Andreevsky Spusk ||
Address: Andreevsky Spusk
One of the oldest streets in Kiev, Andreevsky Spusk, starting at the famous Andreevsky Church and descending to the Dnepr River, once was the shortest way from the Upper Town to Podol, the Lower Town. In the 18th-19th centuries this street was inhabited with merchants and craftspeople. Today Andreevsky Spusk with its numerous gifts shops and small art galleries, selling oil and watercolor paintings, sculptures and works of applied art by modern Ukrainian artists, remains the street of artisans and artists. This historical street, covered with noble patina of many centuries, also hosts an outdoor souvenir bazaar, where one can find both traditional and very unusual objects.
The selection of gift and souvenirs startles with its richness. But souvenirs offered are not necessarily Ukrainian. Caps with ear-flaps, the so-called ushanka, and matreshka (set of nesting dolls) are recognizable symbols of Russian culture. If you are interested in pagan culture, pay your attention to the extensive collection of Slavonic amulets that can protect its owner from practically everything - the evil eye, misfortunes, bankruptcy, etc.
Red T-shirts with portraits of Lenin and statuettes of Stalin can be bought here. The passers-by are also offered portraits of Che Guevara, oriental music for relaxation, rosary, incense and all kind of esoteric accessories. Those looking for Ukrainian traditional works of applied art and handmade objects can buy embroidery, lace, hand woven rugs, hand carved, wood inlay and lacquered boxes, pisanki (hand painted Easter eggs), works from amber and semi-precious stones. These works of applied art reflecting a unique type of Ukraine in design and lifestyle attract sophisticated collectors, tourists who want to take part of hospitable and generous Ukraine with them and all those who just like beautiful and somewhat naive things.
Do mind that at any outdoor bazaar bargaining is expected and recommended as you can considerably cut down the price. The place of gathering of Kiev bohemia, Andreevsky Spusk, is often compared to Paris Monmartre. With its many nice bars and cozy cafes, where tourists and guests drop in to have a short break and then again to set out on sightseeing journey around the city, countless souvenir stands and street art exhibitions, attracting passers-by with their brightness and diversity, buskers and fortunetellers, Andreevsky Spusk is one of the most often visited places by tourists and one of the most favorite walking streets of Kiev citizens.