The list of “must do” in Kyiv includes at the least a dozen of things to do, but the first thing I would recommend is to go down the Andriivsky Spusk the street featuring the artists works of all sorts from all round Ukraine. On your way talk to craftsmen (apart from being very sociable, many of them speak English), buy couple of souvenirs (from Soviet style attributes to Ukrainian national dolls and embroidery and modern art objects), visit several art galleries, listen to famous chorus of Andriivska church and don’t forget to look into the famous Bulgakov museum at the end of the street.
What do you like best about your city?
Here you can be at the most crowded place in the city centre, deafened by the cars beeping but whenever you turn to some minor street or yard, you find yourself in another dimension without noise and fuss, where you can feel the real spirit of the city. The streets in the neighborhoods of Zoloti Vorota monument, or the quit streets of Pechersk (one of the central districts) will give the best fit to experience it.
I would recommend the walk in Mariinsky Park, from which you can get down to Maidan and central city’s street Khreschatik. It is one of the biggest and most beautiful parks in Kyiv, which opens several great views of the city. If you don’t like to walk, go on roller skates – there are plenty of roller skaters here, so you won’t be alone! Visit also Water museum at the end of the park, and take a photo of magic castle next to the museum – it is the Puppet Theatre, which was built only several years ago, but to my mind it is one of the most beautiful spots in Kyiv.
Kyiv’s full of restaurants of all possible cuisines and for every size of the purse, so, all depends on your taste. For the fans of on-water dining there is a number of decent restaurants along river Dniper in Naberezhno-Khreschatitskaya Street: apart from several Asian and European ones, you’ll find here Russian restaurant Koleso and Ukrainian Kozachok, offering the best city’s borsch (Ukrainian national soup). Among the budget eateries, providing Ukrainian cuisine the best is Puzata Khata (average meal up to 10$). For those not enthusiastic about Ukrainian refreshments there are a number of restaurants, with European cuisine in the central area, and a plenty of pizzerias: I would advice Chelentano pizza net in democratic category and Napule, as a more premium class family restaurant.
In fact to get to the best known festivals you have to come to Ukraine in summer and go out of Kyiv. Combine sea pleasures with music treatments at Jazz Koktebel – jazz festival in Crimea at the end of the summer. For dancers there is youth dance music fest Kazantip in Crimea as well; those who prefer to get into folk music will come in July and head off to the West of Ukraine to outdoor Sheshory festival or stay in Kyiv and enjoy Ukrainian national music at Kraina Mriy fest.
Probably, the best place to satisfy the tastes of all is Arena complex at the end of Khreschatik street with several night spots: from elite Barsky and glamorous Arena night club with casino at the same building to more youth oriented Gienas. Though if your goal is just to dance, have fun and make a lot of new acquaintances set off to Carribean , it is the city’s favorite night spot of expats and locals.
Best Day Trip Out of the City
Here I would decide on two variants. The first implies a lot of walking and deals more with investigating a traditional side of the country. If it appeals to you go to open air museum of Ukraine Pirogovo, which is right at the outskirts of the city. The museum represents huge park on hills with the houses, windmills and other buildings in national styles from different regions of Ukraine and lots of cafes and restaurants. For more lazy leisure just go to one of out-of-town restaurant complexes. I’d suggest Three Musketeers: lunch at the cozy restaurant, swimming pool and banya (Russian and Ukrainian variant of sauna) will make up your day.
Something that not many tourists would know about
The best time to come to Kyiv is spring, the best month – May. The whole city with its countless parks looks green and festive, and it is not only due to its famous chestnuts. In this season it is good to go to Central Botanical Garden and watch blooming magnolias – many people come to Kyiv particularly to watch it, and believe me, it is really worth seeing.