Last Updated on 9 January 2023
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Best way to get from Krakow Airport to Old Town
Getting from Krakow Airport to the city centre couldn’t be easier, thanks to Krakow’s very own airport train which connects the two. Located a stone’s throw from the passenger terminal, the train platform is easily accessible via a footbridge that joins to the main airport. Trains depart directly from the airport and arrive into Krakow Main Station (known locally as Krakow Glowny).
Tip: Krakow Airport is formally known as John Paul II Krakow-Balice International Airport.
Note that Krakow Glowny is not the first or last stop after Krakow Airport and the train/route is SKA1 which goes from Krakow Airport (Krakow Lotnisko) – Krakow Main Station (Krakow Glowny) – Wieliczka Rynek Kopalnia. Therefore, before reaching Krakow Main Station, the train will call at other stations (and other stations after Krakow Main Station). But don’t worry, you will know when it’s your turn to get off because the screens in the carriages keep you updated on the stops. And, Krakow Main Station is rather big, so the numbers of tracks you will see upon arrival are a giveaway.
Krakow Main Station is not actually located within the Old Town, but it is very close to it, and is situated on its northeastern edge. If you are using the airport train to reach the city, you will need to factor in how you will get from Krakow Main Station to your accommodation. If you are staying in the very centre of the Old Town, somewhere around the main square (Krakow Rynek Glowny), you will be looking at around a 20 minute flat walk (albeit with some cobblestones) from the main station. Krakow does have a network of trams, if you are that little bit further away, but it is a very walkable city so you might opt not to.
Tip: Each time I’ve visited, I’ve always walked from the Main Station to my accommodation (which has been outside of the Old Town), and it has never taken any more than about 30-40 minutes.
How much is the train from Krakow Airport to the Old Town?
The airport train is the cheapest way to get into the city centre, and it’s pretty efficient too. Each time I’ve used the Krakow airport train (four times in total to date), it has been prompt, clean and surprisingly quiet. The price of train travel in Poland is really affordable, especially when compared to the UK! The current price of a one way ticket from Krakow Airport to Krakow Old Town is PLN 14,00 per person, which is about £2.80. You can check on the Krakow Airport website for up to date prices.
How to buy tickets for the train from Krakow Airport to Old Town?
The easiest way I have found to buy tickets for the train from Krakow Airport to Krakow city centre is by using the ticket machine which is located on the train platform at Krakow Airport. This accepts cash or credit/debit cards and will print you your tickets there and then. I also noticed that there was a ticket machine onboard the train I was on. If all else fails you can buy tickets from the train conductor on board (however note that I believe this incurs an extra fee if you could have purchased them from a ticket machine beforehand).
How far is Krakow centre from the airport?
The distance from Krakow Airport to Old Town is approximately 15km. The train journey takes a mere 17 minutes which is probably a lot quicker (and cheaper) than sitting in traffic.
How often do trains run from Krakow Airport?
Currently, trains from Krakow Airport to Old Town run frequently from just after 5am until around midnight. For up to date information on timings, check out the Krakow Airport to city centre train timetable on the official rail operators website (which for this particular train is Koleje Mazowieckie).
How do I get from Krakow Airport to Old Town – A step by step guide
After passing through passport control and reaching arrivals, look for the clear signs marked ‘train to city’ and follow these. This will lead you over a footbridge which connects the passenger terminal to the train station, and onto a moving walkway down onto the train platform.
Purchase your train ticket from the ticket machine located on the train platform. As described above, there are ticket machines on the trains themselves (or at least on mine there was, not sure if they accept cash), or you can buy one from a conductor (which seems to incur an extra fee), but it’s easy to grab one beforehand. The ticket machines allow you to change the text into a language of your choice, and you can pay by cash or credit/debit card.
Wait for your train to arrive. The route you will need is SKA1 which goes from Krakow Airport – Krakow Main Station (Krakow Glowny) – Wieliczka Rynek Kopalnia.
Board your train and get comfy for a grand total of 17 minutes. The trains are spacious and have toilets onboard. Note that Krakow Main Station (Krakow Glowny) is not the next stop after you depart from Krakow Airport, and the train will call at other local stations beforehand. Keep an eye on the electronic signs on board which will tell you what stop you are at, and when you notice Krakow Glowny it’s your turn to get off. It will be fairly obvious when you are arriving at Krakow Main Station, given the abundance of different train tracks
Alight at Krakow Main Station (Krakow Glowny) and find your way out of the station. Krakow Main Station joins on to a massive shopping centre called Galeria Krakowska. Once you are in Galeria Krakowska, follow the blue signs for ‘Stare Miasto’ (Old Town) and it will guide you to the exit which leads onto a square (Plac Jana Nowaka-Jeziorańskiego).
From Plac Jana Nowaka-Jeziorańskiego, navigate your way to the Old Town or your accommodation elsewhere. With Galeria Krakowska behind you and the old station building to your left, find your way to the right corner of the square which will lead you to an underpass. From here, follow the signs to the Old Town (or, use Google Maps to find your accommodation, which is even easier).
Step 7 (optional)
Have a wonderful time exploring the many things to do in Krakow. Once your trip comes to an end, if you wish to return to the airport by train then make your way back to Galeria Krakowska and into Krakow Main Station (Krakow Glowny). Krakow Main Station is rather large compared to the platform at Krakow Airport, but it’s quite simple to navigate. Buy your tickets from one of the ticket desks underneath the large arrivals/departures boards, find your platform and then board your train.
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