Friendly disclaimer! We want to be as accurate as possible, but given these challenging times, we urge you to recheck that the venues are open when you decide to travel.
Set on the banks of the river Dnieper, Kyiv (Kiev), survived the Mongols, WWII, the Chernobyl disaster, and more. A stalwart of old Russia, Kyiv was also the center of all power in the middle ages. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, it became the capital of independent Ukraine, and it continues to shoulder its magnificent past with aplomb. Every nook and cranny of the city embodies the cultural, political and religious history of the new Europe – Eastern Europe.
Get on one of the longest urban walking trails in Europe, accessed by 247 steps, and voila! You’ve landed in the quirky and creative space that is Peizazhne Alley. Best visited on a summer’s evening or warm spring day, this delightful place is an instant mood enhancer. It’ll take you about 30 minutes to walk from end to end, but along the way, be prepared to be greeted by many unique sculptures. Peizazhna alley came to life in the early 1980s. Designed by architect Abram Miletsky, it follows the defence structures of the X-XIII centuries. It’s hidden away behind some residential houses and not on the tourist path, so it’s well worth a visit to uncover this little gem
A children’s landscape park was added in 2009 (for children and adults alike). At the park you’ll find, fountains of cuddling zebras, elephants and other beautiful creatures in mosaic; swinging benches, a seat in a rabbit’s mouth and in the throat of a huge cat, a statue of the Little Prince…the childlike wonders of Peizazhna are plenty and all crafted by local artists in Kiev.
The Kyiv Fashion Park emerged on Peizazhna alley in 2011, with 17 new art objects of modern sculptures and installations (including that of 4 pissing boys).
Unravelog Tip: In the summer, there are coffee, ice cream and mocktails to be had from the various street carts. Or bring your own beer to enjoy on an easy afternoon or evening, while watching the world go by at Peizazhna.
Timings: Open on all days.
Location: Park Landscape Alley, Peizazhna Alley, Kyiv, Ukraine
How to reach: At the top of Andriyivskyy Descent, turn left down the road to the side of Leo restaurant and walk to the end of the road to see the beginning of the alley.
Nearest Metro: Poshtova Ploshcha
Museum of Unnecessary Things
Aptly placed in Kievgorvtorresurs recycling plant, there is a museum that is a haven for obsolete and forgotten things that Ukranians have discarded since 1943. If you’re someone who likes the serendipitous adventures that spaces like attics and basement have to offer – then this is your playground to spot the unexpected. Welcome to Kyiv’s Museum of Unnecessary Things (also referred to as the Recycled Materials Museum and the Museum of Antiques). Here’s where thrash metamorphosizes into treasure.
From Soviet-era cameras and memorabilia to, torture tools and the pioneering models of vacuum cleaners. The museum has indoor and outdoor exhibits, the 40 statues and busts of Vladimir Lenin and other Soviet leaders are hard to miss!
Location: Stepan Sagaidak Street.
Timings: Closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
Cost: Entry is free of charge.
Palata No. 6
Chekov fans, rejoice, we’ve uncovered a local Kiev secret.
Inspired by a novella of the same name by Anton Chekov, the Palata No. 6 (Ward No. 6) is a funky bar hidden in a back alley in Kyiv. It’s not a place you can stumble upon unless you were specifically looking for it. So how do you find it? Once you get to Bulvarno-Kudriavska Street, walk along a block of what looks like apartment buildings, you then have to take the side road into the alley. With the lack of signage watch out for people lingering outside the entrance.
Walk into Palata No. 6 and wander agog in its absinthe infused hospital grunge interiors. The nurses in white uniforms are your waitresses and the folks in scrubs are your bartenders- mixing up just the right doses of your poison for the night. If you fancy a knock on the head (literally), try their famous ‘helmet cocktail’ – wear your helmet, get it set on fire and get whacked as you guzzle. Puzzled? Try it to know why it’s so popular in Kiev!
Location: Bulvarno-Kudriavska St, 31А
If there’s one defining street food dish in Kiev, it’s probably this. And if it was invented during the Soviet era, then it has survived this long for a reason. Perepichka is a fried soft, sausage coated with yeasted dough and fried. Simply put, it’s a sausage in a crispy (oily) bun. Anthony Bourdain quite rightly described it as a ‘doughnut-hot dog’. The first version of this favorite Kyiv street food appeared in 1981 at a small kiosk on Bohdan Khmelnytsky street, called Kyivska Perepichka. Perepichka was an instant success, and this hole-in-the-wall food outlet catapulted to fame, and is now an institution for both locals and tourists.
Think of Perepichka while you’re out and about in Kiev. Perfect if you’re on the go. It’s hard to attribute a reason for the success of this seemingly overrated food. Some put it down to nostalgia, for a taste of the Soviet era, and others for the remembrance of the long queues!
Unravelog Tip: Many locals recommend the humble tomato juice as the perfect accompaniment to Perepichka. You can get it at the kiosk, for a quintessential Kiev experience.
Location: Bohdana Khmel’nyts’koho St, 3
Art Zavod Platforma
A silk factory that has transformed into a creative cultural campus in Kiev. The Art Zavod Platforma is a cluster for all things creative, set in 12 hectares of land. It’s a hot spot for festivals, concerts, exhibitions and even has a co-working space to boot!
The platform has its roots in a street food festival that was held here in 2014. In a couple of years, the festival ballooned from a small party to a huge gathering of thousands of people. There is an open-air piazza for large parties and concerts, as well as closed areas for small exhibitions, master classes and other educational events. Come here for street food, bazaars, tattoo fest and, of course, concerts!
You can buy tickets for many of the events at the Art Zavod Platform at Concert.ua in just a few minutes. It is located on the left bank of Kiev, on Belomorskaya street
Unravelog Tip: Plan to visit when the Kurazh Bazar flea market is on at the Platforma. A flea market where you can take part and sell what you will. From an empty box of matches to your grandma’s silk handkerchief.