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So you skipped my advice on why you should never visit Kyiv and already on your way to here? Here is a list of ways to humiliate yourself in Kyiv and feel really embarrassed – have fun, but take it with a grain of salt!

Fail to know jokes about Kyiv mayor Vitaly Klitchko

Kyiv city mayor, Vitaly Klitchko, is not only a boxer. He’s a symbol of Kyiv, and simply a legend. Every public speech of Vitaly Klitchko turns into a joke or tons of memes. So make sure to ask who is Vitaly Klitchko to feel really ashamed and embarrassed.

Forget that Kyiv is a big village

Thinking that Kyiv is a millionaire city, and you might do whatever you want because you will never meet this person again, might result into many embarrassing situations. We call Kyiv a big village, as here you might meet anybody in a very surprising place or circumstances. The news is spread lighting fast here, especially bad news. It takes nothing not to keep a promise and be an asshole here, but in a couple of hours everybody will know about it.

Forget about Friday evening traffic

Not only you embarrass yourself by forgetting about Friday evening traffic in Kyiv, but you also risk missing your flight. On Friday evening, many locals leave the city and go to their dacha (house outside of Kyiv), which creates huge traffic jams. So make sure to remember about it, and plan your time ahead.

Ask for tap water in a restaurant

So you just asked for tap water in Kyiv restaurant? Feel yourself really embarrassed, if you find it in your bill, when instead of a tap water you get your 0,33 bottle for a cost of a beer. Tap water in Kyiv is not really drinkable, unless it’s filtered, or you really like the taste of chemicals. In some restaurants/cafes they might offer you filtered water for free, but that’s rather a rarity. If you did find a place where you got your free tap water, let me know, I look forward to write an article about it.

Skip Kyiv Perepichka for MacDonald’s

If you avoid to stay in a line to get Perepichka – one of the most famous Kyiv fast food, and go to local MacDonald’s, you’re already humiliated deep inside your heart and your stomach. Perepichka is not only a local hot dog, it’s a symbol of a city. And we, locals, respect our symbols, especially if they are represented by food.

Skip markets, if you want to buy stuff

Tell locals that markets in Kyiv suck, and get really humiliated. Locals in Kyiv believe that everything is better at the local markets (food is fresher, clothing is cheaper etc). A lot of fashionista you see are probably buying their stylish stuff at some Rynok at Troeshchyna or Lisova (famous local markets). Another local thing is weekly food fairs (yarmarka), when the farmers bring home made food to certain spots and sell it at much more affordable price than in a supermarket. A true Kyivite will never miss it out.

Search for bicycle tracks in Kyiv

Especially try to search in the downtown Podil, that is planned to be a paradise for cycling in Kyiv. I guarantee that you will find none, but you’ll enjoy locals laughing at you. If you dare to ride a bike in Kyiv, choose among cycling in a park, cycling on the feet of pedestrians or on the road for cars. Or walk your bike. Kyiv gives you many opportunities to humiliate yourself on a bike.

Ask if there’s gonna be snow in Kyiv in June

If you have chosen Kyiv for your summer vacation, but keep thinking that it’s gonna be a polar expedition, at least make sure not to say it out loud. We’ll make you feel really humiliated by our laughter or sarcastic jokes. Summers in Kyiv are really hot, and you might probably find the snow only in a refrigerator of your rented apartment. Talking about refrigerators…

Try to open a locked fridge while buying water from the kiosk

And automatically put yourself in the group of “humiliated and embarrassed”. Because a true local knows that a fridge outside of a kiosk is always locked, and the seller opens it for you once you say what you want and pay for it.

Ask to split the bill in a restaurant/cafe

Ask to split the bill in Kyiv, and experience a wide range of embarrassing feelings. Chances are, the waiter/ess might do it for you, though they will not miss a chance to let you know that it’s not a normal thing here. If you still decide to experience this moment of humiliation, do it on the beginning, before making an order. Just in case.

Forget to rub the sculptures in Kyiv

If you see that the nose or shoe of that sculpture has completely different color than the rest of the body, it means we rubbed it and made wishes so many times, till the color is changed from black to gold. Forget to do it if you want to embarrass yourself in front of locals who show you around. I personally made so many wishes already that I forgot what I wished for. But the main idea is to wish and hope, isn’t it?

Search for bus timetables

Get more strange looks from locals by searching for bus timetables in Kyiv. Hear them laughing at you, if you do believe a bus will come according to its schedule. And don’t you dare to think that marshrutka (Kyiv minibus) will depart on time. Only when it’s so full of people that you can hear their heartbeating.

Search for waste sorting bins in Kyiv

Firstly search for it inside your rented apartment in Kyiv, once after you divided your yogurt bottle into all the possible pieces. Accept that there will be just one bin for everything. Go out on the streets of Kyiv, search over there. Ask locals for it to get embarrassed, or simply accept it and get sad. There are a couple of organizations accepting paper, plastic or glass, but most probably you’ll have to stay in Kyiv for a while, to collect enough yogurt bottles and drive them into some godforsaken part of the city.

You do not pass money for a ride in marshrutka from hand to hand “Pass the money, please”

There are special rituals in Kyiv public transport, especially if you hop on marshrutka (minibuses in Kyiv). People who sit on the back usually pass money to the driver by giving them to a person who sits in front of them. Then the same way they get their change. It’s very easy to humiliate yourself by deciding not to take part in this ritual. Especially if marshrutka is full.

Forget to complain about new built residences

Whatever new is constructed in Kyiv, it turns into a scandal. New skyscrapers, hotels, office buildings, theaters. Everything is greeted with a protest. So not to embarrass yourself, agree with the rebellious locals, that this building is absolutely awful.

But, as Dostoevksy said, “A man bastard can get used to everything”. So firstly we protest and then learn to live with it. Same happened to Mother of Motherland monument, new theater in Podil and many other iconic buildings.

…and about old Soviet panel buildings

These ones especially deserve to be disgusted, so make sure not to tell how much you love this Soviet panel buildings – we locals will probably think you’re crazy. Everybody here loves to complain how cold and thin-walled those soviet panel buildings are.

Smile way too much

If you want to bring more attention and weird looks to your persona, smile as much as possible. Locals, especially older ones, for sure will look on you with curiosity. Smile is not very cultural thing, what’s more, locals in Kyiv do not smile much to show politeness –  either because of Iron Curtain period or any other reason. Instead, take everything with a pinch of salt.

Pick the dropped wallet from the ground

Pick the dropped wallet in Kyiv if you want not only to humiliate yourself, but to get in a situation, when your own money can be stolen. Many travelers complain on Kyiv travel forums about the dropped wallet scam in Kyiv. You pick up the dropped wallet and then follow a man who dropped it, to give it back to him, thinking you’re gonna make a good thing. Unfortunately, very often it turns into a scam, when a thief says that you stole the money from there and demands or takes your money instead. Don’t pick up anything from the ground in Kyiv, even if it is a crying baby.

Keep telling locals how cheap Kyiv is

Keep telling that Kyiv is so cheap that you can buy everything here, even those locals who you are talking to. That’s a good way not to only humiliate yourself, but to embarrass locals as well. The currency devaluation in 2015 did not bring anything good to Ukrainians. Though probably they will agree that Kyiv is cheap to everybody…except Ukrainians.

Do not take your backpack off while in the metro

Are you in Kyiv metro and wondering how to humiliate yourself on a train? Simply get on a packed metro train with your backpack on, and people will show you their appreciation and love lightning fast, as you will occupy the limited standing space and block their way to the exit. There are even special cartoons on the metro, where the famous Ukrainian character Gus is teaching you simple rules in Kyiv metro: taking your backpack off is one of them.

Stand on the left side of escalator

We, locals in Kyiv, are always hurrying somewhere. So if you are searching for certain ways to humiliate yourself in Kyiv, make sure you can stop us from hurrying: stand on the left side of elevator, where people are usually walking down, and block their way. The embarrassment will come very soon: with the first passer-by walking on you and mumbling something, or even hitting you.

Do not clap when the airplane has landed

Clapping on a plane when it has landed is on of the oldest Ukrainian traditions. Do not try to understand it and do not wonder why we do it. Simply do not embarrass yourself and make sure you’re clapping.

Finally, that’s a nice way to congratulate yourself on landing in Awesome Kyiv – as awesome as you are!

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We, locals, love official holidays in Ukraine. Days off, good food, drinks and wonderful women (because who rule the world? – girls!) Last one is important component of every good party, but it’s a must have component, if we’re talking about International Women’s Day. So where to celebrate this holiday, if you happen to be in Kyiv on 8th of March (or one more cool Friday night in Kyiv, if you are not into celebrating)?

Jazz Concert in Bar №7

Are you searching for a jazz concert in Kyiv? Welcome to the Bar №7 on March 8 – enjoy delicios food and drinks in the warm welcoming atmosphere. Dj and live music as well as a photographer capturing the best moments of this spring holiday. Reserve a place through Facebook page of a bar.

Where: Bar №7

Concert and DJ in Barvy Restaurant

Apart from gastro surprises, Barvy Restaurant offers Joira concert and Dj playing on the March 8. Add professional photos, special photozone for memorizing this Friday night out and a delicious on house cocktail. Book a table through the Facebook page of a restaurant

Where: Barvy Restaurant

Fro.LOVE cover band in Dorothy Pub

Enjoy live music in Kyiv in a friendly atmosphere of locals. Fro. LOVE band will sing the covers of popular songs, while you can enjoy dancing, drinking and celebrating spring. Make sure to get a table booked by contacting a pub.

Where: Dorothy Pub

Rock You Concert in Docker-G Pub

If you are into music, welcome to Docker-G Pub on March 8. This place is famous as a musical venue for many Ukrainian bands. This Friday the Rock You Band will surprise you with the exclusive program “Favorite ballads”. Listen to the covers of The Beatles, Metallica, Blackmore’s Night, Sting, Seal, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Guns N’ Roses, Doors and other legends.

You can buy a ticket here.

Where: Docker-G Pub

Друга Ріка (Druha Rika) Concert in Palats Sportu

Друга Ріка, a famous Ukrainian band is finishing their concert tour in Kyiv. The concert in Kyiv on March 8 is gonna be the biggest concert in their musical career. Get a dose of Ukrainian music by visiting their concert on Friday. You can buy tickets on Concert.ua

Where: Palats Sportu

Musical Stories of Love

Listen to the jazz hits of Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Luis Armstrong, performed by Pavlo Ignatyev and Katiko Purtseladze. Enjoy the water painting performance by Angelina Zolota. You can buy tickets on Concert.ua

Where: House of Architect

Women’s Beer Party in Golden Gate Pub

The Contrabanda band is gonna play live concert for you on March 8 in Golden Gate Traditional Irish Pub. The right place to enjoy delicious beers, good music and people who speak English (i bet they do)! Book a place through Facebook.

P.S. If you are a football fan, travelling to Kyiv, and interested in watching the game “Dynamo-Chelsea” on March 7, you can do it in Golden Gates Pub as well!

Where: Golden Gate Pub

Ladies Night with DJ Tarkan

Celebrate Internation Women’s Day in Kyiv loud and fun: come to the Ladies Night in Baddha Bar Kyiv. Enjoy the jazz music, air gymnastics show, and after it greet a special guest – Dj Tarkan. Reserve a table through Facebook.

Where: Buddha Bar Kyiv

Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet

Get a joy and positive vibes by watching an exciting perfromance of Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet. 100 dancers and 2500 costumes, winderful orchestra and unique instruments – grant yourself with a short, yet memorable trip to Georgia! You can buy tickets on Kontramarka.

Where: Palats Ukraina

Women of the Big Bang Era in Caribbean Club

Get back into the epoch of Big Bands – the time when jazz could gather the stadiums. Aniko Dolidze Big Band is going to perform Golden Oldies. Enjoy the music improvisation of the Big Band solist, accompanied by the leading Ukrainian jazz musicians. You can buy tickets on Kontramarka.

Where: Caribbean Club 

Black and White: Modern German Circus

Enjoy the Black and White Program of Modern German Circus. Deadly tricks, sparkling sight of light, phenomenal special effects: circus is not just for kids. You can buy tickets on Parter.ua.

Where: National Circus of Ukraine

Tango Style Stories: Modern Ballet

The modern one action ballet to the music of Astor Piazzola is what you might need on this Friday night. Tango is like a sincere talk of two lonely hearts, but you won’t be alone on this show for sure. You can buy tickets on Parter.ua.

Where: The theater for opera and ballet

If it happens that you come too late with your reservation, but you want to discover the city’s traditional and alternative scene, it’s hidden backyards, speak easy bars, architecture, urban projects, its drinking and sober culture (not only on March 8), welcome on Awesome Kyiv Walking Tour – as awesome as you are! 

P.S. On behalf of Awesome Kyiv I want to greet all women with the upcoming International Women’s Day (even if you do not celebrate:) We are strong, we are fragile, we are powerful, we are dark haired, we are blonde, we are red haired, we are tall, we are small, we’re blue-eyed, we’re deep chestnut-eyed, green-eyed, we are daughters, mothers, sisters, we’re so different, we’re anything we want to be. We are AWESOME!

Alina,

Your Awesome Kyiv Guide

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Sit comfortably, please (even if you’re reading this in a packed metro while sitting with your ass on somebody’s face), and measure your level of irony and sarcasm – if that’s high enough, keep on reading.

Excited about visiting Kyiv – the city of golden domes? Well, all that glitters is not gold.

Want some hardcore adventures and adrenaline in your blood? Welcome to Kyiv – the city that sucks in its own awesome way.

Art of Balconies in Kyiv

The Wikipedia defines a balcony as an open air terrace, but we, Ukrainians, know that we should not really trust such sources. That’s why our balconies look a bit differently than described by architects. We love to deface our balconies in all the possible ways.

It does not really matter to us that some frontage of the historical building might be the piece of art, because there is no art better than the plastic lining covering the balcony. The cheaper the material, the better.

Our balconies serve as running tracks, offices, garbage storages (and treasure storages), gardens and anything else you can imagine. Yes, you need to have a nice imagination, because what happens on the balcony, stays on the balcony (we use quite a lot of material to ensure we can see everything from the balcony, while nobody can see us).

And if you ever wondered, where the entrance to real Narnia supposed to be, I guess you already know the answer.

Though Kyiv still can boast of some balconies of ”healthy people”, even though they slightly turn into a rarity.

You might have heard of Mother of Motherland monument in Kyiv. The locals do not really like the USSR attributes on statue’s shield and suggest to replace it with something else…

So make sure you visit Kyiv before we put a balcony on Mother of Motherland shield, covered with some ugly advertisement, talking about what…

Gods of Advertisement An old advertisement of cigarettes in Kyiv, saying: “If you catch your children smoking cigarettes, at least make sure they smoke only Katyk Cigarettes”

The documentaries say, Saint Sophia in Kyiv has been a place for one of the first advertisements in Kyiv. The rich men who wanted to sell the land, paid the cathedral to engrave the advertisement with gold or silver on its walls, so people could see it while praying.

Which is the confirmation of a fact, that Ukrainians are truly gods of advertisement. Especially in Kyiv. Banners, billboards – the more the better.

Do not get surprised if you see in the metro trains, one advertisement being put on another one – simply put yours over it, because that’s how we do the business in Kyiv.

Colors are important as well – the locals make sure the ads are flashy enough to catch your attention (or make your eyes bleeding).

Kyiv Bikes Mayor of Kyiv, Vitaly Klytchko, on a bike

“Why can’t I find some interesting group bike tours in Kyiv, but only private ones instead?” – one man asked on TripAdvisor. “When you come to Kyiv, you will understand, why group bike tours in Kyiv are indeed “interesting” – there was an answer.

I swear, we truly love riding bikes, what we love even more – walk our bikes…

With the crazy traffics and infrastructure, mostly serving the cars, you need to walk your bike a couple kilometers till some park where you can finally relax and use it for the purpose it was invented… Another option is to cycle a bike on pedestrian areas on the feet of passers-by.

Of course, the infrastructure for cyclists appear, we just really believe that slow and steady wins the race.

In August Kyiv introduced the Nextbike, one of the most advanced bike sharing networks. If only somebody shared a road to cycle with us…

Snow Disasters Click to view slideshow.

We know it’s gonna be snowing in Kyiv, we expect it to snow, we wait for a snow, we see the snow in the weather forecast and yet when the snow comes, we’re never ready for it.

The “unexpected” snowfall always catches us up by surprise. The communal services are usually the main victim of this “surprise”. They fight with the snow, while people fight with the local government.

We have tons of snow and sometimes it lasts till the beginning of May. Then the heat suddenly turns the mountains of snow into the real flooding and we quickly change from the fur coat into the swimming suit. Make sure you take it, because…

Floodings in Kyiv Click to view slideshow.

Because when the heavy rains start (especially in summer), we give you unique opportunities for swimming, diving, surfing and boating even in the underground passages.

The heavy rains in summer sometimes cause real disasters on the roads, so if you want to visit Venice, but on a budget, Kyiv is your choice.

One of the heaviest rains was storming us throughout July 2018, and locals started to post numerous memes and ironic posts to make fun of the government, enable to solve the problem.

Parking in Kyiv Holy parking place

The citizens of Kyiv love their cars more than anything else, that’s why finding a parking place is becoming the goal of their life. The rules are simple as it goes: park your car whenever you see a place, and if there is no place, park it on the car or on the head of your neighbor.

We got limited parking places for disabled people, but since there are no disabled people in Kyiv, these places are mostly occupied by car owners who do not admit their mental disability (read: not being able to think about somebody except yourself). Thanks to this growing amount of mentally disabled drivers, we got new parking police, that is trying to handle this mess.

While it’s difficult to handle a mess, being so masterly organized for many years, it’s still possible to avoid it, by using this pop song:

So here’s my number, so call me maybe (102 – police number in Ukraine, free from the cellphones), just make sure to remember car numbers and model to report it to the police).

Pedestrian areas

Kyiv is a city of people who love to walk. Walking from the car to the shop, from the car to the office and from the car to our home is kind of a hobby. The growing amount of cars (especially those ones with Lithuanian numbers) and our parking talents result in a new way of walking: walking away to see less of this mess.

Want to learn the art of UNAGI (according to Ross from “Friends”, the art of full awareness)? Welcome to Kyiv: here you will learn to watch out, because you simply never know when a car can violate you pedestrian area.

Though lately active Kyivans are fighting for more pedestrian areas and working on a couple of urbanistic project of turning a couple of places into walking areas (such as Podil and Bessarabka) – welcome to learn more about it on Awesome and Awful Kyiv Walking Tour.

Underground passages

“Normal people do not walk under ground” – my friend from Lviv once said.

Long tangled underground tunnels – we joke that some people spend half of their life underground. And that’s true, taking into account how many shops and cafes are located there. People who work there in winter might barely see the sunshine. Same will happen to you, if you get lost in one of them (say: Metrograd).

While some of the underground passages became business centres and entertainment areas, some of them, long dark and smelly, might scare you to death: the only light in the end of a tunnel is your own flashlight. Make sure to have it.

But after seeing crazy drivers in Kyiv, lacks of pedestrian areas and Kyiv parking style, you might rethink the idea of underground passages as one of the nicest shelters that save you from all mentioned above.

Beautiful ruination Photos from Awful Kyiv Tour

We love beauty, we love observing beauty, what we love even more – observing beautiful ruination. We’ve got tons of amazing buildings, falling down into urban decay.

We, Ukrainians, are very patient. We turn into calm Buddas, and patiently observe how the building is ruining till the condition when it’s possible to get a permission to demolish it. Then after turning down some historically important building, why not construct some business centre or mall on this tasty piece of land?Do not wonder if you notice a Golden Domed cathedral, some highscraper and half-destroyed 19th century mansion, standing next to each other.

Kyiv is a city where every meter is different from another. But we still need to fight for it. 

To save the city’s heritage from ruination, active locals (together with foreign organizations and sponsors) start different urban projects, turn squats into cafes, art-galleries and other public spaces, which is a real challenge.

Another challenge is to put your nose somewhere you should not, and explore all this urban decay, because what can stop real explorers? Especially if your guide is as curious as you.

So welcome to Kyiv – the city that sucks in its own awesome way!

P.S. Especially for locals who live in Kyiv but do not love it yet, I started a special topic written in Ukrainian under hashtag #KyivSucks (find on Facebook or Instagram): I write what to do, read, visit to finally fall in love with Kyiv.

Come in, feel like home
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So you are in Kyiv and actively proving that it is the cheapest European capital by constantly investing in bars, restaurants, clubs, making new haircut or totally changing your style? Good for you, but leave some of your investments for shopping.

Groceries in Kyiv

I knew you could start saying “I’m not gonna cook, eating out is cheap in Kyiv”, but what about facing the reality and buying some mineral water to save your morning after all night bar crawl in Kyiv? Isn’t it a good argument to make you go to the grocery shop?

I usually do it in different countries to see how things are organized there (and to show off my new local language skills on the counter).

So remember these names and do not confuse it with the clubs in Kyiv or some entertainment centers you’re gonna visit later:

  • Auchan. The network of hipermarkets where you can buy everything from milk to instruments for renovating the airbnb apartment you managed to mess up after your big Kyiv party. Big lines might make you think it’s the Doomsday coming.
  • Silpo. The most popular chain of supermarkets in Kyiv, working either till very late or, even better, 24-hour a day. The prices differ in different districts, some of them are more simple, some are rather fancy supermarkets. Always fresh bakery and some “prediction” on the receipt that we love to read before even leaving the counter.
  • ATB, Billa, Furshet, MegaMarket, Велика Кишеня (Velyka Kyshenia) are some other supermarket chains in Kyiv. Apart from the networks, you can always find small shops and kiosks right near your home. Ah, and do not be surprised if this outdoor fridge with the water is closed, and people laugh at you when after your 5th try to open it (firstly ask the sellers what you want – then they unlock the door for you).
Markets in Kyiv

If Kyiv supermarkets do not satisfy your needs, and your soul craves for communication with locals, and language barrier does not scares you (because you got A+ in operating your body language), then head towards food markets in Kyiv. Authentic atmosphere, a little bit of a chaos and an ability to try a bit of everything and leave the place without the need to go for meal – what else can you need? Well, a bit of Ukrainian would not hurt.

  • Bessarabsky Market. One of the most expensive food markets in Kyiv. Located right in the heart of the city, it’s a good place to get a feeling what a touristy food market in Kyiv looks like. There are also different cafes/restaurants/food spots inside. Besides that, it’s a place we meet in front of before the start of Kyiv Backyards Walking Tour.
  • Muslim Food Market. Being held only on Fridays from 12:00 to 16:00, Muslim Food Market is the local place (with the exception that not even many locals know about it). Located near the Islam Culture Centre in Kyiv, this food market is a must do if you want to try the oriental cuisine in Kyiv.
  • Zhytniy Market. The oldest functioning market in Kyiv, and one of the most authentic. A real treasure for urban explorers and those who search for something different. Apart from buying food, you can also buy clothes, shoes, home equipment and other stuff. You’ll get a chance to visit it and learn about this Kyiv market on my Awful Kyiv Walking Tour.
Flea markets in Kyiv Photographer – Oleh Tereshchenko

Flea markets in Kyiv is a great idea for those who either want to find something special or spend tons of money on some obvious trash from soviet times (though the sellers will keep persuading you about uniqueness of this thing – well anything can be unique, even trash:)

  • Petrivka. For locals, the first association with Petrivka is the biggest open air book market. However, it’s a real mix of food, books, antiques and not really. There is one of the biggest flea markets in Kyiv in Petrivka. Your journet to the market might be accompanied by the group of gipsies who really like to buy stuff from the passers-by (except that they do not like to pay for it), so be careful. 
  • Kurazh bazar. A modern flea market, where you can also buy new stuff from Ukrainian designers and try delicious street food in Kyiv. Every new edition of Kurazh bazar is specific and unites a lot of talanted people.
  • Dnipro Market. Apart from being the most budget food market in Kyiv, it’s also a great place if you are searching for flea markets in Kyiv. Also a great place for those who like to get lost in the middle of nowhere.
  • ExpoCentre. One of the biggest Kyiv flea markets is located near Livoberezhna Metro station and starts its work every Saturday at 4 a.m. in the morning. Yes, you read it right. It’s the time when the collectioners are coming to get the best haul. A perfect place to head after a Friday night in Kyiv, isn’t it?
Most Popular Kyiv Shopping Malls

  • Ocean Plaza. One of the newest and most visited shopping malls in Kyiv. Great for spending a grumpy day in search of some stuff you will definitely find in your home country. Apart from that, you will find there Roshen candy shop, Cinema, Auchan, some beauty salons and eateries.
  • Gulliver. Centrally located entertainment and shopping centre is impossible to miss out if you are walking in the area of Olimpiysky stadium in Kyiv. All kind of stuff you can find in shopping malls+entertainment centres and cinema. There is Palats Sportu right in front of it – a popular venue for concerts in Kyiv.
  • Globus The most central, yet the most touristy shopping mall in Kyiv. You can enter either from a big Globe in front of Independance Monument, or on the other side of the square. A lot of eateries, overpriced souvenirs, branded shops, but also some hidden decent places like Ostannia Baryka Restaurant.
  • Dream Town. Another place for those who like to get lost, but twice as better, because divided into Dream 1 and Dream 2. There are really high chances you will spend a couple of hours searching for a shop, and never find it…because it’s in Dream 2 building. Simply a dream, just not simple, isn’t it? If you get tired of getting lost, just take a walk to the Obolon renewed riverside, which is really close to the mall.
  • Metrograd. People like to joke that locals in Kyiv spend more than half of their life underground. Well, if you get lost in this underground shopping mall in Kyiv, you will just like locals, spend half of your vacation underground.
Where to buy souvenirs in Kyiv?

Your relatives and friends in your hometown (who are working while you’re having a vacation in Kyiv) probably hope that you are not greedy enough to spend all the money just on you, and are waiting for some presents from Ukraine.

So where to buy souvenirs in Kyiv? Here are a couple of places where you can buy some trivial (and not so much) gifts.

  • Andriivsky Descent. A place which is impossible not to visit (or you should be really talanted to miss it out). A lot of street sellers will offer you all kinds of souvenirs at prices that NEED to be bargained. Usually on a tour I help my guests negotiate about the price. Do not bargain till death, especially if the product is top-notch or really high-quality, however ask your local friend for help. Go all the way down, and you might find some more appealing things at more reasonable prices or turn right once you pass Saint Andrew Church and walk through the alley where you can see a lot of great paintings.
  • Vsi Svoi. A big shop on the main street of Kyiv that sells the things made by Ukrainian designers. It’s where you can find some really unique stuff and support the local producer. Once in a while they organize the Vsi Svoi Market at D12 Gallery.
  • Gara Concept Store. The shop with the weird (and expensive) things. A place to find some unique gifts from Kyiv for your beloved ones, for yourself or simply to pay a visit. In order to get to the shop, you need to register an choose day and time. There cannot come more than 3 people at the same appointed time.
  • Awesome Kyiv Souvenirs. If you booked your Awesome Kyiv Tour, you can contact me about available souvenirs. If you order it in time, your souvenir will arrive on a tour together with your guide. These are hand-made souvenirs, and, except painted bottles of vodka, you can order a lot of other stuff, or even give your suggestions.

Did you already started to worry that you might not have taken enough money for all this retail therapy? Don’t you worry, shopping in Kyiv is a wonderful experience. And once you get tired – welcome on Awesome Kyiv Walking Tour. No shops, promise. Unless you really beg for it.

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So you are in Kyiv and actively proving that it is the cheapest European capital by constantly investing in bars, restaurants, clubs, making new haircut or totally changing your style? Good for you, but leave some of your investments for shopping.

Groceries in Kyiv

I knew you could start saying “I’m not gonna cook, eating out is cheap in Kyiv”, but what about facing the reality and buying some mineral water to save your morning after all night bar crawl in Kyiv? Isn’t it a good argument to make you go to the grocery shop?

I usually do it in different countries to see how things are organized there (and to show off my new local language skills on the counter).

So remember these names and do not confuse it with the clubs in Kyiv or some entertainment centers you’re gonna visit later:

  • Auchan. The network of hipermarkets where you can buy everything from milk to instruments for renovating the airbnb apartment you managed to mess up after your big Kyiv party. Big lines might make you think it’s the Doomsday coming.
  • Silpo. The most popular chain of supermarkets in Kyiv, working either till very late or, even better, 24-hour a day. The prices differ in different districts, some of them are more simple, some are rather fancy supermarkets. Always fresh bakery and some “prediction” on the receipt that we love to read before even leaving the counter.
  • ATB, Billa, Furshet, MegaMarket, Велика Кишеня (Velyka Kyshenia) are some other supermarket chains in Kyiv. Apart from the networks, you can always find small shops and kiosks right near your home. Ah, and do not be surprised if this outdoor fridge with the water is closed, and people laugh at you when after your 5th try to open it (firstly ask the sellers what you want – then they unlock the door for you).
Markets in Kyiv

If Kyiv supermarkets do not satisfy your needs, and your soul craves for communication with locals, and language barrier does not scares you (because you got A+ in operating your body language), then head towards food markets in Kyiv. Authentic atmosphere, a little bit of a chaos and an ability to try a bit of everything and leave the place without the need to go for meal – what else can you need? Well, a bit of Ukrainian would not hurt.

  • Bessarabsky Market. One of the most expensive food markets in Kyiv. Located right in the heart of the city, it’s a good place to get a feeling what a touristy food market in Kyiv looks like. There are also different cafes/restaurants/food spots inside. Besides that, it’s a place we meet in front of before the start of Kyiv Backyards Walking Tour.
  • Muslim Food Market. Being held only on Fridays from 12:00 to 16:00, Muslim Food Market is the local place (with the exception that not even many locals know about it). Located near the Islam Culture Centre in Kyiv, this food market is a must do if you want to try the oriental cuisine in Kyiv.
  • Zhytniy Market. The oldest functioning market in Kyiv, and one of the most authentic. A real treasure for urban explorers and those who search for something different. Apart from buying food, you can also buy clothes, shoes, home equipment and other stuff. You’ll get a chance to visit it and learn about this Kyiv market on my Awful Kyiv Walking Tour.
Flea markets in Kyiv Photographer – Oleh Tereshchenko

Flea markets in Kyiv is a great idea for those who either want to find something special or spend tons of money on some obvious trash from soviet times (though the sellers will keep persuading you about uniqueness of this thing – well anything can be unique, even trash:)

  • Petrivka. For locals, the first association with Petrivka is the biggest open air book market. However, it’s a real mix of food, books, antiques and not really. There is one of the biggest flea markets in Kyiv in Petrivka. Your journet to the market might be accompanied by the group of gipsies who really like to buy stuff from the passers-by (except that they do not like to pay for it), so be careful. 
  • Kurazh bazar. A modern flea market, where you can also buy new stuff from Ukrainian designers and try delicious street food in Kyiv. Every new edition of Kurazh bazar is specific and unites a lot of talanted people.
  • Dnipro Market. Apart from being the most budget food market in Kyiv, it’s also a great place if you are searching for flea markets in Kyiv. Also a great place for those who like to get lost in the middle of nowhere.
  • ExpoCentre. One of the biggest Kyiv flea markets is located near Livoberezhna Metro station and starts its work every Saturday at 4 a.m. in the morning. Yes, you read it right. It’s the time when the collectioners are coming to get the best haul. A perfect place to head after a Friday night in Kyiv, isn’t it?
Most Popular Kyiv Shopping Malls

  • Ocean Plaza. One of the newest and most visited shopping malls in Kyiv. Great for spending a grumpy day in search of some stuff you will definitely find in your home country. Apart from that, you will find there Roshen candy shop, Cinema, Auchan, some beauty salons and eateries.
  • Gulliver. Centrally located entertainment and shopping centre is impossible to miss out if you are walking in the area of Olimpiysky stadium in Kyiv. All kind of stuff you can find in shopping malls+entertainment centres and cinema. There is Palats Sportu right in front of it – a popular venue for concerts in Kyiv.
  • Globus The most central, yet the most touristy shopping mall in Kyiv. You can enter either from a big Globe in front of Independance Monument, or on the other side of the square. A lot of eateries, overpriced souvenirs, branded shops, but also some hidden decent places like Ostannia Baryka Restaurant.
  • Dream Town. Another place for those who like to get lost, but twice as better, because divided into Dream 1 and Dream 2. There are really high chances you will spend a couple of hours searching for a shop, and never find it…because it’s in Dream 2 building. Simply a dream, just not simple, isn’t it? If you get tired of getting lost, just take a walk to the Obolon renewed riverside, which is really close to the mall.
  • Metrograd. People like to joke that locals in Kyiv spend more than half of their life underground. Well, if you get lost in this underground shopping mall in Kyiv, you will just like locals, spend half of your vacation underground.
Where to buy souvenirs in Kyiv?

Your relatives and friends in your hometown (who are working while you’re having a vacation in Kyiv) probably hope that you are not greedy enough to spend all the money just on you, and are waiting for some presents from Ukraine.

So where to buy souvenirs in Kyiv? Here are a couple of places where you can buy some trivial (and not so much) gifts.

  • Andriivsky Descent. A place which is impossible not to visit (or you should be really talanted to miss it out). A lot of street sellers will offer you all kinds of souvenirs at prices that NEED to be bargained. Usually on a tour I help my guests negotiate about the price. Do not bargain till death, especially if the product is top-notch or really high-quality, however ask your local friend for help. Go all the way down, and you might find some more appealing things at more reasonable prices or turn right once you pass Saint Andrew Church and walk through the alley where you can see a lot of great paintings.
  • Vsi Svoi. A big shop on the main street of Kyiv that sells the things made by Ukrainian designers. It’s where you can find some really unique stuff and support the local producer. Once in a while they organize the Vsi Svoi Market at D12 Gallery.
  • Gara Concept Store. The shop with the weird (and expensive) things. A place to find some unique gifts from Kyiv for your beloved ones, for yourself or simply to pay a visit. In order to get to the shop, you need to register an choose day and time. There cannot come more than 3 people at the same appointed time.
  • Awesome Kyiv Souvenirs. If you booked your Awesome Kyiv Tour, you can contact me about available souvenirs. If you order it in time, your souvenir will arrive on a tour together with your guide. These are hand-made souvenirs, and, except painted bottles of vodka, you can order a lot of other stuff, or even give your suggestions.

Did you already started to worry that you might not have taken enough money for all this retail therapy? Don’t you worry, shopping in Kyiv is a wonderful experience. And once you get tired – welcome on Awesome Kyiv Walking Tour. No shops, promise. Unless you really beg for it.

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 – When you go on TripAdvisor, the first 10 things to see in Kyiv, are churches, – once I’ve heard from a guest on my tour. Indeed, it’s around 900 churches for 839 km², but alternative Kyiv is sometimes just behind the golden domes.

The face of the city is changing very fast: new bars, cafes, clubs, street art appear lightning fast. However with its 1536 years history, thousand year old cathedrals, monasteries and well kept traditions, Kyiv will never become too alternative. Old and new, traditional and modern live here next to each other in uncontrollable mess unbelievable harmony.

So here is your Kyiv Guide to Traditional and Alternative places, located just next to each other. Choose whatever you want, but better try both!

Liadsky Gate & Last Barricade Restaurant

Liadsky Gate right in the centre of Maidan is considered to be the one through which Mongol-Tatars attacked Kyiv in 1240. Pechersky Gate was built on its place later on. Now it’s a good place to meet on Maidan, especially on a busy day when the Independance Square of Kyiv is crowded – simply agree to wait for each other under Liadsky gate, and you will easily catch up.

Ostannia Barykada (Last Barricade) is a restaurant of modern Ukrainian cuisine and a guide through three Ukrainian revolutions. Located right under Liadsky gate, visible only to curious eyes. Take a guided tour around the restaurant to find out the last barricade of Kyiv or enjoy live music of Ukrainian bands. Do not forget to learn Last Barricade password – (Борітеся – поборете (Boritesia – poborete).

Saint Andrew Church & D12 Gallery

Saint Andrew Church on top of Andriivsky Descent in Kyiv is one of top Kyiv viewpoints.  The church is beautiful at any time of a day, but if you are searching for alternative places in Kyiv, pay a visit to D12 Gallery, located just a couple of meters away from the church.

It’s the main location for Vsi Svoi Markets – big events when Ukrainian designers/local producers present their products to locals and travelers. The D12 Gallery is a venue to summer time event Jazz on the Terrace – if you are a music lover, it’s a unique chance to combine listening to quality music with spending time outside and enjoying the views of night Kyiv.

Saint Sophia Cathedral & Art Centre Locatsia

Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv is the only church in Ukraine that fully survived Mongol-Tatar invasion in 1240 and still stands as the oldest cathedral in Ukraine. It’s awesome, how you can feel the energy of this place.

Christmas market in Kyiv starts from Saint Sophia Cathedral and goes all the way to Saint Michael’s Monastery. It’s here you can see Easter fairs and other celebrations.

While most of the tourists walk towards Saint Sophia from Maidan or from Golden Gates, I always try to show this mesmerizing place from other angles.

Visit Art Centre Locatsia  located to get another prospective on Saint Sophia and enjoy some modern art or a cup of coffee in relaxing atmosphere.

Ar Rakhmah Mosque & Closer Club

The first mosque in Kyiv is located at the place that used to be an old muslim cemetery. Most of the people buried there – tatars. The mosque is lightened at night which makes a walk around the district really magical.

Just a couple hundred meters behind the mosque – Closer Club – a mekka for those who search where to dance to electro music in Kyiv.

Rated as top 20 night clubs in the world, Closer is one of the most popular clubs in Kyiv and the venue for famous Strichka festival – for fans of electro music.

Though the district is out of centre, it’s one of the most controversial and offbeat districts of Kyiv that we discover in Awful Kyiv Walking Tour.

Saint Michael Cathedreal & Heavenly Hundred Square

Aggressively ruined in Soviet period, and fully rebuilt in 1999, Saint Michael’s Cathedral is one of the most important religious centres in Ukraine. This cathedral started a tradition of golden domes in Kyiv Rus.

Saint Michael’s Cathedral is a great example how traditions can be tied with modern life. The cathedral was the soul of Euromaidan Revolution of Dignity. It turned into real shelter for protesters: people used to sleep there, hide from Berkut police, volunteers were bringing food and clothes to there, while priests and monks – helping them.

The Heavenly Hundred Square, located right in front of the cathedral and monastery is a modern part of Ukrainian history. You can easily find the place by the wall scretched portrait of Sergii Nigoyan – he was among the first protesters who died in January 2014 at the age of 20.

Previously a landfill, now it’s a small square, carefully restored by locals and dedicated to the heroes of Ukraine who died while fighting for freedom of our country.

Fancy to get a mix of traditional and alternative, or find out the most popular landmarks while walking through hidden backyards and offbeaten paths? Then welcome on Awesome Kyiv Walking Tour – as awesome as you are!

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Kyiv is a city on the hills, which means that finding a viewing platform in Kyiv with fascinating views is a piece of cake. I’ll save you from running between the hills by giving you this list of the best viewpoints in Kyiv.

Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Belltower

If you are wondering where to find panorama view of Kyiv, then Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Belltower is the right fit. With the heigh of 96 meters, it is the highest belltower of Kyiv. Climb the steps and get firstly on the balcony (openeds in warm season), and then climb a bit more to get on the top of belltower. You will get 360° view on the city (who knows, maybe you will even see your home from here?)

We climb on the belltower of Kyiv Pechersk Lavra during our Pechersk Walking Tour

In old Kyiv guidebooks people used to write: you have not seen Kyiv, if you have not climbed Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Belltower. So, have you seen Kyiv?

Mother of Motherland View on Botanical Garden from Underneath of Mother of Motherland Monument

One of the most imposing monuments in Kyiv, servind as an entrance to WWII Museum, is also a great viewpoint. There is an opportunity to climb up to the shield of Mother of Motherland, which takes around 40 mins (you go up with elevators first and then climb the pompier ladder). However, since the shield viewpoint gives you a view of the right bank of Kyiv, and does not grant you with such fascinating views of Dnipro river and left bank you can get at Lavra Belltower.

The view you get at the foot of Mother of Motherland monument is already impressive, also you can walk around monument to see better Pechersk landscapes.

Park of Eternal Glory

One of the most romantic places in Kyiv (challenge yourself to find a place to sit on the viewpoint here on the summer night – it’s all occupied by couples:)

You will get amazing views on Kyiv: Dnipro river, Hidropark island, left bank. The park is close to Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, Mother of Motherland Monument and WWII museum, so you can combine it all in a memorable trip.

This Kyiv viewpoint is also great if you are a fan of watching sunrises.

Saint Volodymyr Hill

One of the most sacred places in Kyiv, granting you with scenic views (especially on the sunrise). Saint Volodymyr’s Hill was favorite place of the writer Mykhailo Bulgakov in Kyiv. The newly reconstructed park used to be the most famous park of Kyivites in 19th century. Times passes but the traditions are not changing: still many old and young people come to here to relax, walk, cycle or sit on the historical alcove.

That’s a place where I quite often end Kyiv Pub Crawl – what can be more rewarding after a fun night out than watching a new day being born?

Zamkova Hora (Castle Hill)

One of the so-called bold hills in Kyiv, this one will give you an overview of Podil district, especially Saint Andrew Descent with all its cozy streets and rooftops, Vozdvyzhenka Ghost Town, Kyiv Mohyla Academy and much more.

If you climb up a bit more, you can find the leftovers of pagan temples and abandoned cemetery in the forest.

The place is amazing on the sunset, that’s why I quite often use it as a venue for making personal photosessions in Kyiv.

Shchekavytsia Hill

One of the most mysterious hills in Kyiv, located in the queerish district of Kyiv. Walk through some awful garages and make your way to the scenic viewpoint. The best time to come is at the sunset – you will get an overview of Podil, residence houses, working and abandoned factories and many strange constructions. Book Awful Kyiv Walking Tour and, apart from climbing this and other hills, discover one of the most controversial districts of Kyiv.

Arch of Friendship

The massive construction from Soviet era was part of many discussions and even scandals (e.g. during the Eurovision 2017 in Kyiv). Nonetheless, it’s one of the greatest viewing platforms in Kyiv. Watch Podil, riverside, Trukhaniv Island and Pedestrian Bridge from here.

Arch of Diversity is also a good start for a walk through Mariinsky Park. Come here at a down, and you will enjoy mesmerizing sunrise.

St. Andrew’s Church

The unique example of Ukrainian baroque, Saint Andrew Church will gift you with picturesque views of Podil area. Climb the stairs and watch people strolling Saint Andrew Descent, locals and tourists sitting in cozy cafes or artists selling their paintings.

The church itself is on the reconstruction, but the viewpoint is opened.

Hryshko Botanical Garden Photo from Internet

The biggest botanical garden in Kyiv is also an impressive viewing platform. Mix strolling the beatiful paths, surrounded by forest, with watching Kyiv from the hills. Get a charming view of Mother of Motherland, Dnipro river and left side of Kyiv.

Visit botanical garden at the sunrise or even at midnight to fully enjoy the magic of the place. Admire Vydubytsky Monastery, located on the slopes of Dnipro river.

Kyiv Fortress

The fortification in Kyiv that never served for its primary purpose. Now serves as a military hospital. The observation desk of Kyiv Fortress gives amazing overview of Kyiv, especially Olimpiysky Stadium. What’s more, the place is popular for overhearing the concerts. Though the place only works till 18:00, there are some secret ways to sneak into this place.

Paton’s Bridge 

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Being a private guide in Kyiv does not mean just to spend a couple of hours on a walking tour. It’s a serious management job. One of the guide’s tasks is politely answering guest’s questions.

Not to turn myself into Info-point or Ms. Google, I decided to gather the most popular questions about Kyiv at one place. Something I can send to my guests even before they think about asking a question.

So here you go – from “is Kyiv safe” to “can I marry 2 girls in Kyiv”. Ain’t no joke. 

Is it safe in Kyiv?

One of the top questions about Kyiv. I honestly love making fun of people by answering: “No” and giving them even more reasons why they should never visit Kyiv.

Since not everybody understands my sarcasm (thing i can’t imagine my life without), I will simply answer: “Yes, Kyiv is safe, as long as you are smart”.

If you need details, you can read my article “Is Kyiv safe?”

How to get from Kyiv airport to the city centre?

From Boryspil Airport to Kyiv: 
  • Bus 322. The bus can take you either to Central Railway Station (100 uah) or to Kharkivska Metro station (60 uah). Then you can either take a metro or taxi. Works 24/7.
  • Uber. Keep in mind, that if you buy Ukrainian sim-card in the airport, you will have your data, which makes your life a bit easier. With local sim card, and Uber linked to it, you can pay for taxi either by card or by cash.
  • Official taxi. There is the point right in front of arrivals gates, where you can arrange official taxi in Kyiv.
  • Local taxi. If you speak some Ukrainian or Russian, you can call local taxi in Kyiv and order a cab. Some of the trusted ones are King Taxi and Elite Taxi.
  • Kyiv Airport Pick Up. Awesome Kyiv provide all the guests who booked any of Awesome Kyiv Walking Tours with an opportunity to book an airport pick up in Kyiv.
From Zhuliany Airport to Kyiv
  • Trolleybus #9. The trolleybus takes you from Zhuliany airport to Kyiv City Centre (the last stop is Ploshcha Lva Tolstogo (blue metro line stop)) Works till around midnight. The price is 8 UAH.
  • Uber, taxi or airport pick up. Just the same as with Boryspil to Kyiv, but a bit cheaper.
Can I get visa on arrival in Kyiv airport?

Yes, you can get visa on arrival in Kyiv, however, it depends on your country of residence, so you need to check with your embassy first.

Getting visa on arrival in Kyiv is always more time consuming than getting visa to Ukraine beforehand. Some people spend in airport up to 6 and more hours. So I would really advise to get your visa to Ukraine in advance and save yourself from extra stress.

However, Ukraine is visa free for a lot of countries.

Where to stay in Kyiv?

There are numerous options for different budgets. However, there are some of the districts in Kyiv that are coller than others. Here I wrote about the best areas to stay in Kyiv, including hostels and hotels in Kyiv.

Airbnb in Kyiv is getting more and more popular, and it is definitely a way to go if you want to save money and still have your privacy. Search for apartments in the areas of Maidan, Zoloti Vorota, Universytet, Pechersk, Podil, and you will not be disappointed.

How many days do I need for Kyiv?

It really depends on what you want to see in Kyiv. You can cover a lot of things even during a full day, the question is: do you really want to run around Kyiv to do your bucket list?

I’d recommend spending at least 5 days here to explore hidden gems of Kyiv, its countryside and nightlife, including a plethora of cool bars in Kyiv. Prolong your stay in this awesome city and explore Kyiv like a local.

What are the secret places in Kyiv?

If you want to discover Kyiv secret places, I would recommend exploring the backyards of the main streets. You can find a lot of Kyiv street art, beautiful balconies and ruins right in the city centre.

You can always book Hidden Backyards Walking Tour in Kyiv and we will go to explore my city together.

Should I walk with my passport in Kyiv?

Many foreigners in Kyiv are thinking that they have to walk with their passport, to show it on request of police.

This is not true, otherwise Ukrainians would already get mad at this and start writing petitions to government (we really enjoy signing petitions). So simply leave your passport at your hotel in Kyiv/apartment and enjoy your walk without any worries.

Where can I exchange money in Kyiv?
  • In the airport. With the exchange rates like heaven, obviously (not good kind of heaven). Exhcnage some money in Kyiv airport, to pay for your taxi or just to have money just in case.
  • Withdraw from ATM. Sometimes there are some limits (some ATMs have limits like 3000 UAH per withdrawal etc). Also, there is a commission/per withdrawal, which means it is better to withdraw bigger amounts of money. You can try to find the banks that are partners of your country bank, which will lower the commission.
  • Currency exchange offices in Kyiv. They are scattered all around the city, sometimes they even work 24/7.
  • Banks in Kyiv. You can exchange money in Kyiv banks and get the best rates, however the exchange rat in Kyiv depends from bank to bank. Some of the Kyiv banks will demand your passport for exchanging money. Also, chances are, you will have to wait in lines in some of the most popular banks in Kyiv.
  • Your hostel/hotel in Kyiv. You can exchange money in Kyiv at your accommodation. You can even ask your landlord to do it. In most cases, you can get your money echanged at a really good rate.
What’s the weather in Kyiv?

People ask me this questions so much, that sometimes I start to doubt if the weather forecast works for Kyiv. I do not know how strange it sounds, but it does!

We have 4 seasons here. You get really hot summers, cold snowy winters, London’s rains in autumn and blossoming spring. However, sometimes snow in Kyiv stays all the way till middle of April.

Summers here allow you to swim or sunbathe at numerous beaches in Kyiv. In winter you can even go for skiing in Kyiv or snowboarding to the resort called Protasiv Yar, located not far from the city centre.

Is Kyiv radioactive?

With so many people going on Chernobyl Tours I start to worry that we will soon become radioactive. However the radiation in Kyiv is pretty okay for living.

However, this August Kyiv will become really radioactive, because Imagine Dragons concert in Kyiv is really soon (consider it as one more reason to visit Kyiv).

Why people in Kyiv don’t smile?

If you think that grumpy Ukrainians will smile just because of politeness, think again. As it is said, you should deserve a smile of Ukrainians. Simply said, we smile honestly, and when we do, we really mean it. Other than that smiling is not in the culture.

Can I drink on the streets in Kyiv?

Officially – no, because you can be fined if police catch you. However, you know that Ukrainians are rebels. So do not be surprised if you see young people drinking wine on the riverside of Dnipro, on the hills and other romantic places of Kyiv.

If you see happy people (mostly older or middle-aged) men drinking their espresso from tiny espresso cups, there can be some burning stuff inside, bit hotter than coffeine.

Is it safe to ride a bike in Kyiv?

The infrastructure of Kyiv is not very bike-friendly, but the amount of people cycling in Kyiv is growing. You can even rent a bike in Kyiv, joing night rides or become e member of cycling community.

Locals still use a bike as a passtime rather than a way to get around.

Where can I find new friends in Kyiv?

Ukrainians do a lot of small talk: in the shops, in the metro etc. So if you are a master of that, you can show off your skills and maybe even make new friends in Kyiv.

The best way to meet new people in Kyiv is to join international events, such as Awesome Kyiv Meet Up or Habana Language Exchange.

Register at Internations to join a community of expats in Kyiv or join one of facebook Expats Grouos in Kyiv, such as Expats in Kiev or Kiev Expats – Old and New. You can ask your questions about Kyiv there, but look before you leap – the old members there are really great at making fun at dumb questions and use sarcasm as a powerful tool.

Where to buy souvenirs in Kyiv?

Again – everywhere. From underground passages to flea markets. You can go to shopping malls like Ocean Plaza or Gulliver, visit the stores of Ukrainian designers products, such as Vsi Svoi shop at Khreshchatyk street or try your bargaining skills while taking a stroll through Andriivsky Descent.

Awesome Kyiv gives you an opportunity to order handmade souvenirs from Kyiv or get a postcard from Kyiv for free.

Where to dance in Kyiv?

If you are a beginner, I’d recommend you starting from your apartment in Kyiv, even better – your apartment in your home country. Or in a dancing school such as Dance My Way.

You can always dance salsa in Kyiv in such places as Buena Vista and Habana. The last one even offer events like «Meet and dance. language exchange” in Kyiv. Drop into Caribbean club for some cool concert or simply dancing night or visit Closer club – one of the top-20 clubs in Europe.

What are some coworkings in Kyiv?

If you are a hardworker and cannot stop working even while travelling, or in case you set up a company in Kyiv, but have not got office yet, then coworking in Kyiv is the right choice.

A couple of best coworking spaces in Kyiv are: Hub 4.0., Izone, Data Hub, Projector, Sad, Shchastia Hub, SkyHub.

Where to listen to live music in Kyiv?

I was searching for the location “Everywhere” on GoogleMaps, but failed. So yes, everywhere, from Kyiv metro to streets of the city. From concerts in Palats Sportu, Olimpiysky Stadium etc to National Philarmonic of Ukraine.

There are many bars with the live music in Kyiv, such as Blues Bar, Loggerhead, Tolstyi Lev, Bochka, Habana, Ostannia Barykada and many other.

If you want to create your own live music – go to karaoke. Most of them work till 6 in the morning and enable you to show your singing talents to the public (or embarass people – choose whatever you want). Mafia is the most popular local chain for karaoke in Kyiv.

Awesome Kyiv is organizing pub crawls on request, where we can combine visiting cool underground bars in Kyiv with live music bars and karaoke places (we even end up watching mesmerizing sunrise in Kyiv!)

Do people in Kyiv speak English?

In addition to being grumpy, we can piss you off by our level of English. That’s why sometimes people in Kyiv might seem unfriendly to you. But if someone did not show you the right direction, it can happen because a person simply does not speak English or feels shy about it.

However, with the growth of tourism in Kyiv, more and more people start to learn English. So we are waiting for you, because every next visitor is a motivation to learn more than “London is the capital of Great Britain”.

What language is more popular in Kyiv: Ukrainian or Russian?

Though Russian language used to prevail Ukrainian capital, more and more Ukrainians tend to speak the official language of a country, which is, of course, Ukrainian. This is the language of studying in..

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So, you have read 10 reasons why you should never visit this city, but decided to protest against it and bought your tickets to Kyiv? Congratulations: now you only need to find accommodation. Here are the best areas to stay in Kyiv.

1. Zoloti vorota – charming old town

If I do not show this area to my guests, I do not feel their stay to be complete. Zoloti Vorota (Golden gate) is by no means one of the most charming and central districts of Kyiv.

Located in a walking distance from most of the sightseeing places such as Maidan, Saint Sophia Cathedral, Kyiv Opera House, Saint Michael Monastery and many others, yet not immediate centre, it’s a perfect place to stay in Kyiv, if you want to be in the centre of everything, but at the same time living in a peaceful and quiet area.

Golden gate area can boast of numerous places to eat, small cozy bars and cafes, beautiful hidden backyards and street art and lots of underground places.

Popular hostels and hotels in Kyiv: Opera Hotel, Premiere Palace Hotel11 Mirrors Design HotelSummit Apart HotelReal Home Apartments in Kiev Centre, City Hotel, Incognito Boutique Hotel, Hilton Kyiv, Bontiak Hotel, Maison Blanche Kyiv ibis Kiev City Centre, Ballet HostelVeselka Hostel

Closest metro stations: Zoloti vorota, Teatralna

2. Maidan – immediate centre Credit: ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images

One of the most popular places to stay in Kyiv that bursts with the nightlife. You will have plenty of bars, clubs, restaurants and cafes right at your doorstep. The only question is: do you really want to live in the middle this endless celebration?

The good option is to have your Maidan apartment or hotel with a bedroom windows going out to the backyard of the building. It means that your accommodation in Kyiv will be still quiet, despite its central location. That’s why ask your landlord or administrator about its exact location. Also read the reviews on TripAdvisor/Google.

Having your apartment at Maidan area also means you will be within walking distance to most of the sightseeing places in Kyiv, parks and within 20 mins walk to the riverside.

Popular hostels and hotels in Kyiv: Crystal Hotel, Senator Maidan HotelKiev InnLive Here Hotel, Khreshchatyk HotelTIU Khreshchatyk Hostel, Cloud 9 Hostel, ZigZag Hostel

Closest metro stations: Maidan Nezalezhnosti, Khreshchatyk

3. Pechersk – the safest and most quiet district

Finding accommodation in Pechersk means living in the least populated and the safest district in Kyiv.

The area has the most expensive property in the city and considered to have upscale real estate. However, you can find many airbnb Kyiv apartments there at reasonable price.

Pechersk is located in the hills, that’s why you will have plenty of panorama places in Kyiv at your hand.

If you book a place to stay near Arsenalna metro in Kyiv, you will be in a walking distance from Mariinsky park, Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, Eternal flame, WWII Museum, Mother of Motherland, Holodomor Museum, Art Arsenal and a plethora of other important sightseeing places in Kyiv.

Booking an apartment near Druzhby Narodiv means you will be in a walking distance from Botanical Garden – an amazing oasis in the middle of the big city and a venue for different events in Kyiv.

The area is still considered one of the central districts of Kyiv, though more local.

Popular hotels and hostels in Kyiv: Eloft Kiev Hotel, Premier Hotel Rus,  7th Sky Hotel, Gregoir Hotel Kyiv,

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“Summer nights, mid July, when you and I were forever wild…” Half of the summer is gone. Now time to think what to do with the rest of it, to remember your summer in Kyiv with Lana Del Ray lyrics.

Here are some awesome summer events in Kyiv. Make sure to add to your list.

UPark Festival 2018

If you are searching for rock music festivals in Kyiv, then UPark is for you. With Gorillaz in Kyiv as one of the headliners of the festival, and many other world known bands, this annual festival si something that will really make the difference to your trip to Kyiv.

When: 25-26 of July

Where: Dynamo Kyiv Stadium

White Nights Festival

Searching where to watch white nights? I bet you have never considered Kyiv as an option. And you should have.

Kyiv White Nights Festival is one of the main summer parties in Kyiv. This music event at Platforma Art Factory unites more than 100 artists of all kinds – from Disco to Drum&Bass. That’s the right time to make your nights brighter than the days.

When: 17-18 of August

Where: Kyiv Platforma Art Factory

Jazz on the beach

Searching where to listen to jazz in Kyiv? The answer is obvious – right on the beach! For the whole summer talanted jazz musicians are coming to UBK open air bar, located on the banks of Dnipro river, on Trukhaniv island, to play the hits of jazz.

Combine listening to jazz in Kyiv with watching breathtaking sunsets and enjoying favorite drinks in a company of friends and charming music.

When: almost every week

Where: UBK 

Kourazh Bazar

Wondering where to try street food in Kyiv, or where to find Kyiv flea markets? Then welcome to Kourazh Bazar – a blend of tasty food of different cuisines, huge flea market and friendly atmosphere. This time – literally friendly, because this Kourazh Bazar in Kyiv is themed as “Friends” edition.

When: 21 of July, 11 of August

Where: Kyiv Platforma Art Factory

RTR 2018

If you like automobile sport, especially the races, then ReadyToRace event in Kyiv is a must. The third stage of the races is an exciting miz of auto races, tuning and great show. Watch the drift show, stunt show, moto kid show and RTR Time Attack.

This big driving adventure will drive you crazy – but only in a good way!

When: 29 of July

Where: Autodrom Chaika

Virsky Dance Show https://kvartal-concert.com

Are you a dance lover and excited to watch the dance show in Kyiv? The legendary Virsky Dance Ensemble will be masterly performing a great Ukrainian national dance on 23rd of August. Enjoy watching the old and contemporary dance of diffrent regions of Ukraine.

Do not forget wearing your vyshyvanka!

When: 23 of August

Where: Palats Ukraina Concert Hall

Okean Elzy Concert

Okean Elzy, the most popular rock band in Ukraine, is giving a concert on Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kyiv. Definitely the brighest celebration of 24th of August, the Independence Day of Ukraine.

When: 24 of August

Where: Kyiv Olympiyskiy Stadium

Imagine Dragons Concert
Imagine Dragons - Radioactive - YouTube

Imagine Dragons in Kyiv can be deservedly called the most awaited music event of this summer. The Kyivanns were so excited to scream “Radioactive” with Dan Reynolds, that the tickets were selling like hotcakes, but there is still in aopportunity to buy a ticket, and end your summer in Kyiv in the right way.

When: 31 of August

Where: Kyiv Olympiyskiy Stadium

Are you visiting Kyiv in summer? You have a chance to complete this list. Or at least some of these points. I give you a guarantee of summertime sadness after. But only because it would be so good, that you will be sad it’s over.

Alina Virstiuk

Your Awesome Kyiv Guide

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