If you spend the day roaming around the downtown, it’s not hard to notice that Kyiv is a city abundant with hills and slopes — after all, many tourist spots like Andriivskyi Descent or Mariinskiy park are located on the elevations. This peculiarity allows witnessing the incredible panoramas of different parts of the city from historical Podil to the hidden industrial Kyiv.
Saint Vladimir Hill
The classic location to enjoy Kyiv views often depicted in paintings and photographs, Saint Vladimir Hill provides a wonderful panorama on the left bank of the city. The area is so old it was described in the Primary Chronicles by Nestor the Chronicler in the 11th century. Besides, the monument of St Vladimir itself is, in fact, the oldest monument in the city. The park is full of quiet alleys, bushy trees and benches to rest and listen to birds. Besides, the park hides a statue of the Italian writer Dante Alighieri not far from St. Alexander’s Catholic Cathedral.
Bell Tower of Saint Sophia's Cathedral
The bell tower located on Sofiiska Square is an option for those who aren’t afraid of heights. The 76-meter building was erected in 1699 and saw the most important highlights of Ukrainian history, as well as the recent entertainment events like Eurovision 2017. The winding wooden and stone steps lead to the several observation points that offer the panorama on the right and left banks of the city, as well as an aerial view of the Saint Sophia's Cathedral.
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The hill’s name refers to the castle built by Vytautas the Great way back in 1370. Zamkova Hora is included into so-called Lysi Hory (“Bald Hills”) of Kyiv, known as places of special power, mysterious atmosphere, and a whole bunch of legends. However, for us, the hill places a special interest because of the incredible view of Andriivskyi Descent, especially St. Andrew’s Church and Castle of Richard Lionheart.
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The huge green park is easily reached from the Arsenalna metro station. Mariinskiy hides a unique cast-iron fountain built in 1900 by a talented engineer Aleksey Termen. The ‘brothers’ of the fountain can also be found on the square near Zoloti Vorota, Ivana Franka square, as well as in Oles’ Honchar Park. The official observation deck overlooks the Dnipro slopes, Podil and the left bank of Kyiv. Binoculars are available for the detailed view.
Park of Eternal Glory
Despite being dedicated to the fallen warriors of the WWII, the park was initially built in 1894. Ever since it has become one of the most popular spots for long strolls in Kyiv. The park has two spots with great views — the upper plate, which offers the panorama of Dnipro and the left bank of Kyiv and the lower level that shows off Kyiv Pechersk Lavra.
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The Motherland Monument
One of the symbols of Kyiv, nowadays the Motherland Monument is often seen in music videos of foreign bands. The spot has two observation decks: at the bottom level of the statue, equipped with binoculars, and in the shield. Here any spot of Kyiv becomes merely a small dot on the map. Moreover, there’s an opportunity to reach the top of the 102-meter monument on the special elevators.
Finally, Rybalslkyy Bridge is a secret location that opens a non-touristic view of Kyiv that you won’t see on postcards. Technically the bridge is closed for traffic but is beloved by many locals that seek peace and quietness near the water. The view from the bridge opens Kyiv from a lesser-known side: industrial panorama of the Leninskaya Kuznya shipyard, Poshtova Ploscha, Kyiv River Port and a heat power plant.
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Photo source: Polydeuces, Vomirak, eFesenko / shutterstock.com. All images belong to their rightful authors