In this article I would like to talk about the cheap and easy ways to reach Ukraine. Unfortunately, because of the recent events Ukraine is often overlooked as the travel destination. However it has a lot to offer. Outstanding diverse nature, ancient cities full of history and hidden marvels, unique blend of cultures. Kyiv, Lviv, Uzhgorod, Odessa and many many more.
So you decided to go to Ukraine. Your step by step instruction how to do it in the best way possible without stress and confusion.
First check if you need a visa to go to Ukraine.
Hint: probably you don’t as Ukraine has visa free policy with majority of states. Here is the official page where you can check it: http://mfa.gov.ua/en/consular-affairs/entering-ukraine/visa-requirements-for-foreigners
Here is the visualization:
Okay, so you don’t need a visa and you are set to go. Let’s now work on your possible routes.
Hint: Ukraine has an extensive network of railways. In Soviet Union rail was the primary mean of transportation. That’s why rail travel is cheap, routes are multiple and you can reach majority of station by train. In practice it means that you can reach major cities (Lviv, Kyiv, Kharkiv) from even the smallest cities and villages.
Way №1: Polish way
a) From Warsaw
On the other hand, bus company PolskiBus can take you to Warsaw from all major Polish cities as well as Berlin, Prague and other cities around Poland.
Every day there are direct buses from Warsaw to Lviv (big Ukrainian city in the Western part included in UNESCO World Heritage List).
The prices may vary from 15 EUR to 22 EUR and more.
b) From Lublin
Lublin has a small airport with few Ryanair and Wizzair destinations
There is a direct bus Lublin-Lviv which will cost you around 8-9 EUR. Buses are frequent and depart more than 3 times per day.
You can book the ticket here: http://ticket.bus.com.ua/order?lang=en
c) From Krakow
Krakow is extremely popular tourist destination in Poland and city included in UNESCO World Heritage List.
There are several ways to reach Ukraine from Krakow:
– direct overnight bus Krakow-Lviv which you can book here: http://ticket.bus.com.ua/order?lang=en
Prices vary between 13 and 16 EUR
– direct train Krakow-Lviv that you only can buy on the train station in Krakow. Prices start from 42 EUR which is kinda expensive
d) From Rzeszow
Rzeszow is a little Polish city near the border with Ukraine which has an international airport which serves the Ryanair flights.
There is a direct bus Rzeszow-Lviv which costs ~11 EUR
Attention: in the Ukrainian ticket booking system you should search for Zheshuv instead of Rzeszow
e) From Krakow with few changes
Step by step:
– you book a PolskiBus from Krakow to Rzeszow, – prices starting from 0,5 EUR
– you change in Rzeszow for a train to Przemysl, booking a ticket here: https://www.biletyregionalne.pl/, – price 2,6 EUR
– you take a local bus from Przemysl to Medyka (Polish-Ukrainian border crossing), – price ~0,8 EUR
The bus stop in Przemysl from which the buses go to Medyka is here:
– you cross the border on foot, – price 0 EUR
– you take the local bus from Shehyni (Шегині) (Ukrainian border village) to Lviv, – price ~1,5 EUR
– Voila! You have just made it for under 10 EUR
Way №2: Slovakian way
Bratislava is served by Ryanair and Wizz Air flights as well as it lies very close to Vienna and not so far from Budapest. That’s why from here it is quite easy to reach Ukraine. This time the city you aim for in Ukraine is a small city in the Transcarpathian region Uzhgorod (Ужгород). Step by step guide:
Buy the train ticket from Slovak Rail Bratislava-Košice route. The prices start from 17 EUR and you can book it here: slovakrail.sk
From Košice there are direct buses to Uzhgorod (Ужгород). The price is ~6 EUR and the ticket can be booked here: http://ticket.bus.com.ua/
Uzhgorod is an interesting city in itself as it is a blend of different architectural styles and cultures and a gateway to Ukrainian Carpathian mountains and a Transcarpathian region full of natural attractions, castles and wooden churches. From Uzhgorod you can easily reach both Lviv and Kiev as there are direct trains to these destinations.
Way №3: Hungarian way
Budapest is a major European transportation hub. You have Ryanair and WizzAir flying to Budapest at cheap prices every day. Reaching Ukraine from Budapest can at first seem a bit tricky but with the instructions it is quite easy. The ways are the following:
a) direct WizzAir flight from Budapest to Kyiv can be a bit costly but if you book in advance you can get great deals: https://wizzair.com/
b) direct bus from Budapest to Chop (Чоп) (Ukrainian bordering city with Hungary)
In my opinion the best way to reach Ukraine from Hungary because it is direct, can be booked online and relatively cheap. The only downside is that it is not regular and goes to Chop only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
The price is ~17 EUR and the ticket can be booked here: http://ticket.bus.com.ua/
Attention: Bus departs from the cafe called “SZOGLET” and the stop is here:
From Chop you can book trains to Uzhgorod, Lviv and Kyiv using this site: http://booking.uz.gov.ua/en/
b) direct (kinda) train from Budapest to Chop (Чоп)
The price will be ~16 EUR
Attention: I don’t know what makes Hungarian Rail write that the train is direct but be aware that in Zahony (Hungarian border city with Ukraine) you will have to change for another train to reach Chop (Чоп). And this ride is included in your train ticket as Budapest-Chop.
Hint: You can’t buy Budapest-Chop ticket online but you can buy ticket Budapest-Zahony for the same train №34 online at http://elvira.mav-start.hu/elvira.dll/x/index?language=2 and then in Budapest or Zahony rail station you can buy ticket Zahony-Chop.
So far these are the ways of getting to Ukraine I would recommend. They are money-friendly and comprehensible (except maybe of the Hungarian Rail way)
If you have any questions or need some help feel free to write comments and ask, I will gladly help.
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