Traveling by trains in Poland
After years of investments in railroad infrastructure in Poland, trains have become an important means of transport. We can finally say that traveling by trains in Poland is worth its money. Polish trains are much faster, more comfortable and safe than they used to be, and unless there are some unexpected accidents, they usually arrive on time. Most train stations are located in the city centre and are easily accessible by public transport.
Polish trains companies
When it comes to traveling by train, Poland is served by several train companies. As they are separate companies, you need to be careful about whether the ticket you bought allows you to take the train you want to take.
Intercity trains in Poland
Intercity is the only company that offers long-range trains between the largest cities in Poland. Its trains are usually comfortable and modern, and on some routes, they go at a speed of 200 km per hour. Most of the trains are suitable for disabled people and are equipped with electricity sockets. The tickets are up to 30% cheaper if bought in advance, and there are some offers that you might find interesting, especially if you travel on weekends. Check the Intercity website for all offers. There are several types of train that Intercity offers:
Express InterCity Premium (EIP) trains
Those are the fastest Polish trains, usually run with high-speed Pendolino trains, and connect Warsaw and Tricity with other large cities. Most of them are equipped with Wi-Fi and electricity. Tea, coffee or water is served on the way, and there is a restaurant car if you need to eat something on the way. The price of Express InterCity Premium between Gdansk and Krakow is about 120-180 PLN if you buy it one week in advance.
Express InterCity (EIC)
Those trains are as comfortable as EIP trains, but they are not run with Pendolino trains, which means on some routes they are a bit slower. The price of the ticket from Gdansk to Warsaw if you buy it one week in advance is about 125 PLN.
This used to be the best category of trains in Poland some time ago, but now it has been replaced with EIP and EIC trains. Intercity trains are run with modern, but not as comfortable cars as other types. They are also significantly cheaper.
TLK trains are the cheapest Polish trains run by Intercity company. They sometimes run at night, so it might be a good idea to book a bed in a sleeping car if you don’t want to waste your time traveling during the day. You may choose “kuszetka” (less comfortable) or sleeping car – “wagon sypialny”. When you buy the ticket, you may choose if you want to travel in male/female compartment.
The sleeping compartment is equipped with a washbasin and wardrobe and you’ll find snacks and towels inside, as well as a prepared bed. An electric socket is available near the lowest bed. Those compartments are very secure, as only passengers with valid tickets are allowed into the sleeping car, and the compartment may be locked from the inside,
Ticket for “wagon sypialny” needs to be printed.
Tickets for all EIP, EIC, Intercity and TLK trains may be bought online, but remember to have a printed copy or charged phone to show it to the ticket inspector. Also, if you bought the ticket on the internet, you need to produce an ID with the same name that is printed on the ticket. The price of the TLK train between Gdansk and Krakow is about 70-100 PLN if you buy it one week in advance.
PolRegio local trains in Poland
PolRegio trains are usually local, so you’ll need to change many times if you want to travel a long distance. They have some international, national and regional offers to choose from, so it’s worth checking out PolRegio website before traveling. Most regions have their own PolRegio branch, and they are usually marked with the region’s logo. Tickets may be bought at the cash desk at the train station, online or in the Skycash App.
PolRegio trains in Poland are less comfortable than Intercity trains, and they stop much more often, so although they are a good way to get to local attractions, it may take you some time to get there.
Local city trains in Poland
Some large cities, like Gdansk, Warsaw, Lodz and Krakow have their own train companies, that run trains within the city and in surrounding areas. Their tickets are sometimes interchangeable with PolRegio tickets, but you can’t take that for granted. Mistaking the tickets is the most common problem when you want to travel within cities, so make sure you have a proper one.