Kraków Balice Airport
John Paul II Airport (KRK) is a fairly small and convenient airport with very good access to the city centre, so you have no need to worry even if you tend to get nervous and / or lost at airports. There is not enough space to get lost, really, though the airport is still growing.
It only has two terminals: domestic (T2) and international (T1). There is a shuttle bus that will drive you from the train stop to your terminal, but if you are trying to get to the international terminal it is quite slow, as it goes to the domestic terminal first, then turns around and goes back to the international. I wouldn’t advise taking it if you are in a hurry, unless you have a lot of luggage of course, simply because it is much faster to walk. And it is not a long walk at all.
The transport from Balice Airport to Kraków center
There most convenient way to get from the airport to the city centre or vice versa is to take the train. The ride is only about 15 minutes and even if it takes an extra stop on the way it is never longer than 20 minutes. If you take it from the railroad station it usually leaves off platform 1 every 30 minutes, unless there is a renovation going on. It is just a short white and red train, it’s easy to find it.
If you take it from the airport: there is a shuttle bus right outside the door, it is free and will take you to the train station. You can also walk, I think it is about 100 meters. There is a bus stop on the right and a pavement along it that ends at the train stop.
You can buy the tickets at the station’s ticket window , at the machine inside of the train (coins only) or you can also buy it from the ticket controller after the train takes off. Do not worry about getting a fine if you do not have a ticket when the guy asks you to show it. It does not work the same way as Kraków public transport (MPK) , if you don’t have a ticket you can simply buy it with some extra charge. A regular ticket is 10 złoty.
If you want to make your trip to the airport or back really cheap, there are two regular agglomeration bus lines going to the airport: 208 and 292. There is also a night bus 903. They all leave from Dworzec Główny Wschód, the big bus and coach station by Galeria Krakowska and of course stop around the town. You need an agglomeration ticket (bilet normalny aglomeracyjny) for those, as they exceed city district. It costs 3.20zł and you can buy it at kiosks, ticket machines around the town or on the bus. The airport buses have big blue planes on their schedule so even if you forget the bus number, you will still know which one to take without reading every bus schedule at the bus stop.
There will be drivers outside the airport who will offer you a trip to the center in their mini bus for 60 złoty, but it is not a good deal at all, especially here in Kraków with such good transport options and the airport being relatively close to the city. Even a taxi would be cheaper, yet I see plenty of tourists going for it. The cheapest taxi company is called icar by the way, if you ever need to take one in Kraków. There are also other mini buses that I believe charge you 5 złoty for the ride to Galeria Krakowska but they are never right by the exit so you have to look for them. My advice is, if someone walks up and wants you to take their bus say no, because they will more than likely overcharge you. The same applies to mini buses parked right where you can see them after you walk out of the door. They are the most expensive ones and live off of people who have no idea how cheap it actually is to get to the center. Don’t be one of them.
Leave a Reply