Transport systems in Russia and Ukraine

Public transport in Russia and Ukraine

How to get around in Russia?

The Russian Federation is the largest country in the world, its territory stretching across the European and Asian continents, reaching more than seventeen million square kilometers in area. Moving around this giant may seem like a real odyssey, but it doesn′t have to be. The key is to choose the transport that best suits the destination and the amenities you are looking for.

The most common way to get to Russia is by plane, although some travellers arrive by cruise ship to St. Petersburg. 

Within the country the fastest and most recommended way to travel long distances, mainly for those points where the passenger train does not arrive or the journey takes weeks. Domestic flights are operated by national companies such as Aeroflot and S7.

The best way to travel between different Russian cities is by train. 

It is the most popular means of transport for travelling between Russian cities, especially between Moscow and St. Petersburg - it lasts 4 or 9 hours and costs from 2000 to 3000 rubles, depending on the train you choose - as it is relatively cheap compared to the huge distances it covers and very safe.

In Russia trains are very safe (I would say the safest means of transport) and quite economical considering the long distances they cover.  

Renting a car can be a good option to travel to those areas of Russia where there is not a good public transport system, for example, to do the Golden Ring route or to visit more rural areas of Russia. You can compare offers at Avis, Prokat Auto or Rental Cars.  However, this is not a good option for getting around in big Russian cities like Moscow or St. Petersburg.

On the other hand, remember that driving in Russia can be complicated due to the aggressiveness of some drivers, the poor condition of certain roads and Cyrillic signs. However, it will help to have a Russian navigation system, such as Yandex Maps, and the low price of fuel will be a plus.

On the website of the Spanish Consulate in Moscow you will find information about the requirements for driving in the country.

The bus is the cheapest means of transport and at the same time the most tiring when travelling, especially considering that the distances between cities are usually very large and therefore the trips are very long. In any case, it′s a good option if you don′t have much money but you have a lot of time.

There are multiple bus ticket providers, for example, such as Ticketsru.

Baltic cruises are becoming increasingly popular and many cruise lines choose to make a stop in the port of St. Petersburg. This is a city you cannot miss.

You can get around Russian cities by metro, buses, trams, trolleybuses and private buses. Such cities as Moscow, St Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara, Kazan, Ekaterinburg and Volgograd have a metro network. 

Getting around in Ukraine?

The Kiev Metro (in Ukrainian: Київськe метро) is a metropolitan railway system that is the main means of public transport in Kiev. It was the first metro to be built in Ukraine and the third in the USSR, after Moscow and Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). 

Bus

With CheckMyBus you′ll find the best bus connection within seconds and completely free of charge. It doesn′t matter if it′s a national or international route - with CheckMyBus you can compare all buses operating in, from and to Ukraine. Find your route and choose the company you prefer to travel with!

Car 

Unless you are used to driving, it is not advisable to get behind the wheel in Ukraine: the roads are bad and there is an unofficial highway code that only Ukrainians understand. 

Taxi

You have to be very careful with taxi drivers. The prices they will ask you will always be exorbitant; if there is a bus or tram going to your desired destination, it is best to take it.

Uber is present in Ukraine and makes it very easy to get from any airport in Kyiv to the city.