- Getting to and from the airport (by train, bus or taxi)
- COVID tests at Krakow Airport
- Krakow Airport Hotel (Hilton Garden Inn)
- Krakow flight arrivals and departures - LIVE
Throughout your stay, monuments and buildings dedicated to Krakow's most famous son will be inescapable, so what better way to begin your initiation than by touching down on the runway of John Paul II International Airport?
Recent expansion and renovation of the former military airbase has increased the annual capacity of passengers to 12 million, at the same time turning what was once a rather scruffy (charming?) and offbeat airport into yet another soulless but functional glass-and-steel passenger processing machine that looks and feels just like every other one in Europe. But you're coming to see Krakow, not the airport, so here's all the information you'll need to make your transit time as painless as possible.
Getting to and from the airport
Krakow Airport has a fantastic train service that is excellent value, reliable and easy to use. The train station at the airport is just a few metres from the passenger terminal, at the back of the multi-storey car park and you can easily walk to and from the departure terminal via a covered footbridge, so a lot better than the old station at the airport where you could get rained or snowed on hauling your luggage to and fro. All the trains have air conditioning (yes, it gets hot in the summer), power outlets, WiFi and ticket machines onboard. Obviously, there are dedicated spaces for disabled passengers and people with reduced mobility (PRM).
You’ll need to check the exact timetable (here), which changes depending on the time of year, but in general, the airport train runs about every half hour from around 5 in the morning until just after midnight. The train goes to the Krakow Main Station (stopping at a few places on the way), but the journey takes less than 20 minutes, which is faster than any other option. In fact, the train then goes on from Krakow to the incredible salt mines in Wieliczka, so it is something you could think of visiting as well using the same route.
OK, the ticket costs only 12 PLN, about as much as your morning latte, to get from Krakow Airport to the city centre, and just 16 PLN if you want to go all the way to the Wieliczka salt mines. There is no extra charge for luggage, but there is for a man’s best friend (dogs cost 3 PLN) You can buy your ticket either in the passenger terminal (look out for the machines) or at the station itself, and in each of these cases you can pay with cash or card. there is an option to buy from the train conductor on board, but for this you can only use cash.
Krakow Airport is served by the regular bus network, so there is no expression bus directly to the town centre. The bus lines you will need are 208, 209 and 252 (or the night line, number 902). When you buy your tickets (and this goes for your whole time in Krakow), you basically pay depending on how long your journey will last, not for the distance. so you can by either a 20-minute (4 PLN), 60-minute (6 PLN) or 90-minute (8 PLN) ticket. If you are travelling from the airport to the main train station (or vice-versa), go for the 60-minute ticket and that will cover the journey, which should take about 35 to 40 minutes all told. One thing to remember - as the buses are used for regular local passengers, not just those going to or from Krakow airport, they can get a bit crowded, especially in the morning and at evening rush hour, and it can be a bit of a squeeze especially if you have lots of luggage. In these cases, think about taking the train (see above) or a taxi instead.
Give the “official” airport taxis a wide berth.
If your idea of a great start to your holiday is a overpaying for a ride in a dodgy Merc with Wonderbaum hanging from the rear-view mirror and driven by an extra from the Sopranos with too much cheap aftershave, then simply take a taxi from the queue right in front of the airport terminal. Voila! You’ve literally been taken for a ride. The “official” airport taxis are basically a cosy stitch-up between various powers-that-be which means that only one company has the rights to park in front of the terminal. All the decently-priced taxis are parked just out of sight in nearby carparks, so all you need to do is either use your normal taxi app (Bolt or Uber are good options), then wait 2 minutes for your ride to arrive. Another good option is to book a ride in advance with GetYourGuide, who provide a great option. Just choose your dates and so on in the box below and you can have it all taken care of right away.
Alternatively, you can book your taxi online in advance here. Either way, give the “official” airport taxis a wide berth.
If you need to take a COVID test before flying, the good news is that this can be easily done at the airport. There are a couple of private medical companies which provide this service, and they are located in the P2 car park, about 100 metres from the main terminal. You can get PCR or antigen tests, but remember the PCR tests may take a couple of days to get results, whereas the antigen tests take just 20 to 30 minutes, so check exactly what is required for your carrier / destination before booking this. A step-by-step guide, including online registration and payment, is available here.
Krakow Airport Hotel
There is one hotel located right next to the main terminal, with the short and pithy name of The Hilton Garden Inn Krakow Airport. To be honest, there’s not a garden in sight, but being a Hilton the place is pretty smart, extremely clean and comfortable, and very convenient especially if you have an early flight. The hotel, like many other airport hotels, is mainly aimed at the business traveller, with excellent conference facilities on site.
Though much of Krakow airport is brand new and, despite the holy name, they haven't yet found a miracle way of curing the problem of flight delays both in and out of Poland. For those times when the inevitable strikes, it's good to know help is on hand and Balice (as its otherwise known) is fully equipped and handicap-accessible. Here's a run down of the essentials...
Info Desk Can't miss it, slap bang in the middle of the main terminal. All English speakers to boot.
Mother and baby Open 24/7 and found on the upper floor of the terminal. Free of charge.
Chapel Say a pre-flight prayer or attend Mass on Sunday (10am). Mezzanine.
First Aid Ground floor of the terminal area should you need it.
Cash Two bureaus de change, a Polish bank and a cash machine await you at arrivals for all your monetary needs.
Post Office Run out of stamps and still have postcards to send? Don't worry, the post office is on hand Monday - Friday, 8:45am - 2:45pm.
Tickets Further trips planned or made a boo-boo with your e-ticket? The ticket office is located alongside the bank, change bureaus and car rental outlets.
Executive Lounge Feel like being pampered? Foreign newspapers and magazines as well as serve-service buffet are on hand in a luxury environment all for little more than a tenner. Internet connections and foreign TV channels provide a home away from home.
VIP Lounge Capacity for 14, equipped with facilities to make you feel extra special before take-off. Prior booking required (+48 012 639 30 54)
Food and Drink No McDonald's or Starbucks, but a handful of snack bars and cafes on both floors as well as an outdoor caf during the summer months. In a rush? Various vending machines will happily eat up the last of your Polish shrapnel. Once you're through passport control, there are more cafs on hand should a frisking reveal a previously undiscovered wad of Polish zloty.
Shops Whether it be reading material, Polish-themed souvenirs, alcohol or jewellery, shops on the upper floor of the passenger terminal are ready and waiting to relieve you of any remaining zloty. Didn't buy enough amber or vodka while in Krakow? Think of this as last chance saloon.
Duty Free Located after ticket/passport control, have your boarding card at the ready to take advantage of cheap cosmetics, alcohol, sweets and souvenirs. This really is your last chance.
Travel Agencies On hand if necessary but the smart and savvy will know Cracow Life already has the answers!
Rent a car Can't miss these guys. All your international friends plus their Polish counterparts are waiting by arrivals in the main terminal.
Parking Should you need it, you'll pay 5 PLN (1, $1.25) for cars per hour on short stay, longer stay works out at 40 PLN for days 1-2, 20 PLN thereafter.
I'm here. Now what?
Krakow airport actually lies 11km west of the city but getting to the centre and to the haven of your Krakow hotel or Krakow apartment is pretty straightforward. Outside of hiring a car and driving yourself, you've got three options:
BUS Cheap, cheerful and by no means a bad option, MKS provides a frequent bus service from the airport to the city centre. The bus stop is just to the right on exiting the airport and tickets are available either from the ticket machine (2.50 PLN) next to the information point in the passenger terminal or on board (3 PLN). Be aware that if you have any baggage larger than a rucksack, you'll be expected to purchase an additional ticket for this. Stamp tickets immediately after boarding to avoid fines.
The 192 service runs approximately every 20 minutes from 4:45am to just after 11pm. Alight at the main station, Dworec Glowny, where you'll find maps, info points, public transport connections and you'll be a mere 5 minutes walk from the main square. An alternative 208 service runs slightly less frequently though this is for those staying near to the Nowy Kleparz district. For both services, it's worth remembering that these services are not exclusive airport services and are normally pretty packed by about the halfway point of the journey. Journey time 25-35 minutes. Check out the MPK website for exact times and routes.
TAXI If the thought of busing it with luggage after your flight doesn't appeal, taxis will be on hand immediately upon leaving departures. A trip to the centre shouldn't cost more than 70 PLN (about 17 GBP, 22 EUR or 33 USD). Much more than that and they've seen you coming...
If you're looking to take the hassle out of the final leg of your journey or don't fancy being taken for a less pleasant ride, why not use our Krakow taxi transfer service and we'll take care of it! For 70 zloty we'll put your name on a board, wait for you at arrivals and take care of your baggage for you - the stress-free way to arrive in style.
TRAIN Bit of a locomotive enthusiast? A recently opened service connecting the main rail station, Dworec Glowny, with Krakow airport runs approximately every half hour from 4am until midnight. Tickets are available on board for 6 PLN (1.50, 2 Euros). The platform is approximately 200 metres from the passenger terminal though a free shuttle bus is on hand for the weary. Journey time is approx. 15 minutes.
Other Polish Airports
Here's some great information about the airport in Warsaw from our top sister site, Warsaw Life.
Hopefully your plane won't get diverted due to fog or snow, but just in case, you can find out a lot more about other airports in major Polish cities on our sister sites, including Wroclaw Airport and Gdansk Airport.
Krakow flight arrivals and departures - LIVE
Once you get into the airport, just remember that food and drinks are now really expensive - a small bottle of water will cost you about 10 PLN. Any snacks are also about 3 times the price they cost in the city. So, do yourself a favour and bring a snack with you if you have to wait a while for your flight!Reply
Definitely agree about not getting one of the 'official' taxis from the airport - total rip off!Reply
Restaurants and cafes in the airport are pretty expensive these days.Reply
I was in Krakow 40 days ago, but i can't go to the the tax free office, how long does my receipt is valid?Reply
How much time in advance of your flight do you have to check-in when flying from Krakow airport. 2 or 3 hours. ThanksReply
Going to hotel Polska pod what is the easiest way to get thereReply
Hello, Best way from the airport to Market Square ? Staying at the Venetian House Thanks KReply
The easiest way fr.o.m. Krakow Airport to hotel Polski Pod Bialym Orlem ?Reply
Take a train to the city centre, and then walk 7 min on foot, there's really no point in calling a taxi. Good luck!Reply
Please be aware by taking polnish money from the Euronet desk in the arrival hall. They will ripp you with very high charges. Better wait to take money in town at different bank wall automates.Reply
Hope you're not taking Ryanair because if you are, they make you walk to the plane and even stand outside if it is raining or freezing cold for say 10 or 15 minutes so take a warm coat with a hood...Reply
i meant to say :" there are cheap hotels in the centre of krakow why get one in the jewish district. But i have been here it is quite beautiful and very historic. Good luckReply
as someone says> walk to the train station from the airport ( 5 min walk literally)....you cannot get the wrong train as these trains only go to the city centre and return to the airport....probs 20 zloty now.....i think your hotel is in the jewish district. There are cheap hotels in the city of krakow. Anyway, i would get a taxi once i came out of the train station as the jewish district is quite far from the city centre- good luckReply
what is the best was to get to the astoria hotel is krakowReply
The taxi costs 100 Zloty to city centre. This was the charge on a Sunday at 9PM too.Reply
Don't worry. Very easy. Get the train. It's literally 2 min walk from the airport. The train you get only goes to krakow city centre so you cannot get lost. How you then get to the old town? Probably a taxi is best unless it is not far and you can walk?Reply
I am going to krakow in nov staying at the best western premier in the old town just wondering best way of getting their from the air portReply
I miss information about the tourist office at the airport and opening hours if I have to buy Krakow Tourist Card there.Reply
If you hang around at the official bus stop. Where the service bus stops. There is usually a couple of guys with a mini-bus taking tourists or polish people into the centre. They drop you off at the shopping centre. Which is basically where the train stops. Very friendly guys and cheaper and quicker than the train or service bus.Reply
Just to add the cost of the train is now officially 12 zloty per person. Still much cheaper than a taxi!Reply
We just took the express train with mule-speed and the conductor took 24 pln for us two which is double the normal taxt, small bags on our laps...on the ticket it stated 2 people, nothing more!!! Ripped off!Reply
Hi great website-very informative:). I am going to Krakow on Saturday morning and was just wondering about the airport-is make up much cheaper there than Dublin airport plus would they have the same variety of cosmetics? Thanking you, AnnieReply
Hi Pat, No departure tax is charged at the airport. As you say, it has been added already to your ticket price!Reply
Spending three night in Krakow April. Do Poland charge departure tax or will this already have been added to airfares? We'll fly from Krakow to Warsaw then onto Italy.Reply
Make sure you have 10 zloty (equivalent to 2-50 euros) before you get on the train. If you pay in euros it will be much more expensive. I was asked to pay 4 euros.Reply
Thanks for the information. I'm flying out of Krakow to US via Paris. How soon should I be at the airport if the flight is at 7:55am?Reply
excellent cite, good guide to airport facilitiesReply
Whoever will travel to Krakow Airport AWARE of BUDGET rent a car company!!!Reply
I sm hoping to fly into Krakow on easter monday. What can i expect the bus and train services from the airport to be like? Also, very useful website :)Reply
Hello, everybody! Please advise what is fastest and expansive (exept taxi) way from Krakow Airport KRK to Katowice Airport KTW? Thanks in advance.Reply
Been 3 times, forget taxi's if you going to kracow, free bus outside front door takes you round to little platform, train only 6 zl straight into kracow non stop then get tram to your hotel great service 2.5 zl any distance.Reply
hi i am planning on taking the train from the airport to kracow central with my daughter,can anyone tell me if i have to buy tickets for my luggage as well?Reply
120zl. from airport to hotel??? HUGE RIPOFF. Thats $40..Take the train from airport to center of Krakow 6zl or the bus..Alot of POLISH CONARTIST TAXI DRIVERS in Poland,they charge you three times the rate or more..ONLY get registered taxi driver..Reply
Is it safe to store luggage at the airport? if so, do they accomodate any size? is 120zloty a good rate for transport from airport to city centre hotel? is 120zlotyz for aushwitz good? salt mine 120zloty good? Thank you.Reply
Taxi is the most expensive way from the airport to Old Town. Take the bus OR walk the short distance from the terminal to the train and it is quick, cheap and efficient. Can easily handle your party of 28 unless there are ridiculous amounts of luggage.Reply
How much to hire a bus to collect 28 people from Airport and take us to our apartments in the old town? Also need a quote for return journey. I know there s public bus and tain but I want to keep us all together. I have e mail main taxi address but no reply yet. Any tips or sugestions welcome.Reply
Hi, Pauline. Taxi is your best bet. You can take a bus or the fast train to the main train station and take a taxi from there, but probably just as good to take a taxi in from the airport.Reply
hi, whats the best way for 6 adults with luggage to get from Balice to Hotel RT GalicyaReply
Hi, The most used way to get to Jaslo is by bus. National service is PKS (they have a webpage). There are also private buses, Best, NickReply
how to travel from Krakow to jaslo, who knos it?Reply
Hi there, i am travelling to Krakow at the weekend with my 11 month old son. What are the laws on travelling in a car/taxi with a baby as we arent bringing his car seat? Any help appreciated.Reply
Can you purchase English cigarettes in shops or at the airport in KrakowReply
Hi could anyone tell me how to get from krakow to mutne in slovakia and how much this would be thanksReply
thanks we will be going to the live music festival so will be camping and dont really want to take our passportsReply
I don't think there are any lockers but Krakow airport is safe and calm, so you shouldn't need to worryReply
does any body know if there is lockers at the airport that i can leave my pasport ect in as going to a festival in kracow and dont really want to take my pass port incase i loose it or get pick pocketedReply
Can anyone tell me the easiest way to get from Krakow airport to Katowice city centre? Is there a bus or do I have to get a taxi? And do you know how much that might cost?Reply
The information about the airport buses is incorrect. The bus lines to the airport are 208 and 292. The link to the MPK website also needs updated. Go to the root and you can find the bus schedules there.Reply
This is a great site to know about Krakow :-) Could you tell me what the best (easiest) way to get Sanok from Krakow? According to the Polish state railway site, train to Sanok seems to be available but I'm having trouble with finding the exact name of the station of Sanok and Krakow... Thanks for your help.Reply
Is there more than one airport in Krakow? Good info. and well written, cheers Keep up the good work!Reply
Ken, getting a taxi that early is no problem as long as you reserve it in advance. Call one of the taxi companies, or book on this site: Krakow taxiReply
I need to fly to Prague from Krakow in May. I am going to book a 0530 flight. Would anyone please let me know if I would have any trouble getting a taxi that early in the morning (presumably I need to leave the hotel at 4am). Thanks for your help in advanceReply
Waited 10 hours in this airport! We were fogged in at this airport yesterday (23/1) and there was not one flight movement all day. It was horribly managed. Despite some great staff members on the team at the airport, the airport struggled to cope as the waiting lounges were full and no flights were departing. Noone was informed that there was in fac to be no flight movements and they continued checking passengers in, making them wait 4 hours before letting them know the flight was cancelled. This is when incoming flights had already been diverted and completely cancelled. It turned out to be an expensive and very stressful day for us. Wheck the weather for the day of your flight in Autumn and Spring as Fog is really common here and airport staff informed me flights are VERY often delayed at Krakow. Apart from this its a great little airport and the circumstances were extenuating but the situation was poorly managed and for this there's no excuse.Reply
It Was A Very Nice Airoport But Was Very Small For The Amount Of People There.Reply
We used bus 208 to the City Centre, which was amazingly cheap (3plz each)and from about half way were entertained by a bus load of good humoured football fans singing as if their life depended on it! Great fun - don't waste your Zlotty's on a taxi!Reply
This info was invaluable and I could not find it as clearly marked anywhere else on the internet. A+Reply
Good, clear and very informative site looking forward to going in JuneReply
please could you send me the adress og the qirport ktw??? thank youReply
email address krakow taxi serviceReply
This site is so helpful! Thanks so much...love the travel times, ticket purchase, comparisons, etc. Can't wait for my trip in March!Reply
I flew into Krakow from Gatwick in April 07 using Central Wings. No problems at all. I collected my luggage within 10 minutes of landing and 10 minutes later I was on my way by taxi to my hotel. I flew from Krakow to Amsterdam (can't remember the name of the airline but it was Polish)early in the morning. Very quick check-in and boarding and a very pleasant flight. The reason for my trip was a trip to Auschwitz. I was a single female traveller and had no problems at all. I caught the bus to Auschwitz and returned the same way. All in all a very pleasant trip. I found the Polish people I spoke to very friendly and helpful and am planning another trip to Auschwitz in March (alone again). I will definately be flying using the Polish airlines as they are cheaper than easyjet, jet2 etc and also much more friendly and welcoming. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for our cheap airlines here in the UK but it still beats me how other countries budget airlines can undercut our cheap airlines by so much (even flying into the UK). I would recommend checking the costs with Polish airlines, I'm sure you'll be very pleasantly surprised by how much you can save.Reply
I have been through this airport on about 10 return trips and can confirm it has been rapidly expanded. I usually carry luggage on board BA flights, and have had no problem therefore with delays on arrival. The 192 bus is good FROM the airport but from Krakow it can get packed before it gets very far from the station. So it is not uncommon to stand most of the way back to the airport. The train is preferable only if you are staying right near the Station Krakow Glowny.Reply
Looks like Ryanair are closing down some of their routes from Cracow Airport, and may be flying more to Katowice etc etc... I remember Easyjet also stopped flying to Berlin from Cracow, so maybe there's quite a bit of competition from SkyEurope, CentralWings and the like?Reply
We came to the airport on Easyjet. Our plane landed first, and we were first into the baggage hall, but then two other planes landed (Alitalia and Lot I think), they came through afterwards but got their bags FIRST! We had to wait over half an hour for our baggage to be delivered. I don't understand. Is Krakow Airport downgrading service to passengers on low-cost airlines? I guess Easyjet pay less for landing rights, so is this standard practice? If so, thos problem could get worse as the airport gets busier!Reply
I agree, Cracow airport is not the biggest or the best equipped for the increasing traffic coming it's way. Nonetheless i've had no bad experiences except the odd half hour, or hour delay at worst.Reply
I heard there were plans to build a new airport terminal to handle all the extra passengers, but so far I haven't seen any sign of that - anyone have an idea what is going on? It's pandemonium at the airport in the high season!Reply