1. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi everyone, my name is Anastasiia, and I am a tour guide. My biggest passion is traveling. I love learning about new cultures, trying different food, gaining new experiences, and, of course, meeting people! I find communicating incredibly recharging and fulfilling, especially when the person comes from an environment different from mine. That is why I love what I do!
Besides that, I am running a Charity Fund called “Sunflower Academy” which helps Ukrainian foster families in need. Especially right now, when the war in Ukraine brought so much devastation, it is important to help others. With the help of the international community, the Fund succeeded to help about 90 families with a total amount of over 500 foster kids.
I feel that many of my Showarounders have been a great support to me and many other Ukrainians during these tough times.
2. Tell us about your favorite place in Kyiv. What is special about it?
My favorite place IS KYIV.
I am a traveler myself and it took me a while to actually realize how fantastic my city is. I like cozy cafes in Podil, yards around Zoloti Vorota area, always busy Velyka Vasylkivska street, and massive green parks which take hours to walk.
3. What’s one thing that visitors can find surprising when coming to Kyiv for the first time?
How actually progressive and full of energy the city is! Trust me, I’ve heard so many times that people from overseas did not expect Kyiv to be this tech, diverse and modern. Starting from the great service in restaurants, ending with cashless payments even in the metro. Our banking system is instant and you can get an appointment for almost everything on the same day.
Not forgetting to mention an amazing speakeasy bars culture, music performances, amount of arts, and … affordable pricing!
4. If you had to choose a song that gives off the vibe of Kyiv, what song would it be?
That would be a song by the Ukrainian band DakhaBrakha - Baby.
It’s a unique combination of Ukrainian folk and instrumental music, in ethno house style. It’s quite a chill song, but at the same time with a very special vibe. Imagine yourself relaxing on Trukhaniv island next to the Dnipro river watching the sunset in the summertime... mmm fantastic.
5. What’s the one place that you would definitely recommend every traveler to check out?
Kyiv itself as a touristic destination is definitely underrated. Everyone who’s visiting Kyiv would agree. I’d suggest not skipping the Upper Town or so-called Ancient Kyiv. The area has a lot of churches (which sometimes can be tiring) but all of them are a must-visit in my opinion. The back streets and yards of this area hide the hipster’s side of Kyiv with unique cafes, restaurants, and shops.
Stroll around Reitarska and Yaroslaviv Val streets - they have the best vibe in the city!
6. On the other hand, is there a popular tourist place that you would actually recommend travelers skip?
It very much depends on a person’s preferences. There are no overcrowded tourist places in Kyiv like you can find sometimes in Rome, London, or in other European capitals. If the traveler has limited time, I’d skip the open-air museum (Skansen) in Pyrohovo. It usually takes a while to get there and it is huge to go around (but still very beautiful hehe).
7. Finish these sentences about Kyiv:
- I’ve had the tastiest coffee at Right Coffee Bar
- The best place to grab lunch is Kyiv Food Market
- On weekends I love spending my time exploring new cafes/restaurants in Kyiv or walking in nature in one of Kyiv's beautiful parks.
- The best spot for pictures/selfies would be on the view deck next to st. Andrew’s church, it has a fantastic panorama of the Podil area.
- If I wanted to relax, I would go to one of the beach clubs, or visit one of the resorts outside of the city. “Shelest” is my favorite.
- The best time to visit Kyiv is in late spring mid-April - May, or early autumn September - mid-October. Despite people thinking that Ukraine is a cold country, we have hot summers (average 28 degrees) and cold winters (average -7 degrees).
8. How did you discover Showaround?
To be honest with you, I don’t remember! Probably, some of my fellow travelers recommended me. The first Showaround tour I gave was in the summer of 2018, I loved the concept and started to use it more as a local and as a traveler. Until today for me, it is the best way to discover new places!
9. Tell us about your best Showaround experience.
OMG... that’s impossible! I had so many nice experiences that I can’t even tell which was THE BEST. All of them were definitely unique!
Probably, one of the most life-changing was when my guest from the US asked me to help deliver gifts for Christmas to a foster family in Kyiv. Eventually, it all grew into a Charity Fund which I manage today.
10. Do you have any tips for other locals who are just starting out?
The best experience is a LOCAL perspective of the place you show, but do not forget to infuse your local stories with a little bit of historic background.
Treat every traveler as your friend! The best experience is a LOCAL perspective of the place you show, but do not forget to infuse your local stories with a little bit of historic background. The more your guest knows about why and how things happen today, the better he/she understands the place and the society.
Many of the people I met on Showaround are my good friends today. I never treat any visitor as a one-timer and do my best to keep the friendships despite the distance. I feel that many of my Showarounders have been a great support to me and many other Ukrainians during these tough times.
Book a tour with Anastasiia.