What to do and See in Kiev

Kiev, also spelled Kyiv, is Ukraine’s capital and biggest city. Since the fifth century AD, the city has had a rich history and society. On the Dnieper River, Kiev is home to a number of stunning landmarks and sites, including the well-known Saint Sophia Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Numerous colleges and research institutions are located in the city, which serves as a hub for the arts, education, and technology. Kiev is renowned for having a thriving nightlife, with a wide selection of pubs, clubs, and eateries to suit every preference.

Despite its troubled past and at the time of writing this article the war with Russia, Kiev has persevered and is still a vibrant metropolis with something to offer everyone. Visitors can wander through the charming streets and take in the sights and sounds of this remarkable city, or they can investigate the many museums, galleries, and theatres.

Overall, Kiev should be on every traveller’s bucket list because it provides a distinctive fusion of history, culture, and modernity that is sure to make a lasting impression. We will look at a few of Kiev’s top tourist attractions in this piece.

  1. Visit St. Sophia Cathedral

One of Kiev, Ukraine’s most notable structures is the St. Sophia Cathedral. It was constructed in the 11th century, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is renowned for its magnificent mosaics and Byzantine design. Prince Yaroslav the Wise erected the cathedral as a representation of the majesty and strength of the Kievan Rus kingdom. Although the cathedral has experienced numerous renovations over the years, its original appearance and personality have been preserved.

The golden domes of St. Sophia Cathedral, which glitter in the sunlight and make a lovely contrast to the blue sky, are one of the building’s most remarkable features. The cathedral’s interior is equally stunning, featuring elaborate mosaics, frescoes, and ornate sculptures. The cathedral is still used for religious services, and guests are welcome to attend a mass to appreciate the space’s beauty and learn about the Ukrainian people’s Orthodox customs. St. Sophia Cathedral is a must-visit for anyone interested in history, faith, and architecture.

  1. Visit the Kiev Pechersk Lavra

One of the most well-known and venerated monasteries in Ukraine is Kiev Pechersk Lavra, also referred to as the Kiev Monastery of the Caves. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a significant Eastern Orthodox Church hub that was established in the 11th century by the priests Anthony and Theodosius.

The monastery’s golden domes and imposing walls can be seen for kilometres around; it is perched on a hill overlooking the Dnieper River. Explore the grounds and take in the magnificent building, which includes the Dormition Cathedral, the Refectory Church, and the Great Lavra Bell Tower.

The network of underground caves at Kiev Pechersk Lavra, which contains the remains of saints and monks, is one of its most distinctive characteristics. Visitors can enter the caverns, which provide a window into the spiritual and cultural practices of the Ukrainian people.

The Kiev Pechersk Lavra is a revered Orthodox Christian pilgrimage place and a must-see for anyone with an interest in history, religion, or architecture.

  1. Visit Independence Square

The central plaza in Kiev, Ukraine, is known as Independence plaza (also spelled Maidan Nezalezhnosti). It is a well-liked gathering spot for both locals and tourists and has hosted numerous significant historical and cultural events.

The Kiev City Hall, Ukrainian House, and National Museum of Ukrainian History are just a few of the impressive structures that encircle the square. The Independence Monument, a towering column topped with a statue of the goddess Berehynia, is one of Independence Square’s most striking characteristics.

Independence Square has played host to a number of political rallies and protests in recent years, including the 2004 Orange Revolution and the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution. Despite these upsetting incidents, the Ukrainian people continue to view the plaza as a source of unity and national pride.

Visitors to Independence plaza can take in a performance or festival, enjoy the architecture, or just people-watch from one of the many cafes and eateries that surround the plaza. Anyone interested in Ukrainian history and culture ought to go there.

  1. Festivals in Kiev

The festival culture in Kiev is renowned for being active and diversified, with events occurring all year round. The Kiev Day celebration, which takes place in late May and features concerts, street acts, and fireworks displays, is one of the most well-known festivals.

The Kiev International Jazz Festival is another well-liked occasion that draws renowned jazz musicians from all over the world. In June, a variety of performances, workshops, and jam sessions are held as part of the festival.

Kiev holds the Gogolfest in September, a multidisciplinary arts event that features modern art, music, theatre, and literature. The festival draws both domestic and foreign performers to its numerous locations throughout the city.

Ukrainian Fashion Week, the Kyiv International Short Film Festival, and the International Festival of Contemporary Choreography are a few other famous festivals in Kiev.

Overall, the festival scene in Kiev is vibrant and diversified, with something for everyone. There will undoubtedly be a festival in Kiev that piques your interest, whether it be in music, art, or culture.

If you would like to book a ticket to one of the festivals, click here or on the Ticketmaster image below to select from one of our preferred suppliers. 

  1. Visit the Andriyivsky Descent 

The ancient Andriyivsky Descent in Kiev, Ukraine, is renowned for its distinctive ambiance and cultural value. Due to the street’s abundance of art galleries, cafes, gift shops, and historical sites, both visitors and residents enjoy visiting it.

St. Andrew’s Church, a magnificent baroque church with sweeping views of the city, is located at the top of the street. Visitors can find the renowned House with Chimaeras, a distinctive Art Nouveau structure with intricate sculptures of fantastical creatures, down the street.

In addition to its exciting street acts, Andriyivsky Descent is well renowned for its festivals, concerts, and art exhibitions. It’s a wonderful location to experience the local culture and the bustling energy of the city.

In general, Andriyivsky Descent is a must-see location for visitors to Kiev. It is a singular and remarkable experience because of its fascinating history, beautiful architecture, and cultural relevance.

If you would like to book a Andriyivsky Descent tour to see the Andriyivsky Descent click here or on the Get Your Guide banner below to select from one of our preferred suppliers. 

  1. Visit the National Museum of the History of Ukraine

In Kyiv, Ukraine, there is a museum called the National Museum of the History of Ukraine. Since its founding in 1899, it has grown to rank among the nation’s most significant artistic institutions. Over 800,000 artefacts in the museum represent Ukraine’s rich and varied past, from prehistoric times to the present.

The museum’s displays offer visitors the chance to learn about a variety of subjects, including medieval Ukraine, more recent political and cultural history, and ancient Ukrainian civilizations. Ancient artefacts from the Scythian and Sarmatian cultures, traditional textiles and clothing from Ukraine, and works of art by well-known Ukrainian artists are some of the most noteworthy displays.

The National Museum of the History of Ukraine also holds numerous educational programs and events throughout the year, such as lectures, workshops, and guided tours, in addition to its exhibits. For those who are interested in learning more about this dynamic nation, the museum offers an intriguing look into the rich and complex past of Ukraine.

  1. Visit the Mariyinsky Palace

On the banks of the Dnipro River in Kyiv, Ukraine, stands the ancient Mariyinsky Palace. The palace was constructed in the middle of the 18th century as a summer home for the Russian Empress Elizabeth, and different members of the Russian imperial family and Ukrainian government officials have since called it home. The palace is mainly used today as a ceremonial location for official state events, such as presidential inaugurations and diplomatic receptions. The palace is renowned for its stunning Baroque architecture and opulent interiors, which feature elaborate lighting, gilded furniture, and artwork by well-known Ukrainian and Russian artists. Visitors are welcome to tour and visit the palace, which offers an insight into the luxurious lifestyle of past Ukrainian rulers.

  1. Visit the Kiev Arsenal

In the centre of Kiev, Ukraine, there is a historic military installation known as the Kiev Arsenal. The complex, which was constructed in the 18th century, was the Russian Empire’s main centre for the production and storage of weapons.

The Arsenal is now a well-known cultural hub that has a number of museums, galleries, and exhibition spaces. Visitors can discover the complex’s rich history and discover Ukraine’s industrial and military legacy.

The National Art Museum of Ukraine, which houses a sizable collection of Ukrainian artwork from the 12th century to the present, is one of the attractions of the Arsenal. Famous Ukrainian artists like Ivan Aivazovsky, Kazimir Malevich, and Vasyl Krychevsky have pieces in the museum’s collection.

Additionally, the Arsenal presents a range of cultural occasions all through the year, such as concerts, movie screenings, and theatrical productions.

In general, the Kiev Arsenal is an intriguing location that provides a window into the rich history and cultural legacy of Ukraine. Anyone with an interest in art, history, or military history should go there.

  1. Visit the National Opera of Ukraine

In the center of Kiev, Ukraine, stands the National Opera of Ukraine, a landmark theatre. The theatre, which dates back to the 19th century, is renowned for its majestic neoclassical architecture and extensive cultural heritage.

The National Opera and Ballet of Ukraine, which is recognized for its top-notch opera, ballet, and other performances, is housed at the theatre. Traditional and contemporary works are included in the company’s repertoire, and some of the best actors in the nation perform in its productions.

The National Opera of Ukraine’s vast theatre, which has impressive gold leaf embellishments and a huge chandelier, is one of its centrepieces. The theatre also includes a museum that highlights its significant cultural past and rich history.

Overall, anyone visiting Kiev should make sure to see the National Opera of Ukraine. It is a singular and remarkable experience thanks to its rich cultural heritage, breathtaking architecture, and top-notch performances.

  1. Try Local Ukrainian Cuisine 

It is a delightful experience to eat Ukrainian food in Kiev because it combines the vibrant energy of the Ukrainian city with the flavors of Eastern European cuisine. Ukrainian cuisine is renowned for its filling and hearty dishes, which frequently include potatoes, meat, and veggies.

Borscht, a classic Ukrainian soup made with beets, cabbage, and meat, is one of the must-try foods in Kiev. Varenyky, boiled dumplings stuffed with mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, or other savory fillings, is another well-liked delicacy.

Kiev is home to a variety of eateries offering Ukrainian food, including both traditional, family-run restaurants and contemporary fusion eateries. The portions are large and the prices are usually reasonable.

Overall, consuming Ukrainian food in Kiev is a great way to get a taste of the local cuisine and culture while also indulging in its savory flavors.

  1. Visit the National Museum of the Holodomor-Genocide

Is a memorial in Kyiv, Ukraine, that honors those who perished during the Holodomor, a famine that struck the country in 1932–1933 and was brought on by Soviet policies. Photos, documents, and first-person accounts from those who escaped the famine are among the exhibits at the museum that trace the history of the Holodomor. The Soviet government’s campaign to repress Ukrainian culture and identity is one of the political and social contexts of the period that visitors can learn about this fascinating history.

The museum’s displays are moving tributes to the victims of the Holodomor that are both educational and extremely emotional. Along with its exhibits, the museum also holds numerous annual events and activities, such as talks, seminars, and movie screenings, to increase public understanding of the Holodomor and its long-lasting effects on Ukrainian history and culture. In general, the National Museum of the Holodomor-Genocide is an essential organization that is crucial in maintaining the memory of one of the darkest periods in Ukrainian history.

In conclusion, Kiev is a city full of tourist destinations that you must visit, from its historic churches and monasteries to its contemporary museums and galleries. Kiev has something to give everyone, regardless of their interests in history, culture, or the arts.

  1. Visit the Parkovy Pedestrian Bridge

The Parkovy Pedestrian Bridge spans the Dnipro River in Kiev, Ukraine, and is a stunning specimen of modern design. Both locals and visitors appreciate the stunning vistas of the river and the city skyline provided by this slick and elegant bridge.

The bridge is 135 meters long and 6 meters wide, and its distinctively curved form gives it the appearance of being wave-like. Its transparent floor allows visitors to see the waterway below, and it is made of steel and glass. The bridge looks magnificent when it is lit up in the evening and contrasted with the city lights.

The Parkovy Pedestrian Bridge connects the Trukhaniv Island, which is situated on one bank of the river, and the Parkovy Exhibition and Convention Center, which is situated on the other. It has become a well-liked spot for strolls and photography because it provides expansive views of the city’s monuments, such as the Motherland Monument and Kiev Pechersk Lavra.

The stunning Parkovy Pedestrian Bridge, which additionally links two important areas of the city in a way that is both beautiful and practical, serves as a showcase for Kiev’s innovation and modernity overall.