11 Tours around Kyiv
The tour for those willing to understand why Kyiv is believed to be the centre of the Kievan Rus. Before starting out you should refresh your basic knowledge of history and leaf through a beginner’s guide to Medieval History with bright pictures of old Kievan Rus architecture. Then go ti see the Golden Gate and Saint Sophia Cathedral, walk along Vladimirska street to discover remnants of the Batu Khan Wall or spend some time in “Starokyivska Gora” archaeological park. True secret lovers can try their luck and search for the groundworks of Fedorivsky Monastery in the yard of Vladimirska street 3 or hunt out a cross standing on the place of the ruined Georgiivsky Monastery(intersection of Georgiivsky lane and Zolotovoritska street).
A walk around Kyiv of XIX century that will show you “the essential Kyiv” - a classic and modern city with eclectic architecture, a city of industrial tycoons, poets of the Silver Age and a genuine urban resort. Start your journey from Yaroslavov Val, Volodymyrska and Olesya Honchara streets, then take a promenade about Velyka Zhytomyrska street and Shevchenko Boulevard, visit Opera House, The Red Building of the Taras Shevchenko National University, museums at Tereshenkivska street, the House with Chimeras and walk down Gorodetskogo street. Delicious dinner at a national cuisine restaurant(for example “Opanas” situated right in the centre of Shevchenko Park) would be a perfect end for such kind of expedition.
Locals love to nourish and cherish city tales about witches, numerous horror stories and fables. They say there are about 5 or 7 places of force called “bald mountains” were witchcraft were practiced in the city. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to climb each and every one -some were devoured by urban development, but you can feel the real mystical power of Kyiv on Zamkova Gora with its barren woods and spooky abandoned cemetery or on Andriivsky descent with notorious Bulgakov’s House no 13. And what is more, you should find yourself a guide to Lysa Gora which is on the spur of Zamkova Gora, who will show you fancy creations of “Fictitious gallery Expedition” or grim cross in Yurkovitsa district standing at the place where the old cemetery used to be. And may force be with you!
Churches of Kyiv
“Better ask the way than go astray” that was the motto of piligrims heading to Kyiv just some centuries ago. Kyiv is among top destinations for religious tourism even now. Thousands of people visit Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra to venerate the holy relics. That is why you may find interesting visiting such places as St. Volodymyr Cathedral decorated by artists of the Modern age, Vydubichi with marvelous Mikhailovsky Church of XII century, Kyrylivska Church of the XII century with Vrubel’s paintings, Kitayevskaya weald with funerary complex of caves, Florovsky and St. Vvedenskiy Monasteries with their wonderworking icons. You should also visit the St. Sophia Cathedral that is a reserved area now and St. Andrew's Church, which is located at the same place where according to the legend Andrew the Apostle predicted the creation of the city.
Kyiv has become the capital of the Ukrainian SSR in 1934. It was the city ruined by Soviet troops during the retreat , the hero-city and the industrial center. Start your tour at Khreschatyk, an integral street architectural complex built in the Stalinist’s empire style, which was the embodiment of socialistic Ukraine. Then make your way to former Lenin’s Museum (now the Ukrainian House) , the arch of Friendship of Peoples, pass the parliament – Verkhovna Rada and then head to the monument of revolutionaries in Mariinsky Park. Move forward to the former Arsenal factory, a place where an October Revolution had started its pass with series of protests in Kyiv, see the Canon which is actually the first monument of the Soviet era in the city and the monument to Unknown Soldier, think over Holodomor, a man-made famine in Ukraine in 1933 near the memorial dedicated to its tragedy. Finish your tour at the “Motherland” monument which is a vivid example of powerful Soviet monumentalism. And if you are the admirer of that era, walk a little bit around the city and have a look at the magnificent remnants of the Soviet empire dream: bridges of Kyiv, subway stations (Teatralna Subway station is a must!) , Soviet concert halls and industrial sites
In the early XX century Jews represented one third of Kyiv’s population. In what way this civilization influenced the city? If you’re ready to find the answer, start your way with Brodsky Central Synagogue, walk up to the Sholom Aleichem’s monument on Rognedinskaya street , pay a visit to the museum of this great writer that is located not far from his Kyiv residence. In this very quarter you can come across the house with a memorial plate where Golda Meir, the Prime Minister of Israel, used to live and the Bessarabsky market that was built by Brodsky. As the next move you should continue your way to Podol where only 30 years ago people could freely speak Yiddish practically to every its inhabitant . Here you’ll find the oldest synagogue in Kyiv on Schekavytska street. Another place in our list is Babiy Yar - the place of the great tragedy that claimed the lives of more than a hundred thousand people in Kyiv, mostly Jews. You can go further and walk along the Jewish mansions in Lypky - estates of Liberban and Apshtein (now the Union of Writers and the House of the Mourning Widow respectively) or manors that belonged to Brodsky, Mandelstam, Halperin, Zaitsev and many others.
Kyiv Street Art
A man with an airbrush creates the world – it’s the main message of the painting on the wall in the courtyard in 24Velyka Zhytomyrska Street. Make it your starting point and go to the Fashion Park on the Landscape Alley – a place that locals defended from developers related to the Ministry of the Internal Affairs in 2012. Another must see spots are the works of sculptor Skretutsky and “Landscape Initiative”: "Loshadka" (it‘s actually a hedgehog) , “Ballerina” , “Match”, “Kitten” that is made of disposable forks , “Crocodile” and other numerous pieces of art scattered in Kyiv. If you like graffiti, then search for the works left after Muralisimo 2012 and the works of the most famous Ukrainian artist band "Interesni kazki". Fans of the concept art can enjoy the works of “Fictitious gallery Expedition” collaboration on Zamkova and Schekavitsa hills.
Podol is the most bourgeois of all districts of Kyiv that keeps a lot of secrets and surprises. You can start discovering them by going down from Vladimirska Hill to Poshtova Square by funicular, which is the first funicular that was built in the Russian Empire. In the end of the ride you’ll find yourself at Poshtova Square where the Church of Christ's Ascension is situated. Taras Shevchenko’s funeral ceremony was hosted in this church and his death mask is kept here. Then walk along Sagaydachnogo street, the street without a single tree but overloaded with cozy shops and nice cafés. Once you reach the Kontraktova Square that are used to be one of the biggest fairs in Russia in the past, pop in the yard of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy to see the renovated sundial. Podol is a perfect place for the lovers of authentic city yards and local non-filtered beer.
Parks of Kyiv
55% of Kyiv is a green zone. If you don’t believe this fact, start your tour with Landscape Alley, walk uphill to the monument to St. Vladimir, pass along the European square, and starting from the Arch of Friendship of Peoples continue your journey along the Dnieper River. As you walk past the stadium of Lobanovskiy, you'll find yourself in the Mariinsky Park with a palace designed by Rastrelli, Vatutin’s grave and monument to the revolutionaries. You can also go to Luk'yanovski park and try to find Khrushchev’s and Postyshev’s summer houses, or set out to “Kin’ Grust” park to find yourself ending a trip with swimming and sunbathing near the lakes in Pusha Voditsa for a couple of hours. Editorial tip: check out the destinations of Kytaevo, Feofania and Pyrogovo Landscape Park.
Let’s discover the history of Kyiv through the study of its elites’ life. Palaces that has became offices and private residences that has became centers of political activities. You should see the National Bank of Ukraine and the House with Chimeras – the most beautiful houses of Kyiv, the Palace of the President of Ukraine, the House of the Mourning widow. Have a walk down to Shelkovichnaya street to admire the architecture of Uvarova’s Palace, which became the Department of the Soviet secret police NKVD, and Youth Theater that was built by the architects who were locked in the dungeons of NKVD building. Come closer to examine the exquisite exterior of Chocolate House, the former marriage registrar's office, that stands next to the Kavalersky mansion that somehow resembles a fortress. Finish your tour at Hrushevskoho street and don’t miss a chance to see the collection of fine art in National Arts Museum of Ukraine.
A little party has never killed nobody, but may God be with you since the city has a lot of temptations! As you may guess this tour varies from year to year and is very diverse to satisfy tourists’different tastes and age preferences. If you want to party, start the night in Arena, dine in Foodtourist, have a couple of shots at Bibique Bar and dance the night out in "Boom boom room". If your heart desires glamour, have a swell dinner in ”Ohota na Ovets” and then head to “Dynamo Lux” , “Dante” or “Skybar” right over the Pinchuk Art Centre. If you do not like the sound of 160 Bpm and find all that fashion stuff too pretentious, democratic places such as “Docker's Pub“ or ”Divan” with live performances will be your night harbor. All the addresses can be easily found on Gloss.ua pages.
We hope that after walking along our beautiful city you will fall in love with it because love is that's what makes life worth living . Welcome to Kyiv!
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