wooden church pyrohovo folk museum kiev ukraine

Getty Images/AWL Images RM

Pyrohiv Museum of Folk Architecture


Some 300 traditional structures, some dating back to the 16th century, have been transplanted form various parts of Ukraine to this open-air folk museum. On weekends in the warm months, medieval-themed events and contests take place and the entire compound assumes a festive atmosphere, with much singing, dancing and eating going on. It's about 12km south of central Kyiv; marshrutka 496 from Lukyanivska metro station takes you right to the entrance.

In the summer workers enact different village roles, carving wood, making pottery, doing embroidery, and driving horses and carts. Other activities include a zipline (100uah), horse riding and archery. There is a cluster of outdoor eateries at the centre of the action that serve wonderful shashlyk (shish kebab) and all manner of traditional Ukrainian food and drink. Ukrainian musicians play on weekends.

The quaint 17th- to 20th-century wooden churches, cottages, farmsteads and windmills are divided into seven 'villages' representing regional areas of Ukraine. So in just one long afternoon you can visit the architecture of eastern, western and southern Ukraine.

It's always fun, especially so if you visit during a festival. Pyrohovo hosts several, the biggest of which is the countrywide Ivan Kupala festival.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kyiv attractions

1. Aviation Museum


Located at the far side of Zhulyany airfield, this open-air museum displays dozens of Soviet aircraft designed to carry people or tanks, land on ice or…

2. Hryshko Botanical Gardens

4.69 MILES

The long, steep hill running along the Dnipro River from Olympic Stadium and Mariyinsky Palace to Rodina Mat continues south for several kilometres,…

3. Vydubytsky Monastery

5.05 MILES

Few churches appear more frozen in time than those of the Vydubytsky Monastery, nestled into a hill beneath the Hryshko Botanical Gardens. If you found…

4. Rodina Mat

5.51 MILES

As you journey into Kyiv from the airport, at some point this giant statue of a female warrior will loom up on the horizon and make you wonder, 'What the…

5. Great Patriotic War Museum

5.51 MILES

Located at the base of the towering Rodina Mat, this museum was built belatedly in 1981 to honour Kyiv's defenders during the Great Patriotic War (as WWII…

6. Ivan Honchar Museum

5.79 MILES

This Pechersk-based facility is more than a museum, it's a crucible for preserving Ukrainian folk culture in the 21st century. In addition to permanent…

7. Museum of Microminiature


Beneath the Great Bell Tower on the south side of the Upper Lavra, the Museum of Microminiature provides something even for atheists within this holiest…

8. Kyevo-Pecherska Lavra

5.91 MILES

Tourists and Orthodox pilgrims alike flock to the Lavra, set on 28 hectares of grassy hills above the Dnipro River in Pechersk. It's easy to see why…