Podil District of Kyiv

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Podil District of Kyiv

Today Podil district is the main cultural center of Kyiv that attracts residents and tourists with beautiful architecture, historical monuments and bohemian atmosphere. It has retained its original charm and has become more comfortable and attractive for life in recent years.

Podil is one of the oldest districts of Kyiv. Until the mid-twentieth century, it was inhabited mostly by merchants and craftsmen, who made it the commercial and industrial center of the capital. However, by the mid-1960s, it lost its former glory and the locals began to leave their homes.
In the early 1980s, Podil found new life with massive reconstruction of the pre-Revolutionary houses, where galleries, museums and restaurants began to open.Busy street in PodilWith the romantic aura of the district’s beautiful architecture, museums, experimental theaters and bars, Podil has now become the non-trivial home to Kyiv bohemians, intellectuals. Moreover, students of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy often organize public lectures, film screenings and concerts of high-quality music at their alma mater.
Podil is very diverse area being home not only for the creative youth, but also for Kyiv millionaires and showbiz stars, inhabiting luxury apartments and penthouses in Vozdvizhenka, and many Orthodox Jews, who often choose to settle in the surroundings of Rosenberg Synagogue in Shchekavitska Street.Ferris wheel in KyivBecause of the poor state of the pre-Revolutionary buildings, many locals sell or rent their apartments for the offices of Kyiv companies. That is why Podil district is bustling at any time of the day: people come here to work in the afternoon and to walk through the old streets, drink in small hipster bars, listen to street music and see a play in one of the modern theaters in the evening. Not so long ago, the legendary ‘Zhovten’ cinema, famous for non-commercial films showings, has been rebuilt after the fire, gathering around intellectuals and movie lovers. In addition, during the summer season, the fun parties’ list gets updated with the opening of half-underground bars and clubs in Trukhaniv Island nearby.View from Trukhaniv IslandThe district is famous for a large number of places of various formats from democratic youth pubs to the high-level restaurants. For example, Sahaydachnoho Street is a popular business area and the other side of Kontraktova Square is famous for unique cafes, bars and clubs, to which people come from all over the city to Podil.
Kyiv residents and guests of all ages love to walk and rest on the new promenade along Dnipro River, which is sometimes called ‘Miami in Kyiv’ as a joke. Right next to Poshtova Square lies the famous ancient Kyiv funicular, one of the city's main attractions, which is a unique means of transport in Europe.Andriyivsky Descent in KyivOn weekends, the main tourist street of Kyiv – Andriyivsky Descent - turns into a fair with souvenir stalls, paintings and hand-made products. In addition to numerous architecture sites, old churches, museums, private galleries and theaters, many showrooms of Ukrainian designers, vintage shops, boutiques and creative stores are also located in Podil area.
In recent years, the list of attractions of Podil has begun to fill up with the works of famous international street artists. Furthermore, there are several parks that make the territory of the district very green and cozy. One of them is the ‘Samosad’ (Self-made Garden) on Spas'ka Street, created by the local residents, who planted flowers, vegetables and installed handmade outdoor furniture.
Podil district of Kyiv can brag with a large number of historic monuments and architectural sites, so its main streets are always filled with tourists. However, it is pretty quiet in the depths of the neighborhood. Explore the non-touristic side of Podil district of Kyiv and enjoy its true spirit!
Photo source: Alla Iatsun, Alex Sun / shutterstock.com. All images belong to their rightful authors. 

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