Things to do in Kyiv

About Kyiv

The must-see attractions in Kyiv include the UNESCO-listed St. Sophia's Cathedral with its stunning mosaics and frescoes, the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra monastery complex renowned for its historic catacombs, and the monumental Motherland Statue. Exploring the charming Andriyivskyy Descent and witnessing the grandeur of the Golden Gate are also highly recommended for first-time visitors.
For families with kids, visiting the Kyiv Zoo with its diversity of animals is a delight, as is exploring the interactive exhibits at the Experimentanium Science Museum. The Gorky Central Park with its funfair rides and playgrounds offers a perfect outdoor setting for a family day.
Biking along the Dnipro River, picnicking at the vast and scenic Mariinsky Park, and enjoying the panoramic views from the top of the Kyiv Motherland Monument are among the best outdoor activities. The city's botanical gardens also provide a peaceful respite from urban life.
Indoor enthusiasts can enjoy the rich collections of the National Art Museum, dive into history at the Chernobyl Museum, or catch a breathtaking opera or ballet performance at the National Opera of Ukraine. The Ocean Plaza shopping mall also offers entertainment with its indoor aquarium and variety of leisure activities.
Among the best tours in Kyiv are the historic walking tours that cover the city's key landmarks, the culinary tours sampling Ukrainian cuisine, and the intriguing Chernobyl tours for the more adventurous. For a comprehensive overview, the panoramic city bus tours also come highly rated.
The National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War, the National Art Museum, and the Pirogovo Open-Air Museum rank among the most popular, offering a blend of history, art, and culture. The interactive Experimentanium Science Museum is especially popular with families.
On rainy days, visitors can take shelter and tour the Mykola Syadristy Microminiatures Museum, the Pinchuk Art Centre featuring contemporary art, or enjoy a guided tour through the historic house-museums of well-known literary figures and historical personalities.
Short tours in Kyiv that last an hour or less include the fascinating St. Sophia's Cathedral Bell Tower tour for city views, quick guided tours of the main cathedrals, and educational visits to the Museum of Miniatures. These tours are perfect for those with limited time who still wish to experience the essence of Kyiv.

Best Things to Do In Kyiv

Immerse yourself in the heart of Ukraine with top attractions that define the spirit of Kyiv.

Kyiv: Khreshchatyk Street

What is it?
Kyiv's main boulevard, known for shopping, dining, and entertainment.
Why you should go?
As Kyiv's most famous avenue, Khreshchatyk Street is pulsating with life both day and night. Lined with boutiques, cafés, and street performers, it's an urban explorer's dream. On weekends, the street transforms into a pedestrian zone, allowing for unfettered access to its myriad of charms. Seasonal festivals and fashion shows frequently adorn the avenue, ensuring that Khreshchatyk is at the heart of what to do in Kyiv for dynamic city life experience.

Kyiv: National Botanical Garden

What is it?
A verdant oasis boasting a diverse collection of flora and thematic gardens.
Why you should go?
The National Botanical Garden invites visitors to bask in the tranquility of nature within the bustling city. Spanning over 120 hectares, the garden is a labyrinth of exotic plants, blooming flowers, and serene landscapes. With seasonal flower shows and greenhouse expositions, it's an educational and peaceful retreat. This slice of paradise is particularly enchanting in spring, making it one of the best things to do in Kyiv for nature lovers.

Kyiv: Rodina Mat (Motherland Monument)

What is it?
An imposing steel statue offering panoramic views of the surrounding area.
Why you should go?
Rodina Mat, part of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in World War II, towers above the cityscape. Ascend to the observation deck for a spectacular perspective of Kyiv. This iconic statue not only commands impressive vistas but also symbolizes the strength and independence of the Ukrainian people. An essential experience for couples and solo travelers alike, it's a place to capture the spirit and resilience of the nation.

Kyiv: Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti)

What is it?
The central square of Kyiv, a symbol of national identity and public life.
Why you should go?
Independence Square, or Maidan, is not only a pivotal location for Ukraine's recent historical events but also a lively hub for festivals, concerts, and celebrations. With its impressive fountains, monuments, and an underground mall, Maidan is a space where history meets modernity. Visitors can feel the pulse of the city, making it an unforgettable stop on Kyiv tours.

Kyiv: The House with Chimeras

What is it?
An Art Nouveau building famed for its distinctive architectural grotesques.
Why you should go?
Lying in the heart of Kyiv, the House with Chimeras is an architectural wonder that intrigues with its ornate and fantastical façades. Serving now as a presidential residence for official and diplomatic ceremonies, its exterior is open to admiration by all. This unique edifice is a magnet for photographers and culture connoisseurs, adding an artistic highlight to the array of Kyiv activities.

Kyiv: St. Sophia's Cathedral

What is it?
An 11th-century architectural marvel and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Why you should go?
St. Sophia's Cathedral stands as a museum and a testament to Kyiv Rus's grandeur. Explorers are enchanted by its ancient frescoes and grand mosaics that have watched over Kyiv for centuries. Climbing the bell tower rewards with a panoramic view that captures the essence of the city's skyline. It's a spiritual journey through history and art, making it paramount among the things to do in Kyiv.

Kyiv: Maidan Nezalezhnosti

What is it?
The iconic heart and soul of Kyiv, known for its pivotal role in the country's modern history.
Why you should go?
Maidan Nezalezhnosti, also known as Independence Square, is a canvas of Kyiv's contemporary culture and historical events. Its surrounding lush gardens, fountains, and monuments offer a place of reflection and recreation. Experiencing the vibrant atmosphere where locals and tourists mingle provides insight into Ukraine's resilient spirit, making it a must-visit when exploring the best of Kyiv.

Kyiv: The Motherland Monument

What is it?
A towering symbol of Kyiv, honoring the heroes of World War II.
Why you should go?
The Motherland Monument, part of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War, dominates the cityscape. The statue's sheer size and the surrounding park's exhibits offer a deep dive into the nation's wartime sacrifices. It is essential visiting for anyone wanting to understand Ukraine's past and witness majestic views from the monument's observation platform.

Kyiv: Andriyivskyy Descent

What is it?
A historic street mingling bohemian art with ancient Kyiv's ambiance.
Why you should go?
Often compared to Paris' Montmartre, Andriyivskyy Descent is a cobblestone canvas lined with galleries, boutiques, and cafés. This street breathes life with buskers, artisans, and storytellers, making it a cultural feast for the senses. Its festivities and fairs make it an ever-enthralling destination for those drawn to the artistic pulse of Kyiv.

Kyiv: Kyiv Pechersk Lavra

What is it?
A historic Orthodox Christian monastery complex with cascading cave systems.
Why you should go?
Known as the Monastery of the Caves, Kyiv Pechersk Lavra offers explorers a mix of reverence and wonder. Its extensive network of catacombs houses mummified remains of Orthodox monks, inviting visitors on a mystical journey. The Lavra's churches and museums, set against the Dnipro River, present an enduring glimpse into monastic life and Ukrainian spirituality.

TOP-5 Tours in Kyiv for First Time Visitors

  • Explore the golden domes and intricate mosaics of St. Sophia's Cathedral, a spiritual beacon with deep historical roots.
  • Stroll through the bustling streets of Maidan Nezalezhnosti, the city's main square rich in contemporary history.
  • Ascend the Mother Motherland statue for breathtaking views and a glimpse into Ukraine's World War II history.
  • Discover the historic and cobblestoned Andriyivskyy Descent, lined with art galleries, shops, and cafes.
  • Delve into the underground world of Kyiv Pechersk Lavra's catacombs, home to mummified monks and sacred relics.

Fun things to do in Kyiv with kids

Kyiv is a kaleidoscope of children-friendly attractions that offer fun-filled activities for families. The Kyiv Zoo is a paradise for young animal lovers, where they can come face to face with exotic species and enjoy educational programs. It's an ideal place for kids to learn about wildlife conservation within an urban setting. Another jewel is the Experimentanium, a hands-on science museum, packed with interactive exhibits that make learning about physics, biology, and astronomy an exciting adventure. Children can engage in experiments and understand scientific concepts through play. For those who love the outdoors, the Gorky Park provides a vast playground with various amusement rides, a Ferris wheel, and picturesque picnic spots by the lake. The park's relaxed atmosphere is perfect for a day out, and its green space offers a breath of fresh air amidst the cityscape.

Things to do in Kyiv with family

Kyiv, with its rich culture and picturesque landscapes, presents an array of attractions ideal for family enjoyment. The Mystetskyi Arsenal Art and Culture Complex offers an artistic escape with galleries and exhibitions that both educate and inspire creativity in visitors of all ages. For a deeper connection with nature and a touch of amusement, the Feofania Park serves as a perfect getaway, boasting lovely walking trails, enchanting water features, and a playground for the little ones. Additionally, entertaining and enlightening, the Kyiv Planetarium invites families to gaze at the stars and delve into the wonders of the universe through captivating shows and educational programs. These attractions provide a perfect mix of learning and leisure, making Kyiv a remarkable destination for family excursions.

Free things to do in Kyiv

Kyiv is a city that offers an abundance of free attractions for travelers on a budget. One can bask in the architectural splendor of St. Volodymyr's Cathedral, an Orthodox cathedral known for its striking yellow façade and beautiful frescoes, with no entrance fee. For those desiring outdoor activities, the picturesque Volodymyrska Hill provides a serene park space and breathtaking views of the Dnipro River, ideal for picnics or leisurely strolls. Another significant landmark is the Eternal Glory Park, featuring the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and an eternal flame, where visitors pay respects and enjoy the calm surroundings. These attractions provide a glimpse into the city's rich culture and history, demonstrating that exploring Kyiv doesn't have to come at a price.

Cheap things to do in Kyiv

Kyiv caters to visitors who wish to experience the city's charm without spending a fortune. The Pirogovo Open-Air Museum, an expansive landscape featuring traditional Ukrainian houses, windmills, and churches, offers an affordable journey back in time for a small entrance fee. Additionally, the bustling Bessarabsky Market invites guests to soak in local culture and sample fresh produce without the burden of high tourist prices. Grab some picnic supplies and head over to the beautifully landscaped Mariinsky Park, where families can relax for free amidst greenery and historic sculptures. Each of these attractions showcases the diverse and economical offerings of Kyiv, ensuring visitors can enjoy the richness of the city's heritage and daily life without compromising their budget.

Things to do in Kyiv for couples

Romance blooms in Kyiv with its myriad of couple-friendly activities. Lovebirds can take a leisurely paddle boat ride down the tranquil Dnipro River, taking in the city's sights from a peaceful vantage point. For a spellbinding dusk, couples can ascend to the observation deck of the Kyiv TV Tower, where panoramic views set the stage for cherished memories high above the city's twinkling lights. The enchanting Landscape Alley, with its whimsical sculptures and enchanting walkways, offers a magical stroll for two, complete with cozy benches and scenic spots ideal for a stolen kiss or a quiet moment together. Each of these locations encapsulates the tenderness and beauty that Kyiv has to offer, making them must-visits for couples seeking a romantic chapter in their travels.

Things to do in Kyiv at night

When the sun sets, Kyiv lights up with a vibrant nightlife that beckons both locals and travelers. One can begin the evening at the bustling pedestrian street of Khreshchatyk, which comes alive after dark with street performers and a festive atmosphere. Following this, an unforgettable experience awaits at one of the many rooftop bars that dot the city, offering mesmerizing views along with signature cocktails. For those with a passion for the performing arts, an evening performance at the majestic Taras Shevchenko National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Ukraine provides a cultural feast amidst historic opulence. Each of these experiences highlights the diverse and dynamic nature of Kyiv after hours, offering unforgettable moments for night owls and those seeking to bask in the city's after-dark charm.