Kiev is a location with many tourist destinations to enjoy. Some of them are actually historical sites, which are great for students and enthusiasts of history. If you are planning to visit Ukraine or you live in Ukraine, take time and go to Kiev. Among the many types of scenery, you will definitely find one you will love. Here are the must-visit places in Kiev.
1. Kiev Pechersk Lavra
This place is designed in an attractive way. It is made of small building adjoined to each other. It is a church, so to say. It has gold-domed tops while the walls are white in color. It sits on 28hectares of land making it quite big. There are many places to visit in the Lavra.
It is required that when females enter the monastery, they wear skirts of length below their knees and cover their heads. Men, on the other hand, have to remove their hats. This is because the place is considered holy and therefore calls for respect and honor.
There are caves in the monastery which are fun to explore. They are in the lower lavra and this is where monks lived. You have 100caves to have an adventure in. Visiting the caves is free. The upper lavra hosts a museum with precious stones, jewelry, and other items.
The hilly area on which the building is located gives you a great view of the surrounding. For example, the Dnipro River flows just near it. It is amazing watching the waters make their way over rocks and the hilly terrain. If you are done seeing whatever the lavra has to offer, staring at the river is definitely a good idea. Remember, cameras are prohibited at the monastery.
The bell tower here is tall. It goes to approximately 100m high. If you are the type that does not fear heights, pay a small fee and climb the tower. You will love it. the view from the top of the tower is spectacular.
The lavra is recognized by UNESCO and experiences a good flow of tourists from all over the globe. So far, over 40million visitors have set foot at this heritage site. This means it a worthwhile place to be.
2. St Sophia Cathedral Kiev
This church is gorgeous. The architectural mind behind it is a genius. Every part of it be it the corners, windows or roof is artistic in nature. It looks like the person who designed it was a perfectionist. Every small detail was considered in constructing the cathedral.
Its white walls and green rooftops are a great color combo. The ground near the church on the exterior has a great finish. The material used to make it looks elegant. The green trees around it add aesthetic value to it. Some of the rooftops are gold in color.
It is the oldest church in Kyiv. It was built in memory of Prince Yaroslav’s efforts in protecting Kyiv from Raiders. It has a 76m tall bell tower. From the cathedral, you can see St Michael Cathedral. There is a lot to learn in the cathedral. The lighting in the interior provides such a serene environment that you will feel safe in it. It is quiet too.
It interior has frescoes and mosaics. It is also a great archaeological site and has models of ancient historical figures as well. You pay a small fee to be allowed in this place. It is usually in form of a ticket. Do no worry. It is affordable. You will get buy tickets at the entrance of the bell tower.
3. Maidan Ukraine
Maidan is at the Centre of Kiev while Kiev is the capital of Ukraine. Expect to experience a lot in Maidan. There is a lot of Ukrainian history to learn from this place. For instance, it is common knowledge that Maidan was the Centre of revolutions for independence. However, the government in 2013 turned Maidan into a guerilla camp. Of course, some people died fighting for what they believed in. No wonder you will find memorials in this site.
Anyway, the history aside, there are other exciting, modern things to love about this tourist destination. There are monuments including Kiev Founders Monument and exciting street light designs, for example, the Street Lights in Love.
You will come across an amazing fountain. Your eyes will find it hard leaving this spot. They look even better in summer due to the reflections the sun causes. This is an amazing place to take breathtaking photographs. You can even use the photos as murals in your home. If you love architecture, you will like several buildings. They look spectacular. Rest at Kreschakit Park as you watch the marvelous Dnieper River from a distance.
If you are into clothes, food and having fun there are boutiques, restaurants, and nightclubs to enjoy your time in. Some of them are high-end to give you an experience of a lifetime.
There is an indoor market called Besarabsky. This is a place you could learn a lot about the Ukrainian culture. Talk about food, clothes, language, currency and their way of doing business. The other place to visit is the Arena City complex. Everything in this place is luxurious be it cafes, boutiques or nightclubs. If you have some good money, stop by and have a good time or just walk around and pick something you like.
4. St Michael Kiev
Anything with the name Saint insinuates a religious connection, and so does St Michael Kiev. For starters, this place is a monastery. There is St Sophia’s Cathedral on its opposite side. It is named after a saint in the region. It was built after the Soviets destroyed the original structure in 1937.
The building has an interesting design starting from the shape to the color. The top is dome-shaped with its color being gold. The rest of the building is blue. It is simply beautiful and definitely looks great in photos. It adds to the beauty of the town.as you live the church, there is a monument on your right. It is a reminder of the famine that killed millions in the 1930’s.
Statues cannot miss at such a monastery, considering the history it harbors. It is a landmark of some sort. Among the statues you will view, there are those of Princess Olga and St Methodius. You can visit the place anytime between eight in the morning and seven in the evening.
Inside the monastery, there is a museum for more history lessons. There are Ukrainian and English placards explaining facts about Ukraine’s past. Outside the church, on the left side, you will see a funicular. Make sure you get a ride for a fun adventure. The sloppy terrain looks great. Next to St Michael’s is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building.
Too much about St Michael, the environment around it is amazing. The blue sky is great especially during summer, not mentioning the green vegetation in the area.
5. Holodomor Memorial
The word Holodomor means killing people using hunger. This place is in honor Ukrainians who died because of famine. The memorial is the one near St Michael Monastery.
Beginning 1932 to1933, there existed a bad regime in Ukraine whose leader was Stalin. He had very lame policies that contributed to starvation of innocent citizens. He took peasant families’ grains trough coercion. These policies were expected to prevent freedom from the Soviet Union. He caused a very bad famine that killed more than 4milion people. Women and children felt the wrath of the policies.
There are disturbing, sad statues of children at the memorial. This place is well maintained to preserve the history of Ukraine. There is a tall tower in the area that helps you identify the memorial. There are books in the tower building if you want to read more about those who perished. Pictures on the wall explain better the real scenario in those times.
Inside the memorial, you get to see very mean, inhuman statements. They are a reminder of the terrible rules some leaders vested upon citizens for their own good. There are also objects retrieved from the villages where the famine affected including boats.
Besides the sad story associated with Holomodor Memorial, it can still be an exciting trip if you want. Just forget about the history for a while. It is all about the attitude you have and purposing to enjoy your visit. Yes, people died but what matters are the lessons we pick from the memorial.
About visiting time, it is 8.00am-5.00pm. Make sure you arrive early so you can have ample time to visit every corner of the place.
5. Pinchuk Art Centre
If you love art, this is the first place you should go to once you get to Kiev. There is a lot to see and learn from this place. It is usually open every day from 12noon to 9 pm, except on Monday. Several things will make you fall in love with this place.
First, the architecture of the Centre is amazing, unique in its own way. Its location in the Arena Entertainment Complex may have contributed to the great design. This place has had exhibitions by famous, talented hands such as those of Antoney Gormley. Viktor Pinchuk is the brain behind the art center, which he finances all by himself. No wonder the name. He is a billionaire anyway.
There is a great aerial view of the surrounding from the very top of the Art Centre. Just watching people and vehicles pass by can steal your time without you realizing it. There is also a café here in case you feel hungry. Punchuk has you covered. Do not starve. Try out the meals and beverages. They cannot be that bad. Just joking.
This is an art center of world standards so expect the very best. For example, the rotating exhibits are things to marvel at. You do not pay anything to enjoy the expansive art gallery that has four floors all to itself. There is a lot to see that you could get tired. Expect to meet many people especially o holiday and weekends. You travel to meet new people. Therefore, ensure you make one or two friends. You never know when they will come in handy.
6. Hryshko National Botanical Garden
If plants and nature is your thing then you will love Hryshko garden. It looks amazing with the different species of plants all over the area. This is a great learning center, especially for students. The flowers adorn this place in a way you could not begin to imagine. Make sure you carry your camera because this place is great. You know the cliché that words cannot explain it. Well, this is the case with Hryshko. You will love it every minute you will spend here.
Ever since 1944, this place has developed to be a home for over 13000 types of flowers, trees, and plants. If you are a photographer, consider the garden a hotbed of beautiful scenes, the flowers especially. There are lilacs, lilies and roses to enjoy shooting. You never know when luck is on your side. You could even produce award-winning photos, and not only of flowers but of trees, plants and waters as well.
There is a river passing near it whose blue waters add to the beauty of the surrounding. The river is called Dnipro. It is actually the middle of the garden. It is well maintained to ensure it is always in good shape at any time. Do not worry. There are paths in the garden to make your movement around possible and much easier.
It is definite that Kiev is a tourist destination worth visiting. There is a lot to enjoy. There are people to meet. There is a life to experience. If you have never been to Ukraine, you should this time. Make sure you set aside enough time so that you can visit all the seven key tourist destinations in Kiev. This way, you will get to compare each one of them and appreciate how they all contribute to an interesting history of Ukraine. As a photographer, make the botanical garden your first priority. As you plan your holiday or vacation, go to Kiev and enjoy the scenery. You will have a very different story to tell because the experience in this place is comparable to no other place.
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