Tram to Pushcha-Vodytsia / Photo: hmarochos.kiev.ua
As international flights don’t seem to be easily available for Ukrainians soon, the chances to spend this summer in Kyiv remain pretty high. Rather than being upset about it try to take it as the occasion to finally discover the city. The SEE KYIV team has prepared a few suggestions of non-typical, off-center, and off-beat locations for you to check out.
Into the woods
If you have a look at the city from one of the numerous panoramic view spots, you’ll see that Kyiv is practically flooded with trees. It means that even without going too far, you have the privilege to get closer to nature!
One of our favorite hidden gems is Syrets Arboretum (Сирецький дендропарк). It is a perfect spot to escape from the big city, admire the flowers blossom (check the blossom calendar on the arboretum website) and funny shaped bushes, or even buy a couple of tomato seedlings or cactuses.
Another unusual way to get to the forest is to take the tram number 12 or 17 from Podil and to go all the way to the last station of Pushcha-Vodytsia (Пуща-Водиця). At some point, it runs right through the tunnel of trees in the middle of the forest. Once there, make sure you take a stroll around and check out the old Soviet resort centers and beaches.
Finally, if you already know the best spots for chilling out in the botanical gardens, seen Holosiyivskyi park and know how to get to the small hidden Bohomolets park in the Lypky area, check out the Horbachykha tract (урочище Горбачиха).
It is a unique area of almost 83 hectares of untouched forests that turns into an island during the floods. Unfortunately, this site is now under the threat as office blocks and residential complexes are planned there. The activists from the Biorhythm community regularly organize cleaning sessions and cultural events there in order to preserve the forest.
To the food markets
Summer in Kyiv is THE season for fresh fruit and vegetables and the best spot to enjoy them are obviously food markets. We are sure you already know the Besarabskyi and Zhytniy markets like the back of your hand and have two other ideas of a market hangout for you.
Kyiv is full of farmers and food markets. While some of them are known to all, the small open-air bazaars are not so obvious to find. Most of them are displayed once or two times per week at the spots such as:
- Honchara and Khmelnytskoho streets intersection (every Tuesday and Thursday)
- Lvivska square (every Friday)
- Arsenalna metro station (every Thursday)
- Kurenivskyi park (every Saturday)
But nothing beats going for a date to the Volodymyrsky market. Here is our secret to success: go to the market, buy some homemade goat cheese, a couple of tomatoes and a bit of salad, don’t forget to ask the vendors to slice it all. Then we strongly recommend trying olive hummus at the Greek kiosk and buying a piece of Napoleon cake for desert next to one of the entrances. After that head upstairs, make yourself comfortable and enjoy your gourmet date while contemplating the slow life of the market from above and listening to its sounds.
To the outdoor gyms
In almost all neighborhoods of Kyiv you can find outdoor workout equipment, but there’s the special one in Hydropark near Dnipro River, a scrap-metal gym, also known as “Kachalka”. It looks majestic and post-apocalyptic: it’s a large area full of sand, trees, and more than 200 exercise machines from the 1970s. You can do arm exercises with weights that are chained down to prevent theft or to pummel a stack of tires. The beach which is located near Kachalka was recently renovated and received the Blue Flag certification for quality and safety.
To the (Kyiv) Sea
The Kyiv Sea is a large water reservoir located on the Dnipro River, to the north of Kyiv. It was formed in 1960-1966, as a result of the Kyiv Hydroelectric Power Plant dam being built at Vyshhorod. During its construction, many nearby villages were flooded. Today it’s a lovely place for a picnic. Kyiv Sea is surrounded by pine trees and sandy wild beaches. A few hours’ drive from Kyiv Sea will take you to Slavutych, the city that was purposely built for the evacuated personnel of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant after the 1986 disaster.
If you don’t want to go that far, we recommend visiting the two largest ponds in Kyiv in Svyatoshyn district. The pond number 15 is surrounded by pine trees on one side and a residential building from the 1970s on the other. On the weekends, it can get crowded with people who are quite enthusiastic about grilling some shashlik. The area also has a kids ropes course. If you cross the Peremohy Ave you’ll get to the pond number 14, a slightly smaller water reservoir with wake station cable park. Before going to any beach in Kyiv, we recommend you to watch the 2020’s short documentary “Beaches of Kyiv” to get into the proper mood.