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KIEV – THE SECRET TREASURE OF EASTERN EUROPE

Ukraine is the country with the largest territory in Europe. Kiev itself is a magical city with over 1500 years old and was founded by Vikings. Ukrainians are very proud of their independence from the Soviet Union since 1991 and are generally very patriotic. During my stay they were friendly and helpful and I felt very safe.

Kiev, Ukraine Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine

There are many places to stay in Kiev that you can check here. If you’re looking for a central hotel with all the comfort and amenities I recommend the InterContinental Kiev where I had a relaxing week enjoying their beautiful Spa.

Kiev, Ukraine

Main things to see in Kiev

As a lot of the things to see are churches you should be aware that the main religion in Kiev is Orthodox with over 4000 Orthodox churches and monasteries dating back 1000 years. Also, when entering a church, women should cover their heads and use skirts.

Kievo-Pecherska Lavrais a monastery considered Unesco Heritage site. It is said that only the most important monasteries are called ‘Lavras’ and this is one of the oldest, dates back to 1077. Nowadays you can visit the caves and see the mummified monks. There are two parts, the upper Lavra with an entrance fee of UAH 40 and the lower Lavra were the caves are free but you need a candle for the way which costs UAH 1-2. The caves are very narrow but worth the visit.

Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine

The nearest metro station is Arsenal’na and then it takes about 10-15 minutes walking passing by the Memorial Complex of Eternal Glory, in honour of those who died in WWII.

Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine Kiev, Ukraine

You will also get to enjoy the views of the Motherland Statue. This statue is 62m tall (higher than the Statue of Liberty) and celebrates the Soviet Union victory over the Nazi Germany. The Museum to the Great Patriotic War (WWII) is located in the base of the statue.

Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine

St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery it’s another monastery worth the visit. It dates back to the 12th century and is very special for Ukrainians as it was destroyed during the Soviet era. During that time a lot of its original art was destroyed or moved to Moscow so because of that they take great pride since it was rebuilt in 1997. It is free to visit and photos are not allowed inside.



The gold domes make some pretty impressive photos and behind there is a nice park with views to the Dnieper River.

Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine

St. Sophia Cathedral is the oldest church in Kiev dating back to the 11th century and is classified Unesco World Heritage site. It has one of the worlds biggest frescoes and mosaics and has been a museum since 1934. Photos are not allowed inside.

Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine

If you continue to walk your way down the hill you will find the Golden Gate which is considered the entrance to the city. This gate was built in the 11th century as a fortification becoming the main gate to the upper city.

Kiev, Ukraine

A few meters after you will see the National Opera House. It’s the oldest and considered one of the most beautiful in Europe, having won in the pass a World Architecture Award.

Kiev, Ukraine

Maidan Nezalezhnosti or Independence Square is located on Khreshchatyk Street. It’s world known for being the place of the Orange Revolution in 2004. Nowadays you can see numerous photos of soldiers that died for their cause spread across the square.

Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine

Other incredible places in Kiev

Khreshchatyk Street is one of the main streets in Kiev and consists mainly of architecture from the Stalin Period. This street becomes an open pedestrian zone at the weekend. It’s amazing how you can see the Ukrainian people celebrating their freedom with live music, street games and dancing.

Kiev, Ukraine

The underground markets can be first seen in Maidan and it was one of my favourite things in Kiev. Instead of crossing most of the big streets you go underground thought big markets where you can find almost everything: from food to cloths, bags, jewellery, electronics and it’s crazy cheap.

Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine

Nearby you can find the Besarabsky Market, a food market in the heart of the city. Compared to other market’s it’s a bit more expensive but overall still cheap considering the low value of money in Ukraine. It’s worth a visit because of the colours and smells and you can bargain the prices down with the sellers and obviously it’s just cash payments (this is valid for all markets).

Another interesting point near is The House with Chimeras, a house decorated with the statues of animals and plants, dolphins and sea nymphs.

After this and still within walking distance, you can find the Shevchenko Park. It’s a park in the middle of the city just in front of the city’s University. I had an amazing day around the park on Sunday combining flowers, the traditional cookies from Ukraine and the beautiful amateur music making the day just perfect!

Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine

In another part of the city (by metro or funicular) you can go to Andriyivsky Uzviz or ‘Andrew’s Descendent’. This is a very steep street that takes you up to St. Andrew’s Church. It’s also one of the most beautiful streets that you will find in Kiev, full of cafes, restaurants, manual artisans, artists, painters.

Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine

As you are getting to St. Andrew’s Church there is a little coffee/restaurant where I listen to one of most beautiful piano artists playing anything from Mozart to Bach, I was in Love!

Kiev, Ukraine
St. Andrew’s Church

On my way down I visited The One Street Museum. This museum recreates some history of this street and its residents. It’s interesting but it’s only a small museum.

Kiev, Ukraine

Food from heaven in Kiev

The food in Kiev is amazing and to cry for! The most traditional food is the best and so cheap. You can basically try almost everything on the menu in one go for USD 20! My favourites were: Varenyky (similar to dumplings), Holubtsi (meat cabbage wrap), Deruny (potatoe pancakes) and last but not least Chicken Kiev.

Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine


One of our favourite restaurants was the Spotykach Restaurant. The restaurant interior resembles the Soviet times but the food it’s a mix of the old traditional Ukraine cuisine with new variations of it. The venue is cheerful and the waiters where super nice!

Kiev, Ukraine
Kiev, Ukraine
Have you been to Kiev or any of the Eastern Europe countries? How was it? I would love to read your experiences!

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Kiev, Ukraine

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44 Comments

  1. The buildings are so majestic! I am awed just by looking at these photos! I haven’t traveled to any Eastern European country yet, but I am dreaming of going! Kiev looks like such a wonderful place to visit. Oh, BTW, what are all those beautiful dogs doing on the street sleeping? Are they for sale? For adoption?

  2. I’ve been longing to go to Kiev for so long and I really guess it’s high time for me to do it finally. All those colors drive me crazy!

  3. Kiev is my heart and my home city! I am very proud of it and happy that I’ve found your article! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Wow, thank you so much Tetyana, your country it’s beautiful and I would love to see more of it, i’m sure it’s as impressive as Kiev!

  4. I’d love to visit Kiev but I had no idea the food was so yummy! I also love your photos, what editing software/camera do you use?

  5. This is nothing but beautiful. I honestly never thought of Kiev as a destination for me because it is not that extremely known to everyone like the mainstream travel countries. But your post put this place on my map and it makes me want to go!

  6. Absolutely beautiful! The monasteries alone make it worth the trip. I like how you’ve included different aspects – not only the majestic architecture, but also moments of everyday life; this makes it even more alluring for me.

  7. There is just no disputing the beauty of this city. I am truly amazed by the stunning architecture and everything looks so clean and inviting. The history you have discussed here is equally interesting and your photos make me want to start planning my next holiday right now! I am sure Kiev won’t remain much of a secret for tourists for much longer…it just can’t.

    1. I agree with you, for now only got lots of visitor mainly from Eastern Europe but it’s growing and more directed to tourism so I think that will change, hopefully will remain with the same charisma!

  8. I am blown away by how beautiful the architecture of the buildings is! Especially the churches. They are incredible. I love the gold domes, too. And then the food! Oh mzy goodness yum! This city really is a hidden gem!

  9. I would love to visit such a place with so much history! Also the photography is so great it makes me want to book a flight now!

  10. How beautiful Kiev looks like, it seems that the name got hidden somewhere when we plan to explore Europe. The architectures look here so amazing, I would really love to plan a visit here soon!

  11. You made me want to put Kiev on my bucket list! I had no idea just how beautiful it was! The pictures that you took are absolutely STUNNING! It will be nice for you to look back on the memories too. I couldn’t believe how beautiful the churches were.

    1. I know! Everyone that has seen my photos always get really impressed because even for me I never thought of Kiev as having such beautiful places to see!

  12. What a beautiful gallery of pictures. I find that some countries in Eastern Europe such as Ukraine, Poland or the Czech Republic sometimes get forgotten (or squished) by the big names like Russia or Germany. But there are so many wonderful, historic places to see in those countries as well. Kiev looks to have so much of the same charm and beauty as many of the other European countries.

    1. Totally agree with you Mira. I have been exploring more of these countries lately and I’m super impressed! That’s why I’m sharing them in this blog, X

  13. I have never been to Kiev and this city has not been on my radar at all. After seeing this photos I think I will give it a try., I see there are many landmarks that are worth the visit.

  14. Kieve Looks so amazing. It was not on my list of places to go. But I am now going to have to be adding it to my list of places I want to see before I die. The food, the culture and the beautiful architecture look and sound amazing.

  15. I haven’t been in some of Eastern Europe. Kiev looks great! Love the photos. And what do you call that donut like with powder sugar? looks yummy!

  16. Such a gorgeous city with all that pretty architecture. Your pictures have made me fall in love with this place by just looking at them. I hope to go their and experince the beauty myself someday.

  17. This looks like a beautiful place. I’ve not really thought of visiting Kiev, but your post is making me more interested! Your pictures also look stunning too!

  18. It looks really cool. Beautiful architecture! The monasteries look really neat and that food looks amazing. Kinda changes my perception of eastern European cities a little.

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