Shevchenko Park is not just a monument of gardening and landscape architecture; it is Kyiv’s embodiment of everything beautiful. How so many gorgeous colours, sights and sounds can be packed into such a small area is beyond reason. The park is located on the corner of Volodymyrs’ka and Shevchenka bul’v., opposite Taras Shevchenko National University and, therefore, attracts scantily clad coeds by the dozens. For decades, this has been the prominent scene for chess enthusiasts, who reign over the park’s south-west corner. Verbal disputes and even scuffles between opponents are a common sight, as vodka and gambling are indispensable parts of the game. From the centre of the park, a solemn looking statue of Taras Shevchenko (the greatest of the classic Ukrainian literary figures) gazes down, like a stern yet loving father, on his hedonistic spawn. Admission is free.