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We made a subjective list of symbols of Kiev to understand what main ingredients are included into the recipe of the favorite city. What do we love and what we should love? It is unlikely you will see something new here, to remember about well fallen in love and got to like the old one which is even better. Such symbols are 13 – symbolically . So, welcome to Kiev!

Kiyv pastry shop

And we are starting our list with the most cult and immortal symbol of the city – ”Kiyvska perepitchka” (Kyiv pastry shop). This legendary place shouldn’t even be translated, and can sound greatly only in Ukrainian. A smell from Kiyv pastry stand attracts passersby by Theatrical (Theatralna) subway station not worse than McDonald’s, therefore behind a local type of hot dog it is necessary to stand in turn which the pastry stand always has. The phenomenon of this place is still inexplicable, the low price of pastries, but also taste, they say, have been attracting people for 35 years running without any change.

Kiev cake

There are symbols which are optional for loving, but its importance is not diminished with that. For me it is so-called “Kiev cake”. I don’t love it because of nuts and meringue but many love it just for having such in! But, anyway, this year “Kiev cake” is celebrating its 60th anniversary, in honor of what I suggest all have to go for it to the shop right now. At last there is a normal occasion to  eat up the whole cake yourself.

The recipe of this tasty symbol is kept in a secret since 1956. The legend says that the well-known firm cake layers of “Kiev cake” were formed by a culinary mistake, and nobody planned to create it as it is now. But legends are for nice stories therefore my legend says that “The Kiev cake” is done by beefy half-naked confectioners (as showed in one “Bonzhur” cakes commercial) with tattoos of chestnuts on a hand. Behind the beautiful fairy tale as it often happens, the real story about work and search disappears – so trust nobody, “Kiev cake” is not just a casual yum-yum.

Well, different culinary websites show recipes of this cake, but, according to employees of  confectionery – unique ingredients are unknown to anybody any more, and all other home-made “Kiev cakes” are only imitation. So we have our own Coke which whatever you repeat turns into “Pepsi” maximum.


Practically any resident will agree that chestnuts are a symbol of Kiev. But nobody will be able to explain why. Upon a chestnut – it is the imposed image given by a Soviet marketing specialists (though that time didn’t know such word). In the Soviet period it appeared on the emblem of Kiev, though the chestnut is not a native Ukrainian tree – it was brought to us presumably from Hungary a couple of centuries ago. Later, this kind of a tree was named alike in songs and poems, on photographs  in advertizing and surely has represented “Kiev cake” on its packing box. Somewhat NLP in action and all Kiev residents consider this wonderful tree a symbol. And still it is considered a symbol by the residents of the Ohio state (USA), and even have managed to apply a chestnut on their flag, but nobody cares. Generally, I mean if to choose from all trees – I would pick a poplar. They force out chestnuts, and here all allergic  people of Kiev who “symbolically” buy up anti-allergic means every spring will agree with this symbol much more willingly.

Chess players in Shevchenko’s park

It would be desirable to add some university in the list of symbols of Kiev, but all of us studied in different educational institutions, and have nearly fought for superiority between Vocational School  on  on “Vokzalna” (Railway station) subway station and the College of Design. As a result have decided to take Shevchenko’s university for privilege. More precisely the Park of University of Shevchenko. To be more exact the chess players in Shevchenko’s Park. The main number of chess players are retired and of elderly age. Here we won’t joke – people come to the park daily, some players have been going here 40 years, moving away 20-year-old drunks from the chess tables for playing real chess – such traditions can’t but touch.


From traditions to new trends – large-scale, professional street art has also reached Kiev, and walls of old Soviet constructions became bright and memorable. For the last two years about one hundred murals have already appeared in Kiev. First, it is beautiful. Yes, not all murals are equally beautiful, but their most part adequately fits into the area, and many murals already have managed to become symbols of the areas. Secondly, it became convenient to explain to people how to find your floor – between a yellow and green crocodile, for example. Appearance of murals in Kiev has caused a storm of discussions, but thank God, art never was and won’t be unambiguous.

Landscape avenue

Modern art has also walked a wide step on all Peyzazhnaya (Landscape) Avenue. Since 2009 the surprising sculptures has started to appear on this street yard created by Konstantin Skretutsky such as cats, zebras, Little Prince and the flying, dancing and smiling fantastic monsters. This is the best place for taking a walk, meetings and festivals. No other place in the city can allow you to get into the  cat’s mouth to be photographed there.

River station

Very few people at the river station in Kiev never became deaf from unexpected megaphone invitation to take a tour on a motor ship. But being deaf is even better for this boat tour as after the wind and  shouting music you won’t quickly get your ears back to normal. It is difficult for me to figure out which one is a more symbol – motor ships or the companions inviting and interrupting each other with loudspeakers, but the most important symbol around, and without which all this would definitely not occur is Dnieper River.


Not a symbol but rather an important tag from April to May becomes lilac, magnolia and botanic garden. And here all botanical garden is really a selfie symbol, a symbol of wedding photos, avatars in social networks. There is an important point! Making fire, bringing alcoholic beverages and driving ritual round dances in the Botanical Garden of Grishko is banned and worth of penalty in 51 UAH which kind of frightens. Also it is not allowed to break tree branches or dig out plants which is surprising. And here about whether it is possible to plant the plants in the Botanic garden, nothing is mentioned. But we still can think up not one reason for penalties if we want.

Apartment in the center of Kiev



And here Gidropark (Hydropark) is a one whole symbol. Not to walk on Hydroprak sounds as well tough as  not to watch TV. Yes, and let on demand “the hydropark of Kiev” the first news goes like  “an armed group was detained in the hydropark ” or “a woman has died in the hydropark “, but nevertheless it is possible to jump on a trampoline and to eat cotton candy there. And still there is a rocking chair, a climbing course, kebab houses and dance club for the retired. Symbols do not always have to be beautiful and cultural, right?

Court yard with crows

Taking a walk by the Golden Gate subway station, we could stop on a symbol of Golden Gate thus not finding other ones. But Golden Gate is possible to be read about in the historical textbooks, but the crows living at Reytarskaya St. are not mentioned . In the yard 9-B there is huge cage in which three ravens have found home – once one resident of Kiev picked up and saved them (each bird has  its own story), and decided to leave them to live near his place not being sure the birds would survive in the wild nature. As the yard is not currently planned to be closed from visitors, it is quite possible to visit the handsome birds as well as communicate to them about life freely and easily. We want to remind that crows are predators, so we don’t recommend you to put fingers deep in the cage and surely losing a finger is not the best choice but caution with the wild birds.

Patton Bridge >

Kiev actually has a lot of things made for the first time in the world or on some unique technology – the great things! But we severely criticize them nearly every day. I mean the first all-welded bridge in the world – the Patton Bridge. It is a symbol of a great morning and evening Kiev traffic jam of 1,5 km long, it connects two of our coasts Ki and Ev (or just the left and the right side of the city). The construction of the bridge lasted 13 years (finished in 1953), the bridge is still one of the most important junction of Kiev city. The bridge got already rid of any communistic stars, did it?


In 1905 Kiev saw such a new mechanical type of transport as funicular, which was unknown to Kiev residents earlier. He has endured several serious repairs, several serious revolutions, and have tourists and the locals taking selfie on its background. At least, the funicular is a convenient connection between the Podol and Mykhailivska Square. As at most it is still exotic type of transport on which is very difficult to be killed on whatever you are afraid of. He moves with a speed of 2 m/s along the same route of 75 meters, and feels not bad for its 110 years old .

Andreyevsky descent

By means of the funicular we have approached the last, mystical, thirteenth symbol of the city is   Andreevsky descent. It is a point on a route of any tourist, any resident of Kiev and allegedly any evil spirit with the Bald Mountain nearby. Why it is Andreyevsky descent, but not ascent is a question of optimism/pessimism, and it’s up to you to find it as a half descent or half acent. The main thing that it  always allows you to buy a picture, a vyshivanka (the national emdroided shirt), a hoop with flowers and socks. From Andreyevsky descent it is possible to get to Sofiyskaya Square, to go down on the Podol, to descend on Peyzazhnaya Avenue (Landskape Avenue), to reach Vozdvizhenka, to pay a visit to Bulgakov or in Andreyevsky Church – generally, it is the continuous cultural portal.

Quite possible that I haven’t mentioned about ten more tremendous places, the phenomena, edible and inedible things in the list – but if they are, and there is a lot of them, it is so nice. We love Kiev!



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