The 10 Most Beautiful Metro Stations in Kyiv (Kiev)
Among the most interesting of Kyiv’s Soviet-era architecture is its metro system. While each of Kyiv’s metro stations are different and interesting, one consistently makes it on the list of the world’s most beautiful metro stations. I’ll get to that.
Several group companies offer tours of Kyiv’s metro. But I don’t think there’s a need to do that. Kyiv’s metro is easy to navigate and you can do it all by yourself – just follow the instructions I have in this post.
Start by going to the nearest metro station. Buy yourself a ticket. It’s actually a plastic voucher. It costs 8 UAH (that’s about 40 cents Canadian or about 30 cents US). Stick the voucher into the slot at one of the gates. The gate will open. You’re now in the metro. There’s no time limit and you can just go to the different metro stations and have a look at the different architectural and design styles. As long as you don’t go up the escalators and exit the metro system then your ticket is valid. There are 3 lines (green, red, and blue) and there are maps everywhere showing the lines and the different directions. Signs are bilingual in Ukrainian and English. You can’t get lost. But if you want to be prepared beforehand, print out the map below (I’ve highlighted the metro stops I cover in this post).
It’s a fun thing to do on a rainy day. We spent about 90 minutes exploring different metro stations, choosing to do it midday during the week when there were few commuters. Trains run on average every 5 minutes, so it’s a very efficient system.
Here are the 10 Most Beautiful Metro Stations in Kyiv in the order that we saw them.
This metro station was completed in 1987 and is situated near the Kyiv Opera house. It lies 70 m (230 ft) below the ground. There is a display of the theatre at the end of the platform. It is on the red line – it was where we started our self-made tour of the metro Kyiv metro stations.
1 stop from Teatralna is Universytet, situated next to Taras Shevchenko National University. The station is decorated with marble busts of famous Ukrainians (including poet Taras Shevchenko who the university was named after) set among marble floors and walls. The station was opened in 1960 and is 87 m (or 285 ft) deep.
This metro station is decorated with 8 large bronze medallions depicting episodes from Ukrainian and Russian history. The medallions were supposed to be taken down after the 2015 decommunization laws but they are still there. They are set against white marble pylons. The station was one of the original stations, built in 1960 and modelled on stations in Moscow. It is 42 m (or 78 ft) under the ground.
This station’s theme are the workers and plants under the Soviet system. You’ll see a large mosaic at the end of the platform. Also interesting are the columns which are covered in multi-coloured glazed tiles. Also on the red line (along with the stations above), this station is one of the deepest at 92 m (302 ft). It opened in 1963.
This station is unique because its pillars are decorated with hand-painted ceramic monuments in Ukrainian motifs. The station is named after the large avenue above, Kyiv’s most famous and beautiful avenue. Khreshchatyk station is on the red line.
Now for some stations on the blue line…
The blue line is more modern than the red line. Lybidska station was opened in 1984. It has brass chandeliers and a Soviet decorative monument at the end of the platform (which was meant to be taken down after the decommunization laws. But it’s still there). The station also features pink marble from Cuba along the track walls.
A beautiful station highlighted by red mosaic pillars and ring shaped chandeliers. The station was opened in 1984 and was named after Palace Ukraine, the biggest concert hall in Kyiv.
Themed on the 1980 Olympics held in Moscow. Notice the chandeliers: they were modeled based on bicycle wheels. The station opened in 1981 and was built near the largest stadium in Kyiv.
On the green line…
A river theme – Slavutych is the old name of the Dnieper River. The blue and stainless steel symbolize the river and the ceiling portrays stars over the water. Opened in 1992. Slavutych is one of the more memorable metro stations.
The most famous of Kyiv’s metro stations, considered one of the most beautiful in the world.
Situated near the “Golden Gate”, one of Kyiv’s most famous monuments and highlights. It almost looks like an old church with its large mosaics and arches depicting scenes from the Kievan Rus period. It has huge bronze chandeliers which look like they are adorned with candles and which give the station an almost romantic air.
Our favorites? Zoloti Vorota, Palats Ukrayina and Slavutych.
The above is not an exhaustive list: all the 52 stations in Kyiv are unique in some way and some might argue that a few others should also make this list (“Minska”, “Holosiivska” and “Demiivska” are also considered beautiful). As I state above, visiting them is easy and this is a great activity for a rainy day in Kyiv.
Related: What to See and Do in Kiev (Kyiv)
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