Chernobyl Day Trip Without a doubt, this should be the number one stop on your Kiev list. The world's worst nuclear power plant disaster ever recorded (1986). This a very interesting and educational site, which lies 2 hours north of Kiev. Seeng how the current radiation levels change from one area to the next using a Geiger Counter was very surprising. This is both an eerie and educational site that members of the public can explore via an approved tour company.
Kiev Walking Tour Albeit a big city, the capital is very walkable from the centre. In order to see as much as possible, as well as actually understanding what you're seeing, I'd highly recommend a walking tour of the city. Every day, rain or shine, there's two tours departing from The Founders of Kyiv Monument in the city centre. You've got Ancient Kiev at 11am and Soviet Kiev at 3pm. Vlad Kilesso is a hugely passionate guide and knows his stuff. Check out their website here
Parliament Building Verkhovna Rada is the official name for the Parliament Building in Kiev. I guess from the outside it looks pretty similar to many others across Europe. The reason I found this one particularly interesting was due to the protest camps outside the building. It's to the extend where it has turned into a mini community village. Very interesting to see, albeit controversial. Worth noting that this is a stop on the afternoon Soviet Tour by Kiev Walking Tours.
Kiev Olympic Stadium Known by the name "Olimpiyskiy Stadium" and makes the list of the 25 Largest Stadiums in Europe with a capacity just over 70,000. It's the venue for the 2018 Champions League Final and definitely worth checking out if you're a football fan. Stadium tours are also available and you can find all the info here.
St Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery There's plenty of monasteries and cathedrals in Kiev. If you're on a short stop-over and only have time to visit one, make it St Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery. It's located in the heart of the city centre and is still a functioning monastery, so interesting to take a look inside. From the outside, the architecture is very impressive!
Military Tour One opportunity you do get in Kiev is the chance to visit an underground bunker and fire a whole host of guns. This is highly supervised with professionals on hand. Compete against your friends shooting at various targets with anything from an AKM-47 to a shotgun. You can check out some of the options available from Solo East here
Kiev Pechersk Lavra Pechersk Lavra is a monastery complex with over 100 active monks and has UNESCO status. Being honest, I thought this place was a little overrated, but it's very highly regarded on all Kiev tourist lists, so perhaps it was just me. The dormition church is impressive and has been restored following its destruction during WW2. There's also over 100 burials in the lavra, so head down and check them out.
With location being my key feature, I couldn't fault Hotel Khreschatyk which is located directly in the city centre. Decent sized rooms with many having a balcony overlooking Independence Square. The price is around $120 a night, so there are certainly cheaper places. Just make sure you're based around the Independence Square area.
I don't have a wide amount of knowledge here, as I literally couldn't drag mself out of Mafia Restaurant.
I went into Mafia Restaurant for a quick snack when I first arrived in the city and for the first time in years, it was suddenly "Game Over" for all other restaurants. I was so impressed with the quality of food, service, and price. Would definitely recommend the salmon and sushi platters.
Which Tour Guide
For the Chernobyl Day Trip I used Solo East, as they were highly recommended by other travellers. Their link is here.
I was also very impressed with the Kiev Walking Tours. It's also possible to do the 11am and 3pm back to back. The company also offers a host of other tours. A full list of their tours can be found here, or also contact Vlad Kilesso directly on Facebook here.