Kiev is one of the most beautiful European capitals for many reasons. Only here can you find a combination of antiquity and modernity, or see a dozen golden domes hiding amid greenery. The city is cozy yet bustling. It’s a delight to seek out these panoramic viewing platforms in Kiev.
Free viewing platforms
St. Vladimir Hill
The panorama from St. Vladimir Hill is a favourite place among tourists. From here you can see Trukhaniv Island, which connects the historical district of Podol and the Left Bank neighbourhoods of Kiev. The hill is a park with upper and lower terraces, established in the middle of the 19th century. Between the two viewing levels, there’s a monument of Vladimir the Great (ruler of the Kievan Rus in the 10th and 11th centuries), who is one of the symbols of the capital.
Park of Eternal Glory
From the viewing point in the Park of Eternal Glory you can marvel at the picturesque slopes of the city and its various architectural monuments and bridges connecting the two banks of the Dnieper River. The panorama is truly incredible. In this park you will always see newly married couples trailed by photographers. The spot is free of charge, and located in the city centre.
Arch of Diversity
The Arch of Diversity, or Arch of People’s Friendship, is the closest panorama site to Independence Square (the main square in Kiev, where the revolutionary events in 2014 were held). Except for the breathtaking view of the Podol area, Harbour Bridge and the residential district called Obolon, the Arch of Diversity offers a lot of entertainment. There are always a lot of people having fun at the rides, enjoying the food stalls or the thematic concerts with a great view.
Viewing platforms with an entrance fee
St. Sophia’s Cathedral Bell Tower
St. Sophia’s Cathedral is an ancient monument, built at the beginning of the 11th century in the Ukrainian Baroque style. The building and the complex of temples is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cathedral attracts tourists, as does its bell tower, which has a 42 meter (137 feet) high viewing platform. From the top one can see the whole Kiev: St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery, the Independence Square and Khreschatyk Street (the central street of the city), as well as the landscapes of the Left Bank.
St. Michael’s Monastery Bell Tower
Opposite St. Sophia’s Cathedral is another historically valuable site, St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery. Built in 1108, it is believed to be the first temple to have added a gilded top, initiating the tradition in the Kievan Rus. From the bell tower there are delightful views of St. Sophia’s Square and the St. Sofia Cathedral, as well as the whole city centre of Kiev, the Dnieper slopes, Andriivsky Descent and the panoramic terraces of St. Vladimir Hill.
St. Andrew’s Church viewing platform
The viewing point located on the terrace of St. Andrew’s Church is a perfect spot to relish the sights of the Old City and the hills. Overlooking the Vozdvizhenka area, with its colourful buildings, the city seems surprisingly cheerful. St. Andrew’s Church is designed in green colours, matching the greenery around. Plus, it costs only $0.30 to visit the platform.
Hryshko National Botanical Garden
Hryshko National Botanical Garden is not only a picture-perfect spot for a picnic but also a breathtaking panoramic platform over Kiev’s numerous bridges, the 11th-century Vydubychi Monastery, the Dnieper River and the Left Bank. It is equally inspiring during summer and winter. During the warm season, the landscape is decorated with blooming lilac and magnolia. Covered in snow, the slopes of the garden look even more peaceful and romantic.
The Motherland Monument
The Motherland Monument is situated on the territory of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War. The total height of the incredible construction is 102 meters (334 feet), but the two viewing platforms tower up to 36 meters (118 feet) and 91 meters (298 feet). Only visitors aged over 18 are allowed to the top. The special lift will bring you to the platform, and the local guide will explain the history of the Motherland Monument and the city of Kiev. Lovers of extreme activities will especially enjoy this.