Getting around in Kiev


The purpose of this article is to make you familiar with Kiev transport infrastructure, give useful recommendations and tips for safe as well as comfortable traveling throughout the city.

Overview

Kiev is a big megapolis that occupies a territory of 839 km2. In order to explore it to the full extent, you will definitely use the services of public transport or a taxi. Public transportation is quite popular and well-developed in the city that will be really helpful for budget travelers.
The city is navigated by metro, buses, trolleybuses, trams, marshrutkas and a funicular. Typically public transport works since 6/7 am till 11/12 pm depending on the type and destination. During peak hours (from 8-9am and 5-7pm) it becomes crowded and it is better to avoid staying here at this time. As public transport is a pickpocketing hot spot, keep your valuables well hidden.
Note! Mobile apps that can be very useful for navigating the city: Google Maps, Maps.Me (with offline support), Wayfinder (to find needed address easily), EasyWay (for transport tracking), Pinterest (observation of popular attractions.)

Taxi

Taxi is very cheap in Kyiv!!! Like in any big city, taxi service is quite popular in Kiev and represented by a large number of taxi agencies with varying degree of service experience. On average, moving across the city will cost you about $2-4. Unlike in many other countries, taxi drivers in Ukraine do not expect tips but will be grateful for that.

For best service and transparent pricing experience, we recommend the following taxi companies:

  • Über that has recently entered the Ukrainian market (online order, a cashless solution that charges your ride directly to the credit card on file with your account.)
  • Uklon (online order, cash payment to the driver on arrival);

In addition to generally a very good service experience, both of these companies have user-friendly mobile apps that you can use to book a taxi.

Most of the traditional taxi companies suffer from one or more of the following shortcomings:

  • Poor quality of service
  • Unpredictable arrival times
  • The need to make a phone call to book a taxi
  • The booking operator speaking local language only
  • Poor condition of vehicle
  • The need to have exact cash when making payment.

Nonetheless, if you want to book a traditional tax service, try one the following:

  • HappyGoTaxi (Skype: HappyGoTaxi; Phone no.:+380 (63) 739 23 69);
  • Elite taxi (Phone no.:+38 (044) 5373535);
  • Optimalne taxi (Phone no.:+38 (063) 1195770);
  • Panda taxi (one of the cheapest in Kyiv; Phone no.:+38 (044)379 00 79).

We would also like to point out that hailing a taxi on the street in Kiev is not the best option. This is because cheating foreigners is quite common in such situations. If you have no other option but to hail a taxi on the street, here are some suggestions:

  • Be careful while agreeing with the meter on charge (double pricing is quite popular) and don’t hesitate to bargain!
  • Avoid approaching taxi near “hot spots” – clubs, restaurants, major sights etc. They have their own (agreed between them) minimum fee and it will cost you a lot more!

Once again, because of all the various difficulties, we strongly recommend to use Über and Uklon for foreign travelers in Kiev.


Metro

The Kiev Metro is one of the least expensive, most reliable, and the fastest public mean of transport in the city and is a home to the deepest station in Europe (Arsenalna Metro station, 105.5 meters in depth).

There are three metro lines (M1-red, M2-blue, and M3-green), all of them go through the city center. Thus, we encourage tourists to use metro while exploring the city. Maps in metro stations are translated in English and it’s easy to navigate the metro network in Kiev. Every station is announced by speakers as well as screens (showing current and next station upon the departure).

There are three metro lines (M1-red, M2-blue, and M3-green), all of them go through the city center. Thus, we encourage tourists to use metro while exploring the city. Maps in metro stations are translated in English and it’s easy to navigate the metro network in Kiev. Every station is announced by speakers as well as screens (showing current and next station upon the departure).

Working hours: 06:00 – 24:00 (the interval varies from 1-3 min (business hours) to 5 min (after 21:00) and 10 min (after 23:00).

Price: UAH 4 ($0.15) per ticket (called ‘zheton’ in Ukrainian) that is the cheapest in Europe. It is valid for one trip with the possibility to change lines and no matter how far you go.

How to pay:

  • Buy it from the cash desk (“Kasa” in Ukrainian) at the entrance.
  • PayPass card owners can use their card directly to get into metro for the same price but only on the yellow turnstile.
  • Buy a monthly ticket with a magnetic tape (UAH 150-300.)
  • Buy top-up card for UAH 12 and add money to your account through the terminal at the entrance.

Metro stations can be interesting to explore from an aesthetic point of view as well. One of the most interesting – Zoloti Vorota metro station that is decorated with beautiful mosaics of historical characters of Kievan Rus.

Bus/trolleybus/tram

All areas not covered by metro can be reached by public transport that is presented in Kiev by buses, trolleybuses, and trams. You may find them on assigned stops marked by telegraph pole. If you are going to a place that’s not reachable by metro and you don’t want to take a taxi, you can use the extensive network of buses, trolleybuses, trams in Kiev. To find out the routes and track the movement of bus/trolleybus/tram use Easyway mobile app.

Price: UAH 3 ($0.12) per ticket, paid only in cash.

How to pay: it’s always simplest to pay the driver or conductor (special person on the board in official uniform) although tickets can be bought in kiosks throughout the city as well.
Once you are on the board, don’t forget to validate your ticket by punching a hole using special small punchers attached to the posts. Tickets can be ripped by the conductor as well.
Sometimes it is possible to meet the inspector who checks tickets to be punched to catch free-riders (also called “zayats” that means rabbit in Ukrainian.) Whose who are caught should pay UAH 60 as a penalty.

Keep in mind that because of common traffic jams, this kind of transport can be quite slow.


Marshrutka

Marshrutka is a privately-owned minibus taxis and, probably, one of the most popular ways of getting around in Kiev for locals. It follows a fixed route and can be hailed at the assigned bus stops. In order to check routes and track the movement of marshrutkas use Easyway mobile app.

Price: UAH 4-6, paid only in cash.

How to pay: you can pay the driver directly or pass the money to the nearest passenger who will pass it to the driver. Try not to give a big amount of money as change may come not very soon.

Note:

  • While looking for the seat, avoid places in the front of the cabin. Otherwise, you will find yourself passing money to the driver forward and backward throughout all the trip.
  • To get off in the right place just shout in advance: “Na ostanovke!” (means “on the station”) and the driver will stop at the nearest bus stop.
  • Funicular

    Kiev funicular is one of the main symbols of the city with a long history. This is an unusual mean of transport – a simple carriage that goes up and down by rapid descent (Volodymyrska Hill) and offers an amazing view of the Dnieper river and left bank on the way down.

    Note that there are only two stations and the travel time between them is approximately 3 minutes. It’s mainly used to connect the historic Upper town (starting from Mykhailivska Square) with Down town (Poshtova Square in Podil).

    Price: UAH 3 ($ 0.12) per ticket.
    How to pay: Buy the ticket from the cash desk at the entrance or obtain the monthly ticket with a magnetic tape.

    Working hours: working days: 7:00 – k 22:00, weekend: 8:00 – 23:00

    On weekends and public holidays, you will often see long lines in front of the funicular as it is widely used both as urban transport and tourist attraction.

    Whether you are interested in finding business partner, hire Ukrainian professionals, conduct the conference or consider investment or doing business in Ukraine, trip to Kiev – is a great chance for you!

    Interested in a tour of Kyiv?
    Review our list of recommended tours of Kyiv and make the best out of your visit to our wonderful and beautiful city.