There is so much high-quality street art in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv. I even dare to say that Kyiv is one of the best cities in Eastern Europe to find murals. Kyiv has a collection of more than 150 street artworks. That is a gigantic amount! Also, Kyiv is an awfully large city. You can spend weeks hopping into the subway, trolleybus, and marshrutka (minibus) on the hunt for street art and you would still only see a small portion. It sounds a bit overwhelming, doesn’t it? No worries. In this blog post, I will show you 14 street art pieces in Kyiv city center that you can see in one simple walking route. This route will give you a good first impression of the local street art scene. Happy hunting!
Why was there a street art explosion in Kyiv?
The explosion of the street art scene in Kyiv has its roots in the turbulent period in 2014. After 93 days the Maidan protests finally came to an end in February 2014. President Viktor Yanukovych resigned. The protesters reached their goal, but the process to get there was bloody. The protest left a deep mark on the country. Art became an outlet for processing and looking to the future. Well-known artists in the street art scene came to Kyiv and created murals based on Ukrainian folklore and literature. Others made portraits in memory of the victims of the protests. This creative explosion has led to an amazing collection of murals.
Start hunting: this is your route
Below you can find fourteen murals that you can combine in one route. Take the metro to Zoloti Vorota station, walk to Yaroslav Val street and start your route. Everything is quite close together, so you can see a lot in a short time. There are even more works to be found along the way, so keep your eyes open. The route ends at Maidan Nezalezhnosti.
Route: walk from Golden Gate park to Yaroslav Val Street, go straight on, turn left to Ivana Franka Street.
1. Freedom (3D painting)
Artist: Alex Maksiov, Ukraine
Address: Ivana Franka Street 5
Route: go straight on Ivana Franka Street, turn right onto Viacheslava Lypynskoho Street.
2. Red Bicycle
Artist: Emmanuel Jarus, Canada
Address: Viacheslava Lypynskoho Street 13
Route: go straight on Viacheslava Lypynskoho Street, turn right on Mykhaila Kotsyubynskoho Street, go straight, turn right on Olesia Honchara Street.
3. Rabbit, Rat & Mongoose
Artist: ROA, Belgium
Address : Olesia Honchara street 32A
4. The journalist
Artist: Alexander Grebenyuk , Ukraine
Address : Olesia Honchara Street 24A
Route: go straight on Olesia Honchara Street, turn right on Yaroslav Val Street, turn left on Striletska Street.
5. Portrait of Lesya Ukrainka, a 19th century Ukrainian poet
Artist: Guido van Helten, Australia
Address: Striletska Street 28
Route: go straight on Striletska Street, turn right on Heorhiivskyi Lane.
6. Floating Cranes
Artist: Taras Arm, Ukraine
Address: Heorhiivskyi Lane 9
Route: go back to Striletska Street and continue walking down this street.
7. Car carousel
Artist: M-City, Poland
Address : Striletska Street 20B
8. Ganna Rizatdinova, Ukrainian rhythmic gymnast, born in Crimea
Artist: Fintan Magee, Australia
Address: Striletska Street 12
Route: turn left onto Stritenska Street.
9. Children’s faces
Artist: Konstantin Skrytutskyi, Ukraine
Address: Stritenska Street 15
Route: go straight on Stritenska Street, turn right on Olesia Honchara Street, go straight on, turn right on Velyka Zhytomyrska Street.
10. Yaroslav the Wise, builder of Kyiv Golden gate
Artist: Dima Fatum, Ukraine
Address: Velyka Zhytomyrska Street 19B
11. Children Playing
Artist: Konstantin Skrytutskyi, Ukraine
Address: Velyka Zhytomyrska Street 23
Route: continue walking down Velyka Zhytomyrska Street, turn left on Mykhailivskaya Street.
12. Portrait of Sergey Nigoyan, the first victim of the protests in 2014
Artist: Vhils, Portugal
Address: 22k Mykhailivskaya Street, located in the Square of the ‘Heavenly Hundred’ (reference to victims of the revolution in 2014).
Route: walk back to the wide Mykhailivskaya Street and continue towards Maidan square.
13. Colorful explosion
Artist: Egle Zvirblyte, Lithuania
Address: Mykhailivskaya Street 7
Route: continue on Mykhailivskaya Street until you get to the Maidan, turn left and walk past Mala Zhytomyrska street and Sofivska street. Turn left to Taras Shevchenko Lane.
14. Bereginya, a slavic myth of protector
Artist: Mata Ruda , Costa Rica
Address: Taras Shevchenko avenue 1
Do you still have some energy left in the legs? Then walk from the Maidan to the Podil district. Here you will find the beautiful work of Alexey Kislovsky entitled Survival. The 15-meter high painting shows a girl with yellow-blue ribbons in her hair (colors of the Ukrainian flag). This is probably the most famous mural of Kyiv. You can find it on Borychiv Tik Street 33.
Useful online street art maps
Have you already seen all of these works or do you have extra time on your hands in Kyiv? On these websites you will find maps with the addresses of more than 100 artworks in the Ukrainian capital.