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Best Way to Get Around Krakow

Krakow on the Move: The Best Ways to Explore the City

Krakow, a picturesque city in Poland, offers various modes of transportation for tourists and locals alike. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and lively atmosphere, you’ll want to know the best ways to get around and experience everything this city has to offer.

One efficient way to navigate Krakow is by utilising its integrated tram and bus system, which operates between 05:00 and 23:00. Night trams and buses are also available for those exploring the city after hours. Familiarise yourself with this extensive network beforehand to make the most of your visit.

Best Way to Get Around Krakow

If you prefer a more active and eco-friendly mode of transportation, consider hiring a bike or an electric scooter. These options not only allow for greater flexibility but also provide you with an up-close experience of the city’s charm.

No matter your preferred mode of transport, Krakow is waiting to be discovered.

Understanding Krakow

Krakow, also known as Kraków, is a beautiful and historic city in Poland. Rich in history and culture, it is a popular destination not only for tourists, but also for students. As you explore the city, you’ll find that getting around is quite easy and efficient.

The Polish public transport system in Krakow is well-developed and reasonably priced, offering you various options for traversing the city.

Krakow buses

You can make use of trams, buses, and taxis – all of which are reliable means of transportation. Besides, cycling or simply walking can be a fantastic way to soak in the city’s charm and lively atmosphere.

Students, in particular, may appreciate the excellent accessibility around the city. Whether you are on your way to the university, visiting cultural sites, or just trying to explore the city with friends, navigating Krakow is simple and enjoyable.

Cycling in Krakow

While moving around Krakow, you will notice its incredible history reflected in the breathtaking monuments and architecture. Delving a bit into the city’s past may enrich your experience and grant you an appreciation for the significance of the historical sites you’ll see.

Taking into consideration the public transport options, walkability, and fascinating history, you can feel confident while navigating the streets of Krakow and making the most of your time in this amazing Polish city.

Main Attractions in Krakow

Old Town and Main Square

The Old Town is the heart of Krakow, boasting stunning architecture and historical sites, all within walking distance.

View of Old Town from Tower

The Main Square (Rynek Glówny) is the largest medieval market square in Europe. Here, you can explore the Cloth Hall, St. Mary’s Basilica, and the Town Hall Tower, among other landmarks.

Wawel Castle

Wawel Castle

Wawel Castle is a symbol of Poland’s rich history and a UNESCO World Heritage site. You can tour the royal chambers, admire the architectural mix of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque styles, and marvel at its extensive art collection, including the famous Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci.

Lady with an Ermine Surprising Facts You Never Knew About

Kazimierz

Kazimierz, the former Jewish district, offers a unique blend of history, culture, and trendy cafes.

Roam the narrow streets, visit the synagogues, explore art galleries, or indulge in the vibrant culinary scene.

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King King Casimir III

Nowa Huta

Nowa Huta is a fascinating socialist-era neighbourhood, showcasing the ideal communist city’s urban planning.

Crazy Nowa Huta

Here, you can explore the Central Square, admire the Soviet architecture, and visit the interactive Museum of Contemporary Art.

Planty Park

Surrounding Krakow’s Old Town, Planty Park is a lush green belt that replaced the city’s medieval walls. It’s an ideal place to stroll, unwind, and take in the picturesque scenes amidst the busy city.

Planty park in Krakow

Market Square

The Market Square is more than just a bustling marketplace; here, you can explore the Cloth Hall, a historical trading centre, housing a variety of souvenir shops and handicraft stalls.

Iconic Cloth Hall

Royal Castle

The Royal Castle, located on Wawel Hill, holds significant importance in Polish history. Beyond its stunning architecture, you can also visit the Wawel Cathedral and gaze upon the historical artefacts adorning the castle’s walls.

Wawel Cathedral

Lady With an Ermine

As part of the Wawel Castle’s museum collection, the Lady with an Ermine is a must-see masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci. This stunning portrait is a testament to his artistic prowess and skill.

Underground Museum

The Underground Museum, situated beneath the Main Square in Krakow’s Old Town, takes you on a journey through the city’s rich history. The exhibitions display archaeological findings and showcase life in medieval times.

Underground Museum in Centre Krakow

Vistula River

The Vistula River is the perfect spot for a leisurely walk or bike ride along the riverbank. Take in the breathtaking views of the city’s skyline, and don’t miss seeing the historic Wawel Castle majestically overlooking the river.

Walking around Vistula River

Getting Around Krakow

Public Transport

Krakow has an efficient public transport system consisting of trams and buses to help you navigate the city with ease.

The extensive network of trams allows you to reach major attractions and monuments, while buses connect local neighbourhoods and suburban areas. You can use the jakdojade app to plan your route and check schedules.

Bicycles and Walking

If you prefer a more eco-friendly mode of transportation, consider renting a bike or simply exploring the city on foot.

Krakow is quite compact and most attractions are within walking distance from each other. Additionally, there are dedicated bike lanes throughout the city, making cycling a safe and convenient option.

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Car Rental

Car rentals are available in Krakow if you want the flexibility and freedom to explore at your own pace.

However, do note that parking can be difficult and expensive in some areas, and traffic may be a challenge. Consider this option if you plan to visit locations outside the city centre or to explore the surrounding region.

Uber and Bolt

Uber and Bolt are popular ride-hailing services in Krakow, offering affordable and convenient transportation options.

They can be a great alternative to traditional taxis, as they usually have lower prices and are accessible through their respective smartphone apps.

You can choose from various car types based on your preferences and budget.

Taxi Services

Traditional taxi services are widely available in Krakow. To avoid overcharging or scams, it’s best to use a reputable taxi company or order your taxi by phone or through an app. You can recognise official taxis by the clear markings and logo of the taxi company, as well as a working meter inside the vehicle.

Public Transport Tickets

To use public transport in Krakow, you need to purchase tickets, which are available in various types depending on your needs:

  • Single trip
  • Short-term (20 or 40 minutes)
  • Long-term (24, 48, or 72 hours)

Tickets can be bought from ticket machines located at major tram and bus stops. They can also be purchased from some kiosks around the city or via the jakdojade app. Remember to validate your ticket when boarding trams or buses to avoid fines.

Krakow bus and tram

Travel Tips

Seasons and Weather

When planning your trip to Krakow, it’s essential to consider the seasons and weather. Summer is the most popular time to visit, with warm temperatures and long days of sunshine.

Average temperature in Krakow during year

However, this also means that the city can be crowded with tourists and accommodation prices might be higher. Be sure to pack sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.

Accommodation

Finding the perfect accommodation in Krakow is crucial to make your stay enjoyable. The best place to stay is the Old Town, which offers a variety of options at reasonable prices.

To find the best deals, use websites like Booking.com to compare prices and read reviews from fellow travellers.

Booking in advance is also recommended to secure the best rates and availability.

Eating Out

Krakow offers a wide range of dining options, from traditional Polish cuisine to international choices. Food is often affordable, but remember that prices could be higher in tourist-heavy areas.

Don’t miss trying local specialties like pierogi and kielbasa. Don’t be afraid to venture out to less crowded areas and explore smaller, local restaurants to find some hidden gems and potentially save money on your meals.

Tipping Guide

Tipping is appreciated in Krakow, although it is not mandatory. As a general guideline, you can tip around 10-15% of the bill for good service in restaurants and bars.

For other services, like taxis or hotel staff, a small amount or rounding up the fare is a nice gesture.

Polish money zloty coins

Safety and Insurance

Krakow is generally a safe city, but it’s always a good idea to take standard precautions. Keep your belongings secure and be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas.

It’s advisable to have travel insurance to cover any unexpected situations, such as medical expenses, theft, or trip cancellations. In case of emergency, the police can be reached by dialling 112.

Nearby Landmarks and Sights

Auschwitz

auschwitz gate

Auschwitz, a complex of Nazi concentration camps, is an essential place for anyone who wants to understand humanity’s darker chapters.

Located just over an hour’s drive from Krakow, visiting this UNESCO World Heritage Site imparts a sobering experience. It’s best to plan a guided tour which typically covers both Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau.

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Wieliczka Salt Mine

A short distance from Krakow, you can find the Wieliczka Salt Mine. This extraordinary underground world consists of over 300 km of chambers and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Historic restaurant in Wieliczka

Here, you can marvel at the sculptures, chapels, and chandeliers, all carved from salt. Allocate at least half a day for this unforgettable excursion, which includes taking a guided tour to fully appreciate its history.

Zakopane

Nestled in the Tatra Mountains, Zakopane is a charming town popular for its wooden architecture and natural beauty.

Zakopane

Easily accessible by bus or train, this picturesque location offers skiing in the winter and hiking in the milder months. Make sure to check out the bustling Krupowki Street, Gubalowka Hill, and Morskie Oko – one of the most beautiful lakes in Poland.

Zakopane Morskie Oko
Zakopane Morskie Oko

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Warsaw

While not exactly nearby, the Polish capital of Warsaw is well worth your time. Located roughly 3 hours away by train, it showcases a rich history, with a striking mix of old and modern architecture.

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Top attractions include the Old Town, Royal Castle, and the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. If you have a spare day, visiting Warsaw will give you a broader understanding of Poland and its diverse culture.

Royal Castle in Warsaw

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Arriving and Departing Krakow

Krakow Airport

Taxi and parking place in Krakow airport

When arriving at Kraków Airport, located just 11km east of the city centre, you’ll find it modern, comfortable, and easy to navigate.

If you’re looking for convenience and hassle-free transportation, you can book an airport private transfer which will take you directly to your accommodation at a reasonable cost with no surprises. You can arrange this service through GetYourGuide.

Main Bus Station

After exiting the airport terminal, head to the bus stop located just to the left. From there, you can jump on any bus as they all head to the city centre. These buses are equipped with real-time maps that display the name of each stop well in advance, making it easy for you to find your way around.

The main bus station is located close to the main train station, providing easy access to other parts of Krakow and beyond.

Main Station

The main station, also known as the Kraków Główny railway station, offers a comfortable and convenient way to arrive in the city if you’re travelling by train.

Krakow Glowny train station

Kraków’s extensive network of trams connects the main station to other parts of the city, providing you with an excellent way to explore famous monuments, such as the medieval Barbican, along the way.

Barbakan

In order to make your journey hassle-free, consider purchasing a City Pass that includes access to public transport and various attractions during your visit.

KrakowTOP

We are a team of travel lovers passionate about Krakow. We've explored every part of it and learned its history, traditions, and local secrets. We're eager to share our best tips with you. We know hidden gems and local favorites. We're more than writers; we're your personal guides. In our articles, you'll find everything what you need to know about Krakow. KrakowTOP team.

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