Have you ever thought of travelling to Kiev? I had those notions of travelling to this European city for months until I've finally hit the button and purchased the flight ticket to the capital city of Ukraine. I must say, I was slightly nervous. Not only I was going to a less-touristy part of Europe, it was again one of the trips I was travelling alone (Jerry is not that into visiting cities). And you know what, the trip turned out really cool and Kiev is definitely worth visiting! Let's have a look what I've done in the Ukrainian capital city.
SEE ALSO: How I Spent My Time in Riga
Solo Female Travel to Kiev - Things I've Done
There is a direct flight from Zurich to Kiev by Swiss Airlines, so I thought why not taking advantage of that. I boarded the plane and 3 hours later I was in Kiev! So these are the things I've done and seen:
The Independence Square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti)
Once arrived, I went to the main and the most famous square in Kiev - Maidan Nezalezhnosti - also called the Independence Square. Since 1990, when the independence's movement started in Ukraine, this square was often used for political and protest campaigns. Nowadays, it seems to be the center of all the happenings. There were lots of street acts and different kind of stands. I liked the atmosphere there!
The Khreshchatyk Street
The main street in Kiev with a length of 1.2 km is called the Khreshchatyk street. I really liked walking down this street, observing the people, admiring the historical houses and just observing the street vibe. There were many coffee stands and shops which also gained my attention. I had to walk this street every day in order to reach different sights in various parts of the city :)
One of the coffee stands in Kiev - it seems I have a vibe with cities which have so many coffee stands ;)
So cool, this guy was playing drums in the middle of the Khreshchatyk street! Since I love drums, I stopped and just listened for a while :)
Here are some photos I took from the buildings - I found them quite picturesque:
Zoloti Vorota, also named the Golden Gates of Kiev, was the main gate in the 11th century fortifications of Kiev. It's a beautiful sight and I was happy I visited it.
Zoloti Vorota from another angle:
There were so many small cute parks with again, coffee stands :) Ah, just perfect for me.
Saint Sophia's Cathedral
Another sight in Kiev which I found to be very stunning is the Saint Sophia's Cathedral. It is one of the World Heritage sites, built back in 1037 by an old Russian Prince called Yaroslav the Wise.
St. Michael's Monastery
I remember sitting on a bench in a small park and starring at the beautiful St. Michael's Monastery. I really enjoyed just relaxing and doing nothing, since my feet hurt due to walking around the city for many hours.
Wondering what camera we use to make these photos? Here's the link.
I was also impressed by the Mariyinsky Palace - it's the official ceremonial residence of the president in Ukraine. Apparently, it was badly damaged during the World War I but nowadays with its baroque style it grabs the attention.
There is this Water Museum, built in the middle of 19th century. It educates about the water supply system in Kiev. Apparently it is really worth visiting it, since its exhibitions are really informative and interactive. I missed this one! Just in front of it, there was a cute coffee stand and a small restaurant.
Mariinsky Park - Love Bridge
Once in Kiev, I wanted to see the famous Love Bridge in the Mariinsky Park. And indeed, it was worth it. I saw many locks on the bridge, a symbol for eternal love.
Volodymyrska Hill - Monument
Aww, this park was lovely! So much greenery! :) I walked all those little small paths in the park leading from the top of the hill, where my hotel was, down to the river and I enjoyed it so much! I stumbled upon the scenic monument to St. Volodymyr, which is symbol of Kiev and therefore often appears in paintings.
Friendship of Nations Arch
That a must-see in Kiev - the Friendship of Nations Arch! It was built in 1982 in order to celebrate the 1,500th anniversary of the Kiev city and the 60th anniversary of the USSR. There are a lot of people meeting up here and there is a beautiful viewpoint nearby. I was really fond of this spot!
The wonderful view near the Friendship of Nations Arch:
Monument to the Magdeburg Rights
This monument is located near the Dnipro river and is known as the oldest monument in the city! I used to pass it every time I decided to walk from my hotel to the waterfront. There are quote many stairs to conquer but it is well worth it!
St Nicholas Naberezhny
The Church, built in 1863, located at the waterfront is another sight, I took photos of while strolling along the Dnipro river.
Parkovyy Mist Cherez Dnipro - Bridge
The Parkovyy Mist bridge reminded me of the Brooklyn bridge in New York. It seemed to be the centre of all the happenings: There were two bungee jumping spots on the bridge, people were running, meeting up with others and of course there were tourists taking photos of the lovely scenery.
Luckily, I was on the bridge just for the sunset. That was a fantastic experience and I think also the moment when I fell in love with Kiev! I would highly recommend it! Go and enjoy the sunset from the bridge and take some lovely photos.
Municipal Beach Central
When I crossed the bridge I stumbled upon a beach - yes, a beach, in Kiev! Who would have though, right? There was a lot of going on - people playing volleyball, having a barbecue, some teenagers were drinking and smoking (hehe), others were even swimming in the river! Such a cool place - if I'd lived here, I'd come here every Friday, I guess! :) So make sure to visit this beach!
Why Kiev Is Worth Visiting
It was surprising to me, how much I liked Kiev. Beside Tallinn, I'd place Kiev onto the list of one of my favourite European cities! It is such a green city with lots of parks and benches to sit down and observe! Another thing which impressed me were the various scenic viewpoints. As the city is quite big, one could enjoy the views of the city skyline from various parks, terraces, towers etc.
If you like history, the city has a lot museums and monuments which educate about the difficult times in the past.
What is more, Kiev is not an expensive city on comparison to the majority of other European cities! Check the prices here.
Also, the food was really delicious - you really see the impact of the neighbouring countries such as Turkey. There were many bars with shisha and I ate a lot of hummus and falafel - like we did in Turkey and also Georgia.
What about people? They were friendly and open. However, not everyone speaks English but more than I expected - in comparison to Belarus, it was way better :)
Is It Safe to Travel Alone to Kiev?
Yes, yes, it is! It's not necessary to address this, you'll be fine! Don't worry to much, it's just one of those lovely cities in Europe. I completely felt safe while exploring the city and even at night I felt secure. No problems at all.
Do you need a travel insurance for your trip to Kiev? When we go travelling, we usually use World Nomads.
Where to Stay in Kiev
I chose to stay at the Kropivnizkogo Mini-Hotel. Although the entrance looks a bit spooky, the rooms are really spacious with all the facilities one needs. Also the location is really good - just a few minutes from the main road - the Khreshchatyk street. For a luxury accommodation I'd check out the Senator Maidan Hotel!
You can check for further hotels here:
What was your experience in Kiev? Would you recommend the city to others? Or are you planning to go? Let us know in the comments below!