Overall I’d say hit the main sites and monuments, Pechersk Lavra and the Motherland Monument in particular. Uber is good but make sure you travel on the metro cos some of the architecture is amazing (Universytat and Arsenalna especially). For drinking/eating I’d say aim to be around the Podil district. Puzata Hatas are everywhere and decent, cheap Ukrainian food in a buffet style, but I’d recommend getting proper borscht and vereniki at a nice-ish restaurant instead, although you can’t really go wrong with the basic versions.
The others have covered this quite well. Kiev is bloody amazing and if I could move to another European city, that’s the one for me. Borispil airport is a bit confusing flying into and I felt really ill in the line for passport checks (it’s not clearly signposted which line is which unless you can read Cyrillic - learning the alphabet beforehand is a generally useful tip though.)
Free walking tour was one of the best I’ve done. Chernobyl day trip is a must. There’s a hard to find bar called Palata 06 where their special drink is called The Helmet. Here’s an idea:
It’s not for everyone but we very much enjoyed the experience although some elements of design are quite problematic (it’s slightly asylum themed). Had something like 8-10 cocktails for less than £12.
The Pechersk Lavra is cool but use the toilet before you go, the loos there are a bit grim. The St Andrews cathedral is the most beautiful building ever and on the winding uphill road towards it, there’s all these market stalls selling local wares. Some is tourist tat but there are beautiful hand painted boxes and ornaments (I got earrings) and amazing flower crowns for £2. If you bring me back some more I’ll be thrilled. They are gorgeous. You can just walk around for hours really.
Would love to go back, it’s such a massive city and so beautiful but really cool at the same time. #2 on the all time place list.