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Warsaw airport to Krakow

What is the best way to get from Warsaw airport to Krakow. About how long is the trip? I am looking at flying from USA to Krakow and with 2 stops, I thought it might be faster/easier to do a 1 stop from here to Warsaw and then take the train. thoughts??? Thanks

Posted by
12943 posts

The Deutsche Bahn website indicates that the train from Warsaw to Krakow takes about 2 hr. 20 min. Are the two layovers that bad? What do the airfares look like to the two cities? Normally I'd prefer to stick to a single mode of transportation, if possible. Or I'd plan to spend some time in Warsaw. It has much to recommend it.

Posted by
789 posts

Just wanted to reiterate what acraven said about spending sufficient time in Warsaw. Many visitors make the mistake of underestimating Warsaw as a city, but it's steadily becoming Europe's new "capital of cool". Here is a link to a recent article by Rick Steves' co-author, Cameron Hewitt, talking about the appeal of Warsaw - Believe It: 8 Reasons You’ll Love Warsaw

Posted by
4150 posts

I believe you are mistaken.

If you just want to get to Krakow, why not relax in the Warsaw airport and do the connecting flight? Last July we flew from Tallinn to Warsaw then connected to Krakow. The Warsaw airport is easy, low-stress and comfortable. I'd do it again the same way.

On our return, we did take the train from Krakow to Warsaw, then spent an afternoon and a night in Warsaw before flying home from there. The train is quite comfortable and nice (better than any train here in the USA, by the way).

But in your case, there's no way I'd go through the extra hassles of getting from the Warsaw airport to the train station then get on the train to Krakow....honestly, that's crazy. Coming off the redeye from North America, it's not just crazy it's a bad idea - you'll be in no shape to figure out the train.

We thought Warsaw was OK, worth a visit, but I'd say it's quite a stretch to call it "Europe's new capital of cool" (or else he and I have a very different idea of what's cool).

Do yourself a big favor - forget the idea of getting on that train for the last leg of your journey to Krakow. Just take the connecting flight, you'll be glad you did.

Posted by
789 posts

There are two Warsaws, the well-know area composing of the reconstructed old town and Royal Square, and then there is a side of Warsaw that goes under the radar for many people on the tourist circuit of Poland.

Here's an example from Cameron's article, I linked to above, of why I described Warsaw as an up-and-coming "cool" destination: "While most visitors stick to Warsaw’s staid, stuffy “Royal Way” spine — leading between the main boulevard and the rebuilt Old Town — there are countless outer districts of the city that are young and vibrant and exciting and amazingly trendy. Śródmieście (“Downtown”), just a 10-minute tram or Uber ride south of the tourist zone, is where Varsovian yuppies and hipsters mingle at colorful, creative cafés tucked under hulking Soviet-era arcades..."

Posted by
12943 posts

I stayed near Palm Tree Circle (as Rick calls it) in Warsaw, by coincidence in a place that's listed in Rick's book. Nearby is a Thai restaurant that is the best I've ever been to. I was really comfortable in Warsaw and kept extending my stay there so I could get to most of the museums and historic sights I wanted to see. I liked that most of the people on the sidewalks seemed to be locals, though a fair number of them may have been short-term residents there for work assignments or school. I heard a lot of native-English conversation from people whose demeanor did not say "tourist". Krakow, by comparison, feels much more touristy.

Posted by
11348 posts

If you have more than ample time between landing in Warsaw and then boarding the train at Warsaw Centralna for Krakow, it is very doable. No different from flying from SFO to Frankfurt (FRA), landing ca 10 am, then taking the public transport to Frankfurt Hbf to catch the ICE train to Berlin Hbf or Düsseldorf Hbf a few hours later. I've done a few times that.

There was at least, as I timed it, a 2.5 to 3. hour gap between landing at FRA and then taking the train to Berlin or Düsseldorf, during which I cleared Immigration, baggage claim, took the regional train or S-Bahn from FRA and had a leisurely hot lunch at Frankfurt Hbf.

Posted by
586 posts

Terri, I’m not sure taking the train from Warsaw to Krakow will save you any time or really be any easier than flying. The connection from Chopin Airport to the Centalna train station is easy and inexpensive. You have several options which RS outlines in his book. The main issue I see is that you need a seat reservation for your Warsaw/Krakow train. These trains could sell out. To be sure to make the train, you’ll need to allow extra time, just in case your flight from the USA is late (our flight was late, can’t remember how late, but stayed in Warsaw so it wasn’t an issue). Once you add a time cushion for a possible late flight, you really come out in about the same place flying as you would taking the train. That said, the trains were nice.

If you haven’t bought your airplane tickets yet, I would buy the tickets through to Krakow by air.

Posted by
90 posts

Thank you...we will stick to the 2 stops on the airline!