Having a difficult time getting from Berlin to Krakow. How is the 8 hour bus ride? The only direct train is thru Warsaw.
It's a 370 mile drive from Berlin to Krakow.
Have you considered flying from Berlin-Tergel Airport to Krakow on Air Berlin? It'd be faster and more efficient.
Check out Polski Bus - some routes are shorter than 8 hours. It's a fairly new, modern long-distance bus system for budget travel. You can read reviews on TripAdvisor but, given the price of the route, I would say you'll get a good value for your zloty.
If the bus ride is too long, I would consider flying or having a stop-over in Warsaw. There are plenty of things to see in Warsaw. Unfortunately, all flights in Poland go through Warsaw - it's the hub.
Or a comfortable train. Relaxing. View of the countryside. No hassle with getting to and from the airport, security checks, check-in time, luggage belts. Have a look at www.bahn.de for connections.
You can consider a stop-over in Wroclaw to make it even more relaxing. Interesting city.
I also would recommend flying. Air Berlin has direct flights that take an hour and 25 minutes. We recommend searching for flights using www.skyscanner.com, which shows both commercial and budget airline options from point A to point B within Europe.
If you are going to take a bus, make sure to book the DB Bahn (German Rail) bus. It is configured with seating like in the German ICE trains and very comfortable. However, you can also take the train via Warsaw, which is comparable in travel time (it takes just slightly longer) and much more comfortable.
Avoid PolskiBus--there's no legroom and the busses are always full.
As suggested above, you have the option of flying. I wouldn't. DB has replaced the train with the InterCity bus going from Berlin to Krakow. If you're interested in seeing the former lower and upper Silesian (Niederschlesien and Oberschlesien) country side and passing through the former historical cities of Breslau (Wroclaw), the former province capital and Kattowitz , (Katowice) former capital of Upper Silesia, take the bus. I found the landscape historically and geographically very interesting as well as the towns other than the two listed above where the train (in 2001 ) stopped
How do you go about purchasing the EC/IC train from Berlin to Krakow? I'm looking at it on the DB website but it says the 'fare outside Germany not recognized'.
"How do you go about purchasing the EC/IC train from Berlin to Krakow?"
You can book at http://booking.polrail.com
You need to book the segments separately: Berlin-Warsaw, Warsaw-Krakow
You could also check Berlin-Poznan, Poznan-Krakow
Taking the DB bus eight hours Berlin to Krakow is much better than 10 plus hours SF to LA on Greyhound. When it comes to taking buses going from country to country in Europe, as this ride is, don't think American. It isn't comparable. Would I do the DB bus option here? Most definitely.