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» Information » Transportation » International Train Travel from Ukraine

International Train Connections with Ukraine

Last update: Aug. 6, 2010 (minor edits)

Get out your map... let's take a look at all the international destinations you can travel to from Ukraine (Kiev train station) by train. This list may be incomplete:
Anapa, Russia
Baku, Azerbaijan
Belgrade, Serbia
Berlin, Germany
Bratislava, Slovakia
Brest, Belarus
Bucharest, Rumania
Budapest, Hungary
Chisinsau, Moldova
Kaliningrad, Russia
Karaganda, Kazakhstan
Krakow, Poland
Minsk, Belarus
Moscow, Russia
Murmansk, Russia
Prague, Czech Republic
Rostov na Donu, Russia
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Sofia, Bulgaria
Vienna, Austria
Vladivostok, Russia
Voronezh, Russia
Warsaw, Poland
Wroclaw, Poland
Zagreb, Croatia

In addition to these direct connections, train transfers allow you to reach practically any city in Europe by train from Ukraine. However, beyond a certain distance it would probably make more sense to fly. Search for train connections throughout Europe at Die Bahn.
Speed of train travel from Ukraine
Here are the approximate minimum lengths of connections from Kiev to different European capitals:
Belgrade — 32 hours
Berlin — 24 hours
Bucharest — 27.5 hours
Budapest — 20 hours
Chisinau — 13.5 hours
Krakow — 16 hours
Lisbon — 69 hours
London — 37.5 hours
Madrid — 55 hours
Minsk* — 14 hours
Moscow* — 9.5 hours
Paris — 34 hours
Prague — 29 hours
Sofia — 44 hours
St. Petersburg* — 20 hours
Vilnius* — 17.5 hours
Warsaw — 22.5 hours
Zurich — 32.5 hours

*NOTE: citizens of western countries need a visa to travel to Belarus or Russia (even for transit to another country, e.g. Lithuania).

Cost of tickets

Train travel to countries of the former Soviet Union (Russia, Belarus, the Baltic countries, and Moldova) are inexpensive by European standards (tickets can be bought for under $50 USD). All connections with western and central European countries are significantly more expensive because of the difference in railway gauge that requires lengthy adjustments at the border.

Buying international train tickets in Ukraine

International train tickets can only be bought at certain ticket counters. In Kiev this ticket counter is in a side room to the left of the main hall of the Central Railway Ticket Office on 38 Shevchenka Boulevard. This building is a 10-15 minutes' walk from the train station. The hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on weekdays and, I believe, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekends.
To buy international train tickets, you will need a passport for each passenger. The booking process is lengthier than for domestic tickets and can take a while. Tickets can be returned at the same ticket desk.
I need to check this, but I believe it is possible to buy international train tickets through certain travel agencies in Ukraine.

Buying train tickets to Ukraine abroad

Train tickets to Ukraine can be obtained at train stations abroad. However, the price may differ from what you would pay for the same ticket in Ukraine (i.e. cost more).