If you decide to visit Krakow, chances are you will arrive at one of its two airports. Krakow actually has two airports, or rather. Krakow has an airport, Balice, but some airlines also fly to Katowice airport, almost 100 km from the city.
Obviously then how to get from the airport to the center of Krakow it depends on which airport you arrive at.
In this post, I will share with you all the transportation options you have to get to the center of Krakow from both of these airports.
The city of Krakow is served by two airports.
The main airport is Cracovia - Balice, (IATA code - KRK) about 11 km from the city center.
The second, however, is located about 100 km from the center and is Cracovia - Katowice (IATA code KTW).
To find out which airport you will arrive at, check the iata code!
Obviously, as you can well understand, the first is the airport that I recommend you consider if you have decided to spend a weekend in the Polish city.
The second, in fact, is further away, and it is not advisable to get there: even if the fares may seem cheap, what you save you could spend on transport and also you would lose a lot of useful time.
- How to choose transport from the airport to the center: factors to consider
- How to go from Balice airport to the city center
- 1 - Private or shared transfer
- 2 - By bus
- 3 - By train
- 4 – In taxi
- Bonus! How to reach Auschwitz from Krakow Balice airport
- From Krakow - Katowice Airport (KTW) to the city center
- 1 - By bus
- 2 – In taxi
- 3 - Transfer Service
Factors to take into account when choosing transport from the airport to the city center
Di TMP – An Instant of Time /
Decide which means of transport to choose from Krakow airport to the city center it depends on several factors.
1 - Evaluate where you booked
First of all it depends on where you booked your hotel. My guide on Where to sleep in Krakow gives you an overview of 5 best areas to stay with tips for every budget.
With your room booked you will surely understand better which means to choose and which means of transport brings you closer to the hotel.
2 - Take into account how you travel
The second piece of advice I can give you is to take into account how you travel: if you are young and fit and you are not afraid of fatigue then I would choose maybe the bus or the train.
If, on the other hand, you are traveling with children or with lots of suitcases, perhaps it is better to opt for a taxi or a taxi transfer (there are both private and shared ones - cheaper and for me the best way to get to your hotel in terms of cost / benefit ratio).
3 - Evaluate the arrival time of your plane!
Third tip: take into account your arrival time! In fact, public transport (such as the train) at night does not exist for a few hours !!
Please note that although Krakow airport is open 24 hours a day, planes are generally scheduled to arrive between 5:30 and midnight: trains only travel until 12.20 at night. So if you land after 23.30pm you may miss your train and that's it it is advisable to opt for another type of transport.
There are buses every hour throughout the night (albeit with reduced service) and in any case I would consider a private transfer.
Let us now how to move in Krakow from the airport to the city center.
From Krakow - Balice Airport (KRK) to the city center
Di Patryk Kosmider /
THEaeroporto di Cracovia - Balice is named after Pope John Paul II (Jana Pawła II) and, despite its small size, is one of the most important airports in Poland, second only to that of Warsaw.
The airport has two terminals: Terminal 1 for international airports and Terminal 2 for domestic ones.
Below are the directions to reach the center of Krakow from Balice Airport.
1 - Transfer Service
To avoid making mistakes and to minimize stress, the most convenient service is that of book a private transfer: a driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall and will accompany you to the hotel.
Without a doubt, the private transfer is the easiest way to get to Krakow from the airport: I personally usually use them if I arrive late or if I arrive after a long journey.
You can arrange everything in advance and someone will be waiting for you upon arrival to take you directly to your accommodation, regardless of the time you arrive.
These can be booked online from various companies at reasonable cost with no nasty surprises. It can also cost less than a taxi especially if you are in a group as well you can divide the cost.
You will receive instructions at the time of booking, but your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall, directly outside the exit of the arrivals hall, with a sign with your name on it.
The journey to the center of Krakow (or to your hotel) is about 25 minutes.
If you decide for a private (or shared) transfer take a look at the following:
- Private transfer for 4 people from Balice (price € 21 in total for 4 people, minibus for 8 people from € 29 in total)
- Krakow: private transfer from / to Balice airport (from € 16,50 per person - great option if you are alone)
- Transfer Krakow Balice airport - hotel (from Welcome Pickups, one of my favorite services!)
⇒ See here other TRANSPORT options IN KRAKOW
2 - By bus
In Aliaksander Karankevich /
50 m from Terminal 1 there is a bus stop that allows you to reach the city center.
Although it is cheaper than the train (e free with the KrakowCard), the bus journey to the center of Krakow takes at least 45 minutes and the money you will really save is not worth the hassle and time wasted.
You can take the bus of the lines 208, 252 or the nocturnal 902.
Il 252 is operational from 5:18 am to 23:08 pm, on 208 from 4:35 am to 21:20 pm and on 902 from 23: 25 04 to: 55. At this link you will find timetables and bus stops.
Between 5.20 and 21.20, the best choice is the bus 208 to Main East Railway Stationwhich is the main bus station in the city center. The last stop, so you don't have to worry about getting off at the wrong place.
Caution: The night bus 902 it runs every hour between 23.25pm and 4.55am. This also ends its run in Dworzec Główny Wschód. There are no buses between 21.20pm and 23.25pm.
You can buy tickets in the lobby on floor 0 of the airport or near the stops through the ticket machines - try to change money first, although some cards such as VISA are accepted.
It is also possible to pay the price of the ticket to the driver if the machines do not work, but only in cash and with the exact amount. The cost of the ticket is 4,60 zł.
Il bus is the cheapest solution to reach the city center, but travel times (usually 30 minutes) may be longer than expected due to traffic.
Also, as I said before, try to figure out if the bus stop is close enough to your hotel: alternatively you may have to walk down the street with your suitcases!
In addition to public buses, there is also the possibility of reaching the city center with FlixBus: this will take you to the Bus Station in the very center of Krakow.
3 - By train
The other means of transport that you can consider to get to the center of Krakow from Krakow - Balice airport is the train.
Please note:: as I said before, trains only run until 12.20 at night. So, if you land after 23.30pm you could miss it: consider your arrival time well!
The station is located approximately 300m from Terminal 1. You can get there with the Airport Shuttle Bus (free of charge).
The cost of the ticket is 12 zł and can be purchased at the automatic ticket machines at the airport in hall 0, in the station (on the platforms) or directly on the train.
A this link you can find the train timetables
Di De Visu /
Trains depart approximately every 30 minutes and take approximately 20 minutes to reach the city center.
The train takes you into the center of Krakow, right next to the historic center. And, since the station is located inside a large shopping center, it is very convenient if you need to buy, for example, the SIM for your phone, or food (if you are in the apartment).
Each train has free WiFi and air conditioning: a comfortable and fast journey!
4 – In taxi
If you want to be more comfortable or if you arrive late in the evening you could consider the idea of a taxi. The cost is around 100 zł. But be careful: always use licensed taxis!
When you exit the arrivals hall, look left and you will find the taxi area: taxis have a dedicated road lane and a stop area.
A good choice is to use Taxileader which is a company that organizes taxis by booking them online. After booking you will receive all the information about your taxi driver and you can contact him in case of problems: 100% safe and reliable!
⇒ Book your Krakow Taxi HERE!
Bonus! How to reach Auschwitz from Krakow Balice airport
I have already written a very detailed post on how to visit Auschwitz from Krakow. In this post however I forgot to write how to get there directly from Balice airport!
In fact, many people ask me. So here's how to get to Auschwitz from Krakow airport.
From Krakow-Balice airport it is possible to directly reach the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp which is located just over 50 km away.
Despite this, reaching Auschwitz by public transport from Balice airport could be quite complicated: you would have to arrive in the city center and continue from there.
Renting a car is probably the best way, but for those who want to spend a few days in Krakow this is also not the ideal choice.
Without a doubt, the best way is to book a private transfer. Again it saves our lives Get Your Guide us this amazing private transfer from Balice to Auschwitz and back to the city center! TOP!
From Krakow - Katowice Airport (KTW) to the city center
Di Shevchenko Andrey /
The airport of Cracovia - Katowice (Pyrzowice) is connected through numerous low cost airlines.
If you have little time available, however, I do not recommend this solution to reach Krakow: the airport, in fact, is more than 100 km from the center: traveling this distance can take more than 2 hours!
In any case, here it is how to reach Krakow city center from Katowice airport.
1 - By bus
The companies WizzAir e Ryanair provide direct Express transfer services between the airport and the center of Krakow without intermediate stops. The journey takes about an hour and a half. Tickets can be purchased directly online.
Also the local company Matuszek travels from Pyrzowice airport to the center of Krakow for around 44 zł.
Alternatively also FlixBus guarantees the connection between Katowice Airport and Krakow Bus Station for a cost of around € 9.
2 – In taxi
There is also the possibility of going to Krakow by taxi, but given the length of the journey, the fare could become very high, especially in the evening.
In case, however, it is necessary, know that there is a taxi service dedicated to the airport that allows you to book without too many problems and worries.
3 - Transfer Service
Finally, it is always possible to book a shared transfer from Katowice Airport to your central Krakow hotel.
Transfer services are a good option because even if they cost a little more than buses, they certainly guarantee you much greater comfort.
Above all, if you are traveling with children or with a lot of suitcases but do not want to pay for an expensive taxi, the transfer service (private or shared) is the best option, the one that saves goats and cabbages: it costs you less than a taxi, but it is definitely more comfortable and faster than the bus!
I hope you have a clear idea now how to get to the center of Krakow from the nearest airports. Have a good trip!