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Layover in Kiev – the ultimate guide 2021

Published by: Bounce11 September, 2021

When you're flying into Kiev for a stopover you'll be arriving at the Boryspil International Airport which is located thirty miles outside of Kiev near the city of Boryspil. While the airport has several terminals, only two are operational and handle the fifteen million-plus passengers who use the facility annually. That means the transition through the necessary channels such as immigration and baggage collection as well as the check-in, passport, and security controls for your Kiev connection can be pretty chaotic.

You'll have little time spare for going sightseeing on a short layoer once you've completed the required procedures. If you're on a longer stopover in Kiev then you'll be able to use the Kyiv Boryspil Express to go into the city. It's a fast train service that departs from the station in Terminal D that takes forty to forty-five minutes to complete the journey. The Sky Bus 322 service also runs from the airport's terminal D to the depot by Kiev's main train station. Buses leave every fifteen minutes during the day and every thirty at night. The trip takes around an hour depending on traffic.

6 hour layover in Kiev

Because of the airport's distance from the city center and the slow transport connections, a six-hour layover just isn't long enough for you to even contemplate going sightseeing. Check your bags in in readiness for your connecting flight rather than deposit your bags in an airport luggage storage facility, get through all the passport and security rigmarole, then head for the departure lounge. There you can relax over a meal and wander around the duty-free for a while before it's time to board your flight.

  • If you don't feel like going straight to the departure lounge, have a look to see if there's a wedding taking place in the main public area of Terminal D. They're a common occurrence at Boryspil Airport and more fun than watching the TV.

  • If you plan it in advance, and have the correct documentation, you can get married at Boryspil Airport during your Kiev layover. Full information can be found on the airport’s official website.

8 hour layover in Kiev

You'll find you'll still be pushed for time even on a ten-hour Kiev layover. If you're quick stashing your bags in an airport luggage locker and jump on the Boryspil Express into the city, you might have around three hours to spend sightseeing. Catch the subway from the main station to the Zoloti Vorota stop and you'll be within walking distance of the Golden Gate and St Sophia's Cathedral.

  • There are plenty of cafeterias and restaurants in the area but don't linger too long or you'll be late getting back to the airport for your Kiev connection.

  • Rushing into Kiev on a short stopover when you're traveling with kids might be too stressful, so keep them busy by taking them to the airport playground. It's indoors so they can use it no matter what the weather is like.

10 hour layover in Kiev

A ten-hour layover will give you quite a bit more free time to enjoy the sights of Kiev. Go it alone or join a free walking tour. There are several companies who offer free tours and most start out from in front of the monument on Yaroslaviv Val Street. They usually last for two to three hours so won't take up all of your layover, and you'll have time to sit down and devour a bowl of borscht followed by some holubtsi which are stuffed cabbage leaves.

  • Alternative sights you might like to see are the Pechersk Lavra Monastery, a golden-domed structure with underground caverns.

  • For an unforgettable Kiev stopover selfie head for the Friendship of Nations Arch then take a hike up Volodymyrska Hill to get amazing views of the city and the Dnieper River.   

12 hour layover in Kiev

One of the most majestic and relaxing ways of seeing Kiev when you have a long layover is by taking a river cruise. Boats depart from the River Port or from the mooring near to the Dnepr metro station. Lengths of sailings vary depending on the company but usually last for an hour or an hour and a half. When your layover falls on a weekend, you'll be able to take a longer cruise lasting three or four hours as these only depart on Saturdays and Sundays.

  • When your layover is in the late afternoon or early evening you might want to consider boarding an aqua-party boat. The cruise with disco and drinks included sails at 7pm for about two hours

  • With time to spare you'll be able to explore the beautiful district of Pechersky with its domed white buildings. It's one of the most attractive parts of Kiev. 

24 hour layover in Kiev

One must-do when you have an overnight layover in Kiev is to visit Chernobyl. It's a trip you can make by hiring a car and driving there yourself or alternatively, you can join an organized tour. The advantage of going to Chernobyl on a tour is that you'll learn more from the guide and you won't run the risk of getting lost on the way. 

Ukraine’s history is peppered with corrupt politicians who made the most of their positions by accruing personal wealth out of public funds. Visit the mansion of one, Yanukovcyh, which is now a museum where there's also his zoo, ostrich farm, and the pier for his private yacht.

  • If you do decide to do the trip out to Chernobyl remember to wear adequate clothing which must include long sleeves, trousers, and closed shoes.

  • Kiev is famous for its craft beer and if you go on a craft beer tour of the Old Town you'll visit at least five of them and get to try the beer too. It's a great way to meet people and have a good time on your Kiev stopover, but don't overdo it or you'll be nursing a hangover when you go to check in for your connection.

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