Krakow to Lviv

How to travel from Krakow to Lviv

The following is a list of ways to go from Krakow, Poland to Lviv Ukraine. I live in Krakow and go to Lviv a lot for various reasons. Many people touring Eastern Europe are fine with going to Poland and EU country but are afraid to cross out of the Schengen zone. If you are in Poland for more than a couple of days you might want to consider a trip to Lviv.

The Polish city of Lvov was once the cultural capital of Poland. Krakow was considered a smaller town in comparison. Many people speak Polish in Lviv and the city is multi national and tourist friendly.

How to go from Cracow to Lvov

The return trip is easy as once you get there you can just do the reverse.

  • You can get a bus from Krakow to Lviv for 70 pln or about 22 dollars. This is the simple way, it leaves every night from the main bus station in Krakow at 8 pm. The bus often does not have a bathroom so do not drink water or ask the driver to stop the bus. I have in emergencies. When nature call you can not hang up the phone. I drank 1.5 liters of water and boarder the bus. I did this as I thought the bus came in 1 1/2 hours, but just as I finished the bus pulled up for its 12 hour trip.
  • Another more complicated way which I do personally as I like day travel and trains over buses. I go from Krakow to Przemyśl, a Polish town on the Polish-Ukrainian border. You can get there in 3 1/2 hours. It costs about 15 dollars or 40 Polish złoty.  At Przemysl take a  Marshrootka or van to the  for 2 PLN there are white vans or small buses that are everywhere, just ask someone in English. Do the same to get to Lviv once you cross the Polish boarder, they come ever 20 minutes.  I have been stuck there in the middle of the night because I think they stop at about midnight and had to wait until 5 am. I slept on the grass.
  • Any travel in Ukraine is much cheaper than travel in Poland, about 1/3 or less the price. For example I went 26 hours on a Ukrainian sleeper train to Crimea for about 20 dollars once. This same Polish train would cost about 200 dollars.
  • You can buy a ticket to Lviv for about 50 dollars in a sleeper car.  This is the most comfortable way to get to Ukraine from Poland. But it is also the most expensive (I am not talking about flying or with a private car).
  • If you have tons of cash many Jewish Rabbis have a private car to Lviv and this can be arranged also at the Edan hotel in Krakow.
  • I have flown once but for a strange reason, no worth it generally.
  • My friend who is a girl hitchhikes, I have tried begging a ride also. My recommendation is if you do this hold up a sign that says your destination like “I am going to Lviv”.  Best in the Polish language of course.

Travel issues going to Lviv from Poland

Ukrainian currency – I change currency in Poland. I look for the best rate. The worst place to change money is in the Lviv train station. Just be aware. In Lviv itself there are many places, just check the rates.

Visa requirements for Ukraine – there are none if you are European or American.

Ukrainian boarder crossing – The guards are looking for illegal trade, this does not affect you, tell them you are a tourist and you can cross the boarder in 20 minutes instead of 3 hours.  Really, I flash my American or Polish passport and speak English and I am hustled to the front of the line. The line is really only for people making money going from Poland to Ukraine for economic reasons.

Where to eat in Lviv – Any student cafeteria like Rodzinka or Puzata hut (hata). Three dollars a meal.

Where to say in Lviv – Hotel Lviv, cheap (12 to 18 dollars) and unfriendly but my favorite place. I also stay in the
Kosmonaut Hostel (10 dollars), very cheap but nice.

If you have any questions on how to get from Krakow to Lviv let me know.  Also let me know about your experiences if you have ever been to Krakow or Lviv.



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135 responses to “Krakow to Lviv”

  1. Andrew


    This is an interesting site you have – and very informative, too. I have family who come from the Lubin region and were landowners in L’wow when it was part of Poland.

    My question though is: Why is Krakow increasingly spelt ‘Cracow’ nowadays? Is it an anglicisation?

    1. admin

      Thanks for the comment Andrew.
      I have never liked Krakow spelled as Cracow. The spelling Cracow is the old Latin form and Krakow is more the original Polish spelling. I prefer Krakow as it is closer to Polish orthography (Kraków). However, many Poles for some reason feel the need to translate everything, they feel it is more official or something, therefore, I see a lot of tour agents marketing to the UK use Cracow.
      Another example of this over translation is, I see on the menus in Krakow things like ‘dumplings and fat wieners’. I was wondering what could this be. Then I realized it was ‘pierogi and kielbasa’.
      On the other hand, I prefer Lviv rather than Lwow. Why? Lviv is the Ukrainian spelling and it is a Ukrainian city. Maybe the Poles ruled in the past but now it is Ukrainian and even when the Poles were there, 90% of the people in the region, that is the Lviv – Ternopil obasts were Ukrainian. While the Poles lived in certain districts in the city. Much like Podgórsze where I live now in Kraków was the Austrian district when the Austrians rules Krakow.
      Poles do not like this either, but hey they had the same experience with the Germans and the Austrians. I am not going to call Gdansk, Danzig etc. I believe in the political process and for the last 70 years Lviv has been Ukrainian and Wrocłow has been Wrocłow in Poland. I am a Pole and a patriot but I believe in peace and love and more of a Christian than a nationalist.
      Therefore, your question was great at it brings to the surface a lot of subtle historical issues. I am a history buff as you can tell.
      My family is from the Lublin area and Western Ukraine also. Where in the Lublin area are they from? My family is from the famous and infamous city of Frampol (as mentioned in Issac Singers novels and for other reasons). But my family ultimately comes from the Biernats of Lubin of course. Biernat z Lublina was one of the fathers of the Polish language.

      1. Krzysiu

        Hey, stumbled across your site and thought I’d ask you a question. I live in Philadelphia but will be in Poland for Euro 2012. I actually have tickets for a match in Lviv for sat night the 9th June. I will be in Warsaw and was wondering how long it would take to get to Lviv by train. It seems quite long so I will probably release my tickets. I don’t even arrive in Warsaw until Friday the day before.
        Thank you. I really enjoy the sight.

        1. Mark Biernat

          Warsaw to Lviv is 12 hours. If you have a car I think you can do it faster but I can not imagine that with all the Euro 2012 activity, even if they have a special bus for Euro 2012 it would be much less time. They bth Poland and Ukraine are not well prepared as all the big wigs are too busy shaking hands and not focused on something simple like getting the roads done.

          1. Manuel de Melo Jr

            Hi Mark, I am staying in Krakow and going to watch two Portugal games in Lviv. What is the best way to get to Lviv from Krakow? I thought of renting a car but I am told it is difficult to cross the border with a rental car. The games are at night and then there is the problem of getting back to Krakow after the game. Are there buses that will go to the game in Lviv and then back to Krakow after the games? It does not make sense to have hotel room in Krakow and sleep on a train so I am looking for a better way to go to Lviv and come back after the games.

          2. Mark Biernat

            Just take the night train from the Lviv main station to the central station in Krakow. For you it would be the easiest. Both train stations are downtown and you can sleep on the trains if you go either way.
            Taking an EU car to Ukraine is no problem if it is yours but a rent a car to Ukraine a non EU country is taking a chance and you would be responsible if anything happened.

        2. Rachel

          I was happy to find your site but do not see dates beside the posting so am not sure if you are still in Krakow and if the transportation info is the same. I visited Krakow as my family was from there originally. This trip we will be in Ukraine visiting orphanages and will take the overnight train to Lviv, from there can we still take an overnight train to Krakow?
          Also, can you tell me if we should buy our transportation tickets in advance due to the soccer games coming up mid June thru July?
          And lastly, do you know if it is difficult to purchase the soccer tickets?

          1. Mark Biernat

            They will run extra trains for sure. Go to it has an English page. But go buy it from a local travel agent, there use to be Orbis but that when under but you can buy a ticket in advance. I have had little time in recent weeks so sorry for the short reply.

        3. Myra

          My Polish friend visited me in Lviv last year. She left Warsaw at about 10.30pm (polish time) and arrived in lviv at 6.30am (ukrainian time). She traveled by bus.

  2. Andrew

    I know that the Ukraine and Poland have had a very turbulent history together, especially during Poland’s third republic period. One of my relatives even said (to my aunt) how the Ukrainians she employed on the estate told her from time to time that the “Poles would get their come-upannce” and were all happy to welcome the bolsheviks and na__s because of the universal anti-Polish sentiment…

    All that said, I personally don’t have any animosity for the Ukraine since I consider them fellow Slavs and because the past is, well, the past. I really just said L’wow for fun.

    Have you never read books by a Polish-American called WS Kuniczak? Look for a book if his called Valedictory which is about a Polish nobleman, turned RAF fighter pilot, whose family estate was also in the Lublin/Ukraine area. It’s very well written and incredibly atmospheric. It’s part of a trilogy about Poles in the second world war.

    I’m looking forward to returning to the area sometime this summer, actually. I’m going to visit Krakow and want to see everything, especially Wawel Castle, since my cousin said it was the biggest castle in all continental europe – though I wonder if that was just a bit of Polish exaggeration? 😛

    1. admin

      Actually I kind of knew you said Lwow for fun and when I am in Poland this is how I say it and spell it. Not for political reasons or anything but, that is the Polish spelling. The Polish spelling of Warsaw is Warsawa, I use this too 🙂 And Filadefia, for Philly. I thought I would rant on as it was topic.

    2. admin

      You have to come out here and find your relatives towns and villages and history. It is an very interesting place. If you have any questions about travel or anything just ask, I have lived here a long time.
      I an kind of a pan-Slav also, I think Slavic culture is very interesting and my world is anything East of the Oder river.

      1. Ani

        Hi Mark,

        I just discovered through the international tracing service that I have long lost family after the war living in the village of Tseniv not far from Lviv. I would love to go see them this summer. I am a US/Australian citizen. Can you tell me anything about the village and the region? Would it be safe for me to travel there alone? I have a very good friend living in Krakow and am thinking we should go together for translation purposes as well, will I have a big language barrier? Any information would be helpful to me. Thank you, Ann

        1. Mark Biernat

          It is 100% safe and easy to travel. You are from a beautiful region. I have travelled it with my wife many times at all hours of the day and night. It is not an issue. Depending on the flight costs you can fly to Kiev or Krakow or Warsaw or maybe to Lviv, but I think it is more. Than take a train to Lviv and stay there or hire a driver to the village. I would even get a local student to help negotiate a cheap price like I did. Language is not an issue as most people under 35 speak English and you can always find someone. People are nice and friendly.

          I do find it odd when Americans ask about safety. I mean I live near Jacksonville, Florida which is like a murder capital, with gunfire in the streets. In Ukraine and Poland there are very few violent crimes and mostly petty crimes of theft. It is safe.

          Let me know if you have more questions about this region of Ukraine. You can meet your family like I did and it will be nice.

  3. Omar

    Hi, and thank you for this great and informative article.
    I’m visting a friend in Lviv, then will have to catch a flight from Krakow to Canada (through Frankfurt). My flight from Krakow is at 10:00 AM. So I thought of taking the fast night train from Lviv to Krakow.
    Does that sound a good plan? Does the train stop at the border for checking? I heard else where that crossing borders by car of bus can take very long time. Does that apply to the train as well?
    When I get to Krakow, is it an easy ride from the train station to the airport?
    I’m sorry for asking so many questions, but at first I thought it is a straightforward thing, but after reading few posts I started to panic.


    1. Mark Biernat

      The train does not stop like a bus or car at the boader, rather the boarder guards board the train and check it this way during transit from Lviv to Krakow or Krakow to Lviv. When the train gets into Krakow station, they have a direct express to the airport which leaves every 20 minutes or something. So go right from the Lviv train to the aiport express. You can take a taxi if you want but the train is faster.

      You will be cutting it close but you should make it. Polish trains are pretty much on time. I think the bus gets in about 8am in the morning even with the boarder crossing. Check the time the train arrives in the station at Krakow. The Krakow aiport is very small and once there you can board pretty easy.

    2. Mark Biernat

      Omar, My question is what passport will you be traveling with, if you have a US or Canadian it should be OK? If you are travelling with a non EU passport or a non US passport, expect the Polish army to check you out, I have seem them arrest people many times as they are very strict with rules with Schengen visa and entering the EU. Since the Polish Army has is a border country on the Schengen border from east to west they are very strict. Also if you have a Ukrainian passport you should be OK also. Just have you papers in order if you do not have a US or EU or Canadian passport or you could miss you flight.

  4. alan

    I was thinking of doing the trip between Krakow and Lviv, I am only in Krakow for 5 days but would like to try and see Lviv for a day, is this a good idea? Van you give me some idea of the price of the train and how long it will take, I imagine it will be easier to take the direct, is the other train route more complicated?

    1. Mark Biernat

      There are many one day trips to Lviv arranged and on your own. I wold go on my own. You do not need a hotel as they are night trips. You get there in the morning like 7 am and have until 8 pm to see the city.

      How you got from Krakow to Lviv depends on if you have money. I would take the train ( 65 dollars) to Lviv if you have money and a bus for about 25 dollars if you do not. It is a night bus and train so you can sleep.

      I would go to Lviv. You only live once and might as well see it all. They have a old town larger than Krakow. I go to Lviv a lot. Its a nice city.

      1. IRINA

        I just foud your comments about krakow-lviv, I am a Ukrinaian girl and will be in krakow 06/02/12 about 12 30 do you think I can teke a sleeper car and it will be better for me to go to Lviv? How much it will be cost and how long?
        Thank you very much,

        1. Mark Biernat

          It depends on you, but I recommend a bus or day train as the night sleeper car is expensive, like 200+ pln while he bus is 80 pln and the day train less. It depends on your budget. I am a foofy American and maybe only once took the night sleeper train. It is more comfortable and the best way to travel but it is all the same time about 10 hours the only difference is you sleep better. What are you in Krakow for? Where are you from in Ukraine? I think you will like Krakow.

          1. IRINA

            Hi mark thank you for your answer, I am from Berezany its about 90 km from Lviv, I came from spain its more cheaper to go to Ukraine in this moment, I take a flights from Alicante to Krakow its cost me 100 € both way, and my friends told me that there are many bus which I can take to go to Lviv its coast about 50 €, because I will be in Krakow about 13 00 in the morning. Sorry for my English grammar.

          2. Mark Biernat

            Yes agreed. To Krakow will be cheapest then a bus over night to Lviv will be like 20 Euro at most. If you take a day train to the boarder then walk across or with a van even cheaper. Please do not write in all caps and try to grammar check.

  5. Kevin

    We are travelling to Lviv to visit my girlfriends father next week and I just have a few questions to ask.
    How many trains a day travel to Lviv from Kraków train station?

    How long are we looking to be on the train until we arrive at Lviv?

    Does the train change wheels at the border of Poland? resulting in few hours wait?

    any reply to any of these questions would be really helpful.

    1. Mark Biernat

      Bus every night to Lviv, however, train I think most but not all nights. There is no wait at the boarder on a train, if you do not mind paying extra get a sleeper car.
      If you want simple take a train to the boarder to Przemyśl Polish trains go there several times a day.
      Its a very easy trip with many options. Here is the Polish train site they have it in English also.

  6. ILIAS

    We are planning to stay in Krakow for 4 days and going to Lviv for one day. Please tell me which one is the most recommended way to go to Lviv-no matter the cost-and the most safe way. Also please tell me what is the “Jewish Rabbis” matter in Edan Hotel. Thanks a alot.

    1. Mark Biernat

      Well you can go to the Eden hotel and they can arrange a trip for you by car. But that is really pricey. I recommend a night train. It is very safe. The USA is not safe. Poland is safe. I am an American and live in Poland and go to Ukraine. Unless you have a sign on your back that says please hit me, there is no reason you will have any problems on a night train, you can even get the whole compartment.

  7. olena

    I need some advice, I arrive at the airport in Krakow at 8:45, what would be the best way to go to Lviv? Thank you very much.

    1. Mark Biernat

      Olena, in my opinion to land and then get your bags, then go to the bus or train station you will not make it that night to Lviv. There is a train directly from the airport to the center but still I do not think you could make the train to Lviv that night. So you will have to do it the next day. If you have cash just buy a ticket at the train station to Lviv. If you have less cash do some of the things I advice in this post.

  8. Nuria


    Is there any problem if we buy a train ticket from Krakow to Lvov (sleeper train) just the day before? We plan to do this on the 2nd or 3rd of August and we are afraid about all the tickets sold by the time we arrive in Poland….
    We found a travel agency who offers to buy it in advanced but ask us 90 euros each (in two people department) but I find it still too expensive…am I rigth?
    Thanks a lot for all the information and for this very interesting article,


    1. Mark Biernat

      The train does not run on every night. 90 euro is too much I think. I would work with Orbis or you can even check PKP the Polish train website, it is in English. But to answer your question, I have never had a problem going to Lviv. If I can not get a train, I take the bus or take a train to the boarder.
      Take a bus – it leaves every night and it is very cheap, always room on the bus. You buy it right from the main bus station.

  9. Uliana

    Hey! I arrive at 9.50 to the airport of Krakow, and then i want to go to Lviv as soon as possible. What should I do? There´s a bus at 11.30 to Lviv, do I have enough time to get to the bus station? or maybe you can advise me something else?
    Thank You so much.

    1. Mark Biernat

      Your saying there is a bus at 11:30 at night or day? If your plan is on time and it is day, no problem. But at night when everyone is tired and things are closed down I would not do it.
      However, I speak Polish and have done this before so I could make it. But that is me, I live here. You as a tourist might be stressed.
      But if it is a day bus, it is OK. Plus there are local trains to the boarder all the time. Walk across the boarder and you are all set.

    2. Mark Biernat

      In my opinion it is all very safe.

  10. Philip

    Hi Mark

    I just found your site through a search.

    I hope you can help me.

    I am travelling with a group of about 12 people
    from Krakow to Lviv next month.

    We are planning to travel on the overnight sleeper train which leaves Krakow Glowny at 10:34pm and arrives in Lviv about 5:20am the next morning.

    What I am trying to find out is..

    Can we pre-book our train tickets in advance online?

    (If so can you please tell me which site I can book on please)
    Will we need to be present at the train station early to make sure that we all get a place on the train?
    What time would you recommend we arrive at the station?

    Can we get a group discount?

    Hope you can help…

    Thank you

    1. Mark Biernat they have an English version if you navigate it. But this is ‘by train tickets though the Internet’. In English it has all the information, but I have never heard of a group discount on 12 people to Lviv. Just normal people go there every night. I arrive at the station 1/2 before it leaves to get all set. It is easy, you go under this tunnel. There are 5 train platforms with two sides each. Everyone under 30 speaks English (almost). I do not recall which number is for Lviv. If it is too complex try Orbis in Krakow they book these and are pretty fair.
      But the reality is it is very easy and clear.

  11. Soloman

    I will fly to Krakow soon and I would like to learn that what is the earliest way to go to Lviv ?
    Because I will sleep in a hotel in Krakow and I have to go to Lviv in the earliest time next morning ? Train or bus? I hope there are some buses in the morning or trains.
    Thank you .

    1. Mark Biernat

      Take a Polish PKP train to the boarder and then walk across, then take a van. I have done this. There are no direct connections from Krakow to Lviv in the morning. You can check the PKP website here (, it has an English version. Go to the Polish town Przemyśl. There are many trains that go there.

  12. Creager

    How much is the price with a Taxi from Krakow airport t0 Lviv?

    Do the the taxi drivers speak English ? 🙂

    1. Mark Biernat

      More on Krakow to Lviv:
      1) There should be no problem with just a passport. I have an American and Polish passport, never a problem on either In fact, if I tell them I am a tourist they bring me to the front of the line on the days I walk across as to avoid the crowd of merchants making money going back and forth. But this is only if you walk. Passport should be fine if you are traveling from Krakow to Lviv.
      2) You do not want to take a taxi from the airport. I can not imagine you want to take a taxi, it is like 500 dollars I would think, and then you have to go across the boarder and get a taxi on the Ukrainian side. If you go to the Edan hotel to the front desk, in Kazimesh they are arrange it for you with an English speaking taxi and honest etc.
      But man, just take a train or taxi to the train station and get a train. You can get a day train to the boarder. Hey if you really want to pay me I can take you there 🙂 Polish taxi drivers do not speak English usually but you can be understood. You have money they will do anything, drive you right to Moscow. In fact I once hire a car (a friend drove me) from Kiev to Lviv, long ago before I knew what I was doing, but would never do that now. It is safe. I have meet young American and Polish girls traveling alone through Ukraine this way, that is by train.
      3) Cracow to Lvov by commuter train – Poland and Ukraine are very safe countries. I travel this way all the time. You have so many options. Lviv is a beautiful city and worth the trip. If you want to tip me a little I can even meet you in Krakow and put you on the right day train to Lviv or my wife who is Polish and father worked for the rail will show you and tell you exactly. I have done this as my friends countless times.
      It is safe and much better than a taxi, I think. But that is up to you.
      Boarder on a night train they check passports on the train, which makes boarder crossing fast. Day train you walk across and wait about 1 or 2 hours at the boarder depending, some days its like 20 minutes.
      You take a van on the other side to Lviv. Its cheap and during the day I think they run every 20 minutes. Again all very safe.
      Please write back and let me know what your concerns are etc.

  13. Peter

    Mark < Im in Krakow now and hope to go to Lviv tomorrow morning. My plan is to get the 11.05 train to Przemyl. Is it far to the border from there? How much would the minibus / taxi cost to the border from Przemyl ? And how much does it cost to get the minibus from the Ukrainian side of the border to Lviv?

    Also I see you advise to change money in Poland before crossing into Ukraine. Is it ok to go and just and find an ATM (bankomat) on the Ukrainian side ( that's what I usually do — and what I did when I arrived in Krakow yesterday — as the exchange rates offered by many of the kantors are quite bad)
    Sorry for all the questions! Peter

    1. Mark Biernat

      The mini bus is cheap. Lets say free. It is like a dollar or something, maybe 5 on the Ukrainian side. On the Polish side maybe 5 pln. Ask people and they will know. Przemyl is a nice peaceful little town. Ask at a hotel if you are totally lost.
      I use ATMs (I think there are many Citibank or Deutsche banks that give good rates or exchange in any place but the train station for example. The rates at train and bus stations are the worst.
      Let me know who things go or if you have questions. Sorry I do not know if you will get this in time.

  14. Peter

    Mark , just realised I havent given you much time to see my mail! Sorry about that! Im sure I’ll find it out the answers to my questions as I go along tomorrow! Peter

  15. Andriy

    Hi Mark,

    I found at there is the night train leaving Krakow at 22:34 and arriving to Lwow/Lviv Central Station at 06:03. Is it possible to find out the roughly price for a sleeping place in this train?

    Thank you, your information will be very appreciated.

    1. Mark Biernat

      I think it was about 65 dollars, if I remember. Next time I am at the train station I can ask. I prefer the cheaper day train experience because you see more and more action, but nigh train is good if the timing is right, that is you are in a hotel in Krakow or with friends and you can leave at 10:30 at night. I live here so I can just walk to the station.

  16. fletch

    thanks for the information Mark, i arrived in Lviv earlier today. 9:34am Train from krakow to przemysl was about 46z.I had to wait for an hour for the bus from the bus terminal outside the train station (bus platform 1 at 15:30) direct to lviv for 20z The queue at the border crossing was about 15mins

    1. Mark Biernat

      Thank you for the information. I have gone from Krakow to Lviv many times and never had a major problem. I like this method the best. That is the train to Przemysl.

  17. jane

    hi mark; beem reading ur forum,intresting could you please help me flying to krakow 27 dec 2010 hoping to catch the overnite sleeper to lviv comming back 7 jan are the trains running as it is christmas day in ukraine someone tould me poland have two christmases have beem to ukraine many times i have family there,normally catch train from rzeszow thank the way last bus from ukraine border leaves 9.00pm 15hyr very cheap.

    1. Mark Biernat

      Trains run 365 days out the year in Poland and I think the same in Ukraine. Even on Christmas. I can not say for sure if – check this site it has an English version. – Poland do not worry about. It is all very easy. It is like the USA for me. Ukraine, I think will be OK on this day, but I wish I could say for sure but to not have experience with this.

  18. Sophie

    Hi i’m thinking of going to Krakow after xmas and want to go to Lviv. I’ve read all your comments but i want to get to Lviv as quickly as possible as i will only be in Krakow for a few days and I do not really want to spend 12 hours on a train. Are there direct flights from Krakow to Lviv?

    1. Mark Biernat

      Yes there are flights if you do not mind paying. But you could take a train to the boarder and then a bus on the Ukrainian side. It would be 6 hours if you timed it right. I have flown, train, bus, walked. Done it all. I prefer the day train to Lviv.

  19. Gareth

    Hello Mark, thanks for all the tips. We are planning to go from Krakow to Lviv and would rather take the train but one appears to take from 1pm ish to midnight owing to a three hour delay at the border and the later one arrives at an antisocial 5am. If we take the train to Przemsyl, bus to the border and bus to Lviv the other side, how far will we have to drag our luggage in total (we always have too much)? When is the last bus from the border to Lviv roughly ? We are a bit old to sleep on the grass if we miss it. And does the bus arrive at Lviv fairly centrally?
    Thank you for your time.

    1. Mark Biernat

      The bus arrives right in the center of Lviv. That is the good news. More good news the boarder is very peaceful, and safe. I have ‘slept on the grass’ at the boarder no problem.
      When you get to Przemsyl (it means industry in Polish) you take a van right to the boarder so no problem with the luggage. And on the other side the same.
      However, the real issue ‘ are you a traveler’? Which means if you need door to door taxi it will be a hard trip. But if you are willing to explore and ask questions it will be safe and an adventure.

  20. Olena

    Hello,Mark! I was happy to find your site. Hope you’ll help me with my questions:) It would be perfect if you tell me main things about imazing city, but not about Lwow. I’m going to visit Krakow from 05-01-2011 to 08-01-2011.
    Firstly I need to get useful info from the first hand. Meaning where can I stay for 3 nights? You know I’m travelling together with my boyfriend, we are students, so this place must be chip, cosy and clean. Maybe you know hostels with discont by ISIC card.
    How do you think about the most convinion location to stay?
    And you’ll do a great favour for us if tell the most imazing places to go in Krakow for 3 days, or some nearest places full of interests. By the way what events will taking place there in the period of our staying? maybe what night club you are advise to visit?
    Also I ask you to repeat with more details (as it’s possible ofcourse) the way of getting from Krakow to Lwow.
    Hope It’s not difficult for you.
    Thanks a lot
    Truly yours
    Ukrainian students
    Olena and Vladimir

    1. Mark Biernat

      If you are cheap like me, I think you will have no problem staying at a youth hostel. There are many. I can give you a name of one or two in a good location, no problem. But even as you get off the train or bus they have many people giving flyers for hostels in Krakow. In my experience these are established and trust worthy. There are many many students visiting and I have not herd of a problem. The only people I have herd that ever got ripped off was British drinking tourists and these were at specific places and they do not do this any more, not students. It is all fair and honest.

      Night clubs are countless clubs from Pozacs, Shadow – Cien, Hedonic, ministerstwo, in blankoevents many, but for 3 days, see the castle, the churches some Jewish sites, the market square, even Las Wolski. I like the Jewish quarter to hang out, like Alchenia is interesting.
      Go to kopieć there are a couple in Krakow hike them, you can see the whole city, I live by the one in Podgorze.
      Going to Lviv, I prefer the day train to przemyśl, then a bus to the boarder and to Lviv. It is the cheapest and it is day travel. But other’s prefer to take a night bus and it is direct, you sleep on the bus. Train directly cost to much for students.

  21. Graham

    Hi Mark, first of all thanks for all of the useful info you’ve given so far, it’s been a real help!

    I am travelling to Lviv via Krakow on the 27th December and returning on the 2nd January. My question is: How often are the trains disrupted by the weather (snow and ice)? I know that Poland and Ukraine are used to harsh winters but do the trains still manage to run in most conditions or do they get delayed or cancelled on a regular basis?

    It could be a real problem for me if this happened as I am meeting friends in Lviv then heading off to to Bukovel on the 28th to go Skiing for New Year. If the train is delayed on the way to Lviv, it’s not so much of a problem I guess, as it would only mean that I would make my own way to Bukovel. But if the trains do not run on the 1st/2nd January I would miss my flight home.

    Obviously you cannot guarantee the trains will run but can you just advise what the “normal” situation is.

    Thanks again,

    1. Mark Biernat

      I have never been delayed because of cold or snow. These are massive trains, not little beep beep cars. Although I was delayed once because someone took parts of the cables from the railroad and most likely sold it. But this was unconnected to weather. From time to time trains are delayed but on an International train like to Lviv I have never had a problem. Weather is very rarely connected to trains times, it can be something else like they are waiting for another train. Also in my experience and I travel by train a lot in Poland and Ukraine they are not bad at all. But like I said, you get 1 delay and everyone complains real loud as Poles love to complain. But compared to Metro North back in the USA, they are much better with time. This has been my personal experience with trains from Krakow to Lviv and beyond.

  22. Graham

    Thanks for that Mark! I thought that everything would run normally despite the weather but it’s nice to have some reassurance of that.

    I’m based in Dublin, Ireland and we had about 30cm of snow last week (very unusual for here, especially before Christmas) and the whole country ground to a standstill! So guess I’m just a little paranoid after that.

    Thanks again for all of the info,

    1. Mark Biernat

      I have been reading about it, that is very unusual for you guys. Snowand cold in Poland, Ukraine and Russia is normal and would not stop the trains. Let me know if you have any questions or need guidance on other matters. Lviv is great.

  23. Arik

    Mark, thanks for the comprehensive information. May i also ask you a question. I’m planning to get from Krakow to IvanoFrankovsk(former Stanislawow). I assume that all the options you described so good to get to Lwow, are valid here as well. Do you know if there is some direct commute there from Krakow, or from Przemysl (to bypass Lwow), and if not – are there frequent “marshrutkas” from Lwow to IF (i know there are trains but they are infrequent and slow).

    Thanks a lot. Keep doing great job.

    1. Mark Biernat

      If you do not take the night train to Lviv you have to go across the boarder, by bus or on foot. There is no other way or train. The train rails are a different gage or size so tracks are restricted to special trains. Ukrainian and Russian rails do not match Polish rails. You will have no problem getting to Ivano Frankovsk once in the grand Lviv train station.

  24. Solomiya

    The Polish city of Lvov was once the cultural capital of Poland.*

    Wake up – Ukrainian city Lviv.

    1. Mark Biernat

      The city had many Polish residence and it was a great time for Lviv as Polish intellectuals lived there. But in the area it was always over 90% Ukrainian in populations. Only the main city center was Polish. I live in Krakow and in the section I live in was the Austrian district, but that does not mean it is an Austrian city.
      The good news is today, small minded nationalists are going he way of the dinosaur and a new openness with free movement of labor and capital is the new way.

  25. Raquel

    Hi Mark,

    Thank you very much for your advices and information.

    I am going to Krakow the 18th February at 10am and I wanto to go to Lviv to see the town and also to visit a friend, but also I would like to stay, at least, one day in Krakow. My return flight is the 23rd February at 10,20 am.

    I would like to know what you recommend me, if going fist to Lviv and return to Krakow the day before I live, so I have one day to visit the city or the opposite?

    I have read your information about the day train, but I think that now in winter I will arrive at Lviv by night, so I will spend all day travelling and will lost one day!!! Do you suggest me the day bus?

    Other question is about the weather. Whatt would be the temperature in February? Very, very, very…. cold? I do want to take a very light luggage but if the weather is very cold, I will need more clothes! I am from Spain and those temperatures sound to me horrible!

    And the last question is about hotel or accommodation. What do you recommend me? I want to stay in the centre in both towns.

    Should I change some polish money with me from Spain to buy the bus/ticket, or they accept visa card to pay?

    Thank you in advance. I really need your help!

    1. Mark Biernat

      I think the temperature for me will be fine, lets say 0 degrees Celsius at night and up to 10 during the day at the end of February. But for you it might be a little chilly if you are from Spain.
      In Lviv stay at hotel Lviv, it is in the center, its cheap and fine. It is not of course a four hotel but a communist retro hotel but for me it is fine. In Krakow, stay at a youth hostel like Hostel Anna for example. But there are a million of them on every street corner. In Poland you are in the EU so Euro or Złoty will be accepted or at least some exchange places are everywhere or use your Visa or debit card. Poland is trustworthy and safe. I use my bank card in Ukraine but you can change cash, but the train and bus stations have horrible rates of course.
      Lviv just focus on the old town. I think there is more to see in Krakow even though Lviv is a bigger city. This is because Krakow is set up more for Tourists. Lviv has a wonderful old town too.
      I think go to Krakow and take a trip to Lviv. Krakow is pure civilization, like London or Paris or Madrid. Everything is fine and orderly there. Ukraine is fine and safe but more chaotic.
      If you do not mind a night bus, it is the cheapest way. You can see the whole city in a day in Lviv, then return at night and do not need accommodations, but it will be tiring. I recommend try to take your time in both cities and take a morning day train, a local to the boarder and walk across.
      There are free English tours in Krakow. You can look them up online.
      Ask any questions you need to. I can guide you depending on your purpose. If it is to see religious things, I can make recommendations, if it is too meet people, I can make recommendations also. People have positive thoughts about Spanish people here.

  26. Raquel

    Thank you Mark for your quick reply.

    I have been talking with my friend just a few minutes ago, and I think I will spend the 18th on Krakow and then take a night bus to Lviv because the told me that the daily train to the border take so long time. He took a train in Krakow at 13pm and arrived to the border at 21pm, so I do not want to waste a whole day in the train.

    How can I find the Lviv hotel in Internet, could you send me the url?

    Your comment about that Lviv, and Ukraine, are more chaotics liked me very much and helped me to take a decision. I really like the chaotic places at least in my holidays to disconnect the normal life!

    I am going to try to find the Lviv Hotel and I will let you know. I suppose you can book it online!

    Thanks again,


    1. Mark Biernat

      It is funny, I can not find this easily, I have always just walked there from the train station. It is behind the Opera house. There are many nice places, but I think that is a cheap one and more for Ukrainian and Russian travelers which for me is a plus, it makes it more interesting. They are nice there, just very Ukrainian looking.

    2. Mark Biernat

      Let me know how you do on your trip from Krakow to Lviv. I am curious about your impressions of each city and how they compare.

  27. Raquel

    That´s good! I want to feel the real Ukranian life!

    But, how can I book the hotel in advance? Could you send me some information about how to find it in Internet? Or maybe you can give me the address… although if is written in ukrainan I will not understand anything!!!

    You say that is cheap. How much it cost? The only thing I would like is that the bedrooms has a private bathroom, and of course I want to be in the centre!

    Of course I will tell you my impressions…

  28. Ben Rogmans

    Dear Mark,

    We go in may with eight motorbikes and one car to Poland. We consider to travel from Krakow to Lviv, and then the next day from Lviv to Lublin.

    The question is how long it will take us to cross the border.

    Would be great if you could answer this.

    Kind regards,
    Ben Rogmans (Netherlands)

    1. Mark Biernat

      Since you are foreigners, that is not Ukrainian or Polish they will move you ahead of the line in many cases if you travel on foot. I on my US passport and even my Polish passport was advanced in the line. The reason is many people in line travel back and forth daily to sell things. These are the people that really cause the lines. By road on the other hand it all depends. I have moved as fast as 1/2 hour and as long as 3 hours. Some people tell me nightmare stories of 5 hours or more, but never had that problem.

  29. David Krupski

    Quick question about this journey. I will be traveling with a medium sized suitcase because I am doing some trainings in Poland, but will be going to Lviv for fun. Will I have enough room on the buses or will it be too cramped or too much of a hassle to hold/pull my luggage at the border?

    Thank you.

    1. Mark Biernat

      Well you are asking the wrong person. I travel with nothing but the clothes on my back and small laptop size bag. Even when I was a consultant and traveled five days a week for business, this is how I traveled. I packed really only a change of underwear. I use one good bar of high quality soap and a toothbrush.
      When I first hitchhiked around Europe in the 80s I learned that luggage or my back became my worst enemy. So yes it is no problem at all to have luggage on the bus etc, but do you really want to? They have a luggage compartment underneath. I bring back groceries in fact, there is a food store by the bus station in Lviv and you can get all kind of good Ukrainian food cheap.

  30. David Krupski

    Thank you Mark. I understand and I can travel that way, but I will be presenting in 2 cities and need to be prepared for that. I think I will still go via bus rather than overnight train, but I was just curious to how big those buses were.

    Sadly, it isn’t a question of want, but it will, in fact, be the way it is.

    1. Mark Biernat

      The bus from Krakow to Lviv is like a normal tour bus. There is plenty of room in the over head storage and under the bus for luggage. Some will have a bathroom but the older ones might not. But you will have a stop at the boarder and one other place and if you really need to go, tell the bus driver he will stop. Just do not drink a lot of water before the trip.
      But it is comfortable and everything is fine and easy. Once you get there you will be in the Lviv bus station and have to take a van to the center, which is about 10 minutes lets say. Everything is possible. I remember hiding my pack in some bushes and exploring the city without my pack. I have done this many times when traveling if I take too much junk.

  31. David Krupski


    Thank you for your help. I am looking forward to going to Lviv. It should be fun! Any suggestions outside of the usual?


    1. Mark Biernat

      You will love it. My friends just got back and they said it was amazing. If you are going to Lviv all I can say is got to the chruches, eat local food at the student bar the Polish cemetary has so many famous Polish people there. If you have any problems contact me directly via e-mail or on skype.
      If you have lots of time take a train to Ternopil and you can take tours of the Ukrainian countryside etc. Anything you want to know ask me.

  32. Dan C

    What is the quickest way to get from Lviv to Lublin to Warsaw? Is there a bus?

    1. Mark Biernat

      Yes there is a bus from Lviv to Warsaw and one to the Polish boarder to Lublin. Not a problem, trains, bus, vans, taxi, hitchhike. I know people who have safely and cheaply done all. You can even pay some guy with a car and he wll be happy to drive you. Many options. But why not a bus? It is cheap and direct. If you need more flexibility take a van to the Polish boarder and from there in Przemyśl you can go anywhere in Europe.

  33. Dan C

    Do you know if there is a bus in Lviv that goes to lublin? Is there a website?

    1. Mark Biernat

      You can get to Lublin one way or the other, there are plenty of Busses that go there in Poland. I do not know directly from Lviv. You can check it has an English page. I do not think there is a direct Ukrainian connection but you can check Ukrainian sites and use a translate tool.

  34. Fei

    Hi Mark,

    I am planning for a trip

    1 July 2011 from Zamosc to Lviv
    4 July 2011 from Lviv to Krakow.

    What is your recommedation to go from Zamosc to Lviv ?

    I read from many forum that there is a long queue at the border going from Krakow to Lviv, but is there also a long queue for the opposite direction from Lviv to Krakow ?

    I may wanna take a direct bus from Lviv to Krakow. Do they check the passport on the bus or we have to get down the bus for passport check ?

    1. Mark Biernat

      The only transport they check your passport onboard is the overnight train. All others there will be a line at boarder contol. On a bus they have a line for buses and you have to get out of the bus and walk though a boarder check.
      I like to take a van to the boarder and to walk across and flash my US passport and they let me go ahead as a tourist of the other people in line who go back anf forth everyday to trade. Most of the delay are peddler doing small trade in tabacco. So if you can take a bus to the boarder, walk across and say you are a tourist and show a US or UK passport, you can cut in line. I normally never cut in line for anything but this is different. The other people go back and forth everyday.
      But either way, it takes a couple of hours max even if you do not cut in line, in which case it should take only 1/2 hour. All depends on the day and time you cross, but it is part of the process and an experience in itself. It is the same thing if you go to Mexico from the USA or to Canada or ten times worse. So if you cross an international boarder do not expect to go right though. But the good news is it is not that bad and can even be a fun experience. I would take a bus to the boarder and walk across then take a van. That is how I do it, but all options are good.

  35. lili

    Hi Mark,
    I’d like to travel to Krakow from Lviv. Then in Krakow I’ll take a plane to fly to Ireland. The question is my luggage, can I bring any alcoholic drinks and some packed food over the border? Would they check it and maybe take it off me in the airport when passing through the security point or not? I usually fly from Ukraine and there was never a problem with this, saying this I took about five bottles of different drinks.
    Thanks for any suggestions

    1. Mark Biernat

      Crossing the border to Ukraine you can bring:
      Food is never ever a problem in Eastern Europe. They have laws on the books but they care nothing about food. All they care about is alcohol or antiques and tobacco.
      About alcohol:1 liter of wine, 2 liters of beer, 2 liters of strong alcohol.
      Food 50 Euro – Never had a problem with any food.
      Out of Ukraine to Poland it is about the same.
      .5 liter of the hard stuff, 5 beers, 2 liters of wine. This is legal and duty-free.
      The exiting countries do not care of course what you bring out it is only the countries that you are bringing things into. It is important you understand that.
      You can fill your suit case with things from Ukraine and the Ukrainian customs could care less, they might even help you load it to the plane.
      However, on the way into another country, people do care as the laws are set up to generate duty or taxes on luxary or pleasure items.
      In fact, this use to be the primary way countries made money.

      I have never had a problem personally. I have taken all kinds of things over all kids of international boarders in large quantities. The one and only time I ever had a trouble was I had one Pomegranate when entering the USA and they gave me a hard time about it and of course confiscated it with a harsh warning.
      However, I one time had a whole large suitcase full of olive oil and it was leaking across the airport and not one cared.
      That being said

      I know there is a limit, but if you are from Ireland they are checking you. Who they are checking is Ukrainians and Poles who make a living from crossing the border and selling things.

      I think two bottles are for sure OK. Five bottles, I still think it is OK or you pay a small tax. But I have seen them take things from people but these are smugglers.

      But the reality is they do not check foreigners, more Ukrainians. In fact when I walk over the border many people ask me to carry things across.

      I do not as I do not know what else could be included. Let me know if I am wrong, but when I fly out of Ukraine they do not check anything. Polish border guards are more strict and they do check everything. They are very set up for this as this is a EU border and they have the responsibility of the whole EU.
      However, when I fly into Poland from Western Europe they have never checked me. It is only boarder guards to and from Poland on the Polish side.

  36. Laurie

    Want to thank you for all the great advice on this website. Thinking of travelling to Lviv and Krakow in October. What kind of weather do you think we should expect. I hear you are having a warmer than usual fall. Also, do you have any advice about getting from Lviv to Gorodnek.

    1. Mark Biernat

      October is like New England or cooler, do not go by what we are having now. It is still summer. October can be cool and wet, but not always, some days are warmer and sunny. It is so hard to predict but I would say that this area of the world is cloudy and damp so be prepared for cool damp weather in the upper 40s.

      Ask me any questions about this if you need more detail.

      Gorodnek is close to Lviv there is a bus and maybe even a train that goes there, then take a cab to the village of your family or what you want to explore, But I am pretty sure there is a train that does though there or close enough.

  37. Anna

    Hi Mark,

    I am going from Krakow to Lviv on the 27th and I will use the Przemysl method. My dad explained me how to get there and cross the border by foot and he also told me to cut the line and say I’m a student. My question is about the line-cutting. What am I really meant to do? Do I just walk in front all the people who wait in line, tell them all they should let me pass first becquse I’m a student/tourist/whatever and then take the first spot? I hope you have enough time to answer. If I leave Krakow airport at 1 pm, how safe do you reckon it would be to do this trip (knowing the fact that I travel alone, am a girl and have only some elementary knowledge of the ukranian language)? Thanks!

    1. Mark Biernat

      Your Dad is right, listen to your father 🙂 We cut in line because most of the line are Ukrainian and Poles who cross the border everyday selling things. They make their living bringing lower priced Ukrainian products to the Polish border and crossing back again. They do this everyday of the week and really slow the crossing down for students and tourists. You can just say you are tourists and they move your up. It is total chaos at the border with people asking you if you can carry things across for you or people waiting. But do not be intimidated. I have no problem asking to be moved ahead.

      I have two passports and speak Polish and English and I just spoke in English and played like an innocent tourist. But I think they will let anyone, students and Poles move ahead as you are not part of the daily tobacco trade. I have no problem cutting morally as these people are selling things that I can not agree with. I know they are making their living this way but it promotes something bad.

      So just talk to one of the people in charge and so can we please move through the line.

      Even if you have to wait it is not that bad.

  38. George

    Dear Mark,

    Thanks for all the useful information on your website. My plane lands at Katowice airport at 10:05AM What is the most easy way to reach Lviv? First I thought I could make it to Lviv on the same day but according to PKP information the train to the border from Katowice takes a lovely 8 hrs. Would it make more sense to take a daytrain to Krakow (spent some time there) and take a nightbus from there. If yes, Which station can I find that bus and how much should a ticket costs?

    Thanks a lot,

    1. Mark Biernat

      I think you could do it all in one day if you like. You can take a day train to the boarder and then walk over. But Krakow rocks. I would visit Krakow for one day and take the night bus. You can stay in the center and see the market square and the beautiful churches. It is well worth it.

  39. Pedro Pereira

    Hi Mark,

    We are a group of 5 Portugueses and we are planing a trip to Lviv (Euro2012).

    We have air tickets to Warsaw (8 of june; 5pm), and we have to be in Lviv on the 9/06/2012 evening (7pm).

    I tried to call all car rental companys, but all of them don´t authorize to cross border with Ukraine.

    Do you have any contact on car hire companys in warsaw that authorize crossing the border?

    1. Mark Biernat

      It depends on your money situation. I mean you can hire a car via a cab service from the Jewish hotel in Kazimierz in Krakow, but it is very expensive. Rich Jewish guys take a cab to Ukraine, which for me is very pricey. Besides that no car rental will allow you to drive in Ukraine as it is not EU. There is no way in my opinion. I would recommend either drive yourself or take a bus, train or plane. It really stincks and I have to research more about how the logisitics for the Euro 2012 will all work.

      You could buy an old smoking fiat for like 200 dollars in Poland and it would most likely work fine.

      Check out Gumtree and see if you can put and ad up to hire a student driver. I personally know student drivers who might do this.

      I think for me the train is the best option.

  40. Gavin

    Hi Mark,
    Me and two other friends are studying abroad in Prague until the middle of May. When our program ends, we are going to take the night train from Prague to Krakow and spend a few days there. We also wanted to go to Lviv after Krakow because it seems like a very unique experience and there are cheap flights on Wizzair to Venice (our way back to the US).

    My question is: what is the best way for 3 English speaking students to get from Krakow to Lviv? Obviously we don’t want to spend a lot of money, but we want to make sure we are getting there safely and wish to avoid as much confusion as possible. Ideally we would like to depart on a Sunday night or Monday morning.

    Furthermore, I read somewhere that the train from Krakow to Lviv only runs every other day. Is that true?

    Thank you,

    1. Mark Biernat

      The bus is the cheapest. The bus is 80 pln and the train like 300 pln. The train is the easy in terms of comfort but the bus is just as direct. You will have to take a little van to the center from the bus station once you are there

      The train runs everyother day and I think the bus every night. But you can take a day train to the boarder and walk accross. For me it was not problem and I could travel by day and it was cheap. But if you are concerned about logistics, you just take a bus.

      1. Gavin

        Thanks Mark!

        One more question: Do you know the easiest/fastest way to get to Rohatyn from Lviv?

        1. Mark Biernat

          This is very close to Lviv. I suspect a bus but there might be a train also, but I think just a nus or you ca get anyone in Ukraine to be a driver for you. I one time did that from Kiev to Lviv at a cheap price. You just flag someone down.

  41. Stu

    Hi Mark,

    Great Site/blog.

    I am coming to Krakow in June (12th) for the first time and have not purchased a return ticket yet. I am considering spending two to three days in Krakow and exploring. From there, I would also like to visit the Ukraine (Lviv) and spend a couple of days there. Thanks for giving me so many different travel options. I think the train to Przemysl is for me. After a few days in Lviv, I am considering going to Budapest for a couple of days and departing from there back home (Bergen, Norway). Like you, I am an American living abroad. I prefer traveling bohemian and spending time with the locals and finding nice simple local abode’s and eats – experience the culture.

    My questions are the following:
    What part of Krakow do you recommend staying?

    What part of Lviv do you recommend staying… online all the places are more expensive than in Krakow? I would think it would be less.

    Do you think I will have a problem finding a not too expensive, clean, reasonable place to stay in both cities, without booking ahead of time… just winging it. I just found out about the Euro 2012 thing and hope to avoid the crowd. I have stayed in Hostels but prefer not to.

    Do you know anything about the trains or busses from Lviv to Budapest?

    Thanks for making my planning a little easier. I look forward to hearing from you.


    1. Mark Biernat

      Krakow see the whole city. Stay in a youth Hostel and there are many. You can broswe online the ones, it does not matter if you book it online first, but since it is peak tourist season I would maybe book it in advance, infact with the Euro cup I know I would. I walked the whole city of Krakow and Lviv my ten years there so everything can be walked or by tram. The hostels are almost all equally nice and many run by Americans or Brits. I would see Krakow ceter, the Churches in the center and Kazimierz (church on the rocks with drinable holy water) Podgórze (Sw. Josefa) Krakow center the old market and kazimierz the cafes and the Jewish sites, in Podgórze the work camps behind the hill, it is a 20 minute walk from the center of Podgórze.

      Lviv there is an old communist Hotel behind the Opera house (Hotel Lviv I think), that does not have an online site but the cheapest. Besides that you have to either pay western rates or get students type housing (there are a lot). The main thing is to see the old town, it is larger than Krakow’s even.

    2. Mark Biernat

      Let me know if you have questions in addition to what I have written. Which city has prettier girls Krakow or Lviv? Well you will have to tell me. Krakow has become very western so many of the girls are going towards American style and attitudes, but Lviv is not there yet.

      1. Stu

        Thanks for the prompt response.

        I look forward to your given task of prettier girls.
        Just a couple follow up questions.

        I’m not a young kid – late 40s. The hostels sound like some of the best in Europe. I don’t mind spending a little more. if you still recommend em I will book Greg & Tom ASAP. I live in a country where a brew cost 12 bucks so I will need to be careful over there, or not.

        Do you know anything about trains from Lviv to Budapest or the best way?

        If I see ya around town drinks on me,

        1. Mark Biernat

          I will be 49 years young, soon and I am a young kid so speak for yourself 🙂 I stay in hostels but I am a cheap guy, I was a business traveller for a good part of my life staying in five-star hotels so I care about price now. But I understand as hostels are filled with students. On the other hand many nice girls in their 20s and 30s stay there and you can socialize with them. While in a hotel you have old foodie doodies. But if you want to try some three star hotels like the hotel George in Lviv. I can recommend the Qubus hotel in Krakow also. It is clean, a little out of the center but not far so you can walk it and hence better price than the Sheraton or Holiday Inn (which are pricey). Hotel Europejski is good too in Krakow. Let me know if these look OK for you. I used to live by the Qubus and they often have high level Nato or formal meetings there because it is the river and easy to secure down.

          People in Krakow will not take advantage of you, they are used to foreigners from the USA, UK etc. You will be safe and treated fair.

          Lviv is a little poorer, no worries about crime but once in a while someone might try to charge you if you are going during the Euro cup time.

          Let me know how you make out with all this.

          Trains from Krakow to Budapest, there is one as well as a bus, both are about 12 hours, but again it is an adventure. I would take the train.

          1. Stu

            I just want to thank you again for your expertise. I totally shifted gears and am bagging Lviv this time – so the female report (Krakow/Lviv) will be shelved until I actually make it to Lviv.

            I am only traveling for a week and Lviv appears to be too time-consuming and convoluted of a journey. Instead, I will focus my four days & 3 nights in Krakow – Exploring possible lost family history and bringing to reality the insane actions of a past time. I also look forward to seeing “The Now” and how the city and region has evolved.

            I took your advice on the Hostels – they look pretty dam good. I will probably spend my saved money in the bars.

            After Lviv, I will head (via bus) through Slovakia to Budapest for a few more nights. It was just so simple compared to going the other route, at least in cyber space.

            Anyway, I just wanted to thank you again for your help and wish you the best.

          2. Mark Biernat

            Thank you and you are welcome. I recommend hostels because I was a business traveller for years and stayed in five-star hotels around the world, really. After years of my life in hotels I can tell you I love staying in youth hostels because it is more of an adventure, you meet people and it is cheaper.

            In a nice hotel they only difference is the shine on the imitation brass railings or the selection of TV stations in your room. In a youth hostel you get just a bed, but the cost difference is great.

            When I moved to Boston I stayed in a youth Hostel for three months with four level bunks and 16 guys in a room while my Beacon Hill apartment was being refurbished (Polish hostels are like mini hotels not like that). It was a fun time.

            The money you save on lodging in Eastern Europe will come in handy when enjoying the nightlife in Krakow. I mean are you there to have the doorman smile at youin a hotel or are you there to chatting up nice young Polish girls in the pubs and see historical events?

            Spending money on day trips to meaningful places or enjoying quality food or shopping and talking to Polish girls is more fun than staying in some hotel with old ladies. A bed is something you hit at 3 am in the morning coming back from your nightlife adventures and out the door at 8 am for coffee.

  42. Roman Lviv

    Hi Mark!
    I’m not sure if I can contact with you, I repeatedly tried to write a comment but I had no success. Tell me please. Maybe I’m wrong registered?
    thank you
    Roman from Lviv.

    1. Mark Biernat

      Let me know what you question is, you do not need to register just leave a comment and ask anything about Poland or Ukraine you need to.

      1. Andrew

        Hi Mark,
        Found your blog and it looks really helpful but was hoping you could answer a couple of questions..

        I will be travelling from Krakow to Lviv in June during the Euro 2012 football championships. We are planning to travel by train to Przemysl, then get a bus/taxi from there to the Ukrainian border. Once we cross, how long does it normally take for the bus/van to get from the Border to the centre of Lviv and do the buses/vans go right into the centre of Lviv?



        1. Mark Biernat

          Once you cross it could take less then 45 minutes. In theory it is right on the boarder and with a good road and no traffic you could be there in no time flat, like 20 minutes, but do not count on it. I would say with 2012 Euro count on a little more than an hour.

  43. Roman Lviv

    Oh now I see my message.
    I could not see this before and I thought that I incorrectly (registration)
    Hi Mark!
    I found your site useful and would like to give some answer to Gavin, Stu or to others.Is it possible? I live in Lviv and very well know the city, because I worked many years as a legal taxi driver. I speak good Polish and spoken English. My machine is equipped with a taximeter, and passengers can use Visa, Mastercard, Maestro in the calculation. Also I have opened Schengen visa. I think it may be useful for the championship in 2012. I ask forgiveness if I broke the rules of your site (forum). Here is information about me.
    With best regards Roman.

  44. avid traveler

    CZESZ, I have done the border crossing from Przemysl and back. I have read the posts here several times as well as ploughing through all the info on the Internet, but still there are heaps of questions unanswered. Reading all of this didnt’t make it really easier, I just had to see it for myself how it worked. It was nothing to worry about. From Przemysl I took the regular bus to Lviv. When I boarded the bus, I noticed that the driver couldn’t care less about the ticket. Later on I would find out why. Waiting at the border was comfortable since I could just stay on the bus, but..errr..the bus was full of a “delivery” consisting of 150 parcels, I am absolutely dead serious. We didn’t get checked at the border and there were even boxes hidden in the onboard toilet. As soon as the driver neared Lviv he went to some suburb to unload the delivery. How could they do this to the passengers? also, underway the driver stopped quite a few times to drop off passengers, which he seems to know, and they left with stackes of those boxes. This made the bus travel from Przemysl very tedious and took even longer than it was supposed to take. Even with the wait at the border which took around 1hr. When we arrived at the train station, there was no announcement no nothing..the last remaining passenger told me in English that this was lviv. I was wary, because the train station has a word in Cyrillic on the roof, but not the name of the city. Only if you looked closely, you could see Lviv in Cyrillic in small letters on the large wooden gate. Seriously, I was worried if I was even in the correct city.
    on the way back, I did the marshrutzka method to Shegeni. This was super easy. Just go back to the railway station and enter a marshrutzka. It was strikingly surprising how cheap the fare was, only like 50 ct. On the way, the van passed many places and it was awkwardly crowded in there as he picked up and dropped off many passengers. At the border, the walk is dead easy. Just go straight down the green fences until you reach a small construction shed. Now I was burning to know how you could pass the regular line. A) will the officers put you in a special row? B) do you have to say that you are a tourist? C) could I just walk right up to the front? Appeared that the regular line was really that cramped and long that you couldn’t bypass it. The line is so cramped and packed with people that it is difficult to stand there with bags. Also the officers where inside the shed, so how could they possibly see you? I found out later on while standing in the normal line, that you had to knock on the door next to the line and some officer opened it to ask what you what. THEN you could show your EU passport and cut the long line. Unfortunately, that was after I just joined the long line. Inside of the shed it was really crampy and there was one last turnstile. On the Polish border I had to show my passport again and clearing customs was real easy. I didn;t even had to open my carry-on suitcase. Other things no one could answer me were the fares. On the Polish border the van from Medyka to Przemysl was 3 zl. The bus from Przemysl to Lviv was 10 or 20 zl, because I forgot the price. From Przemysl to Rzeszow was 10 zl/2,5 eur and from Rzeszow to Krakow was 20 zl/5 eur. The journey takes you a lot of time. I did this in increments and stayed in Rzeszow and Przemysl, but it can all take up to 6 hours to the border and up to 8 to Lviv excluding waiting at the border. What also no one was able to tell was where the train station in Lviv is located. It’s in the western part of the city center, so it not above the high castle. That’s a different station. If no one told me that in Lviv, I would have made a big blunder.
    My overall thoughts about Lviv were positive. It is nice to see it once, but I wouldn’t say it is a must for a traveler. Krakow is unbeatable and can’t be compared to Lviv. Since you have to travel that long, isn’t it just better to take a flight.. or better kyiv? Oh, and without friends or able to speak a few basic words of Ukrainian it is hard to survive in Lviv. I was lucky to have Polish friends and to understand and speak basic words in polish, which were soooo useful in Lviv. A lot of words are close to Polish, which saved me in Ukraine.. but for regular travelers only able to speak English they should be prepared well. I don’t know if Ukrainians cheat tourists, I never experienced this anywhere in Poland. Almost everywhere in Poland they were honest and never ripped me off, but in Lviv it could be different. There were crazy prices on the souvenir market, but then again I saw price tags like 170 uah for a doll, 130 for a ukrainian flag, 400 for a stuffed butterfly, 200 uah for a bag of souvenirs, fridge magnets, pens, stickers and the mandatory ukrainian passport cover. I would wholeheartedly recommend one of those to every traveler. It’s a fantastic souvenir. Also find the souvenir column, they are in lot of places in the center and look for a magnet set with Cyrillic letters, that’s another great gift. Don’t forget to visit the outdoors museum with rural wooden buildings, that’s another must. Hope my experience is helping out other travelers. Peace.

  45. Svitlana

    Could you please help me?
    My flight arrives at 8.45 in Krakow and I need to get somehow to Lviv/Ternopil. It looks like no possible options at this late time, at least for me.
    Could you recommend something?
    Will be really thankful for any help.

    1. Svitlana

      I just saw I missed a very important thing (p.m) My flight arrives at 8.45pm

      1. Mark Biernat

        Evening, then unless there is an emergency why not sleep in some cheap student youth hostel? If it is an emergency, and I can not image what, than take the first train to the boarder, some leave early in the morning. It is only a few hours difference. If you are real low on cash you can spend the night reading at a cafe and then at 4 am or when the first train comes sleep on the train. I mean I am an experienced traveller and I have done it all. The weather is mild now in Poland.

        1. Svitlana

          Yea, it’s 8.45pm
          I thought you could recommend something) Actually I am supposed to be next day at work, that’s why such a hurry) and I thought it might be possible I just haven’t found the information I need Yea, now I am considering either to sleep in some hotel in Krakiw or to find some other tickets.
          Anyway, thank you so much for your answer.
          The site is really very useful and helpful,
          it’s really cool to find all the info you need on the topic “Krakow-Lviv”
          Thanks once more.
          Best wishes,

    2. Mark Biernat

      Are you talking about in the morning or the evening. If you are saying 8:45 in the evening you arrive in Krakow, I can not see how you can make that train or bus to Lviv. How much money do you want to spend, there are always options, you can get a ride, organizes something. I could get a driver to take you. But I think there are trains to the boarder. You will have to spend the night (a few hours) at the boarder until the shuttle buses come at like 5 am. But I have done that as have many. I also have asked for rides at the boarder. It all depends on you why you need to get there and your money situation. I think the best is to stay in Krakow a night and in the morning take the first train to the boarder. What is a few hours?

  46. Chris


    I will be transiting from Katowice airport to Kiev over a span of 6 or 7 days, and had planned to spend time in Katowice, Krakow and Lviv along the way. How would you best suggest splitting up that time? Should I spend the bulk of the time in Krakow with just a day each for Katowice and Lviv, or do either of these cities deserve a second day?

    Also, what are the bus/train fares and journey times for Katowice to Krakow?



    1. Mark Biernat

      Katowice is nothing to see unless you like to see something out of surreal sci-fi first shooter computer game. I mean no downtown but lots of people. I would not spend more than an afternoon there unless it was to look at women.

      Krakow and Lviv I would divide my time equally. Actually Lviv has a larger old town than Krakow and was a bigger cultural city for a long while. Now Krakow is rich and nice but Lviv is still rustic.

      I think the women in Lviv tend to be prettier generally because they are not as western as Krakow women, but it is a poorer town.

      I would take a train from Katowice to Krakow and it will cost about 20 pln, they run all day and night almost.

  47. Giancarlo

    When I will arrive in Krakow station I can buy ticket for Lviv? It’s easy to find? I try buy or reserve online with Baltour Bus Line but I can not. I fear don’t find ticket when I stay in Krakow.
    Sorry for my English. Thanks Giancarlo

    1. Mark Biernat

      It is very easy to buy. The main thing is ask people. There are official information counters and in theory they speak English. Also look for University students (preferably females, just kidding) as they always speak English and are willing to help. If the train and bus station are adjacent to each other. Both sell tickets to Lviv. It will not be a problem and again everyone there speaks English under 35 years old and are willing to help. If you speak another language, like Italian you can try that to but really English, only a few words will get your ticket.

  48. Kelvin

    Hi Mark

    Thanks for this wonderful forum! I’m planning a trip with friends and will be going to Kiev from St. Petersburg. Following which, we intend to do a trip to Crimea and Lviv. I went to the site and managed to search for the overnight train from Lviv to Krakow which leaves at 2359 and arrive in Krakow at 0620 hrs. However, even after I registered I wasn’t able to check the price nor buy the ticket. I’ve tried searching for airfares and it’s way too expensive and no low cost carriers seem to fly.

    I also saw that in the information part it mentioned:

    D Number: 36 Lvov – Express
    TLKSleeper trainSubject to compulsory reservation
    13. Apr until 13. Dec 2013

    Does it mean I can only book from 13 Apr onwards? If it is true that there is only 1 night train daily, does it make sense not to stay overnight in a hotel in Lviv?

    Appreciate your kind advice.

    Thank you.


    1. Mark Biernat

      If you take a Polish train it will be like 5 times more expensive than if you take a train from Lviv. We took a day train to the boarder, then a van to Lviv. Once in Lviv we paid pennies for a local Ukrainian train which was a sleeper to Krym. I think it is the same train, but because you buy it in Poland it is much more. A lot of pretty Ukrainian girls on that train by the way.

      The Kyrm train is seasonal. That means April to December. You can get there no matter what any time of year, just not with a Polish train ticket. Like I said I would recommend a bus to Lviv, or a local train and walk over the boarder and a van. Then the Ukrainian train to Simferopol.
      It is all about getting to Simferopol. We never stayed in a hotel, we just walked around the old town etc, you can stay in Hotel Lviv fairly cheap it is an old Soviet era looking hotel behind the Opera house. But for our trip we did the whole thing in like one day. Its a long trip so bring a book or at least a mobile device. If you are there to meet girls maybe get a Ukrainian SIM card at a Kiosk.

      It was one of the best trips of our lives. I really loved the peaceful Crimea, I think the East coast is more going on and the West coast is more peaceful. You can start with a hub like Feodosiya and work your way down.They have buses. Make sure you have Euro, dollars or Ruble or Ukrainian hryvnia.

      The whole trip is safe. It is not like the USA or the UK, there are basically peaceful people going on vacation.

  49. Peter

    We (wife and I) will be traveling Krakow to Lviv in September. Thank you for all the good info in your forum. However, we were wondering what is the best way to get from Krakow airport into the city? Train? Bus? Taxi? Thanks in advance.

    1. Mark Biernat

      Train, there is a shuttle train from the Airport and it is very fast and cheap and drops you off in the train and bus station in the center. You will have to board a small transport bus to get to the train but once on it you are all set.

  50. benzion

    What’s about the night train from Krakow to Lviv.
    Is it OK for tourist or it’s dangerous. There is rumor about thieves on the train

    1. Mark Biernat

      I never had a problem and nothing compared to the crime in the USA. Keep your money in your underwear if you are concerned.

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