April 29 – May 4, 2018 I will remember as a wonderful recreation in the most exotic part of Ukraine – in Transcarpathia. Once I’ve already visited Uzhhorod before – on one of my previous trips. It was then that I noticed that the atmosphere in this city is very unusual. Although Uzhhorod is located on the territory of Ukraine, but it seemed to me that I have got in a foreign country. It was a completely different world!
On that trip I decided that I will definitely return. But to cross the country for the sake of visiting one city is, by my standards, not practical. So I have planned a whole tour in Transcarpathia. Such a tour, as I like, is one day in one city.
Also on this trip I checked the visa-free operation with the EU for Ukrainians – I had gone to Slovakia for a day. So, fans of outdoor activities with biometric passports, if you do not know where to go to rest in Ukraine for a few days, you can ride through my itinerary – you will not regret it! 😉
Where to trip for a few days in Ukraine?
Transcarpathia occupies 2.1% of the territory of Ukraine; the most thunderstorm places in Ukraine are Velykyi Bereznyi and Rakhiv (43 thunderstorm days in the year); the most snowy place of Ukraine – Ruska Mokra (a steady snow cover lies here for 116 days a year); the highest mountain of Ukraine – Hoverla (height 2,061 metres); the largest mountain lake in Ukraine is Synevyr (its area is 7 ha, at an elevation of 989 meters above sea level); the most high-mountainous transport highway of Ukraine – a highway through the Yablonitsky Pass at an altitude of 931 m; the longest railway tunnel in Ukraine – Shcherbyn-Sianky (908 m); the deepest medical institution in Ukraine – in Solotvyno (at a depth of 300 m); the most northerly terrain in the world where tea is grown – Chervona hirka mountain, near Mukachevo; the geographical center of continental Europe is located near the village of Dilove, Rakhiv district (48°30′N 23°23′E)
About my travel to Transcarpathia
My mini-travel across Transcarpathia took 6 days – from April 29 to May 4. True, two days of them were spent trying to get from my city of Sumy to Uzhhorod and back. The trip by train on the route Sumy-Uzhhorod and Uzhhorod-Sumy takes more than 22 hours one way. So I left from Sumy in the afternoon of April 29, and arrived in Uzhhorod in one day – somewhere around 3 pm on April 30.
Uzhhorod (day 1)
I’ve already visited Uzhhorod before, so this time I did not become to spend much time on a city tour. The town is small – so half a day was enough for a walk. Preliminarily, on booking.com, I had booked the hostel not far from the railway station in Uzhhorod, where I settled immediately after arriving. The hostel had cost me 140 UAH.
Khust (day 2)
The next point on the map of my travel was Khust.
The most convenient way for me to get from Uzhhorod to Khust was the train. In fact, of all modes of transport, I like trains with sleeping places most of all, and I always give them preference. So the question of how to get to Khust did not even arise. It was necessary to choose only the time of the trip – or to leave at 3 am and get to Khust at 7 am or to leave at 9 am and arrive at 12 noon.
Plans in the city were many, and half a day for their implementation would not be enough. Particularly, I was going to visit ‘Narcissus Valley’ and the ruins of the Khust Castle, moving around the city on foot. And for this I needed to have a lot of time at my disposal. So I moved out of the hostel in Uzhhorod at 2 am on May 1, and at 7 am I was already in Khust. Several hours of sleep at the hostel and several – on the train was quite enough to rest.
From Uzhhorod to Khust to go only 4 hours, so I have not become to pay extra for bed linen on the train. My ticket in the platzkart wagon of the Uzhgorod-Khust train without bedclothes had cost about 30 UAH.
To not carry my luggage with me all day, I decided to leave it in the baggage room at the station. First I had made myself look good in the toilet of the station, had packed in a backpack the things I needed for my day, had put everything else in a separate bag and had attributed this bag to the storage room. At Khust railway station I did not find the baggage room, so I took advantage of this service at the bus station (the stations are side by side).
For reference – the toilet at Khust bus station costs 4 UAH, and the luggage storage service – 15 UAH / 1 bag.
I left back to Uzhgorod at about 8 pm, after an amazing walk through Khust and its environs.
I was worried. After all, me previously had bought tickets for a night bus in Košice (Slovakia), which was due to leave Uzhgorod bus station at 1 am on the 2nd of May, and I did not want to miss this bus. And our Ukrainian trains often do not arrive on time. Fortunately, my train was a little late (for only 10 minutes). And I safely have got on the bus.
Košice (day 3)
Previously, I traveled to Europe only as part of the tour groups. So this was my first independent test trip abroad.
The prices for the bus Uzhgorod-Kosice range roughly from 250 to 350 UAH, and in the opposite direction – from 210 to 300 UAH, and depend on the carrier.
Tickets can be bought online on different sites. I had not risked buying tickets online, so do not know the specifics of this method of buying. Me had bought my tickets (in Košice and back) at the bus station of Uzhgorod on the first day of my arrival in Transcarpathia. When buying tickets at the ticket office, it is also necessary to pay a station fee of 4 UAH. Also tickets can be bought directly on the bus, paying for them in EUR or UAH (as you like).
Buying tickets in Kosice on the night bus became my mistake. It would be better if I rode the morning on a 7-hour bus. Then I could have a good rest at the hotel before the trip and could have enjoyed a few hours walking on the foot along Kosice. But I have taken the night bus… 🙁
I mistakenly thought that I will could sleep 3 hours on the train and a few hours on the bus. But it was very noisy on board during my train ride. And the trip from Uzhhorod to Kosice took less time than I expected. So that night I have slept no more than two hours 🙁
We arrived in Kosice at 4 am (according to Ukrainian time). The outside temperature was + 15 ° C, and I was very lightly dressed. My warm clothes were left in the storage room in Uzhhorod (paid 22 UAH for 1 bag). So I had been very cold and really wanted to sleep. In the street there was a deep night and no public places had yet worked. Fortunately, a couple of minutes after our arrival, the railway station Kosice opened, which stands next to the bus station. So I was able to take a nap until 8 am on a bench inside the railway station Kosice.
Kosice is a very beautiful old town, but because of fatigue and lack of sleep some apathy has attacked me. After a short several-hour walk through the center, I went to the bus station and sat there above 2-3 hours for my bus (to 15.30 on Slovak time). Next time I’ll take into account that it’s better not to make night movements on public transport. 🙂
Mukachevo (day 4)
About 8 pm on 2 May I returned to Uzhhorod. I had checked into the hotel, which me booked on the site booking.com in advance (200 UAH), and had gone to rest. It was necessary to move out before 11 am. I had slept in until the very last. Then I had gone to the station, had bought a ticket for the commuter train Uzhgorod – Mukachevo at 12:34 (14 UAH) and went to look at Palanok Castle.
It was hot. The train was poor, broken up. Most of the windows did not open, because someone broke them. I had found myself a place near one of the few open windows and had been ‘enjoying’ the company of grannies and tired tourists-climbers for two hours on my trip. 🙂
Upon my arrival in Mukachevo, I had left my bag in the storage room at the railway station (15 UAH) and had put my trust in Google, which took me to the mountain, to Palanok Castle.
In the evening 20-hour trip home in the platzkart wagon from Mukachevo has been expecting to me. And on my way home I finally had a good sleep. 🙂
How much does an individual tour in Transcarpathia cost?
Brief chronology of events
If we sum up what was said, I was happy with my travel, despite mistake with a night trip to Slovakia. Transcarpathia is an amazing region. This is an incredible beauty! There are mountains, rivers, European architecture, ancient castles and their ruins… Wonderful scenery! There is everything for an excellent rest and unforgettable impressions!
My brief action plan
- Day 1 – Uzhhorod: arrival, registration in the hostel, walk.
- Day 2 – Khust: a trip from Uzhhorod to Khust, a luggage room in Khust, a walk, a return to Uzhgorod, a storage room in Uzhgorod.
- Day 3 – Košice: travel Uzhgorod – Kosice – Uzhgorod, walk along Košice, overnight in hotel in Uzhgorod.
- Day 4 – Mukachevo: a trip on the Uzhhorod-Mukachevo commuter train, a storage room in Mukachevo, an excursion to the Mukachevo Castle of Palanok.
The financial aspects
Financially, this trip was very democratic, despite the fact that food prices in Transcarpathia are higher than here in Sumy. At least, the prices for meat products. Perhaps, of course, this is only for tourists. 😉
My basic costs for a trip through Transcarpathia
Travel expenses – 618 UAH:
- Train Uzhgorod – Khust – Uzhgorod – 54 UAH
- Bus Uzhgorod – Kosice – Uzhgorod – 550 UAH
- Commuter train Uzhgorod – Mukacheve – 14 UAH
Housing – 340 UAH:
- Uzhgorod, April 30 – 140 UAH
- Uzhgorod, 2 May – 200 UAH
Storage cameras – 52 UAH:
- Khust – 15 UAH
- Uzhgorod – 22 UAH
- Mukachevo – 15 UAH
Total spent about 1000 UAH for 4 days, plus personal expenses for food and souvenirs. In my opinion, it is not even very expensive for such a great vacation!