Discover the Best Time of the Year to Visit Kiev, Ukraine

Best time to visit Kyiv, Ukraine - seasonal guide

(with a Detailed Guide to Things to Do in Kiev in Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall)

While in most cases summer is the best season to do the travels, Ukraine weather conditions year-round will allow for a flexible itinerary regardless of whether it is winter of summer. And if you were wondering what is the best time of the year to visit Kiev, we can assure you that there are lots of fun things to do here every season. So, it all depends on your activity preferences, lifestyle, and bucket list things to do in Ukraine. 

You will find a detailed seasonal guide with a brief overview of each of the seasons in the capital, and with certain activity suggestions for each of the months. Hopefully, this will help you make up your mind as to the best time to visit Kiev.

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What to do in Kiev in winter?

Kiev in winter may be a bit grey, and it definitely lacks the lush greens of numerous city parks. Weather-wise, however, it is quite comfortable. December through February the capital of Ukraine has an average temperature of -10 to 0º Celsius (14 to 32º Fahrenheit). Occasionally, it may snow. 

Walking in the park may be one of the best things to do in Kiev in winter
Mariinsky garden is definitely charming when it snows

Some ten to fifteen years ago, the city would be covered in snow for a good two to three weeks per month, and the temperature would drop to -20º Celsius (-4º Fahrenheit). Climate change added its adjustments, however. It gets windy, chilly, and drizzles from time to time, but it is highly unlikely you will freeze or get caught in a snow storm.

If planning to visit Kiev in winter, pack sweaters, warm and comfortable shoes, wind and water-resistant warm coats, scarves, and hats. 

Kiev Weather in December and Things to Do

Enjoy stunning Christmas performances. For years now, the Expo Center at VDNH metro station throws some of the best Christmas shows in Europe, with a truly immersive experience. The country went through a major renaissance recently. Lots of talented directors, dancers, screenwriters, performers, and musicians emerged on the cultural scene.

Get ready for massive productions with 3D screens, special sound, and visual effects, engaging stories, and talented performers on the stage. Because most of these performances are dance and music-based, there won’t be any language barrier and everyone gets to enjoy the show.

Attend Santa’s Village. Not far from the stages of the Expo Center, a fairytale village of Santa unfolds each December. This is pure joy for both the adults and the kids. Santa welcomes the little dreamers in his residence, where a massive chair seven times the size of the regular one is definitely the showstopper. Outside the residence, there is usually a rink, a lovely exhibition of ice sculptures, Christmas ornaments workshops, and a fair with lots of delicious local food and drinks.

Celebrate New Year on the main Kiev Christmas fair. Always set near the St. Sophia cathedral in the historic downtown, the small and cozy fair is the highlight of the season. It opens in the middle of December and runs till the first two weeks of January. Local artisan shops get to display handmade goods which are the perfect souvenirs. Take a ride on the Christmas carousel or stop for a glass of hot wine. 

On New Year’s eve, celebrations last here the entire night. Kiev weather in December is usually friendly to nights out, and hundreds of city residents choose to meet the New Year on the square, dancing to the local bands and warming up with hot wine.

Kiev Weather in January and Things to Do

Ski and snowboard in the city. Protasiv Yar not far from downtown is the go-to destination for all the locals to enjoy winter activities. Not many have the time or money to afford Bukovel, a popular ski resort in the western part of Ukraine, and the hills of Protasiv are a perfect alternative. The only condition is that it has to snow, which is usually the case with Kiev weather in January.

Skiing down Protasiv is one of the best things to do in Kiev in January
If it snows in January in Kiev, many residents head to the Protasiv hills to ski and snowboard, or to go sleighing.

Enjoy modern art at Pinchuk Art Center. One of the ultimate highlights of Kiev, Pinchuk Art Center is a museum of modern art right on the Bessarabska square downtown. The location has four stores of contemporary art and exhibitions that are refreshed regularly. 

Pinchuk Art Center hosts works of popular and promising Ukrainian artists, as well as some of the biggest names in the international arena, such as Damien Hurst. You may opt-in for a daily free tour or ask a moderator to explain displayed artwork.

The museum opens at noon. The entrance is free of charge, and the only inconvenience is a line at the entrance. Pinchuk Art Center is popular among visitors and locals. On the fifth floor, there is a cozy white cafe with a lovely panorama of the city’s downtown. 

One of the things to do in Kiev in January is visiting museums of modern art
Expositions in Pinchuk Art Center change quite frequently.

Discover local clothing brands. Ukraine is the thriving site for local small businesses, and if you are into shopping, you will appreciate the diversity of unique brands. High quality and manageable prices are among the highlights of the local shopping scene. Search for Vsi.Svoi stores on Khreshatyk for clothing and decor, or visit smaller showrooms, of which there are plenty around Vozdvyzhenska street.

Kiev Weather in February and Things to Do

Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and handmade candies. Kiev weather in February may be a bit harsh, but luckily, the capital of Ukraine is the center of coffee and chocolate culture in Eastern Europe. There are lots of cozy and themed cafes where it is oh-so-nice to hide from the cold and to sip on hot chocolate while watching the snow.

One of the absolute must-visits is the cozy Lviv Maysternya Shokolady (Lviv Chocolate Workshop cafe). This is a popular Lviv brand that made its way to the capital. The cafe is located at the end of the old and picturesque Andriivsky descent at the hear of Kiev old town. It has more than 50 types of handmade candies, hot chocolate, coffee, and tea, as well as a very special atmosphere. 

Spend an active day on the rink. Many of the city malls have inside rinks. To name a few, there is Cosmopolit at Shuliavska metro station, Blockbuster not far from Pochaina metro station, and Dream Town near Obolon metro station.

Indulge in organ concerts. Some of the most popular concerts are held in an old St. Nicholas Cathedral on Velyka Vasilkyvska, 77. This beautiful Gothic church is now a museum, that immediately attracts attention. It definitely stands out among other buildings on the street. 

St. Nicholas cathedral is as impressive inside, as it is on the outside. And there is nothing like listening to organ and violin concerts in its big hall with columns holding the majestic dome. Check out the ticket information on the official website.

What to do in Kiev in spring?

In my opinion, the best time to go to Kiev to enjoy the weather is in spring, especially in early May. This is the time when the city is truly beautiful. The air is filled with the aroma of the cherry and chestnut blossom. Here and there, lilacs and peonies add splashes of color to the city scenery. It is not too hot yet, which is perfect for long walks.

Kiev weather in March is very tricky. Spring may come for a few days, but then it is quickly chased away by late snow. Kiev weather in April allows putting away warm coats and boots and to switch to lighter jackets.

Kiev Weather in March and Things to Do

Admire old Kiev architecture. The governmental quarters that start at Hrushevskogo street and stretch up to Bankova and Marinsky park are always fun to explore. Kiev weather in March allows for slow strolls through the old streets. Stop by the impressive building of the National Bank on Institutska, 9. Check out Soviet monumentalism of the Verkhovna Rada, Cabinet of Ministers, and President’s Administration, and admire the beautiful Mariinsky Palace.

Spring is one of the best times to visit Kiev, Ukraine
Lovely Mariinsky palace

Standing out in this architectural ensemble is the House with the Chimeras, an old and mysterious building on Bankova 10. It was built by the city’s main architect Gorodetsky back in the 1900s. Biblical motives intertwine with the vibes of the African safari. The house is currently the presidential residence. However, if you sign up in advance, you will be able to visit it with regular tours. 

Discover local cuisine. If it is cold or snowy outside, it might be a good idea to sign up for the local cooking class. After all, authentic Ukrainian cuisine is too good to miss out on it. Just to mention some of the delicacies, there is borsch (beetroot and sour cabbage soup) with pampushkas (buns in garlic sauce) and varenyky, which are dumplings with all sorts of fillings. Plus, culinary classes are almost always a great place to meet fellow travelers. 

Spend an evening in the opera. Located at Zoloty Vorota metro station, the building of Kiev Opera has a dramatic history. In the times of the Russian Empire, it was among the top-3 theaters, following the Moscow and St. Petersburg opera houses. Unfortunately, a devastating fire of 1896, which started in one of the dressing rooms, destroyed the building completely. Gone was one of the oldest musical libraries, numerous costumes, and decorations.

Rebuilt from scratch five years later, the Kiev Opera house now welcomes visitors with a diverse program.

Kiev Weather in April and Things to Do

Explore the open-air museum Pirogovo. This is a unique museum within a ten-minute bus ride from the Demiivska metro station. 370 acres of land is home to over 300 buildings that represent authentic architecture. There are thatched huts, old wooden windmills, churches, and pubs brought from every corner of Ukraine. Luckily, Kiev weather in April allows for long and meditative walks, which is perfect for Pirogovo. If it is warm enough outside, you can also rent a bike and enjoy quality outdoor time.

Visit Kiev in April and enjoy hiking in Pirogovo
April is perfect for easy and relaxing hikes though Pirogovo, the open-air museum

Peruse through Pecherski Lipki. Adjacent to governmental quarters, an old area above Khreshatyk is beloved by many locals. Translation for Lipki is linden trees that grew here in the 1850s and gave the name to the quarter. Peaceful alleys amidst tall trees are perfect for walks and stops for coffee or a glass of wine. This is one of the most expensive historic quarters to live in, so be sure to check out the old and stylish architecture, too.

Visit Kiev Miniatures Open-Air Museum. Head to Hydropark metro station to discover Kiev in miniatures – an open-air museum and park that displays small copies of the main attractions in the capital. The list of noteworthy stops includes the Central Bank, bridges, St. Michael’s Cathedral, Mariinsky Palace, and so much more. The entrance fee is 3 USD.

Kiev Weather in May and Things to Do

Don’t miss out on the gorgeous lilacs in the Botanical Garden. Everything blooms in Kiev in May, but lilacs in the botanical garden exceed all expectations. Located on the cascading hills, the gardens combine alleys of blooming lilacs of violet and white colors with a breathtaking panorama of Dnipro River and the left bank of the city. To indulge in this experience, exit at Pecherska metro station and walk for about ten more minutes towards Timiryazevska street,1. At the entrance to the gardens, turn left.

One of the best times to visit Kiev is in May, to watch the lilacs blossom
One of our most favourite things to do in Kiev in May is visiting the botanical garden

Check out the best street food fest in the city. Platforma food festival not far from Lisova metro station is one of the most popular street food venues in Kiev. Held once a month on weekends, this is a two-day event with concerts, open-air movies, and lots of great food, all gathered in one place. The entrance fee per day is 3 USD.

Discover Kiev old town. A walk down Andriivsky descent is probably one of the best ways to discover Kiev. This old street is where the history of the capital started. Begin at Desyatynna street and make your way down the cobbled descent, stopping to see goods from the local vendors, or detouring to such colorful and authentic adjacent streets as Vozdvyzenska. Check out the castle of Richard the Lion Heart, which is believed to be haunted, and try to find four houses with #13.

What to do in Kiev in the summer?

In the summer, the temperature in the city rises to 30ºC (86º Fahrenheit), and lots of residents hurry to numerous beaches and city pools to cool off. Evenings are the best part of the day, as this is the time to sit on terraces, have drinks, and catch up with all the news. 

Kiev Weather in June and Things to Do

Take a boat tour or go kayaking. For either of these activities, head towards the river station on Poshtova Ploshca metro stop. Boat tours run daily, and these can be either on big boats or as private tours on smaller and fancier yachts. Also, many activists offer group kayaking across hidden and picturesque canals of Dnipro.

Take a day trip to Mezhygirya. Formerly a residence of the exiled president Yanukovich, this is now a beautiful park by Kiev sea. Its territory is so big that you can easily spend a day there, either walking or bicycling your way through numerous alleys. Before 9 am, the entrance fee is 2.5 USD. Then the price rises to 5 USD. To get to Mezhygirya residence and park, catch a public bus to Novy Petrovtsy from Heroyiv Dnipra metro station.

Best time to visit Kiev, Ukraine, is in summer
The lush gardens of Mezhygirya

Try seafood from the Black sea. The best place in Kiev that serves seafood from the Black Sea is the Chernomorka restaurant. It has several locations across Kiev, and one of the best is in the Podol area. Among some of the best local delicacies are the fish fresh-soup, fish rissoles, and okroshka.

Kiev Weather in July and Things to Do

Time for a beach escape. During hot summer days, many residents head to the biggest beaches by Dnipro at Hydropark metro station. This is the area with lots of public beaches, as well as with quite a few great private beach clubs. Alternatively, we would also like to recommend a cozy residential area of Obolon by the Obolon metro station. Here, the public beaches are cleaner and not as crowded.

Hang out at one of the biggest music festivals. Held each July, Atlas Weekend is the venue that attracts music fans from Ukraine, as well as from nearby European countries. The venue goes on for four days, with the first one being the opening evening free of charge. 

Summer is one of the best seasons to visit Kiev, Ukraine
If not much of a music fan, visit VDNH (Expo Center) to enjoy a calm stroll through old and green alleys

During the remaining three days, various Ukrainian musicians, as well as international superstars perform on several stages within the fest area. You’ll get the chance to travel between stages, choosing the gigs that suit your tastes the most. Among some of the headliners of the festival during the previous years, there were the Prodigy, the Black Eyed Peas, and Twenty One Pilots.

Enjoy Kgreshatyk in the evenings. Over the weekends, the main artery of Kiev turns into a big pedestrian area with lots of local musicians and performers throwing free concerts, while numerous residents peruse Khreshatyk. Loud and hectic during daytime, in the evening this street changes dramatically, becoming a welcoming and entertaining place to get the best sense of the city.

Kiev Weather in August and Things to Do

Rent a car and head towards the Kiev sea. A big artificial reservoir has lots of secret cozy beaches amidst tall old pine trees. This area is perfect for hiking, swimming, or simply chilling on the beach.

Visit Kiev in summer to explore its Kiev Sea
Kiev Sea is definitely one of the most underrated places to go to among travellers and visitors of the city

Shop at one of the biggest rag fairs in the city. Barakholka is a festival organized by one of the city activists as a one-time initiative to give the residents a chance to sell some of their old stuff. But the locals took the saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” a little bit further, and turned a spontaneous rag fair into a regularly scheduled event. Head to Art-Factory Platforma at Lisova metro station to maybe fish out some great things from the stalls, enjoy music sets from the local bands, and have some local street food, all available within one venue.

Explore the Volodymyrska Hirka Park on the hills. Beautiful cascades of green hills and old trees not far from St. Sophia’s square are perfect for the afternoon walk. Enjoy some quietness amidst the hustle and bustle of the historic center. Star near the funicular, and make your way towards the glass bridge by Dnipro. 

What to do in Kiev in the fall?

September through October, the weather in Kiev is warm and inviting. On average, you can expect around 18º C (64º Fahrenheit). The city turns from green to all shades of golden and red. It is chilly in the mornings, and warm during the daytime. In November, the weather usually changes dramatically, with some early snow falling in the first two weeks and the trees losing all the leaves. There may even be frosts.

The city usually becomes less busy. Most of the travelers and tourists leave, but life in Kiev continues, and all the activities remain available.

Kiev Weather in September and Things to Do

Head to the XTreme Park for an active morning. Kiev weather at the beginning of September still allows for some water activities such as wakeboards, paddleboards, and kayaking, all available in the XTreme Park a short public bus ride away from the Pochayna metro station.

Bicycle through Trukhaniv Island. Exit at Poshtova Ploshcha metro station and head towards the Pedestrian bridge for a lovely walk across the Podol area that ends at one of the biggest islands on the Dnipro River. This area is perfect for a lazy afternoon on the beach, walking, or bicycling.

Best season to visit Kiev to stay on the beach and go swimming is in summer
One of the best things about Kiev is the fact that there are so many lovely beaches here, by the river, or by numerous lakes, and we never miss a chance to hang out outdoors!

Meet the locals at the River Station street food bazaar. Opened throughout the day, this area becomes particularly active in the evenings. Try the local food, relax in the chairs by the river, or dance the night away with the local salsa clubs.

Kiev Weather in October and Things to Do

Discover the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the old town. Start at Sophia square and climb the bell tower of St. Sophia Cathedral for a lovely panorama of the city, and then make your way towards the other end of the alley, where the golden domes of St. Michael’s Cathedral are the absolute highlight of the square. Explore the beautiful altars inside the church, and take a walk in the small garden within the walls of the cathedral.

Take a ride on the Ferris Wheel. Located near Kontraktova metro station, this lovely wheel is equally fun in the evenings, as well as during the daytime. The ride will cost you around 4 USD. Afterward, you can have some local food at the nearby Puzata Hata, or pick a fancier cafe or restaurant on the adjacent Sagaydachna street known as the street to eat at.

If you visit Kiev in October, check out the Ferris Wheel
Podol is such a postcard-perfect location, plus it has those awesome old-city-vibes!

Relax in the Feofania park. Located outside the city, this is a small and cozy park perfect for a family day out, as well as for meditative walks on your own. Exit at the Demiivska metro station and take a bus towards Feofania.

Kiev Weather in November and Things to Do

Get inside the giant soap bubble! Located in Mariinsky Park, the Museum of Water used to be a water tower that supplied the entire city back in the days. Today, the museum offers great tours dedicated to water resources and sustainability. The cherry on top is the fun attraction where you can get inside a big soap bubble.

Explore abandoned metro stations. Kiev is known for its system of underground tunnels and abandoned metro stations. This is an activity that will involve a lot of walking and climbing, as well as special equipment. To take a look into the insides of the city, you will need to join a guided tour. 

Spend a day inside the Lavra. The biggest and most important Orthodox shrine at Arsenalna metro station is a town within a city. Its tall walls hide ore than ten buildings, including the beautiful cathedral with old altars, as well as the system of caves that serve as the necropolis. Also, be sure to check out the Miniatures Museum. This is one of the only two museums in the world displaying unique and miniature works of art. 

Get ready to spot a tiny rose inside a thin hair, or a caravan of camels fit into a small eye of a needle. The author of these amazing works of art is the Ukrainian artist Mykola Syadrysty.

About the author of Through a Travel Lens: Inessa

Written by Inessa Rezanova

I am a Kyiv-based screenwriter with 10+ years of experience in producing scripts. I love my job, and no, I did not quit it to travel the world. I see different countries in my spare time. As a storyteller, I believe that it is the emotional journey that matters the most. This is why together with my sister I started this blog to encourage everyone to travel and to do so with a heart and mind opened to adventures.

About Natalie, the author of Through a Travel Lens

Images by Natalie Rezanova

I am a photographer based in Kyiv, Ukraine. I am lucky to be able to do what I love the most for a living. Photography is an endless source of inspiration for me. My mission on this blog is to inspire by sharing some of the favorite captions from my journeys. I also provide professional photography tips to help the readers bring home some beautiful photo memories.

Discover the Best Time of the Year to Visit Kiev, Ukraine
Discover the Best Time of the Year to Visit Kiev, Ukraine

9 thoughts on “Discover the Best Time of the Year to Visit Kiev, Ukraine

  1. Pingback: Kiev for Tourists - 14 Reasons to Explore It If In Eastern Europe

  2. Maggie says:

    It looks like there are awesome things to do year-round! I haven’t been to Kiev yet but it’s definitely on my list!

    • Inessa Rezanova says:

      Thank you, Maggie! Be sure to drop the message when you visit, and we will gladly show you around the city!

  3. Amy McMahon says:

    Terrifically detailed article ladies. Now I cannot decide which season would be the best one!

    • Inessa Rezanova says:

      Thank you, Amy! Yes, there’s lots to do in this city during any season, but you will probably be able to tick all the boxes if you go with late spring.

  4. Jamie Edwards says:

    Really great inspiring photos! I never thought about Kiev before, will add it to my bucket list!

    • Inessa Rezanova says:

      Glad to hear that, Jamie! This city definitely has lots to offer to travellers:)

  5. 8junkies8 says:

    Thank you for the information-packed guide! Kiev is on my bucket list for a long time, I can’t wait to visit there 🙂

    • Inessa Rezanova says:

      Hopefully, this guide will help you make the most out of your trip when you visit:)

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