I never thought that I would visit Ukraine before moving to Europe. I couldn’t tell you much about the country either; maybe just pierogies and Chernobyl. Luckily, Katy (@katy_running_wild) has Ukraine in her blood and visiting her heritage land was something she always wanted to do.
Despite, not knowing much about this part of Europe or Ukraine in general, I highly recommend adding Kiev, Ukraine to your bucket list and let the city surprise you in so many ways. With a clash of cultures from Western Europe and the Russian influence, the architecture and history will bring your history books to life; the food will make your taste bud boogie and the people will surprise you.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
WHEN TO GO:
Personally, I would recommend going in April. The weather is April-like (comfortable in a sweater) and Easter is a large celebration throughout Ukraine, being in the city during these festivities was an experience and the event calendar is buzzing! Air Baltic is an excellent flight source, they are a gem with great prices and awesome staff.
WHERE TO STAY:
We stayed at the futurists and space-like looking hostel: Hostel Veselka; affordable, centrally located (hard to find at first), good security and kind staff (English wasn’t a commonality but we figured it out), BUT you have to climb climb climb climb a lot of stairs.
*free walking tour
*find the straw cat
*eat pierogies and order something random
*participate in the local activities
*pay your respects and marvel at the architecture of the vast amount of churches
Free Walking Tour! Meets at 12:00 and 16:00 in Independence Square, near the mail office, right next to the huge globe on a stick. They may be late; but the tour is worth it.
The two tours show two completed different paths. We opted for the 12:00 one which includes: Independence Square, St Michael’s Cathedral, St Andrew’s Church, St Sophia Cathedral, Golden Gate, National Opera, House of Teachers and Monument to the First Kiev Tram. (More or less, subject to change because of weather and such.)
St Michael’s Cathedral:
Built by Prince Sviatopolk in 1108, destroyed by the Soviets in 1930, reconstructed in 2000. With its glittering golden domes and sky blue exterior St. Michael’s Cathedral is impossible to ignore.
St Andrew’s Church:
Is a baroque-styled church (found in the oldest of neighborhoods Podil) designed by Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli, built in 1754. Rarely enough, this particular church managed to avoid being seriously damaged or reconstructed throughout the years of turmoil.
St. Sophia’s Church:
Built in 1037, St. Sophia’s is Kiev’s oldest (still standing) church. The grand architecture was designed by Prince Yaroslav to commemorate a victory and to glorify Christianity.
Constructed in 1017-1024, the gate was the main entrance inside Kiev.
National Opera House:
Established in 1867 and still hold events today.
End of the walking tour:
Since there isn’t much to do in the capital, Kiev, on day two and three we slept in, relaxed and just repeated the walking tour. Going around and round wandering everywhere we could and took more photos; stopping to admire the HUGE hand painted eggs all around the city, bought some cookies, tradional head-bands, visited the friendship arch with my main squeeze (@katy_running_wild), eat some cherry pierogies and had a photoshoot.
Kiev was beyond our egg-spectation, we were truly egg-citing and egg-static filled with energy and vibrant, bold and egg-splosive colors. Kiev you are egg-ceptional.
if you guys make it to this point (gee golly, thanks, I’m blushing – hope it was helpful/entertaining), find @katy_running_wild on the insta insta and comment on her photo that she is “egg-cellent :D”
Have you been to Kiev, Ukraine? What did you think? Anything you would recommend or advise to new travelers?