The German capital city lies nearly 600km away from Krakow. So, going from Berlin to Krakow won’t be the shortest journey by land, but it can still be easily done in a single day. Since Germany is a neighbouring country to Poland, a trip from Berlin to Krakow is a frequent choice for travellers of all stripes – particularly backpackers. There are now a couple of direct flights from Berlin to Krakow so traveling between the cities is easier than ever. However, if you prefer to make this journey overland, it’s largely down to either the train the bus or the car. Let’s see your options.
This is just one guide in our complete guide to traveling in and around Krakow
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Ways to travel from Berlin to Krakow
Berlin to Krakow by direct train
Although it’s not the cheapest option, many folks say that there is no better way to travel around this part of Europe than by train. This particular journey is actually quite affordable and probably the most comfortable way to go of all the options on this list…
The only direct train from Berlin to Krakow is the PKP EuroCity connection run by Polish railways. It leaves the German capital at around 10.39am and takes just over 10 hours to complete the trip, getting into Krakow at about 8.51pm, although, in our experience, the connection often takes a little longer than that!
There’s some nice scenery to see along the way, especially as you pass the Oder River on the Germany-Poland border. The train itself is pretty modern and comfy, with both open-plan and six-seater compartments. Prices vary, but early-purchasers always get the best deal – you’re looking at about €27.90 in 2nd class if you manage to book at least 30 days in advance, but up to double that or more if you want to travel in 1st class.
Train tickets on the direct route should always be booked in advance. The best deals are limited and tickets sell out quick because it’s first come, first serve. We recommend the Europe-wide booking platform Omio, which will list all your train choices and offers simple online payment options.
Berlin to Krakow by sleeper train
Now…the elusive sleeper train from Berlin to Krakow is one that you have to hope is running. At the time of writing (Jan 2022) it seems to have stopped for the COVID pandemic. However, before restrictions were in place we know it was back on the menu as travelers were using it up until December 2019.
It leaves once a day throughout the peak season, though there might be a slimmer schedule between November and March. The departure is from Berlin Hauptbahnhof (the central station) at 6.43 pm. It begins as a joined-up mix of carriages that go to different parts of Europe, some to Warsaw, some to Zurich, and elsewhere. The key is to make sure you’re in the right carriage, which will break off somewhere in the night going Krakow bound.
You’ll either travel in sleeping berth compartments or seating compartments. You can purchase tickets online up to two months in advance. We’d definitely recommend doing that, because early-bought fares are usually around just €39 euro for a sleeping berth and €19 euro for a seat. The train arrives at Krakow’s central station at a very early time of 4.31 am.
Berlin to Krakow on an indirect train
If you’d really rather avoid travelling by night and the single direct train that goes from Berlin to Krakow doesn’t suit your schedule, you can travel to Warsaw on a comfy EuroCity (EC) train that takes about 5h40. Then there’s a later change to one of the many direct high-speed Pendolino trains down to Krakow in the Polish capital.
There’s not too much in the way of views along the way, apart from the crossing through rural east Germany and then the farmlands of south Poland, which is nice. However, what this journey does let you do is get off and explore Warsaw for a few hours or even days if you like. (It’s a cool city, but Krakow is better, of course!).
The earliest EC train from Berlin to Warsaw is at just after 5am, which gets you in at 11am. There’s one more morning option at 9.39am and then three departures in the afternoon, with the latest leaving Berlin at after 5pm. The connections to the Pendolino trains should be easy, as there’s one virtually every hour and it’s Poland’s fastest type of locomotive, taking just a few hours to get you into the big K.
Berlin to Krakow by bus
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly (and, surprisingly, slightly faster option that what the trains can offer), you can choose one of the bus companies operating between Berlin and Krakow. These go daily and take 8-8.5 hours in all. It’s also super-cheap, costing as as little as €14 per person, each way when you book in advance.
One warning: The bus journey is long and you don’t get the same spacious seats and bags of legroom that you find on the locomotives. However, it’s not that bad, especially as most companies now run modern coaches on the route, usually complete with extras like onboard WiFi and whatnot.
There’s one clear leader here: FlixBus. They operate one of the largest bus networks in the whole of Europe and have large, comfy coaches. But they aren’t the only choice. You can search and compare all your options and even book ahead of time online using Omio.
Berlin to Krakow flights
As of October 2022, travelers can now take advantage of direct, cheap connections with Euro low-coster Ryanair. They go from Berlin Brandenburg Airport straight to Krakow Airport. The flight is only 1h15m long and can cost as little as €10 (that’s of course if you travel light and don’t have to pay more for checked baggage). At the time of writing there are only two flights a week – on Fridays and Sundays.
There are also plenty of other airlines offering connecting flights from Berlin to Krakow. The cheapest seem to be easyJet. However, these tend to be with long layovers and inconvenient detours in hubs like Milan or Brussels. Then there are the bargains with Eurowings, which offer quicker connections via Stuttgart or Düsseldorf.
Even though flying can technically seem like the quickest way to travel, you should still take into account the time it takes to get to and from the airports – you’re probably looking at about 4-5 hours in total.
Berlin to Krakow by car
If you have access to a car, you could always opt to drive from Berlin to Krakow. We’re not going to lie – it’s a bit of a drive! Even though Google Maps says it takes about 6 hours, you should expect it to be more like 7 or 8 in total – often because of the traffic on the way out of the German capital.
There is a motorway all the way, but not all of it is in pristine condition. Since Germany is known for its road quality, that side of the border is not a problem. It’s on the Polish side of the line that the ride gets a bit slower. However, the highway improves considerably after passing Wroclaw, from where it’s now a three-lane EU-funded highway all the way to Krakow center.
Is there a direct train from Krakow to Berlin?
Yes, there’s one direct train that goes from Krakow to Berlin and the other way around. It’s a night train run by German railways (DB), which takes about 10 hours from start to finish. There’s only one per day and you might need to book tickets in advance if you want a sleeper compartment.
How much is a train from Berlin to Krakow
The day train from Berlin to Krakow costs just under €30/$32, but those prices are only on offer to those who book early, like more than 30 days before you’re due to leave. Prices can shoot up if you leave it later than that, to more than three times and even more if you want to travel first class.
How much is the sleeper on the DB train from Berlin to Krakow ?
Hey – if it’s running then the DB train can be had for 25 EUR per person but that was a few years ago. Things might have changed now. The DB website is usually great for checking prices.