2 days in Kiev
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Kiev is the fascinating capital of Ukraine and one of the most beautiful cities in the world and two days are not enough to fully discover the Nevertheless, we will try to focus your attention on the most popular sights the city may offer. This guide details a suggested itinerary for 2-day holiday in ancient and historic Kiev.
Overview for 2 days in Kiev
Day 1 Moring - Kiev Pechersk Lavra Far Caves and Near Caves
Day 1 Afternoon - Pechersk district
Day 2 Moring St.Sophia’s Cathedral
Day 2 Afternoon - Podil district
The stunning Pechersk Lavra complex
Day 1. Pechersky and Shevchenkovsky Districts
These two districts are the central downtown areas of Kiev, which make for a great introduction to the city. The Shevchenkovsky district is considered the city’s most prestigious district, and hosts the Executive Office of the President of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament), the Cabinet of Ministers, the National Bank of Ukraine, the main offices of several banks and corporations. The Pechersky district was the centre of ancient and historic Kiev and reflects a blend of different epochs ranging from the 11th century to the present day.
Kiev Pechersk Lavra – the unique Monastery Complex
We suggest to start introduction to Kiev with visiting Kiev Pechersk Lavra – one of the world most ancient Orthodox Monasteries, being the personification of the city’s spiritual essence. It is located in Lavrskaya Street (Pechersky district) in some 15 min walk from Arsenalnaya metro station (Red line). By the way, this run-in-the-mill metro station is the world deepest.
Occupying a large territory of over 23 hectares, the Kiev Pechersk Lavra represents a unique Monastery Complex with more than 20 different in size, age and architecture, churches and temples.
Kiev is full of stunning monuments
The most famous among them is the 12th century Troitskaya Nadvratnaya Church (Trinity Church above the Gate), which has been preserved until now without any constructive changes. There are no words to describe the splendour of its gold-plated wooden three-tier iconostasis. From this Church you may proceed straight to the Uspensky (Assumption) Cathedral, being the most remarkable feature of Kiev Pechersk Lavra architectural complex, having passed through Sviatyie Vrata (Holy Gate). This Cathedral dates back to the 11th century. Its exterior is highly decorated, whereas interior may boast of amazing iconostasis.
Bell Tower of Lavra
The ornate Bell Tower of Lavra rises above all other cult constructions of the Monastery Complex and provides wonderful panoramic views over the Dnieper and its left bank with younger and more modern districts of the city. The Bell Tower was erected in the middle of the 18th century. The entrance to all cult constructions of the Monastery Complex is free. However, while visiting them as well as the caves the women have to cover their heads and wear long skirts covering their knees.
Far Caves and Near Caves
Kiev Pechersk Lavra is most famous for its unique and complex underground systems of caves known as Far Caves and Near Caves, which are connected by tunnels and corridors of about 2.5 m high and 1.5 m width. There are several small but interesting churches in the caves with their nice iconostases. It is a place where the holy relics of Lavra saints are preserved.
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
The Near and the Far Caves exhibit numerous archeological artifacts and items, which have been well preserved in the course of centuries. There are several legends saying that these underground catacombs pass under the Dnieper, and link Lavra with other caves of Kiev. Entrance to both Caves is free, however, as it is surprisingly cool in them, taking a vest is recommended. Besides many cult constructions, the Monastery Complex hosts several interesting museums, which are worth visiting. Admission to all museums is charged, however.
Sampling Ukrainian cuisine dishes
After such an intensive cultural program, it is high time to have some rest and taste the dishes of traditional Ukrainian cuisine in one of numerous restaurants of Pechersk district. An excellent “Tsarskoye Selo” (Tsar’s Village) restaurant is located in Ivan Mazepa street within a stone’s throw from Kiev Pechersk Lavra. It occupies the premises of the former gunpowder magazine of Pecherskaya Krepost (Pechersk Fortress).
Exploring Pechersk district
If you have recharged your batteries and are willing to proceed with exploration of Kiev, we would like to suggest you a promenade in the direction of cobbled Yevropeyskaya Ploshchad (European Square). On your way to this relatively small but pretty square, you may stroll about a picturesque Mariyinsky Park in which a stunning Maryinsky Palace – the official ceremonial residence of the Ukrainian President is located.
Kiev is full of stunning monuments
Built in baroque style in the 18th century this magnificent palace is one of the most beautiful palaces in Ukraine. In several blocks just opposite this palace, there is the so-called “Dom s Khimeramy” (House with Chimaeras) – an extraordinary Art Nouveau building of unusual shape and opulently decorated with … frogs, eagles, mermaids as well as some mystical and real creatures. It is highly recommended to have a look at this miraculous building, which was constructed in 1903.
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