8 reasons to visit Kiev
Places to visit in Kiev
1. It’s so cheap!
Probably one of the highlights of spending five days in Kiev was figuring out how much we’d just paid for each meal, trip etc… After eating a ridiculously large lunch at the fantastic restaurant, including drinks, appetizers and dessert, we realized it only cost 15 euro for two people. And even better, you can ride the Metro for about 4 hryvnas, take buses all over the city for 5 hryvnas and ride the Funicular also cheap enough. Taxis tend to charge you a flat, tourist rate of 50-100 euros, which is still only around 10 euro to get from the airport to the city.
2. Chill out on the beach
Yep, there’s a beach. If you cross the bridge to the other side of the river, there’s a proper sandy beach where locals go to soak up the (surprisingly hot) sun. You can abseil from the top of the hill down to the beach, bungee jump from the bridge, swim in the river, or just sunbathe and eat ice creams.
3. Crazy nightlife
Ukrainians seem to like to party, with lots of booze and dancing! Coyote Ugly is a favourite spot where you can smoke shisha, drink vodka shots, dance on the bar. However, be warned that if you ask for water in a British accent, you’re likely to come away with yet another (unwanted) shot of vodka! Apparently Arena City (quite central) is also worth a look with several different bars and outdoor seating areas.
4. Take a trip to the world’s most famous nuclear disaster site
Admittedly this might not be on every tourist’s to-do list! You can take a day-trip to Chernobyl, which includes an extremely well-organized bus trip to the town, lunch, fully-guided tour by really excellent guides and the amazing opportunity to take pictures by the reactor and in the deserted town of Pripyat, with its famous funfair, which was never opened to the citizens of the town before it was evacuated in 1986.
5. Take the Funicular up the hill
A carriage which takes you up the side of the hill. When you’re at the top, you can enjoy an amazing view of the city and river, as well as the park (albeit with very spiky grass) and one of the more surreal monuments – the archway representing friendship between Russia and Ukraine… The less said about that the better, maybe. Try a Kvass which is a really, really strange drink – something like a very sweet, non-alcoholic beer.
6. Beserabka market
This is a covered market just off Khreshatyk (the main street) and is a great places to visit in Kiev to wander around and see a range of really great quality fruit, caviar, salami, cheese and lard (which is strangely popular here…). Just be aware that the vendors will do the hard-sell on you even if you don’t speak Russian. We walked through with no intention of buying anything and came away with a jar of caviar and a block of cheese without even realizing what was happening!
7. Pechersk Lavra
This landmark translates as something like the Monastery of the Caves, and is a particularly unique site, where you can spend at least a whole afternoon. It’s a complex of various different churches, as well as the crypts below where you can see the mummified bodies of saints by candlelight. The architecture here is particularly spectacular, with a myriad of golden domes, not to mention a great view of the city.
8. Sightseeing all the monuments around the city
There are loads of different statues and buildings around the city that are worth seeing. Climb the hill to see the St Andrew Church (and an amazing view), visit the St Sophia Cathedral (one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine, apparently) and several other cathedrals, churches and more…
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