Unravel Kiev in 4 days

09 July 2021

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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 visit.

Situated along the banks of the Dnieper river, the capital of Ukraine has witnessed over 1500 years of Eastern European history. Named after one of its alleged four founders – Kyi, Shchek, Khoryv and Lybid – the small village of Kyiv rose to prominence as a settlement between the medieval towns of Constantinople (former Istanbul) and Scandinavia. Visit areas that recall the Pagan and Slavic cultures of Kiev before the Varangian rule of the Kievan Rus. Learn about the baptism of Kievan Rus and the architectural and cultural prosperity that followed. Explore the events that unfolded in Ukraine during World War II and Soviet Russia. Experience the innovation, creativity and entertainment in which modern Kiev thrives.

 

Discover the eclectic capital of Ukraine through this 4-day itinerary.

Kiev 4-day itinerary at a glance

Day 1

 

Begin your day in the historic street of Andrew’s Descent, with its picturesque views, the iconic St. Andrew’s Church and fascinating museums. Make your way to St. Michael’s Golden-domed Monastery to visit their churches and museum. South-west to the monastery is St. Sophia’s Cathedral and the Golden Gate, some of the oldest remaining structures of Kievan Rus. Head over to St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral and spend your evening attending a performance at the National Opera of Ukraine.

 

  • Andrew’s Descent
  • St. Michael’s Golden-domed Monastery
  • St. Sophia’s Cathedral
  • The Golden Gate
  • St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral
  • National Opera of Ukraine

 

 
Day 2

 

Begin at the historical ravine of Babi Yar, infamous for the massacres of holocaust victims. Travel to the Ukranian National Chornobyl Museum which details the events and consequences of the Chernobyl disaster of 1986. Nearby is the Poshtova square, from where you can board the Kyiv Funicular to go over the Volodymyrska hill. Spend the evening at the famed Independence Square and Arena City across Khreshchatyk street.

 

  • Babi Yar
  • Ukrainian National Chornobyl Museum
  • Poshtova Square
  • Kyiv Funicular
  • Independence Square
  • Nightlife at Arena City

 

 
Day 3

 

Start your day at the bustling Bessarabsky indoor market, where you can pick up and taste the fresh produce of Kiev. Nearby is the charming House with the Chimaeras, known for its unique and impressive exteriors. Make your way to the historic Mariyinsky Palace and its gardens after which you can pay a visit to the famed Monastery of Kyiv Pecharsk Lavra. Spend your evening at Lysa Hora, a place of legends, surrounded by mystery and intrigue. Head over to watch the sunset at Kiev’s iconic Motherland Monument.

 

  • Bessarabsky Market
  • Gorodetsky House
  • Mariyinsky Palace
  • Kyiv Pechersk Lavra
  • Lysa Hora
  • Motherland Monument

 

 
Day 4

 

Spend your last day in Kiev at the island of Hydropark and surrounding areas. At Hydropark, explore Kiev in Miniature park. Head over to the serene Kyoto park, where you can stroll around the cherry blossoms. Enjoy the events of Art-Zavod Platform, the creative hub of Kiev.

 

  • Hydropark
  • Kiev in Miniature
  • Kyoto park
  • Art-Zavod Platforma

 

Detailed 4 day Kiev itinerary

Day 1

Stroll along Andrew’s Descent

Andrew's Descent Kiev
By Adrian34/Pixabay

Andriyivskyy Descent, or Andrew’s Descent, is a historic cobblestone street that stretches between Old Kyiv and Podil. The descent is lined with souvenir stalls, art galleries, restaurants and important landmarks like the eponymous St. Andrew’s Church, Mikhail Bulgakov Museum and Museum of One Street.

 

Things to do:

  • Explore the history and legends of Andrew’s Descent at One-Street Museum and learn more about the popular Ukrainian writer who lived in the very street at Mikhail Bulgakov Museum
  • Spot the Castle of Richard the Lionheart, which was once steeped in controversies but stands strong today as a highlight of the street
  • Tour the art galleries of Andrew’s Descent, including Triptych and L’Art
  • Visit St. Andrew’s church, the 18th century Baroque church after which the street was named.

 

Useful information:

  • Timings: Always open.
  • Cost: Free entry.
  • How to reach: 
    • Bus: Voznesenskyi descent (line 119, 302, 368, 820), Mykhailivska Square (line 24A).
    • Tram: Voznesenskyi descent (line 14, 18).

Tour St. Michael’s Golden-domed Monastery

St. Michael's Golden-domed Monastery Kiev
By Christopher Walker/Flickr

Decorating the skyline of Kiev’s popular Podil neighbourhood, St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery was built in the Byzantine style in the 16th century with a Ukrainian Baroque renovation of the exteriors in the 18th century. Named after the patron saint of Kiev, the monastery has a rich history but was destroyed by the Soviets in the 1930s. It was rebuilt and opened to the public once again in 1999.

 

Things to do: 

  • Visit the buildings of the monastery, including St. Michael Golden-Domed Cathedral, Barbarian Chapel, Chapel of St. Catherine, Refectory of St. John the Divine and the Church of Three Saints
  • Learn about the history of the monastery, including its destruction and reconstruction, at the monastery’s museum, located in the Bell Tower.

 

Useful information:

  • Timings: 
      • Monastery: Daily, 8:00 am-7:00 pm.
      • Museum: Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 am-5:00 pm.
  • Cost: Free entry.
  • How to reach: 
    • Bus: Mykhailivska Square (line 24A).

Visit St. Sophia’s Cathedral

St. Sophia's Cathedral Kiev
By Linus Friedel/WikiCommons

This world-renowned Cathedral has been an icon of Kiev since the 11th century. Characterized by its classical Ukrainian style of architecture, St. Sophia’s Cathedral was named after Hagia Sophia of Istanbul (formerly known as Constantinople). It was a key to the progress and prosperity of art, education and culture in Ukraine.

 

Things to do: Browse the buildings in the St. Sophia’s Cathedral complex, which includes the Bell Tower, Sophia Cathedral, the Metropolitan House, the Refectory Church and the Memorial Stela of Yaroslav’s library.

 

Useful information:

  • Timings: Daily except Thursdays: 10:00 am-5:30 pm. Closed on Thursdays.
  • How to reach: 
    • Bus: Sofiiska Square (line 24A).
    • Metro: Zoloti Vorota (line 3 or green line).

Spot the Golden Gate

Along with St. Sophia’s Cathedral, the Golden Gate is another important symbol of the Kievan Rus of the Middle Ages. First mentioned in AD 1037, the gate was the main entry point to the fortified old city. Although the fortifications do not exist anymore, the gate still stands, representing life in medieval Kyiv.

 

Useful information:

  • Timings: Always open.
  • Cost: Free entry.
  • How to reach: 
    • Bus: Sofiiska Square (line 24A).
    • Metro: Zoloti Vorota (line 3 or green line).

Explore St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral

St. Volodymyr's Cathedral Kiev 2
By Robert Brodie/WikiCommons

This Neo-Byzantine Cathedral is considered to be the mother cathedral of the Ukranian Orthodox church – Kyiv Patriarchate and commemorates the 900th anniversary of the christianisation of Kievan Rus by St. Volodymyr. The cathedral’s iconic yellow exterior and seven cupolas along with its interiors, adorned with beautiful Venetian mosaics and frescoes, make the cathedral one of the prettiest landmarks in the city.

 

Unravelog tip: If you are a connoisseur of literature and have some spare time in the evening, we highly recommend that you check out the National Taras Shevchenko Museum and Park as well as the National Museum of Literature of Ukraine, both of which are situated next to the cathedral.

 

Useful information:

  • Timings: Daily, 6:30 am-7:30 pm.
  • Cost: Free entry.
  • How to reach: 
    • Trolleybus: Universytet Station (line 5, 7, 8, 17, 93N, 94N).
    • Bus: Universytet Station (line 24, 24A, 114, 114A, 118).
    • Metro: Universytet (line 1 or red line), Zoloti Vorota (line 3 or green line).

Catch a performance at the National Opera of Ukraine

National Opera of Ukraine Kiev
By Ryzhkov Sergey/WikiCommons

Established in 1867, the National Opera of Ukraine is the primary performance venue of the Kyiv Opera Company. Enjoy a stunning opera performance in the same halls of the neo-renaissance building where Tchaikovsky and Wagner performed.

 

Useful information:

  • Box Office Timings: Daily, 11:00 am-7:30 pm.
  • Cost: Varies depending on the show chosen, but is generally pocket-friendly.
  • How to reach: 
    • Bus: Sofiiska Square (line 24A).
    • Metro: Zoloti Vorota (line 3 or green line).

Day 2

Visit the historic ravine of Babi Yar

Babi Yar Kiev
By Сарапулов/WikiCommons

During the Holocaust in 1941, more than 30,000 Jewish people were massacred in the Babi Yar ravine by German soldiers who invaded the Soviet Ukraine. Consequently, many Soviet prisoners of war, people of Roma and Ukranian nationalists were all executed here until the Soviet liberation of 1943. Today, the ravine is a public park with countless memorials like the Menorah memorial.

 

Useful information:

  • Location: Oranzhereina St.
  • Timings: Always open.
  • Cost: Free entry.
  • How to reach: 
    • Bus: Dorohozhychi Station (line 47).
    • Trolleybus: Babyn Yar (line 19, 22, 27 30).
    • Metro: Dorohozhychi (line 3 or green line).

Recall the Chernobyl disaster at Ukrainian National Chernobyl Museum

The Ukrainian National Chernobyl Museum showcases informative displays on the disaster of 1986, the world’s deadliest radioecological accident, and its aftermath. With scale-models, visual aids and other engaging materials, the museum aims to make visitors understand the scope of such disasters through the impact of the Chernobyl nuclear plant’s reactor failure and, consequently, the suffering that hundreds of thousands of people in Europe had to undergo.

 

Useful information:

  • Location: Provulok Khoryva
  • Timings: Monday – Saturday, 10:00 am-6:00 pm.
  • Cost: 10 UAH onwards.
  • Website: http://chornobylmuseum.kiev.ua/en/
  • How to reach: 
    • Bus: Kontraktova Square (line 62, 119).
    • Tram: Kontraktova Square (line 11, 12, 14, 16, 19).
    • Metro: Kontraktova ploshcha (line 2 or blue line).

Saunter around the picturesque Poshtova Square

Poshtova Square Kiev
By Vincent de Groot/WikiCommons

Poshtova Square, dating back to the 4th century, is one of the oldest squares of Kiev. Literally meaning ‘Postal Square’, the square is named after the postal station of Podil that was built there in 1846 following the orders of Tsar Nicholas I, now a makeshift art gallery. Situated near the Dnieper river, you can catch some panoramic views of the city here.

 

Things to do: Visit the different historic buildings (such as the iconic post office), cafés and restaurants in the area and spot the picturesque river Dnieper.

 

Useful information:

  • Location: Naberezhne Hwy
  • Timings: Always open.
  • Cost: Free entry.
  • How to reach: 
    • Bus: Poshtova ploshcha Station (line 62, 114, 114A).
    • Metro: Poshtova ploshcha (line 2 or blue line).

Travel in the Kiev Funicular

Funicular Kiev
By Pawel 'pbm' Szubert/WikiCommons

The Kiev Funicular is the incline railway system that connects the upper town with the lower neighbourhood of Podil. Riding the funicular, you’ll be able to catch panoramic views of the Dnieper river from atop the Volodymyrska hill over which the train passes.

 

Useful information:

Walk around The Independence Square

The Independence Square (or Maidan Nezalezhnosti) is famous as the stage for the Orange Revolution in 2004, thus affecting the course of Ukranian history. Now filled with bustling crowds, the square has many significant buildings and monuments and is a popular evening spot for locals and tourists.

 

Things to do: 

  • Spot the monuments of The Independence Square, including the Independence monument with a statue of Archangel Mikhail, who is considered to be the patron saint of Kiev, on top
  • Visit the impressive Globus Shopping Mall and the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine.

 

Useful information:

  • Location: Maidan Nezalezhnosti
  • Timings: Always open.
  • Cost: Free entry.
  • How to reach: 
    • Bus: Maidan Nezalezhnosti (line 62, 114, 114A).
    • Metro: Maidan Nezalezhnosti (line 2 or blue line).

Explore Ukranian nightlife at the Arena City

Arena City Kiev
By Jorge Láscar/WikiCommons

Located across the Khreshchatyk Street, the Arena City has been popular since time immemorial for its food, bars and nightlife. Spend the evening at signature restaurants like The Burger, have a few drinks at The Bar or Parovoz Speak Easy and party all night at the legendary Arena complex.

 

Useful information:

  • How to reach: 
    • Bus: Bessarabska Square (line 118).
    • Metro: Ploscha Lva Tolstoho (line 2 or blue line).

Day 3

Discover Ukranian food at Bessarabsky Market

Bessarabsky Market Kiev
By Віктор Полянко/WikiCommons

The historic indoor market at Bessarabska Square dates back to the late 19th century and offers visitors fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, dairy, poultry, fish – even caviar! Look for creative murals on the outside of the building such as “The Peasant with the Oxen” and “The Milkwoman”.

 

Unravelog Tip: Savour some of Kiev’s favourite fried foods for breakfast at the unique Kyivska Perepichka, located nearby.

To check out more one-of-a-kind spots in the city, check out Unique experiences in Kyiv.

 

Useful information:

  • Location: Bessarabska Square
  • Timings: Daily, 6:00 am-4:00 pm.
  • Cost: Free entry.
  • How to reach: 
    • Bus: Bessarabska Square (line 118).
    • Metro: Ploscha Lva Tolstoho (line 2 or blue line).

Spot the Gorodetsky House

Gorodetsky House Kiev
By DiscoverWithDima/WikiCommons

More popularly known as House with Chimaeras, the Art Nouveau Gorodetsky House is famous for its intricate exteriors designed by the architect Vladislav Gorodetsky, who has often been referred to as the Anton Gaudí of Kiev. More than a century old today, the building is recognized as the second residence of the President of Ukraine.

 

Things to do: Admire the exterior of the famed House of Chimaeras, which acts as an amazing subject for photos as well as an impressive background.

 

Useful information:

  • Location: Bankova St. 
  • Timings: Always open.
  • Cost: Free entry.
  • How to reach: 
    • Bus: Khreshchatyk Station (line 24, 114, 114A).
    • Metro: Khreshchatyk (line 1 or red line).

Explore the Mariyinsky Palace

Mariyinsky Palace Kiev
By Adam Jones/WikiCommons

Constructed in the mid-18th century, the Mariyinsky Palace is a beautiful baroque palace on the banks of Dnieper river. The palace is the current Presidential standard and is recognised as one of the most prominent buildings in Ukraine.

 

Things to do: Visit the palace and its adjoining gardens as well as the National Art Museum of Ukraine, a stone’s throw away.

 

Unravelog tip: Check out the nearby Arsenalna metro station, which is admired for its peculiar architecture.

 

Useful information:

Tour the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra

Kviy Pechersk Lavra Kiev
By Tim Adams/WikiCommons

Established in 1051, the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, or the Kiev Monastery of the Caves, was an orthodox Christian monastery recognised as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery complex houses some of the most beautiful Ukranian baroque structures in Kiev.

 

Things to do: Explore the buildings in the complex, including the Belltower, Gate Church of the Trinity and The All Saints Church as well as the caves and gardens of the monastery.

 

Useful information:

  • Location: Lavrska St.
  • Timings: Generally open from sunrise to sunset. You can check their detailed schedule here.
  • Cost: Free entry.
  • Website: https://lavra.ua/en/
  • How to reach: 
    • Trolleybus: Kyievo-Pecherska lavra (line 38).
    • Bus: Kyievo-Pecherska lavra (line 24, 24A).

Visit the mysterious Lysa Hora

Lysa Hora Kiev
By Haidamac/WikiCommons

Explore the mystical side of Kiev at Lysa Hora or ‘Bald Mountain’, a location that has inspired many legends, sightings and even literature by internationally renowned writers like Nikolai Gogol and the Strugatsky Brothers. In what is now a natural reserve, you can discover sites of ancient Slavic and Pagan rituals, which, according to legends, were frequented by witches and satanists. Even today, locals believe that the area is haunted by pagan spirits and the ghosts of those who were buried in the ancient burial grounds of Lysa Hora.

 

Useful information:

  • Timings: Always open.
  • Cost: Free entry.
  • How to reach: 
    • Bus: Vydubychi Station (line 43, 54, 309, 311).
    • Metro: Vydubychi (line 3 or green line).

Watch the sunset at the Motherland Monument

Motherland Monument Kiev
By Jorge Franganillo/WikiCommons

The Motherland monument is a 102-metre tall stainless steel statue of a woman holding a raised sword and shield which was revealed in 1981 to represent the victory of the Motherland over Nazi forces. Designed by sculptor Vasyl Borodai, it belongs to the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War, which provides a beautiful vantage point for the monument.

 

Things to do: Visit the famous, yet locally controversial, Motherland monument and its adjoining National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War, the halls of which display plaques recalling those the country lost in the war.

 

Useful information:

Day 4

Have fun at Hydropark

Hydropark Kiev
By Jorge Franganillo/WikiCommons

Hydropark is an exquisite island with beautiful beaches, plenty of recreational areas, clubs and restaurants. Try some outdoor games at the Sports City, play a few rounds of Paintball, cruise around in catamarans, get on roller coasters and party in disco clubs.

 

Useful information:

Stroll around Kiev in Miniature

Located in the center of Hydropark, this attraction deserves its own unique visit. Kiev in Miniature is a park that showcases a tiny version of Kiev. Opened in 2006, the park displays the models of 48 of the city’s attractions, most notably the Independence Square, St. Sophia Cathedral and the Golden Gate.

 

Useful information:

  • Location: Hydropark
  • Timings: 
    • March – October:
      • Monday – Friday: 10:00 am-7:00 pm.
      • Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 am-8:00 pm.
    • October – March:
      • Monday – Sunday: 10:00 am-5:00 pm.
  • Cost: 
    • Regular rate: UAH 100.
    • Reduced rate (for pupils and students): UAH 50.
    • Free entry for children aged 0-5.
  • Website: https://minikiev.kiev.ua/
  • How to reach: 
    •  Metro: Hidropark (line 1 or red line).

Visit the gorgeous Kyoto Park

Kyoto Park Kiev
By spoilt.exe/WikiCommonns

To the east of Hydropark is the less-frequented but worthwhile Kyoto Park, a Japanese-themed park with beautiful pagodas and a rock garden. Get lost in the beauty of the Japanese cherry blossoms and maple trees that are planted around this unique garden.

 

Unravelog tip: If you enjoy strolling around beautiful parks, Kiev has a huge number of them! Check out the parks that are close to Kyoto park, like the Peremoha Park and Navodnitsky Park.

 

Useful information:

  • Location: Park Kyoto
  • Timings: Always open.
  • How to reach: 
    • Metro: Chernihivska (line 1 or red line), Lisova (line 1 or red line).

Check out the events at Art-Zavod Platforma

Art-Zavod Platforma Kiev
By Plyutahennadiy/WikiCommons

Across the Kyoto Garden is a unique initiative of Kiev – a hot spot for the most important cultural and creative activities of Kiev. Catch the best street food, bazaars, tattoo fests, concerts and other entertainments in the Art-Zavod Platforma! To check out one-of-a-kind spots in the city similar to ArtZavod Platforma, see Unique experiences in Kyiv.

 

Unravelog tip: After your time at the Art-Zavod Platforma, we recommend that you return to Hydropark and have fun at one of their many clubs and bars!

 

Useful information:

  • Cost and Timings: Varies depending on the events available. Check here.
  • How to reach: 
  • Metro: Chernihivska (line 1 or red line), Lisova (line 1 or red line).

To explore more attractions in the Ukrainian capital, check out 7 hip neighbourhoods in Kiev, Unique experiences in Kyiv and Things to do and see in Kiev.

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