Dearest expats,

The other day I was telling you about the options one has getting from John Paul 2nd – Balice Airport to the Main Station (also known to the locals as Dworzec Główny). I was sharing with you the option of taking either the taxi or joining a ride with UBER.com – two very similar (when it comes to the means of transport) yet different options when it comes to the financial side.

Now I hope you did not make up your minds yet, as there are 2 more options that I am personally quite fond of and have used multiple times – mainly due to the cost. As I have mentioned before, the options of transfer from Balice to the Main Station are:

1) Taxi – presented in the last article
2) UBER.com – presented in the last article

3) Fast train to the Dworzec Główny – the departure location may be a bit complicated, but for sure it arrives at the platforms connected to the Galeria Krakowska. The Malopolska railway system is going through huge changes nowadays, applying standards that are available for the top countries when it comes to public transport. Since 2010, modernization works have been done on the Malopolskie region, that add up to several hundred million zloty. The most important was the reconstruction of the Dworzec Główny, the Main Train Station in Cracow, that is now connected to the mall with the biggest traffic: Galeria Krakowska (located 5-10 min brisk walk from the Main Market Square).
In 2006, Balice Airport was the first airport in Poland that was connected regularly to the Main Station by train. The line Balice Airport – Cracow Dworzec Główny is served by 39 trains of the newest model – they can go up to 80 km/h (before we had trains for 40km/h). I live in Cracow now for almost 5 years and I remember how at the beginning it would take around 25 min and about 20 zloty to get to the Main Station, now you can get there in about 18 min for less than half the price: 8 zloty! I usually recommend this option to my friends – great connection, fast trains, you don’t have to wait long, the trains usually have WiFi included and once you reach the Main Station you can already start shopping at the Galeria Krakowska 😉

4) Public buses – the cheapest option but also the one that takes the most time… Forget about it! The usual lines have dozen upon dozen of stops until they get to the Galeria Krakowska, as this is NOT a fast track line. There are 2 buses you can take from in front of the old Terminal 1 (connected to the new terminal): 208 and 292. If you come during the night, there is a night line as well: 902. These are lines that go through both Strefa I and Strefa II (agglomeration bus lines – the “strefa” depends on the area the bus moves to, the surroundings of Cracow – for example, both Wieliczka Salt Mine and Balice are considered Strefa II). You need to buy only one ticket that combines the two Strefa. Now you can buy a bus/tram ticket from diverse points:
– the ticket machine located in the bus stop – menu in different languages and you can pay by cash or card
– the ticket machine inside the bus – depending on the bus, you can pay cash only or by cash and card (it is better to buy some water in the Airport and have some change!)
– the bus driver, in case the ticket machines are down or you are not able to buy a ticket due to various reasons (you will have to pay cash!)

Once you get the ticket, make sure you validate it in one of the yellow machines inside the bus – stamp it so in case someone checks you will be covered and you will need to pay no fine. Please remember it should be one ticket per person! The regular price for the one-way ticket Strefa I + II is 4.80 zloty and the bus goes 40-45 minutes. Make sure you get a book… there is a long way to go! 🙂

Whatever option you choose, make sure that it is the one you need, according to the time you have. Take into consideration if you arrive during the day – night, if you are alone or if you are with family.

Poland is a safe country, but as usually taxi drivers will try to trick the people that are not from around. Keep your eyes open and in case of anything, ask questions! There is also a Info Point inside the Balice Airport, so make sure you use it, in case you feel confused.

Hope that this article will be useful for you and that you will have an amazing stay in Cracow. Prepare to be amazed and confused at the same time and make sure you drop by Cracow.Today for the most up-to-date information. Also, in case if you have any questions, feel free to CONTACT US.

Yours truly,
The Twisted Red LadyBug

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