Once you have settled into your apartment or hotel room, then FunTravel, can arrange to show you around all the fabulous sights of Kiev.
These will include the famous St Michaels Cathedral, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, Mikhailovskiy Monastery, Mariyinskiy Palace, The Opera House, House with Chimeras, Andreevskiy Uzviz, Old Podol, The Kiev Funicular and many other places of historic interest.
In addition to this you can visit the local and traditional markets where you will get a good idea as to Ukrainian customs and traditions.
FunTravel staff will also very happily recommend Kiev's top restaurants, night spots and popular shopping areas.
* For Kiev Sightseeing Tours please, Contact Us for further details
The main street of Kiev is a political, trading and entertainment centre of Kiev. The street appeared on city maps only in 1830. The name Kreschatik means crossed. It refers to the fact that long ago the place was a valley crossed by multiple ravines. A remarkable glimpse of history can be seen in the blocks between Bogdan Khmelnitskiy street and Taras Shevchenko boulevard. That area, built between the 19th and 20th centuries, gives visitors a full picture of the architectural variety of the times. Another building captures the look of the early 20th Century. The Bessarabskiy market building was built in 1912 inthe rationalistic-modern style. The style is well suited to the needs of those using the building. Visitors will enjoy a number of beautiful sculptures of peasants, fish, fishing nets and the like. Unfortunately, lots of the buildings of the 19th and early 20th centuries were destroyed during World War II. That means much of the modern look of Kreschatick consists of buildings of the 1950s made in the so-called Stalin style. The buildings have monument - like looks, decorated with lots of sculptures, small towers, columns, frontons and pylons. The offices of the city government and city council are in one of the buildings. In 1995 the Kiev insignia, which features the image of Archangel Michael, was placed over the entrance of the building. Saint Michael was a Kiev patron in ancient times. The main square of the city - Maidan Nezalezhnosti - has been reconstructed several times, the last time in the summer of 2001. It has now acquired a European look. The most modern building on the street is the Ukrainian House - the concert and exhibition centre. The main street of Kiev isn't very long - it runs about 1.2 kilometers - but it is the most attractive for tourists as well as Kiev inhabitants. On weekends, Kreschatik is closed to traffic, making it the real heart of city entertainment, pleasure and relaxation.
Have you ever dreamed about travelling back in time? If you'd like to know what it was like in the Kiev Rus of the 11th to 18th centuries, then visit the Pechersk Lavra monastery. The remarkable complex was founded in the 11th century by a monk named Antoniy, and it is still an active monastery. When you visit it, you can see that the atmosphere is still like it was in medieval times. The first magnificent building of the complex, which you can see even before entering, is the Troitskaya (Nadvratnaya) Church, which towers above the main gates. The church was built in the 12th century, but most of it was reconstructed in 1718 after a disastrous fire. The beautiful paintings that hang on the church's walls were also done in the 18th century. A medieval legend says: When you pass through the Saint gates under the Nadvratnaya Church, you get rid of 50 percent of your sins. So come on in. It certainly won't do you any harm, will it? The centre of the complex and the main temple of the monastery is Uspenskiy Cathedral. The original structure was the first building in the complex, built in 1078. It was reconstructed in the 18th century in Ukrainian baroque style but destroyed during World War II. Happily, it was rebuilt in 2000. Unless you are really fit, you shouldn't try to make your way to the top of the church's Bell Tower. At 96 meters high, the graceful, refined creature of the 18th century was the tallest building in the country at the time. If you can make it to the top, you will find an unbelievable view of Kiev downtown, the River Dniper, its bridges and the districts of the low left bank. The big clock on the tower's fourth floor has seven bells, which strike every 15 minutes. The Lavra complex includes other wonderful churches as well as the two largest. The high, proud white buildings have dark - blue and green capes and gilded stars. Their marvelous interiors include paintings and carved gilded icons of Ukrainian and Russian artists of the 18th century. The most mysterious and holy feature of the complex is the Lavra caves. Originally, the monks lived there. Later, the caves became a burial places for Lavra's saints. The caves have many branches, making them a labyrinth of underground corridors, niches and even small underground churches. So far about 600 meters of the caves have been discovered. Many people believe that much more has yet to be found. The monastery grounds include unique exhibitions and museums. Visitors can see historical jeweler, ancient book printing, Ukrainian decorative art and other interesting artifacts.
Sophia and St. Michael's Square - another great landmark of Kiev. This is one of the oldest areas of the main cities of the country, as well as included in the list of the central square of Kiev. Only in 1857, Sophia Square was separated from its "neighbor" - St. Michael's Square. Sophia Square occurred during the construction of St. Sophia Cathedral. Since ancient times, played a prominent role in public and political life of Kiev. Michael's Square was created completely in the middle of the XIX century. Name to the neighborhood of the St. Michael's Monastery. There are also the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a monument to Princess Olga. One of the most important cultural monuments of Kiev, St. Sophia Cathedral, is also the chief ornament of Sophia Square. According to legend and stories of many indigenous inhabitants of the city, it is worth the Cathedral - with Kiev will be all right. In addition to the St. Sophia Cathedral in the square there are other attractions. For example, no less important and interesting monument in the form of the monument to Bohdan Khmelnytsky. This is one of the most famous monuments of the city, a kind of emblem of Kiev. The monument June 23, 1888 at St. Sophia Square. Where in December 1648 the people of Kiev were met Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky, which came with the Cossack regiments in Kiev through the Golden Gate after the victory over the Polish-gentry army. Every year on St. Sophia Square are held all sorts of cultural events. For example, Christmas, Easter and New Year. At St. Michael's Square frequently hosts concerts in the open air of modern domestic and foreign stars and music groups. On New Year's Square becomes the center of folk festivals, various ensembles with folklore performances. And filled with a large and beautiful ice rink - a real feast for lovers of active holidays.
The most romantic place in Kiev, this narrow road slopes down from the Starokievskaya and Anreevskaya hills to where it levels off in the Podol district. The district, which dates to the times of the Kiev Ruse empire, is now the center of Kiev's cultural life. The buildings that went up there in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and the overall bohemian atmosphere give a unique charm to the place. Each building is a piece of art in itself. There are painters' studio, theaters, museums, exhibition halls, galleries and souvenir shops. Those working in these establishments are as colorful as the buildings themselves. Tourists often say this street reminds them of the Monmartre Hills. St. Andrew's may be more vibrant, however. When the weather is good, artists place their works right in the street. You can find everything here - from modern paintings to a Kazak's hat (papaha) from the Russian civil war of 1918. The centerpiece of St. Anrew's Street is St. Andrew's Church. It is one of the best examples in the country of the Ukrainian baroque style architecture. Russia's Queen Elizabeth ordered it built in the 18th century. The famed architect Rastrelli personally supervised the project. The other impressive building in the area is the Castle of Richard the Lion Heart. The structure actually has nothing to do with Richard the First of England It was built in the late 19th century. But it does look like a real Western medieval castle. Another popular place in the area is St. Andrew's 13, the house of the famous Russian writer Michael Bulgakov who is the author of well-known "Master and Margarita".
Where the St. Andrew's Street slope levels off is Podol, a district that from ancient times has been a centre of handicrafts, portrait painting, education and of course beautiful churches and monasteries.
The Golden Gates is a historic gateway in the ancient city walls of Kyiv fortress. Kyiv Golden Gates were created in 1017-1024 by Yaroslav the Wise, Prince of Kyiv. Golden Gates remained as a gateway to the city through the XVIII century, although it gradually fell into ruins. In 1832 the first steps were taken to conserve them. Starting from 1970th Golden Gates were restored to their present condition. Then the Golden Gate Museum was opened and working till the present time.
Kyiv funicular is unique and one of the eldest types of transport. Upper exit is situated nearby St. Michael's Cathedral and lower exit is located on Poshtova Square in vicinity to Dnieper River. Funicular joined Podol and Upper town in May, 1905 and had a great influence on Kyiv development; this transport replaced 500 stairs and joined city centre and Podol located 75 meters below city centre. In that period of time funicular was the only possible and reliable transport for such steep slopes. Hitherto these 2 levels of Kyiv were joined by 500 steep stairs. It is very interesting and amazing to pass this picturesque route and enjoy every moment. After reconstruction funicular remains popular and actual transport for inhabitants of capital, every year it conveys 5 Mio of passengers. It will take 3 minutes to pass the whole route; interval between runnings is 5-7 minutes. During this route you can enjoy all-round view to Dnieper River and historic old town.
The National Opera House is architectural masterpiece of Victor Schröter, pearl of Kyiv architecture. Building stands in historical part of the city, on the cross of two crowded street — Bogdana Khmelnytskogo and Vladimirskaya. It was projected and designed by Victor Schröter in 1898 and opened its doors in 1901. The National Opera House fell under threat of annihilation during revolution, Stalin era and World War II. More than eighty years architectural masterpiece of Victor Schröter dispensed with essential reconstructions and basic repairs. In 1980s reconstruction was started and it took five years in order to renovate this prominent masterpiece. In 1988 Kyiv National Opera House opened its 120th season in completely new appearances and representation. After reconstruction its total area was enlarged and nowadays makes 60 thousand square meters and holds 1304 spectators.
A monument of architecture in modern style is located in the city centre. This building was erected by prominent architect Vladislav Gorodetskiy, Pole in origin, in 1903 on the former bank of reclaimed Goat Lake. This place was provided against building because of steep slope. But come hell or high water, Gorodetskiy built this edifice in record terms — two years! Except for fantastic architecture it is very unusual that front side of building has only 3 storeys and back side has six storeys! This building was wrapped with legends. There is legend that the monsters of the deep on front face of edifice are architect’s render to his daughter drowned in sea. Front face is decorated with images of exotic animals and hunting motives. This outlandish edifice is adorned with fantastic sculptures of animals and chimeras. In 2003-2004 “House of Chimeras” was reconstructed and renovated. Price of reconstruction was equal approximately to 30 000 000 USD.
Majestic monument to Prince Vladimir, who is well-known for Rus christening, was established in 1853. It raises on picturesque bank of Dnieper River in park Vladimirskaya gorka. In the right hand Great Prince holds Cross and in left hand – prince hat. Monument was erected within soviet times before revolution 1917; and it was lucky to survive this severe times. Monument fitted well into view of Kyiv slopes and is a symbol of Kyiv city. Friendship of Nations Arch In 1982 sculptural composition dedicated to USSR formation was erected: “Monument Friendship of Nations Arch” is dedicated to unification of Ukraine and Russian. It consists of bronze statue depicting Russian and Ukrainian workers and stage of Pereyaslav Council. In the result of Pereyaslav Council historical agreement on unification of Ukraine and Russia was signed. Sculpture groups are joined arch-rainbow symbolizing unification of fraternal nations. Observation platform is situated behind monument where you can enjoy splendid view of Dnieper River and Left Bank. Notwithstanding that idea sense of monument is out-of-date, this place is favourite one for meetings of lovebirds.
Museum is dedicated to the biggest disaster in the history of atomic energetic — accident on the fourth power-generating unit of Chernobyl nuclear power plant in April, 1986. Museum has approximately 7000 exhibit items, namely: declassified documents, maps, photos, items of ethnic culture, personal belongings of accident liquidation participants. Nuclear accident on Chernobyl nuclear power plant recorded in world history as the largest and biggest ecologic disaster of ХХ century. History of mentioned tragic events is kept by National Chernobyl Museum opened on April 26, 1992.
The Motherland Monument (90 meters high) is a central figure of museum. Prominent soviet sculptor Yevgenii Vuchetich is author of the Motherland Monument. In accordance with project sculpture should be covered with gold leaf and in its foot 30 meters high waterfall should fall into Dnieper River symbolizing Dnieper forcing by soviet army during Great Patriotic War. But Yevgenii Vuchetich died and his brilliant idea was not realized. The Motherland Monument was opened in 1981 to commemorate Victory Day; it was dedicated by secretary general of the CPSU Central Committee Leonid Brezhnev. The Motherland Monument is monumental figure of woman who overlooks Dnieper slopes and is visible from different parts of Kyiv city. Its height is equal to 102 meters that is higher than American Statue of Liberty. The Motherland Monument is a part of Great Patriotic War Museum. Whole assembly spreads on slopes over Dnieper River and occupies 20 ha. Except for metallic sculpture, it consists of Great Patriotic War Museum (three-storied edifice which is the foot of the Motherland Monument), cauldron “Fire of Glory”, Alley of hero-cities, exhibition of weapons and military equipment and a great deal of sculptural composition symbolizing heroic fights and battles.
The territory of Museum Pirogovo (name is connected with name of village having existed in this area since the seventeenth century) is a sloppy place with total area 150 ha where approximately 300 exhibit items of folk architecture and building are located, the majority of mentioned items were brought here from different parts of Ukraine. Ethnographic museum of folk architecture and folkways is large architecture-and-landscape complex in the open air where you can see Ukrainian houses from every part of state, wide fields, mills, gentile xoanons and the Orthodox Churches symbolizing its region and historical periods of state. In Pirogovo you will see wind mills, fields, woods and bluffs where old Ukrainian houses are situated. You can peep in every house and view Ukrainian folkways of 17-20 centuries. On fair you can purchase souvenirs or mould pot out of clay under the guidance of specialist, stroll about calm streets of ancient village. Except for houses and wind mills, it is possible to find a lot of other entertainments in Pirogovo. Here you can ride horses, play Ukrainian folk games, have some national Ukrainian meal, take some foodstuffs for picnic, drink very tasty mead or even marry by banns as all churches on the territory of Pirogovo are functional. Differential peculiarities of Museum Pirogovo are theatrical performances, celebrations during folk holidays: dances around bonfire and singing.
Museum was opened in 2003 commemorated to 100 anniversary of aviation. Nowadays it is the largest historical-and-technical museum in Ukraine. The territory of museum occupies 14 ha where over 70 planes and helicopters as well as rockets, samples of military weapons, expositions of aircraft engines are exhibited. It’s a real firing range! Guests can visit flight decks where all main systems are functional, including electronics. Through transparent fence it is possible to observe takeoff and landing of planes in Kyiv airport. Airport runway is located in 100 meters from museum.
It is one of the oldest botanical gardens in Ukraine and one of the biggest botanical gardens in Europe. Botanical garden is a favourite place for recreation of Kyiv citizens and guests of capital, beautiful place for strolls, walks, romantic dates, photographic works and picnics. Botanical garden occupies 130 ha and spreads on splendid slopes sliding to Dnieper River. Scientists have developed and created unique floristic complexes “Woods of plain lands of Ukraine”, “Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains”, “Temperate Grassland of Ukraine”, “Crimea”, “Caucasus”, “Central Asia”, “Altai and Western Siberia”, “Far East”. These areas reflect flora of certain geographical zone and, as far as possible, relief and separate typical landscapes. Tree nursery (park for the study of trees) is a real decoration of botanical garden. Rich collection of lilac and magnolia is brand identity not only of botanical garden but also of Kyiv city. Botanical garden is especially beautiful in the period of lilac-bloom in May, magnolia and sakura bloom – in April and jasmine bloom – in June.
Mariyinsky Park was established in 1874 under the project of gardener O.G. Nedzelskiy. It is situated in the centre of Kyiv and is one of the oldest parks of Ukrainian capital as well as favourite place for citizens and guests of Kyiv. Mariyinsky Park spreads along Dnieper slopes and occupies approximately 10 ha; here you can enjoy a splendid view of lime-trees, maples, chinquapin trees and other types of trees and bushes. It is pleasant and cool place even in the hottest days. Park is designed in English style and represents unique masterpiece of garden-and-park art. Park was named after similarly-named palace erected in 1750-1755. In 1991 Mariyinsky Palace became official grand residence of president. Bridge of lovebirds, the most romantic place in the city of Kyiv, is situated in Mariyinsky Park. It is decorated with a great deal of locks, strips, napkins left by lovebirds as evidence of their love. Also on the territory of park are situated the following places of interest: Friendship of Nations Arch, new Puppet Theatre, Museum of Water, Stadium “Dynamo”.
For Kiev Sightseeing Tours please, Contact Us for further details.