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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

I'm At Krakow Airport. Now What?!

Dear friends,

I am writing this post mainly due to my friends who are coming for THE Wedding! and they come by plane. As Polish language is quite hard I figured out I should help them and do a small post on how to get from the Krakow Airport to the city center - as most of them will come by plane. Krakow Airport is the largest regional airport in Poland. It is located in the south of Poland, 11 km west of Kraków, at 241 m above sea level. GPS coordinates; GPS N: 50 ̊4' 21" E: 19 ̊48' 21". The operational area of the airport covers south-eastern Poland inhabited by around 7.9 million people within 100 km of the airport. The beginnings of civil aviation at Krakow Airport date back to 1964 when the military authorities assigned 10 ha of its area for future civil aviation purposes and granted the civil operator all permits required for the use of airport facilities. On 29 February 1964 the first scheduled PLL LOT aircraft landed in Balice. The airport covers a total area of 310 ha, including 27.5 ha managed by John Paul II Krakow-Balice International Airport Ltd. The military part of the airport, where the 8th Airlift Base is located, is not considered a part of the total area. Accidentally or not, this year Krakow Airport has its 50th anniversary.
Krakow Balice - International Terminal
Now once you are there, you may land on one of its terminals. If you come from a different country and have direct flight - like London to Krakow - you will arrive at the International Terminal. If, on the other hand, you do not have a chance to have a direct flight and the secondary switch is somewhere in Poland - let us say you come Bucharest-Warsaw-Krakow - then they will take you to the Domestic Terminal, that is in a walking distance from the International one - just around the corner!
Krakow Main Station - next to Galeria Krakowska
Now there are multiple options to get to Krakow Main/Central Station - or in Polish: Kraków Dworzec Główny. Here they are below, with its best and worst scenarios ;)
1) Taxi - this may be the quickest option but also the most expensive one. Taxi's in Krakow are quite expensive and the taxi drivers can refuse to take you on if they do not like your face. Also you may have problems of understanding if you catch someone who speaks only Polish. Let us just say that there are aproximately 16 km to go, around 20 minutes (if there is high time hour then you might catch a trafic jam and it may take you up to 40 minutes even...) and the taxi driver may look at you and just double the road by taking short detours, so... if you have tight budget I would not choose that! If you choose that though, almost all the taxi's have the same rate. If you come during night the rate might even be double...You can see the prices on the window but still that will make no difference as you will pay over 100 zloty (if you are lucky!) for a trip that could cost you less...
2) Airport Bus + Fast Train to city center - A free AIRPORT SHUTTLE BUS guarantees fast transportation between the terminal T1 and the terminal T2. You can read about that HERE. Also there is a Shuttle Bus that takes you from the terminals to the fast track train line - you will be in the Krakow Central Station in less than 20 minutes! You can buy the train ticket inside the train and they come every 30 minutes or so. The train costs around 20 zloty or so and you can even pay with your credit card ;) The train has only one stop so no worries, you can't miss it! There is also free WIFI in the train so you can track where you are and if you are going the right way :p
Krakow Vending Ticket Machine
3) Public bus - it is the cheapest but also the one that takes the most time due to the huge number of stops that public buses have, as this is not a fast track bus line. Krakow Airport is served by two regular bus lines: 208 and 292 and one night line: 902. These are Agglomeration Bus Lines - Krakow is split in 2 zones: 1 and 2 and according to the area you are moving in, you have to get a specific ticket. Inside Krakow you usually use just 1 but as the airport is at the city outskirts, you would need a ticket that would be both for 2 and for 2. Don't worry, such a ticket exists! :) No need to buy multiple ones ;) Bus stops within the airport’s premises are located near the T1 terminal - International Terminal (AKA. The Big One! next to the parking area).
Agglomeration ticket prices
Ticket type Normal Reduced
1 Person – Single trip 4,00 2,00
1 Person – Multiple trips – 90 minutes 6,00 3,00
1 Person – Multiple trips – 24 hours 20,00 10,00
1 Person – Multiple trips – 7 days 62,00 31,00
Tickets can be purchased from:
  • the ticket machine at the bus stop (payment in cash or with credit/debit card),
  • the authorized ticket machines found on 292 line buses (payment in cash – coins only),
  • the bus driver, in case of lack or failure of ticket machine (single tickets only, payment in cash).
The tickets you need are green ;)
 Note: The ticket must be validated when getting on the bus.
Note 2: You may get bored during the ride as it will take around 40 minutes or so to get there... 
Also, just so you know the public bus schedule is ever-changing so have a look a day before or even in the same day to the schedules of the bus - here are the links so you would not get lost ;)  208 /292 / 902.

** I really hope this will help you on your trip and if you have any questions regarding this please feel free to let me know ;) I did this whole post out of love for my friends and because I did not want them to get lost as I care about them too much! ;) **

Yours truly,
A Helpful LadyBug :)