Krakow’s Balice airport, now known as John Paul II International Airport, is situated 11km west of the city centre. Poland’s second busiest airport after Warsaw’s, it has some 8 million people living within a 100km radius of it, and serves several low-cost airlines as well as traditional carriers.
There is a dedicated rail link that connects the airport to Krakow’s main rail station in the centre of town from 4 a.m. until midnight, with trains running half-hourly between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. The journey takes 16 minutes and a single ticket costs 7zl (or 8zl if purchased from the aboard the train).
Alternatively, there is also minibus shuttle service connecting Krakow with Balice airport. More Info
Taxis from the airport to Krakow city centre cost approx. 60 – 80zl, with higher fares evenings, weekends and holidays.
Additionally, Katowice International Airport, located 30 km north of the city of Katowice (which is itself located about 70 km west of Krakow) has Europe-wide plane connections, and there are regular buses connecting the airport to Krakow as well as to Katowice city centre. From Katowice International Airport to Krakow by taxi will take about 90 minutes – it’s advisable to negotiate the price with the driver before leaving.
|Link to airports:||Krakow|
Krakow is well connected by rail to the rest of Poland, and indeed Europe. The main railway station or "Dworzec Glowny", next to the new Galeria Krakowska shopping mall, has a handsome baroque façade, although the working platforms are some distance away.
Those who choose a car to get to Krakow, shall expect certain amount of construction work on their way. In addition, some roadworks in progress are likely to be experienced in Krakow, though these projects mean huge improvements in the nearest future. Unfortunately, rush hour traffic congestions are still quite common and parking a car nearby the old town is not fun at all. There are limited parking zones in the center with A and B zone restricted to residents and businesses with distinct permits only (Main Square and main streets around it). However, you can park your car in C zone (outside the green strip of Planty) and it’s is paid form 10 am to 6 pm and free of charge for the rest of the time and at weekends. Tickets to be purchased from the machine or kiosks. Keep you headlights on at all time, all year round and be advised that the blood alcohol level tolerance is not more than 0,2 per cent.
There is a new coach and bus station to the far side of the railway station, servicing both national and international bus travel.
Trams & Buses
Krakow has an extensive bus and tram network and single journey ticket is priced at 2,50 PLN and 1,25 PLN (concession). You can buy tickets from kiosks (look out for "Sprzedaz biletow MPK" signs) or, for an extra 0.50zl from the driver. One-trip tickets should be validated immediately upon boarding. Hourly and daily passes are also available. Nostalgia-lovers will regret the decreasing numbers of mid-twentieth century trams and their ultra-modern replacements.
Taxis are plentiful. Opt for those that display a taxi sign and a company name and phone number. Better still, phone for a taxi and discover that not all taxi meters clock up the zloty at the same rate. As taxis are relatively cheap, this may not be of much concern for local trips.
For ecology conscious, there is a new alternative to get around the city centre. Do look around to catch ecological bike taxis, offering very competitive prices and avoiding traffic congestions.
Krakow is slowly becoming a more cycle-friendly city, with increased numbers of dedicated cycle paths and the recently-instigated Parisian-style BikeOne system. Nevertheless, cycling on the road should be approached with caution: motorists seem to have little awareness or consideration for cyclists, and tram tracks can also trap the unwary.
"Not all those who wander are lost" - J. R. R. Tolkien