Getting around Kiev by foot can give you a good vibe for the exceptional character of the city. But when your feet start to ache, a reliable and easy-to-use option is to take public transportation. Read on to know more about transportation in Kiev.
This type of transportation is a fast subway system. You will navigate the Metro easily once you realize that the three lines (green, red, and blue) go through the city center. All in all, there are 47 metro stations in the city as of May 2009. Trains run every 30 seconds to 2minutes and 30 seconds during business hours, but they are often crowded.
The Kiev metro holds the distinction as having some of the world’s deepest metro stations. The Arsenal’na station is the world’s deepest, at 107 meters deep. The University station, on the other hand, has an 87-meter long escalator – one of the longest in the world.
There are two kinds of a taxi in the city: the ‘gypsy’ cabs and official company taxis. Gypsy taxis refer to unmarked vehicles while official company cabs are marked. The latter can be hailed or booked over the phone. To hail, stand with your arm out and palm down. As a general rule, rides within the city center should cost no more than 15 UAH. When you travel across the city, the fare might be anywhere from 30 UAH to 50 UAH. The cost depends on day time, car model, traffic conditions, and weather conditions.
If you want a panoramic way to get down to Podil from the upper city, then catch the funicular from Mykhailvs’ka Ploscha to Poshtova Ploscha. This mode of transportation guarantees amazing views, including the Dnipro and left bank.
Streetcars run in several areas, such as Podil and around the circus off Taras Ševčenko boulevard.
Kiev may make the heads of visitors spin since all street signage is in the Cyrillic language. Very few people in this large city speak English, and you will be having difficulty encountering an English speaker. But for the non-Ukrainian or non-Russian speaker, it is possible to get around the city easily.
Tourists from some countries need a valid Ukrainian visa before entering Kiev, whether by plane, boat, and ferry, or bus and car. A Ukrainian entry visa is a certificate that is placed on your travel document or passport to show that you are permitted to visit the country.
Citizens of the following countries can now visit Ukraine without a visa: the United States, European Union nations, Canada, Switzerland, Japan, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Vatican, Norway, Monaco, Mongolia, Lithuania, San Marino, and the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (excluding Turkmenistan).
Citizens of these nations can stay in Ukraine for periods of up to 90 days over a 180 day period with a valid passport. Until lately there was no 180-day stipulation; this meant that foreign tourists and businesspeople could simply cross the country border every three months and without getting a visa. If you intend to stay longer in Ukraine (more than three months), then you will be required a visa.
You are required to obtain a Ukrainian visa in case of the following: First, you are a citizen of a country not included in the list of countries at the top of the page. Second, you are a citizen from one of the listed countries but plan to stay in Ukraine for more than three months, regardless of your travel purpose. Third, you intend to work in the country (i.e. register a business, register as a private entrepreneur, or get a work visa), irrespective of the length of your stay.
Kiev is generally a friendly city. But like other large cities, pickpockets, muggings, and unprovoked attacks occur in the city. Petty thieves are particularly aware of city visitors. They are experts at taking advantage of the visitors’ naiveté in terms of caring for their belongings. Thieves attack especially in tourist areas as well as crowded places like buses and metro cars. Before you go to the city, you need to know some basic Kiev safety and emergency procedures.
While you should not walk the streets of the city in fear, it is very important that you are aware of the people and things that happen around you. Be smart about how and where you carry your wallets and bags. For instance, a wallet in your back pocket attracts someone to just snatch it. A much safer option is the front pocket if you need to keep your money in your pockets.
Take care of your belongings
Keep all important items like credit cards, large sums of money, and your passport in some kind of pouch underneath your shirt. Be cautious when wearing a backpack because it is extremely vulnerable. So it is a very good idea to lock any pouch that contains valuables. Or at least bury valuables in a hard-to-find interior pocket.
If possible, if you have a sling bag or a shoulder bag, wear them strapped diagonally over one shoulder, and have the bag in front of you rather than on your back.
Use your common sense
Here is the rule of thumb when it comes to taking care of your things: Use your common sense and always be on guard. Petty thieves in the city are experts even at stealing from the most aware visitors. So be particularly careful in tourist areas.