If you have intentions to travel to Lviv, a stunning city in western Ukraine, and proceed to Krakow in Poland, there are some important things you should know beforehand.
This article will not only enhance your overall experience but also save you a significant amount of time during your journey. And rest assured, this is no exaggeration!
Spoiler: The bus journey takes two to three times longer than what you read on the internet.
Bus From Lviv To Krakow
Lviv, a city situated approximately 325 kilometers away from Krakow in Poland, has multiple transportation options connecting the two cities. Daily, there are several train lines and over 10 bus routes available for commuters. Online sources and Google Maps indicate that the travel time between Lviv and Krakow is less than 7 hours.
Regarding the bus, it operates as a non-stop service, with no interruptions in other cities. The bus does make a stop at a gas station before reaching the Ukrainian-Polish border and then at each border crossing.
The cost of this bus journey ranges from 13 to 40 euros, and, unfortunately, not every bus is equipped with a toilet, wi-fi, or USB ports. Maybe it was just me who was unlucky, but there wasn’t a single person on the bus who spoke English.
Border Crossing? Nightmare!
So, why should I avoid using the bus? Considering the present circumstances and the significant influx of Ukrainians heading west, border crossings are experiencing immense congestion. Although Google Maps and other digital platforms suggest a travel time of less than 7 hours, it can actually take as long as 20 hours in reality!
I departed Lviv at 11:05 am, and the bus promptly left on schedule. It took approximately 14 hours for me to reach Krakow, with my arrival occurring around 01:00 am. Prior to reaching the Ukrainian border, we had a lengthy stop of nearly four hours at a gas station. We also encountered delays of over an hour and a half at each border crossing.
Not having prior knowledge of this situation, I didn’t take enough drinks and food and was exhausted. And what’s more, my mobile data was barely functional before reaching the border, leaving me with no alternative but to exit the bus and endure a lengthy wait in a queue at a petrol station alongside twelve other buses.
Upon our arrival in Poland and while we were at the border, I began reading the reviews on Google Maps. It was at that moment that I discovered people endure waits of up to 17 hours before entering Poland. Regardless of whether they are traveling with elderly people, animals, or children, this prolonged wait is unavoidable and a cause for widespread dissatisfaction among all.
Yes, many people are traveling in and out of the nation. But, there is room for improvement in terms of border controls being more efficient and less lenient. This viewpoint is shared not only by me but also by Google Maps users. The consensus is that Ukrainian border control, in particular, operates at an exceptionally slow pace.
If you find yourself needing to journey from Lviv to Krakow, fear not, for there exists an improved method of transportation. And what might that be? The answer is the train! Opting for train travel offers not only increased comfort but also a quicker journey, free from extended border crossings or concerns about restroom facilities along the way.
However, there could be an issue in this situation as well. Because of the significant migration of Ukrainians to the western regions, trains are consistently packed. To increase your chances of securing a seat, make your train reservations well ahead of time.
Booking your tickets well in advance is crucial to securing a spot, as cancellations can open up opportunities for last-minute availability. Whether it’s a month or just a day ahead, taking advantage of these openings can be like winning the lottery. Therefore, it’s always wise to plan ahead and make your reservations as early as possible.
While the train ride may lack the charm of the countryside views, it can save travelers valuable time and minimize the frustration associated with lengthy border waits.
As tempting as it may be to take the bus from Lviv to Krakow and enjoy the scenic beauty along the way, you should be aware of the potential pitfalls that come with this choice.
You should avoid taking a bus from Lviv to Krakow because the extended travel time caused by long waits at the border can turn what should be an enjoyable journey into a frustrating ordeal. Travelers seeking a smoother and more efficient experience may find that exploring alternative transportation options, such as trains, could be a more prudent choice.
Unfortunately, I did not have the fortune of using the train for my journey and instead had to endure the arduous bus ride, but such is a customary aspect of traveling! 🙂
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