Top Things to See and Do in Kyiv, Ukraine

Located in north-central Ukraine along the banks of the Dnieper River is the city of Kyiv, also known as Kiev. The national capital and the country’s most populous city, Kyiv is also one of Eastern Europe’s oldest cities. It’s full of history and culture, and some would be surprised to learn that it’s also a wonderful food-centric city. Because of that, the top things to see and do in Kyiv, Ukraine are quite varied and exciting.

It’s thought that Kyiv began as a Slavic settlement along a trade route that linked Scandinavia and Constantinople (now Istanbul). As early as the fifth century, it was likely a commercial center, and its importance and influence waxed and waned over the centuries. The city was leveled during the Mongol Invasions in 1240 and didn’t truly prosper again until the Russian Empire’s Industrial Revolution in the 19th century.

Soviet Ukraine declared its independence from Soviet Russia in 1918, and Kyiv was named the capital in 1921. The city was almost completely destroyed a second time during World War II but picked itself up quickly, remaining the Soviet Union’s third-largest city until its collapse in 1991.

I loved my time in Kyiv. Visiting this part of the world was particularly special to me, as I have roots in Eastern Europe. My father is Hungarian, and there are many similarities between the Ukrainian culture and cuisine and theirs. This trip allowed me to explore my Slavic roots a bit while meeting amazing people and trying dishes I grew up on. It was a wonderful experience. These are the top things to see and do in Kyiv, Ukraine.

See the Golden Gate of Kyiv

If it’s your first time in Kyiv, it makes sense to start your exploration at the city’s main entrance in medieval times. The Golden Gate of Kyiv is a stunning relic of the city’s past and dates back to the 11th century. The gate that stands today is not the original gate; it was originally dismantled during the Middle Ages and rebuilt by Soviet authorities in 1982.

The original gate is thought to have been one of three built by Yaroslav the Wise, an 11th-century Grand Prince of Kyiv. Yaroslav the Wise is known for fortifying Kyiv, which was once surrounded by walls with high ramparts. The gate was named after the Golden Gate of Constantinople and is also known as Zoloti Vorota, a name it shares with a nearby metro station.

Golden Gate of Kyiv

Volodymyrska St, 40А

Kyiv, Ukraine, 01034

+380 44 278 6919

Visit Zoloti Vorota Station

Just a stone’s throw from the Golden Gate of Kyiv is another of the top things to see and do in Kyiv, Ukraine. Zoloti Vorota Station is one of the city’s best examples of a Soviet metro station. Ex-Soviet countries are well-known for their lavish and beautifully constructed train stations. I had the pleasure of visiting another in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, which blew my mind. Zoloto Vorota Station, built in 1989, is no different.

A series of escalators lead down to the station, which lies 102 meters below ground. As you descend, you’ll see beautiful mosaics on the walls. The station itself has beautiful arches and pillars, and even some opulent chandeliers.

Even if you have no plans to catch a train, I highly recommend checking out this piece of Soviet and Ukrainian history. It’s one of the coolest things to do in Kyiv, Ukraine!

Eat Modern Ukrainian Food at 100 Rokiv Tomu Vpered

If you’re looking for traditional Ukrainian dishes with a modern twist, head over to 100 Rokiv Tomu Vpered. The restaurant’s chef, Ievgen, is a former winner of MasterChef Ukraine and is an absolute character. He’s also a culinary genius!

They say you eat with your eyes first, and that is certainly true of Ievgen’s creations. Each of his dishes looks like a work of art, plated beautifully and featuring colors that pop and are crafted to make you salivate.

Appetizers

The appetizers are fantastic—I thoroughly enjoyed the sourness, creaminess, and sweetness of the fermented barley wafers with pig fat and cranberries. I also liked the two types of kvass, which are drinks made from fermented bread, similar to wheat beer. One of them was made from beets!

Main Courses

The roasted parsnip with smetana (sour heavy cream) had a bit of a kick to it. I also loved the polenta-like banush with mushrooms, magnolia, and mountain cheese. But one of the most exotic dishes was the edible bees, which were crunchy and earthy, with a dash of sweetness from some honey.

Ievgen’s comber na dyko (beef loin with herring and carrot puree) was like a sweet and salty surf-and-turf. The highlight for me was the vereshaka (pork ribs with wild oregano and kvass sauce). They were tender and juicy, and the bread-thickened sauce was out of this world!

You also must try the creamy galushki (Ukrainian dumplings with cherries, sweet bacon, and kefir) and the baked gnocchi. The baked gnocchi comes in a rustic bowl carved from a tree trunk along with wild mushrooms, green bread, and an earthy, savory sauce.

Borsht is a very popular beet stew popular throughout the region, and Ievgen’s is unreal. It contains beets, beef, plum jam, sprouts, black currants, and wood aroma. I also recommend the zucchini with shrimp sauce and peas.

Dessert

If you still have room in your belly after such a large meal, try the hamula for dessert. It’s a baked cake made to look like a green apple. Inside, it contains cheese and chocolate. But the most unique part of the dish is how you eat it!

You eat the hamula with a special fork that has a hole just above the tines. Ievgen dabs a bit of lavender oil into the hole, which adds a beautiful, calming floral feeling to the inventive dish. It was an amazing combination. In all my travels around the world, I’ve never had anything like it!

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know I love spicy food. But I recommend trying their dehydrated tulip with extreme caution. The tulip shrivels up into a little brown nugget, which contains various spices. It’s one of the hottest things I’ve ever eaten in my life and had my tongue and throat on fire!

For a gastronomical experience like no other, visit 100 Rokiv Tomu Vpered. The dishes will challenge your palate in new and fresh ways and completely change the way you view Ukrainian cuisine. Definitely one of the top things to do in Kyiv, Ukraine!

100 Rokiv Tomu Vpered

Volodymyrska St, 4

Kyiv, Ukraine, 02000

+380 68 068 6975

Visit the Sites Atop Old Kyiv Hill

After you leave Sto Rokiv Tomu Vpered Timeless Ukrainian Cuisine, one of the best nearby attractions you can visit is Old Kyiv Hill. As you head that way, you’ll see bricks on the street laid out to mark the perimeter of the hill. Set into the street is also a display of old relics under a thick sheet of Plexiglas!

Climbing Old Kyiv Hill is a great way to enjoy gorgeous panoramic views of the city and the Dnieper River. Nearby, you’ll find the ruins of the first church in Kyiv. The church, which has been reduced to its foundations, dates back to the 10th century. It was destroyed five centuries later.

Also nearby is St. Andrew’s Church, a colorful Christian Orthodox church named after one of the Apostles. Just outside the church is a statue of a man who is said to have promised to marry two different women. He wound up with neither. If women rub a beetle carved into the statue, they’re said to be protected from devious men like this one.

Further along is St. Michael’s Square, the home of the Cathedral of St. Sophia and the Cathedral of St. Michael. They date back to the 11th and 12th centuries, respectively. The Cathedral of St. Michael is especially striking, as it’s bright blue with gold domes and accents! The blue color is said to represent heaven.

Outside the Cathedral of St. Michael is a mural of St. Michael and various kings and angels. Inside, you’ll find lots of beautiful paintings but no statues. It’s quite gorgeous and easily one of the top things to see and do in Kyiv, Ukraine!

Ride the Kyiv Funicular

To head back down Old Kiev Hill, you can walk, or you can take the Kyiv Funicular. A sort of tram that travels slowly down the hill on a track, its one of the oldest funiculars in Europe. One car travels down the hill, while another one travels up.

After walking up the hill, my guide Margarita and I took the funicular down. It’s quicker than walking and is a great way to get unique views of the city! It should be on everyone’s list of the top things to do in Kyiv, Ukraine!

Kyiv Funicular

+380 44 254 6560

Have a Meal & Drink at Punkraft

Exploring such a large and historical city like Kyiv can take a lot out of you, so take a load off by visiting a local bar. I recommend Punkraft, an underground bar with 24 beers on tap. Most of their beers are Ukrainian, but they also have some international varieties.

There, I tried a Hathor Milk Stout, which had a cappuccino-like flavor with espresso bean notes, and a raisin-tinted Veligden IPA. Of course, you don’t just have to drink there. They also have incredible food, including a grilled, medium-rare ribeye steak made from local beef. Their brisket is also amazing!

I recommend the vorschmack, a popular Jewish dish made with butter, pickled onions, cream cheese, herring, apple, and mayonnaise. You mix the ingredients together and eat it on toasted bread. It’s salty, creamy, and a little sweet, and is a great palate cleanser!

You should also try their red vareniki, which are dumplings made with beet juice and containing cherries. Try them with some sour cream. They’re sweet and juicy, and the sour cream balances them out.

Enjoy them along with a Tonka Imperial Stout, a chocolatey beer that tastes like a melted brownie! It’s the best way to end a meal at Punkraft. No tour of the best things to do in Kyiv, Ukraine is complete without stopping by! 

Punkraft

Ihorivska St, 14

Kyiv, Ukraine, 04070

+380 50 424 0024

Indulge in a Drink at the Drunken Monkey Bar

No tour of Kyiv’s top bars is complete without stopping by the Drunken Monkey Bar! With over 20 beers on tap and fresh, tasty food served in a warm lounge and dining area, you can’t miss!

Their crisp and light Indian pale lager is really nice and pairs nicely with the cheese balls on their menu. The salted-caramel-flavored Ukrainian brown Imperial ale is fantastic, as is the sour fruited gose. But you must try their signature beer, the Drunken Monkey IPA.

Try some pate and marmalade on some toast, along with their Imperial pumpkin ale and Imperial stout to end your night. They’re both crisp and tasty. The Imperial pumpkin ale, in particular, reminded me of beers I’ve enjoyed at Oktoberfest!

Drunken Monkey Bar

Kostiantynivska St, 1

Kyiv, Ukraine, 04071

+380 96 493 1100

Enjoy Exquisite Ukrainian Food at Kanapa

Head uphill up Andriyvsky Uzviz, a popular local tourist street, to find our next stop, Kanapa. This restaurant, located inside a huge 19th-century home, is a wonderful, upscale restaurant with a terrace and a secret room on its lower level.

Their food is a modern and exquisite take on Ukrainian dishes. You can expect common dishes like red borscht and black vareniki, but with interesting twists. Their oily and fresh borscht contains beets, pork, beef, plums, and a rich dollop of sour cream.

I also liked their baked lard with gooseberry, bitter berry cordials drink, and baked eggplane with red peppers. Their black vareniki come stuffed with herring, with a herring caviar, dill, and sour cream on the side!

One of the most unusual dishes on their menu is the rabbit meat in gelatin. It really is cooked rabbit meat, inside cubes of gelatin! Their creamy pheasant pate was a major highlight and paired well with the crispy bread.

For dessert, their blackthorn sorbet is tangy and healthy-tasting, but I loved their chocolate ball with pork lard! It’s so unique, sweet, and savory! You also can’t miss the Kyiv Cake, which is a local favorite. It contains multiple layers, similar to baklava, and has a nice crunch!

Kanapa

Andriivs’kyi Descent, 19

Kyiv, Ukraine, 01025

+380 68 044 3050

Visit the Park of Eternal Glory

One of the more sobering locations in Kyiv is the Park of Eternal Glory. The park is a memorial for Ukrainians who lost their lives during World War II. I’ve been to similar memorials around the world, most of which are home to statues, monuments, and an eternal flame. The Park of Eternal Glory is no different.

The main site here is a massive spire that reaches for the heavens in the center of the park. To reach it, you have to walk down the Alley of Glory, a paved path lined by fir trees. The trees were planted on the 35th anniversary of Ukraine’s victory in World War II. Each tree has a stone base that also acknowledges the hero cities that fought decisive battles during the war.

The spire itself memorializes the unknown soldiers who died during the war. Below it is the Eternal Flame, and scattered around the park are other statues and monuments. The park borders the Dnieper River, and a short walk away, you’ll find the Holodomor Genocide Museum.

Park of Eternal Glory

Lavrska St, 15,

Kyiv, Київська обл.

Ukraine, 01015

See the Holodomor Genocide Museum

While I didn’t have the time to enter the Holodomor Genocide Museum, just viewing it from the outside is a sobering lesson about Ukraine’s history. The museum is dedicated to the Ukrainian genocide that occurred between 1932 and 1933. During that time, Joseph Stalin aimed to destroy the Ukrainian people by taking food from them and their villages. His actions led to the deaths of 10 million people from starvation.

Outside the museum, you’ll find a heartbreaking statue that acknowledges the children who died during the genocide. During the genocide, any child caught taking wheat from the fields was ripped from their parents and sent off to Siberia to die.

The museum is a strong reminder of what came before and a time we can’t afford to repeat. Go inside if you have the time, as it’s easily one of the top things to see and do in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Holodomor Genocide Museum

Lavrska St, 3

Kyiv, Ukraine, 02000

+380 44 254 4512

Dine at SHO Restaurant

For whatever reason, Kyiv isn’t typically thought of as a foodie city, but I’m here to tell you that it is very much a city for food lovers. If you want to enjoy traditional local food in a gorgeous, modern setting, head over to SHO.

This popular restaurant’s name translates to “what” and its design and architecture aim to mimic the interior of a traditional clay village home. The wood used in its construction comes from the Carpathian Mountains, and their chandeliers are made to look like beehives!

My guide Margarita and I enjoyed some soft and savory pork and beef vareniki, as well as a sweet and tart cherry variety. I recommend eating them with sour cream, fermented vegetables, and lard with fried onions.

Their blood sausage, made with buckwheat instead of rice, is earthy, savory, nutty, and slightly bitter. Meanwhile, their incredible, golden brown Kyiv cutlet is crispy on the outside, with tender, flavorful chicken inside.

Don’t miss their golubtsi, or stuffed cabbage rolls, which they top with a creamy tomato-based sauce. Try it with some sour cream! I also recommend their pate with buckwheat bread, and the syrniki. The syrniki, or fritters containing cottage cheese and jam, come with fresh berries.

End your meal with some berry mors, a cranberry-based vitamin C cocktail! It’s so tasty and great for your immune system! Eating there is among the best things to do in Kyiv, Ukraine, and will not disappoint!

SHO

Mechnykova St, 18

Kyiv, Ukraine, 01021

+380 44 466 0305

Explore Kyiv Pechersk Lavra

When it comes to cultural, religious, and historical sites in Kyiv, it’s hard to beat Kyiv Pechersk Lavra. Easily one of the top things to do in Kyiv, Ukraine, it’s also known as Kiev Monastery of the Caves. This Eastern Orthodox Christian monastic complex dates back to 1051. Roughly 120 monks still call the complex home!

Back then, Kyiv Pechersk Lavra was a cave monastery, but it has since blossomed into an impressive site containing several important buildings, including the Great Lavra Belltower, Dormition Cathedral, Gate Church of the Trinity, a museum, and more.

The monastic complex is also part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes St. Sophia Cathedral. It was also named one of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine in 2007. General admission is just 100 hryvnia/$3.64 USD. If you want to go up to the top of the bell tower, it will cost you an extra 30 hryvnia. To get there, you pass through the Gate Church of the Trinity, past the beautiful old murals.

Dormition Church

The main church onsite is Dormition Church, an 11th-century house of worship destroyed during World War II. It was finally restored in 1995 and consecrated in 2000. But arguably the most prominent landmark in the complex is the Great Lavra Belltower, a 96.5-meter-tall freestanding bell tower built during the 18th century.

The Great Lavra Belltower

For a long time, it was law that no structure in Kyiv could be taller than the bell tower. In fact, it was the tallest free-standing bell tower in the world at the time of its construction. The view at the top of the tower is exceptional.

It offers stunning views of Dormition Church, the Dnieper River, and even the Motherland Monument in the distance. I’ve long been a fan of viewing the cities I visit from a high vantage point. This view did not disappoint!

Trapeza Church

I also recommend visiting the 19th-century Trapeza Church, which contains the biggest dome in Ukraine. Used for winter services, it’s known for its gorgeous frescoes. It reminded me of the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul!

Inside the church, you’ll probably notice that it’s pretty dark, with the only light streaming in through the windows. That’s on purpose, as it’s said the only light that enters the church is from Jesus Christ himself.

Also inside the church is a dining hall that used to be for monks. The walls are adorned with paintings of scenes from the Bible. It’s extremely pretty and exploring the church almost feels like you’re stepping back in time!

The Near Caves

The Kyiv Pechersk Lavra caves are a network of subterranean tunnels, corridors, living quarters, and chapels. The caves the complex were built around (the Far Caves) were set into a nearby hill, and were used until the monk Anthony moved to a cave near the Upper Lavra, also known as the Near Caves.

These caves are a wonderful place to feel the history of the site. Female visitors must wear a headscarf to enter them, and you have to carry a lit candle to see down there. You can see a number of small chapels among the dark, tight corridors, as well as mummified saints! Visiting the caves is one of my favorite things to do in Kyiv, Ukraine, and is a must for all history lovers!

Kyiv Pechersk Lavra

Lavrska St, 15

Kyiv, Ukraine, 01015

+380 44 255 1105

Eat at Tsars’ke Selo Restaurant

If you want to eat Ukrainian food in an old-school village-style setting, head over to Tsars’ke Selo Restaurant. This traditional, authentic restaurant is located in an old home in the city. The aesthetic is completed by the traditional folk attire of the employees and farmhouse feel.

I had the pleasure of taking a quick master class, where I learned to make some sweet and sour cherry vareniki. I also tried some delicious, meaty borscht served in a bread bowl. The best part was the whole pork rib inside the beet stew!

The salo, or cured pork fat, was outstanding with some garlic sauce. And although I usually try to limit the amount of bread I eat, the fluffy bread with sour cream and garlic & onion sauce was out of this world. I also recommend trying the deruny, which are crispy, golden brown potato pancakes. Like other potato pancakes like latkes, they’re fantastic with sour cream. They’re like an even better version of hash browns.

You should also try the Chicken Kyiv, which is breaded and filled with a rich butter-herb sauce. Try it with the mashed potatoes and vegetables. The potato vareniki are savory with some sweet caramelized onions on top, and the Kyiv cake with chocolate, hazelnuts, meringue, and jelly on top is an insane mix of flavors and textures!

Tsars’ke Selo

Lavrska St, 22

Kyiv, Ukraine, 02000

+380 67 434 1122

Explore Bessarabian Market

When I travel, I always try to find and visit a local market. I’ve found that exploring them is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in local culture and get a peek into local, everyday life. In Kyiv, the best place to do that is Bessarabian Market.

The oldest covered market in Kyiv, Bessarabian Market is located in a massive building with multiple levels. You can find lots of fruit vendors in the middle of the main floor, as well as fish vendors, butchers, nut sellers, and more.

The vendors at these markets are almost always super friendly and happy to let you sample their products. I met one woman selling salo, which she let me try on bread with garlic and radish. I know animal fat isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it was so flavorful, I couldn’t get enough of it!

After the salo, I also got to try some general’s lard, pork sausage, and some incredible soft cheese. The molozyvo cheese reminded me of flan and was very tasty!

I’m also a huge honey fan. I eat a spoonful of it every day! Ukraine is one of the top producers of honey in the world, so the vendors there had several types to try. Some was crystallized, while others were thick and goopy. There was even one that was spicy! Another was said to be an aphrodisiac and tasted like beets!

Go to Bessarabian Market, meet the people, try some delicious foods, and buy the things you like to support the locals. It’s one of my favorite places I visited in the city, and one of the top things anyone should see and do in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Bessarabian Market

Bessarabs’ka Square, 2

Kyiv, Ukraine, 01004

+380 44 234 9207

Have a Beer at Kedy Mystetstvoznavtsya

The beer culture in Kyiv is pretty extensive, and if you’re a beer lover like me, you will be in heaven visiting its bars and pubs. One of my favorites is Kedy Mystetstvoznavtsya, located on Baseina Street. Look for the exterior, as the sign out front is written in Ukrainian.

On the main floor, you’ll find a gift shop, and the bar is downstairs. The bar is rustic yet modern and offers 24 beers on tap. It’s artsy and has a very cozy, unique feel, with lots of plants and several rooms. If you reserve a table, it will be marked by a special Converse sneaker!

I suggest ordering a flight of beer so you can sample as many as possible. Their Mexican pilsner was light, citrusy, and tangy, while their New England IPA was crisp, smooth, and sessionable. I also liked their dank and bitter Double IPA, the fruity sour, and the chocolate-and-caramel flavored porter.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention their smoky Imperial stout, sweet Imperial stout. I also really enjoyed their sour Blackberry Black Currant IPA. It was hoppy, sour, and fruity!

It’s worth noting that the bar’s beer prices start off at a low, set price and then rise throughout the day. So if you want to try the beers at their cheapest, get there early! If you’re a craft beer snob, visiting Kedy Mystetstvoznavtsya is one of the best things to do in Kyiv, Ukraine!

Kedy Mystetstvoznavtsya

Baseina St, 2

Kyiv, Ukraine, 02000

+380 50 105 4239

Dine at Ostannya Barykada

Located in a large, underground mall, similar to ones I’ve visited in Warsaw, is Ostanna Barykada. This underground restaurant and pub is unique, as you need to say a secret password to get in. Only locals know the password, so you’ll need to dine with a local friend.

Ostannya Barykada’s name translates to “the last barricade.” Inside, you’ll find sculptures of hands on the walls. Each one symbolizes one year that Ukraine spent under the oppressive rule of the Soviet Union. Other images on the walls document the revolution that took place in 2014-2015, so it’s part restaurant and part museum.

Here, you can also see part of the foundation of the Old Gate, which dates back to the city’s founding. The seats along the bar move, which is a fun and unexpected surprise. But as far as the food ad drinks go, everything is strictly Ukrainian, so it’s as authentic as you can get.

I suggest starting off with some oysters and local cheeses before jumping on heavier main courses like Chicken Kyiv and banush. The banush is very similar to grits or polenta, and are fluffy, creamy, and cheesy. Best of all, they come with bacon!

Of course, you can’t dine here without enjoying their signature drink, The Last Barricade. It’s fruity and made with absinthe, which makes it really strong! It’s tasty, but too much and it’ll be an early night for you!

Ostanna Barykada

Maidan Nezalezhnosti, 1

Kyiv, Ukraine, 02000

+380 68 907 1991

Explore an Authentic Cossack Village

You’ve probably at least heard of the Cossacks. The Cossacks were East Slavic Orthodox Christians who came from the steppes of Eastern Europe. They were self-governing and semi-militaristic, and are sometimes compared to American cowboys. They were instrumental in developing the culture of Ukraine and Russia.

To learn more about how the Cossacks lived, take a trip to Mamajeva Sloboda Cossack Village in Kyiv. It’s basically a large, open-air ethnographic museum complex where the people live and work as they did hundreds of years ago!

Inside the complex’s walls is a beautiful forested area with trees and cabins, a church built with no nails, and low, white houses. The house I visited was divided into two parts: one where people lived, and another set up for storage. You can see a traditional bed and clothing, old tables, pottery, religious icons, and more inside. The storage area contained lots of hay, like a barn.

Also inside the village is a blacksmith, who makes horseshoes and other metal items. If you want, you can take a masterclass from the blacksmith and learn the art of metal working. You can also buy items he has made, including protective items shaped like a fish for 150 hryvnia/$6 USD.

Traditional Cossack Food

But one of the best things you can do there is dive into Cossack cuisine. I loved the syrniki cooked by a local woman. These fluffy, cheesy pancakes contain raisins and come with sour cream.

The main course was a dish called Kozak kulish, which is a very thick, hearty stew made with millet, salo, eggs, potatoes, onions, carrots, dill, parsley, and other spices.

Watching her prepare it was amazing, and it blew my mind when I got to try it. It’s so tasty and filling, and is almost like a savory porridge with vegetables! I loved the addition of dill and parsley, which really popped among the other ingredients.

It was a tasty way to end an immersive journey through time. I loved every moment of my experience in the village. One of the top things you can do in Kyiv, Ukraine, for sure!

Mamajeva Sloboda Cossack Village

Mykhaila Dontsya St, 2

Kyiv, Ukraine, 02000

+380 44 361 9848

Visit the Motherland Monument & the Bridge of Fame

As you explore Kyiv, there’s no way you can miss the Motherland Monument, also known as Rodina-Mat. A massive, stainless steel statue visible from spots all around the city, the monument dates back to the Soviet era. It was built between 1979 and 1981 and stands 203 feet tall. It’s part of the Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War and is one of the tallest statues in the world!

To reach the monument, you have to pass under another landmark called the Bridge of Fame. Beneath the bridge are large carvings and statues of soldiers and civilians. They represent Soviet pride and courage. As you pass beneath the bridge, you’ll find yourself at the feet of the monument.

At the top of the monument is an observation deck, and in front of it are three tanks and a small park. There’s also a small museum where you can view World War II planes, tanks, cannons, amphibious “duck” vehicles, and more.

Motherland Monument

Lavrska St, 27

Kyiv, Ukraine, 02000

+380 44 285 9452

Eat a Kyiv Hot Dog at Kyivska Perepichka

Unlike a lot of other countries I’ve visited, street food isn’t a big thing in Ukraine. But there are a few spots along the streets where you can try different foods, like Kyivska Perepichka. This fast food stand is the perfect place to try a Kyiv hot dog, which is your typical hot dog encased in fried bread.

The bread is golden and crispy, and gives it the appearance of a giant corn dog. It’s a great snack for when you’re on the go, as it costs only 25 hryvnia, or less than $1. It’s oily and tasty, and is very filling. I suggest eating it with mustard!

Kyivska Perepichka

Bohdana Khmel’nyts’koho St, 3

Kyiv, Ukraine, 02000

+380 44 234 7235

Check out Varvar Brew and Lisopylka House Craft Beer

Of course, the craft beer scene in Kyiv is more than bars and pubs. There are also great breweries to visit, like Varvar Brew. The biggest brewery in Ukraine, Varvar Brew stands along the left bank of the Dnieper River.

Inside, you can tour their facility, which includes a two-barrel system, differently-sized fermentation tanks, a canning and bottling system, a storage area, and more. I learned that they produce 7-8 tons of beer per day and make dozens of varieties!

I got to try a light and creamy Blanche Witbier from their fermentation tanks, and a chocolatey dry stout. Their Imperial Stout is quite strong at 11% alcohol!

If you want to enjoy some of their beers with food, head next door to their bar, Lisopylka House Craft Beer. It’s a very cool, chill outdoor bar with a fire pit and a covered section. I enjoyed their floral Oriental Ale, a thick Double IPA, and a potent Strong Ale with chicken wings, smoky pork ribs, and French fries.

The ribs were magnificent. They were tender and juicy, with a nice amount of fat. I loved the smoky flavor and the sweet caramelized onions they’d put on top. I couldn’t get enough of them. Beer and barbecue is always a great combination! This has to be on your list of things to do in Kyiv, Ukraine!

Varvar Brew

1E, Starosilska St

Kyiv, Ukraine, 02000

+380 44 490 1990

Conclusion

When most people think of cool and funky European capitals to visit, unfortunately, Kyiv usually doesn’t come to mind. But the city is everything I love about traveling. From the secret local haunts to the culture-rich historical sites to the traditional and modern cuisine, it’s everything a traveler could want. Add in the friendly, hospitable locals and you have an amazing travel destination that’s just waiting to be explored. Book a trip now to experience the top things to see and do in Kyiv, Ukraine soon!

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