Krakow airport to city centre and Old Town

by Maciek Bogdanski

How to get from Krakow Airport to the city centre

Krakow has only one airport  – Balice John Paul II International Airport. It is located about 10 kilometres west of the Krakow centre and is very well-connected by public transport. It also has a lot of car rental options. According to the Airhelp portal, this is the second-best-rated airport in Poland. This guide aims to make your journey from the airport to the city centre as smooth as possible. After reading this article, you will know how to get from Krakow Airport to the city centre in 20 minutes. For about 4 EUR! There are other transportation options: bus or taxi, but they are either less convenient or more expensive.

Location of Krakow Airport
Location of Krakow Airport on the map

If you are considering coming to Poland through other airports, read our articles on getting from the airport to the centre of Gdansk, Warsaw, Wroclaw, and Poznan.

Train from Krakow airport

Based on our experience, leaving Krakow Airport by train is the fastest and most convenient choice. The SKA1 train leaves the Airport train station every hour between 5 am and midnight. The first train leaves at 4.17 am, and the last train leaves at 0.38 pm. If your destination is Krakow city centre, you may get on any train that leaves Krakow Airport. The journey from Krakow Airport to Old Town (Krakow Glowny – main train station) lasts about 19 minutes – you should get off at the sixth station. From here, the old town is within walking distance. And if you need to buy some food, Simcard or just withdraw some cash, it’s good to know that after arriving at Krakow Glowny train station you’ll find yourself next to a shopping mall – Galeria Krakowska.

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All trains leaving the airport pass through Krakow Glowny Train Station, but some go further – to Wieliczka. If this is your destination, make sure that you are on the right train, and stay on the board another 30 minutes after passing Krakow Glowny.

Krakow Airport train information and schedule
Krakow Airport to Old Town train information and schedule

The trains are modern and comfortable – equipped with electricity sockets, Wi-Fi, and air-conditioning. They are also easy to board with a stroller or wheelchair.

Krakow Airport train station is very close to the terminal and arrivals hall, just behind P1 parking and car rentals. To get to the platform, it’s best to take the footbridge over the taxi and kiss&fly area. The route is clearly marked. It takes about 5 minutes to get from the terminal to Krakow Airport train station.

Krakow Airport train station
Krakow Airport train station

A train ticket from Krakow Airport to Old Town (Krakow Glowny) costs 17 PLN, and to Wieliczka 21 PLN. You may buy tickets in ticket machines at the arrivals terminal (cash/card payment), train station ticket machine (cash/card) or onboard from the ticket inspector (cash only). To buy a ticket from the ticket inspector, look for him on board.

Bus from Krakow Airport to the city centre

Bus stops are just in front of the terminal. You may buy bus tickets at the ticket machine at the arrivals terminal, at the bus stop, online or inside the bus. Remember to validate your ticket onboard.

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During the day

Krakow Airport is served by two local bus lines (209 and 300). All of them go in the direction of the city centre, but none of them go directly to the main train station. Buses reach the ring around the Krakow Old Town in about 40 minutes. Then you need to either change or walk (about 15 minutes). As the Airport is located in Zone 2, if you want to buy a 24, 48, 72 hours or 7-day ticket, make sure you buy a 1+2 zone ticket. The cheapest ticket that will enable you to get to the city costs 6 PLN (60 minutes/one ride ticket). If you plan to stay in Krakow for a couple of days, read our article on public transport in Krakow to choose the ticket that best suits your needs.

At night

There is only one bus line that runs at night. Bus 902 leaves the Airport in the direction of the city every hour. The first bus at 11.25 pm, the last at 4.55 am. The trip to the Main Train Station (Krakow Glowny) lasts about 30 minutes, but the bus passes the Old Town on the way, so you may want to get off earlier. The tickets are the same as for day buses. Visit the Krakow MPK website to check the updated schedules of buses from Krakow airport.

Night bus from Krakow Airport to Old Town at Krakow Glowny bus station
Night bus from Krakow Airport to Old Town at Krakow Glowny bus station

Taxi from Krakow Airport

If you have heavy luggage or just want to get directly to your hotel, a taxi is the only option. Krakow Airport officially recommends using the “Krakow Airport Taxi” company. They park in the first lane after you leave the arrivals terminal. They offer good quality, but their price is slightly higher than other taxis – up to 89 PLN for the trip to the main square (Rynek Glowny). Generally, taxi fare from the airport to the old town varies from 70 to 120 PLN. Avoid using non-corporate taxis and always check the price list on the taxi door. Most frauds happen when you take a non-corporate taxi from the airport, so be careful.

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Alternatively, you may use Uber or Bolt – their price depends on the current demand, but they are usually cheaper than taxis. And the good thing is that you know the fare in advance and there is almost no chance of being cheated. Another option is FreeNow – an official taxi that works similarly to Uber and Bolt. Register with FreeNow App with code lqnfsq07p to receive a voucher for 20 PLN (about 5 EUR).

Other Krakow Airport transportation options

If you don’t plan to go to the old town, but you want to go to another city instead, you have some options, too.

You may go straight from the airport to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp Museum, Warsaw, Wroclaw, Zakopane, or Prague. Check Flixbus or Neobus websites for details and schedules, or book your ticket here.

Staying at Krakow Airport

Krakow airport
Krakow airport

If you land late in the evening or at night or just need to check in early in the morning, maybe it’s better to stay in or around the airport. The airport is quite small, but you may find an area to stay for a couple of hours. There are shops and cafés, but most of them close at 10-11 pm. There are only two hotels within walking distance: Hilton Garden Inn Krakow Airport and AirPark Balice, you may look for others here, but you will need to arrange a transfer service from the airport.

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This article was updated and reviewed by Maciek Bogdanski on 18 October 2023 to make sure it is up to date.

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