Travel - Getting Around
Above: Choose between getting in one, or constantly having to avoid the little menaces... Left: Faster driver, faster! Below: There's only one winner in a Tram vs. Car head to head
The big trick of taking taxis in Cracow is to avoid taking one from a rank on the street. You will pay 30 percent less if you order one by phone. This leads to the bizarre sight of people with mobiles ringing whilst standing next to the taxi they wish to take. A minute later, following clearance from ground control, and the punters are on their way! If you are looking for a reliable taxi service, either to the airport airport or elsewhere in town then you can use Cracow-life.com's online taxi booking to reserve your ride. Alternatively call 9191 when you arrive and tell the operator that Cracow Life sent you! Please note that taxis cannot be hailed from the street whilst they are moving. You will be ignored!
You can hire a car to get around, but if you plan to spend most of your time in the city, think carefully. Apart from the difficulty of driving on the right, there are trams to contend with, a boggling one-way system, and signs that even native Poles struggle to comprehend. Parking is severely restricted in the Old Town, and three different enforcement agencies (Parking, Municipal and National Police) to contend with. The alternative, public transport, is a far better bet.
By public transport
What most cities dream of - safe, efficient and cheap transportation, through a network of trams and buses. Buy your tickets (2.50PLN for adults, 1.25PLN concession) from any of the little kiosks that are dotted around the town. All journeys cost the same, irrespective of distance. Jump aboard the bus or tram and punch your little ticket in one of the little orange boxes. Keep the stamped stub for the not infrequent checks by plain-clothes inspectors.
Those cobbles aren't very good for your backside, and there's always the crowds and pigeons to contend with, but nonetheless getting around Cracow by bike is a great option. You can whizz round the Old Town in a jiffy and, thanks to the added mobility of two wheels, you can also head further afield.
Diana from Malta Reply
Hi, we have been travelling by car for quite a while in Italy,Austria, Switzerland and Germany. Do you think its different to drive in krakow and its surroundings. If yes can you mention some places that can be reached by bus. We are going in mid december.
Disappointed from Australia Reply
Unfortunately I too had a terrible experience with ticket inspectors. I was pushed, told to "go home" and yelled at. It was absolutely terrifying. It really put a damper on what was until that point was a lovely trip.
Peter Gorsky from United Kingdom Reply
Could you please provide more details on the buying/validating a ticket. A couple of pictures of what the kiosks look like, what the orange box on board the bus/tram looks like. Basic stuff.
gert from United States Reply
how do I get from Krakow international airport to tyniec abbey
grab a taxi or arrange shuttle transport
Alan from United Kingdom Reply
My wife and I have just returned from a short break to your beautiful city. Unfortunately we had to stay out of the city centre at the Hotel Centrum. The hotel was excellent, the staff were very helpful and the food was great. Our first day we decided to catch a tram into the city and asked for help from a young lady on the street. She was extremely kind and helped us to buy our ticket from a kiosk by the roadside - she said it would be easier than trying to buy on the tram. The tram arrived and it was very crowded, we managed to get a seat and enjoyed our trip into the city. After a short while, an inspector boarded the tram and asked for our tickets. We produced them and he explained that we must get off and told us that we must pay a fine because we had not "validated" the tickets. He was joined by another inspector who tried to explain the procedure to us. We were totally confused. The first inspector asked for our passports and began to write out the fine - the second inspector spoke in Polish to him and he decided to issue only one fine of 123.20 zl. We paid the money, which left us rather short of cash on our first day. We were not trying to cheat the system, we were confused and unsure of the procedure and felt that your inspector could have shown a little understanding and more compassion. I hope that his attitude isn't the normal for all the inspectors and that most do show some feeling when genuine mistakes have been made. I also hope that, on a reciprocal basis, that officials in our country (U.K.) treat visitors with more compassion. Kindest regards Upset visitors - Alan and Liz
Unfortunately, that's how hundreds of foreigners excuse themselves every year, and that's why the inspectors CAN'T be compassionate. And I'm sure UK officials are NOT compassionate either. That's why they are inspectors, and not babysitters...
jan from United Kingdom Reply
when you buy a 7 day travel ticket do you have to put it in the machine once only to activate it or every time you board a bus/tram ??
William Wong from United Kingdom Reply
I'mlooking for a bus timetable to Warsaw from Krokow.
Kevin from United Kingdom Reply
Fabulous place to visit and everybody so helpful - but yes were caught out by the "inspectors" who tried to charge us 300LDZ as we had not validated the tickets on the tram - we got them down to 150LDZ for both of us - but felt it was pocketed by them as they wouldn't give us a reciept for the money. - lesson learnt - walk everywhere it is quite flat and you see more of the nooks and crannies - all things considered it was magical and a fab place to spend my 60th birthday.
Caitlin from United States Reply
I am looking for an overnight train from Cracow (really Zakopane but I am pretty sure I will have to take a bus from Zakopane to Cracow) to Prague. Any information would be helpful. PS all the -life websites have been great!
Birgit from Germany Reply
Can you tell me the bus number (line) from Cracow main bus station to Oswiecim/Auschwitz? Thanks.
Susan from United Kingdom Reply
Going to Krakow soon (1st time). Thinking of getting train from airport to train station. Will we be able to buy train tickets onboard or where else can we buy them for 2 people? Will we have to pay for our cases too? From train station, can we get a bus into Kazimierz? extra tickets for case/s again? Is it best to buy a 3 day ticket getting money off transport and places to visit? If so, where can we get them? what are they called? Thanks
Jim B from United Kingdom Reply
Thanks for the tips. Am thinking of braving the unknown and renting a car. Am I foolish?!
Malcolm from United Kingdom Reply
If you go by bus to Auswitz can you buy a guide in English when there?
NB from United Kingdom Reply
Best way of getting to Auzchwitz is by public transport - there are mini buses every 30 minutes or so downstairs in the bus station (behing the railway station) costs about £1.50 and takes hour and a half - drops you right outside!
Tony Howell from United Kingdom Reply
Can you let me know which buses run to Auschwitz please? Is it a good idea to travel by public transport or should I book a tour?
MP from United Kingdom Reply
Tip: The trams, tains and buses are good and very efficent theY offer the best way to get around the city and beyond ensure you purchase a ticket from the machine on the trams or from the driver as soon as you board, BEWARE inspectors issue heavy on the spot fines. If you go by Taxi ensure the taxi has a meter ! if not you will get taken for more than one kind of ride, sadly there are a few who will take advantage of the tourist to make a fast buck !!! and soon empty your wallet for you, but if you use common sense then you won't go far wrong. The approx fare for a taxi to the city is around 70 zloty by bus 5 zloty and by tram around 10 zloty this is from Balice air port. Krakow is a really nice city and well worth taking the time to explore the traditional polish cusine is great and should be tried.
Alan from United Kingdom Reply
Don't hire a car ! The taxi drivers are very polite but drive like maniacs, recommend using trams, buses or trains cheap and relatively safe. If you are walking around the city watch out when crossing at marked crossings, taxi drivers ignore them. Be safe !
william hill from United Kingdom Reply
Please remember to pay for large items of luggage on the trams as large pieces of luggage need a single ticket.
RAY from Ireland Reply
beware do not get on trams without ticket they watch for nieve tourist on way in from airport we were able to pay on board train we taught the same with trams, they tryed to get 100 slott off each of us ,we explained that we were paying on board,in the end we payed 100 between us inspector just pocketed the money,