Kyiv also called Kiev is the capital and the most populous city of Ukraine. The city has an extended history date back to 482 AD. Throughout its long history, Kyiv went through various phases, from Varangian's occupation, Mongol invasions and becoming a part of the Soviet Union, making Kyiv's culturally rich and diverse. If you have 3 days in Kyiv for your stopover and wonder what sort of things you can do there, we got you covered. We will go through many things this city offers and explain why it should be your next Eastern European stayover.
3 Days In Kyiv, Ukraine Itinerary
Day 1 in Kyiv- See the best sights and neighborhoods in the city
For your first day in Kyiv, check out the best things to do and places to eat in the city.
Best things to do in Kyiv.
Kyiv has many churches, museums and other places to visit. However, these are the unmissable things of Kyiv.
1. Kyiv Pechersk Lavra
One of the top attractions of Kyiv is the headquarters for the Ukrainian Orthodox church, Pechersk Lavra.
Situated near the Dnieper river, this UNESCO world heritage site has several churches and cathedrals built between the 11th and 18th centuries.
These buildings are striking and spiritual. Pechersk Lavra has two parts. You need to purchase tickets to visit the upper part while lower, which includes caves with buried monks, is free to enter.
2. St. Sophia Cathedral
St. Sophia cathedral, named after Hagia Sofian in Istanbul, is the oldest church in Kyiv. This church has an incredible interior with many mosaic designs, some date back to the 11th century.
Climb the bell tower for a fantastic view of the grounds. You need to purchase a separate ticket for each place inside the complex, including general entrance, bell tower and museums.
3. Motherland Monument
Motherland Monument is a 340-foot statue built to honour the Soviet war heroes of the second world war. At one point, this statue was the largest in the world. You can climb up and get inside the head of the statute and view the city through the eyes.
Best neighbourhoods to visit in Kyiv.
Kyiv is a massive city with many diverse neighbourhoods. So, choosing neighbourhoods to visit can be challenging. Here are our picks for the best neighbourhoods in Kyiv.
Located on the banks of the Dnieper river is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Kyiv. Podil is quiet and close to the city centre giving easy access to many of the city's major attractions. This wonderful neighbourhood has pre-Soviet architectural buildings and a range of cafes and restaurants serving delicious foods.
Pecherskyi is the administrative centre of Kyiv with significant establishments such as various ministries and the National bank. But it is more than just an administrative centre. The place has a large number of cinemas, libraries and theatres to keep you entertained. Maidan Nezalezhnoisti or the Independence Square and Friendship Arch are some highlights of Pecherskyi.
Holosiivskyi is the best neighbourhood to visit for families. The neighbourhood is in the right bank of the Dnieper river and one of the largest of Kyiv. Access to Holosiivskyi is convenient with several railway stations and the Kiev's central bus station. Holosiivskyi national park and Velyka Vasylkivska street are some attractions of Holosiivskyi.
Day 2 in Kyiv: Check out the off the beaten trails
Venture out a little bit from Kyiv on your second day by checking out the off the beaten destinations in the city.
If you prefer off the beaten places instead of the usual high touristy areas, Kyiv has several options for you. Here are some suggestions for your Kyiv Stopover.
1. Kyiv Crematorium
The incineration of bodies was a disputed topic in Ukraine after the second world war. As a result, architects build this place to avoid any association with the process of incineration. However, this uniquely shaped crematorium in the Baikove Cemetery’s “Memory Park,” is worth visiting.
2. Underground bunker tour
Visiting this abandoned underground cold war nuclear bunker exposes you to another chapter of Ukrainian history. These tours last from 1.5 to 3 hours, and you can experience what it was like to live in an era in which people live in constant fear of a nuclear attack.
3. Chernobyl exclusion zone
This place needs no further introduction. It is the base of one of the biggest tragedies in human history. Many tourists avoid the site as it could still be dangerous and due to the distance from central Kyiv. The zone is about 150km away from Kyiv. So, it is more like a day trip from Kyiv rather than just a regular tour.
Day 3 in Kyiv: Visit the parks and the beaches
Relax on your third day by visiting parks scattered all through out the city.
Best parks to visit in Kyiv
Kyiv has several picturesque parks for you to visit and relax. Here are some suggestions.
1. Mariinsky Park
Mariinsky Park is one of the most visited parks in Kyiv. You can get a fantastic view of the Dnieper river in this park, and the place has several sculptures and historical monuments.
2. Pecherskyi Landscape Park
This park is the venue for art lovers with regular festivals, music concerts and cinema screenings. The National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War is another main attraction of the park.
Best beaches to visit in Kyiv.
Kyiv as several beaches along the Dnieper river. Here are some suggestions if you are looking for a lovely beach day in Kyiv.
1. Trukhaniv Island
Trukhaniv Island is famous for its size and other activities the place offers. You can do rope jumping on the pedestrian bridge. And the beach has several bars and restaurants.
This park was created during the Soviet era as an entertainment complex. Hidropark has multiple beach volleyball courts and a nearby park for a nice picnic.
Other tips for your 3 days in Kyiv
Best places to eat and drink in Kyiv
Kyiv has restaurants from budget options to premium, serving traditional Ukrainian and a range of international cuisines. Puzhata Hata is one of the best for a tasty yet inexpensive Ukrainian lunch. Megan of the "Megan Starr" blog recommends trying Varenyky with meat (Ukrainian dumplings) here.
O’Panas situated near Taras Shevchenko Park serves classic Ukrainian cuisines. “Megan Starr” blog says the place is one of the best and coolest traditional food experiences. Also, head over to the Kyiv food market. The place has several food stalls and a bar.
Borscht (traditional soup), Chicken Kyiv, Deruny (Potato pancakes) and Vareniki (Ukrainian dumpling) are some of the dishes we recommend you to try during your Kyiv stayover.
Itineraries for more than 3 days in Kyiv
Travel itineraries help you choose places to visit out of many during your stayover, no matter how short it is. For Kyiv, here are some well-planned itineraries.
4 days in Kyiv
"Me against the compass" is the travel blog of Spanish traveller, Joan Torres. His blog aims at helping other travellers by providing tips and information. His 4-day Kyiv itinerary contains information on getting around the city, insurance and one-day trips from Kyiv. Read his 4-day Kyiv adventure here,