Shopping in Kyiv (Kiev)
Today, with Soviet-era austerity now a thing of the past, you can buy absolutely anything you desire in Kyiv (Kiev). From classy and pricey shops selling designer clothes, vintage wines and expensive leatherwear to cheaper market wares, the city now boasts something for every budget. More traditional Ukrainian souvenirs are also available as mementos of a visit to the city.
Khreschatyk street, which runs south from Maidan Nezalezhnosti in the city centre, is the equivalent to London’s Oxford Street in Kyiv (Kiev). You can find anything here from mobile phones and cheap clothes to fine porcelain and expensive watches. But it is in the sophisticated city centre malls where you will find the chicest boutiques and the highest prices. For souvenir buying, an informal gathering of souvenir stalls can be found on Maidan Nezalezhnosti. Andrivsky Uzviz, although quite touristy, is another good bet. Here, as well as numerous vendors selling tacky mass-produced souvenirs, there are also genuine arts and crafts to be found, in addition to good quality art galleries and antique shops.
Kyiv’s (Kiev's) rynok (outdoor markets) are excellent places to buy food and drink or simply spend time browsing the stalls and sampling wares. Bessarabsky Rynok at Bessarabs'ka Square is the best in the city. This bustling, noisy place has a wide range of foods on offer - vegetables, fruit, meat, fish and dairy goods, as well as Russian specialities like caviar. Away from the city centre, smaller markets can generally be found close to metro stations.
Those looking for shopping centres in Kyiv (Kiev) will be drawn towards the imposing glass atrium of the Globus Mall on Maidan Nezalezhnosti street, but the upmarket Mandarin-Plaza, 6 Basseynaya Street, is the best all-rounder with a number of great restaurants amid the chic boutiques to feed hungry shoppers.
Other well-appointed shopping malls include Bilshovyk Mall on Hetmana Boulevard, which is open until 2100, Dream Town on Obolonskiy Prospect, and Skymall on Henerala Vatutina. The most stylish (and expensive) place to buy male and female international fashion in Kyiv (Kiev) is probably Atelier 1 at Shevchenka 10, a designer concept department store based in a former cold war bunker. For a more retro shopping feel there is Tsum, the old Soviet state department store, at Khmelnytskovo 38, which sells many luxury goods.
Most shops in Kyiv open daily 1000-1800. Some malls and upmarket stores stay open until 2100.
The most popular souvenirs for foreign tourists are matryoshka dolls, the brightly painted wooden dolls that fit neatly inside one another. Traditionally representing Ukrainian girls in native dress, these now come in a wide various forms, most popularly as political figures. Petrykivka, which are Ukrainian folk paintings of flowery rural subjects, also make well sought-after souvenirs. Carved wooden objects, pottery and religious icons are also widely available in souvenir and craft shops.