Thursday, October 24, 2013

Seven Wonders of Kyiv

Thursday, October 24, 2013
Kyiv is a big city and its landmarks are scattered all over it. Thankfully, the fast, clean and safe metro can take you there in a few minutes. However, if you are short of time or have only a layover in Kyiv, here are the seven wonders of Kyiv for you to check out. This list is presented to you based on the guidebook Touring Kyiv, that is available online or in many tourist information booths in the city.

1. The gardens and parks along the River Dnipro.

The green spaces of Kyiv are really big. I hardly saw anything planted recently, many of the trees are old. Autumn is a good time to visit because of the colours. You can explore Vladimir's Hill for the monument to Duke Volodymyr and the views of the city that open from it and also for the monument for Magdeburg rights of Kyiv. Alternatively, the view from the Cantral Botanical Gardens to Vidubitsky monastery is stunning, but make sure you have some bread for the squirrels there will follow you demanding it.

Monument to Duke Volodymyr. 

Views of  Dnipro. 

Magdeburg Rights Column in The Fog. 

Vidubitsky Monastery.
The nearest metro station to Cantral Botanical Gardens is Druzhbi Narodiv and to Vladimir's Hill it's either Poshtova Ploscha or Maidan Nezalezhnosti. 

2. The house with chimeras. Spot a crocodile and you'll have a stroke of good luck. 

The House with Chimeras. 
The nearest metro station is either Maidan Nezalezhnosti or Kreschatnyk (they are connected by a passage). It's also walkable from Kreschatnyk street if you decide to check out Stalinist architecture. 

3. St. Sophia's church is a landmark of Kyiv and a landmark on UNESCO World Heritage list. 

St. Sophia's Church.
The nearest metro station is Zoloti Vorota or you can get off at Poshtova Ploscha and take the funicular up the hill and visit the church of St. Michal before you go to St. Sophia's church-they are visibly located one opposite the other. In case the funicular is out of order, you can use stairs. 

4. Pechersk Lavra. 

Cathedral of Dormition. 
If this is your first visit to this huge complex of sacred buildings, don't use the main gates in the blue tower near many tickets kiosks but rather walk along the wall until you come to other gates where they don't charge entrance fee and spend some time in the magnificent rose garden and take a tour or visit on your own Near or Far caves. The complex also houses several museums but it's very tiresome to do everything in one day. Women must cover their heads and a skirt is obligatory when visiting the caves. The nearest metro station is Arsenalna. 

5. St. Vladimir's Church.

St. Vladimir's Church. 
Source :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Volodymyr's_Cathedral (c) Palefire.Interior, St Volodymyr's Cathedral, Kiev. Taken by Robert Broadie on 2 July 2006.

6. Kreschatnyk street and Stalinist architecture.

Kreschatnyk Street. 

The nearest metro station is Kreschatnyk or Ploscha Lva Tolstoho. 

7. Andrew's descent. 

Andrew's Descent: Souvenir Mecca.

I suggest coming here at the weekend-then the street totally changes from it's weekday mode and there's much more action going on. I was advised to keep an eye on my bag, though, as there might be pickpockets. I had some mulled wine in a terrace which allowed me do some people watching. 

The nearest metro station is Kontraktova Ploscha. 

There is a good info-guide at TripAdvisor: Metro in Kyiv about how to use metro. And you can download a metro map for Kyiv from this link.

I'd be glad to answer any questions you may have. 


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