Whether you’re on an interrail journey across Europe or just looking to explore the vibrant Austrian capital on a weekend gateway from the former royal capital of Poland, we’re here to help you get from Krakow to Vienna. There are lots of different ways to travel between the cities but choosing the best and most efficient one is not an easy task.
This guide will explore all available ways of travelling from Krakow to Vienna. We’ll talk you through both air and overland options and give you in-depth info on distances and tickets. So, let’s take a look at how to travel between these two exciting European cities…
What’s in this guide on how to travel from Krakow to Vienna
- Krakow to Vienna by sleeper train
- Krakow to Vienna by daytime train
- Krakow to Vienna by plane
- Krakow to Vienna by bus
- Krakow to Vienna by car
Krakow to Vienna by sleeper train
Cost: From €39.90/€49.90/€54.90/€69.90/€129.90
This might not be the fastest or the cheapest way to travel to the Austrian capital from Krakow, but we’d say it’s well worth it. Not only will you save some bucks on one night’s accommodation, but you will arrive in Vienna early in the morning so that you can have all the time you need to explore this beautiful city. Plus, if like us, you’re one of those people that sleep well on trains, you’re guaranteed a comfortable night.
There used to be a night train that started in Krakow and terminated in Vienna, but that connection has been removed. These days you can only catch a train that starts in Warsaw. It leaves from Krakow Main Station daily at 10.57 pm and arrives in Vienna the next day at 7 am, which means it takes over eight hours altogether.
You can buy the tickets online or at the station from the international counters no sooner than 60 days before the intended travel dates. Promotional tickets are limited, though, so the sooner you buy, the better the deal you can get. In fact, we recommend booking them as soon as they become available (midnight, 60 days before departure)
These days the cheaper six and four-berth couchettes are only available during the summer, Christmas, New Year and Easter. That means that if you travel outside of the peak season, you can either get a standard seat or a more expensive single, double, or triple bed compartment. There are also deluxe suites all year round but those are quite pricy.
Krakow to Vienna by daytime train
Time: 5h56m – 6h43m
The sleeper train isn’t the only option to get from Krakow to Vienna by railway. You can also travel between the two cities on a comfy direct train or with a changeover in Katowice during the day. We’d recommend going on the non-stop option, though. Not only does it save you time, but you will also arrive at a more convenient time – 7.49 pm versus 9.49 pm if you went via Katowice.
The comfortable EuroCity train leaves daily from Krakow main station at 1.53 pm. However, if you decide to go on a later, non-direct train, you will get about an hour in Katowice to grab something to eat before continuing the journey. There are no standing tickets on either of the trains, so you will have to reserve a seat. In the second class, they come either in separate compartments or in an open-plan space. We’d go for a window seat if you can enjoy the views of Polish, Czech and Austrian countryside on the way.
You can buy your tickets online or at the station, which is the same for the sleeper trains. They go on sale 60 days before departure, and the prices tend to go up closer to the date. The cheapest tickets cost €32.90 in the second class and €42.90 in the first class.
Krakow to Vienna by plane
Cost: From €9
By far the quickest and often the cheapest way to get from Krakow to Vienna is by plane. It might not be the most romantic or eco-friendly way to travel, but it will certainly save you a lot of time. That’s even if you add up times on getting to and from the airports, so it’s definitely worth considering over other modes of transport, especially if you’re travelling light.
There are currently only two airlines offering direct connections between Vienna and Krakow, Austrian Airlines and Ryanair. The former is the Austrian national carrier that might provide more comfortable seats but doesn’t offer free checked baggage with the lowest-fare tickets. Ryanair, on the other hand, is a well-known budget airline. They charge extra for all additions to a standard, randomly allocated seat. However, their rates are usually much lower than the competitor’s. You could find flights for as cheap as €9 one way.
Another reason flying is the most efficient option is that Vienna Airport and Krakow Airport are both easily accessible from the city centres thanks to speedy trains. It costs 14 PLN (€2.96) on the Polish side and €12 on the Austrian side. The downside to flying, though, is that you will have to pay extra for larger luggage, the cost you don’t have to think about if you choose any of the overland options.
Krakow to Vienna by bus
Cost: From €14
You can also get from Krakow to Vienna by bus, but that’s far from the most comfortable option to travel in our view. The quickest coaches take 6h35m, but some slower ones take closer to 9h30m, which is a long time, considering the amount of legroom you get. However, buses are often the cheapest choice, especially during peak season and dates close to the departure.
There are two bus companies that run regular coaches on this route, Flixbus and Regiojet. The latter only runs one overnight bus, which takes around 6h40m. The seats are relatively comfortable for what you can expect from a coach. Plus, you should get a free coffee on board.
When it comes to Flixbus, you will have more choices of departure times. They run a couple of coaches from Krakow to Vienna, but not all of them depart or arrive at the central stations. Many of their buses go from Krakow Czyzyny or Borek Falecki and arrive at Vienna Erdberg, locations that aren’t the most convenient for many. Some are also set to travel for nearly 10 hours, so you should choose your journey wisely.
Krakow to Vienna by car
Driving from Krakow to Vienna should be the quickest and the most flexible overland option to travel between the cities. However, even though google says it should take between 4h30m and 5h, it often gets closer to six hours to get across to Austria. You will have to cover over 450 km – yup, it’s not a short drive.
There is a motorway all the way, but sometimes you could spend the first hour trying to get out of Krakow. If you want to avoid that, we recommend planning to travel outside of rush hours. The most direct route goes high-speed roads by Katowice, Ostrava, and Brno before arriving in Vienna. That means you will have to cross two borders, but luckily you don’t usually have to stop to show your passport, thanks to Schengen rules.
Is there a direct train from Krakow to Vienna?
Yes, there are two direct trains from Krakow to Vienna. An overnight train EN 407 leaves Krakow at 10.57 pm and arrives in Vienna at 7 am the following morning. You can also choose a quicker, daytime train EC 105, which leaves the city at 1.35 pm and takes 5h56m.
How much is a train ticket from Krakow to Vienna?
Tickets for daytime trains start at €32.90 and €39.90 for a sleeper train. However, these are promotional rates, that you can only get if you book well in advance, but not sooner than 60 days before departure. The longer you leave it, the more expensive the tickets get. The price also depends on the class, type of seat/bed and demand.
How long is the train from Poland to Austria?
The length of the train from Poland to Austria depends on the cities you want to travel to and from. The trains to Vienna from Krakow take at least 5h56m, from Katowice 4h53m, from Warsaw 7h50m, and from Wroclaw 7h53m.