8x what to do in Kiev, Ukraine

what to do Kiev, 8x what to do in Kiev, Ukraine

A city trip to Kiev (the capital of the Ukraine) is fun! Kiev is a city with a lot to see and do. The city has an impressive history, beautiful cathedrals, beautiful architecture, art treasures and atmospheric squares and parks and you can enjoy a delicious meal. An extra plus is that it is cheap! Kiev is also the base for an excursion to Chernobyl. I will give you tips on what to do in the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

8x what to do in Kiev, Ukraine

The city of Kiev

Kiev (Kyiv) is one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe. At the end of the 9th century the city flourished and Kiev was one of the most civilized centers of the Eastern Christian world. The city had more than 50,000 inhabitants. Even before Ukraine existed, Kiev was the capital of the then enormous medieval empire of Kiev Russian. But the city also had ink-black periods. During the 1930s, many churches and cathedrals were destroyed by the Soviet authorities and during the Second World War Kiev also had a hard time.

Kiev is currently one of the largest cities in Europe with almost 3 million inhabitants. Since 19991 Ukraine has been liberated from the Soviet Union and since then the country has been on the rise.

  • Kiev is the base for an excursion to Chernobyl, which is about two hours drive from the city.
what to do Kiev, 8x what to do in Kiev, Ukraine

What to do in Kiev?

1. Lavra Cave Monastery

The most beautiful and biggest sight of Kiev is the Lavra Cave Monastery. This complex consists of monasteries, churches, underground passageways, important sanctuaries and museums. It is the holiest place in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus and is therefore visited by many believers. The enormous system of corridors under the ground consists of corridors with prayer rooms and the monks are placed there after their death. There are more than 100 monks on display.

The most beautiful and biggest sight of Kiev is the Lavra cave monastery. This complex consists of monasteries, churches, underground corridors, important sanctuaries and museums. It is the holiest place in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus and is therefore visited by many believers. The enormous system of corridors under the ground consists of corridors with prayer rooms and the monks are placed there after their death. There are more than 100 monks on display.

You can visit the Lavra Cave Monastery on your own or choose to go with a guide. In the complex not everything is in English and therefore you have no idea what you see, why you see it and what is special about it. That is why it is advisable to arrange a guide or go along with a tour. Entrance to the caves is free.

  • Women are obliged to put on a long skirt. You can get these skirts at the entrance and you can bring them back afterwards.
  • Wearing a headscarf/scarf over your hair is mandatory.
  • It is recommended to buy a candle for a few cents, so you have a little light under the ground.
  • Location: Take the metro to metro station Arsenalna and the Lavra Cave Monastery is about a 15 minute walk from this metro station.
what to do Kiev, 8x what to do in Kiev, Ukraine
what to do Kiev, 8x what to do in Kiev, Ukraine

2. St. Sofia’s Cathedral

As far as I’m concerned, this is the most beautiful cathedral in Kiev. That’s because of the shiny golden domes and the use of the colors white, green and gold. The church was built in the 11th century and is therefore the oldest church in the city of Kiev. In the past centuries the cathedral has been built, demolished and attached. The inside of this Orthodox church is also beautiful, because all walls, ceilings and pillars are covered with paintings, mosaics and frescoes. The walled garden of St. Sofia’s Cathedral is also definitely worth a visit!

  • Address: Volodymyrska 24, Kiev
  • Opening hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Entrance fee: 20 UAH (€0,65) for terrain and access to the Bell Tower is 60 uah (€2).  
what to do Kiev, 8x what to do in Kiev, Ukraine

3. The square Maidan Nezalezhnosti

One of the most important places in the city is Maidan Nezalezhnosti, or Maidan for short. This is the “square of independence” and this name was chosen in 1991 when Ukraine became an independent country. The square forms the heart of the city and is the place where much has been demonstrated and fought for an independent Ukraine. On the square you can see some important statues: a statue with the four founders of Kiev, the black statue is the archangel Michael and the independence statue of Kiev. This square is the heart of the city of Kiev and that is why it is mainly a cozy place where there are always people. On this square you can drink coffee or pick up one of the coffees. Or you can go shopping in the underground mall. Or sit quietly in the sun and people watch!

what to do Kiev, 8x what to do in Kiev, Ukraine

4. The metro stations

There are a few special subway stations in Kiev that you should definitely visit, because they are special. Metro station Arsenalna is the second deepest metro station in the world! Only in North Korea you will find a deeper located subway station. It is no less than 105 meters underground and the descent takes 5 minutes with the escalators. The mosaics and decorations at the subway stations Zoloti Vorota and Olimpiiska are so beautiful! These originate from the Soviet era, which can still be seen in the architecture and decorations.

what to do Kiev, 8x what to do in Kiev, Ukraine
Arsenalna

5. The street Andriyivski Uzviz

One of the most beautiful and charming streets of Kiev is the Andriyivski Uzviz. The street starts or ends at St. Andries Cathedral. This street goes from the upper center of Kiev winding to the district Podil. Podil is located lower down on the banks of the river. This is the Montmartre of the city, because of the beautiful houses, the artists, the shops with handmade stuff, coffee bars.

6. The WWII Museum in Kiev

In Kiev the “National Museum of the History of Ukraine during the Second World War” is an interesting place to visit. In this large museum you will find a lot of information about the country during the Second World War. The museum has no less than 16 halls and a collection of more than 17,000 pieces.

  • Location: Lavrska 27, Kiev
  • Opening hours: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Entrance fee: 30 UAH per person
  • From metro station Arsenalna you can take bus 35 or trolley bus 38 until the end. From Petsjerska metrostration the museum is about half an hour walk.
what to do Kiev, 8x what to do in Kiev, Ukraine

7. Rodina Mat

The Rodina Mat can be seen from many places in the skyline of Kiev. This structure is also called the Motherland statue. The nice thing is that you can climb the Rodina Mat. You can climb all the way to the top of the shield at a height of 91 meters. At the foot of this statue is the WWII museum and there you can buy tickets to visit the statue.

  • Location: Lavrska 27, Kiev
  • Entrance fee: 50 uah to the observation point at 36 meters and 300 uah for climbing to 91 meters.
  • From metro station Arsenalna you can take bus 35 or trolley bus 38 until the end. From Petsjerska metrostration the museum is about half an hour walk.
what to do Kiev, 8x what to do in Kiev, Ukraine

8. Eating and Drinking in Kiev

The city has hundreds of restaurants and pubs! Most restaurants can be found around the wide main street Kreschatyk or in Podil in and around the street Petra Sahaidachnoho. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the number of international restaurants has increased enormously. Chinese, Italian, Vietnamese, Mexican, Japanese, but also the famous fast food chains can be found in Kiev. In the local Soviet style restaurants you can taste the typical and tasty Ukrainian delicacies such as borscht (beetroot soup), vareniki (dough pies) and pampushki (soft rolls soaked in freshly ground garlic and oil). Vodka is the national drink in the Ukraine and therefore occupies an important place on the beverage list.

  • We recommend lunch at LVIV Croissants, a chain that sits in several places in the city. For 2 euros they serve the most delicious croissants.
  • Restaurant Musafir Teatralna is a must! They serve various delicious dishes and it is cheap.  
what to do Kiev, 8x what to do in Kiev, Ukraine

Tip hotel in Kiev

The hotels are very affordable in Kiev. I myself slept a couple of nights in the Tourist Hotel Complex. This hotel is very large and is located outside the city centre, but right next to a metro station. The rooms are fine, so is the bathroom. All in all a fine hotel for a price of €30,- per room. Breakfast is not recommended at this hotel. Near the hotel there are a number of restaurants, but also for example a Mac Donalds.

  • Check here for the prices and availability of Tourist Hotel Complex
  • Not what you’re looking for? View more accommodations in Kiev
what to do Kiev, 8x what to do in Kiev, Ukraine
Tourist Hotel Complex

Public transport in Kiev

The metro is the fastest, most convenient and cheapest way to explore the city. The metro consists of three lines and the signs and announcements are also in English. This makes transport by metro easy. The metro runs from 6:00 in the morning until midnight. During the day, the subways run every 3 to 5 minutes. For 8 UAH bargain a green coin and you have access to the metro. It doesn’t matter how far you go. The easiest way to buy the tokens is at a counter located at each entrance of each subway station.

what to do Kiev, 8x what to do in Kiev, Ukraine

What is the best travel time for Kiev?

Ukraine has a continental climate, which means that the summers are warmer and the winters colder than in the Netherlands. The best time to travel to the capital of Ukraine is in spring and autumn. During spring it is already nice and warm in Kiev and in autumn the temperature is still very pleasant. In the summer it can get quite warm in the city. During the winter the weather in the Ukrainian capital is usually below freezing. In January and February it snows regularly.  

what to do Kiev, 8x what to do in Kiev, Ukraine

How to get from the airport to the center of Kiev?

There are two airports in Kiev: Boryspil and Zhulyany. The quickest and easiest way to get to your hotel in Kiev is from the airport.

Transportation between Boryspil Airport and Kiev:

  • Taxi: the travel time is half an hour and the costs are about €25,-.  
  • Bus: You can buy a ticket at the airport. The Skybus takes about an hour and stops at Vokzalna, the train station of Kiev. Costs 100 uah= €3,40.  
  • Metro: you can get off the Skybus halfway and continue by metro. Get off at Kharkivska and especially during rush hours this saves time.  

Transport from Zhulyany Airport and Kiev:

  • Taxi: Travel time is less than half an hour and costs about €22.
  • Bus: 200 metres from terminal A there is a bus stop where minibuses pass by and go to various metro stops in Kiev.

These are my tips on what to do in Kiev! Do you have more tips for this list on what to do in Kiev?


Ukraine

Citytrips Europe

Leave a Comment