the village of Novi-Petrovtci, 25 kilometers from the city centre. Explore the former country residence of President Yanukovych and get better acquainted with the history of Ukraine and its controversial ruler.
Discover a collection of expensive works of art and architecture, privately owned by one family and paid for by the taxpayers. Gaze in wonder at the opulent interior of the main house and find a huge amount of gold and crystal. See the large icon of the Mother of God, emphasizing the sanctity of its ostentatious former owner.
Avail of optional extras, such as a visit to the Honka club house or rent a bike and explore at your own pace. Discover a collection of vintage cars owned by the president, along with other features such as a bathhouse, bowling alley, underground shooting range, heliport and zoo with kangaroos, emus and peacocks.
Sightseeing (Bus, Hiking, E-Scooter, Mountain Bike
A good start to any city break is taking in the sights with a Hop-On Hop-Off Bus from Independence Square which will transport you around the city, stopping off at the poipular attractions.
Adventourous travellers may prefer a guided E-Scooter tour of Kiev which is really good fun. The electric scooters are easy to ride and is a great way to maximise your city sightseeing.
You will cover far more ground than on a traditional walking tour and won’t get stuck in traffic jams like you would in a car.
Prices for a Hop-On Hop-Off Bus tour cost XXXXXXXXXXXX and can be booked in advance with XXXX.
Prices for a guided E-Scooter tour of Kiev costs XXXXXXXXX and can be booked via XXXX .
Dnipro River Cruise
Perfect for a summer’s evening with the breeze in your hair and the sun setting in the background are the Dnipro river cruises. Throughout the summer months, the boats set sail throughout the day and on evenings and weekends.
There are various boat trips available, but the best one is the 1 and a half hour Kyiv Panorama cruise which takes you under the pedestrian bridge, past Kyiv Pechersk Lavra and the Motherland Monument whilst seeing the beaches of Trukhaniv Island and Hyrdropark. On the left you’ll also see Kyiv’s floating hotel Bakkara which has romantic views of the river.
On weekends you can book a “Disco Boat” to party the night away like you’ve never done before.
A Dnipro River Cruise costs XXXX and can be booked here.
Children’s Beach at Hydropark
located near the Hydropark metro station on the left side of the Venetian Bridge.
trained lifeguards work on the premises and monitor the activity
chairs rental, as well as umbrellas, swim rings, lifesavers, inflatable balls, and towels.
highly popular with families. The entrance is free if with children.
Best visited on a summer’s evening or warm spring daytime, this delightful park will brighten up your day. It only takes around 30 minutes to walk from end to end, but along the way you will be greeted with many different and unique sculptures.
It’s hidden away behind some residential houses and not on the tourist path, but well worth a visit to uncover this little gem.
Peizazhna Alley, Kyiv, Ukraine
Urbex Adenture Tour
Visit the city’s underground river and drain tunnel system.
This will involve 1.5 to 3 hours of walking through underground tunnels, equipped with special flashlights and gum boots. With your experienced guide, you will learn everything there is to know about Kiev’s underground world, feel what it’s like to be in absolute darkness, and experience the city in a totally new way.
Then, for the second part of this combo tour, explore one of the abandoned Cold War bunkers, forgotten since the USSR times. Get the chance to open a massive Soviet hermetic blast door in an abandoned fallout shelter, and feel what it would be like to live in an era in which people live in constant fear of a nuclear attack. In this 1-hour guided tour, you’ll touch one of the hidden pages of Ukrainian history, see real civil equipment frozen in time, and learn about survival after a nuclear war.
Of all the cities in which we’ve seen street art, I don’t think many any compare with Kyiv in terms of the scale and volume of huge murals adorning apartment buildings and offices all across the city.
There has been an explosion in the street art scene in Kyiv over the past few years and so you’ll find murals dotted all over the city.
You can spend days walking this beautiful city looking at street art so it may be a good idea to do some research before you go to see which ones you’d like to see.
Our favourites are:
- Crows – 7B Reitarska Street
- Upside Down Girl – 12 Striletska Street
- Time for Change – 4-6 Striletska Street
- Yaroslav the Wise – 19B Velyka Zhytomyrska Street
- Rodents – 32a Olesia Honchara Street
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Trukhaniv Island Beach
this beach is certainly one of the most popular places to visit on a hot weekend in Kiev. The vast area is fully equipped with changing cabins, various cafes, and bars located on the territory of Trukhaniv Island,
The entrance to this Kiev beach is free. It can be easily accessed: arrive at the Kontraktova Ploshcha metro station; proceed to the direction of the Pedestrian Bridge and cross it
regarded as one of the best beaches to party in Kiev.
many music festivals featuring the best Ukrainian musicians take part here to mark the beginning of summer
Beach chairs rental is available here, as well as free high-speed Wi-Fi
night the area becomes an atmospheric party spot near the Dnipro River. The entrance is free.
Kiev is famous for its luxury nightclubs, cool bars and beautiful ladies so what better way to get acquainted to the local nightlife than a pub crawl?
Sipping on trendy cocktails at 4 to 5 bars is a good way of getting acquainted with popular Kiev bars and the city’s nightlife. A guided tour is suitable both for groups and individual travelers looking for good company and places to spend an evening.
Guide’s will introduce you to some of the most trendy and hidden bars, each of which has its own atmosphere and special cocktail menu with, your first cocktail will be included in the price of the tour.
The bar crawl will start on Khreschetyk Street and will end in the Shota Rustaveli district.
We found a cooking class in Kiev which isn’t something we’ve reccomended in other cities but we would absolutley reccomend it to travellers to Kiev.
Not only do you get to mix with locals and learn about different foods but it also gives you the opportunity to wow family and friends back home with a homely Ukranian meal. Remember travelling is all about learning.
Learn the culinary traditions of the Ukraine as you learn to cook a meal during a private class in a Ukranian kitchen.
You’ll learn how to make popular Ukranian dishes such as borscht (beetroot soup) and varenyky (dumplings).
A remnant from Soviet times, Children’s Railways were very popular in the former USSR with railways located in most of the major cities of the Eastern European countries. There are still 9 such examples throughout Ukraine and surprisingly they are still very popular, especially with tourists. The children’s railways located in Kyiv is a well-kept example and still enjoyed by many today.
To take a ride, find one of the two stations in Syrets Park and approach the ticket office. There’s a very low chance that the cashier will speak English as they are often very young children so try your best to indicate the number of tickets and look on the wall for the current prices.
The railway is generally open throughout Summer on weekends and holidays as the children are at school during the week. They don’t have a web site, so you’ll just have to go on the off chance. If they aren’t working, you can still walk around the park and see the carriages at the station.