Buses are one of the most important means of transportation. We have provided information on where you can book tickets for Ukraine buses. We provide you with all the important information about bus stations, providers when bus or train and the different types of buses.
Taking a bus in Ukraine
Buses connect all major cities and of course the most beautiful destinations in Ukraine. Even though there are more and more newer buses in Ukraine, many are still old, often discarded in Germany or Spain, which now serve their last kilometers as buses in Ukraine. But at least this has the advantage that the prices are extremely cheap and you actually rarely pay more than 20 euros per route. If it’s less than 200 kilometers, it’s usually even less than 5 euros.
What types of buses are there in Ukraine?
Buses in Ukraine differ mainly in four categories.
Drive in the city and serve there as city traffic. In the cities they usually have a certain color, so they are easy to recognize as city traffic. In Lviv for example they are yellow.
This word is in use in almost all countries of the former Soviet Union. A marshrutka is a minibus that travels a certain route. It can also be called a shared cab. They are usually operated with a license, sometimes without, by private operators on behalf of the municipalities. In the past, marshrutkas stopped everywhere. However, in some cities they now stop only at official stops. If they don’t, you wave at the drivers and the vehicle stops. This is how you get on. Depending on the region, you pay either when you get on or when you get off.
Regional buses in Ukraine
These buses look like marshrutkas. However, they often have a different color. Also, the signs then indicate city names and not districts or streets. These regional buses partly work with a ticket system. So you can buy tickets at the bus station or on the Internet at bus.com.ua. However, they also stop on the way and let people both get on and off. Those who get on along the way pay the driver the fare in cash. Having smaller bills is handy but the drivers can also almost always change.
Long-distance buses Ukraine
Long-distance buses in Ukraine are mostly used in connections that go beyond abroad. The buses then stop in the larger cities on the way.
Comfort in Ukrainian buses
Buses in Ukraine rarely have air conditioning. The seats are often not adjustable and the spaces between the rows of seats is not very wide. Anyone over 1,80m (six feet) will quickly bump their knees against the front seat. The toilets, if available at all, are often out of service. Exceptions here are offered by international providers such as Flixbus and Leo-Express, whose buses normally meet European standards.
Prices for bus tickets in Ukraine
Travel by bus in Ukraine is very cheap. Especially as a means of travel between cities in an oblast or between oblast capitals, the bus is often the cheapest mode of transport. For 100 kilometers (65 miles), a trip costs on average between 3 and 5 euros.
Where do buses depart from in Ukraine?
Since the transport system in Ukraine was largely planned by Soviet transport planners, there is one large bus station in every city that is used for intercity connections. In larger cities, however, there are often several bus stations. Usually you will find a bus station for each larger exit road and direction. For the example of Lviv it looks like this:
International bus station in the south of the city: Almost all connections from abroad arrive here. Buses coming from Krakow or Warsaw stop here. This is true even if Lviv is not the final destination, but for example Kyiv or Zaporizhia.
Bus Station West: All buses to the smaller towns on the Polish border (Mostivka, Horodok, border crossing Shehyni) depart from here.
Bus station at the main train station: Some international buses, especially to Poland, also depart from the bus station at the main train station. In addition, most buses to Drohobych (the second largest city in the oblast), Truskavets, Morshin or Stryj also depart from here. All these cities are located south of Lviv, but the buses do not stop at the bus station which is in the South of Lviv.
Bus station 2 (North): From here all buses to the north depart. These are mainly connections in the direction of Lutsk (poor rail connection), to Rivne or to the smaller towns in the north and northeast of Lviv oblast (Brody, Busk etc). Also some buses to Kyiv and Zhytomyr, which do not have international traffic, depart from here.
In addition, there are other small bus stations and stops where you can get on. But even if all this is a bit confusing, you always somehow get to your destination in Ukraine.
Bus instead of train in Ukraine?
Ukraine also has a well-developed railroad network. However, between some cities the trains run only very rarely or occasionally there are no direct connections at all between some oblast capitals. Therefore, the bus can be the means of transportation of choice in Ukraine. Especially in summer and between popular cities in Ukraine, it can happen that train tickets are fully booked days or even weeks in advance. Then the bus can be the last resort.
Booking Ukraine bus tickets online
There are several options for booking bus tickets in Ukraine, but they vary depending on the route. Here is an overview of the options:
- bus.com.ua – This website is the central network mainly for regional bus connections. So if you want to get from one oblast capital to the next, bus.com.ua is usually a good place to check. However, the site is very old and can therefore be confusing. However, you can find a selection search with the cities and look for connections. But be careful, the spellings of the cities are not always correct and sometimes you have to search a bit longer in the list. Often it is rather the anglicized versions of the Russian names for the Ukrainian places, which makes the search difficult. But once you have found the cities, you can book your Ukraine bus tickets online here.
- busfor.ua – For many connections, Busfor sells online bus tickets. These are mostly buses that have previously come from abroad and make stops in other Ukrainian cities before their final destination. If a border is involved, buses can sometimes arrive later. Therefore, it is advisable to contact the bus company or have someone call them from your accommodation to see if the bus will be on time.
- tickets.ua – Tickets.ua also sells bus tickets for domestic Ukrainian connections. The website is also available in English.
- Private Bank – Ukraine’s largest bank also sells bus tickets through its online banking system. However, for this you need to ask someone who has an account with Privatbank, as the online offer is only accessible to customers.
Where to buy bus tickets in Ukraine offline
Even though it is always most convenient to buy tickets for buses in Ukraine online, there are also other offline options for buying bus tickets.
- Bus station – Of course, there are still tickets for the buses available at the ticket counters of the bus stations. You can also buy these tickets in advance. Especially if you are unsure where exactly the buses depart and you have time to visit, it is worthwhile to pass by the bus stations in advance. So you can not only buy the ticket, but also find out from which bus platform the bus leaves. Also, there are often buses at bus stations that are leaving and that are not in the timetable. These are usually private connections.
- Railway station – Buses often leave from train stations as well. In larger cities in Ukraine, the bus station is either near the train station or there is another bus station at the main train station. Here, in addition to regular buses, there are also private shared cabs. These are minibuses that usually hold between 8 and 20 passengers and usually travel to cities that are poorly served by train or to which minibuses are simply faster.
- Payment machines – In Ukraine, these machines are simply called terminals. Here Ukrainians pay their electricity bills or other things. And you can also buy bus tickets at them. You can find these terminals in banks, supermarkets and many public places. However, the service is usually only available in Ukrainian or sometimes in Russian. Therefore, ask acquaintances or passers-by for help if you do not understand.
As you see, there is some info about buses in Ukraine, which you can’t find so easily. We hope this guide to buses in Ukraine was of some help to you.
If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments! If you have any further tips we would also really appreciate a comment!