Top 18 Things to Do in Kyiv - The Ultimate Travel Guide to Kyiv, Ukraine

Top 18 Things to Do in Kyiv

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Kyiv, Ukraine


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Kyiv, one of the few European hidden gems left that have yet been infiltrated by over-tourism, is one of those cities that will leave you wanting more by the end fo your trip.

The city is now probably most known for its proximity to the site of one of the worst nuclear disaster in the world, the Chernobyl but there are so much more to do in Kyiv than that and we will explore all the fun things to do in the capital city of Ukraine together while answering all the questions you may have about Kyiv. Without further ado, let's begin with our Kyiv things to do itinerary map.

One Month Itinerary For Ukraine

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Kyiv Things to Do Itinerary Map

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When to Visit Kyiv

Kyiv weather in the summer can be quite hot and humid so do prepare accordingly.

The best time to visit Kyiv is in the summer from June - September. Contrary to my suggestion for other European destinations, Ukraine is still a hidden gem and has yet to suffer from over-tourism so visiting during peak season is still recommended.

Visiting during this time will also allow you to maximize the number of summer events you might run into while traveling in a city like Kyiv. There are a ton of music festivals, flea markets, and other interesting events happening all over Ukraine during this time.

Where to Stay in Kyiv

Budget - Kiev Central Station Backpackers - 11 USD/Night (Dorm) - A nice cozy place located in a quieter part of Kyiv. Located near the Central Train Station and only 30 minutes walk away from all the attractions. I met many great people here also.

Mid-Range - Evropeyskiy Hotel - 28 USD / Night (Double Room with Private Bathroom per 2 Rooms)

How to Get to Kyiv, Ukraine

The most efficient way to get to Ukraine from a different continent is to fly into Kyiv via Ukrainian Airline.

If you are coming from the US, there is a direct flight from New York to Kyiv via Ukrainian Airline that you can take directly to Ukraine or you can fly via several European airlines like KLM, Lufthansa, and Air France.

If you are in Europe, you can either fly with a low-cost airline like Ryanair, or you can simply travel by train from any of the main European hubs like Berlin, etc. Although, the time it takes to travel will increase considerably if you chose to use trains (24 hours from Berlin to Kyiv).

Last but not least, if you are in Asia, the simplest option is to fly directly from Bangkok to Kyiv via Ukrainian Airline. They are cheap and fly direct to Kyiv in 11 hours.

If you are looking for the cheapest flights to Ukraine, I would recommend you use Skyscanner or Momondo to look for the cheapest route and schedule for your trip to Ukraine.

How to Get to Kyiv City Center from the Airport

Once you flew into Kyiv International Airport, you will have to find a way to get to the city center. Thankfully, it is pretty straightforward with a Skybus connecting the airport with the city center.

Skybus will take you from the airport bus terminal (follow the BUS sign and you will find Skybus waiting for you outside the terminal) to Kyiv Central Train Station. The bus number is 322 so make sure you get on the right one.

From there, you can then either walk (you can easily walk to Kiev Central Station hostel if you follow my accommodation suggestion) or take a Metro to where your accommodation is.

Skybus operates from 5:40 - 23:30 and it runs every 30 - 60 minutes or so. The bus will cost you around 100 UAH and they only accept cash. The journey will take you around 1 hour depending on the traffic and the time you arrive.

How to Get Around Kyiv

Metro system in Kyiv, Ukraine

Believe it or not, Kyiv can be quite hilly at times but that doesn't make it impossible to walk. Most of the attractions are concentrated within only a few districts and if you have time, you can walk to almost all of them given that you stick to one district per day.

The metro is also a good way to get around Kyiv. It's cheap (8 UAH per trip), easily accessible, and goes to most districts in the city.

When you arrive at a metro station, simply go up to the ticket booth and pay 8 UAH, and the ticket clerk will give you a token where you can then just slip that into the ticket machine and go down the escalator to the platform.

The metro is very easy to navigate with both English (Latin) and Cyrillic alphabets on almost every sign in the station. If you are looking for the Kyiv metro map, you can download the metro map here.

If the places you want to go isn't near a metro station, you can use Uber or Uklon, the local alternative to Uber to get around the city. They are quite reliable and if you are short on time, taking Uber or Uklon is more convenient while still quite affordable.

How Many Days Should I Spend in Kyiv

Me standing on the Bell Tower overlooking the St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery, Kyiv.

To experience Kyiv and all it has to offer, I would recommend you spend at least 3 - 5 full days in the city ideally overlapping the Friday or Saturday so you can get the hang of what the city and its people are all about.

If you can only spend 3 days in Kyiv, I would recommend spending your first day exploring the Old Kyiv area where all the cathedrals are (St. Sophia's Cathedral, Independence Square, and St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery) in the morning and then head towards St. Andrew's Church and the Andriivs'kyi Descent before ending your day in the hip district of Podil.

On your 2nd day, start heading east and visit Friendship of Nations Arch before walking through all the attractions along the way until you reach Kyiv Pechersk Lavra and end your second day at the Motherland Monument.

On your 3rd day, go on a tour and visit Chernobyl and Pripyat. That should take you the entire day.

If you are looking for a complete guide to Chernobyl: A Complete Guide On How To Visit Chernobyl.

If you have 4 days in Kyiv, I would recommend you spend the 4th day visiting all the cool and hip cafes around Kyiv all the while, trying all the cool food they have in the city. Kyiv has one of the most vibrant cafe-culture I've seen and they have a ton of selection for you to indulge yourself in.

If you are looking for a complete guide to hip cafes in Kyiv: Top 10 Indie Cafes To Try In Kyiv.

If you have 5 days in Kyiv, be sure to prepare yourself for a day of events and cultures in Kyiv on your fifth day. If you are there during the weekends, there are plenty of cool events to attend from creative flea markets to whatever event that is currently happening at Art-Zavod Platforma, one of the largest creative clusters in Ukraine.

You can expect Street Food, Bazaar, White Nights, Tattoo Fest and music festivals happening at Art-Zavod at any given weekends during Ukraine summer months.

You can check Art-Zavod Platforma event schedule here: Art-Zavod Events and Tickets.

If the creative youth scene is not your thing, you can also spend this day shopping at the Khreschatyk street or at the beach (yes, they do have a beach in Kyiv) if you wish. You can find more information on things to do in Kyiv further below.

How Much Money Do I Need for Kyiv

Kyiv is an inexpensive city to travel in and it has a wide range of options for you to choose from. Let's breakdown the approximate cost you might be spending per day. Let's begin with the most important cost, accommodation.

Accommodation: This will cost you around 280 (dorm) - 850 (budget double room) UAH per night depending on which type of room you want.

Food: For food, it can cost you around 100 - 150 UAH per meal. Spending 150 UAH at Puzata Hata will get you a salad, 2 types of dishes and a drink which should be more than enough for a meal.

Transportation: You don't need transportation in Kyiv if you stick to my itinerary but for a metro, it will cost you only 8 UAH per trip.

Activities: This is where things get expensive. As of 2019, the Chernobyl tour is 100 USD minimum across all travel agencies that provide the service.

Most of the tourist attractions also require you to pay to enter but thankfully, most of them are pretty inexpensive. This should cost around 20 - 200 UAH.

With these in mind, you would pay around 600 UAH (23 USD) per day for food and accommodation minimum. You will be spending more if you decided to do more activities.

DO NOT EXCHANGE MONEY AT THE AIRPORT, they are a giant rip-off scam and you will lose almost half of the money if you do.

Is it Safe in Kyiv?

I felt very safe most of the time when I was walking around Kyiv even at night, may be due to the nature of Ukrainians rarely interacting with strangers on the streets. That said, like in most big cities, there is an ongoing scam that you should watch out for when you are in Kyiv.

When I was walking from a train station to my accommodation, there was a guy that rushed off in front of me and all of a sudden dropped a pile of money while acting confused. Years of traveling had taught me not to respond to such random occurrences so I ignored him and walked away. He did it again, the same way and I laughed a little and continued walking away.

Apparently, if you react to it, the guy will come up to you and give you half of the money he "accidentally" found and share it with you. Once the money is in your hand, another guy will approach you and claim that he has lost his money and that he will claim you stole it. If you return the money, he will say that some were still missing and will ask to check your wallet. That is where he will empty your wallet and leave you confused and robbed in broad daylight.

Just remember, if you see anyone dropping anything in front of you, just ignore it and walk away. A local told me that it is not in their nature to talk random strangers while walking on the streets so if someone approaches you with English asking for something, there is a likely chance that he will try to scam you.

Other than that one scam, I had absolutely no other issues in my 8 days in Kyiv so you shouldn't worry.

Internet in Kyiv

To my surprise, WIFI is widely available in most restaurants and all of the cafes I have visited and I have visited a ton of cafes during my time there.

You will also find WIFI in hostels and hotels quite reliable with fast speed so if you are not planning to stay long in Ukraine, you can easily get by without having to buy a local sim card.

If you will be traveling around Ukraine for a while, I would recommend you get a local sim card. You can either get the one from Vodafone or Kyivstar. They both offer similar plans with data ranging from 2GB to unlimited costing between 55 UAH - 220 UAH.

Do not buy your sim card at the airport. I bought an unlimited data plan from Vodafone for 220 UAH which is probably overkill but I made the mistake of buying the unlimited data sim at the airport which they claimed is the only one available.

That is not true as I found out later on and so if you want to get a local sim card, buy it directly from an official shop in the city instead of at the airport.

For more information about Ukraine local sim card: Ukraine Prepaid Data Sim Card.

Travel Insurance

If you are looking for travel insurance to go along with your trip to Ukraine, I would recommend WorldNomads.com, which is what I use to look for travel insurance that fits my kind of adventure.

Get a Quote from World Nomads

Top 18 Things to Do in Kyiv

Go Inside St. Volodymyr's Cathedral

The vivid yellow facade of St. Volodymyr's Cathedral, Kyiv

Eastern Orthodoxy is the dominant religion in Ukraine and you will find many religious buildings and structures dedicated to the belief all over Kyiv. One of that is the St. Volodymyr's Cathedral, a bright yellow Neo-Byzantine cathedral located not too far from Universytet Metro Station, making it a great place to start your first day in Kyiv.

The beautiful gold-accented fresco-lined interior of St. Volodymyr's Cathedral, Kyiv

Its vivid yellow facade opens to an extravagant gold-accented fresco-lined interior, a signature of Eastern Orthodoxy decor you often find in this part of the world.

A man in St. Volodymyr's Cathedral looks like he has something to confess.

The entry is free but the moment you take out your camera and snap some photos, the woman working there will jump in front of you and ask you to pay for the photo/video ticket which seems to be the norm here in Ukraine. The cost for such a ticket is around 50 UAH or 2 USD if you want to snap some photos.

Climb up the Bell Tower at St. Sophia's Cathedral

The architecture of St. Sophia's Cathedral on Kyiv, Ukraine.

After visiting St. Volodymyr's Cathedral, you can walk north pass the Golden Gate which I don't think it's worth mentioning on this itinerary but you can check it out before heading towards St. Sophia's Cathedral.

The view of the St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery from the Bell Tower in Kyiv, Ukraine.

St. Sophia's Cathedral is another Orthodox cathedral builts in the 9th Century AD by the Kievan Rus to replicate the Hagia Sophia found in Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) a few centuries prior, hence where the name St. Sophia came from.

The colorful interior of St. Sophia's Cathedral in Kyiv, Ukraine.

There are several structures you can visit within the Cathedral area but the highlights for me was the Bell Tower where you can climb up to get the view of Old Kyiv from the top. From up there you can even see the St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery, our next things to do on the list.

The beautiful golden altar inside the St. Sophia's Church in Kyiv, Ukraine.

It is also worth walking around inside the St. Sophia's Cathedral itself where you will find stunning mosaics and frescos from the 11th Century AD. Two levels are accessible to public allowing you to see the cathedral's interior from a different perspective.

St. Sophia's Cathedral Bell Tower in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The entrance fee ranges from 100 - 200 UAH but the best one, in my opinion, is the 160 UAH which give you access to the courtyard, inside the cathedral and the Bell Tower.

I really like St. Sophia's Cathedral. It may be a bit expensive to get inside but because of that, it is a much more peaceful experience to be walking around here than say, St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery which is next on the list.

Stroll around St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery

The grand exterior of St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery in Kyiv, Ukraine.

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery is the large cathedral you saw from the Bell Tower which makes it a great place to visit next. Unlike St. Sophia's Cathedral, the St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery is a functioning monastery so it is free to enter.

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery and its Bell Tower and walls from the square in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The monastery is a blend between Ukrainian Baroque style on the outside but retains its original Byzantine style on the inside. Due to its multiple golden domes, massive size and its blue painted exterior, St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery is one of the most photogenic religious building in the city.

Refectory of Saint John the Divine Church in Kyiv, Ukraine

Behind the monastery, there is a park that connects the monastery and the square to 2 different attractions. You can choose either to go left to St. Andrew's Church (which is recommended for this itinerary) and spend the next day going to the right towards the Friendship of Nations Arch or vice versa.

Check Out the View From St. Andrew's Church

St. Andrew's Church exterior in Kyiv, Ukraine.

If you choose to go to the west from St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery, you will find St. Andrew's Church towering over the famous Andriivs'kyi Descent street where all the souvenir shops are located.

St. Andrew's Church towering over Andriivs'kyi Descent in Kyiv, Ukraine.

St. Andrew's Church itself was under renovation when I was there so I was only able to walk around the church from the outside but even with that, the view from the balcony overlooking the Dnieper River is already worth the discounted 20 UAH entrance fee in my opinion.

St. Andrew's Church is also a landmark to begin your descent from the famous Andriivs'kyi Descent which is next on our list of things to do in Kyiv.

Walk Down the Andriivs'kyi Descent

An iconic art mural along Andriivs'kyi Descent in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The Andriivs'kyi Descent is a historic descent connecting Old Kyiv to the more hip neighborhood of Podil. The Descent is 720m in length and it is built with cobblestones along the steep hill of Zamkova Hora.

Many souvenir shops along both sides of the Andriivs'kyi Descent road in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Scattered along the streets, you will find plenty of souvenir shops and restaurants for you to indulge yourself in, but if you are looking to buy a souvenir, I would recommend you buy it from somewhere else as the souvenir prices here are known to be quite inflated and you will likely have to negotiate down the price to be more reasonable.

People walking down the historic Andriivs'kyi Descent in Kyiv, Ukraine.

A better option for souvenirs is the Folkmart, an official souvenir shops where you can buy all kinds of high-quality handcrafts at a reasonable price. One of the many Folkmart can be found on the Khreschatyk Shopping Street near Kyiv Independence Square.

Explore the Hipster District of Podil

Beautiful streets of Podil, Kyiv, Ukraine.

If you have some time left for that day, you can also continue on to Podil from Andriivs'kyi Descent and explore the hip neighborhood of Kyiv, although I would recommend you do it on a separate day as there are tons of things to do in Podil that you might not be able to cover in a few hours.

Laid-back cafes in Podil, Kyiv, Ukraine.

If you mix the old and the new in the right way, you get Podil, a vibrant and hip neighborhood of Kyiv and one of the main cultural center of the city. Right off the street from Andriivs'kyi Descent, you will find a massive empty road with a giant Ferris Wheel. Around this area, you can find many cool restaurants and cafes where you can sit and watch people go by.

Vagabond Cafe and Vintage Corner, a great cafe to check out in Podil, Kyiv, Ukraine.

If you dive deeper into Podil, you will find many other hidden gems like the beloved Vagabond Cafe And Vintage Corner, a vintage cafe that serves a great selection of coffee and homemade muesli or the Living Room, a cafe/bar that serves food and drinks and will occasionally host small live concert here and there.

Located within Podil is also a museum you should visit especially if you are planning to visit Chernobyl soon and that museum is next on the list.

Learn about Chernobyl at the Ukrainian National Chornobyl Museum

People walking around Ukrainian National Chornobyl Museum in Kyiv, Ukraine

Ukrainian National Chernobyl Museum is a museum dedicated to explaining all the details of what actually happened that night in 1986 when the explosion went off in Chernobyl Power Plant and the events the occurred afterward.

People watching a documentary about Chernobyl in Chornobyl Museum in Kyiv, Ukraine

The museum opens from 10 AM - 6 PM every day except Sunday. The entry fee is 100 UAH for the entrance, 36 UAH for photos and 100 UAH deposit (you will get it back at the end) for the audio guide, which I recommend you should get if you want to dive deeper into the detail of the Chernobyl disaster.

Take the Funicular

The Verkhnia Funicular station in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Getting up the Andriivs'kyi Descent cobblestones can be quite a challenge so if you want to bypass that and go back up the hill in style, you can go up with a Funicular.

To get on the Funicular, you will have to get to Nyzhnia stantsiia from the bottom of the hill and get on one of the cars. It will cost you 8 UAH per trip and you will arrive in right at the top of the hill near St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery.

Stroll Along Khreschatyk Shopping Street

People walking along the Khreschatyk Shopping Street in Kyiv, Ukraine

For the next day in Kyiv, You can start your day with a walk along the famous Khreschatyk Shopping Street where you can find all kinds of brand name shops and people walking up and down the streets.

People walking along the Khreschatyk Shopping Street on a summer day in Kyiv, Ukraine

This is also a good place to get your sim card if you have not done so elsewhere. There is a Vodafone shop with a lovely lady that speaks excellent English that can help you get the perfect data plan for your time in Ukraine.

Puzata Hata, one of my favorite restaurants on Khreschatyk Shopping Street, Kyiv, Ukraine.

Many of my favorite cafes and restaurants are also located here such as Puzata Hata, Na Stanislavsʹkoho and ONE LOVE Coffee so you can check that out too.

Kyivska Perepichka's deep-fried sausage in a dough street food in Kyiv, Ukraine.

There is also a popular street food stall called Kyivska Perepichka right by the Khreschatyk street where you can taste the tastiest deep-fried sausage in dough in the city. It's cheap, delicious and very efficient so be sure to drop by there for some quick bites.

Go People-Watching at the Independence Square

Independence Square in Kyiv on a sunny day, Ukraine.

After walking up the Khreschatyk street, you will end up at a familiar place. A place you may have seen in the news somewhere a while ago. That's right, you are now in the Independence Square (or simply Maidan), a square in wish the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution took place, except less fire and more flowers.

The statue on top of the Independence Square in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The square itself is quite spacious and full of life especially on the weekends, making it a great place to go people-watching. Within the Square, you will also find a permanent open-air exhibition recounting the events that unfold during the 2014 Revolution. It sure was an interesting read if you are curious about what actually happened in 2014.

The view from the observation deck at Independence Square in Kyiv, Ukraine.

There is also a great viewpoint at the top of the Globus Mall on the observation deck where you will be able to get a nice view of the Square from above.

Walk Around the Friendship of Nations Arch

A close-up look of Friendship of Nations Arch in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Remember the park behind St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery where you can choose to go West or East? Now that we've been to the West to Andriivs'kyi Descent, it's time to go to the East towards the Friendship of Nations Arch.

People walking towards the Friendship of Nations Arch along the skyway in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Friendship of Nations Arch itself is just a giant monument built to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the USSR back in 1982 and due to the decommunization laws, the Arch is on its way to being dismantled but the view around above the Dnieper River and the people hanging out there especially on a Sunday evening makes it a great place to stroll around and go people-watching.

The park where the Arch is also located along the way towards another popular attraction that is next on the list, the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra.

Spend 2 Hours Exploring the Cave Monastery at Kyiv Pechersk Lavra

A view of Kyiv cityscape from Kyiv Pechersk Lavra.

Kyiv Pechersk Lavra is the biggest surprise of all for me. From the pictures I've seen, it looks like another Eastern Orthodox monastery but after I arrived, I realized that there are so much more to do than it seems.

Cathedral of the Dormition inside Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, Ukraine.

Kyiv Pechersk Lavra or as it is known as Kiev Monastery of the Caves contains several monuments like the Cathedral of the Dormition, the Bell Towers, Refectory Church, the Church of All Saints and many more, but the highlights for visiting Kyiv Pechersk Lavra is the cave system that was built under the area.

Orthodox catherdrals and its golden domes are all lined up in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The Kyiv Pechersk Lavra caves are a historic system of narrow tunnels with multiple living quarters and underground chapels built in the 9th Century AD. Nowadays, it is a place for Orthodox pilgrims to visit and pay respects mummified monks, religious relics, and icons found throughout these underground tunnels.

Me exploring the Candle-lit underground tunnels of Kyiv Pechersk Lavra in Ukraine.

As a tourist, you can go in and explore a tunnel but it's really dark and small so I wouldn't recommend it if you are claustrophobic. You can also buy a candle at the entrance of the cave to light the path if you wish.

The entrance to Kyiv Pechersk Lavra is 80 UAH but if you wish to take photos and videos with a professional camera (phone cameras are ok apparently), you will have to get the 200 UAH ticket instead which I think is way too expensive. The good thing is, they only enforce this camera rule when you are outside in the courtyard so you can take photos anywhere else with no problem.

A photo I snapped of Cathedral of the Dormition before I got told off.

I got one photo of the Cathedral of the Dormition right before a guy came up to me and ask me for my ticket so if you are fast enough, you might be able to take some before they tell you off 🤣.

Enjoy the Sunset at The Motherland Monument

Me standing in front of the Motherland Monument in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Kyiv Pechersk Lavra is massive and you will likely be spending at least 2 hours walking around that area and by the time you reach The Motherland Monument, it will probably be right before the sunset, which is perfect as the monument look the prettiest during the Golden Hour.

A view of the Motherland Monument and its museums in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Most of the path around The Motherland Monument is also exposed so it is best to visit the monument when the sun isn't too strong.

Brutalist style architecture at the Motherland Monument in Kyiv, Ukraine.

There are also several museums you can visit within the monument park such as the Ukrainian State Museum of the Great Patriotic War, built to honor Kyiv's defenders during WW2 or the Local Conflicts' Museum where you will find information about the local struggle between the Ukrainians and the Soviet Union from 1936 to 1989.

Take the Metro at the Deepest Metro Station in the World (Arsenalna)

Arsenalna, the deepest metro station in the world in Kyiv, Ukraine.

After the sunset, you are probably tired and do not feel like walking back and that is why I leave this to the end. Did you know that Kyiv is home to the deepest metro station in the world? That station is called Arsenalna and it is located not too far from Kyiv Pechersk Lavra.

Arsenalna metro station platform in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The station is not photogenic or anything so don't expect any extravagant entrance or decor but once you pay the metro ticket, you will be standing on one of the longest underground escalator rides in the world. It took me 5 minutes to reach the first part and another 5 minutes to eventually reach the platform. It's a fun quirky thing to do when you are in Kyiv.

Party at Art-Zavod Platforma

After many action-packed days, how about we relax a little and explore the creative youth culture of Ukraine by visiting one of the largest creative clusters in the country, Art-Zavod Platforma.

If you are in Kyiv on a Friday night or Saturday during the summer months, be sure check out the event schedule at Art-Zavod Platforma and see what is happening there.

Many events are happening there for everyone like Street Food, Bazaar, White Nights, Tattoo Fest and music festivals throughout the summer weekends in Kyiv so if you are there at the right time and are interested in experiencing something unique in Kyiv, be sure to drop by Art-Zavod Platforma.

Go Cafe-Hopping in Kyiv

One Love Coffee minimalist interior in Kyiv, Ukraine

Kyiv also has one of the most vibrant cafe-culture around, and there are several indie cafes scattered around different neighborhoods that you can indulge yourself in.

There are all kinds of cafes for everyone from a hippie cafe tucked in the alleyways of Kyiv to a minimalist cafe with a grand view of the city from above. If you are like me and really love having coffees in a cool and cozy atmosphere, you will love exploring Kyiv's cafe culture.

If you are looking for a complete guide to indie cafes in Kyiv: Top 10 Indie Cafes To Try In Kyiv.

Go to the Beach in Kyiv

A busy beach in Kyiv, Ukraine.

If you, for some reason, crave for a relaxing day at the beach, there is a public beach you can go within the city of Kyiv. I know, right? I didn't expect to see a beach in Kyiv either but they do have a few options if you do crave for a beach day while in Kyiv.

There are several sandy beaches near Hidropark you can choose from such as Central Beach, Peredmistna Slobidka Beach and Venezia Beach.

Visit Chernobyl for a Day

Me standing in front of the Ferris wheel in Pripyat, Chernobyl.

Last but not least, I think this is a given to most visitors visiting Kyiv for the first time, you can spend one full day visiting Chernobyl Power Plant and Pripyat.

The Duga Radar near Chernobyl Power Plant in Ukraine.

You will only be able to visit Chernobyl with a tour so you will have to book one in advance. I highly recommend you book at least 5 days before to keep the price at 100 USD. If you book last-minute, the price will go up to 125 USD per person.

I have written a comprehensive guide on how to visit Chernobyl so be sure to check out: A Complete Guide On How To Visit Chernobyl.

What to Eat and Drink in Kyiv

Eat Local Cuisine at Puzata Hata

The front of the Puzata Hata restaurant in Podil in Kyiv, Ukraine.

I love Puzata Hata. Puzata Hata is a self-service Ukrainian chain restaurant where you can pick what kind of local food you want to eat and you pay by the things you choose on your dish.

It's an effective way to eat local food for tourists like us that do not speak a word of Ukrainian or Russian as you can see the food and you can pick whatever you like without having to speak a word.

A regular 150 UAH meal at Puzata Hata in Kyiv, Ukraine

It is also affordable and there are many restaurants scattered throughout big cities in Ukraine so when in doubt, always go eat at Puzata Hata.

Have Breakfast at Coffee and the City

The interior of Coffee and the City cafe in Kyiv, Ukraine.

It is not common for budget accommodation to provide you with free breakfast and so it was important to me to find a cafe that opens early enough for me to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee at my leisure. One of my favorite cafe I like to frequent for breakfast is Coffee and the City.

A delicious breakfast at Coffee and the City in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Coffee and the City has one of the best god damn Flat Whites I have ever tasted in Ukraine. It comes in this small glass but you know right away that it packs a punch when you see or smell it. You can choose either a regular or specialty beans (Honduras or Kenyan on that day I ordered). The cost of coffee was around 70 UAH.

The place opens at 8 AM and so if you are a morning person and are looking for a great place for breakfast not too far from Kyiv Central Station, be sure to drop by here for a mean cup of Flat White.

Grab a Deep Fried Hot Dog at Kyivska Perepichka

Kyivska Perepichka's deep fried sausage in a dough street food in Kyiv, Ukraine.

As mentioned earlier, if you are around the Khreschatyk street, be sure to drop by Kyivska Perepichka and grab their delicious deep-fried sausage in dough for a quick bite. It's delicious, it's cheap, what more can one ask for for street food.

Have Cider and Oysters at Bilyy Nalyv

People having beers and oysters at Bilyy Nalyv, Kyiv, Ukraine

Another great place to have a light meal with cider is Bilyy Nalyv located on the Khreschatyk street. You can get a hot dog or oysters with lime together with a glass of cider at 29 UAH each.

The place is meant for a quick bite so there are no seats for you to sit, but there are a few big barrels you can stand and eat while watching the people go by along the busy Khreschatyk street.

Have Pastries at Milk Bar

People socializing at Milk Bar in Kyiv, Ukraine.

If you are looking for something more high end but yet still trendy and affordable, Milk Bar is one of the most popular places in Kyiv for people to hang out and have delicious pastries together.

It has a ton, and I really mean a TON of delicious pastries for you to pick from. You can also order proper food here together with a coffee and a dessert, making it a great place to meet in the evening with friends.

It is considered to be quite expensive for Kyiv standard (60 - 200 UAH for pastries) and the prices are almost on the same level as what you would pay in Western Europe but you get what you paid for.

Visit One Love Coffee for the View

An all-white unique interior design of One Love Coffee in Kyiv, Ukraine.

If you are looking for a minimalistic cafe with a great view of Kyiv from above, I couldn't recommend ONE LOVE Coffee more. It is located on the 6th floor of Pinchuk Art Centre where you will have to get through security and such but I can assure you, it is totally worth it.

The moment you enter ONE LOVE Coffee, you will be surprised at how glowing it is. ONE LOVE Coffee is decorated with minimalist furniture, almost to the point of being futuristic, all in white with metallic angular style and a little touch of wood here and there.

It's not just their perfect design sense that blew me away but outside the window, you will be able to see the old buildings surrounding the famous Khreschatyk shopping street.

Other Things to Know about Kyiv

Buy English Books at Ye Bookstore

Ye Bookstore in Kyiv, Ukraine.

If you are looking for an English bookstore to buy in Kyiv, I found one really nice book store in Old Kyiv called Ye Bookstore.

They don't have as many English as I had hoped but they had one book that I really want to read so I bought one from there. The price is a bit pricey but if you are craving for a new book in Kyiv, you know where to find one.

How to Buy Water without Gas in Kyiv

НЕГАЗОВАНА means No Gas. Something to notice while buying a bottle of water in Ukraine.

One of the first things I struggled when I arrive in Kyiv is how to buy water without gas. Personally, I hate sparkling water and since tap water is not drinkable in Kyiv and not many people speak English, I had to learn to recognize the word "No Gas" in Cyrillic.

So if you want to buy a bottle of still water in a market, be sure that you see "НЕГАЗОВАНА" on it which should translate to "No Gas" (please correct me if I'm wrong here).

Watch Out for the Money-Dropping Scam

As mentioned under safety, please watch out for the money-dropping scam. When you see someone dropping something on the streets in front of you, do not respond and simply walk away.

Buy Souvenir at Folkmart

One of the best place to by Souvenirs in Ukraine is not at the local stalls along the Andriivs'kyi Descent but at the official souvenir stores called Folkmart instead. They have higher quality souvenirs to pick from with a more reasonable price than buying them around touristy areas.

And there you have it, a super-comprehensive guide to traveling in Kyiv. I hope I have answered all the burning questions about traveling in Kyiv and if I didn't, feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below.

Further Reading for Ukraine

Looking for more information for your trip to Ukraine? Here is a collection of articles about Ukraine that might help you with your trip planning:

The Solo Traveler’s Journal is a series of posts by BucketListly where we will follow our founder, Pete Rojwongsuriya around the world as he singlehandedly travel alone and experience different cultures, people, and historical locations one country at a time.

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Categories: destinations ukraine eastern europe europe


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