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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!