Shopping in Kiev
Anyone who visited Kiev before the ’90s could talk about a typical Soviet city, gray, somewhat old and boring. Nothing like the city wonder of a happy proletariat. But since the break-up of the Soviet Union things have changed and two decades later Kiev has managed to reach other European cities in terms of the standards one expects of comfort, transportation and shopping. There are shopping centers, there are shops, there are street markets and there are supermarkets so you have a varied offer in things and places of shopping.
In the heart of the city are the main shopping centers . For example, one that draws attention for its architecture is the Globus. This place was built in 2002 and is huge and has an underground part. It is in Maidan Nezalezhnosty Square. The Mandarin Plaza is another shopping center that is nearby, with a glass roof, a lot of metal and a Baroque façade, rising like a 21st century monument in the historic Starokievsky district. City Center is next on the list with its 40 stores in 1500 m2 and Ukraine is an old department store, from the 60’s.
Ukraine closed in 2002 and in 2003 it was reopened with a new look that buried the Soviet design to give life to an ultra-modern site. And finally, in this same field is Metrograd, a huge and spacious site with shops, nightclubs and food court. When shopping for souvenirs, the city center is the best place, especially Kreschatik, Krasnoarmeysakaya and Shevchenka boulevards. It’s basically Soviet memorabilia, after all you can always do business with the past, and some handmade crafts.
Amber is a very beautiful stone and you can buy amber objects in the Amber House that belongs to a couple of Ukrainian artists capable of doing beautiful things. It’s on Semyi Sosninykh street, 11. In the Andreesvsky Spuk area there are many souvenir shops and small art galleries where you can buy watercolors and sculptures. This is a historic street where an outdoor bazaar is usually organized, so it is a good destination to walk and shop. My advice is a store called Matiola, specialized in selling handmade crafts from all over Ukraine. What else can you buy? Well vodka and gorilka bottles, a Ukrainian variant of Russian vodka.