Many people who travel to Lviv will enter via Poland.
They will come from various Polish cities. Sometimes getting from Poland to Ukraine using public transportation as easy as taking a direct bus or train.
This is fairly easy and straightforward. However some may want to go a more adventurous route using local transport. This post will give you information on how to do it with ease. It will also tell you how to do it and give you a few facts so that you can avoid the mistakes that people have made. This is your guide of how to get from Poland to Lviv by public transport.
Warsaw and Krakow are the Easiest Cities in Poland to begin this journey. Here is Why.
Krakow and Warsaw both have direct trains to Kiev. These trains will stop in Lviv. You can not buy tickets online so don’t waste the time trying. Both cities have direct buses. You can buy these tickets online with ease. you can use the search engine https://www.omio.com/.
Chances are you will find someone who will speak english so you won’t be lost in translation as I was in Eastern Poland. I did not take the easiest route in this direction. I did in the other direction and took an Ecolines bus from Lviv to Warsaw.
How to travel from Warsaw to Lviv
On my journey I was too confident from spending much time in eastern Europe. I made many mistakes and I will tell you how to not repeat these mistakes. Take note of my mistakes if you plan to take this journey.
I decided that I did not want to take a direct bus from Warsaw to Lviv. Last year, I had completed the reverse journey and the border crossing took 6 hours. It will probably not take as long going into Ukraine but Poland is an EU member and there is a smuggling issue.
I booked a ticket with http://www.polskibus.com from Warsaw to Rzeszow. It was only 9 PLN. Less than 3 USD but it could be more or less for you depending on supply and demand.
My plan was to sleep on Rzeszow for one night and it would be easy.I also booked a ticket with https://ecolines.net/ua/uk from Rzesozow to Lviv thinking it would make it easy on myself. Wrong!
I went to the address given by the bus company and waited for over 30 minutes. I was either lost or it never came at all. Nobody seemed to understand or know how to help meHow I Ended up Taking the Journey. Train Adventure!
The inside of the Polish trains
Okay, so things go wrong. No big issue. Now, it has turned into a train journey.
The Rzesozow train station is right across from the buses. I went to the window and bought a ticket to Przemysl. Przemysl is a small city not far from Ukrainian border. There seemed to be very frequent trains to Przemysl from Rzeszow.
You will probably not have to wait more than an hour for a train if you go in the day time. Just buy the ticket at the window. The ticket was 22 PLN. That is only about 6 USD. The train ticket was only 22 PLN. It left and 10:38 and took just less than 2 hours.
I arrived in Przemysl and was not sure if i could get a train or if i had to walk across the border. Luckily there was a train. The schedule is below. You could also make your way from other cities in Poland. Search times at the Schedule of trains to Lviv.
Trial and Error
This part is quite comical and where I made the most terrible mistakes that could have easily been avoided had i spoken Polish.
Initially, I booked a ticket for the 13:10 journey shown above. It was only about 25 PLN in cost. 12. 5 for reservation and 12.5 for the ticket itself. The issue is that I never found my train and was convinced that they had lied to me and the train never existed.
I was wrong however, I had failed to find my platform. I went back to ticket window and was very frustrated at this point. Someone soon translated for me and i had to book onto the next train. I had to pay for just the reservation of the next train. 3 Euros is no big deal.
I soon found out why i never found my train. The train is on platform 4 and it is hard to find if nobody tells you where it is
Finding Platform 4
To find platform 4 it is not that easy and was told that someone always misses the train due to not knowing. To get to 4, you will take two tunnels. Go down the first tunnel. This one is obvious as it right as you come out of the building of the train station.
Continue down and climb up stairs to a sign that says platform 4 and 5.This is the part that is confusing. The two platforms across from each other are actually 3 and 5. Not 4 as most would think. Platform 3 and 5. Platform 4 is in between via a second tunnel.
Please don’t stop here or you miss your train. Continue 3/4 down the platform until you see a not so obvious tunnel. Walk down the stairs and through the tunnel and up the stair to the platform. You will see a customs area. Get on your train there
It is best to be there 30 minutes early. Please do not repeat my mistake.
Przemysl is nice looking city to walk around
Events on the Train
At the start of the journey the polish border guards will come and check your passport. They will stamp you out of the Schengen area.
Soon after that, the Ukrainian border guards come along. They may ask you why you are going to Ukraine. “Tourism” was a good enough answer in my case. I was then stamped into Ukraine and proceeded on my way.
Arriving in Lviv
The Train only stops for about 5 minutes so be sure to have all of your things ready to move quickly. Many others will get out there so no worries. Lviv Train station has an ATM, cafe, squat toilets. There is a currency swap across the street too. Tram 1, 9 and 10 will go to Rynok Square. You pay 3 UAH to the driver of the tram.
Other possible border crossings from Przemysl
You can also cross by foot.
This way is typically Przemysl-bus-Medyka-border-Shegyni-bus-Lviv. The buses from Medyka are next to the train station in Przemysl.
You go through the tunnel where the tracks are and it is the opposite side of the main station building. There is no schedule and the bus is less than one euro. It takes 15 minutes.
You walk across, go through immigration and customs and you are in Shegyni. You walk about 100 meters more and will find local buses to Lviv.
Yes, I saw. You were doing well, until everyone died. Yes, I saw. You were doing well, until everyone died. I never loved you. Take me to your leader! Hey, whatcha watching?