Diana Matviyiv

  • Journalism Student
  • Book lover
  • Curious Soul

Diana was born in the Ukraine and is currently studying journalism in Kyiv. Every since she moved to the country’s capital she has felt the urge to raise more awareness for her lovely home and show the world what Kyiv has to offer.

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My 24 Hours in Kyiv

The best spot to begin your perfect 24 hours in Kyiv is the café Milk Bar. They serve the best breakfast here and, of course, milkshakes. I personally always go for avocado with poached egg, toast, tahini spread and fresh tomatoes – yum! But everything else is great too, so you may have a hard time choosing.

When you’re all finished, just head out and start discovering the city. Kyiv is crazy beautiful in every season – I swear – but my favourite time here is spring. It’s not as hot as it is in the summer and you can spend hours on end just strolling through the city.

One of my favourite places in Kyiv, and a spot where I could spend days, is the platform of contemporary art, the PinchukArtCentre. There is always something new happening here and it’s always exciting, even if you’re visiting for the thousandth time.

Inside the art centre you can find the wonderful café ONE LOVE Coffee. I really dig this place and their artistic, mainly white interior is just too cool! Go ahead and peruse the free art and culture books lying around as you sip on one of their absolutely delicious latte macchiatos.

The neighbourhood which best represents Kyiv as an old city is the charming district of Podil. When you’re done strolling through its streets and have taken enough pictures, make your way to the café Call Me Cacao. Their interior is really cool and they offer a huge variety of different types of cocoa. The staff is incredibly friendly, too. I love to lounge there by the windowsill, drinking my lavender cocoa and watching the people go by.

After all this coffee and cocoa it’s definitely time for some food. When it comes to restaurants, there is none I can speak more highly of than Vero Vero. Their summer terrace is the most beautiful in the entire city and it’s simply a gorgeous place — fountains and flowers everywhere. Whenever I’m here it feels like time just stops. My recommendation: order the delicious risotto, a glass of wine, and enjoy. On weekends, I usually visit one of the food festivals of Ulichnaya Eda, where you can taste street food from almost every part of our country – not only a culinary, but also a cultural learning experience. The themes of the festival always change, so you will never get bored.

Content and well-rested, I’m up for some shopping now. Kyiv has a lot of different shopping centres but my favourite is TSUM Kyiv. I always manage to find what I’m looking for here. A great store for checking out some local brands is Vsi.Svoi.Store. The Ukrainian brands they have in store here can compete with French, Italian and US, for sure.

When the sun goes down, cocktail hour is upon us! The bar scene is so diverse throughout the city of Kyiv that getting to know everything it has to offer would definitely take you more than 24 hours. But you have to start somewhere, so let’s begin with my favourite bar: Naïve. This place could best be described in two words: girl’s paradise. It’s stylish, it’s pink, and they have an eclectic selection of delicious cocktails. When you’re looking for a night full of gossip and champagne with your girls, you go to Naïve.

Another essential bar is the Parovoz Speak Easy. Not only do they serve great drinks, but their food is pretty awesome, too. Moreover, this place is located in the basement of a cinema, which means you can watch a movie and head downstairs to the bar afterwards – perfect! A place where a lot of locals meet and party is Closer, where you can dance to cool DJ tunes or listen to some wonderful jazz, but most of all: enjoy every moment!

Kyiv is a city of unbelievable parties and endless nights, so don’t be surprised if you make it home after sunrise.

Locations



Milk BarShota Rustaveli Street, 16, Kiew, Kyiv city, Ukraine

Their milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard – and not only their milkshakes, and not only the boys.
PinchukArtCentre / ONE LOVE CoffeeVelyka Vasylkivska Street 1-3, Kiew, Kyiv city, Ukraine

A must-visit for fans of contemporary art. And their café ONE LOVE Coffee is awesome, too.
Call me Cacaoulitsa Nizhniy Val, 35, Kiew, Kyiv city, Ukraine

Best cocoa in town, with a stylish interior to boot.
Vero VeroIllinska Street, 18, Kiew, Kyiv city, Ukraine

A phenomenal restaurant for a romantic night out with your significant other – their food is just divine!
TSUM KyivKhreschatyk Street 38, Kiew, Kyiv city, Ukraine

This shopping centre is all about the big names: Kenzo, Marc Jacobs, Paul&Joe, ...
Vsi.Svoi.StoreKhreschatyk Street, 27, Kiew, Kyiv city, Ukraine

Discover local fashion by all-Ukrainian brands here.
NaïveBaseina Street, 1/2, Kiew, Kyiv city, Ukraine

The interior is cutting edge, and the place is just a rad place for a good time with the girlfriends, sipping champagne and catching up on gossip.
Parovoz Speak EasyVelyka Vasylkivska Street, 19, Kiew, Kyiv city, Ukraine

The whole package: amazing drinks, a cool, friendly crowd, and an all-round great vibe.
CloserNyzhnoiurkivska Street 31, Kiew, Kyiv city, Ukraine

The vibrant atmosphere and excellent sound system will endear Closer to all fans of techno.
PodilPodil, Kiew, Kyiv city, Ukraine

My favourite district to stroll around and take in the original Kyiv atmosphere.
‘It’s easy to get lost here, but that can also be a chance to find yourself.’
  • The staff’s passion for their work really makes the Parovoz Speak Easy special. © Fesenkom Photography
  • The PinchukArtCentre is the perfect bad weather fallback: fantastic contemporary art and the super cool café ONE LOVE coffee.
  • TSUM Kyiv is where I love to shop for big brands and seek inspiration for new outfits.
  • The PinchukArtCentre warms the avant-garde heart. © PinchukArtCentre
  • The Parovoz bar is a rad place to hang out with friends in Kyiv! © Fesenkom Photography
  • The huge Dnieper River splits the city in two.
  • Get yourself a wonderful cup of cocoa at Call me Cacao!
  • There’s always something intriguing on display at the PinchukArtCentre. Go check it out! © PinchukArtCentre
  • Treat yourself to one (or a few...) of these exquisite pastries at Milk Bar.
  • The neighbourhood of Podil is my favourite one to stroll around, and will transport you back in time to the Kyiv of old.
  • This champagne bar is what every cosmopolitan young woman dreams of! © Naïve

My thoughts about Kyiv

What do you love about your destination?

I love Kyiv because it’s a city with two faces: it has that historic side but also shows very new and modern architecture. It’s easy to get lost here, but that can also be a chance to find yourself.

Which music fits best to your destination?

ONUKA – MISTO

ONUKA – Svitanok

ONUKA – Vidlik

The Maneken – Reciever feat. ONUKA

The Maneken – Keep Moving On

The Maneken – Go! Feat. Brunettes Shoot Blondes

The Elephants  – Friends

The Elephants–Blue Eyes

Myopia – Wrong

The HARDKISS – Make-Up

The Cancel Band – Alice

What‘s a "must do" in your destination?

Discover the city by walking, make new friends – Ukrainians are a lovely and open-minded people – and, of course, taste local food.

The Saint Andrew's Church in Kyiv.

Take a vacation into My life

What’s your background?

I was born in the Western part of Ukraine, near the city Lviv. After finishing school, I decided to move on and get a degree. For three years now I’ve been living in Kyiv, studying journalism – and I am crazy in love with the life here!

What is the best moment of the day?

When I come home after a long day and feel the tiredness spreading through my body. But then I start to recall all the things I’ve done and learned throughout the day and I know that I can rest deservedly now. Never waste a day!

What inspires you?

I try to get a little bit of inspiration out of everything, from all the things and all the people that surround me.

How would a good friend describe you?

Funny, easygoing, emotional.

Your lifestyle in 5 words?

Don’t wish, work for it.

Which books, newspapers or magazines do you read?

My favorite author is Ayn Rand, so one of my favourite books is ‘Atlas Shrugged’. Then there is ‘Shantaram’ by Gregory David Roberts, ‘Arch of Triumph’ by Erich Maria Remarque, ‘Maybe Esther’ by Katja Petrowskaja and millions of others. I am a big fan of documentary and journalism books, especially by authors like Witold Szablowski and Ryszard Kapuscinski. Magazines I love are: National Geographic, Kinfolk, Cereal, La Boussole.

Which films blow your mind?

‘House of Cards’, ‘The Young Pope’, films directed by Woody Allen and
Quentin Tarantino.

Person you’d like to sit next to in an airplane?

Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking or Joe Biden.

What are your favourite destinations around the globe?

Places I’ve never been before.

Your life philosophy?

When life gives you lemons – make lemonade.

Suitcase, Backpack or Weekender?

Backpack.

What else should we know about you?

I love to make up funny words and spell them in a comical way.

Travelling is…

a perfect way of understanding who you are.

Life is…

a box of chocolate.

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