Lonely Planet Writer

Google has digitised the Kyiv region with a VR sightseeing experience

It’s now possible to travel to the capital of Ukraine and the surrounding region without actually going anywhere. All you need is internet access. Google Ukraine has presented a website Discover Kyiv region aimed at highlighting places and experiences of interest to travellers in this part of the country through an immersive VR experience.

Kyiv, Ukraine
Google Ukraine unveils VR Kyiv experience. Photo by: Dejavu/500px

The project, done in partnership with the Kyiv City Administration, has resulted in digitising more than 3000 objects in Kyiv and its surroundings. The website includes an interactive map featuring photos, 3D tours, 3D panoramas and audio guides of the main tourist attractions of the Ukrainian capital and the wider region. The map is easy to use and shows both popular attractions and lesser-known sights.

Rodina Mat monument, Kyiv
Rodina Mat monument in Kyiv, Ukraine. This statue was built in remembrance of the victory over the Nazi’s. Photo by: Sergey Kamshylin/ShutterstockRF

For example, you can take a virtual walk through the Unesco-protected Kyevo-Pecherska Lavra monastery complex, see the breathtaking panorama from the shield of the Rodina Mat monument, explore the interiors of the iconic Art Nouveau House of Chimeras and stroll down the picturesque thoroughfare of Andriyivsky Uzviz. Outside the capital, the website gives you an opportunity to virtually visit the Chernobyl Nuclear Powerplant, the site of the most disastrous nuclear accident in the history of humanity, as well as to go on an exploration of the notorious ghost town of Pripyat.

In addition to the virtual tours, as part of the project Google has created the online-platform Kyiv Maps for aggregating news about the many events taking place in the Ukrainian capital.

Chornobyl, Ukraine
Abandoned ferris wheel in the amusement park in Pripyat, Chernobyl. Photo by: Hellen Sergeyeva/Shutterstock

The new website is part of a wider initiative called ‘Digital Transformation of Ukraine’ that’s destined to digitise the whole country, showcasing Ukraine’s enormous tourist potential. Through the separate Discover Ukraine website you can explore the majority of the tourist attractions in the country.

By Pavlo Fedykovych