In recent years, the city of Kyiv has become a magnet for European street artists and is now an essential destination for the hipster crowd. With over a millennium of history, the Ukrainian capital saw countless cultural swings, so when a few years ago it became dotted with mural art, it simply absorbed the new trend into its already eclectic architectural mosaic.
This didn’t happen without some dialog between the artists and the residents, who at first were not amused when several historic buildings got painted in graffiti, and called the police. Eventually, the city authorities found a way to channel the youthful creative energy into their urban redesign efforts.
During its soviet past, Kyiv streets got pierced with ugly residential blocks that contrast badly with gothic churches and baroque mansions. Since its tricky to get rid of these buildings, the city has partnered with the artists to transform their look. The once colorless edifices got a complete makeover and became a canvas for vast avant-garde paintings. Many have turned into actual photo spots for the tourists.
The past decade has changed Kyiv from a sleepy, almost provincial town, into an actual European capital with vibrant street life and an explosive art scene. If you follow the tourists who flock to the city all year round, make sure to hunt for the new street art while you tour this open-sky museum.