Our favorite things to do in Kyiv

Kyiv has so much to offer to its visitors any time of the year, we are sure. We got there in summer so we could spend most of our time outside, enjoying nature, architecture, walking the streets and eating ice-cream. Here comes the list of our favorite things to do in Kyiv.

Things to do in Kiev, Ukraine

Walk the Khreshchatyk street

We tried to take a cheap taxi from the airport but in the end, we were forced to agree with three times higher fee. Never take a taxi in front of the airport. We were naïve, but everything worked out when we reached the place where we were going to stay. It was in the city center, the subway takes you anywhere and it is several minutes on foot away from the main street Khreshchatyk.

Passing the main street of Kyiv is a must! If you have the time, make sure you take many photos and absorb the smiles of passing people. If you have a lot of time, don’t forget to jump into a fountain or eat at least one ice-cream. That is where we went for our first stroll. It was closed off for cars and we had fun walking between the buildings, called modern plattenbau, even though they aren’t actually plattenbau. All kinds of street magicians, beer wagons, music, and joyous voices cut through the heated air and the last sunrays. There were ice-cream stalls every few meters but it still was hot. So hot that only the occasional drafts and the fountains you could enter could compensate.

Walk up to the Parliament (Verkhovna Rada)

We re-hydrated with a beer under the sound of a saxophone. After climbing several hills we arrived at the Parliament, overlooking Dnieper River. It was nice to look at from the outside, but we were seriously considering where to go next so we can avoid too much uphill (or downhill, too). The idea of topographical tourist maps occurred to us here…

Go church, cathedral and monastery hopping

Kyiv has beautiful churches, cathedrals, monasteries. And by beautiful I mean you just need a look from outside to deeply fall in love with their architecture. Blue, green, emerald, golden – there are the colors that we’ll remember summer Kyiv with.

Some of the most beautiful churches and cathedrals in Kyiv include Saint Andrew’s Church, St. Sophia’s Cathedral, Nativity of Christ Church, St Michael’s Monastery, the Ascension Convent, Podolsky Church of the Intercession, Cathedral of St. Alexander of Kyiv.

The heat didn’t stop us from visiting the more famous buildings, but be sure to bring a lot of water and sun protection with you, if you plan to visit Kyiv in summer. Most of the religious sights have a strict dress code visitors need to follow – knees and shoulders should be covered, as well as ladies’ heads.

Kyiv Pechersk Lavra

Claustrophobia couldn’t stop us from entering the caves in Kyiv Pechersk Lavra. There was a strict dress code there as well. We followed it to respect the monastery, but it was not nice to wear head-cloths at temperatures of 40°C. The bodies of the saints were covered and well-preserved in the underground tunnel conditions.

Go to the park

You can always escape the heat in one of the many parks of Kyiv. Or meet interesting artists, or even practice your own skills. The harps in the churchyard were playing. On the main street, Marti had the opportunity to show her talent as a pianist.

Walk the Old Kyiv

We unknowingly entered the Old Kyiv when we were following the cobblestone street to St. Andrews Church. It is my favorite church – bright blue with emerald green and gold edges. The whole neighborhood holds this old-time vibe, with old ladies smiling behind souvenir stalls and majestic architecture telling stories of gold times.

Things to do in Kiev, Ukraine
Things to do in Kyiv, Ukraine

Eat local delicacies

When clouds started speaking of upcoming rain. we descended to find shelter from the rain in Hakuna Matata (that’s how I remember it). It’s a place where you can try all kinds of local delicacies for almost free.

Hot or not – we have to eat. Vareniki (nom-nom) filled with all kinds of things or the perfect breakfast chebureki. They go well with beer or white wine.  Culinary surprises came from left and right!

Go to the beach

To escape the heat in Kyiv not only can you hide in the many parks, but you can also hop over to several lush green islands in the river. People went to the beaches, some even swam against the current. Hydropark Island attracted many with its shade, beer, and grill. There is a small landscape-recreational park where great parties are organized, at least the shoreline is wide enough for everybody. We didn’t try whether the water of Dnieper is clean enough, unlike many people who were swimming.

Visit Chernobyl on a day trip

We didn’t practice any of the extreme sports on the Dnieper river, but we did something adventurous – a visit to Chernobyl. We had to buy some closed shoes in one of the underground shops at the metro stations, but it was a cool (almost bargaining) shopping experience!

A tour to Chernobyl, Ukraine

Kyiv is a smiling and welcoming city! We hope to go back there so it would greet us warmly and leave us with warm (even hot) memories and emotions! ⛪🏖🌇⛪🏖🌇⛪🏖🌇⛪🏖🌇⛪🏖🌇

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