Every tourist visiting Kiev should go to a performance at the National Opera of Ukraine. I held off for many years, thinking opera and ballet wasn’t my scene. I now regret I didn’t go earlier.
It was a former girlfriend that asked me to go. To be honest I just wanted to keep her happy. I didn’t think I would actually enjoy it.
We met early in the day and went to the box office to purchase our tickets. We asked the lady at the desk for some mid-range tickets and she sold us two on the first balcony for 200 UAH each. We would be watching La Sylphide, a romantic ballet set in Scotland.
I was pretty surprised how cheap the tickets were. I was expecting to pay a small fortune. Tickets for performances at the Royal Opera House in London are around £100 and are pretty hard to come by. Tickets at the National Opera of Ukraine start at 20 UAH (less than a pound).
After arriving at the theatre we made our way down to the cloakroom. We were directed from one attendant to another before one finally accepted our coats. We hired some binoculars for a small fee before making our way to our seats.
We were seated in a small box in the first circle. It had eight seats; four rows of two. The view was ok but not superb. I had to move my chair a little to get a better view. In hindsight it would have been better to purchase more expensive seats.
I’m no ballet expert, but to my untrained eyes it looked a decent enough performance. The orchestra and sound quality was excellent.
During the interval we made our way to a small counter and purchased coffee. Tea, coffee, and snacks were also available. We then had a quick look around an exhibition of Lladro figurines.
The entire performance lasted and hour and a half, excluding the interval. This was just about right.
In summary, I’d strongly recommend a visit here. Even if you don’t think you’ll like ballet or opera, it’s a cheap way to find out. You may be pleasantly surprised. It’s worth paying for a ticket just to have a look around the building.
The theatre enjoys a good location in Kiev city centre, at the junction of Volodymyrska and Bohdana Khmelnytskoho. The closest Metro station is Zoloti Vorota (Green Line). Teatralna and Universytet, both on the Red Line, are also nearby.
There’s a performance most evenings, usually an opera or ballet. The repertoire is large so there’s something different to see every day. Most start at 7 pm.
We bought our tickets from the onsite ticket office, located at the front of the building. It’s open daily from 11 am. It’s also possible to purchase tickets online from the official website (see information box below).
It’s probably a good idea to buy tickets a day or so in advance. The National Opera of Ukraine can hold around 1300. We visited on a Sunday in January. Despite it being -15 outside, it was pretty much full.
Visit Kiev Ukraine attended a performance at the National Opera of Ukraine in January 2017. Unlike most other Kiev tourism websites we pay for our own entertainment and write completely independent reviews.
Tourist attractions and things to do near National Opera of Ukraine include:
- Golden Gate (0.1 miles) - Ancient fortification
- St Volodymyr’s Cathedral (0.2 miles) - Neo-Byzantine cathedral with striking yellow exterior
- Khreshchatyk (0.4 miles) - Kiev’s most famous and well-trodden street
- St Sophia’s Cathedral (0.4 miles) - One of Kiev’s most impressive landmarks
- Kiev University – Fomin Botanical Gardens (0.5 miles) - Botanical gardens owned by Kiev University
- Besarabsky Market (0.5 miles) - Colourful indoor market
- Pinchuk Art Centre (0.5 miles) - Contemporary art gallery in the city centre.
- Independence Square (0.6 miles) - The focal point of Ukraine’s Orange Revolution
- Gorodetsky House, Kiev – House with Chimeras (0.7 miles) - Unusual Art Nouveau house
- St Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery (0.8 miles) - Features a sky blue cathedral and magnificent bell tower
- Palace of Sports (0.8 miles) - Major music, exhibition, and sports venue
- Gulliver Bowling (0.8 miles) - Tenpin bowling centre at the Gulliver shopping mall.
- St Andrew’s Church (0.9 miles) - Colourful Baroque church
- Khreshchatyk Park (0.9 miles) - City centre park
- Andrew’s Descent (0.9 miles) - The city’s most artistic street.
Restaurants and places to eat and drink near National Opera of Ukraine include:
- 11 Mirrors Rooftop Restaurant and Bar (0.1 miles) - Rooftop restaurant at one of the city’s best hotels. Offers great panoramic views of the city. Close to the National Opera of Ukraine.
- Osteria Pantagruel (0.1 miles) - Legendary Italian restaurant. Traditional homely interior. Good service. Terrace open in the summer. Located right next to the Golden Gate.
- Avalon (0.1 miles) - Popular, multi-level entertainment complex. Includes a restaurant, bar, and nightclub. Highly recommended. Attracts a beautiful crowd.
- True Burger Bar (0.2 miles) - Cosy gourmet burger restaurant. Close to the National Opera of Ukraine and St Volodymyr’s Cathedral.
- Tolstiy and Tonkiy (0.2 miles) - Upmarket steakhouse. Impeccable service. Near the Golden Gate. Expensive by Kiev standards.
- Korchma Taras Bulba (0.3 miles) - Family-friendly Ukrainian restaurant. Traditional interior. Offers a huge selection of inexpensive varenyky (dumplings). Just a short walk from Khreshchatyk.
- O'Panas (0.3 miles) - Tradtional Ukrainian restaurant in Taras Shevchenko Park. Fantastic wooden interior.
- Musafir (0.3 miles) - Crimean restaurant near Lesya Ukrainka Theatre and Teatralna Metro Station. Cosy. Great reputation.
- Barman Dictat (0.4 miles) - Excellent bar on Khreshchatyk. Beautiful interior with huge sold wood bar. Shelves behind the bar house thousands of different drinks from all over the world. Staff need ladders to reach some of them. Live music most evenings. Smoking room. Difficult to find. Go into the courtyard at 44 Khreshchatyk and head to the building on the left. The bar is behind an unmarked doorway. Go down the stairs after entering.
- Shato Robert Doms (0.4 miles) - Pub with its own brewery. Enjoys a great location on Khreshchatyk, just across the road from Khreshchatyk Metro Station. Outdoor terrace, open in the summer, is great for watching the world go by.
- Whisky Corner (0.5 miles) - Upmarket whisky-themed restaurant. Offers a huge selection of whiskies. Very professional service. Located between Independence Square and St Sophia’s Cathedral.
- Chang Bistronomia (0.5 miles) - Contemporary Vietnamese restaurant. Friendly staff. Modern décor. Near St Sophia’s Cathedral.
- Khinkalnya Gogi (0.5 miles) - Offers reasonably priced Georgian cuisine. Friendly service. Situated near Taras Shevchenko Park and the Fomin Botanical Gardens.
- Restaurant Chachapuri (0.5 miles) - Cosy Georgian restaurant. Close to the Hilton Kyiv and St Volodymyr's Cathedral. Universytet Metro Station is just across the road.
- Loona Restaurant and Karaoke (0.5 miles) - Upmarket Asian restaurant and karaoke bar at Arena city. Attractive crowd. Parties most evenings.
- Last Barricade (0.5 miles) - Restaurant themed around modern Ukrainian revolutions. Interesting interior and lively entertainment. The restaurant is hidden and difficult to find. Entrance is an unmarked door in a corridor at the upper end of the entrance to the Globus shopping centre on Independence Square, near the Billa supermarket.
- Puzata Hata - Baseina Street (0.5 miles) - Budget restaurant offering Ukrainian cuisine at bargain prices. Self-service. This branch is located close to Besarabsky Market.
- The Burger (0.5 miles) - Offers a good selection of gourmet burgers. Impeccable service. Very reasonably priced given its location at Arena City.
- Paravoz Speak Easy (0.5 miles) - Intimate cocktail bar. Located in the basement of the Kiev Cinema, close to Ploshcha Lva Tolstoho Metro Station.
- Under Wonder (0.6 miles) - Intimate restaurant in the city centre. Great service and beautiful interior. Open 24 hours.
- Mama Gochi (0.6 miles) - Georgian restaurant close to Independence Square. Summer terrace.
- Tres Francais (0.6 miles) - Cosy French bistro. Enjoys a great central location, just a short walk from Independence Square.
- Pervak (0.6 miles) - Offers traditional Ukrainian cuisine. Interesting interior. Located in the centre, close to Arena City.
- Spotykach (0.6 miles) - Contemporary Ukrainian cuisine. Unique atmosphere and great service. Located near St Sophia’s Cathedral.
- Kosatka (0.6 miles) - Cafe/bar close to St Sophia’s Cathedral. Attracts a youthful crowd.
- Alchemist Bar (0.6 miles) - Lively city centre basement bar. Live music and DJs.
- Khinkali (0.6 miles) - Authentic Georgian cuisine. Traditional interior and reasonable prices. Near Arena City and the Gulliver shopping mall.
- Zhizn Zamechatelnykh Lyudeyn (Life of Wonderful People) (0.6 miles) - Bar/restaurant with amazing interior. Check out the height of the ceiling. Staff use a ladder to reach the highest bottles on the shelf. Highly recommended.
- Beef (0.6 miles) - Upmarket steakhouse in the city centre. Quite expensive but offers a reasonably priced business lunch. Situated near the Gulliver shopping mall. Closest Metro is Palats Sportu.
- Mr Grill Hotdogs and Burgers (0.6 miles) - Modern burger and hotdog restaurant on Kiev’s main street. Amazing interior. Great service. Outdoor seating in the summer months.
- Piccolino (0.7 miles) - Italian restaurant offering a good variety of dishes and wines. Ambient interior with brick walls and wooden ceiling. Quite close to the National Circus of Ukraine.
- Mama Manana (0.7 miles) - Traditional Georgian restaurant in the city centre. It is extremely popular so booking is essential.
- Italian Edition (0.7 miles) - Beautiful Italian restaurant with amazing high ceilings and wood panel walls. Great staff.
- 100 Rokiv Tomu Vpered (100 Years Ago In The Future) (0.7 miles) - Modern Ukrainian cuisine. Excellent service.
- Musafir (0.8 miles) - Crimean restaurant relocated to Kiev after the Russian takeover in 2014. Traditional interior. Menu offers traditional Crimean Tatar cuisine.
- Lyubimy Dyadya (0.8 miles) - Offers an eclectic menu of contemporary, international dishes. Fantastic interior and good atmosphere. The name means ‘Favourite Uncle’.
- Goodman (0.8 miles) - Upmarket steakhouse located on the ground floor of the Eurasia Business Centre. Fairly expensive. Close to Kiev Train Station.
- Za Dvoma Zaytsyamy (Chasing Two Hares) (0.9 miles) - Named after a famous 1960s Soviet film. Transports guest into Kiev at the beginning of the 20th century. Wonderful atmosphere. Live music most evenings.
- Imbir (0.9 miles) - Indian vegetarian restaurant. Comfortable interior with plenty of books to read. Situated close to the Olympic Stadium.
- Solomenskaya Brewery (0.9 miles) - Pub and restaurant on Andrew’s Descent. Offers excellent beer. Close to St Andrew’s Church.
- Kanapa (0.9 miles) - Offers traditional Ukrainian cuisine. Situated in a quaint wooden building on Andrew's Descent, one of the most popular streets for tourists in Kiev.
- Gorchitsa Cafe (0.9 miles) - Upmarket French restaurant in the Government quarter (Lypky). Well-presented food. Beautiful, classical interior.
- Barvy (0.9 miles) - Contemporary Ukrainian restaurant with modern interior. Great cocktails. Close to Gulliver shopping mall.
- Mini-Hotel Kievskiy (0.1 miles)
- 11 Mirrors Design Hotel (0.1 miles)
- Royal Grand Hotel (0.2 miles)
- Best Season Apart Hotel (0.2 miles)
- Sunday Apart Hotel (0.2 miles)
- Summit Apart Hotel (0.3 miles)
- CITYHOTEL (0.3 miles)
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Kyiv City Centre (0.4 miles)
- Bontiak Hotel (0.4 miles)
- Premier Palace Hotel (0.4 miles)
- Fire Inn (0.5 miles)
- Royal De Paris Hotel (0.5 miles)
- Hotel Express Congress (0.5 miles)
- Kozatskiy Hotel (0.5 miles)
- Golden Gate Inn (0.5 miles)
- Opera Hotel (0.6 miles)
- KievInn (0.6 miles)
- Khreschatyk City Center Hotel (0.6 miles)
- ibis Kiev City Center (0.6 miles)
- Ukraine Hotel (0.6 miles)
- InterContinental Kyiv (0.7 miles)
- Idea Design Apart-Hotel (0.7 miles)
- StanGret Hotel (0.7 miles)
- Heart Kiev Apart-Hotel (0.7 miles)
- City Park Hotel (0.7 miles)
- Gallery Hotel Gintama (0.7 miles)
- Dnipro Hotel (0.7 miles)
- Gonchar Hotel (0.7 miles)
- Hotel Classic (0.8 miles)
- Suit Hotel (0.8 miles)
- Aloft Kiev (0.8 miles)
- irisHotels (0.8 miles)
- Mini hotel Non-Stop (0.8 miles)
- Tiso Hotel (0.8 miles)
- Premier Hotel Lybid (0.8 miles)
- Diplomat ApartHotel (0.9 miles)
- Premier Hotel Rus (0.9 miles)
- President Hotel (1 miles)
- Royal Olympic Hotel (1 miles)
- Royal City Hotel (1 miles)
Nearby Metro Stations
Metro Stations near National Opera of Ukraine include:
- Zoloti Vorota Metro Station (0.1 miles) - Next to the Golden Gates
- Teatralna Metro Station (0.2 miles) - Station on Bohdana Khmelnytskoho Street
- Universytet Metro Station (0.3 miles) - Metro station on the Red Line.
- Khreshchatyk Metro Station (0.5 miles) - City centre station on Kiev's main street.
- Ploshcha Lva Tolstoho Metro Station (0.5 miles) - Underground station in the city centre named after Leo Tolstoy
- Maidan Nezalezhnosti Metro Station (0.6 miles) - Underground station at Independence Square
- Lvivska Brama Metro Station (0.7 miles) - Metro station on the Green Line
- Palats Sportu Metro Station (0.7 miles) - Underground station next to the Palace of Sports
- Poshtova Ploshcha Metro Station (1.0 miles) - Station in Podil next to the Funicular Railway
Map showing location of National Opera of Ukraine.
Click here for a detailed map showing all points of interest.
National Opera of Ukraine