– When you go on TripAdvisor, the first 10 things to see in Kyiv, are churches, – once I’ve heard from a guest on my tour. Indeed, it’s around 900 churches for 839 km², but alternative Kyiv is sometimes just behind the golden domes.
The face of the city is changing very fast: new bars, cafes, clubs, street art appear lightning fast. However with its 1536 years history, thousand year old cathedrals, monasteries and well kept traditions, Kyiv will never become too alternative. Old and new, traditional and modern live here next to each other in
uncontrollable mess unbelievable harmony.
So here is your Kyiv Guide to Traditional and Alternative places, located just next to each other. Choose whatever you want, but better try both!
Liadsky Gate & Last Barricade Restaurant
Liadsky Gate right in the centre of Maidan is considered to be the one through which Mongol-Tatars attacked Kyiv in 1240. Pechersky Gate was built on its place later on. Now it’s a good place to meet on Maidan, especially on a busy day when the Independance Square of Kyiv is crowded – simply agree to wait for each other under Liadsky gate, and you will easily catch up.
Ostannia Barykada (Last Barricade) is a restaurant of modern Ukrainian cuisine and a guide through three Ukrainian revolutions. Located right under Liadsky gate, visible only to curious eyes. Take a guided tour around the restaurant to find out the last barricade of Kyiv or enjoy live music of Ukrainian bands. Do not forget to learn Last Barricade password – (Борітеся – поборете (Boritesia – poborete).
Saint Andrew Church & D12 Gallery
Saint Andrew Church on top of Andriivsky Descent in Kyiv is one of top Kyiv viewpoints. The church is beautiful at any time of a day, but if you are searching for alternative places in Kyiv, pay a visit to D12 Gallery, located just a couple of meters away from the church.
It’s the main location for Vsi Svoi Markets – big events when Ukrainian designers/local producers present their products to locals and travelers. The D12 Gallery is a venue to summer time event Jazz on the Terrace – if you are a music lover, it’s a unique chance to combine listening to quality music with spending time outside and enjoying the views of night Kyiv.
Saint Sophia Cathedral & Art Centre Locatsia
Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv is the only church in Ukraine that fully survived Mongol-Tatar invasion in 1240 and still stands as the oldest cathedral in Ukraine. It’s awesome, how you can feel the energy of this place.
Christmas market in Kyiv starts from Saint Sophia Cathedral and goes all the way to Saint Michael’s Monastery. It’s here you can see Easter fairs and other celebrations.
While most of the tourists walk towards Saint Sophia from Maidan or from Golden Gates, I always try to show this mesmerizing place from other angles.
Visit Art Centre Locatsia located to get another prospective on Saint Sophia and enjoy some modern art or a cup of coffee in relaxing atmosphere.
Ar Rakhmah Mosque & Closer Club
The first mosque in Kyiv is located at the place that used to be an old muslim cemetery. Most of the people buried there – tatars. The mosque is lightened at night which makes a walk around the district really magical.
Just a couple hundred meters behind the mosque – Closer Club – a mekka for those who search where to dance to electro music in Kyiv.
Rated as top 20 night clubs in the world, Closer is one of the most popular clubs in Kyiv and the venue for famous Strichka festival – for fans of electro music.
Though the district is out of centre, it’s one of the most controversial and offbeat districts of Kyiv that we discover in Awful Kyiv Walking Tour.
Saint Michael Cathedreal & Heavenly Hundred Square
Aggressively ruined in Soviet period, and fully rebuilt in 1999, Saint Michael’s Cathedral is one of the most important religious centres in Ukraine. This cathedral started a tradition of golden domes in Kyiv Rus.
Saint Michael’s Cathedral is a great example how traditions can be tied with modern life. The cathedral was the soul of Euromaidan Revolution of Dignity. It turned into real shelter for protesters: people used to sleep there, hide from Berkut police, volunteers were bringing food and clothes to there, while priests and monks – helping them.
The Heavenly Hundred Square, located right in front of the cathedral and monastery is a modern part of Ukrainian history. You can easily find the place by the wall scretched portrait of Sergii Nigoyan – he was among the first protesters who died in January 2014 at the age of 20.
Previously a landfill, now it’s a small square, carefully restored by locals and dedicated to the heroes of Ukraine who died while fighting for freedom of our country.
Fancy to get a mix of traditional and alternative, or find out the most popular landmarks while walking through hidden backyards and offbeaten paths? Then welcome on Awesome Kyiv Walking Tour – as awesome as you are!