Going from Prague to Krakow is popular among interrailers and other travellers exploring the central and eastern parts of Europe, and there are many good reasons for that. These two cities have a lot to offer in terms of sights and history, but also fantastic restaurants and cafes are aplenty. Plus, the nightlife is top-notch.
The good news is that geographically Prague and Krakow are relatively close, so getting from one to another isn’t much of a problem. This guide on getting from Prague to Krakow outlines all available travel options on this route. We’ll give you detailed info on trains, buses and planes and give you some tips on driving. So, let’s delve deeper…
What’s in this guide to travelling from Prague to Krakow
- Prague to Krakow by plane
- Prague to Krakow by train
- Prague to Krakow by bus
- Prague to Krakow by car
Prague to Krakow by plane
Cost: From 72 PLN (≈€15)
If you’re planning a classic trip around Europe, you might be looking for ways of getting from Prague to Krakow. That’s because both these exciting cities are among the top spots to visit in the central part of the continent. So, what is the fastest way to get from one to another? The short answer is plane.
Flying from Prague to Krakow only takes a little over one hour, which means there is no other transport that can get you there so quickly. It is also sometimes your cheapest option because the only airline that currently flies on this route is the low-cost Ryanair. That’s the only direct option, which only goes twice a week on Mondays and Fridays. However, you can also get a connecting flight with Austrian via Vienna, Lufthansa, or LOT, which takes between 2h40m and 3h30m.
When it comes to Ryanair, though, it might not be the airline known for comfort or quality, but it shouldn’t matter too much on an hour-long flight. Especially if you only pay €15 for a ticket! The price of the flight doesn’t include large baggage, so you will have to budget a little extra if you don’t travel light.
Prague to Krakow by train
Cost: From €13.70 (≈65.20 PLN)
We think that the best and the most convenient way to arrive in Krakow from Prague is by railway. It might not be the fastest way to travel, but if you add up the times spent at the airport, it doesn’t take that much longer than flying. Okay, maybe there’s still a bit extra in it, but the comfort of train travel should compensate overall. Plus, you’re not restricted on luggage and your carbon footprint will be much smaller!
There are three direct trains from Prague to Krakow, so if that’s part of your interrail route, you’re in luck. The trains take around seven hours to reach Poland’s most popular city but the good news is that you don’t have to bother taking connections. Let’s take a closer look at what your train options are…
Prague to Krakow on a daytime train
Time: 7h05m or 6h55m
Cost: From €15/€13.70
Train type: EuroCity or Leo Express
There is one daytime train from Prague to Krakow, which goes daily. It’s a EuroCity Cracovia, which leaves Prague Main Station at 10.02 am and arrives at 5.07 pm at Krakow Glowny. It’s a modern and comfortable train with seats either in separate compartments or open-plan spaces. It’s run by Polish railways.
There is also a new alternative on the menu, which is a privately-owned train known as Leo Express. It only goes twice a week on Fridays and Sundays towards Krakow and on Mondays and Saturdays in the opposite direction towards Prague. These are also very comfy trains, but they come with the economy, business, and plush premium seats rather than second and first class. They also travel a little quicker than the EuroCity.
Whichever train you choose, you can buy the tickets online at either the Intercity website or LeoExpress around 60 to 70 days in advance. The latter might cost you a little less if you find promotional tickets with the cheapest seats selling from €13.70. You can also buy discounted tickets for the EuroCity train from €15 if you book them in advance.
Prague to Krakow on a sleeper train
Cost: From €15
Train type: EuroNight
However, if you want to save up on one night’s accommodation, you could opt for a comfy overnight train, which arrives in Krakow early in the morning. It takes a little longer than the daytime option, but you won’t even notice the difference if, like us, you snooze like a child on trains.
The good news is that you don’t have to go for the upright seat (although these are by far the cheapest), which would make this trip quite uncomfortable. You can choose between different options of beds ranging from six and four-berth couchettes to one, two, or three-person sleeping compartments.
The prices for the cheapest tickets start from around €15 per person. We’d highly recommend going for the more expensive sleeping options, though, which start from around €29 if you buy them in advance. A pro tip: the regular price without any promotions is cheaper if you buy your tickets at Prague station than in Krakow.
Prague to Krakow by bus
Cost: 89.99 PLN+ (≈€18)
The alternative option for getting from Prague to Krakow overland is by bus. This is our least favourite option, though because buses on this route usually take longer and are often more expensive than the railway. Coaches also disappoint when it comes to comfort, so we’d only go for this transport if you couldn’t find the promotional fares for trains.
However, there are more coaches from the Czech capital to Krakow than there are trains, so you may find one going at a more convenient time for you. The other thing is that if you don’t plan your trip in advance, you might not be able to find affordable train tickets and a coach might be your cheapest option.
Flixbus is the most popular choice for people travelling by coach, and that’s the company we’d recommend the most. The reason for that is the affordability of the tickets and the frequency of buses on this route. You can easily find the most suitable times on their website.
Prague to Krakow by car
It might sound surprising, but Krakow is actually closer to Prague than it is to many cities in the north of Poland. That said, it doesn’t mean it’s a short drive from the Czech capital. The shortest route is over 480 km long, but you might want to consider taking a slightly longer, but faster way to reach southern Poland.
According to Google, the fastest way from Prague to Krakow takes around five and a half hours if you take the route via D1 passing Brno and Katowice. However, by distance, the route via A4 is shorter but could take closer to six hours to drive.
We’d say that the quicker option is also better in terms of stops. We’d recommend making a trip to Brno, arguably one of the liveliest student cities in the Czech Republic. You can also visit Katowice, which might not be the prettiest city, but it’s home to plenty of interesting museums and good restaurants too.
Is there a direct train from Krakow to Prague?
There are three direct trains from Krakow to Prague – two daytime and one sleeper. Those are respectively EuroCity Cracovia, LeoExpress, and EuroNight Chopin. All of the options are comfortable and inexpensive and take at least seven hours.
How long is the train journey from Prague to Krakow?
The train journey from the Czech capital to Krakow is usually around seven hours. There is one option that goes as quickly as six hours and fifty-five minutes, but you can also take an overnight train, which takes seven hours and forty-one minutes.
Is Prague near Krakow?
Prague is relatively close to Krakow, but it’s still not the shortest journey if you do it overland. It usually takes around seven hours to get between the cities by train and around eight hours by bus. However, you can also cover a distance of nearly 400 km by plane in just over one hour.