Although many people visit Kiev for its historical and cultural sites, shopping in the Ukrainian capital is an activity you should definitely put on your holiday to-do list. Extraordinary thrifting spots, fashionable shopping malls, spacious outlets, colourful markets and crowded streets offer an abundance of foreign and local goods to buy – and with Kiev’s reasonable prices, you won’t break the bank buying them.
Locals in Kiev take pride in paying attention to their appearance and everyday style. Wandering the streets, you’ll see a lot of people dressed according the latest fashion trends or with a particular style of their own. Perhaps not surprisingly, there are plenty of shopping malls in the city. Whether you’re looking for mass market or luxury brands, you’ll easily find what you need. For instance, if you’re looking for fashionable high-street brands such as Zara, Bershka, Mango or Topshop, head to SkyMall, Ocean Plaza, Gulliver and Dream Town. For high-end shopping at designer stores Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana and Ralph Lauren, go to Mandarin Plaza and Tsum, where you’ll also have an opportunity to enjoy an exquisite dinner in one of Kiev’s best restaurants.
The culture of outlet shopping came to Kiev only a short time ago, but has quickly become popular among locals and tourists eager to discover a bargain. Manufactura Outlet, located in the suburbs of Kiev, is one of the most popular destinations. It is a small village built in the Dutch style that consists of separate cafés, restaurants and of course shops such as Lacoste, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and other famous brands. Another popular outlet Privet Outlet is a network of multi-brand shops in the very heart of Kiev. It features previous collections of & Other Stories, COS and other labels that are otherwise not represented on the Ukrainian market.
If you’re on the hunt for unique fashion pieces, you have to check out Kiev’s thrift and secondhand scene. You’ll be fascinated by the scale of secondhand clothes markets, which cater to around 40,000 customers every day. There’s no way you won’t succeed in finding the pre-loved garment of your dreams, as the markets overflow with treasures. The most visited spot is Lesnoy Market, where food, alcohol, souvenirs, fragrance, makeup, secondhand and haberdashery stalls are open seven days a week. Both American Vogue and Ukrainian fashion designer Anton Belinskiy are big fans of the market, and your visit is very unlikely to be in vain.
If you don’t want to spend your holiday visiting a shopping mall, don’t worry – you can do plenty of shopping in Kiev without visiting one, as the streets of the city abound with independent stores. The largest concentration of brands can be found in the city centre, with hot shopping streets including Khreshchatyk Street, Velyka Vasylkivska Street and Lesi Ukrainky Boulevard. Here, you’ll find not only stores of popular brands from all over the world but also a diverse range of Ukrainian showrooms such as Kachorovska Atelier, MustHaveUa, Vsi Svoi, Kvartira 31 and OknoVoDvor. You can kill two birds with one stone – marvel at the top attractions and architecture of ancient Kiev, and buy exclusive souvenirs and apparel to take home with you at the same time.
If you want to try delicious cuisine and find some special souvenirs to take home with you, Ukrainian markets are a must-visit. Crowds of people, piles of goods and the cries of sellers eager to market their wares embody the brightest side of the city’s personality and give you a taste of the real atmosphere of Kiev. In terms of shopping, Besarabsky, Zhytniy and Volodymyrskyi markets are centrally located and offer the largest choice of food. Here, you can find many traditional Ukrainian delicacies such as salo (pork fat), dried fish or horilka (a solution of water and purified alcohol), as well as other drinks you can buy only in Ukraine. Although at first you may feel out of your element, after a few minutes getting used to the noise and crowds, you’ll find some amazing souvenirs and look back on this unique shopping experience forever.