This Kiev list is only based on where I went. I did see a lot of places in Kiev and no Chernobyl wasn’t one of them. Without further ado.
Disclaimer: I will use Kiev and Kyiv interchangeably throughout this post 🙂
St Andrew’s Church and Andriyivsky Uzviz
I will say this is my favorite church or cathedral in Kiev. I did not go inside as it was closed for renovations but just from the outside, this one is just simply beautiful as it is impressive. Just take a look. You can’t mention St. Andrews Church without mentioning Andriyivsky Descent. This cobbled line street snakes it’s way down towards Podil, lined with a lot of souvenir vendors, shops, and restaurants. It’s definitely a hike going downhill, I went down – didn’t make my way back up. It ends in another square by the ferris wheel in an area with nothing short of restaurants, cafes, beer shops.
Maidan Nezalehostni and Khreshchatyk Street
This is the Independence Square or simple ‘Maidan‘. The site held a lot of political events, from the Orange Revolution in 2004 and the Ukrainian Revolution in 2014, Inaugurations, Political Rallies and of course clashes between the police and citizens. It’s a massive open space with fountains (weekend night water show can compete with Bellagio), restaurants, hotels all lining up on either side of Khreshchatyk Street. I still can’t pronounce the name of the street. Khreshchatyk Street, is the artery of Kiev, this street stretches from the newer part of town, by the Besarabsky Market down through Maidan. On weekends, this street is closed to all motorized traffic; turns into a massive pedestrian family fun zone. Restaurants with outdoor seating are on both sides of the street, as well as cafes and a lot of these coffee huts. Great place to people watch in the evenings with a nice ice cream (in the summer of course).
Also known as the Kiev Monastery of the Caves. I believe this is a UNESCO Heritage Site. I really wanted to go here just to see the caves. I will say to me, it was a bit disappointing; nice to see but nothing all that spectacular. Again this is my opinion. There’s a system of narrow underground caves you can enter and see the glass caskets of mummified monks covered in cloth.
St. Michael’s Golden Dome Monastery
Dedicated to the patron saint of Kiev, Archangel Michael, this Monastery was originally built in the 12th century and torn down by the Russians. This is a new ‘upgraded’ version. If you’re standing outside St. Sophia’s Cathedral and look on the opposite end of the street, you’ll see St. Michael’s and the dome in the near distant.
St. Sophia’s Cathedral
One of the city’s first landmarks and heritage site, St. Sophia’s Cathedral was originally based on the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, but years of rebuilding changed the look. This is more of a complex than a single building with other sites such as the Bell Tower. I guess I didn’t even really go here, that’s how many churches and cathedrals they have and some look a like.
Photo from Lonelyplanet
People’s Friendship Arch / Friendship of Nations Arch
This goes by so different names, People’s Friendship Arch, Arch of Friendship, Friendship of Nations – they all point to the same thing, the silver arch. There are 2 statues right below the arch; as a gesture of unification with Russia. The one on the right is a council of Pereyaslavska Rada.of 1654.
Located at the center of ancient Kiev on Old Kyiv Hill – this is an interesting park / walk for tourists and residents. Colors up any gray skies.
Park of the Eternal Glory
Walking from the Pechersk Lavra on my way to Arsenalna (the deepest subway station in the world – did not go), I came across this park and the Holodomor Victims Memorial. When you enter, it seems like you’re entering something from Lord of the Rings, with 2 angels facing each other. Then you come to this statue of a frail little girl, a tribute to the millions of children who perished. Behind her is a beautiful tower that’s made to look like a candle with 4 large crosses on each side. You can go underground but it was roped off when I got there. This is to honor and remember the almost four million victims of famine at the hands of Stalin and the Soviets.
This is all part of the Park of Eternal Glory, that holds another tower as the tomb of the unknown solider.
Main gate of an 11th century fortification of Kyiv. This was a replica of the Golden Gate of Constantinople (now Istanbul). You’re seeing this correctly, it’s entirely made out of wood; not gold. The original was damaged and eventually disappeared completely from the city landscape; this was rebuilt years ago.
There are a lot of murals in Kiev. You can just search for street art, Kiev and you’ll get a bunch of results. I went and tried to find a few that seemed interesting but some I couldn’t find. The one I really wanted to see is below. Here’s a link to Google Images search for Kiev’s street art.