Poltava (Ukrainian: Полтава) is a city in Central Ukraine, administrative center of Poltavs'ka oblast (Poltava region), medium-sized city (population just over 300.000).


Poltava is also called a cultural capital because of its colourful history and many famous Ukrainians who were born in Poltava. Native citizens often follow this idea, being proud of their city and calling it "a city where one wants to live in". Off course, trying to keep this rate: there are many sites of architecture, museums, universities, elementary schools, cinemas, theatres and so on. Apart from that, city is often referred as "green" as there are many parks, gardens and other recreational areas. In the recent years the municipal administration considered itself as being responsible to make the city centre clear and looking more like a European rather than Soviet city.

Languages spoken are Russian and Ukrainian. (Latter is official and first is more widely spoken). However most people understand and are able to talk both. English isn't widely known, but many people (especially young people) would make their best attempt to understand you. You may be glad to know that some people you talk to are quite fluent in English (or German, French), as these languages have been studied at school.

Get in

Train and bus are the only reasonable ways to get to Poltava (unless you have your own car), and ticket price is roughly equal.

By train

Kiev Station (Kyivskyi Vokzal), one of two railway stations.

Four railway lines coming out west, east, south and southeast from Poltava. Usually there would be a few trains per day to your selected destination, see the website of Ukrzaliznytsia (Ukrainian railways) for timetable and ticket prices.

By bus

Bus connection with other cities is fine, especially along E40 road (Poltava is midway between Kyiv and Kharkiv): buses usually arrive/depart every hour or a few. It will take you 5 hours to get from Kyiv or 3 hours from Kharkiv. There are a few different carriers on these routes:

By car

Poltava has fine road connection in most directions: west (E40 to Kiev), east (E40 to Kharkiv), southwest (E577 to Kremenchuk), north (to Hadyach), northeast (to Kotel'va and Russian boundary) and southeast (to Krasnograd, connection with E105 Moscow-Kharkiv-Simferopol road).

Do not go along other minor roads indicated on the map unless you know it's fine (otherwise you may experience bad road quality or get lost somewhere in rural area).

By plane

Not possible (there is an airport in Suprunivka, 5km west of Poltava, however no regular passenger service is available).

Get around

It would be a good idea to have an acquaintance with a bilingual local person who will give you advice on how & where to go around Poltava. But if you don't have one, you can ask for help at local English-speaking message board en.poltavaforum.com

Notice that most of city transport is operating between 6AM and 10PM on major routes, and only until 8-9PM to suburbs. During hours different from this, prefer taxi. There are crowdy routes, where you may not be able to take a seat. During rush hours (6-9 AM, 5-6PM and possibly throughout the day on suburb routes) you may loss up to 1 hour of your time due to municipal transport being filled up. Be aware of suburb routes as well as of the dates of holidays/other celebrations, where serious delays are likely. In trolleys, buses and marshrutkas you pay a single fixed price for each trip at each vehicle, no matter how far away you go (within city limits).

By foot

Poltava is relatively small city, where it is possible to cross it one border to another in 1.5 hours. If you're walking around down-town & historical centre, you are 30 min away from any destination within it. So if you know where to go across centre, you may not use transport at all. However, for safety reasons, don't walk by foot to distant suburbs, if you don't know your way or if it is late evening/night.

Bear in mind that the Lower City (Podol/Podil, Russian: Подол, Ukrainian: Поділ) near Vorskla river and Pivdenna Train Station is situated really deep down, so walking up to the train station can be very tiresome.

By bus / marshrutka

There are 62 bus routes, connecting most districts of the city. Most often it is an optimal way to get around. Both bus and marshrutka cost 1.75 hryvna ($0.22), no matter how far you go. The difference is that buses are larger (yellow minibuses are considered buses too) and you pay money to conductor who asks you; marshrutkas are small minivans where you pay directly to the driver. Don't rely on the fact that you can enter/exit marshutka outside from official bus stops: it is sometimes possible, but actually prohibited by law.

By trolley

There are 11 trolley routes across the city. This is the cheapest kind of transport, however particularly slow and often crowded, sometimes delayed. Ticket costs 1 hryvna ($0.12), paid to a conductor, who will ask you soon after you enter the trolley.

By taxi

It is recommended to order a taxi by phone, not to hire somewhere on the street. This way you'll be safer, and meet better service and possibly lower price. See for phone number and car number written down on the car - so you will differ between taxi service and unlicensed individual. Costs from 15 to 35 hryvnas (2-4 US$) across the city, or more if you go to several locations. You pay for kilometers, not minutes, however additional costs include waiting time, distant areas.





Further afield








Go next

Nyzhnosulskyy National Park] and Pyriatyn National Natural Park

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