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There is a direct train 051 from Lviv to Krakow; yet it is quite slow (9+ hours for the entire journey), expensive (it seems that tickets start from 60EUR); while the reservation is compulsory, there is no way to purchase tickets online (or is there?); and they say that on the border custom officers literally tear the train apart to fight the smugglers (which should be quite an unpleasant experience).

On the other hand, Lviv is just 90km from the border, and there are fast (4-5 hours) and cheap (9EUR) PKP Intercity trains from Przemysl to Krakow, with tickets available for online booking on PKP website.

It seems that the easiest way to get to Krakow would be to somehow get to the border, pass it by feet, and get to the Intercity train. However, it is unclear:

1) How to get from Lviv to the border? There are some commuter trains from Lviv to Mostiska (2hrs), and some buses from Lviv to Scheginy (1:30hrs), but how reliable are these?

2) Is it hard to get from said train/bus to the checkpoint itself, and from the checkpoint to the Przemysl station?

3) How long does it usually take to cross the border? Or, put in other words, how long in advance should you arrive to the checkpoint (or Mostiska or Scheginy stations) to safely reach Przemysl station in time for the Intercity train?

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    The direct train has a 2 hour scheduled stay in Przemyśl, probably to accomodate for customs inspection. If money is an issue, is walking from Mostyska to Przemyśl an option? That would of course not save you any time, but at least some money. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Sep 4 '15 at 9:26
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo, as I have read it, they need these 2 hours to tear the train apart, to search for the smuggled cigarettes in toilets etc. It takes approx. 3 hours from Mostiska to Przemysl (half an hour in Mostiska, half an hour en route, 2 hours in Przemysl). I thought it would be faster to cross the border on my own. Walking between these two stations (16km) is a bit too much; however, I heard that there are some other ways to get there? Mostiska-Border rail station is just 2km from the border; however, it is unclear how to get to Przemysl from there... – penartur Sep 4 '15 at 10:01
  • Other people report that it is not uncommon that the waiting time for non-EU pedestrians at the border to be several hours as well. It seems to be the only border crossing between Ukraine and Poland, which is open for pedestrians and most people crossing are Ukrainians, who are bringing cheap booze and tobacco into Poland. I would expect the customs inspection as a pedestrian to be just as thorough as on the train. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Sep 4 '15 at 10:08
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo At least they'll only inspect my belongings, not the couch and walls :) The main problem with the train is that reservation is compulsory, the tickets are only sold at local Ukraine counters, and I'll only reach Ukraine a week before departure to Krakow. It seems that to that moment all the tickets could well be already sold. – penartur Sep 4 '15 at 10:12
  • The more I research, the less I understand this route. E.g. Minsk-Vilnius is a similar route (albeit 1.5x shorter)... yet it is 4x cheaper (13EUR), 4x faster (2.5 hours), departs 3 times per day, the trains are more comfortable, and you can purchase the tickets on the official website. What's the matter with Ukrainian-Polish routes? – penartur Sep 4 '15 at 19:35
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'Ukrainian international trains' and 'cheap' is something incompatible, unfortunately. Domestic train tickets can be purchased online but international AFAIK cannot, at least it was impossible spring 2015.

Use bus to get to Przemysl / Rzeszów, it would be quite convenient. If you want it extremely cheap then

  1. From Lviv to Shegyni (Шегині) ~2hrs ~14uah from central railway station

  2. Sheginy-Medyka, the border. Time to pass may vary, my experience 1..4 hours

  3. Medyka-Przemysl ~2zl by bus, ~20min to ride but it may take about a hour to wait the departure.

  4. if you like Przemysl-Rzeszów http://www.e-podroznik.pl/

I definitely would NOT buy a ticket on the polish side in advance because of unpredictable time on the border (guard on both sides may be very slow, at least if you're not EU citizen, unsure about USA/Canada/etc)

So, it'd be safe to start from Lviv early morning, then you'll be at your hotel before night.

  • 14uah price is definitely not true. Actual prices are around 30-40uah. But it is still really cheap. – Roman Bodnarchuk Oct 26 '15 at 17:34
  • the ukrainian price is outdated now, but in UA they are changed quite often, in comparison to Poland – Putnik Nov 4 '15 at 8:51
  • @RomanBodnarchuk, we paid the same 14 uah per person this January, so the price does not seem to be outdated. This is for the train from Lviv Suburban railway station (not to be confused with central railway station). – penartur Jul 25 '16 at 6:00
  • @Putnik, in our experience, border guards on the Ukrainian side were quite fast, but the polish ones made everyone (regardless of their citizenship) wait for 4 hours. It seems that they spend more time to rest than to do their job. Also, one should be warned that the queue is mostly outdoors, which means a grim experience at winter. Also, there are some unofficial taxis on Polish side of the border. It cost us ~30zl to get to Przemysl in ~10 mins... we still missed the train though. – penartur Jul 25 '16 at 6:02
  • Additionally, for fellow travellers: Przemysl-Krakow tickets can be purchased at the official PKP website for as low as ~30zl. However, it is not recommended, as the time spent on the border is quite unpredictable. Tickets purchased on the railway station at the day of departure are not that expensive (compared to the Western Europe). In our case, we've got 1st class tickets (since all the 2nd class were already taken) for 72zl per person, 4 hours before departure. – penartur Jul 25 '16 at 6:06

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