Destinations Europe Russia Ukraine

How to Get a Train From Kyiv to Moscow

I have previously written about how to buy a train ticket in Ukraine. Since then, it is actually even easier with an app for Android called ‘Railway tickets’. You can download this from here. At the moment there are no direct flights between Ukraine and Russia. If you’re in Kyiv and you want to go to Moscow you have to get a connecting flight from another country. Or you can go by overnight train from Kyiv to Moscow.

 

Booking ticket for the train from Kyiv to Moscow

When you open the app, the first thing to do is select the train station. You need to use Ukrainian rather than Russian, so you will need to search for ‘Kyiv’ and NOT ‘Kiev’. The station to search for in Moscow is called ‘Moskva Kievskaia’.

 

Select the train stations and the date you want to travel

Select the train stations and the date you want to travel

 

After clicking on the find trains button, the app will display a list of trains available, along with departure/arrival times, total duration and the number of seats currently available on the train.

Select which train you want from the list

Select which train you want from the list

 

Selecting one of the available trains will display a list of the different types of ticket/seat that you can book. De Luxe is a compartment shared between two people, compt is a compartment between 4 and berth is an open plan with 4 beds and 2 along the corridor. Personally I recommend a berth as it is the way most people travel and you never know who you will meet on the way, and that is part of the fun.

Select which type of seat/sleeping compartment you want

Select which type of seat/sleeping compartment you want

 

After you have selected the type of seat you want, you will be able to select exactly which seat you want. I believe that the odd numbered seats are on the bottom ‘bunk’ while even numbered are the top ‘bunk’. Which one you choose is up to you, but as the bottom bunk is more popular, book early if this is what you want.

Select your seat/bed

Select your seat/bed

 

When you select your ticket, you will be able to complete payment using debit/credit card. Visa and MasterCard are both accepted. I didn’t try my American Express card but I suspect that it is not possible to use these. Upon successful payment, you will be able to download a booking reference as PDF. You need to print this, go to the train station and exchange it for you actual ticket.

Booking confirmation

Booking confirmation

 

 

Getting the train in Kyiv

The main train station in Kyiv is called Kyiv-Passazhyrsky. I recommend using the metro in Kyiv to get around the city. You can get to the train station by taking the metro to Vokzal station. This station is only 2 stops from the centre of the city so you will get there in no time. When you reach the station, you are only a couple of minutes walk from the main train station.

Kyiv-Passazhyrsky train station at Christmas

Kyiv-Passazhyrsky train station at Christmas

 

At the train station go to one of the ticket offices with your printed reference and exchange it for your actual ticket. You will need your passport to do this, which of course you will need on the train for the border guards that will come on as well.

 

Train ticket

Train ticket

 

I recommend arriving at least an hour before your train to get your ticket and get to the platform on time. The train station is usually very busy and there can be long queues at the ticket offices. When you get your ticket and find out which platform the train departs from, all you need to do is wait for the train to arrive for the 13 hour journey to Moscow. Just remember to keep your ticket, passport and visa documents at hand on the train for the border guards!

Waiting to board the train from kyiv to moscow

Waiting to board the train from Kyiv to Moscow

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    bye:myself - a blog by renata green
    March 22, 2018 at 19:50

    I guess this will be extremely helpful for many people who cannot read cyrillic and don’t speak Russian or Ukranian. The Passazhyrsky train station looks very cute.

    • Damien
      Reply
      Damien
      April 1, 2018 at 14:48

      I hope so! I am almost an expert at this train station now as I have been so many times

  • Reply
    Punita Malhotra
    March 22, 2018 at 04:21

    How ingenious and thoughtful of you to make a guide post on booking a train ticket in Russia. It would be such a help, especially for those unfamiliar with the local language. I like the step-by-step snapshots idea.

    • Damien
      Reply
      Damien
      April 1, 2018 at 14:45

      Thank you very much! Hopefully someone finds it useful 🙂

  • Reply
    Angela @ Dang Travelers
    March 21, 2018 at 15:09

    I love when new apps come out that are helpful! I don’t have a trip planned any time soon in this area but I’m bookmarking it for the future. Thanks for the wonderful tips!

    • Damien
      Reply
      Damien
      April 1, 2018 at 14:44

      Thanks, I hope you find this useful if you travel here

  • Reply
    Noel
    March 21, 2018 at 14:32

    How was your experience being actually on the train? I’m sure you have a lot of stories to tell.

    This, surely, will be helpful in case I’d be on the same route. Train travels are just one of a kind experience.

    • Damien
      Reply
      Damien
      April 1, 2018 at 14:05

      It is usually pretty straightforward, but sometimes you get some over zealous border guards like the one that insisted on opening all my bags and smelling my tea bags

  • Reply
    Guru
    March 21, 2018 at 09:31

    Thanks for taking time to post such detailed information. This is really very helpful for readers.

    • Damien
      Reply
      Damien
      April 1, 2018 at 13:20

      Thank you very much, I hope so!

  • Reply
    Wandering life - Catarina Leonardo
    March 21, 2018 at 00:43

    I never been in Moscow… but i really want to visit the city and others places in Russia. Very good to know more about the trains 😉

    • Damien
      Reply
      Damien
      April 1, 2018 at 13:18

      You are welcome. I didn’t really like Moscow to begin with but it did grow on me eventually. I hope you get to go sometime!

  • Reply
    Nicole Lewis
    March 19, 2018 at 20:40

    I didn’t know it was so complicated to get a train! I am so used to going to the stations here in New Jersey and buying my ticket from the booth just before it arrives. The guy or girl on the train punches it to where your going and that’s it. No assigned seats, no ID, nothing. I guess I never really put a lot of thought into what would happen if you were going to take a train from one country into another nor did I realize there was an app for that.

    • Damien
      Reply
      Damien
      April 1, 2018 at 13:18

      Yeah it is a little bit of a hassle. You can just turn up to the station to buy a ticket but sometimes the queues dont move that fast at all and you could be in a queue for up to two hours!

  • Reply
    Anja Ben
    March 18, 2018 at 20:51

    I would love to travel by train on that route someday…and this post is so detailed, very useful for people acutally traveling there. It happened to me more than once that I was confused with buying train tickets.

    • Damien
      Reply
      Damien
      April 1, 2018 at 13:16

      It is a great route for sure. And I hope this will be useful for someone. Russia and Ukraine aren’t exactly the easiest countries to get around unless you are fluent in the language.

  • Reply
    Patricia
    March 18, 2018 at 17:12

    We were thinking to take the Trans Mongolian and Trans Siberian trains but the Russian visa was too expensive. We like traveling by train – Sri Lanka, India, China… A good way to explore a destination.

    • Damien
      Reply
      Damien
      April 1, 2018 at 13:15

      It really is! Plus it gives you more freedom and flexibility to change your plans which you don’t get with flights etc…

  • Reply
    Krupa
    March 17, 2018 at 11:38

    This is such wonderful and detailed post. I feel this is quite useful to share such small details of travel journeys which would make other’s life bit easier. Thanks for sharing.

    • Damien
      Reply
      Damien
      April 1, 2018 at 13:14

      Thank you. I agree with you.

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