Kiev is without a doubt one of the most underrated capitals in Europe. Amazing food, bustling nightlife and rich and diverse history, Kiev is absolutely one of Eastern Europe’s best-kept secrets.

But Kiev is a massive city, and navigating it’s many districts and neighbourhoods can be a challenge, which is exactly why we wrote this no-stress guide for where to stay in Kiev.

This article breaks down Kiev’s best neighbourhoods into short information snapshots, so you can quickly and easily find the neighbourhood that’s best for you.

So whether you’re looking to party, sightsee or eat your way through town, our list will help you find the neighbourhood of your dreams.

So let’s jump right to it. Here are our top picks for where to stay in Kiev, Ukraine.

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Kiev

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

FIRST TIME IN KIEV

Shevchenkivskyi District

The Shevchenkivskyi District is located at the heart of Kiev. It was the centre of the ancient federation of Kievan Rus and was where the state of Ukraine was formally established

PLACES TO VISIT:
  • Dive deep into Ukraine’s history at the National Museum of Ukrainian History
  • Dine on a delicious stuffed pie or cinnamon bun at the iconic Bulochnaya Yaroslavna café
  • Wander along Striletska spotting colourful street art and graffiti

Where to Stay in Kiev

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Kiev.

Best Hostel in Kiev: DREAM House hostel

Dream Hostel is one Kiev’s top hostels located in one of Kiev’s trendiest districts. Tucked away in Podil, this hostel has it’s own bar and café – plus, there are plenty more nearby. It has free wifi, a well-equipped kitchen, and bikes are available to rent. All of this combined makes it our pick for the best hostel in Kiev.

Best Airbnb in Kiev: Cozy apartment close to attractions

Nothing will make you feel more like a local quicker than having your own flat with skyline views. There are major attractions like the Zoo on your doorstep, and a complete set of amenities to satisfying any late-night snack cravings or emergency laundry missions that might arise.

Best Hotel in Kiev: City Hotel Kiev

A central location and stunning views are just two of the reasons we love this hotel. Strategically situated, this three-star hotel offers easy access to Kiev’s top tourist attractions and landmarks. There are also plenty of cafes, restaurants and bars within walking distance. This hotel has modern rooms with a great selection of features.

Kiev Neighborhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN KIEV
Shevchenkivskyi District, Kiev
FIRST TIME IN KIEV

Shevchenkivskyi District

The Shevchenkivskyi District is located at the heart of Kiev. It was the centre of the ancient federation of Kievan Rus and was where the state of Ukraine was formally established

ON A BUDGET
Pecherskyi District, Kiev
ON A BUDGET

Pecherskyi District

Nestled just south of the Shevchenkivskyi District is the Pecherskyi District. One of the largest districts in the capital, the Pecherskyi District is the cultural and administrative centre of Kiev

NIGHTLIFE
Bessarabka, Kiev
NIGHTLIFE

Bessarabka

The Bessarabka Quarter is a small neighbourhood located between the Shevchenkivskyi and Pecherskyi Districts. It is famous for its Art-Nouveau style and buzzing ambience

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Podil, Kiev
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Podil

Located on the banks of the Dnieper River is the small but trendy neighbourhood of Podil. It is part of the larger Podilskyi District and Podil (or Podol) is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Kiev

FOR FAMILIES
Holosiivskyi District, Kiev
FOR FAMILIES

Holosiivskyi District

For families visiting Kiev, there’s no better place to stay than the Holosiivskyi District. Located on the Right Bank of the Dnieper River, this is one of the largest districts in the city

Kiev (also known as Kyiv) is a city that seamlessly combines east and west, the old and the new. It weaves together ancient buildings and Soviet-style architecture with amazing food, energetic nightlife and a spectacular arts scene to create a unique and alluring atmosphere.

The largest city and capital of Ukraine, Kiev has been largely overlooked by travellers for decades thanks to its reputation for violence and corruption. However, since the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early-1990s, Kiev has slowly but firmly established itself as one of the cultural capitals of Europe – and an Eastern European city not to be missed!

To help you plan your time in Kiev, this guide will highlight the must-see attractions in the city’s five best areas.

Starting with Shevchenkivskyi District. This district makes up one half of downtown. It’s where you’ll find hundreds of historical monuments as well as museums, art galleries and restaurants.

To the east is Podil. One of the liveliest and most vibrant areas of the city, Podil is known for its historical attractions, ornate churches and its energetic bars.

West of the city centre is Bessarabka where you’ll find a good selection of bars and nightclubs, and some of the best nightlife in Kiev.

Travel south to the Pecherskyi District. This massive district makes up the other half of downtown and has a variety of excellent attractions, leisure activities and budget accommodations.

And finally, head west to the Holosiivskyi District. It is one of the largest districts in Kiev and is packed with parks and monuments, cafes and restaurants.

Still not sure where to stay in Kiev? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

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Kiev’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

In this next section, we’ll take a look in more detail at Kiev’s five best neighbourhoods to stay in. Each caters to a different interest – be it sightseeing, partying or family-friendly fun – so make sure you pick the right area for your travel needs.

1. Shevchenkivskyi District – Where to stay in Kiev first time

The Shevchenkivskyi District is located at the heart of Kiev. It was the centre of the ancient federation of Kievan Rus and was where the state of Ukraine was formally established. Today, Shevchenkivskyi District is home to hundreds of historical landmarks, museums, and galleries. It’s also where you’ll find an incredible array of churches and golden domes, which is why it’s our recommendation for where to stay in Kiev for the first time.

This part of Kiev is packed with excellent sites to explore. From lush University grounds to underground street art, the Shevchenkivskyi District is an area of the city that will appeal to almost every traveller.

Shevchenkivskyi District, Kiev

Things to See and Do in Shevchenkivskyi District

– Be amazed by the design of St Michael’s Monastery.

– Dine on a delicious stuffed pie or cinnamon bun at the iconic Bulochnaya Yaroslavna café.

– Dive deep into Ukraine’s history at the National Museum of Ukrainian History.

– Explore the grounds of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute.

– Marvel at the golden domes of Desyatynna Church.

– Pass through the Golden Gates of Kyiv, the main gate of the 11th-century fortification of the city.

– Stand in awe of St Sophia’s Cathedral, one of the symbols of Kiev.

– Take a stroll through the Park of Taras Shevchenko where you’ll see lush lawns and historic statues.

– Wander along Striletska spotting colourful street art and graffiti.

Best Hostel in Shevchenkivskyi District: Kiev Central Station

This great hostel was opened in 2007. It caters to backpackers, party people, and travellers looking to have a good time. This hostel regularly hosts walks around the city, pub crawls and game nights. They offer private and shared rooms with comfortable beds and free wifi, towels and linens are included.

Best Airbnb in Shevchenkivskyi District: Cozy apartment close to attractions

Nothing will make you feel more like a local quicker than having your own flat with skyline views. There are major attractions like the Zoo on your doorstep, and a complete set of amenities to satisfying any late-night snack cravings or emergency laundry missions that might arise.

Best Hotel in Shevchenkivskyi District: City Hotel Kiev

A central location and stunning views are just two of the reasons this is our pick for where to stay in Shevchenkivskyi District. This three-star hotel offers easy access to Kiev’s top tourist attractions and landmarks. It has modern rooms with a great selection of features.

Best Hotel in Shevchenkivskyi District: Gallery Hotel Gintama

This four-star hotel is conveniently located in Kiev. It is close to popular tourist attractions, bars and restaurants. Rooms are elegant and well equipped with essential amenities. You’ll enjoy an indoor pool, sauna, rooftop terrace, and an on-site restaurant. A delicious breakfast buffet is also served each morning.

2. Pecherskyi District – Where to stay in Kiev on a budget

Nestled just south of the Shevchenkivskyi District is the Pecherskyi District. One of the largest districts in the capital, the Pecherskyi District is the cultural and administrative centre of Kiev. You’ll find a variety of major political establishments as well as banks, ministries and historical squares dotted throughout Pecherskyi’s winding streets.

But there’s more to the Pecherskyi District than politics. This downtown district is also home to a large number of cinemas, libraries and leisure activities.

Additionally, the Pecherskyi District is where you’ll find a good selection of budget accommodation options. Whether you’re looking for a social hostel or a chic boutique hotel, this area is packed with affordable and good value options.

Pecherskyi District, Kiev
source: Julia Berezovska (Wikicommons)

Things to See and Do in Pecherskyi District

– Admire the Byzantine-style architecture of the National Bank.

– Dine on delicious Eastern European food at Tsarske Selo.

– Dive deep into Kiev’s history at the Kiev Fortress.

– Explore Maidan Nezalezhnoisti, Independence Square.

– Root for the home team at Valeriy Lobanovskyi Dynamo Stadium.

– See the People’s Friendship Arch.

– Stop and smell the roses, and enjoy the view at the M.M. Gryshko National Botanical Garden.

– Take a stroll through the trendy and historic neighbourhood of Lypky.

– Wander throughout The Park of Eternal Glory, home to a myriad of monuments.

Best Hostel in Pecherskyi District: ZigZag Hostel

The ZigZag Hostel is our favourite hostel in Pecherskyi District. It is a short walk to the city centre and there are plenty of options for sightseeing, eating and partying nearby. Each room is outfitted with unique artwork and décor. The beds are comfortable, clean and linens are included.

Best Airbnb in Pecherskyi District: Keep your costs down in true backpacker style

The best ways are old ways and the best way to save money on accommodation in Kiev? Dorm rooms! Classic. Fresh Linen, fresh coffee, and (hopefully) not-so-fresh backpackers. Orthopaedic matresses is something we’ve never seen in a budget hostel before.

Best Hotel in Pecherskyi District: Crystal Hotel Kiev

This charming hotel is our pick for where to stay in Percherski District. It offers easy access to Kiev’s top attractions, as well as restaurants, shops and bars. This hotel provides spacious rooms with air conditioning, modern amenities and luxurious slippers. There’s also free parking and wifi on-site.

Best Hotel in Pecherskyi District: Natsionalny Hotel

A fantastic location, large room and a tasty breakfast – its no wonder this is one of our favourite hotels in Kiev. It is close to public transportation and is within walking distance of bars, restaurants, shops and monuments. Rooms are cosy and air-conditioned. There’s also a relaxing Jacuzzi on-site.

3. Bessarabka – Best area to stay in Kiev for nightlife

The Bessarabka Quarter is a small neighbourhood located between the Shevchenkivskyi and Pecherskyi Districts. It is famous for its Art-Nouveau style and buzzing ambience. If you’re keen to get a feel for Kiev’s city spirit, there’s no better place to stay than Bessarabka.

This lively and vibrant neighbourhood is also where you’ll find the best nightlife in Kiev. It has everything from chic cocktail bars and rooftop lounges to underground pubs and thumping clubs. No matter what your taste, Bessarabka has a nightlife option that’s right for you!

Want to rub elbows with the locals? Head to the Bessarabka Market. Not only is the building stunning, but it’s where you can sample local sweets, treats and savoury delicacies, including caviar.

Bessarabka, Kiev
source: kansasphoto (Flickr)

Things to See and Do in Bessarabka

– Browse the bustling shops at Besarabsky Market.

– Dance the night away and enjoy the panoramic view at Skybar.

– Dine on delicious European fare at the cosy and charming Under Wonder restaurant.

– Enjoy a night of cocktails and music at Arena Terrace.

– Experience pure decadence at Decadence House, a high-end club.

– Party until dawn at TAO Dance Bar.

– See works of contemporary art at the PinchukArtCentre.

– Sip an espresso at Chashka Espresso Bar.

– Stop for cocktails at the trendy Alchemist Bar.

– Try Nastoykas, a traditional Ukrainian drink, at Korin Bar

Best Hostel in Bessarabka: Magic Bus Kiev

This social hostel is located in Kiev’s liveliest district. It is within walking distance of great bars and clubs, restaurants and cafes. Owned by two friends, this hostel has comfortable and cosy beds for up to 16 people. You’ll enjoy a personal reading light, lovely common room, and free all-day coffee and tea.

Best Airbnb in Bessarabka: Fit for Ceaser himself

If you’re in Kiev to party the easter European way, then why not do it in style? This place is oozing with enough gaudy east European charm it could be straight out of a GTA game. Tracksuits and Pickleback shots aren’t mandatory, but recommended.

Best Hotel in Bessarabka: Premier Hotel Rus

Premier Hotel Rus is a modern three-star hotel in Kiev. It is strategically located in the centre of the city and is surrounded by shops, restaurants and well-known attractions. Rooms boast comfy beds and have great views of the city. There’s also a terrace, bar and in-house restaurant.

Best Hotel in Bessarabka: Aloft Kiev

The Aloft Kiev is our recommendation for where to stay in Bessarabka. This stylish hotel is just five minutes from popular tourist attractions, bars and landmarks. It offers a modern gym and a range of wellness features. Each room has modern décor and comes with bottled water and flat-screen TVs.

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4. Podil – Coolest place to stay in Kiev

Located on the banks of the Dnieper River is the small but trendy neighbourhood of Podil. It is part of the larger Podilskyi District and Podil (or Podol) is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Kiev. Thanks to its location near central Kiev, Podil was the birthplace of the city’s commerce, trade and industry.

Today, Podil is one of the trendiest and coolest neighbourhood in Kiev. It’s quiet and picturesque streets are lined with pre-Soviet architecture and the neighbourhood is dotted with a great selection of cafes, restaurants and bars serving up dishes and delicacies from around the world. If you’re looking to eat well and enjoy the view, Podil is for you!

Podil, Kiev

Things to See and Do in Podil

– Explore the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, home to historical buildings and fascinating stories.

– Go for a stroll along Andriyivsky Uzviz, a street affectionately known as ‘the Montmartre of Kiev.’

– Grab a pint at Wood You Like Bar.

– Learn about the Chernobyl accident at the Ukrainian National Museum of Chernobyl.

– Ride the funicular to the top of Volodymyrska Hill and enjoy the view of the Dnieper River.

– Sip sophisticated and delicious cocktails at Pink Freud.

– Spend an afternoon people watching in Kontraktova Square, one of the oldest squares in the city.

– Try traditional Ukrainian dishes at Kanapa.

Best Hostel in Podil: DREAM House hostel

Dream Hostel is located in one of Kiev’s trendiest districts. Tucked away in Podil, this hostel has its own bar and café – plus, there are plenty more nearby. It has free wifi, a well-equipped kitchen, and bikes are available to rent. All of this combined makes it our favourite hostel in Podil.

Best Airbnb in Podil: Adorable flat in the old neighbourhood

You can soak up all of Podil’s quaint charm and atmosphere without ever leaving you flat, with this adorable 70’s chic studio, just by the river. Nestled amongst European architecture from every century, there are enough cool cafes and restaurants around here to keep you occupied for weeks!

Best Hotel in Podil: Hotel Staro

This hotel is set in the hip and trendy Podil neighbourhood. Its elegant rooms come complete with slippers, bathrobes, free wifi and flat-screen TVs. There’s also a delicious on-site restaurant and plenty of eateries and bars nearby. This hotel is our pick for where to stay in Podil.

Best Hotel in Podil: Number 21 by DBI

Thanks to its great location in the centre of the city, this is one of our favourite Kiev hotels. It has large and clean rooms with air conditioning, a refrigerator and a dishwasher. This hotel boasts a restaurant and a bar on-site, and there are plenty of options for dining, nightlife and shopping nearby.

5. Holosiivskyi District – Best neighborhood in Kiev for families

For families visiting Kiev, there’s no better place to stay than the Holosiivskyi District. Located on the Right Bank of the Dnieper River, this is one of the largest districts in the city. It stretches south from the city centre and covers an area of 156 square kilometres. With plenty of historical monuments and parks to explore, all members of your family will love staying in Holosiivskyi District.

Want to explore beyond Kiev? The Holosiivskyi District is one of the most well-connected areas of the city. It boasts the city’s Central Bus Station as well as several metro and rail stations making it easy to travel between and beyond Kiev’s main districts.

Holosiivskyi District, Kiev

Things to See and Do in Holosiivskyi District

– Enjoy a filling and satisfying meal at Mister Twister.

– Explore the incredible Holosiivskyi National Nature Park, home to trails, wetlands, monuments and more.

– Get acquainted with everyday Ukrainian 17th- to 20th-century life at Pyrogovo, the Open-Air Museum of National Architecture.

– Go for a stroll along vibrant Velyka Vasylkivska Street.

– Rest and relax at the beautiful and serene Feofaniya Park.

– Satisfy your sweet tooth at SCASTIE Restaurant-konditerskaia.

– Savour flavourful Italian food at Pesto Café.

– See old forts and secret Soviet bases at the magical and mystical Lysa Hora.

– Wander through Baikove Cemetery, the final resting place of many prominent and famous Ukrainians.

Best Hostel in Holosiivskyi District: Happy Hostel Kiev

This charming hostel is located in central Kiev. It is a short walk to top tourist attractions, great restaurants and plenty of shops and cafes. It has colourful décor, comfortable beds, and clean surroundings. There’s also a 24-reception and plenty of amenities to ensure a comfortable stay.

Best Airbnb in Holosiivskyi District: Family flat with lots of light

Due to brutalist architecture, and carbon-copy soviet building mentality, spacious multi-bedroom flats can be hard to come by. This place gets around it with creative storage solutions and an abundance of futons and couches. You’ll have no trouble getting the kids too and from all of Kievs major attractions with the great public transport links, and there’s a number of family-friendly restaurants in the suburb that’ll satisfy even the most ardent critics.

Best Hotel in Holosiivskyi District: Park-Hotel Golosievo

The Park-Hotel Golosievo is our favourite family hotel in Kiev. Situated in Holosiivskyi District, this hotel is close to popular tourist attractions and famous historic landmarks. This four-star hotel offers a sauna, a sun deck and round the clock room service. A breakfast buffet is offered each morning.

Best Hotel in Holosiivskyi District: Ramada Encore Kiev

This three-star hotel has a great location in Kiev. It is close to fantastic options for sightseeing, dining and shopping. It is comprised of 322 modern rooms and guests can enjoy a terrace, stylish lounge bar and an in-house restaurant. All of this combined makes this our top choice for where to stay in Holosiivskyi District.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Kiev

Kiev is without a doubt one of the most underrated cities in Europe. It is much safer than it once was and offers so many sights and sounds for tourists. From unique architecture and historic monuments to delicious food and a vibrant nightlife, Kiev has something for travellers of all styles and budgets.

In this article, we’ve looked at the five best neighbourhoods and districts in Kiev. If you’re still not sure where to stay, here’s a quick recap.

DREAM House hostel in Podil is our favourite hostel. It has both a bar and a café on-site, and it’s within walking distance of famous landmarks and attractions.

Our recommendation for the best hotel is City Hotel Kiev with its central location and amazing views. It has modern and spacious rooms and a variety of amenities.

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