Getting Around, Krakow Travel, Transport and Car Rental

(Krakow, Malopolskie, Poland)

Panoramic photo of the cityMany of the main sights to see within Krakow are located in the historic Old Town, and since much of this area is traffic free, most visitors to this part of the city choose to travel entirely on foot, or on board one of the horse buggies. However, public transport is on hand close by, in the form of buses and trams, which usually travel freely between the hours of 05:00 and 23:00.

Before you can actually travel on bus or tram transport, you must first purchase your tickets from one of the many street kiosks available around Krakow (usually for one hour or one day), which should always be stamped as you board. If you are travelling early in the morning (07:00 to 09:00) or mid-afternoon (15:00 to 17:00), then be prepared for much of the public transport in Krakow to become crowded, since these are the main rush hours.

Picture of John Paul II International Airport (KRK)

John Paul II International Airport Krakow-Balice (KRK) / Arriving by Air

Address: Medweckiego 1, 32-083 Balice, Poland
Tel: +48 12 639 3301
The main airport is this part of Poland is the John Paul II International Airport, which is located around 11 km / 7 miles to the west of Krakow city centre. Often referred to as simply Balice Airport, this is Poland's second-largest air facility and features well over three million passengers every year. Some 20 different airlines currently operate here, with the most prominent including Centralwings, easyJet LOT Polish Airlines and Ryanair. Ground transport options are readily available and many arriving passengers find that the fastest way to reach central Krakow is to travel onboard the Balice Ekspress train, which runs between the airport and the city's main Glówny train station. Bus 192 also provides a popular service, as do the taxis, which are reasonably priced and boast a travel time of around 20 minutes.

Photo showing bridge over the Vistula River

Car Rental

Parking is generally limited around much of Krakow and a large proportion of the Old Town (Stare Miasto) is actually traffic free, apart from the car parks situated on the Plac Sw Ducha and the Plac Szczepanski. Therefore, most tourists rely solely upon public transport to travel around the city centre, since a car in this situation can be actually somewhat of a hindrance. If you are intending to park on the streets outside of the Old Town in the area known as Zone C, you will need to purchase a special ticket, called a 'karta postojowa'. However, if you wish to travel outside of Krakow to visit nearby attractions, such as the salt mines at both Bochnia and Wieliczka, using a car is hard to beat.

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The city's central train station is known as the Krakow Glówny and can be found on the north-eastern side of the historic Stare Miasto district. This station handles all of the international rail transport and the majority of domestic trains, which also stop at the Krakow Plaszów station, on the south-easterly outskirts of the city centre.

Image of popular city tram

Buses and Trams

The city is home to an extensive network of tram and bus lines, which are run by a prominent municipal company and much used by both locals and tourists alike, particularly those staying outside of the actual city centre. Within the city centre and next to the Krakow Glówny train station, the city's PKS bus terminal is popular both inside and out of the city, with buses to the nearby Polish mountaineering town of Zakopane featuring a considerably shorter travel time than if you use train transport.


If you intend to uses taxis to travel around central Krakow, you are advised to always use official licensed operators, which should always have a meter and can be requested by telephone. Taxi transport is generally fairly cheap whatever the time of the day, although you can always expect to pay more at night.