A Girl's Guide to Kiev, Ukraine
december 22, 2018
Ahhh, Ukraine in November… it doesn’t quite have the same je ne sais quoi as Paris in November, or heck, let’s go south of the equator to Fiji in November! Yet, the only reasonable flight returning to Tbilisi from visiting a friend in Cologne had me flying through Kiev. And being the eternal optimist I am, I decided to make a mini trip of it. I had never been to Ukraine and was fascinated by the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster, so I made a short stopover to meander around in the cold.
And meander we did. I was clever enough to convince a British friend to join in on the fun. So we braved the cold together, courageously slipping off our gloves to photograph the stunning gold-domed churches and colorful streets of the arts district. We sipped presidential brews and slurped piping hot dumplings. The funky design and vibe of the city had us imagining the spirit of Kiev in the heat of summer. Which is when I’ll return at some point. But, for now, don’t let the cold keep you away - Kiev offers plenty of local red wines, tasty foods, and warm locals to keep you toasty and satisfied in the Ukrainian winter.
SEe // DO
Appreciate the Motherland Monument, a grand statue celebrating the conclusion of WWII. The surrounding grounds house military vehicles and machinery, such as tanks, and a Museum detailing regional conflicts, specifically the World Wars and altercations with Russia.
Peruse the colorful cafes and art shops of the Vozdvyzhenka Barrio.
Enjoy local performance arts with a show at the Taras Shevchenko National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Ukraine.
eAT // DRINK
Hutorets na Dnipiri, overlooking the river, offers local cuisine in a rustic-chic environment. Great service, regional wines, and amazing variety. They also have vodka tastings and a wild glass cellar filled with hundreds of varieties.
Holy Beans Coffee Company offers all the coffeeshop staples, in addition to seasonal drinks and blazing fast wifi.
Check out Theater of Beer Pravda, where themed brews are named after world leaders. Including Trump (Mexican Lager), Obama (downright delicious stout), and Putin (dry-hopped golden ale). They also serve hearty meals, such as ribs with cozy interiors and a patio in the summer months.
Alland, Ethno Fashion Store, showcases Ukrainian and Georgian ready to wear.
Okno vo Dvor has the cutest gift-y items made by Ukrainian artisans. They also have a barista station.
Getting There // Getting Around
The airport is about a half hour from the town center. Uber is incredibly affordable. We walked around most of the time, but Uber is a good call for further trips and convenience.
Stay // Sleep
We found Airbnb to be the best price/quality ratio, as you can get quite a bargain for a large space.
Meanwhile, hotels are reasonable on worldwide standards, but overpriced considering the region, in my experience/opinion. However, if you’d like to splurge or utilize your 6 figure salary, I recommend checking out 11 Mirrors Design Hotel.