Looking to escape from the hustle and bustle of summer city life in Kiev? Thank goodness someone came up with a plan for that. The city is filled with parks, many of which are well-appointed with benches and snack kiosks. And those kiosks are well stocked with local beers which are delicious and cheap. For something a bit different, particularly in the summer, there are also the local beaches. They are, like the beaches we saw in Odessa, crowded and the water isn’t particularly something I’m inclined to go swimming in. But they offer a great respite from the city life in the summer.
There are a few beaches on islands in the middle of the Dnieper River. Some are private beach clubs with better facilities and admission prices to match (up to $10/person/day, including access to pools and beach chairs and such). The largest and most crowded we saw was a public beach on Trukhaniv Island, open to all if you could find your way there. Access is via a pedestrian bridge just off the center of town. Finding the bridge was a bit of a challenge but we mostly followed the crowds and got there soon enough (see below for a map).
Oh, and if you’re so inclined, there is a zip-line across the river into the park. You can (theoretically) see someone on the line coming in from the left side in the photo below. We skipped it only because we didn’t find it until it was too late in our visit; the line looked like a LOT of fun. There was also bungee jumping going on from the bridge all afternoon. Not my thing, but if you’re into it the river seems to be a nice place to give it a go.
While the beach is great to get away from city living for a bit, the idea of escaping from crowds is one which should be quickly dismissed. The beach was quite crowded throughout the day. Even on a weekday late in the afternoon (we were there on a Monday around 6pm) the crowds were rather thick. Lots of folks having fun and socializing, but definitely not where you’d go for peace and quiet.
For visitors willing to head just a bit off the beaten path there is a bit of serenity to be found on the island. Just inland from the waterfront the crowds dissipate quickly, leaving plenty of quite paths for exploring. And the views back in the park are impressive, probably more so than those on the waterfront.
If you’re starting in the center of town, at the Monument of Independence the walking route is about 15 minutes:
The zip line starts in that same park but higher up on the hill.
There is plenty to do in Kiev but sometimes the best thing to do is nothing at all. Hanging out on the beach for a couple hours is a great way to make that happen.
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