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Fall in Love with Kyiv in 1 Day - Ultimate City Guide

It is possible that you haven’t been to the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv before. Or maybe you even haven’t heard about this city at all. But trust me when I say that this European city is definitely worth visiting. If you ever are in Kyiv, even if you have just one day to spend, you need to maximize that one day in the best possible way, as this city has many amazing places and sights to visit that you must see by your own eyes!

Why to visit Kyiv?

Reading this blog, you will probably discover that Kyiv is one of my favorite cities in the world. And it’s not because I have been living there for 4 years during my university time, but because Kyiv is truly unique. Although it has a painful past, nowadays it’s a vibrant European city that is more modern than you probably think. The energy, the vibe and unpredictability of the city have me captivated each and every time I visit it. So every single time I am falling in love with this city again and again.

One of the coolest things about Kyiv is the fact that it truly is a city suited for all types of travelers. If you like history and culture - Kyiv is for you. If you love street art and looking for feeling of freedom - Kyiv is just a right place. If you travel for tasting different cuisines and looking for some more delicious meals…well, Kyiv is a good choice.

Kyiv offers plenty of different activities and sights for all travelers. This city will amaze you. So don’t hesitate buying your ticket to Ukrainian capital. And get ready for a wonderful adventure!

Before we start I have to say that it takes multiple trips and several days to really understand Kyiv’s vibe and to connect with its identity. But, one or two days can at least give you a quick impression of what the Ukrainian capital city has to offer and will hopefully leave you vying to return! So…today we will talk about 1-day trip to Kyiv. Let’s see what you can do here, if you got just 24 hours.

What's the best time to visit Kyiv?

It may come as a surprise, but you can visit Kyiv almost all year round. If I had to pick my favourite time, it would be summer for sure. The pulse of the city really comes alive during this season and Kyiv is at its busiest and liveliest time. On summer days there are plenty attractions and activities to choose from, city is friendly and open for you to explore its best spots. And this should be one of your top considerations when planning a day trip to Kyiv. Of course, this is my subjective point of view. Every season can be perfect for a trip. And each season offers something different. You know what they say: there is no bad weather or bad conditions. So if you like cold weather and crispy snow - visit Kyiv in winter. If you enjoy cool wind and bright yellow colors - Autumn would be great for you. And of course if you love romantic atmosphere and warm cozy evenings - so Spring it is! Kyiv can give you great time in every season.

How to spend one day in Kyiv

This summer (2021) me and my husband Karol visited Kyiv for the 3d time. Since we had just one day to spend, we decided to wake up early and spend the whole day outside, walking around the city and visiting the most incredible places out there! As I mentioned before already 1 day of course isn’t enough to see everything, but it’s definitely enough to see few of those amazing places. So here is the list of the top places in Kyiv which you can’t skip during your trip and which you CAN visit in 1 Day!

The Independent Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti)

This is a place you can’t leave off of your Ukraine Itinerary. This is not just a heart of the city. This is a very special place for all Ukrainian people. It’s the heart of the country…Its history, including a very tragic recent history, all took place here. Kyiv has gone through so much during that traumatic period of time, and you can learn more about it by visiting Maidan Nezalezhnosti.

Nowadays it is a meeting point for locals and tourists, it has become the epicentre for events in Kyiv. The streets are closing down on weekends and there are different events, concerts, and festivals held around the square.

Mariinsky Park in Kyiv

One of my favourite places in Kyiv is Mariinsky Park. This park is Kyiv’s most popular and most loved one. It is located very close to other main sights in the city, so it would be a mistake to not walk through it while you’re visiting Kyiv. The park is home to the Mariinsky Palace, a massive, blue Baroque building that was built back in 1752. But that’s not even the best part of it. If you head to the back of Mariinsky Palace, you will get an epic (I would even say the most incredible) view of the Dnipro River. So don’t put it out of your list.

Kyiv National Museum of the History of Ukraine in World War II and Motherland Monument

If you continue walking over from the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, you will see a huge monument of a female standing over the city with a large sword in her hand. This is the Motherland Monument itself. Today, it’s impossible to imagine the panorama of the right bank of the Dnipro River in Kyiv without it. The Motherland Monument is actually one of the world's tallest such structures, ahead of the Statue of Liberty in the US. Today, the memorial complex is one of the favorite leisure places for Kyiv residents and visitors. More than 21 million people are estimated to have visited it, and around one million people go every year. Really…you can’t say that you have visited Kyiv if you haven’t seen the Motherland Monument!

World’s Deepest Metro Station, Arsenalna in Kyiv

Almost everyone knows that Kyiv has a metro, but not everyone knows that metro stations can be a true architectural wonder. I’m talking about the Arsenalna Metro Station. If you want to see the architectural beauty of Arsenalna Metro Station, you have to be prepared for a looong (almost 106 meters deep) ride. This ride will take a couple of minutes, as it is the deepest metro station in the world!

When you’re visiting some of the sights which I have mentioned above, you will be very close to Arsenalna Metro Station. I know that not everyone like to use the metro but this experience is worth the crowds and rush! You’ll be amazed by the architecture of Arsenalna Metro Station as well as by that feeling of being 106 meters underground! Cool, right?

Yes, you probably think that we’ve already seen enough for 1 day. But nope! Even if we only have 24 hours in Kyiv, then I recommend making the effort to see some more, cause next 2 spots are truly remarkable! A short walk uphill from Maidan are two of Kyiv’s icons, St. Michael’s Monastery and Saint Sophia’s Cathedral. These churches are so different yet so brilliant. We must see them! So…

St. Michael’s Cathedral in Kyiv

One of the places in Kyiv that will take your breath away is St. Michael’s Golden Cathedral and complex with its sparkling golden domes. Every time I visit this place I get stunned with this unique architectural treasure. Its golden domes and light blue Baroque style architecture will mesmerize you when approach the complex.

It is just across the way from St. Sophia’s Cathedral and is a very easy walk.

St. Sophia’s Cathedral in Kyiv

This vibrant green and white cathedral was one of my favourite places to visit on my first trip to Kyiv back in 2005 and it remains one of my favourites. St. Sophia’s Cathedral is spectacularly beautiful! There is not a square inch that has not been painted or is covered in mosaic. The cathedral, now a museum, remains one of three UNESCO world heritage sites in Kyiv — a status that is for sure well deserved.

Andriyivskyy Descent in Kyiv

One of the oldest streets in Kyiv is actually Andriyivskyy Descent, a steep, cobblestone street that connects Podil with the Old Town (Upper Town area).

The Andriyivskyi Descent contains many historic attractions and museums. There are many art galleries, centers of contemporary art, theaters, museums, restaurants and cozy cafes along the streets. This street is also home to one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world, St. Andrew’s Cathedral.

Come here in the morning and you will see St. Andrew's Church in the light of the sun and listen to Kyiv's silence in the morning, which is a great luxury in such a big city. After descending from the upper platform of the St. Andrew's Descent, you will find yourself in a small square just outside the St. Andrew's Church. There is an Artists' Alley in the square where paintings are for sale. From here you also can see beautiful views of the Dnipro River.

Kyiv Funicular

The last but not the least is Kyiv Funicular! I think that Kyiv funicular should be on everyone’s list of fascinating things to explore in Kyiv. Carrying you up or down the Volodymyrska Hill in a matter of minutes, Kyiv Funicular links two of the city's historical neighbourhoods. Hop aboard the turn-of-the-century funicular, opened back in 1905, and ride between the upper old town and the Podil district by the Dnipro River. It is a fun and relaxed short journey, the total track length is 238 meters and each trip lasts about 3 minutes.

Try to grab a seat near the front or back of the car to get the best vantage point. You should absolutely make this part of your sightseeing itinerary.

Did I convince you to travel to Kyiv yet?

If you are still hesitating, think about how affordable Kyiv is! It is definitely a budget-friendly destination. You can enjoy so many things, have so many experiences as well as super delicious food and drinks for super reasonable prices.

This city should definitely be on your bucket list. Whether you are going to dive in the marvellous architecture of downtown Kyiv, or unravelling the country’s rich history – just be sure that here you will have a blast.

Is there something I forgot to cover? If you would like to know more about this or any other trips and places in Ukraine, post your questions in the comments!



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