The Best Things To Do In Kiev

Kiev is the capital of Ukraine and is a city that is surrounded by nature and a beautiful river. During the middle ages, Kiev was the capital of a massive state that was situated in a large part of Eastern Europe and here you can explore the cathedrals and monasteries that date back to this era. Kiev has been given its fair share of challenges from the Mongol invasion to the Nazi attack of the Second World War, but despite this, the city has always bounced back. Today, the city is a seamless blend of wonderful architecture, history and modern living.

Kiev Pechersk Lavra

In Eastern Orthodox Christianity, this is one of the most significant sites and this World Heritage site is a stunning mixture of churches, bell towers and caves. It can take several hours to take everything in and you might need to take a guided tour to embrace all that it has to offer. It started life in the 11th century with a large portion of it being located underground in two man-made cave systems. It can get busy here so it is wise to arrive early as the space below ground is confined but here you can explore the cells where canonised monks such as Nestor the Chronicle used to live but are now preserved as mummified relics. There is a strict dress code for women which involves having to cover your hair and wear a skirt.

Pirogovo – Kiev Museum of Folk Architecture and Life

This is the perfect way to explore the culture of Ukrainian folk via an open-air museum set on expansive grounds. Architecture from different regions of Ukraine has been moved here and it can be viewed in six different villages representing the regions of Ukraine. With over 300 buildings, including churches, dwellings and workshops, this is a museum where you can watch crafts taking place such as weaving and pottery. The museum was opened in 1969 and during that time it has grown its collection to around 70,000 artefacts where you can see glassware, costume, metalwork, embroidery and carpet, showing you just how Ukrainian folk lived in times gone by.

Museum of the History of Ukraine in World War II

The Motherland Monument forms part of this museum and the memorial can be continued at its base. There are marble plaques for the 11,600 soldiers who gave their lives during the war as well as 200 workers but walk the Alley of the Hero Cities and remember the Soviet cities that attempted to resist the charge of Nazi Germany. The museum is huge and tells the story of the war from the perspective of the country while you can view over 30,000 objects. The exhibitions are explained very well and in the galleries, you can view weapons, maps and other war-related items.

Khreshchatyk

This upmarket shopping street is a gathering point and although it was blown to pieces during the second world war, it was rebuilt following a Soviet Neoclassical style. During the weekends, cars are prohibited and that enables families to wander aimlessly making this a real hive of activity that has a certain charm and atmosphere. For those who love shopping, there are some well-known retailers here and with many cafes, bars and restaurants, you can always stop and watch the world go by while enjoying some delicious food. The TSUM department store is a Ukranian institution and that can be found here as well as the Ukranian House convention centre.

Hryshko National Botanical Garden

Take yourself away from the city and head downriver to this stunning botanical garden that is managed by the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Here you can view a huge selection of trees, shrubs and flower, over 13,000 to be precise but these are stunning gardens regardless of the time of year you visit but the end of Spring is the time to see it in all its glory as the many lilac bushes are in full bloom. During the period of spring and summer, you can view a mesmerising array of colours as flowers such as peonies, magnolia and roses are in bloom. In the greenhouse, you can view exotic species as well as reptiles in the terrarium. Make a day of it and take a picnic where you can simply embrace the wonderful surroundings as well as Michael’s Vydubytsky Mens’ Monastery below.

Kiev Tours & Attractions

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