Blog posts

The Top 8 Things To See in Kiev, Ukraine

The Top 8 Things To See in Kiev, Ukraine

UKRAINE

Thanks to Cobblestone Freeway Tours, I spent an incredible three days exploring Kiev – the heart of the Ukraine!  Through city tours led by local expats and experts, I learned about the fascinating history, architecture, and traditions of this beautiful capital city. Kiev is the largest city in the Ukraine which means there is plenty to see and explore.  Let me take you through 8 of the most iconic sights you can see while visiting the City of Golden Domes!

Kiev Golden Gate

1)  Maidan Nezalezhnosti – Independence Square

It is hard to miss Maidan, or Independence Square as its the central square in Kiev.  Since the late 1800’s, the square has been renamed numerous times.  It wasn’t until 1991 during the aftermath of the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine and collapse of the Soviet Union did it gain the name it has today.  Since then, Maidan has been the traditional place for political rallies, and celebratory events.

2)  Khreshchatyk – Main Street

As well as being home to many government buildings, Khreshchatyk is a popular street with tourists.  Why?  Shopping, of course!  In 2010, it was declared one of the Top 20 most expensive shopping streets in Europe.  However, its tumultuous history cannot be ignored.  This main street was completely destroyed in WWII and rebuilt in the neo-classical, post-war Stalinist architecture.

Khreshchatyk Street Kiev

3)  Saint Volodymyr’s Cathedral

Saint Volodymyr’s Cathedral boasts one of the golden domes that Kiev is so famous for.  This 19th century landmark is stunning both inside and out.  It is the mother cathedral of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and so it is no surprise the amount of work that went into constructing this masterpiece. It’s definitely worth going inside to admire its striking beauty and colorful mosaics and relics.

Saint Volodymyr's Cathedral

4)  Saint Sophia’s Cathedral

Not to completely outdo Saint Voodymyr’s, but Saint Sophia’s Cathedral has an impressive 13 golden domes!  This UNESCO World Heritage Site should be at the top of everyone’s Kiev list.  I was blown away by its scale and beauty.  The cathedral dates back all the way to 1037, but most of the Baroque exterior is from the 18th century.

Bell Tower of St.Sophia Cathedral Kiev

5)  Andriyivsky Uzviz (Andrews descent)

If you need a break from cathedral hopping, take a stroll on Andriyivsky Uzviz.  Local residents claim it is the most charming street in the city and I would have to agree! If you need somewhere to do your souvenir shopping, this is the place.  The street is home to the city’s best artisans, craftsmen, and vendors who sell interesting trinkets, authentic costumes, and Soviet times memorabilia.

Andreevsky descent in Kyiv, Ukraine

6)  St. Andrews Church

St. Andrews is a beautiful Baroque church that was built in the mid 1700s.  I just love how colorful it is on the outside.  Luckily, we visited on a sunny day so photographing the beautiful blue, white, and gold exteriors against a blue sky was a real pleasure.  Take time to go inside, as there’s an impressive collection of paintings and sculptures from well-known Ukrainian and Russian artists.  The church is actually no longer used as a religious institute, so it’s more of a museum inside.  Whether you venture inside or not, it’s absolutely worth a visit.  St. Andrews Church is situated on a very steep hill which means you have wonderful views from the top!

7)  Kiev Pechersk Lavra – Monastry of the Caves

We had a wonderful guided tour of Kiev’s Lavra Cave Monastery, a real spiritual Mecca and a place that’s become a signature sight of Ukraine.  Similar to Saint Sophia Cathedral, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Even though it is a cultural, tourist attraction, it is still a working monastery with over 100 monks in residence. Pictures will never do this incredible place justice, you just have to see its magnificence in person!

8)  World War II Memorial Park

A visit to Kiev isn’t complete without visiting the WWII Memorial Park and paying your respects to the fallen. The memoriral complex where this park resides in covers over 10 hectares so give yourself plenty of time if you want to see it all!  Outside, you’ll see several helicopters, tanks, rocket launchers, and other military equipment. There are also impressive and fascinating sculptures to see. The Fire of Glory, a giant metal bowl, is perfectly located on a hill and is impossible to miss. It is one of the many monumental sculptures which embody the beautiful spirit of the Ukrainians who fought so hard.

Cobblestone Freeway Tours showed us the very best of what Ukraine has to offer.  Kiev was just one stop on our 13-day tour!  You can read more about my trip to Chernivtsi, where I stayed and dined in Lviv, as well as what to see and do there.

Save

Pin This!

About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder and Senior Editor of Carmen’s Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Our travels allows her the opportunity to pursuit her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.

22 Comments

  1. Maria Angelova
    August 13, 2017 at 2:51 am
    Reply

    I love the giant cat street art!

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 13, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      I know, they are great!

  2. Willemijn @ Dutchess on the Road
    August 13, 2017 at 11:46 am
    Reply

    Kiev sounds like a fascinating city to visit and the cathedrals look so beautiful!

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 13, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      The stunning architecture really blew me away!

  3. Jenn and Ed Coleman
    August 13, 2017 at 3:15 pm
    Reply

    Kiev is such a mysterious city. It’s almost European, but not exactly. There are churches and monuments, yes, but the Orthodox and Slavic influences are present. Ukraine has its place in the European tour.

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 13, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      I 100% agree! It’s definitely worth visiting.

  4. Milosz Zak
    August 13, 2017 at 11:35 pm
    Reply

    So many years have passed since the Euromaidan in Kiev, and it still blows my mind that the fugitive President ordered his security forces to fire on the protesters. Shocks me to this day.

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 14, 2017 at 3:28 pm

      Yes, such a shocking event!

  5. Mindi Hirsch
    August 14, 2017 at 9:52 am
    Reply

    I haven’t been to Kiev since 1995. Seeing these beautiful photos makes me want to plan a return visit.

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 14, 2017 at 3:29 pm

      You should definitely return, Mindi! I just had a wonderful time.

  6. Vicky and Buddy
    August 14, 2017 at 3:37 pm
    Reply

    All of those golden domes! All of the churches looked spectacular. I can’t wait to see them for myself one day!

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 16, 2017 at 3:48 am

      They are just so impressive!

  7. Lara Dunning
    August 15, 2017 at 1:05 am
    Reply

    What a beautiful city and the golden domes are spectacular, and while I don’t have immediate plans to explore this part of the world but it is on my list as these are the kinds of things I like to experience when I travel. Thanks so much for sharing. I will make a note of this tour company for when I visit.

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 16, 2017 at 3:49 am

      That’s great to hear, Lara! Thanks 🙂

  8. carrie @ frugal foodie mama
    August 15, 2017 at 10:47 am
    Reply

    Kiev looks absolutely breathtaking! The architecture there is amazing. 🙂

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 16, 2017 at 3:49 am

      I couldn’t agree more 🙂

  9. melody pittman
    August 16, 2017 at 1:19 am
    Reply

    Wow, these are the most impressive photos I’ve ever seen of the Ukraine. Lovely! So much beauty and history, what a fabulous place to visit. LOVED the street art, too. 😉

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 16, 2017 at 3:50 am

      Thank you so much, Melody!

  10. Ivan
    August 18, 2017 at 12:08 pm
    Reply

    Looks like Kiev has everything for everyone!
    Exploring architecture and graffiti may take at least a week in the city!

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 20, 2017 at 2:04 am

      Oh yes, definitely! Thanks for reading 🙂

  11. David
    August 23, 2017 at 9:15 am
    Reply

    The architecture and street art is amazing. Great photos Carmen.

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 23, 2017 at 4:31 pm

      Thank you very much 🙂

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge