Finally, warm days are in Kiev, and all dwellers and guests of the city impatiently wait for the weekends and holidays to have some fun outdoors. Fortunately, Ukrainian capital offers numerous interesting activities for the spring and summer season: festivals, concerts, parties, museums, galleries and so on. Moreover, some of the interesting places in Kiev are available for visiting completely free of charge! Let`s check out where we can get the brightest impressions in Kiev for free.
Panoramic View of Kiev from Zamkova Mountain
In the times of Ancient Rus, this mountain was called Khoryvitsia, but in the XV century it was given its modern name – “Zamkova” (“Castle Mountain”). The origin of this name is related to a wooden castle that was built here in 1363 when Kiev became a part of Duchy of Lithuania. In 1840, Zamkova mountain became the property of Florovsky nunnery and was used as a graveyard. In 1921, the graveyard was closed. When the World War II began in 1941, a military unit was located on Zamkova mountain. The unit maintained local radio station. In 1990s, the radio station was demounted, and the mountain was assigned a status of a national museum. Nowadays, the territory of Zamkova mountain looks quite abandoned, because of lack of financing for its modernization. However, if you go up to the top of Zamkova by the stairs that begin on Andryyivsky Descent, you will see breathtaking panoramic view over Podil, St. Andrew`s Church and Vozdvizhenka district.
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Military Exhibition in the World War II Museum
History of Ukraine in the World War II memorial complex is divided into internal and external exhibitions (external part is hidden in the bottom of the Motherland monument). The external part, which is free for visiting, consists of many military equipment units such as tanks, helicopters, artillery guns and other, located along the central lane of the park, and also impressive sculptures, which symbolize spirit of the fearless Ukrainians fighting occupants. Here we can see such sculpture compositions as “Crossing the Dniper”, “The transfer of arms” and “Heroes of the front and home front”. Strolling through the picturesque park, you will notice the large metal bowl above on the hill. It is “Fire of Glory”, dedicated to the memory of all the fallen Ukrainian warriors. The monumental 102-meter high sculpture of the Motherland with a sword and a shield is the central figure of the complex. Besides monuments, visitors will surely enjoy beautiful nature of Spivoche Pole park right nearby.
Relaxing on the Hills of the Park of Eternal Glory
The Park of Eternal Glory in Kiev embraces 18.3 hectares. Here visitors can see an impressive ensemble of memorial monuments, blending seamlessly with the picturesque landscapes of the Dnipro hills. This multi-level park, located in the historical part of Kiev, is stretched from Askold`s grave to Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. The park offers three observation platforms to see amazing panorama over the left bank of the Dnipro River. In this park, you will not find attractions and even shops with food and coffee. People come to the Park of Glory to honor the memory of the World War II heroes, to enjoy beautiful views and to relax on comfortable benches and on the green hills with family, friends and even pets. The park is also a very popular spot for wedding photo sessions.
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Monumental Soviet Architecture at National Expocenter of Ukraine
National Expocenter of Ukraine complex is one of the most important exhibition platforms of the country, built in 1958. Expocenter will awe you not just as an example of classic ostentatious Soviet architecture – it is also a very popular place for walking and spending leisure time. The complex has a big park with picturesque lanes and even a deep forest. On the park territory, you also will find an old greenery – an ivied glass building, which is often used as a place for photo sessions. Here you can relax in a lounge area with soft chairs and delicious drinks, surrounded by flowers and trees. A long row of fruit trees, often called “The garden of wishes”, is another must-visit spot at the Expocenter. And, of course, do not miss your chance to see a crystal lake with white and black swans in the park near Praga restaurant.
Psychedelic Sculptures at Peyzazhna Alley
Peyzazhna alley is a unique place in Kiev, delighting dwellers and guests of the city with unusual artworks. Colorful benches and modern sculptures, creative wall decorations and playgrounds with fairy tale characters make you feel like in a wonderland. This sight is situated in the very heart of Kiev near the famous Andryiivsky Descent and Historical museum. People come here to see mosaic benches made as hare, cat and crow; kids playground with Alice in Wonderland characters; fountain with zebra heads; fountain with a nice elephant; the Little Prince sculpture and pretty angels with pillows. The huge 30-meter mosaic of a cat with many legs, miraculous smile and vivid eyes is the most popular attraction here. Everybody wishes to take a picture in a large mouth of this friendly cat. Walking down the alley, you will also see interesting sculptures such as Rain Man, Love River and Rainbow.
Read: Kiev Secret Places: Part II
Kiev Fortress on Pechersk
This historical landmark is hidden in the streets of central Pechersk district of Kiev. Kosoy Kaponir fortress, located right near Kiev military hospital, amazes with large size and fascinating views. Kosoy Kaponir (Oblique caponier) is just a part of a big Kiev fortress, which is the biggest in Europe and the second biggest in the world earthen fortress. Kosoy Kaponir fortress, built in 1844, is a semi-underground construction with thick walls made of stone and brick with firing ports and embrasures for gunnery embedded into the walls. This is the only place in Europe with fully restored complicated system of 15-meter high earth walls and deep fosses. Kosoy Kaponir building is located at the angle to the earth wall in order to ease the process of artillery crossfire, and that is why it is called “kosoy” (oblique). Apart from seeing an old fortress, here is also a great chance to relax in the beautiful nature of the surrounding park.
Trukhaniv island is located on the Dnipro River right in the front of the historical center of the city. The whole territory of this large island is 450 hectares. It is connected with the right bank of Kiev by Pedestrian bridge. If you go across the bridge to the island, you will find plenty of popular city beaches (Centralniy, Dovbychka and other), aquatic sports stations, restaurants, cafes, clubs, bike rental points and many other attractions. In the Northern part of the island, guests may visit Druzhby Narodiv Park and Bobrovnya reserve. Trukhaniv island is the right place to enjoy nature and to relax with friends and family.
Free Days in Kiev Museums
Do you know that each Kiev museum is free for visits in a particular day of a month? For example: you can go to the National Museum of History of Ukraine for free in the last Monday of every month, and the Getman Museum opens its doors for free in the last Saturday of every month. On May 18, people all over the world celebrate International Day of Museums, so at this date all Kiev museums welcome everyone absolutely free of charge.
Relaxation, inspiration and new knowledge for free – what can be better? Let`s enjoy our life in Kiev to the fullest!
Photo source: shutterstock.com, websites of museum mentioned above. All photos belong to their rightful owners.