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Kyiv subway map in Ukrainian and in English can be found here
Official web-site of Kyiv Metropolitan (in Ukrainian)
More info on Kyiv subway (in English) can be found here
Kyiv subway system is represented by three lines, with both ground and underground sections, and includes 50 stations (as of Feb 2012).
It’s called “metro” in Ukrainian (ukr. " МЕТРО").
Operating hours: 6:00 to 24:00. Stations are opened some time before 6:00am for entrance (most are open by 5:45) and for some time after midnight for exit only (from 24:03 up to 24:40, depending on the station). Detailed operating hours for each station can be found here (in Ukrainian)
Average interval between the trains is 2min at rush hours, 10 min at late hours, and 5min at the rest of the day. Subway trains time-table for each line and station can be found here (in Ukrainian).
Subway stations in Kyiv are indicated (both on maps and on site) by large letters “ M” (for "Metro").
These are located either on the roofs of the separate buildings that bear the station’s name (in Ukrainian) on the frontispiece, or on the posts above the underground walkway. In the latter case you should go down and look for the “ M” signs underground.
All entrances to the subway are the same: several glass doors in a row, which you have to either pull or push (they move in both directions) in the section that reads “ ВХІД” ("entrance") on each door.
You’ll see, however, that people here enter even through the “ HЕМАЄ ВХОДУ” ("no entrance") section as well as exit through the entrance.
To exit the station, go to the section that reads " ВИХІД" ("exit") on each door.
Head to the window with “ КАСИ” sign above. You’ll most definitely see people queuing in front of those windows. That’s the counter where you buy tokens (zheton - in Ukrainian "жетон") to enter the subway.
One token goes for one ride and costs UAH 2.00 (as of Sep 6, 2010), so for a return journey you have to purchase two tokens for UAH 4.00. Apart from the “ КАСИ” counters, there are also automated machines at some of the stations, accepting UAH 2.0 notes and giving 1 token and accepting UAH 10.0 notes and giving 5 tokens. It is also possible to purchase a "contactless card" which can be loaded with money - enough for up to 50 journeys - at these same machines.
As of Feb 2012, it is also possible to purchase a monthly pass for unlimited rides. These are available to purchase from the 22nd of each month, for the following calendar month. If you purchase this pass after the 15th of the month, it is half-price since it will expire at the end of the calendar month.
To enter the subway, you have to pass through the turnstile (ticket barrier). Drop the token into the slot where the green dot lights. If paying by contactless card, wave your card over the reader - the display will show how many journeys remain on the card. Then turn the stile in front of you, pass by and head to the escalators that run down (located on the left side), or the staircase (there's no escalators on the ground stations).
In rush hours two parallel escalators can be switched on in the same direction. But people often walk down/up by the parallel escalator that doesn’t move (to make it faster). So if you follow the stream, drop a glance down at the staircase to make sure if it moves, otherwise you’ll also have to walk.
At the deepest stations, like Arsenal’na, ukr. Арсенальна, there are two successive escalators leading to the platform.
While on the escalator, stand closer to your right and hold on to the hand-rail. Left side of the escalator is left for people who walk/run. Watch your step on the escalator (ladies wearing heeled shoes should be especially careful) and when getting off it.
The escalator brings you down to the platforms, one to your left the other to your right. While you approach the platform by the escalator, you can see the signboard in front of you that hangs from the ceiling. It lists all the stations that you can reach by turning either left or right. Signs are in Ukrainian only.
If you can’t catch the name of station that you need by reading that board, there are other sign boards on many of the stations, located above the entrance to each platform. They list those stations that you can reach from this platform. Only Ukrainian names here as well.
Unfortunately lots of ads and commercial in the subway make it really hard to identify needful signs even if you know the language, let alone if you don’t.
Once you’re on the platform, you can again find this line’s stations listed in the center of the wall behind the railways; this list also shows the stations to be reached via connecting stations. Needless to say the signs are in Ukrainian only.
There are electronic displays at the front end of each platform that show local time and the time since the previous train left (check the average intervals between the trains in the GENERAL INFO section above).
While on the platform, don’t cross the line painted/laid out on the floor, and look out for the front mirror of the approaching train.
When the car approaches the platform, people start moving closer to it and jostling, so be careful.
On the front window of each train there’s the name of its terminal point, so you can double-check that you’re moving in the right direction.
Inside each car there are seats (settees) located alongside; the other space being for standing. Handrails for those who stand are situated above the settees; you can also hold on the side rail of the settee. Traditional rules of courtesy say that seats should be given to the old people, people with disabilities, and women with kids. If none of those is standing nearby, anyone can occupy the seating space.
In most of the trains there are screens that display the name of the station the train approaches and of the next one when it departs (the names are now displayed in English, followed by Ukrainian, as of Feb 2012). In between stations the screen displays some basic info and runs commercial.
In the center of each car there’s a subway map printed on the window. This map has double signs, large ones in Ukrainian and smaller – in English, under those in Ukrainian.
Keep off the doors when the train approaches or leaves the station, they open and close automatically and the voice announcement is in Ukrainian.
See SAFETY MEASURES below for other security tips in the subway.
There are only three connecting points in Kyiv subway between the lines: Majdan Nezalezhnosti/Khreshchatyk (МайданНезалежності/Хрещатик), Teatral’na/ZolotiVorota (Театральна/Золоті ворота), and Ploscha L’va Tolstogo/Palats Sportu (ПлощаЛьва Толстого/Палац Спорту).
Connecting points enable you to switch to another line without exiting the subway.
Directions to the connecting point are indicated by the sign “ ПЕРЕХІД НА СТАНЦІЮ [station name]” (“Switch to the station..[station name]”). The signboards hang over some of the exits from the platform and in the center of the passageway between the platforms. If you cannot read Ukrainian or Russian travel by numbers all the stations have numbers I found it much easier that way just remember the station number you want check the numerous signs simple :)
Connecting corridor can be located either in the middle of the passage, or in one of its ends. Follow the sign “ПЕРЕХІД НА СТАНЦІЮ” and a symbol of a person taking the staircase. The connection itself is a staircase or an escalator (or first the staircase then the escalator) leading to the platforms on another, connecting, line. For the connecting points located in the middle of the passage, take the staircase by the side where this symbol is green (passage is allowed) and do not take the one where it’s red (passage is not allowed).
The connection leads to the platforms on the other line where you have to again find the name of the station you’re heading to and take another train.
Exiting the subway
Directions to the exits are indicated by the sign(s) “ ВИХІД У МІСТО” (“exit to the city”). These signboards hang over some of the exits from the platform, in the center of the passage between the platforms and above the pass to escalators. Except “ ВИХІД У МІСТО” sign, the board usually indicates name(s) of the street(s) where this exit opens on to or some of notorious objects located nearby. All these signs are also in Ukrainian at the moment.
Exits are situated either at one end of the platform passage, or at both ends, if the station has several exits to the city.
Take an escalator (or the staircase on the ground stations) to exit to the city.
Pickpocketing as well as bag-slashing is possible in the subway, where thousands of passengers ride everyday. In rush hours people are squashed in a subway car like sardines in a tin, so you should take some precautions to keep your valuables safe, especially if you take a ride in busy hours.
Take off your backpack in the subway. Hold your bag so that you can see it.
Don’t put your documents, cell phone, wallet and other valuables into your pockets, especially the hip pocket.
Move away from anyone snuggling against you, even if it looks occasional, and try to reduce any contact with your belongings.
You should be fine if you don’t let your guard down and follow the usual common sense rules of watching your belongings in the crowd.