In case you are just passing through or simply have a short attention span, we have designed the following self-guided tour to allow you to visit most of Kyiv’s notable points of interest in one day.
Of course, this does not cover everything and doesn’t allow for a lot of loitering, but if you have more time to spend in the capital you can slow your pace and divide the tour into two days.
You will find the destinations included here described in detail in the Sightseeing section of the guide, it is also a good idea to get familiar with the maps because it is possible to get turned around.
You will want to leave no later than 9:30 for the Museum of the Great Patriotic War. The best way to get there if you have more money than time is by taxi, but the fare should be no more than 40Hr from anywhere in the city. Note that the names of sites are listed under both English and Ukrainian headings in the guide, so if you haven’t got either of the languages down by your first day sightseeing you can just point to the Ukrainian title for the museum. You should arrive before the museum opens, so there’s a little time to look around the outdoor monument and get a view of the left bank.
For the sake of a one day tour we’ll say that if you’ve seen one Soviet apartment building you’ve seen them all, so we won’t guide you any closer to the residential left bank. The main draw of this site is the “Mother” statue, but if you want more time to see things later in the day you can start your tour instead at the Lavra, as the 62m statue is visible from there.
If you come straight out the same way you entered the museum and follow that street, you will come to the Lavra Monastary. Here you may be tempted to buy souvenirs, but consider how much you want to carry with you all day when there’s a better place to buy them near the end of the tour. An exception would be religious souvenirs, of which there are more available here.
Don’t skip the bell tower of the miniature museum, which is particularly unique. There are two catacombs, but for the sake of time you may want to limit yourself to the smaller one near the bell tower. The same logic that applies to Soviet apartment buildings applies to dead monks.
Our guide lists many restaurants in our Restaurants&Cafés section that are located on this street or in Independence Square. You may continue to the first four-way intersection, but there are only few things that may be of interest there: Bessarabskyi Rynok, several shopping malls, and the city’s only remaining statue of Lenin. If you’ve never seen fresh produce or a mall, or if your local eccentric millionaire failed to transplant one of the many Lenin statues that were going cheap in the early 1990’s from Eastern Europe to your home city (ours was from Bucharest), these might be worthwhile destinations for you.
At the intersection, the Rynok (market) is down the left street, Lenin on your right, and the Metrograd shopping centre directly below you under the street, another one - Mandarin Plaza is right next to the Market.
From any of these places, backtrack along Khreschatyk and take a left on Prorizna street to the Golden Gate, or alternatively use our map to navigate a more direct route to Zoloti Vorota metro station, which is named after and right next to the Golden Gate.
From there follow Volodymyrs’ka, which runs north (in the general direction that the gate faces) parallel to Khreschatyk, after a few minutes you will see the blue and white bell tower of St. Sophia’s Cathedral on your left.
The gold dome of St. Michael’s Cathedral should be visible directly in front of you as you exit St. Sophia’s staying to the right when the road splits. When leaving St. Michael’s, exit the square via narrow Desiatynna street which leads to St. Andrew’s Church.
If you were to continue past the church, you would arrive at the top of Andrew’s Descent, where all kinds of souvenirs are available but most of the vendors start leaving around 18:00 so keep track of time.
The descent takes you into the old Podil neighbourhood, which is great for an evening stroll or more likely dinner, as you’ve done a lot of walking and it should be around 18:30. That's what we can advise for a short time and must see places in Kyiv.