Craft beer and Street Art in Kyiv
Street art in Kyiv, eh? Kyiv might not be the first city you think of when you think about street art, but there’s been quite the boom recently and there are now huge murals in Kyiv on the walls of lots of the buildings all over the city.
Along with street art in Kyiv, craft beer has really taken off lately. There are craft beer pubs all over the city, and other pubs and bars either sell craft beer or brew their own. Ukraine is cheap for beer, one of the cheapest places in the world, and craft beer is pretty well-priced too.
Combining the two, you can do a fun and slightly boozy craft beer and street art tour of Kyiv. It’s all self-guided. We’ll give you a route of some of the street art in Kyiv to see, with a few stops for some local Kyiv craft beer en route.
Before you start, download the Kyivmural app onto your phone. It’s free and it includes a map of all the street art in Kyiv, with information on the artists and the meaning of the art.
Coming to Kyiv? Don’t miss our Ukraine travel tips, written after 5 years’ experience living and traveling around Ukraine.
Our tour starts at Golden Gate. You can take the green metro line to Zolota Vorota metro station, where you should take some time to admire the decor. Turn left out of the metro, left onto Yaroslav Val street and then left again onto Ivana Franka street. Near to the bottom of the hill, you’ll find our first two Kyiv murals.
Freedom by Alex Maksiov shows a bird and an electric lightbulb.
Opposite is another mural which looks like a traditional Ukrainian village.
Just after these two murals, turn right and walk along until you reach the Kyiv velodrome. On the wall above it is the Kyiv mural Red Bicycle by Emmanuel Jarus. Apparently, it’s a self-portrait of the artist, who we can only assume liked cycling. Take a look at his shoes, which seem to have run slightly.
Continue along the street, turn right and then right again into Olesia Honchara Street. Going up the hill again, you’ll find another pair of Kyiv murals.
Other cities in Ukraine have cool street art, including Zhytomyr, which you can visit on a day trip from Kyiv to see the space museum. There’s also a Banky-like street artist in Kharkiv. Read more in our post on unusual things to do in Kharkiv.
On one side is a trippy piece of street art which seems to show a man with a white line over his eyes, in front of a modern cityscape. The Kyivmurals app. has an interesting description of the meaning. If you understand it, you’re clearly more artistic than we are (not that hard).
Opposite it is a piece of Kyiv street art that is much more up Kris’ street, Rodents by Roa. These are allegedly the three rodents that are common in this area, rats, rabbits and…..is it a weasel? Not at all sure to be honest. Kris has pointed out that a weasel is not a rodent, so answers on a postcard please.
Continuing up the street to number 24A, go into the courtyard to see Self-Made Man by Alexander Grebenyuk. It’s a picture of a journalist using an old-fashioned typewriter.
One of the metro stations has even been painted with eight pieces lately. You can see more about that in this post: Osokorky Metro Station Street Art, Kyiv.
Craft Beer Stop 1 – Tsypa Taphouse
At the next crossroads, turn right back onto Yaroslav Val Street and along to number 16. Here’s your first craft beer pub. Taphouse used to be called Taphouse By Collider, but now it seems to be Tsypa Taphouse when you get there. It’s one of a group of Tsypa beer pubs around Kyiv. Tsypa is a brewery from the Carpathian region of Kyiv, including Pilsner on Pushkinskaya, Woolly Hops and Taranka on Velyka Vasylkivska and the Tsypa beer shop in Besarabsky market.
Tsypa Taphouse also specialises in salo – the traditional Ukrainian dish of what is basically, pork fat. Honestly, it’s nice. Tsypa Taphouse has various different types of salo and it’s a good place to give it a try.
Want to know more about traditional Ukrainian food? Read our post on what to eat in Kyiv and where to eat it.
Come out of the pub, turn left and then right into Striletska Street. The first Kyiv mural you’ll reach is Lilly of the Valley, of the Ukrainian writer Lesya Ukrainka
A little further on at 20B is the Kyiv mural car carousel. Oddly, this apparently was a birthday present for the daughter of a TV presenter. How do you wrap that? We wonder whether she lives nearby and she can see the street art out of her window, otherwise, it’s a strange gift.
Turn around and look behind you and you’ll see Shadoofs by Taras Arm. According to our app, this shows ‘shadoofs in flight‘. I just looked up ‘shadoofs’ on Google and apparently, it’s a pole on a bucket. The mural shows three swan-like birds. I don’t know.
Striletska Street is quite the street for Kyiv street art. Continue along to Gymnast by Fintan Magee, a picture of the Ukrainian gymnast Anna Rizatdinova.
Opposite is a slightly different piece of Kyiv street art – Children by Konstantin Skrytutskyi. It’s made up of six mosaics of children. It’s a similar style to the mosaics in the landscape park that we’re going to visit later on the tour.
Next to both of these is one of the interesting statues around Kyiv (we’ll do a walking tour of them soon), the ballet dancer.
Street Art in Kyiv – Park of the Kyiv Intellectuals
Also on Striletska Street is access to the park of the Kyiv Intellectuals. There are several pieces of Kyiv street art here and some interesting statues:
Zbiok apparently depicts himan figure, which you can kind-of see.
The street art Yaroslav the Wise is pretty surreal.
If you think the mural is weird, read the description of it on the Kyivmurals app. There are a lot of hidden messages….although we stood looking at it for quite a while and couldn’t decipher it.
Another piece of Kyiv street art in the Park of the Kyiv Intellectuals is also quite surreal, with weird looking figures. The final one, as you go towards Velyka Zhytomyrska street seems to show children playing on a map of Kyiv, with a woman (their teacher?) in traditional Ukrainian dress looking on. It’s also got some psalms at the top.
But the street art is not the Kyiv Intellectuals. The intellectuals are a set of birds, statues of an owl, crow and a few others, in intellectual poses.
On Velyka Zhytomyrska street, turn right and walk along to our next Kyiv craft beer stop.
If you’re coming to Kyiv, read our full list of unusual things to do, as well as the street art and craft beer.
Craft Beer Stop 2 – Black Piglet Pub, Kyiv
At 8/14 Velyka Zhytomyrska, they serve their own beers, as well as a lot of mainly pork-themed food if you’re hungry. The beer comes in light, dark and white. You can also get Andryivsky Ale in there too.
After you’ve finished in Black Piglet, go out onto Volodymyrska Street and then turn left onto Desiatynnyi Lane. The imposing National Museum of Ukraine is in front of you, and to your left, another surreal piece of Kyiv street art.
This also signals the entrance to another cool artist area of Kyiv – the Children’s Landscape Park and Kyiv Fashion Park. The Children’s Landscape Park has cute statues of animals made of mosaics where you can pose in the mouth of a cat or next to some zebra heads.
The Kyiv Fashion Park has fun statues and other exhibits. Wander around, enjoy the art and pose for some photos.
When you are finished in the Kyiv Fashion Park, head back towards the National Museum of Ukraine, and towards St. Andrew’s Cathedral. Now you are at the top of Andryivsky Descent, which takes you down to the historic area of Podil.
Beer Stop 3 – Solomyanska Brewery
Halfway down on the left, make a stop at Solomyanska Brewery, signified by the sign of the farmer. Solomyanska Brewery has a wide range of different beers including IPAs, pale ales and stout. For the price of a pint in your home country, or probably cheaper for many of you, you can get the taster set of small beers. You can also get it poured into bottles to take away.
At the bottom of Andryivsky Descent is one of the iconic pieces of Kyiv street art – Rebirth – a picture of a traditional Ukrainian girl above the city of Kyiv.
If you go straight on at the bottom, towards the ferris wheel and then follow the road to the left, Life Without Science – Death is on the wall of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.
Turing left into Spaska Street, at number 6, there’s what looks like a Ukrainian Cossack but with a Brazilian theme.
At the next crosswords, go left again to find The River Crossing, another one that seems to symbolise traditional Ukraine, as a man being helped across a river by a stag.
Ahead you’ll meet a wide main road, Nyzhnnii Val Street, where again you need to go left. Just a little further along is another animal-themed piece of Kyiv street art -Mind, Body and Soul by Kraser. Again, it’s pretty surreal and the description on the Kyivmural app is another awesome one (I won’t spoil it).
Craft Beer Stop 4 – Craft Vs. Pub
Ok, are you tired yet? I think it’s time for a bit more craft beer. Just along this street at 37/20 is Craft vs. Pub. What a name for a craft beer pub! Go down the steps into the basement and you’ll find a range of Ukrainian and Polish craft beers from breweries such as First Dnipro, Volta and Mad Brew.
Beer Stop 5 – Goose Gastropub
Just down the street from Craft VS. Pub is Goose Gastropub, a two-story bar which serves a range of cocktails as well as their own, and other local craft beers. We tried the live beer and the dark beer, both of which came in jam jars in true hipster style.
Beer Stop 6 – Beer Online
This one is a typical Ukrainian beer pub. You need to get your own glass out of the fridge, and choose from the huge range of beer taps, which have the names written on in marker pen. What you can’t miss is the range of dried fish on offer along the bar. Massive dried fish sit looking up at you. If you want to drink beer in the proper way, get a dried fish to shred and eat along with it. It might seem weird, but it’s also a big thing in Asia too, so perhaps we’re missing something. Who needs crisps?
Craft Beer in Kyiv 7 – Beer Point
On the opposite side of the road to Beer Online, in a courtyard, is Beer Point. It has a lot of different beers, but not many would be considered Kyiv craft beer. You can get Varvar Golden Ale here. Varvar is a Kyiv craft brewery with two craft beer pubs in Kyiv. You can also buy their beers in other pubs and in the big supermarkets.
During quarantine for Corona virus, Varvar became one of the many breweries in Kyiv that do delivery.
Beer in Kyiv 8 – Porter Pub
Time for another Kyiv institution. Head towards the Kontraktova Ploscha Metro. We’re going to need that to get back later. However, we’ve got two more stops. Porter Pubs are all over Ukraine and famous for being cheap and having bad service. There’s a wide range of their own beers, food and often live music. You have to visit at least one Porter Pub while you’re in Kyiv. Expect to wait a while for your drink.
Beer in Kyiv 9 – Pivna Duma
There are branches of Pivna Duma around the city, including one on Krashatik. This one is conveniently just opposite Porter pub and next to the metro. They’ve got four of their own beers, including a light beer, dark beer and IPA.
Right, that’s nine craft beers and a lot of Kyiv street art, so I’m guessing you’re tired. You’re by the metro now on the blue line, so it’s easy to get back to wherever you are staying in the city.For another street art tour of Kyiv, this time with brunch rather than craft beer, Amy at The Wayfarers book has a different route taking in some different Kyiv murals.
If you are into craft beer, Megan Starr has a great selection of places to try in Kyiv in her Craft Beer guide to Kyiv.