The Top 10 Things to See and Do in Kiev

The Motherland monument
The Motherland monument | ©Kamil Porembiński/Flickr
Maria Sibirtseva

With a history tracing back 1,500 years, Kiev is incredibly multifaceted; going from bohemian to Soviet or medieval at a moment’s notice. There is much to discover and learn in this fascinating city, so read on for our guide to the top 10 things to see and do in Kiev.

Explore restaurants of Ukrainian cuisine

With its wealth of restaurants, Kiev is a great place to sample Ukrainian cuisine at any price. For budget-minded travelers, popular local chain Puzata Hata offers simple but traditional Ukrainian dishes at an incredibly low price, allowing everyone to discover the chicken Kiev and borscht without breaking the bank. In the same vein, check out Varenichnaya Katyusha, which specializes in dumplings known as vareniki. In general, every restaurant will serve a selection of Ukrainian soups, even pizzerias or sushi bars. So don’t be afraid to experiment and find a new favourite.

Stroll along Khreshchatyk

Khreshchatyk is Kiev’s main artery, a large avenue stretching 1.2 kilometres (700 feet) from the northeast to the southwest and crossing the famous Maidan Square. To strollers’ delight, it turns into a giant pedestrian street on the weekend. It was completely destroyed by retreating Red Army troops during World War II and rebuilt in Stalinist style, but it retains an incredible beauty. There are many points of interest along Khreshchatyk — an indoor market, the city council, Maidan Nezalezhnosti and the People’s Friendship Arch, which is a huge Soviet monument dedicated to the unification of Russia and Ukraine in 1654.

Maidan Nezalezhnosti

1. Sit back at Hryshko Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden, Park

The Hryshko National Botanical Garden
© badahos / Getty Images
There are two botanical gardens in Kiev, but the Hryshko Botanical Garden is undeniably the better one. It’s a real oasis of peace in the heart of a huge, bustling city. Gorgeous greenery stretches far into the distance, bordered on one side by views of the Dnipro River and of the Left Bank. It also boasts over 13,000 different kinds of trees, flowers and other plants from all over the world. The best time of the year is spring, when the blooming flowers dazzle the visitors with vibrant colours and fragrances.

2. Watch a football game at the Olympic Stadium


Olimpiyskiy Sports Complex
The Olympic Stadium serves as a home stadium for FC Dynamo Kyiv, Ukraine’s most popular football club. Crowds go wild for them. The nearest metro stop often has to close, and anyone taking public transport after a Dynamo victory will experience elated supporters jumping and chanting the club’s name. The atmosphere at one of their matches is incredible though, even if you’re not much of a football fan. With tickets surprisingly cheap, it’s a great way to catch a glimpse of the ‘real’, off-the-beaten-track Ukraine, and enjoy a quality sporting event.

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