Take a trip to Kyiv
The capital of Ukraine is crossed by the Dnieper river and is bordered by several beaches where one comes to bathe in summer. The city is very large and it is sometimes easy to get lost, so don’t hesitate to ask a local guide to accompany you for a few hours or a few days. He will show you the most important places of the city such as Andreevsky Spusk street, a place where musicians gather and where people come to have a drink or stroll in art galleries. Kyiv has many green spaces, especially its botanical garden which has a multitude of plants and flowers from all over the world. Don’t miss the traditional district of Podol where craftsmen and fishermen used to live.
Tour guides in Kyiv
Five ideas for guided tours in Kyiv
Andriyivsky Ouzviz (Saint Andrew’s Descent)
The legend of this charming sloping street goes back to the Apostle Andrew, who climbed it and planted a cross at the top of it, saying “A great city will stand in this place”.
In ancient times it was the fastest way to get from the port where the craftsmen lived to the upper town and its administrative sites. Andriyivsky Uzviz Street is 750 meters long and runs from Starokyivska Hora (Old Kyiv Mountain) to Podil (Lower Town) where it ends at Kontraktova Square. This street is probably the most picturesque street in Ukraine. You will find cafes, art galleries, amateur painters and vendors selling all kinds of souvenirs. At the top of the hill appears the imposing St. Andrew’s Church, a baroque monument of the 18th century, sparkling with its golden and blue colors.
The Catacomb Lavra (or Pechersk Lavra)
Pechersk Lavra is a monastery that was founded in the middle of the 11th century on the right bank of the Dnieper. It became an important place of spirituality in the Orthodox world where huge pilgrimages were held until 1917. The golden domes that form the roof of its churches are visible from far away and make it one of the most important monuments of the city of Kyiv.
It is composed of two buildings:
– The Upper Lavra: the visit begins behind an 8-meter thick wall. Discover its numerous monuments: the bell tower and the Dormition Cathedral, the Trinity-on-the-Porch church with its magnificent mural paintings as well as the museums of the Treasures of Ukraine and the more atypical one of Mykola Syadristy, the most famous micro-artist of the world who realized miniature works of art with an incredible precision.
– The Lower Lavra: dotted with caves. It is indeed in the caves that the first monks had chosen to live. It is the catacombs sheltering 123 mummified monks, among which a great number of saints.
Saint Sophia Cathedral
Historical symbol of Kyiv, the majestic St. Sophia Cathedral is a monument of the Kyiv Rus’: an East Slavic entity that existed from the middle of the 9th to the middle of the 13th century. It was founded by Prince Yaroslav the Wise in 1037 who wanted to compete with the church of the same name in Constantinople. Plundered and abandoned for many years, it was rebuilt in 1740 in baroque style. It was the site of the coronation of the rulers and is now used as a museum on the theme of Christianity in the Slavic countries. The monument has 5 naves, 13 domes, 5 apses (kind of circular delimitations in a building to highlight works or a sacred place). The interior of the buildings contains a wide range of murals, mosaics and works of Byzantine masters including the masterpiece of the Golden Virgin measuring six meters high raising his hands in prayer.
Maïdan Nézalejnosti (so called in Ukrainian) is the symbol of the Orange Revolution that took place at the end of 2004 after the results of controversial elections and where unfortunately many demonstrators died. The square located north of Khreschatyk, the main artery of the Ukrainian capital, has a monumental architecture of Soviet style. Located a little bit back from the road, it is a very pleasant place to walk around and discover the local culture. The esplanade is surrounded by beautiful villas dating from the 19th century. In the center is a white marble fountain commemorating the breakup of the country with the USSR in 1991. The Independence Square is always very lively and for a shopping break, the vast Globus shopping center with its three levels of stores will open its doors to you.
Fomine Botanical Garden
This historic botanical garden dates back to 1839 and was named in memory of Alexander Fomine, a famous Soviet botanist who directed it at the beginning of the last century. Located in the historical center of Kyiv, close to the Universytet metro station, it will be a unique opportunity for all travelers to take a breath of fresh air and rest away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The park contains the largest collection of plants in Eastern Europe with almost 10,000 different species on 22 hectares. The Fomine Botanical Garden is also home to the largest greenhouse in the world, with some of the largest palm trees in Eurasia.