Ukraine transportation includes a well-connected system of buses, trams, trains, planes, and highways. When traveling between cities, riding on the Ukraine trains is often the ideal form of transportation, as it allows traveler to enjoy the views of the beautiful countryside without having to navigate along unfamiliar roads. Within the larger cities, the mini buses, called marshrutka, are the preferred mode of passage, as they offer convenience of chosen stops and pick-up points. Although its tourism industry is still growing, Ukraine is a thoroughly linked country, which makes it a relatively easy place to get around, even for travelers who are new to Eastern Europe.
Traveling by Ukraine trains between cities is a comfortable and inexpensive way to journey across the country; however, because this is so popular, tickets almost always have to be purchased in advance, depending on the popularity of your destination. There are several ways to travel on Ukraine trains, including public car, open compartment, and private compartment; many travelers prefer compartments as they are safer than traveling by open car; in private compartments, you can lock the doors. When buying tickets at the train station, travelers can generally choose from three lines, varying by the number of days in advance the ticket is being purchased.
Another inexpensive way to travel in and between cities is by bus in Ukraine; Kiev is the major hub for intercity travel, with several lines running to and from other major cities in the country, such as Odessa, Chernivtsi, and Donetsk. Avtolux and Gunsel are the two major connecting bus companies in Ukraine, running routes throughout the country. When booking travel on a coach bus in Ukraine, guests can look forward to movies, cold refreshments, tea, and periodic rest stops along the journey.
Highways, roads, and traveling by car is a more complicated way to get around, particularly if you don’t know Ukrainian or Russian—road signs are almost always in Cyrillic. Most of the major highways are kept in good shape, but once you get to the countryside, road conditions can be questionable and will likely be rougher overall. Be sure to keep yourself informed on the rules of the road and be prepared to provide documentation for yourself and your vehicle, should you be pulled over by a policeman. Other travelers on the road can include horse carts, bicyclists, and even pedestrians, so remain alert and aware at all times. That said, traveling by rental car in Ukraine is a terrific way to plan your own itinerary and to add a bit of spontaneity in your trip if you’re up for an adventure.
Within cities, there is an assortment of ways to get around, including trams, traditional buses, metro, trolley, and the mini bus, which is the most popular and convenient of all. The mini bus is known locally as the marshrutka, and these busses can be flagged down almost anywhere along the regular routes, and passengers can alert the driver of their desired stop, all for one flat fee regardless of distance. This is easily the most convenient Ukraine transportation option if you’re wandering around Kiev or Odessa, as well as other cities.
From the train to the highway to the bus in Ukraine, there are plenty of transportation options for travelers. It’s best to plan ahead what form of transportation you’re going to take if you’re unfamiliar with traveling in Ukraine, as you may need to book ahead or get questions answered about your trip. Once your planning is done and your ticket is in hand, you can relax and enjoy the views of the beautiful countryside as you travel around Ukraine.