Ukraine is a huge country comparing to its European neighbors. If your trip lasts at least for a few days, definitely, lions share of your time will be absorbed by moving around in local cozy transportation system.
In big cities local transport system includes metro (subway), trams, trolleybuses, buses, marshutkas and taxi.
Read about getting around large Ukrainian cities. (Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkiv and Donetsk) You can of course get around by your private car, motorcycle or bicycle. Let’s see each of Ukraine travel options above one by one 🙂
It’s a pity but air transport infrastructure is very underdeveloped in Ukraine. Kyiv, the capital, has frequent direct connections to every big city in Ukraine but there is no way how to get from West to East on a direct flight. In other words if you want to fly from Lviv to Kharkiv or from Odessa to Donetsk you have to change in Kyiv which is a real shame. In such case your ticket price goes well beyond 100 Euro and possible 1 hour flight turns into full day journey.
The only exceptions are summer charters from regions to Simferopol in Crimea which also cost not less then 100 EUR one way. Flights in Ukraine are very overprised caused by lack of competition and thus most people take 1000 km long 20 hours train journeys.
However WizzAir low cost airline alredy provides cheap direct flights from Kyiv to Simferopol and back making it pioneer among budget airlines number of which hopefully will grow in the nearest time. On crazy Fridays from Aerosvit you can also get a nice deal once travelling within Ukraine. Read more about air connection in Ukraine airlines page.
Ukraine travel by train is not simply a way of getting around the country, it’s a real culture. If you miss it your trip to Ukraine will be incomplete… Extensive train network provides connection to almost every town in the country.
Caused by long distances most trains are equiped with sleeping carriages and bars on wheels. In most cases big cities are situated one night train ride from each other which is also great option for travelers as no accommodation is required and you’re saving on hotel, time and transport at once. Low prise and relatively good comfort makes train my favourite transport for Ukraine travel.
Read Ukraine train travel page where I share tips on travelling by our trains.
Best tip here is to avoid long bus rides and use it only as short hops from the nearest train station to your destination. Although buses are useful when getting to really remote areas. You can also check shcedule and buy bus tickets on-line.
Find out more on how to deal with all that in Ukraine bus page.
This term is used in most post-Soviet states indicating small fully packed bus with crasy driver smoking a cigarette, giving you a change and waching the road in the same time. Russian shanson music and somebody lifting the arm just next to your face is guaranteed 😛
This is marSHITka in all of its’ beauty. Marshutka is the main transport in big cities where metro doesn’t operate. These small buses will get you everywhere a paved road exists. The only important is that you know where it goes. They also operate on short distances outside cities. Usually there is no diferrence between bus and marshutka but size.
Find out more on how to deal with marshutkas and buses in Ukraine bus page.
Taxi is taxi everywhere. You can catch taxi on the street negotiating the price for getting somewhere and there is no guarantee how much you will pay finally… Or you can see taxi in Ukraine page where I give you reliable cheap taxi options in every big Ukrainian city.
You simply call them and order where you need to go. Taxi with meter provides good service for fixed prices.
by car or motorcycle Driving is a great way to explore the country but it is very sensitive topic. If only poor road condition and lack of English signs would be the negative side of it. Here apears one more black hero of this epic – Road Policeman.
Ukrainian Road Police is probably the most corrupted state authority. Usually your problems are limited to small bribes requests once they stop you. It’s not a rule but pretty common and in order to stay away from this hassle, read Driving in Ukraine page…
There is no hitchhiking culture in Ukraine as it is in Germany, for example, but still a lot of people catch cars once travelling from one town to another along the way. Keep in mind that sometimes drivers expect for a smalll payment for their help but that is just a matter of case. Read more in hitchhiking in Ukraine page…
Have a nice Ukraine travel 🙂