This article is about Taras Shevchenko Park. For a history of Taras Shevchenko the person, click here.
If you are going to travel to Ukraine, chances are that you will go to Kyiv (Kiev) the capital of Ukraine. Kyiv is a big city and it has a lot to offer to tourists, although I personally would not stay there more than 4 – 5 days. It is a busy industrial city that needs so much work done to become a popular tourist attraction.
I used to live in Kyiv for more than 5 years (attended University in Kyiv). And although I am not a huge fan of the city, over time I found a few charming spots that I felt in love with. These places always helped me to relax and forget about the ton of constantly busy and hurried people around me.
One of these places is a park right in the center of Kyiv. It is a small oasis of calmness, beauty, and relaxation. Taras Shevchenko park is located across the street from the main university of Ukraine (Taras Shevchenko University). The park and the university are dedicated to the famous Ukrainian poet that lived during the Russian Empire. He was thrown in jail for speaking out against the government and wanting Ukraine to be free of Russia.
The Taras Shevchenko University looks amazing. The main building is bright red, which means power and strength. At night the building is lit up and it creates a special kind of a romantic atmosphere everywhere around it, including the park.
So, back to the park. Why is it that great? Well… Taras Shevchenko park is very well maintained and full of cute, romantic spots. One of the highlights of the park is the “weird benches”. The mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko (former professional boxer) started a reconstruction of this park and installed these unique benches all over the park.
Inside Taras Shevchenko park you can find a small square with a big fountain in the middle. Around the fountain there are a few vendors selling ice creams, drinks, and other snacks. At the south end there is a chess area. A cute open terrace with granite chess tables and benches are installed for people to enjoy this game.
You are allowed to bring a blanket and relax on the grass. My friends and I were often meeting at this park after work or university with snacks and blankets. Of course, it is possible if the weather is nice. A big plus of this park is that in the evening there is always someone performing, and you can usually enjoy very good music. Some areas have summer chairs set out, but they are not free (around 20 UAH – $0.80 per hour).
In summertime, Taras Shevchenko park is especially great. The north side of the park turns into an open-air free movie theater. Often times you’ll see masterpieces of the cinema in its original language.
Overall, Taras Shevchenko park is charming and I do advise you to finish one of your days there, before possibly heading to my favorite city, Lviv. Bring a blanket and some snacks or get yourself a tasty coffee, check out the “weird benches,” and enjoy the relaxing vibe that floats in the air.