Travelling between Chişinău (Moldova) and Kiev (Ukraine) is comfortable and reliable by train – and all three trains will take you to or from Moscow (Russia) if for some reason there is a need to make this entire journey in one go. The journey length and cost between Moldova and Ukraine is comparable to a bus but as always, on a train you have the freedom to stretch your legs and lie down flat during the day or night whereas on a bus you are confined to a small, cramped and upright seat.
I know which option I would pick…
Train No. 066 at Kiev station on Sunday 22nd April 2018
All three trains depart from Chişinău’s main station a short distance from the city centre. The station is accessible by trolleybus No’s. 1, 4, 5, 8 or 22 and the fare of 2 Moldovan Leu is paid directly to the onboard conductor. From the trolleybus stop, you will need to cross the main road, walk through a small park with a fountain and head straight towards the beautiful, soviet era station building. On the way, there are a couple of small shops from where you can pick up supplies for your journey as the trains do not have a restaurant carriage.
The station may look closed, but don’t worry, it’s not – just open the front door, walk inside, turn left (but don’t forget to admire the high ceilings) and you’ll find the International Ticket Counter a few meters further along. You may be lucky to find one of the workers speaking English.
For more information visit my "How to travel by train in Moldova" guide.
On the day of my departure, the train was pretty much empty as we left Chişinău (there were just four of us in our platskartny carriage), however at Tiraspol the entire carriage filled up so I would certainly recommend purchasing the ticket in advance.
Train No. 065 at Tiraspol station on Saturday 21st April 2018
The trains between Chişinău and Kiev take between 13 and 18 hours, depending on which train you choose to travel on. Train No’s. 047 and 341 bypass Transnistria whereas Train No. 066/065 travels through the country and stops briefly at Tiraspol (see notes below on immigration and custom checks on Train No. 065/066 when entering or exiting Moldova via Transnistria).
When you arrive Kiev, you will exit the platform onto a foot bridge. Walk along this until you get to the escalators taking you down into the 'grand hall.' Continue straight and exit the building, turning left once outside. Walk straight for around 100 meters towards a second railway station building and in the right hand corner of this building, you will find the entrance to the Metro.
To read more about taking the Metro in Kiev visit my “How to travel around Kiev by public transport" guide.
Timetable (these are NOT daily departures)
Train No. 047 Chişinău 11:47 to Moscow arriving Kiev at 03:01 (+1) – 705km
Train No. 066 Chişinău 23:23 to Moscow arriving Kiev at 13:00 (+1) – via Tiraspol – 698km
Train No. 341 Chişinău 21:19 to Moscow arriving Kiev at 15:03 (+1) – 705km
Train No. 047 Moscow departing Kiev 09:36 to Chişinău 00:50 (+1) – 705km
Train No. 341 Moscow departing Kiev 00:46 to Chişinău 19:17 – 705km
Train No. 065 Moscow departing Kiev 06:16 to Chişinău 19:38 – via Tiraspol – 698km
Train No. 065/066 route timetable
Train No. 066 Chişinău to Tiraspol – 102.20 Moldovan Leu = approx 5.20€ (platskartny / 3rd class)
Train No. 066 Tiraspol to Kiev – 611.50 Moldova Leu = approx 31€ (platskartny / 3rd class)
The total price of a one-way ticket from Chişinău to Kiev was 36€ although if bought without a split at Tiraspol, it would probably be a few Euros cheaper.
My tickets for Train No. 066 departing Chişinău on Saturday 21st April 2018
NOTE: I originally bought a ticket from Tiraspol to Kiev having had the intention of waiting in Tiraspol station until approximately 2am after my day in Tiraspol. However by 7pm I didn’t have anything left to do in Tiraspol so I thought a better idea would be to return to Chişinău and catch the same train that I would’ve caught from Tiraspol about 2 hours earlier from Chişinău instead. I mean, who wants to stay awake forcefully in the cold and deserted railway station until 2am?!?...
What was the train like?
Train No. 065/066 has at least two classes of accommodation – 2nd class (kupe) and 3rd class (platskartny). Second class carriages have several 4-berth compartments whereas third class is an open plan dormitory.
Train No. 066 3rd class (platskartny)
On Train No. 066 via Transnistria… In very simple terms, you will not get a Moldovan exit stamp if leaving the country via Transnistria but you will receive an entry stamp into Ukraine. The immigration official almost forgot to stamp me into Ukraine so even though the border crossing occurs during the very early hours of the morning, probably when you are half asleep, it is always very important to check your passport when it’s given back to you to ensure they have correctly stamped you in (to avoid penalties on exiting the country). I did not encounter any issues taking this train.
Train No’s. 047 and 341 exit / enter Moldova at Otaci in the northern Moldova missing out Transnistria and therefore you should receive both an exit stamp from Moldova and an entry stamp into Ukraine.
On Train No. 065 via Transnistria… From online research, it appears that you do not receive an entry stamp into Moldova if entering via Transnistria, but you will be subject to a customs check at Chişinău station. In this situation, you will need to find the local immigration office in Chişinău and register your stay. Other online reports suggest that if you’re not staying in Moldova for very long (no idea what “not very long means”), the Ukrainain exit stamp will act as your entry stamp into Moldova but other reports say they were subsequently asked for ‘money’ – i.e. a bribe. Please do your research in advance if taking this train.
To avoid all the problems above, Train No’s. 047 and 341 avoid Transnistria and entry Moldova in Otaci. You should receive the standard Ukrainian exit stamp and Moldovan entry stamp on this route.
Train No. 066 (top) en-route and (bottom) at Kiev station on Sunday 22nd April 2018
The official Moldovan Railways website and my “How to travel by train in Moldova” guide.
The official Ukrainian Railways website.
There are always more photos to be shared, but sharing them all on this journal page will just make it look cluttered so if you want to see more photos for inspiration, check out my Flickr “Moldova–2018” and “Ukraine–2018” albums.
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