The Hornet Guide to Gay Kiev
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Kiev is an industrial, financial and cultural center of Eastern Europe, and this capital city of Ukraine is also home to the tech and science industries. Having recently hosted Eurovision 2017, this historic city offers several landmarks and different architectural styles to explore.
The city has a modest gay scene that’s developing fairly fast. According to most accounts, you can freely express your sexual identity without fear of homophobia and can attend gay-friendly places in gay Kiev. We do, however, recommend that visitors refrain from public displays of affection for safety reasons, since same-sex kissing and holding hands in public places are not yet common in this new old city.
Gay Kiev Nightlife
The nightlife of gay Kiev is small yet fun. The city’s most popular club is Lift, where the clientele is mixed, mostly young boys and men around 30. The club has two rooms, each spinning different music, usually EDM or pop. Lift has three bars, so getting a cocktail is quick and easy. For those who are more adventurous, there’s a small dark room for guys to explore and play. Drag shows and karaoke nights happen here regularly on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and it’s a great place to socialize with strangers or friends.
Pomada Club is one of the oldest gay establishments in Kiev. The atmosphere here is more relaxed in comparison to Lift. The club used to be famous for its drag shows, but it’s becoming a spot that attracts mostly an older crowd. If you’re visiting gay Kiev for the very first time, we highly recommend Pomada Club for its friendly and welcome environment.
Open Space opened its doors in January this past year, and it’s a new gay cruising bar in the middle of Kiev. In addition to its main dance floor, it also has a dark room, maze, private cabins, gloryholes and a fetish area for guys to explore. Open Space regularly hosts themed party nights with different dress codes for each one, but guys in everyday clothes are always welcome to join the fun.
Architectural Landmarks of Kiev
Famed architects from Vikentiy Beretti to Emilio Sala have contributed to the city’s beauty and originality with their creations. There are plenty of historical sites in Kiev, like the Kovalevsky House, the Kiev Academic Puppet Show Theatre and the National Bank of Ukraine. All are worth a visit while you’re in Kiev.
The House with Chimeras is a one-of-a-kind piece of architecture in Kiev. Known as “Gaudi of Kyiv,” architect Gorodetsky took on this challenging project as an opportunity to create something that was groundbreaking at the time. It should be noted that the building’s name isn’t referring to the famous chimera of mythology, but instead the architectural style where a building is decorated with animal figures as decorative elements. As of 2005, the building has been the seat of the Ukrainian president and a venue for formal events. It’s rarely open to the public, but visitors can check it out from outside.
You don’t want to miss the House of the Merchant Assembly while on a walking tour of the city. It’s a local monument and has also served as the venue for the National Philharmonic Society since 1881. It’s a splendid 19th century edifice that has survived two World Wars, and many great Russian composers like Alexander Mihaylovich Vinogradsky have performed here. It continues to hold art and music festivals today.
The Mariinsky Palace in Kiev is yet another spectacular place to visit. Bartolomeo Rastrelli, the famous Italian architect who worked in Russia, designed the palace and built it between 1750 and 1755. Meant as a private residence for Empress Elizabeth, the palace was built near a steep bank of the Dnipro River, near the present Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s Parliament). Currently, it serves as the residence of the Ukrainian president and hosts official receptions for foreign leaders.
The House of the Weeping Widow is another public building in Kiev, famous for its façade that displays the sculpted head of a woman. The building has a rich history dating back to 1907. At one point it served as the headquarters of the Kiev military district. With its distinctive head feature, when it rains, water pours down the woman’s cheeks and creates the illusion of a crying face.
Places to Relax in Gay Kiev
Besides the city’s clubs, there are other ways to experience gay Kiev. Blindage Sauna is the premier gay sauna in Kiev. It includes modern facilities like a Finnish sauna, steam bath, infrared sauna, lounge area, bar and massage services. This sauna also has a cruising zone for guys to mingle. Blindage is open from Thursday through Sunday and usually packs a good crowd during the weekend.
Dovbychka is the nude beach of gay Kiev. It’s usually busy on weekends during the summer months. The beach has a beautiful view of the bridge, monastery and monument of Mother the Motherland on the other bank of the river.
To get to Dovbychka, first head to the Hydropark metro station, cross the Venitsianskiy bridge and turn left to use the boat service. The boat offers non-stop services during busy times and usually costs 15 UAH to cross the river. You can also get to Dovbychka by walking or cycling from the city center via Parkovyi bridge (about 40 minutes on foot). Arriving by boat is the easiest way to get to Dovbychka, though.
After you’ve landed on the island by boat, this first section of the beach is reserved for a straight and mixed crowd. To access the gay beach, you’ll have to turn right and walk for five minutes. (The bushes behind the beach have paths and are often used for hookups, but always use your best judgment.)
Cruising Spots of Gay Kiev
The most popular area for gay cruising is Hydropark, a landscape-recreational park in Kiev. To get there, head to the metro station Hydropark, cross Venitsianskiy bridge and turn right. Then walk through the open-air gym on your left and head to the green zone. The entire green area behind the open-air gym is a cruising spot. We strongly recommend that you avoid this place after-hours for safety reasons. If you’re itching to play, Dovbychka beach is safer for gay men to cruise.