Krakow to Bratislava

The Ultimate Guide on Getting from Krakow to Bratislava

Are you looking for the best ways to travel from Krakow to Bratislava? Check this guide to learn about all possible options on this route.

Are you looking for ways to get from Krakow to Bratislava? You’ve come to the right place. These two cities might not be close enough to justify a day trip, but you can easily travel from one to another in a couple of hours. Luckily, there are loads of different options that won’t cost too much, so there is no reason you can’t do it on a shoestring.

This guide to travelling from Krakow to Bratislava covers all available transport options on this route. From quickest to most convenient and cheapest to most comfortable ways to travel, we’re here to help you find the means of travel that will suit you the most. So, let’s take a look at how to get from Krakow to Bratislava…

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What’s in this guide on getting from Krakow to Bratislava

Krakow to Bratislava by plane

Bratislava airport

Time: 1h + 45m

Cost: From €9 + (€6+)

Comfort: 5/5

Airlines: Ryanair & Austrian

Although there are no direct flights from Krakow to Bratislava, flying is still the easiest option to get to the Slovakian capital. That’s because Vienna airport is only 40 minutes away, and you can easily travel across the border on a bus. Yes, it might seem strange that flying across the border is the way to go, but Bratislava airport is much smaller than Vienna’s, so it shouldn’t surprise you that you’ll find plenty more connections there.

It takes around one hour to fly from Krakow to Vienna, and there are daily connections with Ryanair and multiple flights with Austrian. The former is usually cheaper, with tickets starting at around €9, but we’d choose Austrian if you wanted slightly more comfort. However, both airlines charge for checked baggage.

The good news is that Vienna Airport is on the eastern side of the city, which means you don’t have to cross Vienna to get to Bratislava. There are many buses that stop right outside the airport and go directly into the city centre of the Slovakian capital. It takes between 40 minutes and one hour to get there.

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Krakow to Bratislava by train

Bratislava rail

Time: 6h18m+

Cost: From €9.90

Comfort: 4/5

Even though flying is the quickest way to get from Krakow to Bratislava, it’s not the most straightforward option because there are no direct connections on this route. Plus, flying is not the best option if you’re conscious about the environment. Luckily, there are direct trains between the cities that take a little over six hours, so there is no need to use planes. You can either travel on a comfy daytime train or an overnight sleeper.

The daytime train from Krakow to Bratislava leaves at 10:44am and arrives at 5.02pm at the Slovakian capital’s central station. It’s an EC 114 Cracovia train that goes to Prague but gets attached to a train, which terminates in Budapest and stops in Bratislava along the way. That means you will have to make sure you get on the compartment listed on your ticket. You can book this journey online or at the station from the international counter 60 days before departure. The prices start from €9.90 but tend to go up closer to the date.

You can also travel from Krakow to Bratislava overnight for €9.90 if you manage to secure the lowest fares. However, the cheapest tickets are for upright seats, which might not be ideal for sleeping. The couchettes and beds cost extra. The train leaves Krakow at 10.59pm and arrives in Bratislava the next day at 5.54am.

Search for your trains from Krakow to Bratislava and book online below…

Krakow to Bratislava by bus

Bratislava bus station

Time: 6h20m+

Cost: From €14

Comfort: 2/5

You can also travel from Krakow to Bratislava directly by bus with Flixbus or RegioJet. The journey takes at least 6h20 but can often take a lot longer depending on traffic and the time you travel. You can buy tickets for both coach companies online starting at around €14.

We’re not the biggest fans of coach travel and always opt for trains, if possible. Especially on this route, because rail tickets here are not too expensive. That said, if you leave it till the last minute, you may find that buses cost a little less, but we don’t think it mitigates the fact that buses often take much slower than trains. 

Krakow to Bratislava by car 

Time: 4h40m+

Comfort: 3.5/5

If you have access to a car, driving from Krakow to Bratislava will usually be your quickest overland option. It usually takes around 4h40m but sometimes could take as little as four hours if you don’t get stuck in traffic. The quickest route (via Katowice, Ostrava, and Brno) isn’t the most scenic but the drive you might be able to drive without having to break up the journey. However, you could make Brno and Vienna your pitstops.  

There is also a second alternative route, which takes longer to reach the Slovakian capital but has many wonderful stop opportunities along the way. If you chose to cross the border in Jurgow, you could drive through the beautiful High Tatras on your way to Bratislava. It adds over an hour to the drive, but there are plenty of wonderful stop opportunities along the way.  

Hire cars are readily available from Krakow Airport. You’ll just need to check that your rental covers driving across international borders – you’ll be crossing a few on this particular drive!

How do you get from Bratislava to Krakow?

There are many ways to get from Bratislava to Krakow. You can catch a flight from Vienna, which is only around 40 minutes away from the Slovakian capital but if you want to travel directly, you can catch a train or a bus. It takes over six hours to travel from Bratislava to Krakow overland on public transport and around 4h40m by car.

Is there a direct train from Krakow to Vienna?

Yes, there are two direct trains from Krakow to Vienna a day. One leaves Krakow at 1.58 pm and arrives in the Austrian capital at 7.49 pm. The second option is an overnight train.

Is there a direct train from Prague to Kraków?

Yes, there are two direct trains from Prague to Krakow every day. You can travel on a comfy daytime trine, which takes around seven hours or travel on an overnight sleeper.

Asia K
Asia K

Asia K (the surname is long, unspellable, and very Polish!) is a Krakow native. She lived and worked in the city her whole life before heading off to travel the world. Today, she comes to Krakow as a regular visitor, which is just what's needed to put together expert guides for fly-in visitors and weekend breakers. She's an avid hiker (hello Tatra Mountains) and loves craft beer (mmm Kazimierz)

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