How to Get from the Kiev Airport to the City Center
Getting from the Kiev Airport to your hotel or apartment can be an intimidating experience. When you land at Kiev Borispol, you’ll be bombarded by taxi drivers hounding you, a language (and alphabet!) you’ve likely experienced very little of, and more chaos.
For simplicity’s sake, this post is about the Kiev Borispol Airport (KBP). KBP is the main Kiev airport. There is another airport, but it’s quite small and will be covered in a separate post.
But, getting from the Kiev airport to the city center doesn’t have to be a traumatic or stressful experience.
Let’s get started!
STEP 1: HAVE YOUR ADDRESS READY
It’s absolutely vital that you have the address to your apartment or hotel ready to go when you land at the Kiev airport. The Kiev airport has wifi in some areas, but it’s no guarantee.
If it’s your first time visiting Ukraine, you probably won’t have a SIM card yet, either–therefore, no data on your phone. Meaning you can’t pull up the address.
So make sure you have it printed out or saved as a screenshot on your phone!
STEP 2: LOOK AT YOUR OPTIONS FROM THE KIEV AIRPORT
Frankly, the Kiev airport is really far from the city center.
Really, you only have two options.
Option 1: Taxi
Option 2: Public transit + walking
THE TAXI OPTION
You’ll want to take the official airport (Sky) taxi, do not take a taxi otherwise. You’ll get screwed on the taxi fare itself, and who knows what you could potentially get in to.
There is an official taxi stand right outside the arrivals gate. All you do is go up to them (they speak English)and show them your address. They’ll punch it in and give you an estimate, along with a receipt. Take this to the curb and you’ll be directed into one of the official airport taxis (usually they are Hyundais, white with yellow trim).
Here is what they look like:
The taxis are metered so it may be off slightly from what you were quoted (we’re not talking more than a dollar or two).
You should expect to pay roughly 400 UAH ($16 USD) to get to the city center from the airport, if using an official taxi.
Of course, if you know Russian (or perhaps you have a cool girl who is a local), they can call you a taxi and it will be much cheaper. I’ve paid as little as 170 UAH ($7 USD) to go farther than the center from the airport.
But if you don’t, take the Sky Taxi and be glad you did.
THE PUBLIC TRANSIT + WALKING OPTION
You can take the Sky Bus from the airport to either the main train or to the Kharviska Metro station. It costs somewhere between 35-50 UAH.
The main train station connects to the red line (Vokzalna) and Kharviska connects to the green line.
Here’s what they look like on the map. Borispol is on the far right.
As you can see, if you take the green line you’ll still have to transfer if your hotel or apartment is anywhere near the red or blue lines.
And frankly, the train station is really not that close to the center.
Add in the fact that the metro lines don’t have elevators for luggage (just escalators), and you’re left with a situation that could potentially be a lot of work.
Oh, and don’t forget that you’ll have to walk from the metro to wherever your hotel or apartment is…
Frankly, a taxi is by far the easiest way to do it. Especially for first-timers to Kiev.
You know the price you’re going to pay, there’s no hassle involved, and it’s far faster than the public transit + walking option.
Have you been to the Kiev airport? How do you usually get to the city center?