Transportation in Ukraine: How to Find Your Way Around Safely and Efficiently
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June 8, 2023

Transportation in Ukraine: How to Find Your Way Around Safely and Efficiently

Traveling can be one of the great pleasures in life: a chance to see new places, meet new people, and experience other cultures, food, art and music. But it can also present some obstacles if you’re not prepared. Here we offer some tips on how to get around in Ukraine so that you can spend your time enjoying the sights rather than struggling to simply get from point A to point B.

Travel Between Cities: Rail

Travel by rail in Ukraine

The Ukrainian rail system is modern and efficient, and is a delightfully convenient and economical way to travel around the country. Ukrainian Railways (Ukrzaliznycia) provides convenient links between all the major cities in Ukraine, and also from friendly nearby EU countries such as Poland, Hungary, Austria, Slovakia and Moldova.

Navigating the Ukrainian Railways site is easy enough but there are a few tricks that will help you avoid headaches. For starters, if you use Google Translate to convert from Ukrainian to English, the website will talk about “Flights”; don’t worry if you have a fear of flying, this is just a translation glitch and all the information is about trips by rail – no planes involved! Second, the website for buying tickets doesn’t seem to work from outside Ukraine, so you will need to use a VPN - choose a nearby country's server or the best chance of connecting.

Travel Between Cities: Bus

Travel by bus may not have the same romance and flair of the train but it is cheap, efficient and a great way to get around the country. There are two popular sites for checking routes and times and buying tickets: Busfor and Infobus. Neither of these sites should present access problems even if you’re outside the country.

City Transportation: Metro/Subway

City transportation - Metro Subway in Ukraine

If you’re traveling in the larger cities of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipro or Kryvyi Rih, the Metro is a great way to travel. Tickets can be bought onsite by debit/credit card or cash (Ukrainian hryvnia only). The crown jewel of the Ukrainian Metro system is the Kyiv subway, which has 1.4 million riders every day and is an architectural wonder considered by many to be one of the most beautiful systems in the world. The Metros in the other cities aren’t quite as large but are also beautiful and functional and serve millions of riders every day. Presently the subways serve as bomb shelters, so their value to Ukraine goes far beyond transportation as they shelter citizens from Russian aggression.

City Transportation: Bus and Taxi

Travel by bus and taxi in Ukraine

Buses might not be as glamorous as the beautiful underground Metros, but at about $0.27 per ride they are an incredibly cheap and convenient way to get around most cities in Ukraine. In most cases you will pay when you board by cash (hryvnia only). Schedules and routes can be easily checked using either Google Maps or the Moovit app for many cities.

Taxis might cost a little more than the bus but compared to most of Europe and the USA they are still a bargain and $2 will often be enough to get you to your destination. You’re unlikely to find the stereotypical yellow taxis common in other countries, so your best bet is to download one of the many popular apps such as Bolt, Uklon, OnTaxi and Uber. Using an app will also ensure that you're getting a ride from a licensed legitimate taxi service.

In Kyiv: Making the Most of Your Digital Experience

Apps can do so much more than help you get around town. If you’re traveling to Kyiv we recommend that you download the Kyiv Digital app available for iOS and Android. This all-in-one app will help with public transportation – you can recharge your travel card and access QR ticket services. It will also provide you with air raid alerts, maps of bomb shelters, and curfew reminders while under martial law. It also has many other valuable links that will help make your visit a pleasant one.

Travel in Kyiv with transportation app for iOS & Android

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