Public transport in Krakow

by mbogda

Krakow public transport consists of over 20 trams lines, over 60 urban buses and almost 70 suburban bus lines. The whole network is divided into two zones, but Krakow city is covered by Zone 1. If you, however, plan to go to Krakow Airport or Wieliczka, you will be travelling within Zone 2. You may check the Krakow transportation zones here. The former capital city of Poland is one of the most polluted cities in Poland, that’s why efficient public transport in Krakow is crucial for keeping the level of pollution down.

Local bus in Krakow
Local bus in Krakow

Krakow public transport – buses and trams

Most buses and trams in Krakow are modern and equipped with air-conditioning. Day city bus lines start with number 1, while suburban day buses start with number 2. Until you stay in Zone 1, you may use suburban buses as well on Zone 1 tickets. Night trams and bus routes begin with number 6 (city buses) or with number 9 (suburban buses). Night bus departure times from Main Train Station are coordinated – all the buses leave the station every 30 minutes from midnight to 4 am. Trams run only Thursday to Monday nights.

Tickets for buses and trams in Krakow are the same, and their prices are as follows:

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Ticket priceRegular (Zone 1)Regular (Zone 1 and 2)
20 minutes3,4 PLN 3,4 PLN
50 minutes4,6 PLN4,6 PLN
90 minutes6 PLN6 PLN
24 hour15 PLN20 PLN
48 hour28 PLN-
72 hour42 PLN-
7 days56 PLN68 PLN
Weekend family ticket16 PLN16 PLN
Combined bus+tram+train ticket (70 minutes)5,4 PLN5,4 PLN

If you are over 70 years old you don’t need to buy tickets on buses nor trams in Krakow – you just need to show and ID proving your age. Also, children don’t need tickets until 30 of September of the year that they become 7 years old.

Time tickets are valid within real-time period – not that noted on the bus schedule. So if you run out of time because of the traffic, you need to buy another ticket. If you travel without a valid ticket, you will be fined 240 PLN (or 120 PLN if you pay to the ticket inspector or in 7 days).

Public transport in Krakow - tram
Public transport in Krakow – tram

You may buy Krakow tram and bus tickets in kiosks, automatic ticket machines, onboard in the machine or as the last resort – from the driver (60 minutes tickets only). All those tickets need to be validated on board. You may also buy tickets in the mobile App (SkyCash, MoBilet, mPay and JakDojade). The last of this app is also perfect to check the best route to your destination.

On-demand bus stops

Some bus stops are marked “NZ”. Those are on-demand bus stops, which means you need to inform the driver that you want the bus to stop there. If you are on the bus – you need to press the “Stop” button. If you are at the bus stop – theoretically you just need to stay close to the street, but it’s still better to wave with your hand.

Public transport in Krakow – local trains

Except for buses and trams, public transport in Krakow includes local trains operated by Koleje Malopolskie. There are three local lines: SKA1 (Wieliczka – Krakow Balice Airport), SKA2 (Krakow – Sedziszow) and SKA3 (Krakow-Tarnow). Ticket price depends on the route, but it is usually no more than 15 PLN. Except for that, there are regular, longer-distance trains, that go to Zakopane, Krynica-Zdroj or Muszyna. The ticket price here depends on the distance, but there are a lot of special offers on various routes.

Krakow airport train station
Krakow airport train station

Krakow public transportation – Wawelo Bikes

Wawelo was a public bike system that supported Krakow public transport system. Unfortunately, it ceased to exist at the end of 2019. Although Krakow officials claim that they intend to introduce a new bike system, with an electric bike, this project has not begun yet. So don’t expect a bike system to be a part of public transportation in Krakow in 2020.

E-scooters in Krakow

E-scooters are one of the reasons why Wawelo ceased to exist. As they appeared in Krakow in August 2019, people tended to switch from Wawelo bikes to electric scooters. At the moment, there are 3 operators: Hive, and Hulaj. Their prices are shown in the table below:

Krakow is very strict when it comes to parking the scooter and riding speed. Make sure you know the rules unless you want to get into trouble.

On the 20th of May 2021 rules regulating electric scooters in Poland change. Since that day, scooter riders are no longer treated as pedestrians. They are considered more to be cyclists, and the following rules apply:

  • you should use bike paths where possible
  • if there is no bike path, you should ride on the street – just like cars
  • if there is no bike path, and the speed limit on the road is higher than 30 km/h, you may use the pavement, but you should ride no faster than pedestrians
  • maximum scooter speed is set to 20 km/h
  • you may not carry luggage
  • you should be over 18 to ride a scooter in Poland

Public transport in other Polish cities

If you are considering going to other cities in Poland, read our guides on public transport in Warsaw, Gdansk, Poznan and Wroclaw. You may also read our articles on how to travel around Poland.

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