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Hello, Kyivites and guests of the city! My name is Yurii Diak. I came to Kyiv 18 years ago. All things about the capital made me fall in love with it. Anyone who has been to Kyiv at least once will not forget this beautiful atmosphere full of centuries-old history. Today, I am talking about five places that come to mind first, because it is impossible to limit Kyiv to any top.

Kyiv underground

They say there are two Kyivs: one on the surface, and the other down there, underground. Once, they insisted that the network of underground passages under the city was so powerful that it was possible to even reach Chernihiv. Of course, this is unlikely, but according to official data, the length of the sewage collectors under Kyiv itself is over 700 km! Moreover, many of those were laid about a hundred years ago.

“Thrill seekers will like it. Guided tours there are organised. My wife and I just were on one of them. We got a lot of impressions.”

The Mykilska drainage system, which is about 200 years old, is one of the most interesting digger locations. It has so innovative engineering solutions used there that it’s hard to believe it is so old. It’s also cool to get into the longest tunnel running under Askold’s Grave and the Green Theatre, or to get as deep as possible under Khreshchatyk and Besarabka. Or to go in search of underground rivers in Podil and Solomianka, now.

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The next recommendation will concern Kyiv nature.

Hryshko Botanical Garden

“If you want to take a break away from the city, walk in the greenhouses, you should go there. And lilac in May fills you with its fragrance for the whole year to come.”

The Botanical Garden was created in 1935 and gathered, during its existence, such a collection that it deserves to be regarded one of the best in Europe. Plants from all botanical and geographical regions of the world are presented here. Here you will find both the flora of harsh Siberia and tropical exotics. And it’s also cool to see that the garden is not the same every week: something always fades, and something else blooms in its stead; colours and smells change. Keep track of the botanical garden’s blooming calendar not to miss the most interesting things.

On the territory of 130 hectares, you will certainly find many spots to feel unity with nature, to contemplate the breath-taking panoramas of the city or to have a picnic. Should you want to add some activities, then you are welcome to yoga sessions, tea parties, or even concerts and festivals, which are often held here during the warm season.

“Those who like walks can walk across the hills of Kyiv from the Motherland Monument all the way to St. Andrew’s Church and to the descent of the same name. The next day, you will feel exhausted to death, but such a walk covers a lot of places of interest and memorial sites.”

Just look at the list:


While discussing such famous places, another important symbol and the most recognisable silhouette of the city skyline immediately came to mind.

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Sophia of Kyiv

“It’s an incredible place in the heart of the capital. First, I advise that you read about it, and only then visit it and immerse yourself in its atmosphere.”

St. Sophia’s Cathedral is one of the oldest monuments protected by UNESCO that have survived till now in Eastern Europe. The temple was founded in the early 11th century by Prince Yaroslav the Wise of Kyiv. It became the main church of Rus, a prince’s tomb and an educational centre, as the first library was located here.

Just imagine that inside, you can still see the world’s largest preserved fragments of unique mosaics and frescoes, which are about 1,000 years old!

The major part of the modern ensemble of Sophia of Kyiv was formed in the 17th and 18th centuries with the assistance of patrons Petro Mohyla and Ivan Mazepa. In particular, during that period, a baroque bell tower was erected, with an incredible panorama of the city centre opening from its sightseeing platform.

By the way, a very cool designer hotel Sophia Hotel Kyiv combining works of the best Ukrainian designers, perfumers, decorators, art critics, cooks and hospitality workers has recently been opened nearby.

It is a top recommendation of Maia Stepova, co-owner of the modern Kyiv cuisine restaurant HLEK and a participant of social projects to support and develop modern Ukrainian gastronomy.

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The last but not the least, it’s all Kyiv theatres

The new history of theatre in the capital began in 1806 with the establishment of the permanent First Kyiv City Theatre on the site of modern European Square. Half a century later, the Kyiv Opera House was built, and later, modern Ivan Franko Theatre and Kyiv Academic Puppet Theatre, which is the oldest of its kind in Ukraine.

Today, there are about 50 theatres in Kyiv. All of them target different audiences, differ in repertoires, casts and directorial discoveries. Along with classical theatres, there are modern and independent theatres such as the Theatre on Podil, the Kyiv Academic Theatre Workshop Suziria, which is the first engagement theatre in Ukraine, the Centre for Contemporary Art DAH, the Black Square Studio, PostPlayTheatre, and many others.

“You will find a performance to all tastes.”

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