Kyiv is for sure one of the most beautiful capitals in Eastern Europe, but at the same time it’s also quite an underrated one. Yanna, our local Kyiv ambassador, loves her city and wants you to see it through her eyes. Here’s a list of her favourite out-of-the-ordinary things to do in the captivating Ukrainian capital.
1. Discover the Pechersk Lavra caves
Pechersk Lavra aka the Monastery of the Caves is a unique Orthodox monastery known for its complex network of narrow underground corridors spanning approximately 5 kilometres in total. They were first mentioned in the 10th century and are believed to have been excavated in early 1054.
Inside the caves you’ll find relics of different saints as well as two underground churches. Note that there’s an entry fee and you’ll need to cover your head with a scarf or a hat.
It’s strictly forbidden to enter the caves without a guide because the network is quite complicated and most of it is closed to tourists. To avoid getting lost or in trouble, it’s best to book a tour.
Photo credit: Michele Ursino
2. Visit the peaceful Baikove Cemetery
Baikove is a historical cemetery dating back to the 1880s. It’s the burial place of lots of famous Ukrainian singers, writers, poets, artists, sportsmen, scientists and politicians, including Lesya Ukrainka, Nikolai Amosov and Maria Zankovetska to name just a few.
Stop by to admire old gravestones and sculptures created by Ukrainian masters. Some of them are truly five-star works of art.
Photo credit: Wikimedia
3. Take the tram to Pushcha-Voditsya
The no. 12 tram is evidence of the good old days in Kyiv when the tram network still snaked through the city’s streets. Nowadays this tram is known for its route to Pushcha-Voditsya – a historic neighbourhood with a huge forest that’s still situated within the city’s borders.
The trip takes approximately one hour, but it’s really worth it. You can watch Kyiv flash by during the journey and soon enough you’ll find yourself in a picturesque green pine forest.
Photo credit: Elena Penkova
4. Check out old trains at the Railway Museum
The Railway Museum is a true hidden gem because very few people are aware of its existence. It’s basically a small collection of various passenger carriages and locomotives from different time periods that belong to Kyiv’s national railway operator.
The museum is located in the Central Railway Station. It’s free if you have a train ticket, otherwise you can pay an admission fee on the spot.
Photo credit: Internationalsteam.co.uk
5. Try some locally brewed beer
Of course Ukrainians drink beer produced by world-famous breweries, but they also know how to appreciate good local beer. A lot of microbreweries have popped up in recent years and they’re producing some really good stuff.
You can find a first-rate selection of beers from Lviv, Chernigov, Kyiv and other regions of Ukraine in Street Bar 88, which is situated in a kiosk just in front of the Palats Sportu metro station.
Photo credit: guidetravel.biz
For a more authentic Kyiv experience, get the Like A Local mobile app