- An integral part of the Kiev must-see list is a trip to the legendary Pecherska Lavka which, because of its famous catacombs, is often referred to as „the cave monastery". The church complex, built almost nine centuries ago, belongs to the most special places in Kiev and, even if you do not attempt to see all museums and exhibition halls on its territory, you should count with spending at least three hours here. Do visit at least some of Kiev's most extraordinary museums: you are not likely to find many cities featuring museums dedicated to a single street, or lavatories, or just books. There is no shortage of places surrounded by all sorts of myths and mysticism, for instance, the so-called House with Chimaeras, one of the strangest and most extravagant buildings in the city with a roof and façade populated by all sorts of monsters, animals and fairytale characters, including snakes, mermaids and dragons. The house was designed by the architect Gorodetsky, „the Gaudi of Kiev". Considering the vibe of the building, it is hardly surprising that legends have been surrounding the house from its first day; according to one of them, the architect dedicated the building to his daughter who had committed suicide by drowning herself. From one side the house appears to have three storeys, from the other all six are revealed; on a cloudy day it does really seem reminiscent of a fairytale castle. By the way, be warned not to visit the building at midnight when the fantastic creatures adorning the façade are said to come alive... The bizarre image of the building does have a slightly more rational explanation: Gorodetsky used to be a passionate hunter, and most animals featured as the façade sculptures actually belonged to his actual or desired trophies. Sadly, the interior of the building is off limits to the general public.
- Kiev seems to have been created for long walks; do explore any of its parks - Vladimirkiy or Marininskiy, for instance - or the city's central artery, Khreschatyk which offers just about everything, from shops to restaurants of any sort. While the street itself can hardly be called beautiful, there is a certain character to it.
Do not forget to include into your itinerary Podil, a district you absolutely have to see to make your stay in Kiev complete. Podil is the lowest part of the city with the undulating terrain. It used to be home to merchants and dealers. In 1811, a giant fire incinerated countless historical Podil wooden houses and churches. The district was eventually rebuilt, and yet you are not likely to even notice as you wander its streets: everything seems just slightly tatty, tinted by the patina of time and intangible bohemian charm. It is also one of the busiest Kiev districts, housing a number of the best and most original art galleries in the city.
Podil is also home to one of Kiev's oldest streets, Pokrovskaya, built as early as in the mid-1400s; its original name was hardly romantically inspiring: Gnilaya (Rotten) Street. During the Soviet era it was renamed after Zelinsky, the inventor of gas mask. It was also one of the few streets spared by the great fire: it looks almost the same today as it did hundreds of years ago. Almost every building here has a story of its own. One of the main landmarks of the „Pokrovskaya route" is the Belfry (No. 6); there used to be an adjacent church where the great writer Mikhail Bulgakov married his first wife Tatyana. In 1935 the church was demolished and a school building was erected in its place. The belfry itself has survived since the 1700s. The street owes its current name to the opposite mid-1500s Pokrova Church (No. 7). The No. 5 is an 1808 Empire style building once owned by the legendary local jeweller Samson Strelbitsky, the man responsible for many of the countless treasures stored in Kiev churches. At No. 1 you will find the Widow's House designed in 1892 by the architect Nikolaev - a well-known merchant's dedication to single mothers.