- Eastern europe
How to Get to the Tunnel of Love in Ukraine
For the longest time, the magical picture of a train track going through a thick green tunnel of forests, dubbed "The Tunnel of Love", had been circulating around the internet with much fanfare around where the exact location is.
There was a lot of information regarding where it is, some say it's in Ukraine, some say otherwise, and so when I arrived in Ukraine, I made it my mission to find where this magical Tunnel of Love is and how one could get there independently.
Today, I'm here to report that I have successfully reached the mythical Tunnel of Love using only public transportations and here is a complete guide on how to get to the Tunnel of Love in Ukraine independently without a tour.
Let's begin with the exact location of the Tunnel of Love:Table of Contents
- Tunnel of Love Location Map
- Ukraine Travel Video
- When to Visit the Tunnel of Love
- Where to Stay in Lutsk
- How Many Days Do I Need for Tunnel of Love?
- How Much Money Do I Need for Visiting the Tunnel of Love, Ukraine?
- Is it Safe to Visit the Tunnel of Love, Ukraine?
- Travel Insurance
- How to Get to the Tunnel of Love in Ukraine
- Is Tunnel of Love worth Visiting?
- Further Reading for Ukraine
Tunnel of Love Location Map
Ukraine Travel Video
When to Visit the Tunnel of Love
Let's be honest, the reason you want to visit the Tunnel of Love is to get that iconic photo of the tree tunnel and the train tracks and to get that shot, it is important for you to visit at the right time to see the tunnel in its full glory.
If you want to see the Tunnel of Love exactly like what you see here in all my photos, the summertime between June - September is perfect for it. The trees still retain its leaves whereas the colors of the leaves are still deep green.
BE WARNED: Summertime is a prime time for mosquitoes to hunt for human blood so make sure you have insect repellent with you if you decided to visit during this time.
If you want a little bit of a unique experience, you can visit during Spring (April - May) and Autumn (October - November) where the forest will be more colorful.
Wintertime (December - March) is not the best time to see the Tunnel of Love as the forest loses its leaves and colors, exposing the sky instead of covering the train tracks.
Where to Stay in Lutsk
Budget - Hostel Druzi - 7 USD/Night (Dorm) - One of the cheapest place you can get and most centrally located. One problem is the reception and the people staying there rarely speaks English so don't expect any socializing here if you don't speak Russian. That said, it's extremely clean and has a spacious dorm room with modern bathrooms and free water to refill.
Mid-Range - Rhombus Hotel - 36 USD / Night (Twin Room with Private Bathroom per 2 Rooms)
How Many Days Do I Need for Tunnel of Love?
To visit the Tunnel of Love with public transportation, you will need to find a base that is closer to the Tunnel than Kyiv and you will need to stay at least, one night there.
The reason why I wouldn't recommend you to do it from Kyiv in one day is that since we will be relying on marshrutka (minivan) where reliability and speed isn't exactly its strongest suit, it is best that you have an entire day to travel to the Tunnel of Love, so that you can visit the Tunnel of Love without having to rush it.
Traveling like this will also allow you to progress your trip in Ukraine further without having to backtrack especially if you are planning to visit Lviv after.
There are 2 bases you can choose from Lutsk and Rivne. I personally prefer Lutsk as there are more touristy things to do there than in Rivne and it is closer to Lviv which is where I wanted to go next after visiting the Tunnel of Love.
My recommendation is to stay 2 nights in Lutsk so that you will have one full day and you can travel to the Tunnel of Love in the morning. You should be back in Lutsk in the afternoon and then you can explore Lutsk tourist attractions like Lubart's Castle and Cathedral of the St. Peter and Paul.
How Much Money Do I Need for Visiting the Tunnel of Love, Ukraine?
From my suggested itinerary above, first, you will have to get from Kyiv to Lutsk. The bus from Kyiv to Lutsk will cost you 350 UAH.
From Lutsk bus station, you will have to take a bus to the city center which will cost you 6 UAH per trip. After you spend the night in Lutsk, you will have to get on the same bus to the same bus station and once again in the opposite direction when you get back so that's 6 x 3 = 18 UAH in total you will spend on local buses.
From Lutsk to Klevan, you will spend 52 UAH per trip so for 2 ways, it will be 104 UAH. Include that with the minimum accommodation for 2 nights which is 14 USD (350 UAH) and food should be no more than 100 UAH per meal.
Thankfully, you don't have to pay to get into the Tunnel of Love so that should be it for all the expense for visiting the Tunnel of Love.
With this data, we can conclude that you will be spending around 1,122 UAH (44 USD) for 2 days minimum including everything from food to accommodation.
Is it Safe to Visit the Tunnel of Love, Ukraine?
Ukraine is mostly safe as I mentioned before in my previous articles about the country and it is the same here for Lutsk and the Tunnel of Love. People may stare a lot in Lutsk as they do not get a lot of tourists but other than that, nothing out of the ordinary happen to me while I was traveling to the Tunnel of Love from Lutsk except...
The godforsaken mosquitoes! No one warned me about it so I was there without an insect repellent and the moment I entered the forest area of the Tunnel of Love, I was swarmed by hundreds of mosquitoes, all ready to suck my blood dry.
In about 5 minutes, all my legs and arms are covered in itchy bruises! As much as I wanted to spend hours taking photos in the Tunnel of Love, due to the number of mosquito bites I got in 15 minutes, I had to cut my trip short and left early. The mosquito problems are serious here and if you are planning this trip, be sure to bring insect repellent with you!
If you are looking for travel insurance to go along with your trip to Ukraine, I would recommend WorldNomads.com, which is what I use to look for travel insurance that fits my kind of adventure.
How to Get to the Tunnel of Love in Ukraine
How to Get to Kyiv, Ukraine?
First things first, you will have to get to Ukraine and one of the easiest ways is to fly into Kyiv.
If you are coming from the US, there is a direct flight from New York to Kyiv via Ukrainian Airline that you can take directly to Ukraine or you can fly via several European airlines like KLM, Lufthansa, and Air France.
If you are in Europe, you can either fly with a low-cost airline like Ryanair, or you can simply travel by train from any of the main European hubs like Berlin, etc. Although, the time it takes to travel will increase considerably if you chose to use trains (24 hours from Berlin to Kyiv).
Last but not least, if you are in Asia, the simplest option is to fly directly from Bangkok to Kyiv via Ukrainian Airline. They are cheap and fly direct to Kyiv in 11 hours.
How to Get from Kyiv to Lutsk, Ukraine?
For my suggested itinerary, I would recommend you go directly to Lutsk first and spend a night there before you backtrack your way to the Tunnel of Love.
From Kyiv, you will have to get a marshrutka to Lutsk. You can book your bus/marshrutka on Busbud.com.
Depending on which bus you picked the pick-up location will differ but if you want to go the easy route, you can follow what I did and booked the 11:00 AM bus to Kovel operated by Voyag-Luks. They should stop in Lutsk on the way to Kovel.
The Voyag-Luks marshrutka leaves from the Kyiv Autobus Station near Kyiv Central Train Station which is easily accessible from the city center and it will cost you 350 UAH.
Be aware that the Voyag-Luks marshrutka doesn't actually leave at the platform, which I presume is reserved for big buses, but from the parking spot in the middle of the bus station instead so don't waste time trying to find which platform to stand on. Simply go ask the people in the ticket office or one of the drivers standing around in the parking spot.
I would recommend you arrive 30 minutes earlier so that you will have time to figure out where your marshrutka leaves from. Keep in mind that they use Cyrillic alphabets here in Ukraine and if you can't read it (like me), keep an eye out for Луцьк (Lutsk) or Ковель (Kovel) signs in front of a marshrutka.
Tips: If you are traveling in the summer, choose a seat where the windows can be opened because it gets really hot in the summer in Ukraine and marshrutka doesn't have the best ventilation.
Once you get on the bus, it will take you around 5.5 hours until you arrive at Lutsk bus station where you will then have to get a local bus to the city center.
How to Get from Lutsk Bus Station to Lutsk City Center?
Once you arrive in Lutsk Bus Station, you will have to walk to a bus stop on the main road and then you can take the bus number #17A or #28 which will take you near Lesi Ukrainky Main Shopping Street and then you can walk to your accommodation from there.
The local bus in Lutsk costs around 6 UAH (cash only) and you can pay the bus driver when you get out of the bus.
If you have data on your phone, you can use Google Maps to find which local bus number you should take to get around and from my experiment relying heavily on the app when I was in Lutsk, they are pretty accurate.
How to Get from Lutsk to Klevan, Ukraine?
After you spend a night in Lutsk, it is time to go to the Tunnel of Love but first, we will have to get to Klevan, a sleepy town where the Tunnel of Love is located.
There isn't a lot of buses that goes directly from Lutsk to Klevan but there are a ton of buses going to Rivne which they can then drop you off near Klevan. The bus to Rivne leaves every hour from the same bus station you were dropped off the day before, so you can take the same local bus back to the bus station.
Once you are at the bus station, simply ask around for a marshrutka to Klevan (Клевань) or Rivne (Рівне). If they had a hard time understanding you, just show them the Cyrillic alphabets of the town names and they should be able to direct you to the right marshrutka.
I personally went for a 10 AM bus going towards Rivne and I asked them to drop me off at the bus stop right at the intersection between Tsentralna Street and the H22 highway shown above. From there, it's only a 30 minutes walk to the Tunnel of Love.
When you are in a marshrutka approaching the intersection, simply go to the driver and ask to be dropped off here. Don't expect them to stop for you even if you tell them you are going to the Tunnel of Love.
The marshrutka should take around one hour to reach Klevan and it will cost you around 52 UAH for the trip.
How to Get from Klevan to the Tunnel of Love?
From the intersection, you can simply walk north until you are in Klevan and then start heading east toward the Tunnel of Love.
I simply walked north along Tsentralna Street until an intersection that goes to Slovyanska Street and then I turned right and went straight until I reached the Tunnel of Love.
The walk should take no more than 30 minutes and you should arrive at a parking lot right before the train tracks. From there, you can turn right on the train track and prepare to have your jaw dropped by the magnificent beauty of the Tunnel of Love.
Congratulation, you made it to the Tunnel of Love independently. If you heeded my warning, you should be well-prepared for the mosquito onslaught that will come as you enter the forest..
Make sure you wear thick clothing or cover your entire body with insect repellent because they can and will bite through your clothes. I would recommend wearing a jean and a jacket that covers your skin as much as you can and cover the rest with insect repellent.
With yourself protected from the mosquitoes, you are now free to walk as far as you like. The tunnel goes really far along the train track so if there is a lot of people at the beginning, simply walk deeper and you should have the entire place to yourself.
Depending on how many photos you want of yourself here, you can spend from 15 minutes to a few hours exploring the forest. Spend as much time as you like but be sure to leave for Lutsk around 4 PM as there might be less marshrutka from Rivne to Lutsk after that time.
How to Get from Tunnel of Love back to Lutsk?
To go back to Lutsk from the Tunnel of Love, simply walk back to the highway intersection, go to the opposite side of the road and flag down a marshrutka with a Луцьк (Lutsk) sign in front of them. It will cost another 52 UAH and takes about an hour before you arrive back at Lutsk with plenty of time to spare to explore the rest of Lutsk tourist attractions.
Is Tunnel of Love worth Visiting?
It is no question that the Tunnel of Love is a little out-of-the-way and if you have very limited time, you will probably ask this question. Since I'm here to answer your questions, I'd say, if you have very limited time and you are not determined to get that iconic picture, skip it. It's just another "photo op" place.
That said, if you are going to Lviv anyway after Kyiv and looking to break the trip down, or you are a photographer, or you just like to go off-the-beaten-path, the Tunnel of Love and Lutsk are definitely worth visiting. There are quite a few cool things to see in Lutsk and the place allows you to see what life is really like in smaller cities in Ukraine.
And there you have it, a complete guide on how to visit the Tunnel of Love in Ukraine. Have you ever seen a picture of this tunnel before? Is it one of your dream to visit the Tunnel of Love? Feel free to write down your thoughts in the comments below.
Further Reading for Ukraine
Looking for more information for your trip to Ukraine? Here is a collection of articles about Ukraine that might help you with your trip planning:
- Ukraine is one of the few hidden gems left in Europe and in order to see the country and all it has to offer, you will need a complete travel guide. Here is a One Month Itinerary for Ukraine.
- Ukraine has recently loosened up their borders a little to non-European travelers with an E-Visa program. Here is my experience applying for an E-Visa for Ukraine and things I wish I knew before applying.
- Of course, one of the reasons why you are visiting Ukraine is to learn more about Chernobyl nuclear disaster and what better way to learn about it than to go in the field and see it with your own eyes. Here is a complete guide on how to visit Chernobyl.
- If you think Kyiv is just good for Chernobyl and Brutalist architecture enthusiasts, then you are in for a big surprise when you find out how awesome the city is. Here are top 18 things to do in Kyiv, Ukraine.
- Are you a coffee snob like I do? If so, then you will love Kyiv and its unmatched indie cafe-culture. Here are 8 best indie cafes you should check out in Kyiv, Ukraine.
- Thinking of visiting the Tunnel of Love and not sure where to base yourself out of? I would recommend Lutsk and here are 8 best things to do that will make you fall in love with Lutsk.
- Lviv is the cultural capital city of Ukraine. It is what St. Petersburg is to Russia, Prague is to Czechia, and Krakow is to Poland. It is the most European city out of all Ukraine and it has so many things to do, you will need a great guide to navigate it. Here are 10 Best Things you should do in Lviv, Ukraine.
- Lviv is another great city to go cafe-hopping if you love coffee and here are my Top 10 Cozy Cafes in Lviv you should check out.
- Getting bored of cities? How about we go and hike some of the stunning trails in the Carpathian Mountains? Here is a complete hiking guide to Yaremche and Ukraine Carpathian Mountains.
- One of the most impressive architectural wonders in Ukraine is Chernivtsi National University in Chernivtsi, a remnant from the Austro-Hungarian Empire time that still survives today. Here are 7 Best Things to Do in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.
- Kamianets-Podilskyi, an island city home to Kamianets-Podilskyi Castle, one of the most beautiful castles in Ukraine, is a place that seems like it came straight out of a fairy tale and a place that you should not miss. Here’s a backpacking guide and top 8 things to do in Kamianets-Podilskyi.
- Odesa is known as the Pearl of the Black Sea and in order to understand why you will need to dive deep into its history and even further down underground into its infamous catacomb. Here is a complete guide on tourist attractions and 8 great things to do in Odesa.
- You may not have heard of Kharkiv before, but once you see what I saw when I was traveling in that city, your mind will be blown away at how beautiful it is. Here are the 10 best things to do in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
- Did you know that Kharkiv is also home to the prettiest metro stations in Ukraine? Here are 8 most beautiful metro stations to check out in Kharkiv.
- My words are not convincing you about traveling to Ukraine? How about you see it for yourself with my Ukraine travel video? Ukraine Beyond Travel Video
- Want to know where to go after Ukraine? How about visiting Poland, drop by Kosice in Slovakia or go bar-hopping in Budapest, Hungary? We have travel guides for those too.
- For all articles about Ukraine, visit Ukraine Travel Guide page.
- You can see all my Eastern Europe related articles on my Eastern Europe Travel Guide page.
- You can also see all my Europe related articles here: Europe Travel Guide page.
- For more of my travel guides like this, visit my Destinations page.
The Solo Traveler’s Journal is a series of posts by Pete Rojwongsuriya, the founder of BucketListly Blog where we will follow his solo journey around the world as he experiences different cultures, people, and historical locations one country at a time.
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