The Kiev Metro system is the city’s main mode of public transport. Three lines meet in the centre and connect over 50 stations.
Most stations are underground, though a few are at ground level.
Click here for a map of the Kiev Metro. The map is in English and is interactive. You can click on any station name and see exactly where it is located, what’s nearby, and even view the Metro station on Google Street View.
There are currently three Metro lines – Red, Blue and Green. Follow the links to see the stations on each line. The table on each page summarises what is near each station (hotels, tourist attractions etc.). These summaries are good tools for journey planning.
The Metro is reliable and extremely cheap. A ride between any two stations costs a measly 2 UAH, including any transfers between lines. Compare this with say the London Underground (the Tube) where a single journey from Zone 1 to 6 currently costs £5.70 if paid cash (July 2014), which equates to approximately 114 UAH (July 2014 exchange rates).
In other words a long journey on the London Underground costs over 50 times more than a long journey on the Kiev Metro. They were even cheaper a few years ago. In 2008 the fare was just 50 kopeck (0.5 UAH).
Tickets, actually small plastic tokens, can be purchased from the ticket offices found in station lobbies. Look for the window with a sign saying Каси (kasy – ticket office). They’ll usually be a grumpy old lady sat behind it. She won’t speak any English so just hand her some cash and indicate with your fingers how many tokens you want.
If the queue at the ticket office is too big you can purchase tokens from the orange machines, also located in station lobbies. These accept 2 UAH and 10 UAH notes and dish out tokens in return.
The tokens are for single journeys. There are no return tokens or tickets as such. To complete a return trip you’ll need to buy two tokens.
If you want to avoid buying tokens each time you make a journey on the Metro you can purchase a contactless card. These can be topped up at ticket machines. The cards cost 7 UAH (refundable on return of the card if you can be bothered). Unused rides are not refundable.
Visitors staying in Kiev for extended periods can buy a monthly, unlimited-use Metro pass. They cost 95 UAH and can be purchased from the 22nd of the previous month. Passes purchased after the 15th (expiring at the end of the month) cost 48 UAH.
Combination passes for allowing unlimited use of other modes of public transport (trolleybuses, trams, and buses) are also available.
In practice you’d have to be a pretty heavy user of public transport for a pass to make economic sense.
Stations open around 5.45 am (some a few minutes earlier, some later) and close at midnight or just after. Trains are fairly frequent so no timetable is necessary. They usually come every 2 minutes during rush hour, at 10 minute intervals late at night, and around every 5 minutes at other times.
Finding the Metro station is your first task. Entrances are marked with a green ‘М’ (for метро). The entrance could be in a building (the case for most of the large city centre stations such as Universytet, Teatralna, Khreschatyk, Arsenalna etc.) or an underground walkway.
To reach station lobby you’ll need to pass through some glass doors. Be sure you pick the right one. The entrance is marked ВХІД. HЕМАЄ ВХОДУ means ‘No entrance’ and indicates the exit doors. We emphasise this because these swinging doors are extremely heavy and getting smashed in the face with one is an unpleasant experience.
In the station lobby you’ll see the ticket office (Каси), ticket machines, and turnstiles leading to the platforms. On the wall there will also be a map of the Metro system.
To reach the platforms just put your token in the slot in the turnstile, wait for the light to turn green, and then push the barrier.
You’ll have to take an escalator (unless it’s a ground level station) down to the platforms. The escalator ride can be a journey in itself (nearly 5 minutes at Arsenalna). Stand on the right hand side of the escalator and hold the rail (the left hand side is for passengers in a hurry that want to walk or run).
The escalator will bring you down to the platforms. There will be one to your right and one on your left. Pay careful attention to the signs above as you reach the end of the escalator. They indicate the stations that can be reached by taking the left or right platform.
Take the appropriate turn and wait on the platform for the next train. There are electronic clocks at the end of each platform. These show the time that has elapsed since the last train departed.
Once on the train keep an eye on the electronic monitors attached to the carriage ceiling. They show the name of the next station (plus annoying advertisements). Until recently the information was only in Ukrainian but now, thanks to Euro 2012, station names are also displayed in English.
On reaching your destination, just follow the crowds to the exit. If nobody is about look for the sign that says ВИХІД У МІСТО (exit to the city). Take the escalator and you’ll find yourself in the station lobby.
The three lines are connected by underground walkways in three places, allowing passengers to change lines without exiting the Metro system and paying again.
To reach the connecting station, look for the sign that says ‘ПЕРЕХІД НА СТАНЦІЮ’ (switch to station).
|Red - Green||Teatralna – Zoloti Vorota|
|Red – Blue||Khreshchatyk – Maidan Nezalezhnosti|
|Blue – Green||Ploshcha Lva Tolstoho – Palats Sportu|
Other Information – Rules and Regulations
Many travel guides, websites, and government agencies state that pickpocketing is a major problem on the Kiev Metro. We’ve been riding it for over 10 years and have never been pickpocketed. Having said that it makes sense to keep alert and be wary of people in close proximity.
There’s a fairly strong official presence on the Metro; both transport officials and police. Both will usually leave you alone provided you stick to the rules.
Rules to bear in mind include:
- You can take bags on the Metro but the sum of the length, width, and height should be less than 200 cm
- No smoking is permitted in the stations or on the trains
- No bikes are allowed
- No lengthy articles are permitted (longer than 2.2 M)
- Photography is permitted but filming isn’t, although some police and transport officials still hassle you if you are taking photos with a professional looking DSLR
- Don’t sit on the escalators
- No ice cream is allowed