1. Check out the weekly exhibition of local designer brands.
If your arrival in the city falls on a weekend, then go for a walk to the top of Andriyivsky Descent. First you will see the famous St. Andrew’s Church and the view of the city from its grounds. You can even look inside if you want. Then, explore the next building, where the exhibition is located. It takes place every weekend on Saturday and Sunday. Here you’ll find the most famous Ukrainian brands from all over the country. In addition to these interesting products, there are also places to get a bite to eat.
Tip: Here you can buy souvenirs for yourself and your friends. What you find here will be much more interesting than the outdated trinkets you will find in other places.
2. Drink coffee in the locals’ favorite courtyard.
Next we suggest stopping by our favorite courtyard on Reitarskaya street. Tucked away in this courtyard is the beloved mural of the ravens, which is called Herald of Life. You may even see the birds themselves, the subjects which inspired the mural’s creator, Alexander Brittsev, a Kharkov artist. Huge murals and mosaics adorn different buildings throughout the city. Artists from Ukraine, Canada, Argentina, Germany, Spain and Portugal diluted the post-Soviet landscape of the city with modern visual icons of freedom, war and ecology.
Tip: In the same courtyard, there is a coffee shop called Chestnut. Do not be afraid of the post-Soviet interior. We suggest you order some of the best filtered coffee in the city and a piece of bread to feed the birds.
3. Visit the National Art Museum (NAMU).
This is not a banal recommendation. The fact is, this museum was recently rebranded. An entirely new concept for the museum experience was developed by the guys from the most famous Ukrainian creative agency Banda. The museum has since become truly modern. In addition, the museum lobby has been vastly updated, so that now you feel like you’re in the movie Grand Budapest Hotel.
Tip: Don't run out of here too soon. There are many interesting and modern exhibitions to see, some of which will acquaint you with the history of our country. For example, there was recently an exhibition of ancient Ukrainian icons, which are not like the ones you see in our cathedrals. Be sure to take an audio guide. The entrance is only 40 UAH.
4. Sit on the embankment of the Dnieper.
We suggest stopping by the supermarket or bakery nearest to the NAMU Museum on the European Square and then going down the secret road to the Dnieper to eat your snack while admiring the view of Trukhanov Island.
Tip: If you still have energy, you can walk across the bridge to the island and rent a bike. There is an amazing bike path through the pine forest that we know you will enjoy. And if you come in the winter, you can warm up in one of the cafés оn Sagaydachnogo Street.
5. Visit a cinema full of history.
Zhovten Cinema opened in 1931 under the name Ninth Goskino at 26 Konstantinovskaya Street. This is one of the first cinemas in the city, and its building is made in the style of constructivism. The cinema was very popular in the 20s and 30s. It is no less loved and popular today. The locals adore it. We recommend catching a movie here.
Tip: Don’t worry, another feature of the cinema is that some of the films are in English. Check the official website of the cinema and choose something for yourself.
6. Already thinking about dinner?
Chernomorka is a growing network of six establishments in Kiev (and one more is in Odessa) serving the freshest seafood. Not only can you taste it on the spot, but you can also order takeout. This café is full of the spirit of Odessa, the beautiful Ukrainian city by the Black Sea. Though you are in Kiev, we highly recommend you take this opportunity to sample the culture of Southern Ukraine.
Tip: Also in the Podol neighborhood, on 5/2 Yaroslavskaya Street, just underneath Chernomorka, is the new and popular Herring Street Food Café: it stays open until 23:00 and the menu is huge.
7. Grails Bar
Nightlife in Kiev is a lot of fun, and there are many places to have a great time. We suggest Grails, a bar near our hostel. It is also known as the bar "under the house." It is a friendly, small and lively spot. The bartenders here are ready to discuss everything with you.
Tip: Grails accepts cash only.
In Kiev, events, art evenings and festivals are especially numerous. Sometimes the city is even called "New Berlin." You can further vary your stay in the city by checking out interesting events at concert.ua and karabas.com.
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