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How to get from Kiev to Kharkov

Updated on February 14, 2011

Your Choices: Plane, Train, Bus or Car

Kharkov city is located in eastern Ukraine and is just over 300 miles from the capital Kiev. The city is home to the Metallist football team and is also the educational hub of the country.

While it is possible to fly to Kharkov direct from Europe (currently from Vienna with Austrian Airlines), most foreigners will travel via Kiev. So here are the four options you have departing from the capital:

By Plane

Flying to Kharkov is by far the easiest option but is also one of the most expensive. Kiev Boryspol is the largest airport in Ukraine and you should have no problems booking one of the many internal flights from Kiev to Kharkov, last time I chose this option there were only about 15 people on the plane.

Flight time is about 40 minutes and costs anything from £80-190 depending on departure date.

Airlines that fly this route are: Aerosvit/Dnieproavia. Be advised that if you transfer from an international flight to an internal flight, you will need to collect your luggage and then check it in again.

Kiev has a new airport terminal, find out more about Kiev Terminal F here


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Travelling by train is popular in Ukraine and there are several services each day from Kiev to Kharkov. There is also a night train.

One important note: There isn't a train station at Kiev airport so you first have to get to the central station in the city, so that means catching a bus or marshrutka or even a taxi.

The trains to Kharkov often reach capacity and as most seats are allocated you will need to book in advance and collect your tickets from a local office or the station itself. If you do not speak any Russian or Ukrainian then this can be a little difficult.

Train travel is super cheap in Ukraine and a ticket from Kiev to Kharkov costs around 120 (£11). The journey time is around five hours on a fast train and eight hours on a slow or overnight train.

Below is a video that I took whilst leaving Kiev central station en route to Kharkov:

Train to Kharkov


Buses depart from Kiev airport (about 40 metres directly in front of Terminal B) five times per day and also one additional night service.

The destination will be Kharkov central bus station and the journey time is about seven hours.

While this form of transport can be a little uncomfortable - seven hours on a coach bouncing down the terrible road conditions to Kharkov, it is one of the easiest ways to get to the city and also one of the cheapest (currently costs 110 or £9). You can also book tickets online which is handy.

Here you can find more info about buses from Kiev to Kharkov.

I have included a photo of the Kiev airport-Kharkov bus so you can recognize it:


Car Taxi or Fly Drive

I have seen adverts around the web for taxis/private hire vehicles that will take you to Kharkov from Kiev, each one has been quoting figures around the £200 mark which is ridiculous. 

Car hire is also an option but given the condition of the roads in Ukraine and the fact that many drivers ignore road rules this could be the most dangerous option, especially in winter when roads will be covered in ice and snow. The journey time would also be around seven or eight hours.


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