In most European cities, a road from the airport to the center of the city can be quite taxing: navigating through multiple terminals, finding the perfect route, deciphering the ticket sale machine...Luckily, when it comes to Ukraine's capital, things are way easier. Boryspil airport located near Kiev offers various types of transport to get to the city with comfort.
Arriving at the Airport
Boryspil International Airport (KBP) is located about 30 kilometers away from Kiev. While being one of the biggest airports in the country, it is still quite small in contrast with most major transportation points like Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. International flights arrive at Terminal D, which has been recently renovated.
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The two-story terminal is quite easy to navigate – there are multiple signs in English, as well as arrows on the floor. But even without looking at navigation, you will easily find your way out. After taking the luggage, the crowd from arrivals passes through sliding doors on the first floor of the terminal. The exit from the airport is located right in front of you. In case you need some time to recharge, for instance, buy coffee or check your further route, there are multiple cafes located on the first and second floors. The airport has free Wi-Fi access.
By far the most popular way to get to Kiev from Boryspil airport is Sky Bus – a shuttle bus that departs several times an hour. The bus takes two stops: the first is the closest to Boryspil metro station, Kharkivska. It is located on the outskirts of the city. The second stop is the main railway station Pivdenny, which lies right in the center of Kiev. The Railway lies near the Vokzalna metro station, so either way, you can hop on the metro to further navigate the city.
Sky Bus usually follows the following schedule: leaves every 15 minutes from 6 A.M. to 10 P.M. and every 45 minutes from 10 P.M. to 6 A.M. The ticket costs UAH 80 and can be purchased from the driver.
The second easy way to get from the airport to Kiev is taking a taxi. Usually, several men are offering their services as soon as you step out from the terminal. While it is an option, their tariffs might be way higher than the usual rate. It is always safer to use apps – luckily, Uber works in Ukraine just well. The route from the airport to Kiev downtown is not unusual, so in 10 or 15 minutes top you will find a ride.
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Another taxi app that might help is called Uklon, which is essentially a Ukrainian version of Uber. It is the second most popular taxi service in the country, so in case there is any trouble with Uber, Uklon might come in handy. The ride from the airport to the city usually costs from UAH 250 to 400, depending on the destination, as well as taxi service. You can pay cash or with the credit card via applications. The drivers usually speak limited English, so buying a phrasebook might be a good idea.
One of the most discussed additions to Boryspil airport is a highspeed railway track. The construction works are promised to begin no later than June 2018 and be finished by the end of the year. The new railway will enable passengers to get from Boryspol airport to the train station in Kiev in 35 minutes. At the moment, the ticket price is estimated to be UAH 80—120.
Kiev is divided into 10 districts on the left and right banks of the city. Pechersky, Shevchenkovsky and Podil districts cover the downtown and are full of hotels and hostels with decent prices. Besides, these districts are exactly what lures in tourists when it comes to Ukrainian capital — wonderful sightseeing and plenty of cheap but delicious fine dining spots.
Read: Kiev Downtown Map: Best Sightseeing
Here you will find historical landmarks like the Golden Gates, popular photo locations like the giant statue of Motherland or religious locations that have seen the history of the city since its dawn: Kiev Pechersk Lavra, St Volodymyr’s Cathedral, St. Sophia’s Cathedral, and St. Andrew’s Church. The latter is located on the Kiev Montmartre — Andriyvsky Descent, full of artists selling their works and vendors with unique handmade souvenirs. The descent leads to the historical district of the city, Podil, and to the embankment of the Dnipro River which divides Kiev into two banks.
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As for navigating the city, locals usually choose Uber or public transport in Kiev: metro, trolleybuses, trams, and private buses called marshrutkas, easily recognized by their bright yellow color. Metro by far is the most popular, as it covers the center of the city and almost all far-away spots with sightseeing and key travel points like the bus station from where you can get to Boryspil (KBP) airport. At the moment a single ride in metro costs UAH 5 but since July 2018 the price will rise to UAH 8. Trolleybuses are the runner-up, covering the districts otherwise unreachable by metro. A single ride in a trolley costs UAH 4 but will double since July 2018 as well. Trams are mostly used to navigate Podil, the historical district of Kiev, and to get to Pushcha-Vodytsia, a popular neighborhood with an abundance of nature and various picnic spots. Finally, those who live in the farthest city districts or in the suburbs often use marshrutkas. The ticket price is determined by private companies and ranges from UAH 8 to UAH 12.
If you aren’t sure about the routes in the city, you can ask the young-looking passers-by — usually, they have a good command of English and will do everything they can to help you.
Have a great stay!
Photo source: shutterstock.com, vesti-ukr.com. All images belong to their rightful authors.