Things to see in Kiev
Standing on the hilly banks of the Dnieper River, the ancient city of Kiev is rapidly becoming a popular and alternative tourist destination for a short break. Kiev boasts a fascinating variety of historical monuments from beautiful churches and imposing cathedrals through to interesting museums and relaxing parks. The other advantage of Kiev as a holiday destination is that the city offers exceptional value for money and includes hotels, eating out and socialising. This guide will highlight the most popular things to see and visit while on holiday in Kiev.
St. Vladimir’s Cathedral
The magnificent St. Vladimir's Cathedral was constructed at the end of the 19th century and celebrated 900 years since Christianity was introduced into the Ukraine. This vividly painted Cathedral follows a unique Byzantine design with a traditional six-column, three-apse temple crowned by seven cupolas, although according to the original project they had to be thirteen.
The stunning exterior of Saint Vladimir’s Cathedral
The awe-inspiring interior of the cathedral is lined with mosaics which were crafted by masters from Venice and were made by famous painters, such as M. Vrubel, V. Vasnetsov. Religious services and prayers are still conducted in the Cathedral, which is open every day from 9:00 to 18:00 and is free to enter. The cathedral is located on Taras Shevchenko Boulevard, for more details please click here.
The Kiev Pechersk Lavra – the highlight of Kiev
The Kiev Pechersk Lavra is an exceptional beautiful monastery complex that is the most popular tourist destination of Kiev. The Pechersk Lavra is vast, covering an area of 23 hectares and extending over two hills that are separated by deep ravine which descends down to the Dnieper River. Contained within the site are more than 20 churches, numerous temples, historical monuments and caves, all of which extend back to the foundation of the monastery in 1051. The gold painted domes of the churches are simply beautiful, while the entire complex is set amidst lush forests and park lands.
The stunning Pechersk Lavra complex
In addition to various religious buildings, there are several interesting museums including the Museum of Historical Treasures, with its rich collection of Scythian gold items, and the Museum of Microminiatures, in which the world’s smallest book is exhibited (just 0.6 mm). The Lavra Bell Tower is a focal point for the monastery standing at 96m high and from the vantage point there are wonderful panoramic views over the whole of the gold-domed Pechersk Lavra and the Dnieper River.
The Pechersk Lavra is regarded as Kiev’s finest tourist attraction and is very easy to spend a half discovering the entire site. The monastery is open every day from 6:00 to 21:00 and the entrance fee is about 1 euro. To maximize a visit it is suggested to join a guided tour, which are offered in multiple languages.
Gorgeous St. Sophia’s Cathedral
One of the most popular attractions in central Kiev is Saint Sophia’s Cathedral, which is considered as one of the finest ancient churches of Eastern Europe. The church boasts stunning mosaics and amazing frescoes created by Byzantine masters as early as the 11th century. A significant number of these ancient mosaics and frescoes have been preserved and many of the interior walls are adorned by medieval inscriptions. The Cathedral is open from 9:00 to 18:00 every day, except for Thursday and the entry ticket prices depends on depth of the visit, ranging from 0.50 euro to 5 euros.
Saint Sophia’s Cathedral
Kiev is famous for its parks
Kiev is famed for its numerous varied and beautiful parks, which exceeds 150 dotted throughout the capital. The Druzhby Narodov Park (People’s Friendship Park) is renowned for its large variety of extreme activities entertainments, including quadricycles, hydro cycles or playing paintball. Druzhby Narodov park is also a scenic park for walking and lies close to General Vatutin Avenue near the Moskovskyi (Moscow) Bridge.
If you visit Kiev during the spring and summer seasons, include a visit to the N. Gryshko National Botanical gardens, as this is the period when the gardens are in full blossom, and the air is filled with the fragrant smell of flowers. It is noteworthy that the Botanical Gardens have the world’s largest collection of lilacs and are simply magical during the lilac blooming season. Kiev’s residents adore these picturesque gardens, which are located on the banks of the Dnieper River and provides fantastic views over the river and its left bank.
Charming the One Street Museum
The One Street Museum has about 6,000 exhibits including various historical documents, manuscripts, books, cards, drawings and many different antique objects. As soon as you enter this small but very interesting museum, you will plunge into the nostalgic atmosphere of the region. This Museum is open from 12:00 to 18:00 every day, except for Monday. Entry ticket costs about 1 euro. The Museum organizes guides tours in Ukrainian, Russian and English.
Kiev is full of stunning monuments
The One Street Museum is situated in a narrow cobbled Andreevsky Descent (Andreevsky Spusk), which is one of the oldest streets of Kiev packed with historical monuments, such as, the 18th century St. Andrew’s Church, which has been put down on Mankind Treasures of Five Continents list, the Castle of Richard the Lionheart - an extraordinary building with decorated exterior and many pseudo-Gothic style elements resembling medieval knightly castles as well as numerous small cafes, art galleries and bars.