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Local transport

Local Transport

Ukrainian cities are navigable by trolleybus, tram, bus and (in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk) metro. Urban public-transport systems are usually overworked and overcrowded. There's no room for being shy or squeamish – learn to assert yourself quickly.

  • A ticket (kvytok or bilyet) for one ride by bus/tram/trolleybus costs 2uah to 5uah.
  • There are no return, transfer, timed or day tickets available anywhere.
  • It's always simplest to pay the driver or conductor.
  • Tickets have to be punched on board (or ripped by the conductor).
  • Unclipped or untorn tickets warrant an on-the-spot fine should you be caught.
  • For the metros you need a plastic token (zheton), sold at the counters inside the stations. Top-up cards are now also available in Kyiv.
  • Metros run from around 5.30am to midnight.


Travelling by taxi anywhere in the ex-USSR can be a decidedly unenjoyable experience for foreigners, so if there's a bus or tram going to your destination, take it. Uber is now making inroads in Ukraine, starting with Kyiv. This will hopefully make life easier.

  • There are virtually no regular taxis or gypsy cabs that you can hitch in the street these days; everyone orders by phone.
  • To order by phone, you need to speak some Ukrainian-Russian and know exact pickup and destination addresses. Asking to drop you 'somewhere near Maidan' won't work. You also need a Ukrainian SIM card on your phone, so they can call you back. You'll typically receive a text message with arrival time and car number once you have placed your order.
  • If possible, have your hostel or hotel call a cab for you – they generally use trustworthy companies with set fares.
  • Avoid taxis that tout for business outside airports and stations as these operators are very likely to rip you off.
  • Never travel in a cab that already has passengers in it.