The Bloom Twins’ Insider Guide to Kiev, Ukraine

The Bloom Twins’ Insider Guide to Kiev, Ukraine

We’re heading east to
for 48 hours with the Ukranian-born pop duo, Bloom Twins.

Known for their moody, synth-pop music and austere fashion, the
Bloom Twins grew up in Brovary, an eastern suburb of Kiev. The
model-musicians, Sofia and Anna, made the move to London
a couple of years back, but make the three-hour flight home as
often as their touring schedule allows.

This trip, we were invited to tag along too. Over the course of
48 hours, we rifled through vintage stores, wrote songs, made
repeat snack stops at Besarabsky Market, partied at Art-Zavod Platforma and slept in at 11 Mirrors Hotel – and that’s
just the preamble…

How often do you go back to Kiev?

About three times a year. Nothing feels better than being

How do your surroundings impact your music and style?

They impact us greatly. You are what you eat. You are what you
observe. London has definitely punked up our styles a bit. Dr
Martens are forever a good match – be they paired with a dress or a
suit. Musically, we love to write everywhere so that we have a feel
of each city we visit. Music is a global language that needs no

The best day of the week to arrive in Kiev is…

Any day; being in the city feels like it’s permanently the

Where’s the best place to wake up?

The 11 Mirrors Hotel. Location is the key. From here you can
walk to the Golden Gate, Kyiv History Museum, Kyiv
Academic Young Theatre
or the Besarabsky Market. There’s a vast
variety of delicious places to eat nearby, too – we like VaBene
Bistro and Citronelle.

Coolest neighbourhoods worth exploring…

We are big fans of Besarabsky Market. Since being constructed in
1910, it has fed and inspired many of those living in Kiev.

What’s the best way to explore the city?

Definitely on foot.

The best way to spend a Sunday…

Flea markets are filled with little relics of Ukrainian history.
Our favourite is Petrivka Market; you might find a rare masterpiece
or the most useless stuff you will never need.

The restaurant to book for a dinner with friends?

Chang is our winner. There’s outdoor seating and delicious food;
everything on the menu is worth trying.

Other food spots we should try…

Chichiko is a stunning Georgian
restaurant. There’s great wine, great food and a great vibe.
Kanapa on Andriyivskyy Descent is a go-to for
traditional Ukrainian flavours and interiors.

What’s the city’s dress code?

The city is diverse, but the coolest kids wear vintage. Our
favourite vintage shops include Nika Chick Vintage Corner,
Goodbuyfashion and, of course, Andriyivskyy Descent.

Your favourite Ukrainian stores include…

It’s worth having a look at the Ukrainian designers. We love
Ksenia Schnaider and Bevza.

Where should we go for a big night out in Kiev?

Art-Zavod Platforma. It has amazing street food, live bands and
awesome DJs from across the world.

Great music venues to head to on a ‪Saturday night…

For live music we love Stereo Plaza and Atlas,
where we played a few times – the atmosphere was absolutely

Where should we head post-party?

If you enjoy good electronic music, head to either CHI by
Decadence House or Art-Zavod Platforma.

One misconception about Kiev is…

That it looks like
and that people mostly speak Russian. Kiev is a great
such a mix of people and languages, not only Ukrainian and Russian.
The city has its own energy.

For some culture, head to…

Andriyivskyy Descent. You’ll find lots of traditional Ukrainian
food, souvenirs and will enjoy a beautiful view of St Andrew’s
Church, Mikhail Bulgakov
and Kontraktova Square as well as the young and
colourful neighbourhood of Vozdvizhenka.

Your condensed address book would include…

We love Orang+Utan for a healthy organic lunch, Atlas for drinks
and live performances and Café Select for a delicous breakfast and

A book to read before we go?

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson. Even though
it’s not a Ukrainian book, it presents an ideology around how
people should be living and exploring new places in the world.
Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many plans, find yourself a good
few places to visit and enjoy your journey.

Underrated spots worthy of a visit…

Green 13 Café – a great vegan kitchen with
A-grade coffee.

What one thing should we bring back as a souvenir?

You have to bring back a vyshyvanka – a traditional embroidered
Ukranian shirt.

A great out-of-town spot is…

Brovary, the little town where we grew up. It has the beautiful
Zalissya National Nature Park as well as some great cafés – try the
lavender-oat coffee at Pitch Coffee Bar.

What key pieces do you always pack when travelling?

T-shirt, jeans, all the usual stuff… and a film camera.

Where can we go to London for a taste of Kiev?

You should visit Zima Russian Restaurant; it’s where
we go as soon as we get homesick.

How should we spend the final day of our trip?

Explore beyond the capital. Lviv is one of the most beautiful
cities we’ve ever visited. It’s full of history, gorgeous
architecture, inspiring people, charming coffee shops and
dangerously delicious sweets.

And finally, what’s in your SUITCASE for a trip to Kiev?

Film, camera, computer, mini keyboard (to be able to write songs
on the go), make-up, hair straighteners, Dr Martens and our
favourite mini bag by Stée.

Discover More
City Guide: Kiev, Ukraine