If you'll be traveling in or volunteering in Kiev, you have got your work cut out for you — there is so much to do in this city!
When I was spending a semester living in Ukraine (Thanks, ILP!) I fell head over heels for this country. Part of it was the people — I was there to teach English in Kiev, plus living with a host family meant I got really close to so many — part of it was the food, but so much of my love was based around all there is to do in Kiev.
We’ve got more info about volunteering in Ukraine you might be interested in; it's crammed full of answers to the questions you have, like what a typical day looks like.
Kiev has a rich history and the city is full of plenty of museums, cathedrals, parks and other cool things you need to check out. Don't miss out on these 10 things:
- Motherland Statue
- WWII Museum
- House with Chimaeras
- Hryshko National Botanical Garden
- Ukrainian National Chernobyl Museum
- Ukraine State Aviation Museum
- Kyiv Pechersk Lavra
- The Cathedrals
Also referred to as the "Big Mama Statue", you definitely need to check out this huge statue of the Motherland protector. It is a reminder to all of WWII and is actually on top of the WWII museum, which is another place you need to check out!
Here's a little more info on how to get there and why you should visit.
Formally known as the Museum of The History of Ukraine in World War II, this was one of the saddest but coolest museums that I went to when in Kiev. I'm sure we have all heard of WWII and know a decent amount about it, but I was surprised at how much I learned by going through this museum. It was really neat learning about WWII from the Ukrainian perspective. I highly recommend this museum to everyone.
House with Chimaeras
Love unique architecture? Boy, do I have the perfect building for you to see! Check out the House with Chimaeras, located across the street from the President of Ukraine's office. This building features Art Nouveau style with elephant head gargoyles, elaborate cement decorations featuring rhinoceroses and deer along with mermaid, eagle and other intricate statues.
Looking for the best shopping around? Head to Khreshchatyk Street. Click here to read more about what this street has to offer. It's crammed full of glitzy stores, perfect for window shopping, but on the weekends you can find some awesome pop-up stands and street vendors.
Hryshko National Botanical Garden
This Botanical Garden can't be missed! Enjoy the day strolling through this beautifully landscaped garden, with thousands of flowers and plants to enjoy. One of the top things to see in the garden are the Lilacs. You'll find 21 different kinds of lilac and there are only 28 kinds of lilac in the world, so that's pretty cool.
Ukrainian National Chernobyl Museum
Heard of the Chernobyl Disaster in the late 1980's? You can actually visit Chernobyl if you're brave enough. If you're not up to the adventure of actually visiting the disaster sight, you can visit several museums in Kiev that reference the disaster.
Head to Pyrohiv to get a taste of what the folk life was like in Ukraine. Pyrohiv is on the outskirts of Kiev and used to be its own small village but as the city has grown Pyrohiv has become a part of this great city. While here check out the Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukraine — this quaint day trip is one of our favorite places in Ukraine!
Ukraine State Aviation Museum
Located next to Zhulyany Airport in Kiev, this aviation museum offers both aircraft exhibits and also interactive displays. The museum is home to more than 70 aircraft and is one of the largest aviation museums that displays soviet technology. History buffs, you'll love it.
Kyiv Pechersk Lavra
Also known as the Kiev Monastery of the Caves, this is a must-see attraction. Wander through the caves and see memoirs and exploits of the saints, whose relics are saved in the near caves. Walk around the entire complex and admire the many cathedrals and "heaven-like" atmosphere.
Besides Lavra, Kiev is full of gorgeous cathedrals. They come in a rainbow of colors which makes them stunning from the outside, but don't forget to take a trip on the inside of these beauties. I mean, we have our list of our favorite cathedrals in Ukraine, but you'll need to check 'em all out and see if you agree.
With tons of historical museums, beautiful parks and other cool things to see and do in Kiev, you'll need more than just a day or two to visit, right? How about a whole semester abroad in Ukraine??
International Language Programs sends volunteers to teach English to children in Kiev (and many other countries around the world). Since you'll only be teaching English to kids part time, you'll have plenty of time explore Kiev — plus, every single weekend off. You'll even get vacation days to check out places like the Black Sea, or other countries in Europe. Think about it — fill your passport by volunteering with ILP!
Sound pretty rad, right? Get more info, right here: