Kiev: The City Inside A Huge Park


Tips On The Greenest City In Europe: KIEV


Hey folks! I have been currently studying Russian in Kiev for almost 2 months. Since I have been travelling and exploring different places every day, I thought that writing a detailed blog post about Kiev would be pretty cool! In this post, I will be giving heaps of information about this heavenly city; major sights, unpopular places, restaurants, daily life, transportation etc. I will try to write everything briefly so that reading will not become a cumbersome business for you.


Since 2014, Ukraine has been a rising economy and gradually becoming one of the popular tourist destinations in the world. As of 2018, Ukraine was ranked as the 23rd most touristic country in the world. In comparison with the other European countries, Ukraine is unbelievably cheap! I myself still can not believe how budget friendly Ukraine is. So why not discover this marvelous country! Have fun reading the post folks!

MAIN SIGHTS


1-GOLDEN GATE


Oldest remaining fortification of the Medieval Kievan Rus


Golden Gate also known as Zoloti Varota is literally the heart of the city! Regarded as the main entrance and one of the survived fortifications of the medieval city (a.k.a Kievan Rus).

The monument of the grand prince of Kievan Rus Yaroslav the Wise is erected right in front of the monument. The area is quite picturesque! There are many restaurants (Tre Branshe being my favourite!) and beautiful streets around the area.

When you reach there, you should definitely take a long walk around gate without checking Google Maps or any location providers. Here is also spot to connect to the other central areas of the city. Just get lost in the beautiful characteristic streets of central Kiev! 


Also there is a small cute cat statue near Golden Gate 🙂




2-ST. SOPHIA’S CATHEDRAL


One of the most impressive cathedrals I have ever seen!


When it comes to St. Sophia’s Cathedral, it does matter if you like history or architecture, this place definitely deserves a visit! This glorious 11th century cathedral stands at the heart of the city. Being located 10 minutes away by walk from Golden Gate, St, Sophia’s Cathedral awaits for you to explore it’s biblical depictions, paintings and carvings on the walls. This religious complex is the first heritage site in Ukraine which was recognized by UNESCO. It’s for sure that you will be amazed by the meticulous work on the walls!  If you want to get a pass for the enormous bell tower that abuts the churchyard, you will be paying a bit more extra. I personally recommend for you to pay a few more dollars and witness the marvelous view of Kiev from the top of the historical tower.

PRICES $

50Hr for for adults, 20Hr for children and students.

Entrance to the Bell Tower costs 10Hr/6Hr 


WORKING HOURS

Friday-Tuesday:10am-6pm

Wednesday:10am-5pm

Closed on Thursdays


Interior of the church. Full of marvelous Slavonic ornaments and wall paintings.


The watch tower laying the marvelous view of Kiev on your feet!



3-ST. MICHAEL’S GOLDEN-DOMED MONASTERY


Seeing the monks and witnessing the way they live takes you hundreds of years back in time!


This is an alluring monastery complex that is located 7-8 minutes away walking distance from St. Sophia’s Cathedral. By some people, it is seen as a lesser tourist attraction than St. Sophia’s Cathedral. Well I strongly disagree with that. In the monastery, you will get the chance to see the monks who have been living and maintaining their theological studies. For sure, it is quite interesting to witness these ascetics’ lives as well as visiting the golden-domed monastery. Golden Gate, St. Sophia’s Monastery and St. Michael’s Monastery can be combined in a single walking route. Since they are all located pretty close to each other, it is quite possible to cover these spots together.

WORKING HOURS

Open 08:00 – 19:00

Daily services at 08:00&17:00, Sundays at 08:00&10:00&17:00



4-ST. ANDREW’S CHURCH AND ANDREWSKY STREET


St. Andrew’s Church and the view of the beautiful Andrewsky Street!


In Kiev, there are numerous observation decks where you can have great views of the city. However, St. Andrews Church was my favourite. The church is located on top of the beautiful Andrewsky street which is another alluring spot of the city with many beautiful shops and stalls with traditional artworks of Ukranian artisanship and antique stuff! The observation deck, which is literally the platform surrounds the church, gives you a unique view of Podol Area and Dnieper river. Since the church is under restoration, you can only go up to the observation desk which costs 10 Grivnas (around 30 cents which is nothing!).

PRICES $

10 Ukranian Grivnas (around 0.30 Cents which is practically nothing!


WORKING HOURS

Open 09:00 – 18:00 everyday

Closed on Wednesdays!


Andrewsky Street with cool antique stalls and cafes!



5-AV FOMIN BOTANICAL GARDEN


It’s a bit neglected but still a marvelous spot.


My favorite park in Kiev! Once you enter, it makes you feel like you are miles away from the city! There are many different trees from different parts of the world. And there are many squirrels! It is a marvelous place to take walk! To me it really reminds of some sort of a Lord of the Rings set. The park is beautiful in every season however in autumn this place becomes epicly marvelous! Different shades of orange, decidious leaves covering the ground and cool autumn breeze in the air… Utterly mind blowing! One should not skip this place! The park is located right in front of the Universitet metro station.


I guess this must mean something in contemporary art



6-TARAS SHEVCHENKO PARK


Scenes from park and the pancake stall that you must check out! 🙂


This one is very close to A.V Fomin Botanical Garden. It literally takes 5 minutes by walk. Taras Shevckenko Park is located in front of the Taras Shevckenko National University. In the park, there is a traditional Ukranian restaurant named O’Panas which is one of the best in Kiev. However right know I will only be mentioning about the outdoors small pancake stall of this restaurant. One of my favorite things to do in Kiev is to get sweet pancakes and a cup of coffee from that stall and sit on one of the benches in the park. They have amazing sweet and salty pancakes which cost around 15 Grivnas (around 50 cents!!). Unbelivable isn’t it?


The pancake stall I was mentioning!




7-PODIL DOWNTOWN


You will run into unique street scenerios in Podil.


Podil is actually a big vicinity where there are many restaurants, cafes, minor sights, old streets etc. If you go to Andrewsky Street, it will connect you to Podil area as you go further. Grab some chocolate at Lviv Handmade Chocolate Factory located at the end of the Andrewsky street! 🙂 It is also so much fun walking around Podil and explore the old streets. Furthermore, there are numerous old buildings remaining from the Soviet Era which contributes to the cultural and architectural diversity of the city. The famous Chernobyl museum is also located in Podil!


Near the river.


Podil downtown!



8-CHERNOBYL MUSEUM


It is a small museum but the overall exhibition is actually pretty informative and cool!


This cool museum is in Podil. The exhibition and simulations are very professional and interesting but every single text and every piece of information is either in Russian or Ukrainian. So I would highly recommend you to make a quick research before you visit or ask for an English audio guide. The entrance is 10 Grivnas (30 cents). The 3D simulator of the Chernobyl Disaster is 30 Grivnas to watch which I recommend strongly! Even if you do not make a research about the disaster, more or less you will understand the story behind the displayed artifacts, since the exhibition is visually quite rich.

PRICES $

Entrance is 10 Ukranian Grivnas. 30 Grivnas extra if you want to take photos.


WORKING HOURS

10.00am-18.00 pm everyday

Closed on Sundays!


Many authentic artifacts from Chernobyl are displayed at the museum.


Uniforms and gas masks used by firefighters during the disaster



9- KIEV PECHERSK LAVRA


The church and the magnificent underground caves where monks still practice their daily rituals


Kiev Pechersk Lavra (also known as the Kiev Monastery of the Caves), is a historical Orthodox Christian monastery which is located on a large hilly area next to the Dnieper River. I find this place amazing and very intriguing. There are passes for the different parts of the territory and the prices differ depending on the areas you want to visit. I would personally recommend you to see three places: Uspenski Cathedral, Great Lavra Bell Tower and the most importantly The Pechersk Caves. The area is famous chiefly due to the underground caves where ascetic monks lived throughout the centuries. There are coffins with glass ceilings where you can see the parts of the mummified bodies of saints. The tunnels are quite small and frowsy. Also the air gets pretty stuffy as you do deeper. Long story short, when you go there, a spooky athmosphere will be waiting for you. However, words are really not sufficant to describe the experience. Walking through the tunnels where the only light source is candles and seeing the mummified saints were one of the most unforgettable experiences I have had in Ukraine so far.

PRICES $

Ассess to the territory 30 Grivnas

Access to the Cathedral of the Dormition Bell Tower 60 Grivnas

Access to the Cathedral of the Dormition Bell Tower 30 Grivnas (student discount)

Amateur photo shooting at the territory 200 Grivnas

Amateur video shooting at the territory 400 Grivnas

For all the prices go to: http://kplavra.kiev.ua/en/node/413


WORKING HOURS

09.00am-19.00 pm everyday! 


It is quite a big religious complex. I took me a couple of hours to cover all the spots.



10-THE MOTHERLAND MONUMENT AND THE MUSEUM OF GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR


The vast Motherland Statue. You can imagine the size of the statue by taking me as reference point.


The Motherland Monument is an enormous statue which is dedicated to the national heroes. The Museum of Great Patriotic War is underneath the statue. When it comes to the uniqueness of the exhibition and the way the artifacts are displayed, I have rarely seen such a cool museum! Moreover, there is a big and a elaborate exhibition about the war that has been going on in Eastern Ukraine since 2014. However, the museum is chiefly about the 2nd World War and Ukraine’s resistance against the Nazi’s. One important point about the museum is that there are detailed information cards in English at the entrances of every hall which help you to understand the stories of the artifacts and themes of the halls.

PRICES $

Аdult 20 Grivnas

Students 5 Grivnas

Audio Guide 50 Grivnas

Excursion 100 Grivnas


WORKING HOURS

10.00am-18.00 pm Monday-Friday

11.00am-19.00 pm Saturday-Sunday 


From 2. World War to ongoing Crimea dispute you can find amazing exhibitions in the museum!


Old artisanal statues representing the Heroic Defense by Soviet Army.


Remains of the wreck of a Soviet war plane



11-MAIDAN NEZALEZHNOSTI AND KRESCHATIK STREER


In evenings, Kreschatik is only open for pedestrian traffic so you can take very fun walks.


Kreschatik is perhaps the most popular street in Kiev which abounds with restaurants, cafes, bars, shops, mini coffee kiosks. At the end of the street the famous Maidan Nezalezhnosti  is located where the 2014 Protests took place. Maidan is vast and it is pretty fun to walk around, take photos, drink coffee etc. 

One quick reminder! Beware of the scammers who approach tourists and use different tricks such as the wallet trick. If someone hands you a wallet full of money and tells you that you dropped your wallet. Don’t ever get the wallet. Just ignore them. It is a very common scam which will make your trip quite unplesant when 4-5 other men come and tell that it is actually their wallet and you stole them. Do not pay attention to them and keep enjoying the city!


Grab yourself a cup of coffee along the way from one of the small coffee stalls.


The square is also picturesque but beware of scammers who target tourists.


HIDDEN GEMS OF KIEV

Upon finishing the main tourist attractions in 2 weeks, I started to explore the different vicinities of the city. I have been to countless breathtaking places! If you are planning to stay in Kiev a bit longer, you may also consider to see the places that I have mentioned below.Undoubtedly, these places will give you something far more interesting than a classic tourist experience. 

1-M.M HRYSHKO BOTANICAL PARK


Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Nepalese gardens and many other different plants…


This park literally blew my mind! The biggest one in Kiev! It takes minimum 2 hours to see all of the park properly. One additional suggestion from me to you would be to visit the Trinity Monastery of Saint Jonas in the park. While I was wandering, I witnessed an unforgettable preeching in the monastery, accompanied by the choir consisted of the brothers of the monastery. It was truely a unique experience! In the garden, there are information boards in English as well. 

PRICES $

Adults 40 Grivnas

Students 20 Grivnas


WORKING HOURS

8.30am – 9pm everyday


It is not very crowded so you will be amazed with how tranquil the place is.





2-MARINSKY PARK & MARINSKY PALACE


There are also a bunch of small coffee stalls where you can get pretty tasty coffee and snacks!


The park is located on a hill near Dnieper River. Marinsky Park does not have many visitors even though it is right in the centre. Most of the time, it is very quiet and tranquil. Also it is very clean. The park is followed by the enormous Marinksy Place; currently a vacant structure which is the offical ceremonial residence of the Ukranian Presidents. Moreover, there a few coffee stalls where you can get some beverages and enjoy the park.


Especially in winters the park becomes very beautiful




3-THE RAINBOW ARCH & TROLLEY ACROSS DNIEPER RIVER


The famous rainbow arch lit at night.


Friendship of Nations Arch dedicated to the unification of Russia and Ukraine within the Soviet Union. The colors of the arch illuminate as a rainbow at nights. Furthermore, there is a huge observation desk where you can witness the alluring view of the vicinity of Podil. However, the most fun thing to do is to zipline across Dnieper by the trolley which is located on the right side of the observation desk. It costs 200 Grivnas per person (7.5 dollars). I highly recommend it to the ones who like visceral experiences!

PRICES

Crossing the river with zipline costs 200 Grivnas per person


The view is amazing here! Moreover crossing the river with zipline is quite a visceral experience!




4-PISHOKHIDNYY BRIDGE & EXPLORING THE VAST ISLAND


This place is perhaps one of the most unknown areas of Kiev.


Pishokhidnyy is a pedestrian bridge right in front of the Rainbow Arch observation deck. If you decide to cross the river by the trolley, you will be seeing the bridge below. It connects western Kiev to the biggest island on Dnieper River.

This vast island is covered with a dense forest which feels like a fantastic film set while you are wandering it. Upon crossing the bridge, the road will bifurcate, however you should keep going stright and follow the main road. You will be walking through one of the most fascinating walking trails in Kiev. As you go further in the forest, it gets a bit hard to believe that you are actually in a huge city with the population of 5 million. Going back is pretty easy too; you can either walk back the way you have walked or keep going straight until you see the big Moskovsky Bridge where you can cross back to the mainland.


It feels like you are walking around a vast forest.


It gives you so much peace to walk along the path and listen to the nature.



5-PINCHUK ART CENTER


I am not a fan of contemporary art myself but I loved this museum!


Pinchuk Art Center is a contemprory art exhibition center that is located at the end of Kreschatik Street, right near the Bessarabsky Market. It is a pretty popular place in Kiev so in case you can’t find it; ask anyone and they will show you where it is. Personally I am not a big fan of contemprory art, nonetheless I think this place is a must see. The content of the exhibition is very interesting and intriguing. The entrance is also free. It literally takes less than an hour to finish the exhibition. On the 6th floor, there is an amazing cafe with delicious food and coffee named One Love Coffee. Do not leave here without having a cup of coffee in One Love Coffee!

WORKING HOURS

12pm – 9pm everyday

Closed on Mondays.


The works and projects created by modern Ukrainian artists are actually very intriguing.





6-VSTAVKOVYY CENTER


Do not leave here without trying out some street food at stalls! 🙂


Vstavkovyy Center is a big park complex with many facilities in it. It is one of the most picturesque areas of Kiev. In the park, there are many buildings used for different purposes such as fairs, exhibitions, conferences, movie screenings, various other events etc. Since the paths are very wide in the area, you can rent bikes at the entrance and see the area while cycling. My favourite thing in the park is the food stalls. I would recommend you to go there feeling a bit hungry so you can have a small feast. From traditional Ukrainian to Georgian, from American to German, you can find various types of food for reasonable prices. Park is connected with a vast forest area which feels like a film set while you walk in it. When you are done with the main area, just get a cup of tea/coffee and take a short walk in the forest 🙂


There are many places for barbecue



7-FOUNDERS OF KIEV MONUMENT


All hail the glorious Vikings! The founders of Kiev!


This fascinating monument is right near the Dnieper River. It literally takes 8-9 minutes from the back exit of Pecherska Lavra to the monument by walk. The monument looks glorious with Dnieper River in the background. For the ones who love taking photos (like I do!) this place is a great spot to take cool photos. Upon visiting the monument, I would recommend you to take a walk by the river towards the Dnieper Metro station where you can take a metro back to downtown.


It is also a popular spot for couple to have their wedding photo shoots. Two couples came here during my visit. A bit odd tough!


View of the river



8-MUSEUM OF HISTORY


This museum was surprisingly very cool!


This is a small museum with a unique exhibition about the history of Kiev starting from the early ages of humanity. Moreover, there is proper English information which helps you to understand everything! The entrance is 40 Grivnas for adults and 25 Grivnas for students. Completing the exhibition takes 45 minutes-1 hour. I think a short visit to this museum would be cool!

PRICES $

Adults 45 Grivnas

Students&Children 30 Grivnas


WORKING HOURS

11am – 7pm everyday 

Monday 11am – 4pm


Old relics remaining from the different eras of Kiev.



9-DREAM AQUARIUM


The aquarium is in the Obolon District which is pretty fun to explore!


This is a huge aquarium that is located in Obolon area which is quite far from the center. However, it is right next to the Minsk metro station so it will not be hard for you to go there. The entrance fee is 250 Grivnas for adults and 150 Grivnas for students. For sure, it will be a different experience for you!

PRICES $

Adults 250 grivnas

Students 150 grivnas


WORKING HOURS

11am – 10pm everday!


Also it is always worth exploring malls so you should also check out this cool place!



10-PARK LANDSCAPE ALLEY


Old authentic Soviet blocks abutting the cool artsy park.


Damn, I love this place! It is a charming public park with some cool local artwork, including abstract sculptures & mosaics. It is open 24 hours. It does not require a lot time and the park will surely amaze you!


This hidden spot is very beautiful.


Many artworks, cool mosaic portraits covering the walls


As expected you can find many small coffee stalls along the walk



12-HOLOSIIVS’KYY PARK


Sviato-Pokrovskyi Golosiiv Monastery


So far, I think it is very clear for everyone that Kiev is an amazingly green city. Surrounded with parks, botanical gardens, lakes etc. Holosiivs’kyy Park is one of them! The park lies beyond the exit of the Holosiivska Metro station. The area is quite vast and harbors small and big lakes in it. For me, one of the most picturesque and interesting places in the park is Saint. Pokrovsky Monastery. The entrance is free and it takes less than 45 minutes to see the whole area very properly. Upon visiting the complex, you can give a small break at the cafe which is located in front of the entrance. You can eat various homemade pastries and have beverages there. I got a big donut and a latte and they all costed 26 Grivnas (a dolar). Pretty cool isn’t it?40 Grivnas


There are bunch of old ponds in the park




RESTAURANTS & CAFES

The restaurants and cafes which I will be mentioning below are the ones I have been to in person.


Moreover, on TripAdvisor they are well rated as well. I wrote very briefly about the main facts and observations to not make it boring for you to read. I hope you will enjoy!

1-O’PANAS


Get yourselves a crepe from the stall and enjoy the beutiful park while having your crepe!


This amazing restaurant is in Taras Shevhekno Park. The food is great and they serve one of the most delicious pancakes I have ever had in my life. Moreover, their Borsch is very tasty as well. The prices are average. The staff speaks English. Also on Saturday evenings they have live Ukrainian music! You should also stop by and grab yourselves a delicious crepe at the small stall on the right handside of the restaurant


WORKING HOURS

Mon – Fri : 9am-12am

Sat – Sun: 10am-12am


Pancakes are so delicious


Upon request, that’s how they serve borsch.



2-PERVAK


The staff of Pervak serves in traditional Ukrainian folk clothes’


Traditional, tasty and affordable! The staff dresses in traditional Ukrainian clothes which makes the place cooler! Pervak is also the place if you want to have tasty borshch. The prices are also affordable but slightly more expensive compared with O’Panas.


WORKING HOURS

Mon – Fri : 9am-12am

Sat – Sun: 10am-12am


Interior of the restaurant


Platter of cold meat and some shots



3-KANAPA


The interior resembles traditional Ukrainian wooden huts


Blew my mind! Amazing gourmet food, unique presentation of food, professional English speaking staff and alluring wooden interior design. They serve Borsch in a huge cabbage. You must also try their dumplings. Kanapa is located on the Andrewsky Uzviz.

WORKING HOURS

Everyday : 10am-12am


Anndd the Oscar goes to Borsch in cabbage!




4-CHACHAPURI


Check out that place if you want to some authentic Georgian cuisine!


My favorite Georgian restaurant. Their main courses, soups and salads are amazing! Additionally, they give a small complementary plate with a shot of vodka and some sort of a Georgian meatball as the starter. One of my favorite places in Kiev! The prices are between average and expensive.


WORKING HOURS

Everyday : 10am-12am


Chachapuri, the traditional Georgian pizza


They have also have a traditional Georgian oven



5-PUZATA XATA


Puzata Xata is a very wide spread chain and the prices are unbelievably cheap!


Puzata Xata has a different concept. It is more of a cafeteria than a restaurant. There is always a big selection of food. The dishes are tasty and the food is good quality. There are more than a dozen of Puzata Xatas in Kiev. It is a very wide spread chain. An average meal would cost around 100 Grivnas which is around 3 dolars.

WORKING HOURS

Everyday : 7.30am-11pm



6-UNDER WONDER


One of the cool spots for fine-dining in Kiev


Puzata Xata has a different concept. It is more of a cafeteria than a restaurant. There is always a big selection of food. The dishes are tasty and the food is good quality. There are more than a dozen of Puzata Xatas in Kiev. It is a very wide spread chain. An average meal would cost around 100 Grivnas which is around 3 dolars.

WORKING HOURS

Everyday : Open 24 hours





7-IL MOLINO


The best pizza place I have ever been to in Kiev!


Il Molino is a small but a popular pizza restaurant right next to Zoloti Vorota. Their pizzas are quite tasty. I am personally fond of their pizzas. Prices of the pizzas change between 120-180 Grivnas (6-8 dolars).

WORKING HOURS

Everyday : 11am – 11pm




8-CAFE DRUZI


This place resembles European style cafes. The prices are average and food is so tasty!


Concept-wise, Café Druzi resembles the European Cafes. High quality food for average prices, nice environment, creative interior design would be enough to describe this place. They have delicious food and cocktails. I personally find the presentation of food very successful. Moreover, the staff is very friendly and they speak English as well! Definetely do try the Bruschetta with Fig.


WORKING HOURS

Everyday : 9am – 11pm


Pumpkin soup and fig bruschettas



9-KHARMS


A perfect place to study! I was addicted to this place! 🙂


I am regular customer of this café. Kharms is more of a book&studying café. I would definitely put it in my top 5 restaurants&cafes in Kiev. They have very different types of food. I can say that they have a very creative menu in terms of the combination of the different ingredients. You must try their soups and sandwiches. Annnddd their HOT CHOCOLATE WITH MARSHMELLOWS! I love it so much and I have rarely tasted such a delicious hot chocolate.  Do not leave the place without trying their hot chocolate. Price wise, a meal would cost around 120-150 Grivnas (6-7 dolars).


WORKING HOURS

Everyday : 10am – 11pm



Kharms is a great spot for breakfast as well



10-TRES BRANCHE


Right behind the Golden Gate! This place has amazing food and the interior is so unique!


It is a French Café right next to Zoloti Varota. You should definetely have breakfast here! (Breakfast is served until 12pm! Do not miss it!) I see this place as one of the best cafes in Kiev. The prices are a bit higher than the average so let’s say that a meal would cost around 150-250 Grivnas. It really depends on what you eat, however I am just saying an average price according to my observations.


WORKING HOURS

Everyday : 8am – 11pm


Havin’ breakfast near the Golden Gate! Well that’s something 🙂



11-VARENYCHNA KATYUSHA


They have a lot options in the menu but I am especially fond of their dumplings!


This place is also a small chain. They have the biggest variety of food in a menu I have ever seen in Kiev. Does not matter what you order, your food will definitely be amazing! Additionally, it is a perfect place to eat Vareniki (Traditional Ukranian Dumplings). Because the Varenikis are properly handmade and if you decide to sit upstairs, upon climbing the stairs you will see the staff  who will be making Varenikis on your left side. Price-wise the place is average. A meal would cost between 100-180 Grivnas.


WORKING HOURS

Everyday : Open 24 hours!


Ukrainian dumplings “Vareniki”




12-BORSCH


Their food is amazing! Especially pork schnitzel blew my mind!


Borsch is a small restaurant with cool interior design. It is located pretty close to Maidan Nazelezhnosti. The food is pretty cheap and the atmosphere is very nice as well. They indeed have one of the tastiest Borsches in Kiev. A meal will cost around 90-120 Grivnas (3-4 dolars) which is pretty affordable.


WORKING HOURS

Mon – Fri : 9am-11 pm

Sat – Sun : 11am-11 pm


They serve one of the tastiest borsch in Kiev.



13-ONE LOVE COFFEE


I would say this place is the best coffee place in Kiev! The interior design is beyond words!


One Love Coffee is a café chain in Kiev which is literally fantastic! Their coffee is mind blowing and desserts are pretty delicious as well. If you are seeking for a calm environment to study or read, this place would be perfect for you! My favorite One Love Coffee is the one in Pinchuk Art Center. In comparison with many other cafes in Kiev, the prices are slightly higher here, however you should definitely stop by or perhaps stay a bit longer and enjoy the magnificent atmosphere.


WORKING HOURS

Everyday : 10am-11 pm


Try their coffees with different varieties of milk



SOME USEFUL INFORMATION

Upon mentioning the places to eat and visit, I want to touch upon some useful information about the daily life in Kiev.  

Kiev is one of the most amazing places I have ever been to! Just enjoy this alluring city and have unforgettable memories!

Here is some brief information to make your time worthy in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe! Enjoy folks!



DAILY LIFE

Life is generally slow. People are not in rush which creates a tranquil environment all over the city. According to my observations, women have a strong influence in daily life, perhaps stronger than man. More than %50 percent of the labor force consist of women in Kiev. For me it is a quite respectable thing to see that, women are so active and they drastically contribute to the country’s economy.

SUBWAY

It is quite easy to describe the metro in Kiev with a single word: AMAZING! First of all it is extremely cheap. A ride costs 5 Grivnas which is 15 cents. Moreover, the metro is so fast and efficient. There are 3 lines and more than 50 stations in Kiev subway network. The metro is quite wide spread which makes it very easy to go between places. Additionally, Kiev officially has the deepest metro station in the world which is Arsenalna Station. I made a small experiment in which I saw that it takes 5 minutes to reach the top from the moment you get off from the metro. Pretty amazing! One of the most important facts is that in Kiev every single metro station has the Pay&Pass service which allows you to pay by your credit card in seconds while passing through the tourniquets. For the tourists who do not know Ukrainian or Russian, this service removes the cumbersome work to go and get tickets from the kiosks where no one really speaks English. The monthly-unlimited metro card costs 390 Grivnas (14 dollars, 2017 November Price) which is also quite convenient for the ones who will be staying a bit longer. Working hours of the subway are between 5.45 am and 12 am!

COFFEE

I thought, mentioning about coffee under a separate title would be more practical. Because the coffee concept in Kiev is worth being touched upon properly. I was very surprising for me to see that coffee is big part of the daily life in Ukraine. The city abounds with small coffee shops and coffee stalls. Coffee consumption is unbelievably high. For me the coolest thing is that the coffee prices are so cheap. At the stalls, a cup of coffee would cost around a dolar. However, if you prefer to try the coffee shops, prices differ between 1.5-2 dolars. Unbelievably cheap prices for such high quality tasty coffee! The funny thing is, being in Ukraine made me such a staunch coffee addict. If you are a coffee lover, Kiev will become a heaven for you! Walking around the historical streets and beautiful parks while sipping my coffee, is one of my favorite things to do in Kiev. I would highly recommend to you to do the same! Additionally, Starbucks has not entered the Ukrainian market yet. They have a substitute chain named Aroma Kava which is quite wide spread all over Ukraine.

TRAVELING IN UKRAINE BY TRAIN

It is a great experience to travel by train in Ukraine. A few years ago getting tickets was a big problem for the ones who did not speak any Ukrainian or Russian. However, thanks to Ukrainian Railways, they generated a very user friendly website in English which helps you to get your ticket in minutes. Additionally the international railway company InterCity also entered the Ukrainian market with its clean and fast trains. When you are on the website searching for the time schedule, you will see the abbreviation of IC+ next to some train hours. These are InterCity trains. In comparison with Ukrainian Railways, InterCity trains are more comfortable, faster and cleaner which makes them more expensive. A second class InterCity train ticket will cost around 10-15 Dollars (one way) which is quite affordable I think. Aside from that, I would highly recommend you experience the 1st Class Deluxe Cabin of Ukrainian Railways in an overnight/sleeper train. I had this unique experience in which I went from Kiev to Odessa in a Deluxe Cabin for 2 people. It was one of the most fun things I have ever done in my life. The tickets are around 25-30 dollars but I think it is worth spending that much once in while.

Here is the link of the English website of the Ukrainian Railways: https://booking.uz.gov.ua/en/

This website is also pretty useful for getting tickets: https://tickets.ua/en

ONE IMPORTANT REMINDER!! DEFINETELY PRINT OUT YOUR TICKET BEFORE YOUR TRIP! NOONE REALLY SPEAKS ENGLISH IN TRAIN STATIONS. IF YOU FORGET TO PRINT YOUR TICKET,  GETTING THE HARD COPY OF IT AND COMMUNICATING WITH THE PEOPLE WHO WORK IN THE TICKET KIOSKS MAY BE EXTREMELY HARD AND TIRING.

THINGS ONE SHOULD AVOID DOING

Before I start, I want to openly say that I have been in Kiev for 2 months, I have taken many night walks alone (sometimes in the centre sometimes around the surrounding vicinities), went to countless places and NOTHING BAD HAPPENED TO ME. Perhaps I think, Ukraine is quite safer than most of West Europe. Most of Kiev is very very safe so I do not want to sound like a scaremonger. The information is solely to make your trip comfortable and safe for you.

1-I am not very eager to touch upon any political issues, but find it useful to say that DO NOT MENTION OR STATE ANY CERTAIN IDEAS ABOUT THE CONFLICT BETWEEN UKRAINE AND RUSSIA THAT HAS BEEN GOING ON IN EASTERN UKRAINE. LONG STORY SHORT, AVOID TALKING ABOUT IT. DO NOT MAKE ANY JOKES ABOUT THE CONFLICT EITHER! I do not want to give any wrong ideas in a way that Ukrainians get aggressive or something. Definitely not! Ukrainians are extremely civilized and respecting people, however everywhere in the world, there is a danger of running into bad tempered pugnacious people. I am just telling this to remove this possibility.

2-DO NOT EVER TRY TO GO TO THE CONFLICT AREAS! THE MAIN REASON IS NOT BECAUSE YOU WILL GET HURT OR EVEN MURDERED, BUT YOU MIGHT BE TAGGED AS A SPY (BY THE PRO-RUSSIAN SEPERASISTS). On internet, there have been dozens of warnings about foreigners going to the conflict areas. Being tagged as a spy may sound like an urban legend, but it is actually a plausible possibility considering what is happening in eastern Ukraine.

3-IF YOU DECIDE TO GO OUT AND TAKE A WALK AT NIGHT TIME, DO NOT CARRY A BIG AMOUNT OF CASH WITH YOU. IT WOULD SAVE YOU FROM A BIG AMOUNT OF MONEY IN CASE SOMEONE ATTEMPTS TO ROB YOU. This personally never happened to me or to someone I know. But it does not mean that it can never happen.

4-Actually this is not a thing to definitely avoid but one should always adapt the essentials of daily life. IN METRO, BUSSES, PUBLIC AREAS PEOPLE GENERALLY DO NOT TALK VERY LOUD. SO AS A TOURIST YOU ARE EXPECTED TO ADAPT IT. I HAVE SEEN PLENTY OF TOURISTS YELLING IN METROS, PARKS AND THEY STAND OUT AND DRAW TOO MUCH ATTENTION. ADDITIONALLY, DO NOT SIT ON THE ESCALATORS IN METRO. EVEN THOUGH SOME UKRAINIANS SIT REGARDLESSLY, IT IS NOT WELCOME. FINALLY, WHILE GOING DOWN IN METRO, ALWAYS STAND ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE ESCALATORS. I ADMIT THAT SOMETIMES IN RUSH TIMES, NO ONE REALLY CARES ABOUT IT. HOWEVER, SOME PEOPLE MAY BE GETTING LATE TO THE PLACES THEY ARE GOING AND SINCE THE METRO STATIONS ARE LOCATED VERY DEEP UNDER THE GROUND, IT WILL PREVENT THEM FROM GOING DOWN QUICKLY.

PLACES ON GOOGLE MAPS


Restaurants are shown in purple

Places to see are shown in orange


IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO READ MORE ABOUT UKRAINE, CHECK OUT MY CHERNOBYL POST!


THANK YOU FOR READING!



Follow Me On Instagram

Advertisements

One thought on “Kiev: The City Inside A Huge Park

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.