Metro station in Kyiv, Ukraine

History of the 51 Kyiv Metro Stations

Summary:

  • 3 operating lines: red aka M1, blue aka M2, and green aka M3
  • Covers 67.6 km (approximately 42 miles) in total distance
  • Consists of 51 independent metro stations
  • Services 1.3 million passengers daily
  • Has operated for 50+ years

Now here’s the best part:

It costs only 4UAH per ride (as of 10/2017 that’s approximately $0.15 cents). Yes, you read that correctly – I said 15 cents (U.S.) per ride!

And if you’re still really looking for a bargain, buy 50 passes at once and the price drops to 3.5 UAH per ride. They’ll even give you a “charged” metro card to make riding quicker. It’s worth the investment for the convenience alone.

Now some of you reading this are undoubtedly asking how these prices are even possible.

Well, here’s what happened:

The local currency – the grivna – collapsed after the 2014 revolution. At the time 1 U.S. dollar was equivalent to 8 grivnas whereas today 1 U.S. dollar buys ~ 26 grivnas. Imagine losing 3/4 of your savings overnight!

But let’s not digress into history too much. You’re after all only interested in the metro system, right?

So let’s look at two (2) maps of the metro system in Kyiv:

The first map just lists each metro stop by line (M1-M3) and is color-coded.

The second map is an overlay of the metro and city streets. It’s helpful to see where each metro stop physically resides to grasp where you are and how to get there.

The trickiest part about the metro system in Kyiv are the double stops that appear below. Notice how Maidan Nezalezhnosti / 217 (blue line) and  Khreshchatyk / 120 (red line) appear connected. This just means you can stay underground and get from one to the other. There are 3 like this for changing metro lines.

Kyiv metro map
Kyiv metro map
Kyiv metro & city map overlaid
Kyiv metro & city map overlaid

The remainder of the article provides a brief history of each metro stop and why it’s named as it is.

Red Line (Sviatoshynsko-Brovarska line)

1. “Lisova”

Opened: December 5, 1979
Initially, the station was called “Pioneer” in honor of the international year of the child. Later on, in 1993, it was renamed into “Lisova” (Forest), since the station is located near a forested area.

2. “Chernihivska”

Opened: October 4, 1968
“Chernihivska” station was initially named “Komsomolska” after the political youth organization of the USSR. It was renamed “Chernihivska” in 1993 because two of its exits are to streets that merge into highway E-95 (M01) which leads to the city of Chernihiv.

3. “Darnytsia”

Opened: November 5, 1965
Unlike the other underground stations “Darnytsia” was never renamed. It was named in honor of the eponymous historical area, which is located a few kilometers from the station. The origin of the name comes from the old Slavic language [darnytsia] (from the word “dar” meaning “gift”). In the middle ages there was a sloboda (or settlement) with a local inn with a bed and breakfast for the guests of the Duke of Kyiv.

4. “Livoberezhna”

Opened: November 6, 1965
Named after the Livoberezhny neighborhood meaning “Left Bank” as it’s located on the left bank of the Dnipro river.

5. “Hidropark”

Opened: November 5, 1965
“Hidropark” opened with a recreational area. The station is located on the Venetian island in the northern part of “Hidropark” – a park of culture and recreation.

6. “Dnipro”

Opened: November 6, 1960
“Dnipro” station got its name because it’s located at the foot of the Dnipro river.

7. “Arsenalna”

Opened: November 6, 1960.
Simply named after the nearby large plant “Arsenal”.

8. “Khreschatyk”

Opened: November 6, 1960
One of the exits leads to the same central street of Kiev, which is why the station named so. By the way, the name of Khreschatyk Street is coming from the Khreschaty Yar (“Cross Gully” as it was crossed with beams). In documents of XVII century the whole area was called Kreschata Valley.

9. “Teatralna”

Opened: November 6, 1987
Originally the station was named “Lenin”. In 1993 year it was renamed into “Teatralna” (Theatrical) due to the nearby Lesya Ukrainka Russian Drama Theatre and National Opera of Ukraine.

10. “University”

Opened: November 6, 1960
Station is named after the National Taras Shevchenko University located nearby.

11. “Vokzalna”

Opened: November 6, 1960
“Vokzalna” is named according to its location next to the Central and Suburban railway stations (Vokzal).

12. “Politekhnichnyi Instytut”

Opened: November 5, 1963
This station was named because of its location next to the KPI (Kiev’s Polytechnic Institute).

13. “Shuliavska”

Opened: November 5, 1963
Initially it was called “Zavod Bolshevik” (Bolshevik Factory). Then in 1993 it’s been renamed after the historical area. Original name of the area is coming from Old Slavic name “Shelvovi Borki” (secondary forest with plenty of lawns).

14. “Beresteiska”

Opened: November 5, 1971
Named in honor of Brest-Litovsky avenue (now known as Peremohy avenue).

15. “Nyvky”

Opened: November 5, 1971
“Nyvky” station is bearing the same name as historical area Nyvky. The name of the area comes from the word “Nyva” (Field), which is located on the right side of the Kiev-Brest Highway.

16. “Sviatoshyn”

Opened: November 5, 1971
“Sviatoshyn” as well as “Nyvky” got its name from the eponymous historical area.  In the most common version Svyatoshyn named in honor of Duke of Chernihiv.

17. “Zhytomyrska”

Opened: May 24, 2003
Named after the highway that leads to Zhytomyr city.

18. “Akademmistechko”

Opened: May 24, 2003
Akademmistechko (Scientific City) got its name from the surrounding area. The area was named this way because of the large number of scientific research institutes located in there.

Blue Line (Kurenivsko-Chervonoarmiyska line)

1. “Ipodrom”

Opened: October 25, 2012
Named after Kiev’s Horse Racetrack located near the station.

2. “Vystavkovyi Tsentr”

Opened: December 27, 2011
Literally: Exhibition Centre. Named after the nearby Exhibition Centre (permanent trade show).

3. “Vasylkivska”

Opened: December 15, 2010
The name of this station is linked to the nearest Highway – Vasylkivska Street.

4. “Holosiivska”

Opened: December 15, 2010
The station is located in the Holosiiv area. The origin of the name “Holosiiv” is still unknown.

5. “Demiivska”

Opened: December 15, 2010
The station was opened in 2010 and named after Demiivskyi Market located nearby. The origin of the name is not fully resolved. Whether it is associated with some particular person named Demiev or whether it comes from the verb “dmit” (demit”), i.e. “blow”. In favor of the latest version it could be named after the local glassblowing art factory whish is producing Crystal vessels and other products.

6. “Lybidska”

Opened: December 30, 1984
Station of “Lybidska” is named after the nearby Lybid river. And this river, in turn, is named in honor if mythical girl Lybid, sister of the legendary founders of Kyiv.

7. “Palats Ukrayina”

Opened: December 30, 1984
Here on the track you may see a picture of the Soviet Army star. The station initially was named “Chervonoarmiyska” (Red Army). But after nine years it’s been renamed to Palats “Ukrayina” in honor of the National Palace of Arts “Ukraine”.

8. “Olimpiiska”

Opened: December 19, 1981
Unlike the other underground stations, this one has been renamed three times. So during the project stage it was named “Central Stadium”, but it was opened under the name of “Republican Stadium”. Its current name is “Olimpiiska” (Olympic) which is coming from the nearby Olimpiyskiy National Sports Complex.

9. “Ploscha Lva Tolstoho”

Opened: December 19, 1981
This station has the same name since the opening and named in honor of the great writer Leo Tolstoy.

10. “Maidan Nezalezhnosti”

Opened: December 17, 1976
During the USSR, this station was called “Kalinin Square” and has been renamed three times. Initially – “Kalinin Square”, then in honor to 60th anniversary of the October revolution its name was changed to “October revolution Square”. While in the subway station had already called Oktyabrskaya (beresteyskaya now). The central square and the station received their current names on August 26, 1991 year – the first year Ukraine got its independence. And now everyone knows the heart of the Kyiv Metro – “Maidan Nezalezhnosti” (Independence Square).

11. “Poshtova Ploshcha”

Opened: December 17, 1976
During the construction, the name of the station was “Rechnoy Vokzal” (River Port) as the Port is located in front of the entrance to the metro. But eventually it was named Poshtova Ploshcha (Postal Square) because the station itself is located right on the square with the same name.

12. “Kontraktova Ploshcha”

Opened: December 17, 1976
At first the station was called “Red Square” and then renamed after the historical neighborhood – Contract Square with a Contracts House where all the city’s contracts were signed since Kievan Rus’.

13. “Tarasa Shevchenka”

Opened: December 19, 1980
You can the bust of the famous Ukrainian poet and writer on the platform of this station. As you probably guessed, this station is named after the famous Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko, and during the history of Kyiv Metro has never been renamed.

14. “Petrivka”

Opened: December 19, 1980
“Petrivka” got its name from the nearby railway station. According to historical facts this railway station and entire historical area known as Podil was called Petrivka (Petrovsky district) since 20-30s in the name of famous revolutionary activist and Soviet party figure – Grigory Petrovsky.

15. “Obolon”

Opened: December 19, 1980
Its named after the area Obolon. The word “Obolon” itself comes from an Old Slavic “bolonnja”, meaning water meadow, the lowered and floodplain area.

16. “Minska”

Opened: November 6, 1982
The station got its name from a number of sites located around it: Minsk district, Minsk square. Even the Obolonskiy Ave. leads towards the Minsk city (Belarus).

17. “Heroiv Dnipra

Opened: November 6, 1982
The station is named after the nearby Heroes of Dnipro street. Its name has never changed only socialist red stars which were used as a decoration have been removed from the walls due to decommunization laws.

Green Line (Syretsko-Pecherska line)

1. “Syrets”

Opened: October 14, 2004
Syrets is a name of historical area and a canal (tributary of the Dnipro river).

2. “Dorohozhychi”

Opened: March 30, 2000
Same as Syrets this station was named after its location – historical area Dorohozhychi. The most popular version regards the origin of the name is about two words “doroho” and “zhyty” which literally mean “expensive to live”.

3. “Lukianivska”

Opened: December 30, 1996
It is named after its historic location. According to one version it is named after some rich and famous tailor Lukian, who lived there, and according to the other version the area was named in the honor of a local farm owner Ihor Lukianenko.

4. “Zoloti Vorota”

Opened: December 31, 1989
Literally: Golden Gate. Not surprisingly, this station was named after the nearby historical site “Golden Gate”. During the reign of Yaroslav the Wise the Golden Gates served a defensive function for Kievan Rus’. It turns out that the Golden Gate was named after the similar Gate in Byzantium.

5. “Palats Sportu”

Opened: December 31, 1989
This station is named after nearby Kiev’s central Palace of sports.

6. “Klovska”

Opened: December 31, 1989
At first the station was named “Mechnikova” in the honor of Ilya Mechnikov the Nobel Prize winner in Physiology and Medicine. Its current name “Klovska” has been received in 1993. Since the platform is located in the historical area of “Klov” the station was named accordingly. The word is derived from the Indo-European “klov”, which means “moisture, water.” Earlier this place was popular among fishermen, there was a lot of fish in this area.

7. “Pecherska”

Opened: December 30, 1997
The station is named after the locality of Pechersk, where it’s been located. The origin of the name is pretty obvious: the caves (Ukrainian “pechery”) and the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.

8. “Druzhby Narodiv”

Opened: December 30, 1991
Literally: Friendship of Peoples. The platform is located directly under the Druzhby Narodiv Boulevard, so the name of this station is pretty obvious. With the name of this boulevard locals immortalized a great help of Sister Soviet Republics in reconstructing the Kyiv after the World War II.

9. “Vydubychi”

Opened: December 30, 1991
The station was named according to its location – Vydubychi area. According to Slavic legend the wooden figure of Perun went ashore (“vydybala”) in this place.

10. “Slavutych”

Opened: December 30, 1992
Slavutych station is considered to be one of the most beautiful stations on the Green line. “Slavutych” is a historical and folkloric name of the Dnipro river.

11. “Osokorky”

Opened: December 30, 1992
Firstly, it was a small village Osokorky (Black Poplar trees) which subsequently gave the name to entire neighborhood and eventually to its one and only metro station.

12. “Pozniaky”

Opened: December 30, 1994
“Pozniaky” named after the area and neighborhood. Area itself, in turn, got its name from the wealthy villagers Leon Pozniak and Moses Pozniak, who bought this land in 1631.

13. “Kharkivska”

Opened: December 30, 1994
The name of the station leads us to the Kharkiv Highway and Kharkiv array located nearby. By the way, there’s a route leading right towards the Kharkiv city.

14. “Vyrlytsia”

Opened: March 4, 2006
“Vyrlytsia” is one of the youngest station in Kyiv. There’s a big lake named Vyrlytsia just beside the station.

15. “Boryspilska”

Opened: August 23, 2005
Boryspilska station is named after the road that goes towards the city of Boryspil and International airport.

16. “Chervony Khutir”

Opened: May 23, 2008
Literally: Red Farm. The station is located on the territory of the Chervony Khutir suburb, hence the name.