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Getting around Kiev by metro, bus, trolleybus, cable car and marshrutky

Getting around Kiev

Moving around the city might seem difficult enough at first. The reason is mainly due to the Cyrillic language, apparently, hostile. Actually, getting around Kiev by public transport is quite simple and intuitive. Not only in the metro, where the indications are also in English.

Learning some Cyrillic terms can be quite useful. Having apps available like Google Maps certainly helps.



Photo, 2008 Sameboat

Modern, efficient, fast and extremely economical. Moving to Kiev by subway is, for the best method is preferable, especially for the less practical tourist.

Three lines are active from the morning, until about midnight, with frequencies to say the least impressive. You switch from one run every 30 seconds to peak times, to one run every 5 minutes until 20: 00. Only in the evening, the frequencies reach “normal” thresholds of 10 and 15 minutes.

Currently 3 lines are operational, identified by a different color, and a progressive number from 1 to 3. Here, below, the detail:

  • Line 1 – Red. Svjatoshyns’ko-Brovars’ka.
  • Line 2 – Blue. Kurenivs’ko-Červonoarmiys’ka.
  • Line 3 – Green. Syrec’ko-Pečers’ka.
A fourth yellow line is currently under construction.

Many stations have a typically Soviet architecture and a not indifferent depth; this is the case of Arsenalna which, with its 107 meters, is one of the deepest stations in the world. The metro is particularly busy, especially during peak times. Just in these “hot” hours you will see on the docks of the strange individuals in orange tunic and black hat. They are metro officials with the task of pushing travelers into overcrowded carriages!


Getting around Kiev by public transport is extremely cheap. Any means you use.

To travel by metro, instead of the “common tickets” you have to buy tokens, to be inserted in the appropriate barriers before embarking on the journey.

The token to travel by metro costs just 5.00UAH, equivalent to about 0.15€. A truly ridiculous figure, compared to many other European Capitals. The price is always the same, regardless of the distance and the changes made. The only caution is to never leave the station, otherwise you will have to buy another token.

Getting around Kiev


Bus and Trolleybus run around town. They are great for getting around Kiev, and reaching all the city districts. In general they are always particularly crowded, especially during peak times. You will have to try to make space and enter.

Often, bus stops are not very visible, indicated exclusively in Cyrillic. The ticket can be purchased directly on board, or in the appropriate shops. As soon as you get on, the ticket must be inserted into the appropriate punching machines. If you do not have space to do it, a simple hand-grip with other travelers will suffice.

The buses are particularly cheap. A trip costs just 3.00UAH (about 0.10€).


The unpronounceable name identifies one of the most used means to move around Kiev. These are small private buses, often rickety, traveling along assigned routes, indicated (in Cyrillic) on the rear side of the vehicle. On the front, or on the side, the price of the trip is indicated, which varies from a minimum of 4.00UAH to a maximum of 6.00.

In general, for the tourist it is really difficult to understand the path that the Marshrutky perform.

Even these vehicles are often particularly crowded. You pay directly to the driver, just got on. If you do not have to be able to pay yourself, with a strap you will get the payment to the driver; in the same way, any remainder will be sent to you. Obviously, it is advisable to get the exact figure.

For those traveling with these “bolides”, remember that the stop is on request. Just before getting off, shout to the driver “Na a-sta-nov-ke”, the bus will stop a hundred meters later.


More than a means of moving around Kiev, a fascinating and suggestive way to see the city from another perspective.

The Kiev Funicular connects the Old Town with the commercial district of Podil, with a scenic route on the Dnipro River. Inaugurated in the distant 1905, it offers a really fantastic view. The trip by funicular is really a must.

The funicular runs daily, from 07:00 to 22:00 in winter, and from 06:00 to 23:00 during the summer. To enter, as for the metro, a token is inserted in the entrance barrier. A token, valid for a trip, costs 3.00UAH per person.


The best way to move around Kiev in maximum comfort, without being subject to schedules. Taxis are not particularly expensive. Quite the contrary. To move in the center, in general, the fare is around the 2 or 3€ approximately. They are advisable above all to move in the evening. Before going up, check the rate and negotiate, if possible, on the price. Taxi drivers typically speak English.

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