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Travel to Kyiv (Kiev)

Flying to Kyiv (Kiev)

Airlines offering direct flights to Kyiv (Kiev) from the UK include British Airways, Ryan Air and Ukraine International. From the USA, there are direct flights with Ukraine International. Kyiv (Kiev) is a year-round destination, but flights tend to become more fully booked in the summer months; book ahead for cheaper deals.

Flight times

From London - 3 hours 20 minutes; New York - 8 hours 50 minutes; Los Angeles - 15 hours 5 minutes (including stopover); Toronto - 11 hours 45 minutes (including stopover); Sydney - 24 hours (including stopover).

Travel by road

Traffic drives on the right. The minimum driving age is 18. Speed limits in and around Kyiv (Kiev) are 60kph (37mph) in built-up areas, 90kph (55mph) outside built-up areas and 130kph (80mph) on motorways. Kyiv's main roads are in reasonable condition, but away from these, quality deteriorates.

An International Driving Permit is required to drive in Ukraine. If you hire a car in the country, your rental provider should be able to give you full details of what to do if you break down.

Emergency breakdown services

Ukrainian Transport Police (tel: 102).

Routes

From the west, the E40 motorway from Lviv takes you directly to Kyiv (Kiev) and continues east of Kyiv (Kiev) in the direction of Kharkiv. The E95 from Chernihiv to the north of Kiev continues south on to Odessa.

Coaches

The Central Bus Station at 3 Moskovskaya Square, close to Lybydksa metro, is the terminus for most local and some domestic and international routes. Most buses serving long-distance destinations originate at the Central Bus Station even if they stop at another terminal on the way out of the city.

Buses to western destinations run from Dachnya terminal at Peremohy 142, while eastern destinations are served by Darnytsya terminal close to the metro station of the same name. Northern destinations are served by Polissiya terminal at Shevchenka Square and southern destinations use either Podil terminal at Nyzhny 15 or Pivdenna terminal at Glushkova 3.

Some buses also run via Boryspil airport to major cities like Kharkhiv and Odessa. Two private bus companies operate domestic services in Ukraine: Autolux Transport Company (tel: +38 044 594 95 00; autolux.ua/ua) and Gunsel (tel: +380 44 525 4505; www.gunsel.com.ua).

Ecolines (tel: +38 044 594 9010; www.ecolines.net), a Latvian company, offers services between Kyiv (Kiev) and destinations all over. Kij Grand (www.kijgrand.de) offers regular connections to Germany and the Czech Republic.

Time to city

From Lviv - 6 hours 30 minutes; Yalta - 11 hours 45 minutes; Kharkiv - 6 hours 15 minutes; Odessa - 5 hours 30 minutes.

Travel by Rail

Services

Kyiv (Kiev) has an excellent rail network starting at the Central Railway Station that connects with the rest of Ukraine and beyond. Fast 'firmeny' trains are the most rapid, modern and comfortable trains. Tickets are cheap by western European standards and trains generally run on time. For overnight journeys, the most comfortable sleeping accommodation is found in the 1st class ‘SV’ two-berth compartments, followed by 2nd class ‘Kupe’ four-berth compartments. ‘Platskart’ are 3rd class open-plan dormitory cars. If travelling by overnight train, it is best not to leave the compartment unattended as there is no possibility for you to lock away any valuables.

The Central Railway Station is next to the Vokzalna metro station, which has connections with the rest of the city.

Operators

The rail network in Kyiv (Kiev) is run by the national rail company Ukrzaliznytsia (tel: +380 44 503 7005; www.uz.gov.ua).

Every large Ukrainian town has a railway station and there are multiple daily ‘domestic' connections to Moscow and one connection a day to St Petersburg. The most popular daily international routes are Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Budapest and Vienna, most of which take at least a full 24 hours. Trains to Central Asia and Caucasus run to less reliable timetables.

Journey times

From Moscow - 13 hours 15 minutes; St Petersburg - 21 hours 35 minutes; Lviv - 7 hours.