What to visit in Kyiv region: weekend routes in every direction
With summer and the thirst for travel arriving, Rubryka begins a new series of articles about places where you can spend a weekend in Ukraine. And we start, of course, from the heart of the country, the Kyiv region.
Summer has already come to Ukraine. Quarantine is gradually being lifted, so many people are wondering how they can relax from sitting at home in the summer, following social distance and epidemiological regulations. Logically, you need to focus on places where there's a possibility of a safe distance and accommodation facilities that comply with sanitary norms. But what are these places and is it possible to find them within reach of your location? This week, Rubryka has prepared the top places where you can go for a weekend in the Kyiv region and relax from the city and quarantine.
⬆️ NORTHERN DIRECTION
If before you couldn't visit the park in Mezhyhirya, it's time to make up for this nuisance because the former residence of Viktor Yanukovych hides many secrets. Besides the large estate, there are many attractions on-site, such as an exhibition of vintage cars, a mini-zoo, and a dog training center. Visitors are offered a variety of activities, from cycling or Segway to hiking or horseback riding.
When: daily, in summer from 8:00 to 22:00.
How to get there: there's no direct connection to the park from Kyiv, so it's best to use a car, travel time is about 20-25 minutes from the Obolon metro station. For experienced cycling enthusiasts, it's possible to get there by bike (15 km from the Heroiv Dnipra metro station).
Things to do: family holidays, hiking/biking/Segway/horseback riding, visiting the local museum, retro car garage, and mini-zoo.
How much it costs: every day except Tuesday, the ticket costs UAH 150 for adults and UAH 50 for children (7-13 years old). On Tuesday, admission is free for children, an adult ticket costs UAH 70. Excursions are paid extra, all information is available on the website of Mezhyhirya.
Sea? Near Kyiv? But Odesa is almost 500 km away… Many people forget that there's a sea near the capital in the north, the Kyiv Sea. The reservoir, built in the 1960s, is 13 km wide in some places, up to 3 km in the narrowest places, 110 km long, so in favorable weather conditions, it resembles a shallow sea which has no end on the horizon almost all year round. Fresh air and no large towns make this place quite secluded and suitable for recreation in the summer. A picnic for 1 day or a trip with tents for the night is a great opportunity to forget about the big city and immerse yourself in the world of nature. In the villages on both sides of the sea, there are many country complexes, where you can not only stay for the night but also walk through the pine forest or the reservoir coast, play sports and relax in the steam room.
How to get there: the best way, by car, distance from the Heroiv Dnipra metro station is 17 km, travel time from 30 minutes.
What to do: walking along the coast and forests, picnic, vacation with family and friends.
How much it costs: stopping at country hotels in a standard room for two costs from 1200 UAH/day.
XII Months Park
XII Months Zoo is a great place for family vacations and children (and some adults) getting acquainted with the fauna of our planet. Besides the standard animal viewings, the visitors have the opportunity to feed animals in the park (you can view mealtimes on the website), as well as contact with certain species, which usually delights both children and adults. You can't cycle and relax by the pool here.
How to get there: The zoo is located in the village of Demydiv, Kyiv region, the most convenient way is by using your own transport (35 minutes by car) or bus №355 from the Heroiv Dnipra metro station (1 hour 15 minutes on the road, the fare is 30 UAH).
When: In the summer from April 1 to October 31, the park is open every day from 10:00 to 20:00.
How much it costs: an adult ticket costs 190 hryvnias, for children 3-6 years old, it's 70 hryvnias, for children under 3 years old, the entrance is free.
A special place with clear water and a beautiful beach is quite difficult to find, especially near the capital. However, there's one such special village, Pushcha Vodytsa.
The plan is simple: take everything for a picnic with you, get on a tram on Kontraktova Square, after 50 minutes of tram wandering around the city and the forest, get off at the stop "8th Line" and step towards the pond Horashchykha. A large sandy beach and the surrounding forest, splendid company, and clean air outside the metropolis. What else can you dream of on a summer day? You can swim in the pond. The water is much cleaner than the Dnieper, so feel free to take a swimsuit and sunscreen. There are always many visitors here on weekends, so we recommend making such a trip sometime in the middle of the week. Going back by tram, be sure to squint from the sun and fall asleep a little to the singing of birds from the woods around the Pushcha Vodytsia Forest…
What to do: beach vacation in nature, picnic.
How to get there: by car (from the Obolon metro station, about 20 minutes), from the Kontraktova Ploshcha metro station, there's a tram №12, and a minibus №719 from the Nyvky metro station (50 minutes by public transport).
How much it costs: access to the lake is free, you need funds only for personal expenses.
The ghost town, known worldwide for the man-made Chornobyl disaster in 1986, attracts thousands of tourists each year. If you haven't visited this place yet, why not do it this summer? You need to think about such a trip in advance; you need to prepare a special permit to visit the exclusion zone, which can usually be ordered through a travel agency. Agents offer group or individual tours for 1-3 days with a visit to the primary objects of the closed zone: the Red Forest, the city of Pripyat, the object of the Arc, and the observation deck near the 4th reactor sarcophagus. One-day tours start from 1200 UAH/person and above, depending on the number of days and comfort of service.
What to do: visit the tour.
How to get there: on the booked tour together.
How much it costs: one-day tours cost from UAH 1,200 per person and above.
Kyiv HPP is the first (higher) step of the Dnieper cascade of hydroelectric power plants, located on the Dnieper River a few kilometers from Kyiv, near the city of Vyshhorod. Kyiv HPP was built in record time from 1960 to 1968. Today, the HPP building is 51 m. wide and 285 m. long. Besides the fact that the hydroelectric power plant produces enormous electricity, this place is also interesting because it offers a magnificent view of the reservoir and the Dnieper. It's also interesting to get to the process of sluice; in a short time in the sluice, there's a change in height by as much as 12 meters. Observing the hydroelectric power station and the reservoir, don't forget to consider the villages that got to the bottom. The fact is that when the hydroelectric power plant was built, the area that would soon be flooded had from five dozen to several hundred settlements according to various sources. Some of them had a long history, dating back to Kyivan Rus. Now they are a kind of Kyiv Atlantis.
What to do: enjoy the panoramic view.
How to get there: by car (about 40 minutes) or by minibus from the Heroiv Dnipra metro station.
This Orthodox monastery near Kyiv is special for its history: it is famous because it has existed intermittently since the times of the Kyivan Rus. According to legend, Greek monks from Byzantium found it in 988; another version speaks of the founding of the monastery by Andrii Boholiubskyi in 1161. Later, the Mezhyhirya Savior-Transfiguration Monastery became the main Cossack monastery. The monastery territory is currently part of the Vyshhorod Historical and Cultural Reserve, open to visitors and offering QR-codes to get acquainted with the history of the area. And considering how beautiful nature is here, the trip is a great option for the weekend.
What to do: walk, relax in nature, historical tour
How to get there: by car, the road will take about 40 minutes to 1 hour; by bus, you can get to the village of Novi Petrivtsi from the Heroiv Dnipra metro station.
🌊 ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DNIEPER
Besides the central river artery, the Dnieper, the Kyiv region has numerous tributaries that have excellent conditions for recreation. One tributary is the Desna River, known among travelers for rafting. Desna is a flat river, so rafting here is quite calm and suitable for any level of physical training. Numerous travel companies organize holidays for those not having their own equipment and time to plan a trip. The cost ranges from UAH 600 for a day trip to several thousand hryvnias for a multi-day adventure, considering the services of an instructor and meals. There are different options for recreation, for 1 day or overnight in tents in nature, rafting alone, or in the company of friends. In any case, such leisure will stay in your heart for a long time and become a vivid memory of this summer.
How to get there: on the tour, or on your own by car or bicycle.
What to do: outdoor recreation, picnic, kayaking.
How much it costs: free, or on a tour, from 600 UAH.
Coca-Cola Factory and Museum
This drink has fans around the world, and although nutritionists consider Coca-Cola not a very useful product, for many it remains at the top of the list of favorite drinks. For many years, the Coca-Cola plant near Kyiv has been receiving visitors to get acquainted with the production of the world-famous brand. Pre-booked tours are available for groups of 10 people over the age of 12 and are completely free. So why not gather a group of like-minded people and see the beverage factory and museum from the inside? The museum is located 50 km from Kyiv, in the village of Velyka Dymerka, Brovary district.
What to do: tour.
How to get there: the plant doesn't provide a transfer, so it's most convenient to get your own transport or one of several bus routes from the Chernihivska metro station
How much: free.
The city which until last year had Khmelnytskyi in the name in honor of the great Hetman of the Zaporozhian Army Bohdan Khmelnytskyi has a long history and was first mentioned in 907. Having significant trade and strategic importance during the times of Kyivan Rus and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Pereiaslav reached its heyday during the Cossack era and even repeatedly became a place of inspiration for Taras Shevchenko. Today, this small town on the banks of the Dnieper has a population of about 27,000 and is famous throughout Ukraine for its Cossack heritage and numerous museums, united in the National Historical and Ethnographic Reserve. And this city is also known for the possibility of hot-air balloon flights with beautiful views of the Dnieper and the outskirts of the town.
What to do: walk around the city, visit museums, take to the air in a hot-air balloon.
How to get there: by car or minibus from Kharkivska metro station. The road will take about an hour and a half.
⬇️ SOUTHERN (ODESA) DIRECTION
Bila Tserkva is the largest city in the Kyiv region, the cultural and economic center of the region. The city is famous for its ancient history, picturesque views of the Ros River, and beautiful historical and architectural monuments. This city is ideal for those wanting to add a quiet life of a small town to everyday life. There's an extensive selection of modern hotels and apartments, which are significantly cheaper than the capital's prices, and local restaurants with terraces by the Rod River aren't worse than Kyiv venues. Bila Tserkva is known throughout Ukraine for the Oleksandriia Arboretum, a place where some of the best artists of the 19th century worked, where it's pleasant to walk under the centuries-old trees at any time of the year.
The Center of Organ and Chamber Music is located in the center of the city where bands and musicians from the Kyiv Philharmonic often perform. The center was once a local Catholic church, but during the Soviet era, it was transformed into an organ music center. In addition, Bila Tserkva has beautiful Orthodox cathedrals, the Saviour-Transfiguration Cathedral, St. George's Church, the Church of Mary Magdalene. Cultural life is booming in the city, so no one will be bored here.
When: the period from May to September is the best to enjoy all the delights of the city.
How to get there: the city is located near the Kyiv-Odesa highway, there's a bus and train connection with Kyiv. Private minibusses run from Teremky and Lybidska metro stations. Travel time up to 1.5 hours.
Things to do: visit parks, the banks of the Ros River, the Center for Organ and Chamber Music, picnics, and recreation in the city.
How much it costs: entrance fee to the Oleksandriia Arboretum costs UAH 25 for adults, UAH 10 for schoolchildren and students if you have a document (with a bicycle, UAH 35 and UAH 20, respectively).
Landscape park in Buky Village
The tiny village of Buky, in the Skvyra district of the Kyiv region, is known among travelers for its landscape park, which was built in 1996 at the expense of a local patron. The territory consists of two parts: the temple complex with a fountain and the landscape park. This place used to be a local landfill, but now it's considered one of the most beautiful parks in Ukraine. The park is located near the river Rostavytsia and has a mini-zoo and a Fairy Lane with fairy-tale figures.
How to get there: Buky Village is 100 km from Kyiv and 40 km from Bila Tserkva. The easiest way to get here is either by car or bus from Bila Tserkva and Skvyra. Travel time from the capital up to 2 hours.
Things to do: take a walk in the fresh air through the landscape park, visit the temple complex, there's a cafe and a restaurant on the territory to have a snack.
How much it costs: access to the park is free, some parts can be reached only with a tour, the fee for which is almost symbolic.
The National Museum of Architecture and Life of Ukraine is an open-air museum, an architectural and landscape complex that reflects all regions of Ukraine. The total area of the museum is more than 130 hectares, which houses more than 300 exhibits. In Pyrihiv, you can see traditional Ukrainian houses, churches, and wooden mills, go inside, taste traditional dishes, enjoy the fresh air and nature. The museum was created so that its exhibits correspond to the architectural and interior traditions of Ukraine's regions, which makes it unique for the country. Think: for one trip to the Kyiv village, you can visit different parts of the country! You can also ride horses there and even join the celebration of traditional Ukrainian holidays. On normal days, bring a blanket and goodies to have a picnic, and you won't regret it. In addition, this place is ideal for a weekend with children, the kid will be delighted.
What to do: walk through the open-air museum, picnic, horseback riding.
How to get there: by car, the road will take about half an hour, details about public transport are here.
How much it costs: an adult ticket is UAH 50, a children's ticket is UAH 30, the fee for children aged 7-10 is UAH 15, and for children under 7, free.
Opening hours: from 10:00 to 17:00, Wednesday is closed.
🛣️ OBUKHIV DIRECTION
Kyivan Rus Park
Kyivan Rus Historical Park is located in the village of Kopachiv in the Obukhiv district of the Kyiv region and is an architectural ensemble of Kyiv reconstructed buildings during the existence of Kyivan Rus. All year round and on holidays, guests of Ancient Kyiv are waiting for "bread and circus": shows, cultural and historical festivals, equestrian stunts, international championships in ancient martial arts. The Principality of Kyivan Rus is the only venue of its kind, where large-scale historical battles are recreated in the authentic historical entourage, spectacular medieval battle championships, tournaments of foot and horse archers are held, the uniforms of medieval warriors are demonstrated, and Kyiv's atmosphere is recreated. The territory of the park is 20 hectares, so, besides spectacles, visitors can travel through Kyiv, which existed more than 1000 years ago. The plan of Ancient Kyiv was developed jointly with leading experts in history, architecture, ethnography, and cultural studies from around the world, so the high reliability of ancient Kyiv's appearance can leave indifferent neither children nor adults.
When: Every weekend in the park, there are celebrations of various holidays and competitions in archery, medieval battles, horse shows, and ethnic festivals. Event announcements and ticket purchasing are at the link.
How to get there: A bus stop for a trip to the park is located near the Vydubychi metro station in the parking lot of the Furshet supermarket. You can also use the direct bus Kyiv-Stepok from the bus station, Vydubychi. Travel time is up to 1 hour. Obukhiv can also be reached by bicycle (up to 15 km one way).
How much it costs: travel costs UAH 50 one way, the entrance ticket is UAH 80 for schoolchildren, UAH 150, for students and pensioners, UAH 200, for adults.
Trypillia and Vytachiv
These 2 small villages near Obukhiv are hard to miss because it was here in 1897 that the Trypillia culture was discovered, one of the first people not only in Ukraine but also in the world, as early as 6000-5000 BC. engaged in agriculture. The discovery of archaeologist Vikentii Khvoika became an actual sensation in the scientific world. Just think, the entire nation was discovered! In the village of Trypillia, there's a so-called Divych-Hora, which meets travelers by the river, as well as 2 museums dedicated to Trypillia culture, the regional archeological museum, and the Private Historical and Archaeological Museum "Ancient Aratta—Ukraine." The city of Vytachiv also has monuments of Trypillia culture, and the chapel, located on the mountain, offers an incredible view of the left bank of the Dnieper.
What to do: walk, visit museums.
How to get there: by car (the road will take about an hour), by train (Kyiv – Trypillia Dniprovske) or by bus, departing from Vydubychi bus station.
How much it costs: the cost of a ticket to the museum is 20 UAH, or 100 UAH, with a tour.