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Train tickets to Lviv

Warsaw, Poland
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Train tickets to Lviv

I will come to Ukraine next week and have to travel from Kiew to Lviv. Could anyone tell me please where and how to buy tickets? In addition, is there a useful timetable somewhere in the internet? I read that tickets are sold only for thesame day and not in advance and that tickets are often sold out. Any help much appreciated. Thank you!!

Kyiv
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1. Re: Train tickets to Lviv

Hi FrequentTraveller and welcome to Ukraine! :)

Not sure where you read about tickets in Ukraine being sold for the same day only, this is definitely not the case here. You certainly can buy tickets in advance in Kyiv (this summer we bought them in a fortnight prior to our departure just to make sure we don’t take a car :).

Since there are no major holidays in Ukraine next week, I do not expect them to be sold out (this normally happens on NY and Christmas, May days, Independence Day and other holidays with several days-off).

Tickets are sold at the Central Rail Station (1 Vokzalna Sq.), at the Central Railway Pay Office (38/40 Shevchenko Ave.) or at numerous railway pay offices located all over the city. Some of the travel agencies have railway tickets desks in their offices. Many hotels can assist you with buying tickets.

You can PM me where you’re planning to stay in Kyiv and I’ll advise you the closest place to buy tickets, if you wish.

The procedure of purchasing with the railway pay offices (ukr. “Zaliznychni kasy”, Залізничні каси) is very simple. You reach the pay office, find the advance sales desk (ukr. “Kasa poperednyogo prodazhu”, Каса попереднього продажу), and tell the lady the date of your departure, direction, number of tickets and their type. You can print this info out in Russian or Ukrainian. Then the lady takes your money and prints your ticket(s). Check the date and time of your departure and the train number when you are handed the ticket(s).

Unfortunately, the Ukraine Railways web-site offers only time-table in Ukrainian www.uz.gov.ua/…

But I strongly recommend you to take overnight train #91 Kyiv - Lviv, departing daily at 10.15pm arriving at 6.33am. It’s the fastest and the most convenient train in this direction.

“Kupe” ticket for #91 costs about UAH 167 (USD 20.1) as of today and 1st class ticket costs about UAH 542 (USD 65.3).

If it’s your first travel by train in Ukraine, you may wish to read these tips tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g294473-i3662-k311…

Let know if you need any further help (say, with writing your request in Cyrillics).

Warsaw, Poland
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2. Re: Train tickets to Lviv

Thank you a lot, Cora, for your useful and detailed help. I actually plan to take the train leaving Kiew in the afternoon and arriving in Lviv at about 11 pm not only because it's a faster one but also because it's impossible for me to fall asleep on trains and I do not want to ruin the next day in Lviv due to being tired. As I speak some Russian, it should not be a problem for me to communicate (I heard it's okay to speak Russian in Kiev, I hope it's true?). My hotel is very close to Shevchenko Ave. so I can buy my tickets just after arriving in town.

I saw your posts on Warsaw forum. If you need any further questions, I am glad to help. Welcome to Poland!!

Kyiv
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3. Re: Train tickets to Lviv

Sure you’ll be more than fine speaking Russian in Kyiv. Although Ukrainian is spoken in public authorities, governmental agencies and other offices, many people communicate in Russian and definitely all understand it.

Here you can find the addresses (in Russian) of other railway pay offices – branches of the Central Pay Office I mentioned above: www.railwayukr.com/index.php…

Check “Шевченковский район” in the bottom of the page – those offices are near or around Shevchenko Ave.

Re trains, you must be talking about #169 Kyiv – Lviv, so called “express” train (no couchettes, seats only), departs 5.05pm arrives 11.29pm, with one stop in Shepetivka at 8.18pm; total time en route 6:24.

According to the on-line booking system E-kvytok http://www.e-kvytok.com.ua/ (currently available in Ukrainian only), in October 2009 #169 is available on the following dates: 1-4, 6-11, 14-18, 21-25, 28-31. One ticket costs about UAH 151 (USD 18.2), some fees or comm might be applicable.

I can understand you reasoning for choosing this one and I won’t dissuade you. But let me give you some tips by sharing my recent experience – so that you won’t be disappointed and didn’t have to write a dreadful JBR – I warned you! :)

By taking that express train you benefit less than 2 hours compared to #91, but loose a lot in comfort, IMO. I took a return ticket and it looked as if I was taking two different trains! The cars on the same train turned different in interior design and comfort – one was Soviet-style grey colored with itchy seat cover and narrow seats; the other was quite colourful, with velvet seat cover and the seats were relatively comfortable. There’s also a “0” car of a “spalnyj” type (with couchettes) on the train (some time ago they added it on Fridays only), but people mostly buy seats.

Seats face the middle of the car, which means that half of passengers sit in the direction of travel, the other half – opposite this direction. It’s kind of lottery to get tickets in the direction of travel, but you can try to ask the salesperson to give you one “по ходу поезда”. In the very middle of the car there are two tables to the benefit of passengers sitting in the middle (face to face), the others have tip-up tables in the seats in front of them.

There are four seats in each row, 2+2, divided by the aisle. If you travel alone, better take the aisle seat – you can leave it any time by bothering no one and the windows are anyway too dirty to enjoy the view outside (and it gets dark early in autumn).

AC functioning or not is also kind of a lottery and when AC is off it gets really suffocating. Keep it in mind and dress properly for both occasions (for example, a top and a sweater).

The ride is DEADLY boring, so DO take smth to amuse yourself during the trip. There are TV screens in the end of the car but normally they won’t function.

Take some food and do take drinks with you on board. While you’ll be offered some tea or coffee by car attendant, locals always take their own staff (spirits including, so don’t be surprised). There’s no smoking in the car.

Hope this is useful. Enjoy your trip and let know if you need any further tips on Kyiv or Lviv!

Warsaw, Poland
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4. Re: Train tickets to Lviv

Cora, thanks so much for your help. I really appreciate it highly. Concerning trains, Polish railway network is in a miserbale condition, especially when using commuter trains between small towns. Therefore I suppose nothing can shock me. When using the train, I only want to get from A to B, that's enough for me to be satisfied. Once again, thanks or clarifying and sharing your expirience.

Tokyo
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5. Re: Train tickets to Lviv

Buying train tickets at Kiev Rail Station is a NIGHTMARE! Try to get your hotel to order them over the phone and you can pick them up (although our hotel couldn't get this sorted for us due to language issues). The reason we waited until in country was because the prices quoted on RealRussia and through the English-language tourist agencies were twice as much+ and the online schedules confusing.

To buy a ticket to Lviv at the Kiev Rail Station, go to counter 9 in the room on the left when you first enter the station and have Kiev and Lviv written in cyrillic as well as the dates (day, month) and times you want to go. Have a guidebook with the required phrases underlined and ready to show. Be persistent and try not to lose your cool. For 2nd class (kupe), we paid around 80 each one-way there (for an 11-hour ride) and around 110 back in a sweet brand new train + a great snack box + the bathroom was (dare I say) pleasant the entire trip (around 8 hours overnight and well worth the extra). No one else was in our carriage either way and we found that the time flew. bring a book and buy magnetic chess set in rail station shop for 10 hyvyrnas.

TX
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6. Re: Train tickets to Lviv

I'm planning a trip to Kiev this summer and we are interested in taking the train from Kiev to St Petersburg. Any advice from those who have done this would be appreciated : ) My plan is to travel at night and sleep on the train although I saw one place where it is a 24 hr ride. Are there any express routes? What class ticket should I buy to secure a berth/bunk? We'll be returning to Kiev so can we buy round trip tickets for less? About how much is the fare in June? Can we bring along food/beverages? I've read through some of the other threads and it looks doable, as long as you have a plan. Anything specific re St Pete would be great. Thanks. Nicoli

Kyiv
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7. Re: Train tickets to Lviv

Hi Nicoli! :)

Are you sure you don’t want to fly instead of taking a train?

Indeed, the train between Kyiv and St. Pete goes 23h14m. Mind the distance – it’s over 1200km by automobile road, not sure how long it’s by railway.

“Kupe” tickets (cabin for four) are the best price/quality balance, while “SV” (cabin for two) is the most comfortable, hence more pricey. Both have berths, so choose between these two.

There are no return tickets for trains here. You will have to buy two tickets to get back.

I’m afraid, no one can tell you today how much the fare in June is going to be. Local authorities love to play with transportation cost as they wish (increasing it, of course). You can check the price closer to your visit.

As of today, one “kupe” ticket for train # 54 costs UAH 967 (ca USD 121 as of today cash-market ex-rate) and SV is UAH 1925 (approx. USD 241).

Not only you can, but you should bring food and beverages on board! All locals do that. Also, if you still decide to travel by train, take something to kill time during this long ride.

For more tips, you might care to read my guidance on the train travel in Ukraine here tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g294473-i3662-k311…

TX
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8. Re: Train tickets to Lviv

I started thinking about your suggestion to fly. We might take the train one way (north to St Pete) then fly back. A 24 hr train ride may be OK, but not twice : ) Are the airfares reasonable/comparable to the $124 USD train ticket? Another idea I'm considering would be to come back via Moscow and break the journey in half. Thanks for all your help. A 24 hr train ride in the US would be from Houston, TX to Chicago, IL. Again, nice to experience but only one way! Salute.

Kyiv
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9. Re: Train tickets to Lviv

Good point!

As of today Aeroflot one-way ticket (via Moscow) for June costs about UAH 1120 (USD 140); Aerosvit one-way ticket (directly to Spb) is about UAH 1850 (ca USD 231).

Kyiv
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10. Re: Train tickets to Lviv

Out of curiosity, I just checked the distance between Houston and Chicago. It’s about 1500-1700km (various sources). Pretty comparable, I’d say :) Moreover that I' not sure about the length of KYI-SPB railway, as I said.

Edited: 11 January 2010, 21:27