As far as European capitals go, Kiev doesn't get the attention of more famous Western European cities. But those who take the trouble to visit Ukraine's capital find it's not because the city lacks things to do. Occupied since the fifth century, Kiev has a fascinating history. Thanks to its location close to Russia, the city has been invaded over and over again, from Mongol hordes to Nazis to Soviet soldiers. Yet the city keeps bouncing back.
Today, Kiev is a modern city that embraces the future. Apart from the historic monuments, visitors find no shortage of vibrant nightlife in the bars and cafés of this underrated city. Drop off your bags at a Kiev luggage storage locker and see for yourself what the city has to offer.
7 Best Ways To Experience Kiev In 2022
Kiev is so full of incredible architecture, fascinating museums, monuments, and monasteries with ornate iconography, that it's almost impossible to decide where to go and what to see first. The historic Old Town, Independence Square, St Sophia's Cathedral, or the Kiev Pechersk Lavra? Take a tour of Kiev with any of the seven companies detailed below and you won't need to feel stressed or confused as they'll do all the hard work and take on the planning of your days out for you.
Best E-Scooter Tour – Scootkyiv
Take all of the hard work out of sightseeing by doing it on an e-scooter from Scootkyiv. After a ten-minute training session on how to ride the scooter, you'll be ready for the off. You can go touring independently or join a two-hour guided group tour. Whichever you choose, you won't have to deal with the city's traffic as you ride around Kiev's extensive cycle lane network.
Get ready to tour Kiev on an e-scooter from Scootkyiv by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 380-636-571-526.
Best Underground Tour – Urbex Tours
Kiev is as interesting below ground as it is above. Join Urbex Tours and they'll take you deep into the labyrinth of tunnels that formed the city's old and very dark drainage system where you'll see a huge underground waterfall. If that's not enough mole-like activity for you, Urbex Tours will arrange for you to go exploring a disused missile base or a tank graveyard. These are not the tours for you if you're bat phobic or claustrophobic.
Plan to go subterranean in Kiev with Urbex Tours by calling 380-937-425-997 or by emailing email@example.com.
Best Free Tour – Free Tours Kiev
Keep your vacation budget in your pocket by going on a free tour of Kiev with Free Tours Kiev. The guides will be waiting under a white umbrella at the meeting point for the tour and then lead you around the city pointing out the main sights while telling you interesting facts. There are six different tours to choose from so all of the city is covered. While the tour is free it is customary to tip the guide at the end. How much depends on how much you enjoyed the outing.
Join Free Tours Kiev on an exploration of the city by calling 380-992-500-355, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or just turn up at the meeting point.
Best Chernobyl Tour – ChernobylTRAVEL
Visit the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone with ChernobylTRAVEL and you'll learn about what happened when the nuclear plant exploded as well as how the area is recovering from the disaster. It's a fascinating but somewhat poignant trip. There is still some radiation in the zone although it is of a minimal level and not a danger to humans.
Organize your exploration of Chernobyl with ChernobylTRAVEL by emailing them at email@example.com or call them on 380-996-690-027 for more information.
Best Quick City Tour – Best Kyiv Guide
When you haven't got more than a few hours to spare to cram your sightseeing of Kiev into, try a city tour with Best Kyiv Guide. In three hours they'll show you all that Kiev has to offer, inform you about the city's history and even include food tastings and museum visits if you'd like them to. If you don't have any time at all, Best Kyiv Guide will provide you with a virtual tour of Kiev so you won't have to miss out on anything.
See Kiev in a short space of time or do it digitally by contacting Best Kyiv Guide on 380-932-104-206 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best Walking Tour – Kiev Walking Tours
Hit the streets on foot with a guide from Kiev Walking Tours and you'll get a real feel for the city's ambiance. The guides are well-versed in Kiev's complex history and are able to impart lots of insightful facts about the Cold War without boring their guests. These walking tours are focused on history but visits to Stalin's bunker can be combined with beer tasting or street art viewing.
Plan your wander around Kiev with Kiev Walking Tours by emailing them at email@example.com or call 380 930-061-217 for more details.
Best Food Tour – KyiVisit
Forget all about chicken kiev and learn about Ukrainian food by going on a food tour with KyiVisit. The walking tour organized by KyiVisit takes around three hours and you'll visit three restaurants where you'll be able to sample traditional dishes like borscht soup, vareniki, and Kyiv cake.
Eat your way around Kiev with KyiVisit by calling them on 380-955-557-705 or emailing them firstname.lastname@example.org to plan your outing.
A weekend in Kiev
A weekend in Kiev isn't going to be nearly enough to see everything it has to offer. However, a couple of days should give you enough time to see some of the city's main attractions. Leave your unneeded bags behind with a Kiev luggage storage service and get ready to enjoy a city unlike any other.
- Pechersk Lavra is one of Kiev's top tourist attractions and is a site that easily deserves a whole day by itself. Recognized on UNESCO's World Heritage list, this complex contains underground caves, stunning churches, and creepy relics. Tour the caves by candlelight and enjoy the spiritual heart of the city.
- You can't really miss the Motherland Monument. This colossal statue is over 300 feet tall and was built to commemorate the Soviet Union's triumph over Nazi Germany. Visible from just about anywhere in the city, the sword-wielding statue is a perfect photo opportunity.
- Learn about one of the most dramatic chapters of Ukrainian history at the Museum of the History of Ukraine in World War II. The fighting between Russia and Germany for control of Ukraine was especially bitter, and this dark but fascinating story is told at this special museum.
Like many European cities, Kiev is a great place to explore on foot. Traveling slower allows you to experience the unique atmosphere of the city and see attractions you might otherwise not notice. Leave your bags behind at a Kiev luggage storage locker and set out to understand the city. You'll be glad you did.
Off the beaten path in Kiev
Kiev itself is somewhat off the beaten path, at least as far as foreign visitors go. But if you're looking to really get to grips with the city, you'll find some quirky attractions that are definitely worth experiencing. Drop off your bags at a Kiev bag storage and try some of these unusual destinations.
- Get to grips with the traditional culture of Ukraine at Pirogovo. This open-air museum contains six different villages made of ancient buildings moved to the site for this purpose. You can witness reenactors taking part in traditional crafts such as pottery making and basket weaving. Touring the site is like taking a step back in time.
- Celebrate the tiny at Mykola Syadristy Micro-miniature Museum. Named after the artist responsible for these unique works, you'll need microscopes to appreciate the art here. Home to the smallest book in the world, a flea wearing golden shoes, and other quirky artworks, you'll never see anything quite like this art gallery.
- Get a breath of fresh air at the Hryshko National Botanical Garden. Home to over 13,000 varieties of plants, the garden is a perfect place to visit to reconnect with nature and escape the noise of the city. It's especially beautiful in the spring when many of the flowers are in full bloom.
What to do alone in Kiev
Kiev is a great city to explore by yourself. Traveling alone means you can devote all your time to seeing things you truly want to see. And the city offers a safe place to explore by yourself. Whether you're traveling for vacation or business, drop your bags at a Kiev suitcase storage and enjoy what the city has to offer.
- Get right to the heart of the city at Independence Square. Home to the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy, the square has been the center of protests and national celebrations throughout Kiev's history. It remains the best place to people watch and get to grips with the atmosphere of the city.
- Kreshchatyk is Kiev's main shopping street, and it's a fascinating place to explore. Try to visit on a weekend when the road is closed to traffic and street performers entertain the crowds. It's a lively place to mingle with the locals while you browse for gifts and souvenirs.
- Shop like a local at Besarabsky Market. This is where the locals shop, and be warned: nothing has a set price. Everything is open to negotiation, so practice your Ukrainian and be ready for a challenge. If nothing else, it's a great place to grab a drink from one of the many cafés and watch the world go by.
The best souvenirs in Kiev
Check out Souvenir Bazaar for classic Ukrainian keepsakes. Hand-painted wooden eggs are a tradition that goes back a long way, and they make a colorful and highly portable item to bring home with you. Of course, matryoshka, or Russian nesting dolls, are also a classic souvenir of Ukraine. Tsum department store has a good selection. You can also pick up some unique jewelry, including traditional wooden bracelets, at Svitlytsya Handicraft Gallery.