The Most Unusual Things to See and Do in Kiev

View over Kiev
View over Kiev | © Lubomirkin/Unsplash
Maria Sibirtseva

To get to know the character and charm of the city, it is not enough to visit all the tourist attractions. Visitors should talk to local people, try traditional food and discover unusual venues. Kiev is no exception. Book a tour at the Museum of Corruption featuring the Ukrainian ex-president, enjoy the sky full of stars or just have a beer at the museum, here are unusual things to see and do. Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips, compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips.

Relish the city of Kiev

Kiev metro

Did not have enough time to catch the sight of Kiev while landing? Then visit Kiev in Miniature. It takes 30 minutes to go around the mini-city and get a bird’s eye view over the handcrafted buildings. The streets are spacious enough to have a look at the architecture in detail and take pictures from unexpected angles. It is unusual and exciting at the same time to find yourself three times taller than exhibits.

Brovarsky Ave, 9V, Kyiv, Ukraine, +380 44 516 46 10

Glass of light beer on a dark pub.

The only Museum of Trolleybus Ticket is settled in the heart of Kiev. It is always crowded with customers, as they know the rule. One, who brings a unique ticket, will get a beer for free. Planning a trip to Kiev, do not forget to buy a trolleybus ticket and bring it with you. There is also a pub inside, where visitors can watch sports and enjoy their food. The atmosphere is bizarre. When was the last time you had a party in the museum?

Stare at House with Chimaeras

The extraordinary construction in front of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine is located on the top of a steep precipice. For this reason, from one side the building has three floors and six from another. It was created under the project of architect Vladislav Gorodetsky at the beginning of the 20th-century. The roof and façade are plastered with mysterious creatures: underwater animals and trophies of hunters. Legend says that the house was built in memory of the architect’s daughter, who drowned because of unhappy love.

Bankova St, 10, Kyiv, Ukraine, +380 44 255 73 33

Stop by the Museum of Unnecessary Things

The initial collection of the museum traces back to 1943 when Kiev recycling factory was established. A lot of people brought useless things there, which later proved to be unique and interesting. For example, one of the first vacuum cleaners, soviet analog cameras and even a set of tools for torture. The exhibition is divided into two parts: inside and outside the building. Antique shops would envy the factory, as the oldest showpiece is 200-years-old.

Yevhena Malaniuka St, 112, Kyiv, Ukraine, +380 44 517 3963

Uncover the secrets in Museum of Corruption

Museum of Corruption in Mezhyhirya is the residence of the ex-president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. Being an admirer of luxury interiors and extra comfortable living, he surrounded himself exclusively with the most expensive and rare objects. But in 2014, when the revolution in Ukraine started, the area was returned to state ownership. Currently, it is a museum and its territory is opened for everyone. Tennis courts, yacht club, hunting grounds, restaurants and posh residence constitute a striking example of the corruption schemes.

Queue for the Perepichka

People queuing from early morning to late at night for the perepichka is a fascinating phenomenon in Kiev. The line stretches for at least 100-meters (328-feet) and moves fast. The street food dish is made of dough and has a sausage inside. It would seem it was too simple but too delicious. The recipe has remained the same for 30 years. If you’ve yet to decide how to spend some free time, here is the answer.

Bohdana Khmel’nyts’koho St, 3, Kyiv, Ukraine

Stroll in the Baikove Cemetery

Forget about superstitions and go for a walk at the Baikove Cemetery. Feel the mysterious and ancient spirit of it. The area includes long alleys and auxiliary premises: administrations, warehouses, crematorium and other. The tombstones of the most prominent citizens of the city amaze with greatness. Each crypt is unique because it has been built in conformity with the religious traditions of the deceased. Among them are the graves of Ukraine’s influential and talented writers, medical scientists, artists, musicians, and politicians.

Have a picnic at Lysa Hora

Autumn landscape. Walkway in the deciduous forest on an autumn sunny day. Lysa Hora, Kiev, Ukraine,

Lysa Hora in translation from Ukrainian means a mountain without plants or trees. It has not faced any changes for hundreds of years. According to myth, witches and other mystical creatures used to meet on the spot for the coven. They kindled fires, danced around it and performed rituals. Nowadays, the mountain is an attractive place for tourists and curious locals. People climb there to watch the sunset or have a picnic. The energy is strong and the panorama is fascinating.

Lysa Hora, Kiev, Ukraine

Enjoy the starry sky in Planetarium

Students watching stars in planetarium

Nothing seems to be more romantic than a sky full of stars. In large cities, it is rarely possible to enjoy its clear view. The Planetarium is a pleasant way out. Not only educational programs are offered, but also fiction ones about astronomy and geography. The height of the dome is 11.5-meters (37.7-feet), which allows for demonstrating 6,500 stars of the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Life on the Sun, Venus, Mars or Jupiter is closer than ever before. The screenings are impressive so be ready to meet with the future.

Velyka Vasylkivska St, 57/3, Kyiv, Ukraine, +380 44 338 19 91

Plunge into the ice-hole

A tradition to plunge into the ice-hole was spread in the year of 988 with the Christianization of Kievan Rus. A lot of Ukrainians follow it, as they believe in three things: the body heals, the sins leave and the spirit becomes stronger. The crazy ones prefer to do it for fun in order to test their willpower or join family and friends. In case of illness, this activity is prohibited. On January 19, the water is icy and it’s freezing cold in Kiev.

Hydropark, Kiev, Ukraine

landscape with balloons floating in the air

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