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Roads in Ukraine, bus travel, car rent, taxis
Can a group of travelers hire a minivan to travel within and between cities in Ukraine?
Yes, this is possible. Certainly, it is good if you have a local contact person in Ukraine, who will make the reservation in advance, and make sure that the minivan is in good condition. The average price of hiring a minivan is $13-15 per hour. As the gas prices are growing, this price may change within the nearest months.
Is it possible to hire a taxi with an English-speaking driver, who can be my guide during the trip about a new city? What could be the per-day or per-hour cost of this service?
There are very few services of this kind in Ukraine. Normally, car drivers do not speak English, and do not work as guides. In some cities, though, it is possible to find English-speaking individuals, who can be guides to foreign guests, and who have their own cars. The price for using such guide will consist of the guide's work/time, plus the price of the gas used during the day of driving.
Are buses faster than trains?
For most long distance routes, it takes approximately the same time to travel between cities by bus or by train. Ukrainians take both - buses and trains, when they travel to shorter distances. But when there is more than 200km between cities, most of Ukrainians prefer to travel by trains.
Are there car-rentals in each city?
Car rentals are beginning to appear in larger cities of Ukraine. To find out details, please, contact our workers, who will find the necessary information about particular cities for you.
What about driving/road conditions and safety (corruption or burglars) within Ukraine? Is it safe to travel everywhere or is it necessary to take special precautions?
The main highways are usually OK, but the so-called side roads may be in poor condition. In general, the "level" of safety is the same as everywhere else in Europe. The risk of corruption or burglars is not higher than anywhere else in European countries. Drivers prefer to avoid having any contacts with road police, though, because of beurocracy, knowing that being stopped by road police may turn into a boring, time-consuming process.
Local drivers have their "code" of communication with road piolice. As you are a foreigner, the best way to avoid having to go through any boring proceedings on the road is to travel together with a local guide, who can communicate with the road police in local language, and with the locally accepted manner.
What are the speed limits on the roads?
Within cities/towns, it is usually 60km/p/h, on the highways it is 110km/p/hour, if there are no other limiting signs. Very often, local drivers ride faster than the speed limit. But with the poor condition of roads, this may be dangerous.
Can a traveler get from Borispol Airport to Kiev city by bus?
Probably you already know that Borispol Airport is situated 40 km away from the Kiev city center. You can get to the city by bus (or minivan) or by taxi.
The ride by bus will cost you about $4-5. They may request additional $2 for each large piece of luggage that should be put into the luggage department on the bus. The buses stop right outside the main international terminal of the Boryspil airport. The interval between buses is appr. 20 minutes or less. The bus goes through Kiev city center to the main railroad station ot to the main bus station. It will take you approximately 30-35 minutes to get to central Kiev by bus.
Private taxi drivers at the airport area can speak some English and can ask for a price twice or even trice higher than it actually costs. If you are traveling by yourself, we advise you to be very careful choosing the taxi. If your local assistant (interpreter) or friend is with you, let them negotiate with taxi drivers or to make a call to a city taxi service. The cost will be about $20.
The best option is to have your personal guide, which will be safer, cheaper and more convenient.
How can I travel from Borispol airport (Kiev) to other cities of Ukraine?
The easiest way to travel to other (larger) cities would be by a comfortable Autolux, Gunsel or other bus, which leave right from the airport terminal, and go to all directions – Odessa, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Zaporizhya, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lugansk, Lviv, Poltava, Uzhgorod and others.
This way of transport is popular among tourists, who travel with big luggage, and prefer not to lose time traveling across Kiev, and catching trains to other cities. The cost of bus tickets is lower than the 2-nd class train tickets. Extra $2 must be paid for each large piece of luggage. The bus travel takes the same time (or even faster) than trains.
Is it a problem to purchase tickets in summer season?
Purchasing tickets may become a problem because of extremely high demand for them during the summer season of around holiday times. Advanced ticket sales start 15 days before the departure date. Bus tickets are available at the advance ticket sales offices in Kiev and other larger cities. One of the services of DU Company: purchase tickets for you on the territory of Ukraine before your arrival here. We can reserve and purchase your tickets beforehand, and then meet you in Borispol airport on the arrival day (or in any other previously agreed place) to give you the tickets.
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