Saturday, October 16, 2021

How To Travel To Ukraine

EuropeUkraineHow To Travel To Ukraine

By plane

Boryspil International Airport in Kyiv is the cheapest method to fly into Ukraine. Budapest, Frankfurt, Milan, Munich, Prague, London, Rome, Vienna, and Warsaw are the main international hubs for these flights, with several flights per day of Austrian AUA, CSA Czech Airlines, LOT, Lufthansa, Alitalia, Air France, British Airways, and KLM; as well as Ukraine International, which code-shares on these routes with the respective carriers, and another Ukrainian carrier, AeroSvit. Flight specials come and go, depending on the carrier’s whim.

Low-cost carrier Wizzair began operations in other countries as well as inside Ukraine. AirBaltic is the only other low-cost airline servicing Ukraine, with flights connecting in Riga, Latvia, or Vilnius, Lithuania. AeroSvit may potentially be classified as a low-cost airline. Aerosvit began flying between Kyiv Boryspil and London Gatwick in 2011. Be aware that if you have a lot of luggage, Wizzair provides 30kg allowances as opposed to the other airlines’ 20kg limits.

Direct flights to places like as Dnipro (Lufthansa), Donetsk (Lufthansa, Austrian), Odessa (LOT, Austrian, CSA Czech Airlines), Kharkiv and Lviv (LOT, Austrian Airlines) are available, although they are more costly.

Ukraine International Airlines is the most popular airline for domestic flights inside Ukraine. It is Ukraine’s unofficial national airline, with flights to all of the country’s main cities. The planes utilized are newer Boeing 737s. Aerosvit also began domestic flights from its base in Kyiv, mostly with newer Boeing 737 and 767 aircraft.

By train

There are daily direct overnight trains to Lviv or Kiev from Berlin, Vienna, Prague, Warsaw, Belgrade, Budapest, Bucharest, and Sofia. When traveling from Western Europe, expect a 2-3 hour delay at the border as the train’s bogies are adjusted to accommodate a different rail gauge. Rather of waiting for a through train, it’s usually faster and less expensive to purchase a ticket to the border and then change trains.

There are excellent international connections from Kiev to Central Europe and Russia. Every night, flights depart from Belgrade (36h), Budapest (24h), Chişinău (15h), Minsk (12h), Prague (35h), Sofia (37h) through Bucharest (26h), and Warsaw (16h). There are several trains from Moscow, the quickest of which being the Metropolitan Express, which takes just 812 hours. Saint Petersburg is also well serviced, with a 23-hour overnight train ride. During the summer, Berlin (22h) has nightly connections, whereas Vienna (34h) has nightly departures M-Th. There is also a weekly link from Venice (45h) to Ljubljana (41h), leaving on Thursdays.

Astana (73h, Thu), Baku (64h, Wed), and Murmansk are some of the most exotic locations with rare departures from Kiev (61h, seasonal). If you want to go on a genuine trip, take train 133E from Kiev to Vladivostok. It’s one of the longest train trips imaginable, lasting eight nights!

Train information is available on the Ukrainian railways’ website in both English and Ukrainian. The website is currently in ‘beta’ mode and has several glitches, especially with online booking.

By bus

From Poland, there are low-cost direct bus connections to Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk. They typically provide a low-cost degree of comfort and cost about UAH 90-100.

By boat

There are boats to Odessa from Istanbul, Georgia, and Varna (Bulgaria).

By car

On the Polish side, the closest major town is Przemyl, which is easily accessible by taking Route #4 (which goes through Przemyl), also known as the E40 in European terminology.

When you arrive, the road is quite narrow (no motorway/autobahn here), with a line of trucks and vans parked to the right and a hard-core parking lot with cafe/bar to the left. Stop behind the goods trucks, slide up the side of them, and then feed into the customs area when the man signals you ahead (for polite Europeans, you’re not skipping the line – commercial traffic is handled differently).

If you’re driving an EU-registered vehicle, go to the EU-passports, passport control area. Then it’s Ukrainian passport control, Ukrainian customs, and you’re done. It used to be a nightmare, with apocalyptic stories of 5-6+ hours at the border, but the Ukrainians have made tremendous strides in efficiency, and the trip now takes about an hour (2012). Don’t expect the border police to be nice or even courteous; instead, anticipate everything from indifferent to highly rude behavior.

Once through, just follow the major road towards Lviv on the E40 – this is the route that will take you all the way through Ukraine to Kyiv (and thence on to the east). Follow this route – the major towns along the way are Lviv, Rivne, and Zhytomyr.

Keep an eye out approximately 15-20 kilometers into Ukraine, near Mostyska, where police have gone wild with traffic calming tactics (speed bumps or “sleeping policemen”). They’re like icebergs across the road, and they’re not well marked. There are approximately four or five of them scattered around the town.

Aside from that, be cautious on the road, which, despite being the major east/west highway and the main road route into the EU, is still in disrepair (surface-wise). You’ll quickly see why Ukraine has such terrible data on driver and pedestrian deaths and injuries.

By foot and bike

From Sighetu Marmaţiei in Romania, you may stroll over the 200-meter-long bridge. After arriving at Solotvino, Ukraine, you may continue your journey by vehicle or rail. Bicycling is also an option in the summer. After crossing the lovely ancient bridge, go upward and turn right at the church. After around 50 meters, there is an ATM on the right! This is significant since train tickets can only be purchased in hryvnya, and there is no exchange point, ATM, or credit card payment option at the railway station! Continue ahead and make a left just before the railroad crossing. There is just one train each day to Lviv (in the late afternoon). It stops in every town and takes approximately 13 hours to get at its destination; the ticket costs about €10.

You cannot cross the border by foot or bicycle at Krocienko (Poland). You must be in a moving car. In August 2011, a cyclist traveling by bicycle from Poland only had to wait about 5 minutes to flag down a vehicle willing (and with room) to transport him, a bicycle, and a complete cycle touring gear. The actual crossing timed out at approximately one hour. There was no fee made by either the driver or the immigration officers.

From Slovakia

Slovakia and Ukraine have two road border crossings (Ubla and Uzhhorod). Ubla is exclusively for walkers and bicycles, whereas Uzhorod is only for vehicles. However, you may hop into someone else’s vehicle simply to cross the border. Chop has one rail border crossing.

There is a daily bus service to Uzhhorod from Koice (excluding Sunday and Monday) and Preov (Slovakia). There are also a few buses that go daily from Michalovce to Uzhorod. Uzhorod is connected by night train to Lviv and Odessa.

You may also take the daily local train fromierna n.Tisou to Chop.