15 Top Sights to See in Kiev

15 Top Sights to See in Kiev

Kiev is the capital of Ukraine and one of the largest cities in the CIS. The city has a rich history, many beautiful places, and exciting sights. Sometimes Kiev - also known as Kyiv - is called the "mother of Russian cities," and this is no coincidence.

 

With centuries-old history, many monuments have appeared in Kyiv, reflecting the spiritual development of the countries of Eastern Europe. 

 

So from culture vultures to art lovers to foodies to fun-lovers that enjoy drinking or mobile live odds, there is always something to find in Kiev for everyone.

 

Here are some of the must-see sights!

1. Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra

Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra is one of the main attractions of ancient Kyiv, attracting most of the tourists. This is the main monastery of the Old Russian state and one of the centers of Orthodoxy in the CIS. Founded in 1051 by Yaroslav the Wise, the monastery received the status of Lavra in 1688.

 

Today, on the territory of the monument, you can visit many structures: Trinity Church, Annunciation Church, and much more. There are also several galleries, towers, and the grave of Pyotr Stolypin. One of the unique attractions of the Lavra is the caves containing the relics of saints.

Kiev Pechersk Lavra
Kiev Pechersk Lavra

2. Saint Sophia's Cathedral

Saint Sophia's Cathedral is another great place in Kyiv among the religious attractions. Its construction began in 1037 under the leadership of Yaroslav the Wise. The cathedral was finally completed only in the 1740s. It is located in the central part of the capital.

 

The Cathedral attracts many visitors with its immense architectural beauty. The interior of the landmark is no less delightful. Inside, you can see a collection of impressive mosaics and frescos and large fragments of murals from the 17th-18th centuries.

 

Also, at the cathedral, a cemetery stores the burials of Yaroslav the Wise, Vsevolod, and many metropolitans. Today this beautiful monument of Kyiv occupies a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List, which is a must-visit.

Saint Sophia's Cathedral
Saint Sophia's Cathedral

3. St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery

The beautiful St. Michael's Cathedral, one of the oldest in Ukraine, can be attributed to the best sights of Kyiv. The construction of the cathedral was carried out in the period from 1108 to 1113. The attraction is representative of the classic Ukrainian baroque. Dedicated to Archangel Michael - the foremost patron saint of Kyiv.

 

Throughout its history, the cathedral has suffered several raids. In Soviet times, it was destroyed, and the surviving frescos were transported to other places. The restoration of the monument took place in 1997-1998, and the surviving frescos have since returned to their proper homes. At the moment, St. Michael's Cathedral in Kyiv operates in a stable mode, receiving crowds of tourists.

St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery
St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery

4. St. Andrew's Church

St. Andrew's Church is The largest in the whole of Ukraine. It was erected in 1754 according to the project of Bartolomeo Rastrelli. The architectural style of the landmark is Baroque. Today the church is still active and services and other events are held there every day.

 

As you can see in the photo, this is a magnificent temple. Particular attention is drawn to the baroque iconostasis created by the best Petersburg masters. This is a stunning place to visit in Kyiv.

St. Andrew's Church
St. Andrew's Church

5. ST. Panteleimon's Cathedral

And the last on our list of several religious attractions in the capital of Ukraine is a beautiful cathedral located on the outskirts of the city. The first mention of the monastery dates back to 1861.

 

During the war, it was severely damaged, and later governance turned it into a subdivision of the Institute of Mechanics of the Ukrainian SSR, in which employees tested explosive weapons. In the 1990s, the monastery was restored and became an independent communal church.

St. Panteleimon's Cathedral
St. Panteleimon's Cathedral

6. Khreshchatyk

Khreshchatyk is the main and most famous street in Kyiv. Khreshchatyk begins at the European Square, runs through Independence Square, a total of 1.3 km long, and ends with Bessarabska Square.

 

Today Khreshchatyk is built up with buildings that all share one style direction. That is why the whole street looks like a single whole. On Khreshchatyk, there are many administrative buildings, the Besarabsky Market, the famous Dnipro Hotel, and the Central Department Store. No trip to Kyiv can be complete without a stroll along this unique street.

Independence Square
Independence Square

7. The Motherland Monument

The Motherland Monument in Kyiv is the most famous sculpture in all of Ukraine. It was installed on the right bank of the Dnieper in 1981 in honor of Victory Day. 

 

At a towering 102 meters, the Motherland is one of the tallest statues globally, making the monument an exciting and must-see place in Kyiv!

Motherland Monument
Motherland Monument

8. Andrew's descent

Andrew's descent, or Andriivs'kyi descent, is one of the most famous sights of Kyiv, which every tourist in the capital usually visits. This old street connects the central part of the Upper Town with the Podil shopping mall. Andriivs'kyi descent takes its origin from Kontraktova square, ends with Vladimirskaya street.

 

A rich history characterizes Andriivs'kyi descent in Kyiv. Today it has the status of a street museum. Significant sights await visitors: St. Andrew's Church, a monument to Bulgakov, Historical buildings, and more. For many years this beautiful corner of Kyiv has been the venue for various festive events. 

Andrew's Descent
Andrew's Descent

9. Golden Gate

The main attractions of the city of Kyiv include the Golden Gate. This ancient monument was erected as a defensive fortification by Yaroslav the Wise between 1019-1026.

 

The walls of the gate are up to 9.5 meters high. Until the 18th century, the gate was in ruins. The first restoration attempts took place in 1832, again in 1982, and finally in 2007.

 

Today the Golden Gate in Kyiv has the status of a museum. In the spacious rooms of the monument, visitors can get acquainted with various objects related to the history of the memorial.

 

Near the gate, there is a cozy and beautiful park, which every tourist should take a stroll through. This is one of the hottest tourist spots in Kyiv.

Golden Gate
Golden Gate

10. House with Chimeras

If you don't know where to go in Kyiv, don't miss the House with Chimeras. This atypical landmark has the status of an architectural monument and, at the same time, is the residence of the head of Ukraine. The construction of the structure was carried out in 1901-1902.

 

The house is decorated with numerous sculptures located on the facade and inside the building. The main themes of the sculptures are flora, fauna, and fairy-tale characters. This is what makes the building so special.

 

There is a beautiful garden next to the house - an excellent place for walking and taking pictures. The distinct architectural beauty of the House with Chimeras can surprise even the most discerning tourists.

House with Chimeras
House with Chimeras

11. Mariinsky Palace

The Mariinsky Palace is a great place to visit among the architectural sights of Kyiv. The construction of this beautiful structure was carried out in 1750-1755 under Bartolomeo Rastrelli. At that time, it was one of the most successful architectural projects in Kyiv.

 

At the beginning of the 19th century, the palace was badly damaged by several fires. In 1870 it was reconstructed. Old architectural compositions were restored, and new details were created that adorned the facade and interior decoration of the building. 

 

The interior has undergone significant development and was brought closer to its original appearance, reflecting the historical formation of the palace. Undoubtedly, the Mariinsky Palace is also worth adding to your list of must-see places during a tour of Kyiv.

Mariinsky Palace
Mariinsky Palace

12.National Opera

The opera house in Kyiv is the largest in Ukraine. The attraction has a rich history and is one of the centers of the country's culture. It was built in 1901 according to the design of Viktor Schroeter.

 

Visiting the Kyiv Opera House, you can watch various performances, ballet, opera, etc. It is open every day. It is a trendy destination in the capital of Ukraine among lovers of the arts.

Kiev Opera
Kiev Opera

13. Bulgakov Museum

The Bulgakov Museum in Kyiv was founded in 1989. It boasts a collection of more than 3000 items, 500 of which belonged to Bulgakov personally. The museum regularly hosts exhibitions related to the life and work of the poet. About 20 thousand people visit this Kyiv landmark annually.

 

The museum is located in a tiny and modest house, yet still attracts more and more visitors every year.

Bulgakov House
Bulgakov House

Bulgakov house by Serguei S. Dukachev via CC BY-SA 3.0

14. National History Museum

The National Museum of History in Kyiv is the main historical museum of Ukraine, which allows you to study the history and culture of the country in great detail. The museum was opened in 1899 with an archaeological exhibition. In 1919, it received state status. The museum moved to its current location at Vladimirskaya St in 1944.

 

Today in the Kyiv National Museum of History, there are more than 800 thousand monuments of history and culture. The rich collections of the attraction allow the visitor to get acquainted with archaeological finds, weapons, glass and porcelain products, and many works of painting and sculpture.

 

This is an excellent place in Kyiv for both history and art lovers alike.

Kiev History Museum
Kiev History Museum

15. M.M. hryshko National Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden is an excellent place in Kyiv for a relaxing walk in nature. It is an institution engaged in research activities in the field of botany for many years.

 

It is included in the natural reserve fund of Ukraine and has an important historical and cultural significance due to the size and richness of the collections.

M.M. Hryshko National Botanical Garden
M.M. Hryshko National Botanical Garden

Kyiv is packed with attractions, so many that it's unlikely that you will be able to see all the sights in one trip.

 

The centuries-old history of the city has left behind many exciting places and secrets.

 

Kyiv is a beautiful city for a tourist and a must-add destination for your bucket list