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May 2012 bus or train to Krakow?

S H
Toronto
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May 2012 bus or train to Krakow?

We are travelling from Warsaw to Krakow on May 30.

We had originally planned to go by train, and I checked Eurail and Polrail sites (they claim to have availability) but two acquaintances from Poland who were there recently told me that due to construction, upgrades and competition the trains are chaotic and confusing. They say intercity bus is a better option. We have not purchased the tickets yet - but I feel unsure about what to do. Does anyone have a current suggestion as to the best option? We are OK paying the train fare as I am travelling with a senior

who wants to be assured a seat - but do not want to miss the train

if the platform numbers are changed at the last minute!

dallas tx.
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1. Re: May 2012 bus or train to Krakow?

why not fly...flying intra poland is rather inexpensive

Warsaw, Poland
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2. Re: May 2012 bus or train to Krakow?

I agree that flying is a great way to travel between Polish cities. Connections are frequent, prices quite low, in some cases lower than train tickets.

If you want to choose between bus and rail, I would take the train. There are departures every hour, trains on this route are quite comfortable and modern (given it's Intercity or Eurocity) and it takes only 2h 45min. or so. Krakow's main station is in very short walking distance to the old town, the main attractions and many hotels. Warsaw's main station is also near many hotels and can easily be reached from all parts of the city.

There is usually no shortage of tickets. You can buy them at the station (queues tend to be long but there are ticket machines for credit card payment only in the underground passage between the main hall and the tracks which are also underground). Furthermore, tickets can be purchased online: https://bilet.intercity.pl/irez/

For train connections: http://rozklad-pkp.pl/?q=en/node/143

Quainton, United...
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3. Re: May 2012 bus or train to Krakow?

Take the InterCity train, it's far more civilised and comfortable than a cheapo bus, and far less hassle than flying.

The website you need is www.intercity.com.pl (already given above)

Durham, North...
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4. Re: May 2012 bus or train to Krakow?

You should definitely fly, it's much faster and safer, even with the additional time it takes to get from the airport in Kraków to city centre. Also, it's cheap and the flight itself takes some 40 minutes.

If you book in advance, prices can be as low as 130 PLN for a return ticket and you don't have to worry about how confusing Polish train stations are or about the lack of information in English. At the airport, you'll have no problem with that.

S H
Toronto
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5. Re: May 2012 bus or train to Krakow?

Hello everyone and many thanks for your comments.

We are returning by air, so the choice was between bus or train - also to see the countryside.

Re the bus - this was not a "cheapo" bus but the intercity Polskibus which is quite new and seems competitive with the train. Thanks for the train site. This does seem the best option.

Edited: 23 April 2012, 19:06
Zabrze, Poland
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6. Re: May 2012 bus or train to Krakow?

S H, Polski Bus is a good option, however, it takes much longer than the train does. It would take about 4.45h to get from Warsaw to Krakow by coach. Last month I used Polski Bus to travel from Katowice to Warsaw and I have to say that it is really comfortable and cheap. As I've just checked, the price for Warsaw-Krakow is 30 or 40PLN (depends on time of the day) so it is muuuch cheaper than the Intercity train. And as you already know - trains in Poland can be total confusion.

S H
Toronto
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7. Re: May 2012 bus or train to Krakow?

Thanks Alimira_85

I saw from the schedules that the bus takes longer, Still, it might be simpler.

Might be best to check the schedules for both and just decide once in Warsaw. Train more efficient but confusing and subject to last minute changes, vs bus which is cheaper, slower but rather a bit "safer" to one with minimal Polish.

Zabrze, Poland
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8. Re: May 2012 bus or train to Krakow?

Glad I could help. But please keep in mind, that the bus stop of Polski Bus in Warsaw is not in the city center. It is few steps from Wilanowska metro station, so be prepared to get there.

In Krakow the bus stops at the main bus station in the city center.

Have a nice stay!

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9. Re: May 2012 bus or train to Krakow?

HI SH, I stayed in Warsaw for 3 yrs and travelled by train to krakow close to a dozen times. I must admit and agree that train station in warsaw used to be quite messy, you don't really know which platform to go to.

Due to Euro Cup hosting, the situation has improved very much. You have TV screens to show which train is arriving and at which platform. At the platform, they have overhead displays showing teh destination of next train, in smaller print you will see the description of train (eg express, ICC) as well as train/trip number, which you can tally on your ticket.

Enjoy your trip!

S H
Toronto
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10. Re: May 2012 bus or train to Krakow?

Hi csh68 and Alimera_85

Thank you both. It is a relief to hear about the new overhead displays at the train station. I guess things are changing quickly due to the expected influx of tourists. This now sounds more manageable.

My travelling companion wonders if the Polski bus stops occasionally on longer drives (4 + hrs) I know they have washrooms on the bus - but just to stretch one's legs.

Really looking forward to visiting Poland!