Things to do in Kiev
You can't find a major city with 1500 years of history and three million inhabitants and not also find a huge amount of fascinating, proud and enigmatic attractions. From historical sights to significant cultural memorials, you'll need a good few days to see everything that there is to see.
Historical and Religious Buildings
Kiev Pechersk Lavra is the most popular attraction in the city, and one of the most famous in the whole country. This monastery is formed of a 1000 year old underground network of caves that can today be toured by visitors. Arguably another of the most iconic buildings in the city, St Sophia's Cathedral is a white, gold and green domed building and part of the same UNESCO World Heritage Site as the cave complex. No longer a working church, it is a museum where an amazing collection of 11th century frescos can be viewed. Another golden domed church can be found at St. Michael's, a working monastery that dates to the 12th century.
Mariyinsky Palace & Park
Found in the heart of the city, this Baroque Russian-era 18th century palace is the ceremonial home of the Ukrainian president. It is attached to the government building and both are partially open to the public. Even if you don't go inside, a wander around Mariyinsky Park is still worth doing as this is one of the most popular open spaces for locals and one of the best picnic spots in the city.
Dnipro Beach Life
Beach life on an Eastern European river may not be something you'd have imagined, but it's a big thing in Kyev. You can take the metro train to Hydropark Island where a number of spots offer a choice of swimming, sunbathing or playing volleyball on the beaches of the Dnipro River. In the summer months temperatures reach 26 degrees celcius in the city, making this an inviting option.
Shopping in Kyev
The biggest and brashest place to go shopping in Kyev is the Ocean Plaza. 400 shops, 40 restaurants, many cinemas and even an aquarium are all housed in this one vast shopping and entertainment complex. Those looking for the high-end side of things should however head to the Mandarin Plaza where boutiques and designer names are found. If you want to take something home then head to the market at Andrew's Descent where a selection of communist era merchandise and souvenirs such as Matryoshka dolls are sold.
The Famous Kyev Nightlife
Drinking in the bars and dancing in the clubs is practically a national pastime for local Kyevians. There are a great many bars in the city especially in the very centre where you'll find both Irish pubs and traditional drinking holes. When it's time to dance, head to either D-Lux and Faberge where the beautiful people hang or the arguably more hip Xlib-club or Art Club 44.