Travel to Ukraine

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Transportation in Ukraine

Metro bridge

Metro bridge

Public transportation in Kyiv is efficient and inexpensive, but crowded. The city’s network of buses, trolley buses, streetcars and the subway (Metro) covers almost the entire city. Everybody should be ready to contend with a good deal of pushing and shoving during the morning and evening rush hours.

Taxi routes

Taxis – There are taxi stands at some busy corners in central Kyiv. After a taxi stops, the required destination should be stated; if the driver agrees, a price should be negotiated before entering the vehicle. Extra precaution should be taken in the evenings, when it is advisable to use only a clearly marked taxi rather than a private vehicle.

Driving – Roads in Ukraine are in generally poor condition. Travel between cities at night and in the winter can be particularly treacherous. Gasoline and diesel fuel supplies may be easy to find in outlying areas. A valid international driver’s license is all that is necessary to drive in Ukraine. Although the road system in Ukraine provides access to all cities, towns, and most villages, most are in deplorable condition. Travellers must plan trips carefully since information, food, lodging, and fuel are often not available along the highways. One should always travel with food, water and ample fuel necessary to arrive at the planned destination.


Air travel

Air Ukraine International operates and provides regular service throughout the country for coupons and abroad for hard currency. Western airlines operate in Kyiv, including Delta, Lufthansa, British Air, Austrian Air, Malev (Hungarian), CSA (Czech), LOT (Polish), TransAero, KLM, SwissAir, Air France, and SAS.

Kyiv has two airports: BORISPIL airport serves both international and domestic flights and Kyiv (Zhuliany) serves domestic flights only.

Borispol Airport

Borispol airport is located 24 miles from Kyiv. Travellers can take either a taxi or rental car to the air port, but should plan at least 60 minutes to get there from the centre of Kyiv. The trip from Borispil by rental sedan or taxi costs about $30. Negotiate on a price before taking the taxi.

Arrival procedures:

1. Land at airport, disembark plane and get into airport bus or directly to terminal.

2. Enter terminal, proceed to passport control.

3. Passport control.

All travellers must have valid documents or visas to entry Ukraine.

4. Customs.

Complete your customs declaration accurately. Declare all money, travelers checks, and valuables in your possession. Include all personal jewelry, such as wedding rings and watches. It is advised, however, not to bring such valuables to avoid complications. Customs forms are available at point of entry. Have your customs declaration stamped by the authorities and keep it with you until you leave the country. Keep your exchange receipts in order to account for your expenditures. Without these records, customs officials could confiscate your cash and valuables upon departure.

Find here on the site of State Customs Service the following important infomation on Procedures for bringing personal belonings into Ukraine and out of it by individuals.

Depature procedures

All passengers should arrive at the airport at least two hours before flight takeoff. Passengers must go through several checkpoints: customs and flight registration (this checkpoint closes one hour before flight departure).


Train travel

Much domestic travel in Ukraine is best accomplished by train, almost all of it overnight. Trains are relative cheap, usually punctual. Inter-city trains do not have seats — they have beds on which you sit during the evening and morning and on which you sleep at night.


Train cars are divided into four classes:

First-class cars (“SV” or sleeper) are best, only two persons to a compartment, with reading lamps, nice bedding, extra mirrors, less-worn carpeting and a less raucous ambiance.

Second-class cars (“kupe”) feature four-person compartments and provide similar, but shabbier, accommodation.

Third-class cars (“platz-kartny”) have no separations between sleeping bunks, are frequently a bit dirty, smelly, and noisy.

Fourth-class cars (zahalny vahon) available only on some routes, offer only seating space.

Your ticket will specify the class of travel, the originating city and the destination, the number of the train and the number of the car. This is important to pass on if you have someone meeting you.

At Kyiv’s train station, look for the platform number to be posted on the big departure board in the main hall and listen for announcements in case of last-minute changes. If you don’t have much experience on trains, allow about 15 minutes at the station to find the platform and car to which you are assigned. Show your ticket to the conductor at the foot of the stairs of your car and climb aboard! Persons carrying bags are permitted to board the trains and will usually be given enough notice to leave the train before it moves away.

Train procedures

1. Shortly after depature, the conductor will appear in your compartment to take your ticket for the night. She (most often, although increasingly men are breaking through this job barrier) is the one who scrutinized you and your ticket as you boarded. Make your own bed unless you’re lucky enough to be in a first-class compartment where this service has already been provided. If you don’t find a blanket in your compartment, ask for one. In winter, trains often become very warm over the course of a night, but initially may be chilly. In some trains, the conductor returns in about an hour to offer tea, available for pennies.

2. Hygiene. Toilet facilities leave much to be desired, so consider visiting a restroom before boarding. Often the sinks do not have running water. Bring toilet paper with.

3. Wake-up. The conductor will usually knock on your door with that special window key a good hour before arrival. She wants to be sure to give you plenty of time to rise and shine, to drink tea if it’s available and to fold up your blanket and return the sheets to the conductor’s compartment.


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