You are ready to travel to Ukraine to meet your girl, but you are not sure yet how to travel? Kiev is currently the biggest airport and the smaller airports like Lviv and Odessa do not receive many international flights. Therefore, a lot of people fly to Poland and travel by train from Krakow to Lviv. Flying to Poland is overall cheaper than flying to Kiev.
I did this journey several times myself and it is actually a very interesting experience. The duration is between 7 and 8 hours and you can either decide to travel during the day or take a night train.
Krakow Airport to Krakow train station
Getting from Krakow Airport to Krakow train station can he done with the Leo Express. This shuttle service take around 25 minutes and a ticket cost 9 PLN. There is no need to make a reservation and you can buy your ticket at the kiosk. I would not recommend taking a taxi as it takes you 45 minutes and will cost you at least double.
Booking your ticket
I always recommend you booking your ticket beforehand. This will avoid you any disappointed if you find out all tickets are sold out at the train station. There is currently one online web store that sells tickets online: PolRail
Incase you do need to buy your tickets at the station, you can go right at the main entrance and you will see a large sign in English saying “Ticket office”. People in Poland actually speak English very well, therefore I would not worry about that part too much.
The train from Krakow to Lviv
As mentioned before you can check if you prefer the night- or day train. Please keep in mind when booking a sleep cabin you will need to share this cabin with other people. If this of interest to you, you can always take a private cabin for two, but you will need to pay for two tickets. Although the train might look old from the outside it actually is a quiet comfortable ride.
Get ready for a 2-3 hour layover at the border though. A custom officer (with a AK-47) will come in your cabin and take your passport. Do not worry as this is normal procedure and it will take up to 2 hours to do all the checks. Sometimes they also need to change the wheels of the train in order to continue its travels in Ukraine, but this happens mostly during the wintertime.
Yes my friends, never a dull moment when traveling to Ukraine!