A short guide on how to get to Krakow and how to move around the city. Connections from the airport to the city center and advice on how to reach the main attractions.
HOW TO GET TO KRAKOW
UPDATE JANUARY 2015: PLEASE NOTE, DUE TO AIRPORT EXPANSION WORKS, ARRIVALS ARE IN TERMINAL 2, WHILE FLIGHTS DEPART FROM TERMINAL 1.
There is an interim shuttle service that will take you from terminal 2 to terminal 1, from which you can take the bus to the center of Krakow. The direct train to the central station is temporarily suspended. The standard cost for taxis from terminal 2 to the center of Krakow is 89 Zl. You can try to call the taxi company "Icar" to get lower prices. (updated 01/01/2015)
How to get to Krakow by plane
Krakow has two airports nearby. The real city airport is the "John Paul II" and is located in Balice 14 km away from the center, while the second is much more peripheral and is located near the city of Katowice, about 80 km away, equivalent to about 2 hours by bus from Krakow.
Landing in Katowice is advisable only if you intend to combine a short visit to the town in question (although I do not recommend it, Katowice is an industrial city and offers practically nothing to visit. Nightlife not very accessible to foreigners): the travel hours between return to Katowice drastically reduce the time available to visit Krakow.
Balice Airport is also known as John Paul II International Airport. In the terminal you will find tourist information, public telephones, ATMs, currency exchange (07.45–20.30 Mon–Sat, 07.45–19.00 Sun) and kiosks selling food, alcohol and SIM cards.
If you're in a hurry, the quickest way into the city is by taxi: the MPt cars (t 91 91) outside the main exit are the cheapest and most reliable (30–50zł to the city centre). The cheapest way to reach the center is instead the train; the free shuttle picks you up in front of the terminal building and takes you to the nearby train station. The ticket (4 zł, or €1.20) can be purchased on the train, which arrives directly at the central station ( “Dworzec Główny” ). The journey takes 15 minutes, and trains operate daily from 4.00am to 11.07pm.
Flights to Krakow Balice
Balice Airport, just outside Kraków, is a small airport with only one international terminal (T1), albeit a well organized one with constantly growing annual traffic.
The companies that depart from Italy for this airport are:
Ryanair , the cheapest solution, with departures from Rome Ciampino, Bergamo and Bologna.
Air Berlin from Milan and Rome. Lot from Rome: the two flag carriers, German and Polish, obviously have much higher costs than Ryanair.
Flights to Katowice
The low cost flights of Wizzair with departures from Rome, Treviso, Pisa, Bologna and Milan-Bergamo.
Lot and Lufthansa flights to Katowice depart from the other airports.
International buses arrive at the modern bus station at ul. Bosacka . The historic center is a few hundred meters to the southwest, and can be reached via the Magda underpass which crosses the platforms of the central railway station. Alternatively there are taxis, parked day and night outside the station.
From Krakow Balice to city center By bus
Krakow-Balice Airport is connected to the city center by two daytime bus lines (208 and 292) and one night bus, 902. A single ticket costs 3 Zl (76 euro cents) and can be purchased from the bus driver, at vending machines at the bus stop and in Terminal 1. Line 208 runs from 5am to 10pm, 292 from 4am to 11pm and the night line from midnight to 4am.
From Katowice airport to Krakow By bus
From Katowice Airport there is the bus service offered by Wizz Air and the local company Matuszek . Buses depart from Katowice airport and arrive in the center of Krakow, at the central bus station. The timetables are linked to the arrival of Wizz Air flights both at night and during the day. The journey takes about 2 hours, the ticket costs 44 Zl (€10) and can be purchased directly on board or online.
On the train
From the airport, a free shuttle service transports you to the nearby train station, which is located just 200 meters from the terminal. If desired, it can also be reached on foot. The train goes directly to Krakow Central Station ( Dworzec Główny ), central Krakow, in 18 minutes. There are rides approximately every 30 minutes. The first train from Krakow City Center leaves at 4.50 in the morning, the last at 22.05. The first train from the airport at 5:14 in the morning, the last at 22:44. The ticket costs 10 Zl (€2.55). Tickets can be purchased from train staff and from automatic ticket machines at the airport and station.
In the station there are money changers ( “Kantor” ) and ATMs. Take the underpass to the Planty and follow it to the historic centre, or take a taxi if you need to reach the suburbs.
Krakow's trams are generally clean, efficient and on time, making them the best way to get from one point of the city to another. Trams run between 5am and 11pm. The single ticket (also valid for buses) costs around 3 zł; much cheaper are the 24-hour (approx. 11 zł), 48-hour (approx. 19 zł) and 72-hour (25 zł) tickets, which can be purchased at the kiosks near the stops where you can read “sprzedaż biletów MPK” . However, tickets can also be purchased on board directly from the driver, with a surcharge. Tickets must be validated on board.
They are very cheap and convenient, especially if you need to get to the city center or the airport during the night. The basic fare is 5 zł, plus 1.80–2 zł per kilometre. Valid taxis have a large sign on the roof with the name and telephone number of the company.
From the airport there is a service offered by Radio Taxi to and from the center of Krakow 19191 at a cost of around 50 Zl (€15). To book it, +48 12 19191 or +48 800 19 19 19.
Attractions outside Krakow
Krakow is a small city with a pedestrian-friendly historic centre. Moving on foot or by public transport, the most important monuments and attractions can be reached in just a few minutes.
Some destinations, however, are several kilometers away from the historic center and require longer journeys by train or bus.
Transport Krakow center - Nova Huta
To reach Nova Huta , take tram No. 4 which goes to Plac Centralny from Dworzec Główny . Journey time 20 minutes.
Auschwitz -Krakow connections
It can be easily reached by bus which, from the Krakow station at ul. Bosacka , leads directly to the camp entrance. The return ticket costs 28zl (about 7 euros), plus the possibility of buying the entrance ticket to Auschwitz for 40zl.
Journey time 1 hour and 40 minutes. For more information: http://www.visitauschwitz.eu/
A less valid alternative is the train, which leaves from Krakow's central station and takes you to the "Oswiecim" , from which, after a walk, you can reach Auschwitz .
Connections to the Wieliczka
“Wieliczka” Salt is located 10 km from the center of Krakow. It is located at the E40 highway and is easily accessible by various means of transport.
Krakow Central Railway Station ( Dworzec Główny PKP “Wieliczka Kopalnia”
By bus line 304 from ul. Kurniki near Galeria Krakowska “Wieliczka Kopalnia Soli” stop . It is necessary to obtain a regular day ticket with the Zone I + II Aglomeration fare ( Strefa I + II Aglomeracja ).
By minibus from near the Central Railway Station ( Dworzec Główny PKP ) in the direction of “Wieliczka Rynek Kopalnia” . Get off at the “Wieliczka Kopalnia Soli” at the intersection of ul. Dembowskiego and ul. Danilowicza . To get to Regis Well, get off at the next stop “Wieliczka Rynek Kopalnia” . (from http://www.minieradisalewieliczka.it/ )
If you want to visit Krakow in a healthy way, we can only suggest you to rent bicycles! The best place to cycle is definitely along the banks of the Vistula.
Cool Tour Company
(ul. Grodzka 2, Krakow) open daily 09:30 – 15:00
The largest bike rental in Krakow. Numerous options, from simple rental to guided tours.
(ul. Basztowa 17, Krakow) open daily 10am – 6pm
Prices from 15-50zl for 3 hours. To join the guided tours, meet at the market square in front of the statue.
(ul. Floriańska 24, Krakow) open daily 10:00 – 19:00
Recumbent bicycle rental, type of three-wheeled bicycles.
KRK Bike Rental
(ul. Św. Anny 4, Krakow) open daily 09:00 – 21:00
It is located a few meters from the market square. prices from 8zl/h up to 45zl per day.
(ul. Józefa 5, Krakow) open Monday to Friday 10:00 – 18:00
It is located in the Kazimierz , a few steps from the market square. They also rent out tandems.