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Travel from Stry, Ukraine to Budapest

My son is a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine and we will be visiting him later this month. While there, we are taking the opportunity to travel around with him. The beginning of our journey (and what I'm finding to be the most difficult) is actually leaving Ukraine!

I have found travel websites that tell how to take the train from Stry, Ukraine to Budapest, however, now that I am actually trying to book tickets, I am having no luck! Has anyone traveled between Ukraine and Hungary. We are a party of seven and trying to stay away from the more expensive airline tickets. Any recommendations? Tips?

Has anyone walked across the border? (I'm going to have my 71 and 72 year old parents with me) We will each have a carry-on size piece of luggage.

I have my entire trip planned... except for this crucial part!

Posted by
18860 posts

There is someone here that made the trip and posts from time to time. I bet you get your answer. As i recall it is a long and not entirely comfortable process. Or enjoyable by my standards. I love Ukraine and am planning my third return for Christmas; and i will be coming from and returning to Budapest; but I wont be doing the train.

You say you have the trip planned out, but your life would be much easier if you find yourself in Kyiv before you go on to Budapest. The direct flight Kyiv to Budapest is about $100. The direct flight from Lviv to Kyiv is also about something less than $100 and Kyiv is an interesting city if its not already on your tour. Too bad you aren't traveling in November as that is when the direct Lviv to Budapest service begins on Ryanair.

Posted by
16894 posts

In this region, I'd plan to buy train tickets locally upon arrival. Or if your son is in that town or any place with a train station, he can do it there in advance.

Posted by
18860 posts

The drive from Stryi to Chop at the border looks to be 3 or 4 hours. There is a straight through train to Budapest late afternoon that will get you to Budapest in a little more than 5 hours. So, I am guessing with all the hassle it would be a 10 hour trip.

I looked up Lviv to Budapest MAV site. Lviv is an hour drive in the wrong direction but …. From Lviv it’s a 12:51 trip with one train change and a 2 hour layover (at the border); add to that at least an hour to arrive at the station early and figure out the ticket issues. So realistically, maybe 15 hours total including a drive to Lviv.

Lvov 06:46 81 (Kiev-Passajirskii - Chop) Kiev-Passajirskii --
Budapest-Nyugati közvetlen kocsiban Chop 12:12 through carriage

Chop 14:20 későbbi továbbutazás 33 LATORCA NIC ( -
Budapest-Nyugati) Kőbánya-Kispest 18:20 Zugló 18:28

Budapest-Nyugati 18:37

To fly, figure 3 hours to get to the airport in Lviv and early check in, then from the airport in Budapest figure half an hour to get to town, so you start out 3.5 hours plus flight time. Flights take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours depending on the day of the week. Using the one in the middle the entire trip would be about 10 hours. Of course this is what I would do, but I would spend the night at the very least in Kyiv and see some of my favorite city. That’s sort of what I am doing for Christmas: Budapest to Kyiv, Kyiv for a few days. Kyiv to Lviv for a few days, then back to Budapest on the nonstop services that starts in November.

One way flight in 6:40 with a change in Kyiv for $89.00

8:50 AM – 10:00 AM Lviv (LWO) – Kiev (KBP) Ukraine 38 · Economy Class
· Boeing 737 1h 10m Layover in Kiev KBP 3h 35m 1:35 PM – 2:30 PM Kiev
(KBP) – Budapest (BUD) Ukraine 813 · Economy Class · Boeing 737 1h 55m

Posted by
18860 posts

It only took the first day in Kyiv to fall in love with Ukraine. But I travel mostly to meet people and talk and eat and listen and smell and for the feeling of the history and context of the moment; and of course to do the occasional church or monument, and Kyiv and Odessa worked very well for that. I can name a half dozen places in the west I want to visit, but they will have to wait till Spring.

THREE movies you may want to see before you travel. The first is "Winter on Fire" that you can see on Netflix. The second is "Bitter Harvest" which is on my Spectrum Cable Pay Per View right now and "Miss Sarajevo" which you will have to find on EBay or purchase direct from the producer ($45). Miss Sarajevo as the name suggests is not about Ukraine, but given what is going on in Ukraine in the East right now, it is revealing of the sort of thing that is quick approaching if situations progress at the current rate and direction; it also emphasizes how needed people like your son are. You done good dad.

You didn't mention if you were going to Kyiv, but if you do this is well worth the visit: http://www.warmuseum.kiev.ua/index_eng.html .