Ukraine borders Hungary in the far South-West corner of the country connected with 3 border crossing points.
However the only major and bussiest gateway to Ukraine from Southern Europe is Zahony-Chop and 2 other minor borders are mainly used by locals living on both sides of the border.
Zahony-Chop crossing point connects village Zahony, easy accessible with direct trains from Budapest, and small Ukrainian town Chop,which is in fact the westernmost settlement in Ukraine.
Chop is a railway hub for trains coming from Ukraine, Slovakia and Hungary and is perfect border for independent travelers. It is also possible to cross it on car.
The best transport connection from Budapest to Ukraine and back is train.
There is daily train connecting Budapest with Lviv and Kyiv in Ukraine via Chop.
It departs from Budapest Keleti train station at 18:40 arrivng at 10:30 to Lviv and at 20:02 to Kyiv. Even if you’re heading to Kyiv it’s pobably worth to get out in Lviv, in order to check out this nice city and then take overnight sleeper to Kyiv so that you won’t waist day time and pay for accommodation in Kyiv 😉
Reverse, from Kyiv it departs at 11:07, stoping in Lviv and departing at 21:20 to Budapest where it arrives at 11:20 to Keleti train station.
This train is pretty comfortable with sleepers and
costs approx. 65 EUR to/from Lviv and 80 EUR to/from Kyiv. Ufff, pretty hight price, but…
…there is a budget version of the same connection.
From Budapest to Ukraine and back
From Budapest to Ukraine.
Take the same train departing at 18:40 but buy ticket only to Zahony(last stop in Hungary) for approx 20 EUR. You’ll arrive at 22:58. Get out and wait for one hour in the station reading a book or so…
Buy ticket to Chop which is just across the river already on Ukrainian side and costsapprox. 4 EUR.
At 23:56 border train to Chop will show up and will take you there in 17 minutes. By the time you arrive will be already 01:13 of Ukrainian time (+2 GMT). The same train that you took in Budapest will be waiting while it’s tracks are chaged to Ukrainian standart. Just buy ticket to Lviv or Kyiv and continue with it. All places are sleepers.
Cost from Chop to Lviv is 87 UAH (8 EUR) platzkart and 133 UAH (12 EUR) cupe.
Cost from Chop to Kyiv is 146 UAH (13 EUR) platzkart and 232 UAH (22 EUR) cupe.
From Ukraine to Budapest.
Take Kyiv-Budapest train only to Chop departing from Kyiv at 11:07 stoping in Lviv and departing at 21:40. Get out at 03:00 in Chop, go through the customs and catch border train to Zahony at 05:40. You’ll arrive in Zahony at 04:57 Central European Time where will catch the same initial train to Budapest at 05:38. That’s it, at 10:30 you’re in Budapest Keleti train station. Congrads!!!
Travellin from Budapest to Ukraine and back with the last option you’ll save almost a double in cost without loosing time but with less hours of sleep. Don’t worry, I did it and a lot people does all the time…
Have a nice trip and fun 😀
And how are YOU going to travel?
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