Best Attractions in Kyiv for Foreign Tourists in 2021

In recent years, Kyiv has sparked the interest of the global audience. In 2019, 1.5 million foreign tourists visited the city – the all-time highest number.


Thanks to good airplane connections and developed tourism infrastructure, more people can discover the capital of Ukraine. Kyiv amazes them as the birthplace and center of Eastern European civilization with numerous ancient buildings and historic neighborhoods. In addition, the city has a vibrant cultural life and many locations for entertainment, art, music, and food tourism.

To help travelers make the most of their vacation in Ukraine, we have prepared a list of the most spectacular places in Kyiv. We are Vidviday Tour Operator – a local travel company with 12 years of experience and the title of Best Tour Operator of Ukraine 2020. Visit our main page to find tours and excursions in Kyiv and other great places in Ukraine.

In our article, you will learn about how much time you need to see Kyiv, what are the must-see places in Kyiv and nearby, and what sightseeing tours you can take.

Monument to the Founders of Kyiv

How many days do I need to see Kyiv?

Most of the tourists who plan to travel to Ukraine ask this question.

The population of Kyiv is about 3 million people, which is not much if compared to other cities of the world, but in Europe, it is one of the largest cities. Kyiv is an ancient historic city (dating back to 482) very rich with landmarks and natural sites. Even if you stayed there for several months, you would still be able to find something new to discover.

Of course, in reality, travel time is always limited. So we would answer this question as follows: consider your trip to Ukraine as a whole. If you plan to travel to many other cities or villages, 2-3 days will be enough to see the main attractions of Kyiv and then move on to discover other places in our country. If you are going to visit only Kyiv, stay there for 5-7 days. It will be enough to explore the city thoroughly and get to know Ukrainian culture.

We offer you two lists of attractions depending on how much time you plan to spend in Kyiv. In the first list, you will discover must-visit places for a short vacation. The second list presents locations that are worth a visit when you have a little more time. At the end, you will also find interesting destinations near Kyiv and sightseeing tours.

Kyiv must-see: top places to visit if you only have 2-3 days in the city

  • Independence square

independence square kyiv

Independence square is the heart of Kyiv. This place is probably the most common meeting spot for locals. It also played a crucial role in the country’s modern history and still preserves the memories of the dramatic events of the Revolution of Dignity in 2014 and also Orange Revolution of 2004.

Here you can find sites of cultural value such as Independence Monument and Archangel Michael Sculpture, as well as locations for entertainment like restaurants and an underground shopping mall.

  • Khreshchatyk street

    Khreshchatyk Street. Photo by spoilt.exile

Khreshchatyk is the main street of Kyiv. When the weather is warm, it is always full of life with street musicians, hip-hop dancers, and locals and tourists taking a stroll.

Here you will see many administrative buildings, fountains, restaurants, and shops. Bessarabsky Market which is interesting both on the outside and the inside is also located here.

  • Golden Gate

Golden Gate Kyiv

Golden Gate is the reconstruction of the fortification gate of Kyivan Rus. Inside the building, there is a museum, and you can walk upstairs to the viewing platform where tourists like to take photos against the background of historic Kyiv.

  • Kyiv metro

Mosaic at Zoloti Vorota Station

Kyiv metro is not just a means of transportation, but also an attraction in itself. Some of the stations are true works of art with interesting architectural concepts, mosaics, sculptures, and chandeliers.

Zoloti Vorota station is dedicated to Kyivan Rus historic period. Here you can see colorful mosaics with Kyivan Rus princes and other historic personalities of that time. 

Arsenalna station is the deepest station in the world – 105 meters. Previously ordinary Osokorky station became unique in 2018 when 8 artists from different countries of the world decorated its surface with murals.

  • St. Sophia’s Cathedral

St. Sophia’s Cathedral and Monument to Bohdan Khmelnytsky

This outstanding building is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cathedral was built in the 11th century and is decorated with thousands of ancient mosaics and frescos. Many princes of Kyivan Rus were buried here and their tombs are preserved until this day. 

  • Kyiv Pechersk Lavra

Kyiv Pechersk Lavra is another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Kyiv. This is one of the first monasteries of Kyivan Rus the history of which began in 1051.

This complex features several museums and caves with relics that you can visit. The monastery stands on the banks of the Dnipro river and the views here are stunning. Here you will also find the Ukrainian Treasures Museum where you can see ancient jewels, coins, vases, and jars. The highlight of the exposition is the collection of Skythian gold and exquisite Golden Pectoral of this nomadic tribe.

  • Park of Eternal Glory

Park of Eternal Glory. Photo by Jorge Franganillo

This large park offers stunning views of the Dnipro river, Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, and the left bank of Kyiv. Here are located two important memorials: The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier built in the memory of the soldiers of WW2 and Holodomor Genocide Museum.

  • National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War

Motherland Monument and Museum. Photo by Jorge Franganillo

This museum features not only an interesting and thought-provoking display of items pertaining to WW2 but also those of the modern period.

This place is worth visiting even if you are not interested in history. The museum is located in a beautiful park with sculptural compositions and a warplanes and tanks exhibition. In addition, atop the museum, you will see a huge Motherland Monument.

  • Andriivskyi descent and St. Andrew’s Church

Andriivskyi descent is a picturesque street where you can feel the atmosphere of the old times and see many beautiful buildings. Here you will find One Street Museum, Mikhail Bulgakov Museum, modern Theatre on Podil, Castle of Richard, cozy viewing platforms, cafes, and novelty shops.

As you walk to the top of the hill, you will see St. Andrew’s Church. It is a beautiful Baroque building that was designed by the Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli and built in the 18th century.

Explore Kyiv on our tours:

Great places to see in Kyiv for 4-7 days

  • Poshtova Square, Kyiv Funicular, Volodymyr hill, and glass bridge

    Kyiv Funicular

We offer you a route you can take to discover the highlights of the Podil district of Kyiv.

You can start at Poshtova Square where you can see a river port, a picturesque area with great river views. If you have plenty of time, you can also take a stroll along the riverwalk.

From Poshtova Square, you can take a funicular which is a fun way to travel up to the St. Michael’s Monastery and enjoy picturesque views. Then, you can walk to Volodymyr hill which is a cozy park with a panoramic view of the city and a big statue of St.Volodymyr.

From here, you can walk along the Pedestrian-cycling bridge. This is a new city attraction that was built in 2019. The bridge is partly made from glass and offers stunning views of the Dnipro river and the green city of Kyiv.

After passing the bridge, you can see the Friendship of Nations Arch and continue your journey in the Kyiv city center.

  • Park Landscape Alley and the National Museum of the History of Ukraine

    Photo by Roman Andriiashik. WikiCommons

Park Landscape Alley is a great place to take a stroll when the weather is good. The feature of this park is colorful and whimsical sculptures, benches and fountains decorated with mosaics. Here you can take creative photos, see artworks and enjoy an incredible view of the city. There is also the National Museum of the History of Ukraine which you can visit.

 

  • National Opera of Ukraine

     

It is worth it to stop by and admire the beautiful Art Nouveau architecture of this opera house. If you have a free evening to spare, consider going inside and seeing a performance. You will enjoy it even if you don’t like and don’t understand opera.

Purchasing a ticket, which is quite affordable, you get to see the performance of world-class professionals. You will also enjoy the pompous and chic interior of Kyiv Opera with its stucco walls and ceilings, marble floor, fancy mirrors, and chandeliers.

  • Taras Shevchenko National University and Park

    Shevchenko University. Photo by Masha Kovalchuk

The University and park are named after the greatest poet of Ukraine and national hero Taras Shevchenko. Here you will see a big monument to him. The park also features quirky benches and statues like the babushka, areas for playing chess, several cafes, and a playground for children. In addition, every Friday and Saturday evening you can join the locals in open-air Latin dance classes.

In front of the park, there is the main and the oldest building of Taras Shevchenko National University. The bright red color and classical facade make it a great photo location. Behind the University, there is Fomin Botanical Garden which you can also explore.

  • Mariinsky Palace and Park

    Mariinsky Palace. Photo by Roman Naumov

Mariinsky Palace was designed by an Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli and was built in the 18th century. The same with St. Andrew’s Church, this building is made in Baroque style and is exquisite on the outside and the inside. Currently, this edifice serves as the Presidential Palace to host events of state importance and meetings with foreign leaders and diplomats.

In front of the palace, there is a cozy park with lush greenery, sculptures, monuments, and a big cast-iron fountain. Near the park, you can also see the building of the Ukrainian Parliament – Verkhovna Rada.

  • Kyiv murals

     

    Mural at Borychiv Tik Street, 33. Photo by Rasal Hague

In recent years, artists from Ukraine and abroad have decorated the grey walls of the city with colorful and meaningful art turning Kyiv into an open-air modern art museum. In the city center, you can find several murals on Strilets’ka and Reitarska streets, but if you look attentively, you can find murals in many other neighborhoods of Kyiv.

  • Horodecki House

Horodecki House is probably the most unique building you can see in Kyiv. It was built in 1903 by a genius architect Władysław Horodecki.

The facade of the house is richly decorated with quirky figures of fish, dolphins, frogs, crocodiles, large eagles, and other creatures. On the inside, the building is even more outlandish with paintings of the underwater world, stucco of a giant octopus and flowers, a lamp shaped like a big fish, and ancient stoves.

The house was recently reconstructed and is now open for visits.

See the best places of Kyiv with us on tours:

What to visit near Kyiv

 

  • Pyrohiv, Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukraine

     

Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukraine is an open-air museum located on the outskirts of Kyiv. Here you can see how Ukrainians lived in ancient times in various regions of Ukraine. The museum’s exposition features old houses, churches, wind and watermills, taverns, schools, and other buildings dating back to the 16-20th centuries.

 

The unique museum serves as the venue for many cultural events, fairs, and celebrations, of which the most prominent and impressive is Ivana Kupala.

Visit Pyrohiv on our Best attractions in Kyiv, Mezhyhirya Residence and Pyrohiv Museum 2-day tour.

  • Mezhyhirya

     

Mezhyhirya Residence used to be a residence of Viktor Yanukovych, a former president of Ukraine. In 2014, during the Revolution of Dignity, he left the country. This luxurious residence was a symbol of Viktor’s lavish lifestyle and corruptive behavior. After Yanukovych escaped to Russia, journalists entered the residence and found here numerous expensive antiquities and documents proving his crimes.

Currently, Mezhyhirya Residence is open to visitors and everyone is able to explore a large open-air ‘museum of corruption’. During the excursion, you will see picturesque landscapes, stunning Dnipro river views, lakes, waterfalls, a huge ship, a garage with rare cars, a zoo, and learn about the history of this place.

See Mezhyhirya on our tours:

Tours to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone have always attracted the attention of foreign tourists, but have become even more popular after HBO’s documentary.

 

During the excursion to Chernobyl, you will see St. Elijah’s Church, a monument to Those who Saved the World, an observation deck of the New Safe Confinement that confines the remains of the reactor unit, and visit villages where people who have refused to leave their homes still live. You will learn about the history of this tragic accident and walk around the city where the time has stopped.

 

You can only enter the zone with a certified tour operator as you will need to pass through the checkpoints. A guide will choose a route where the radiation level is safe and will give you instructions on how you need to behave in the zone. You can book a tour to Chornobyl through our website:

Kyiv Sightseeing Tours

Tour Operator Vidviday, the best tour operator of Ukraine according to Ukraine Travel Awards 2020, has a number of offers for Kyiv sightseeing. We organize private and group tours to Kyiv.

 

Our group tours to Kyiv:

See all our group tours to various destinations in Ukraine here.

We also offer private tours and excursions to any place in Ukraine you would like to visit. Private trips can be conducted in English, Polish, Spanish, French, or any other language. Read more about our private tours here.

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