Although the city of Cracow is reasonably small and easy to get around on foot, there is still an extensive and economical public transport system available. The city transportation has a system of trams and buses which are frequent, convenient, and inexpensive and which get to most parts of the city, with several private companies supplementing these routes with a multitude of minibus routes.
The city’s extensive tram system runs from 05:00 to 23:00 and reaches most areas of the city. There is a wide range of ticket options available, ranging from a single trip ticket, right up to a monthly pass. Tickets can be purchased from the driver or at one of the many kiosks along the tram routes. Traveling on the tram system is very affordable, although visitors and tourists should be aware that extra charges are applied for large bags, rucksacks, and other bulky items.
The city also provides reliable bus service to complement the tram system, with many routes designed to link with trams to form a cheap and efficient city-wide transport system. A good ticket option for tourists is a travel card, which provides unlimited travel on public transport as well as free entry into over 30 of the city’s museums. A travel card can be purchased on arrival at the airport or at newspaper kiosks around the city, with two-day travel cards also available.
A one-way ticket for a public bus or a tram is 3.2 zloty is equivalent to 0.6 Euro. You can buy it at newspaper kiosks and from ticket machines at downtown stops and on some buses and tram cars. Drivers sell 60-minute tickets worth 4 Zloty. Immediately after boarding you should put the ticket yourself through the ticket puncher and keep it till you reach your destination.
A 15-minute ticket allowing for changing line costs 2 zloty, it’s 30-minutes equivalent is 3.2 zloty, an hourly one 4 zloty, and a 90-minute ticket has been priced at 5.2 zloty. The prices of unlimited-travel passes for all public buses and trams have been set at 12 zloty for a 24-hour ticket, at 20 zloty for a 48-hour one, and at 30 zloty for a 72-hour passes, while a seven-day unlimited travel ticket costs 40 zloty. Tickets are valid for the stated period starting with their first punching on a bus or a tram.
Although the city center is mostly pedestrians only, taxis are still a popular way of getting around the wider city area. You will find taxi ranks dotted around the edge of the Old Town area and with over 20 fleets in operation around the city, availability is never much of a problem. Tourists planning to use taxis in the city are advised to only use licensed cars displaying a company name and telephone number to avoid being overcharged.
Travel to Cracow
As a tourist, you will be struck by the vibrancy and warmth you find at Cracow. It is shown in the clubs, bars and charming cafes of the Kazimierz district where the city’s large student population parties well into the night; and it’s there in the huge medieval market square, a wonderful summer setting for lazy days drinking and getting to know the friendly locals.
The city is easily accessible by air as well as by car and by train. Travel to Cracow is easy and cheap and once you are there you don’t need to spend a lot of money either because the biggest attraction is the city itself, making holidays and vacations to Cracow is remarkably affordable. But Cracow travel is not just for hen and stag weekends as this city is cultured, stunning and stylish.
When traveling to Cracow you will find the Renaissance Cloth Hall and St. Mary’s Church emerging over the great medieval Market Square, while the splendid Wawel Castle looks down on the city from its hilltop location.
You should also take in the city’s Jewish heritage, particularly the evident in the ghetto area of Podgorze or the bohemian Kazimierz district. This is also a great place to eat out and enjoy Cracow’s nightlife which is rapidly making out ideal popularity amongst Europe’s hot young things.
Cracow accommodation is also getting in on the action and the accommodation in Cracow will now provide design and fashion–conscious individuals who want a unique and personal experience.
Over seven million travelers take a trip to Cracow every year, though only a third or so stay overnight in the city. Many arrive and/or leave by air, but the most advantage is the fact that Cracow lies at a major European road and rail junction.
With a car rental in Cracow, you will find out this up and coming European hotspot at your own speed. The fourth-largest city in Poland, Cracow handles to maintain a cozy small-town feel while firmly developing itself as one of Europe’s premier cities, and a rental car in Cracow is the perfect way to see it.
However, you would not need a car for getting around Cracow’s Old Town, but if you want to head further afield to Auschwitz, the Wieliczka Salt Mines or Ojcow National Park, then having your own set of wheels could save you the hassle of trying to navigate the Polish bus system.
Tour with a Rental Car in Cracow
Cracow is an old European city, attracting many tourists and visitors every year. There is so much to do in Cracow that you will definitely want a rental car in Cracow, to make the most of your trip.
Don’t miss the remarkable Rynek Glowny, the medieval market square, the Stare Miasto, or the numerous cathedrals. The Jewish quarter mostly destroyed during WWII, but experiencing a Renaissance, features some of the oldest and most beautiful synagogues in Europe. A short distance away, and easily reached with your car rental in Cracow, you will find the Royal Salt Mine at Wieliczka, a unique underground city, and the Auschwitz-Birkenau is a startling but an imperative stop on your trip to Cracow.
This city has long been regarded as the cultural seat of Poland, with opera houses, theaters, and art in abundance. Cracow has most recently become known for its progressive atmosphere. Cracow’s Old Town, as well as Kazimierz Quarter, are two great places to experience the nightlife of this Polish City. With an affordable rental car anywhere in Cracow, you are free to travel where you like.
Rental Cars in Cracow
Avis Center – Located at Lubicz 23, Cracow.
Carnet – Located at J. Wybickiego 3a, Cracow.
Autocash – Located at Opolska 12a, Cracow.
Budget – Located at Balicka 4, Cracow.
Express – Located at Kamieńskiego 11 (Bonarka City Center), Cracow.
Aina Travel – Located at Sereno Fenn’a 14/1, Cracow.
Facar – Located at Jesionowa 9, Cracow.
Dragon VIP – Located at Rejtana 7, Cracow.
Europcar – Located at Lobzowska 45, Cracow.
Hertz – Located at Focha 1, Cracow.
Sixt– Located at Mikolajska 20 (Hotel Amadeus), Cracow.
Pro Rent -Located at Glowackiego 56, Cracow.
National-Located at Głowackiego 22 (Hotel Demel), Cracow.
Getting to the historic city of Cracow by train is the best way and an absolute pleasure to get to the city center. However, getting to Cracow by train is probably one of the most expensive choices if you buy any international train ticket, the prices are for some reason always drastically higher than purchasing separate tickets for every country you are traveling through. The quality of the trains is decent, at best.
If you still prefer trains, the Polish State Railway Company (PKP) operates on the Polish railway network. Direct connections to Cracow exist from Ukraine, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary (via Bratislava), Austria and Germany. Connections from Russia and Baltic countries mean changing trains in Warsaw while coming from Southeast Europe requires changing in Budapest, Bratislava, Prague or Vienna. (Timetables are courtesy of the Polish Rail Network (PKP)).
Krakow Dworzec Glowny – The main station is within walking distance of the city center. Cracow’s main railway station is located at place Jana Nowaka-Jezioranskiego on the northeastern edge of the Old Town that handles all international and most domestic trains.
The only other station of any significance is Cracow Plaszow, 4km southeast of the city center, which operates a few trains that didn’t contract at Cracow Glowny.
Local trains between the two stations run every 15 to 30 minutes. All trains listed here depart from the central station. Advance tickets for international and domestic trains can be booked directly at the station.
The fastest trains are the InterCity (IC) and EuroCity (EC) trains, which connect the city with Warsaw, Vienna, Prague, Berlin, and Budapest.
A journey to Cracow is a 5-hour trip from Wroclaw, 7 hours from Poznan, 11 hours or more from Gdansk, 7 hours and 30 minutes from Vienna, 9 hours and 30 minutes from Prague, 8 hours and 30 minutes from Berlin, 10 hours and 30 minutes from Budapest. The express between Cracow and Warsaw is the exception of modern intercity trains taking about three hours. Backpackers will be interested to know that there are also overnight trains to and from Prague and Budapest. But you should take care of some night train routes, particularly the one in Prague, as thieves operate. (Timetables)
The modern bus terminal is behind the city’s main train station, Cracow Glowny, just northeast of the Old Town. There are several options to reach Cracow by bus. But, 24 hours on a bus, is not everyone’s idea of luxury travel but it’s cheap, just £60 return from London to Cracow and you get to see the countryside as a bonus.
Within Poland, coach travel is not that much cheaper than going by train. However, it is much more uncomfortable, and not recommended for traveling between cities. During the Summer, there are often services without air conditioning.
Express bus service to Cracow operates regularly to and from most Polish cities. Most buses arrive at the main PKS station, located just to the east of the railway station. From here you can transfer to buses headed for other destinations in the region.
Travel by bus is particularly advisable to places like Zakopane as it is considerably shorter and faster than by train, and fast PKS buses go there roughly every half-hour.
Hungarian company Orange Ways provides a direct connection to Cracow from Budapest – an option also convenient for participants from Balkan countries.
Polish PolskiBus operates direct connections from Berlin to Poznan, Prague to Wroclaw and Bratislava to Katowice, and has a well-developed network in Poland just in case that you are arriving in Warsaw first.
Estonian Simple Express operates connections to Warsaw from St. Petersburg, Tallinn, Tartu, Riga, Kaunas and Vilnius. Many of these tickets can be bought for just a few Euros if you book them on time.
If you plan to fly to Cracow, you have two options: Cracow or Katowice.
Cracow International Airport
Cracow has its own small airport, appropriately named after Pope John Paul II, who was born near the city. Cracow Airport is the main airport serving the city. Most locals and a few signs, though, still refer to it as Cracow Balice or simply “Balice,” which is the name of the little town closest to the airport.
The majority of tourists to Cracow will arrive via John Paul II International Airport, which is located about eight miles west of the city center. The airport is the second busiest in Poland, with its single terminal handling up to 1.5 million passengers a year. Passengers will find Cracow Airport well equipped and conveniently located, with good transport links to the city center. The airport’s single terminal handles all domestic and international flights, with the terminal divided into Arrivals and Departures zones.
If you are arriving at Cracow from European countries, RyanAir and EasyJet flights usually provide the lowest fares and connect Cracow with 29 cities.
There are also many other choices. Euro lot operates direct flights from Amsterdam, Zurich, Florence, Hamburg, Vilnius, L’viv and Dubrovnik – and fares are usually quite reasonable. You can always use Lufthansa, Austrian or LOT Polish Airlines to book a connecting flight through Munich, Vienna or Warsaw. Czech Airlines operates direct flights from Prague; Aeroflot Russian Airlines operate direct flights from Moscow.
Katowice Airport is located about 100 km from Cracow. Katowice is a perfectly acceptable location to fly to, but it’s a bit like Luton is in London, so be prepared for a 90-minute bus or taxi ride into Cracow.
A fair number of routes also land at nearby Katowice airport, such as the ones offered by Wizzair from London, Paris, and Barcelona that operate flights from 20 European destinations.
Fares vary in price drastically; off-peak, it is possible to find cheap flights to Cracow and pick up a bargain, but in the height of summer you will pay considerably more.