Getting around Kyiv (Kiev)
Public transportation in Kyiv (Kiev) includes buses, trolleybuses and trams. By far, the best means of transport is the efficient metro system (tel: +380 44 537 5505; www.metro.kiev.ua) open between 0530 and midnight, which has some beautiful Soviet-era stations along its oldest line, the Red line built in 1960. The Blue and Green lines were added to the network 16 and 29 years after the Red line respectively. Most of the newer stations have disabled access.
Tickets for trams, buses and trolleybuses, available from ticket booths or from conductors and drivers, should be validated immediately once on board. Alternatively, you can buy a contactless smartcard. Monthly passes are available for both the metro system and for trolleybuses, trams and buses. You can also buy monthly combo-tickets that include all forms of city transport (kpt.kiev.ua). Privately owned marshrutka minibuses also run along fixed routes around the city. Pay on entry and tell the driver when you want to get off.
For Ukrainians, every car on the road is a potential taxi and flagging down private cars is a local way to get around – state your destination to the driver and they will tell you how much they'll want for the journey. Most drivers will only speak Russian or Ukrainian.
Ordering a taxi by phone helps to get a fair price as those stopped on the street usually overcharge. The following taxi services operate anywhere within the city centre and you can also ask for English-speaking controllers, Euro Taxi (tel: +380 44 249 4040).
Frequent traffic jams and narrow cobblestone streets in the city centre can make driving in Kyiv (Kiev) a challenge for foreign visitors. Parking can be hard to find in the city centre. Many parking spaces are in pay zones and require tickets from parking attendants. Nearly all road signs are in Cyrillic script. A zero tolerance drink driving law is strictly enforced, as is the wearing of seat belts. These driving violations are punishable by fines.
The minimum age for car hire is 21. This may vary depending on the car hire company you choose. An International Driving Permit is required and you must have possessed a driving licence for a minimum of one year.
Cycling in Kyiv (Kiev) can be hazardous due to potholes, congested streets and inconsiderate drivers. Nevertheless, there are good off-road trails on Trukhaniv Island, a small island in the Dnieper River, accessible from the Park Pedestrian Bridge at Naberezhno-Kreschatytskaya street, next to the Podil area of the city. Other rewarding cycling areas include trails on Hydropark Island and the parks along the west bank of the Dnieper River.
You can hire bikes at Obolon at the Yabayker bike shop at Heroes of Stalingrad Avenue 8 (tel: +380 44 229 0270; www.veloprokat.kiev.ua).