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.

 

 

 

  • Get a unique perspective of the city via Funicular! Starting from Verkhnia Stansiia (near St. Michael’s Cathedral, the funicular takes you up the mountain to the A. V. Fomin Botanical Garden offering city views along the way.

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.

 

 

  • 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.

 

  • Terracotta Restaurant, located on the top floor of the Premier Palace Hotel, offers swanky interiors and stunning views served up alongside 5 star dishes and an extensive wine list. Don’t miss Atmosfera in the summer months for open-air rooftop cocktails and bites.

Shop // Splurge

  • 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.