As international travel returns, travellers are now able to visit Poland without quarantine. This guide tells you everything you need to know about flying to Kraków for a winter or spring break.
on the krakow market sq. – image © smif / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
For up-to-date COVID travel advice, see our Can I Travel To Poland? page, which is updated regularly.
Can I Fly To Poland?
- Poland’s borders are open and all flight bans into the country have now been lifted
- Airlines are running regular flights to Kraków (and other Polish cities) from all parts of Europe and the UK – see Are Flights To Kraków Operating Normally? below. Travellers from outside Europe will almost certainly need to change in another city to reach Kraków, as there are few direct flights from international destinations
- Use a service like 12go to check flights for your chosen dates
- The surest way to ensure smooth travel from any permitted country is to bring proof of full vaccination. In most cases, this ensures you will be allowed into Poland and back home again without quarantine and minimal testing
- See our guide on how to get to Kraków from the UK and the Rules For Travelling To Poland From Different Countries section on our Can I Travel To Poland? page for advice for travelling from other regions
- The pandemic isn’t over! Flights are sometimes still being cancelled at the last minute and all circumstances are subject to change. Make sure you book accommodation you can cancel and be aware that most budget airlines offer rebookings rather than refunds. Some flights are very cheap, so be prepared to write off the cost if travel becomes impossible
Are Flights To Kraków Operating Normally?
Although timetables are still a little unpredictable, airlines are running regular flights from every part of Europe and the UK to Kraków and other Polish cities. And more services are being added as travel begins to open up again. We have listed some of the main routes below.
There are some real bargains available, with Ryanair offering outward flights from as little as £10. Check 12go for flight times and pricing on your chosen trip dates. This will show you all flights from multiple different airlines.
If you are travelling from outside Europe, you will almost certainly have to change planes in Warsaw or one of the main European transport hubs. A service like 12go will help you find the cheapest and most direct route.
Our Can I Travel To Poland? page has details about COVID restrictions for tourists coming into Poland from different countries around the world.
The following lists some of the main airlines and routes to Kraków at time of writing. The list is by no means exhaustive, as many other regional city airports fly to Kraków.
- Stockholm: Norwegian, Ryanair, Wizz Air
- Copenhagen: Norwegian, Ryanair
- Oslo: Norwegian, Ryanair, Wizz Air
- Helsinki: Finnair
- Reykjavik: no direct flights at present
- Berlin: no direct flights at present
- Madrid: Ryanair
- Rome: Ryanair, Wizz Air
- Paris: Air France, EasyJet, Ryanair
- Vienna: Austrian, LOT
- Prague: Ryanair
- Brussels: Ryanair
- Amsterdam: KLM
- Dublin: Ryanair
- London: British Airways, EasyJet, Ryanair, Wizz Air
- Edinburgh: EasyJet, Ryanair
- Cardiff: no direct flights at present
- Belfast: EasyJet, Ryanair
- Birmingham: Ryanair, Wizz Air
- Liverpool: EasyJet, Ryanair
- Bristol: EasyJet, Ryanair
- Manchester: EasyJet, Ryanair
- Vancouver: no direct flights at present
- San Francisco: no direct flights at present
- Los Angeles: no direct flights at present
- Chicago: LOT
- Dallas/Fort Worth: no direct flights at present
- New York: LOT
- Sydney: no direct flights at present
- Auckland: no direct flights at present
- Israel: Ryanair
- Tokyo: no direct flights at present
- Seoul: no direct flights at present
- Bangkok: no direct flights at present
How Much Are Flights To Kraków?
Kraków is only served by a few international routes outside of Europe, so you will often end up changing at one of the main transport hubs. Typical round-trip ticket costs to John Paul II International Airport from selected cities in Euros as of August 2021:
- Chicago: 517€
- New York: 478€
- London (Stanstead or Luton): 19€
- Paris: 93€
- Frankfurt: 105€
- Amsterdam: 148€
- Warsaw: 39€
These prices will fluctuate depending on season and demand and both EasyJet and Ryanair serve Kraków, so flying with them can be extremely cheap. Use a comparison site like 12go to find the best deals and try to book about three months in advance for the best prices.
What Are The COVID-19 Procedures At The Airport?
Each airport will handle their COVID security a little differently. Luckily, most airports have a dedicated page to tell you what to expect before you travel. Google the name of your departure airport along with the word COVID and the right page will usually be the top result. For example, “Gatwick Airport COVID-19” returns this useful page.
You’ll need to fill in a Passenger Locator Form before travelling. This form is in case the airline needs to contact you – if, for example, somebody on your flight tests positive for the virus on arrival. It usually needs to be completed within 24 hours of travelling. The results are sent to you to show at the airport on your phone or to print out before you arrive at the airport.
You will also need to demonstrate your current COVID status, whether fully vaccinated, fully recovered from COVID in recent months, or if you have received a negative test result before travelling. This will depend on which country you are travelling from and which particular circumstance applies to you. We have briefly summarised these on our Can I Travel To Poland? page but you should also receive information from your airline on what to expect.
Much of the security and administration side of things, such as checking vaccination certificates, will be handled before you board the plane at your departure airport. Therefore, things will move a bit slower than pre-pandemic, so arrive at the airport nice and early.
Each airport handles safety measures differently (see links below) but you can expect variations on the same basic rules:
- Do not travel if you have any symptoms of the Coronavirus or suspect you may have been infected. The main symptoms are a dry cough, a high temperature, loss of taste or smell. If you feel at all unwell, it is best to get it checked out prior to travel
- Unless exempt, you should wear a face mask or covering at all times, both at the airport and on board the plane, as well as on public transport. You will be asked to remove it for purposes of identification and you can take it off when eating. You can probably buy a mask at the airport but we highly recommend bringing one with you
- Check in online where possible to reduce unnecessary face-to-face contact at the airport
- Luggage is really a personal call. Some airlines request you avoid cabin and hand luggage where possible, to keep activity on the plane to a minimum. But Ryanair argues the opposite, that hold luggage is handled by many people and potentially brings higher health risks
- You may be given a temperature check prior to Security on departure and will not be allowed to travel if you do not pass. You may also receive a check on arrival in Kraków, but this is nothing to worry about as long as you do not fly with a temperature
- Be sure to respect others’ space and to wash or sanitise your hands frequently as you travel. You will find hand sanitising dispensers throughout the airport but it’s recommended you bring a 100ml bottle of your own to take on the flight
- Airports will have social distancing measures in place, which can slow Security and boarding, so make sure you arrive with plenty of time to spare. Airport seating arrangements have also been spaced out to avoid crowding and one-way systems may be in place
- Use the toilet before you fly, to avoid unnecessary movement around the plane
- Airport car parks are open and special assistance services should be available. Pre-flight places to eat are gradually reopening to meet demand, so you should be able to get some food. Pay with a card rather than cash. However, play areas for children will probably be closed for hygiene reasons
- Luggage trays at Security can carry a lot of bacteria, so give any items a sterilising wipe once you’ve retrieved them and sanitise your hands straightaway
Landing in Kraków – image © Jason Weaver
What Are The COVID-19 Procedures On The Plane?
The procedures on the plane are very similar to the airport:
- Passengers will be spread out if there is room but planes will fly at full capacity where there is a demand
- Wear a mask at all times (except when eating) and avoid touching your face
- Bring a 100ml bottle with you and sanitise your hands frequently
- Movement around the plane will be kept to a minimum, so cabin crew will guide you onto the plane and into your seat, to ensure as much social distancing as possible
- Ask for permission to use the toilet, rather than simply queuing up outside the cubicle door
- Be patient and take your time. Be mindful of others’ space and pay attention to instructions from the cabin crew
- Some airlines have reduced catering or removed it altogether, so it’s best to eat something before you board the plane
- Pay with a card rather than cash
You can check the latest COVID travel rules and advice for your chosen airline via the following links:
Kraków Airport – image © Jason Weaver
What Are The COVID-19 Procedures When I Arrive In Kraków?
As many of the administrative tasks will be handled before you depart, arrivals at Kraków Airport have a similar experience to the one described in our comprehensive guide. You may get a temperature check on arrival and movement around the airport is more carefully managed. All food and drink facilities are open and transportation to the city is back to normal – see next section.
You should continue to wear a mask in the airport and whilst using any transport. Be sure to regularly sanitise your hands and we advise a shower and change of clothes when possible.
See our Can I Travel To Poland? page for the latest health information for Kraków.
How Do I Get From The Airport To My Hotel In Kraków?
It’s quick and easy to get from John Paul II International to Kraków itself. See our comprehensive guide for how to get from Kraków Airport to the city centre.
Although the train service from Kraków Airport is very good, an airport private transfer is the easiest – and safest – way to travel. You can arrange everything in advance and somebody will wait in Arrivals to take you directly to your accommodation, no matter what time of day. These can be booked through GetYourGuide at reasonable cost, and possibly for even less than a taxi.
The rooftop view from Hotel Copernicus
How Do I Book A Hotel In Kraków?
The standard of hospitality and hotels in Poland is generally very high and extra rules for hygiene were brought in to encourage tourists back to Kraków. Tables and surfaces are disinfected after every customer and staff wear protective clothing.
Finding somewhere to stay in Kraków is very easy through Booking.com. You can see everything available, with information and user reviews to help you find the ideal place. It’s often possible to reserve a room with no upfront payment and pay when you check out. Most hotels offer the option for cancellations, in case you need to cancel your trip.
We have more recommendations for the best hotels in Krakow in various budget categories, as well as advice on the best areas of the city on our Where To Stay In Krakow page.
Here are four suggestions to start you off:
- Hotel Copernicus:
An attractive, luxury hotel with gorgeous interiors and impressive rooftop views of Wawel Castle – see image above. Copernicus is a superb 5-star hotel
- Wawel Hotel:
Wawel is a small, boutique hotel with the personal touch. It’s Old Town location and Art Nouveau decoration are easy to fall in love with
- Hotel Jan:
Mid-priced Hotel Jan is a beautiful old townhouse, at the very heart of Kraków’s Old Town, with modern, cosy rooms
- Hotele Kazimierz:
Basic, but comfortable and good value for money and right in the middle of Kazimierz, as the name suggests
Other Polish Cities You Can Visit From Kraków
- Białystok: In the north east of Poland, Białystok has a lively cultural scene and a handful of tourist attractions, and is close to the UNESCO-listed Białowieski National Park and the oldest forests in Europe.
- Gdańsk: On the Baltic coast, Gdańsk is friendly and great for food, and one of Poland’s biggest tourist destinations.
- Gdynia: Gdynia is also a port city with some lovely sandy beaches, and also makes a great day trip from neighbouring Gdańsk.
- Katowice: For something a bit different, Katowice is very post-industrial. It’s airport and proximity to Kraków make it worth consideration for travellers who want a future-facing (and very green) Poland, with dramatic, modern architecture.
- Łódź: Set in the very heart of Poland, Łódź is coming into its own as a creative city. The city is alive with murals and street art. There’s a great food scene and a nice mix of architectural styles. Right now, Łódź has that exciting feel of the future.
- Lublin: On the eastern side of Poland, Lublin is best known as a cultural and academic city. It has a rich Jewish heritage and was apparently referred to as the ‘Jewish Oxford’ in the Jagiellonian era. There is a nice mix of medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque, with some atmospheric cobbled streets.
- Olsztyn: Up in the north, Olsztyn is often overlooked by tourists keen to reach the more famous Gdańsk. It does, however, have a pretty Old Town and ranks very highly for quality of life. What’s more, the city provides a gateway to some gorgeous wild countryside of lakes and forests.
- Poznań: 300km to the west of Warsaw, youthful Poznań has a lively, friendly nightlife, with plenty of restaurants and bars. The Old Town is brightly coloured and quirkily decorated with bold styles similar to Southern Germany. There’s plenty here to keep you occupied for a long weekend, with a museums, a cathedral, and historical buildings, but the city also makes a great base for exploring Poland’s countryside.
- Sopot: Another seaside resort, between Gdynia and Gdańsk, Sopot is a playground for the rich. With sandy beaches and a pier, as well as the shops, bars, and clubs of Bohaterów Monte Cassino, it can be very busy at the height of the season. Even more than Gdynia, Sopot might be best sampled first as an afternoon out, rounded off with a meal in one of the excellent fish restaurants.
- Szczecin: Close to the border with Germany, Szczecin is off the beaten track for most tourists. The Old Town is pretty and there are a handful of attractions to see. But, mainly, visiting Szczecin is a great opportunity to get to know Polish food and to engage with the culture – there is a fine Philharmonic building and the grand Ducal Castle is now an arts centre.
- Toruń: Largely untouched by the Second World War, Toruń is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Vistula River to the north west of Warsaw. The architectural highlights are dominated by the huge Gothic cathedral and the city feels less hectic than more famous tourist destinations.
- Warsaw: Poland’s capital city is easy to reach from Kraków and makes a good weekend destination. Much of Warsaw was built after 1945. Even the pretty Old Town is mostly reconstruction. But there are excellent museums and places to eat. It’s also one of Europe’s great cities to go out drinking!
- Wrocław: Wrocław is a charming city in the western part of Poland, with islands and bridges criss-crossing the water and a strong Gothic flavour to the architecture. Built out from the 10th century Ostrów Tumski (Cathedral Island), Wrocław also has a stunning market square, much of which is listed within a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Zakopane: 110km from Kraków, Poland’s outdoor capital and winter resort, Zakopane is nestled at the root of the High Tatra mountains. The area is excellent for hiking, skiing, and a range of other activities. However, there is also unique folk architecture and plenty of more spectacular attractions.
As well as travelling to other Polish destinations, Kraków also serves as a handy hub for a number of cities in neighbouring countries.
Things To Do In Krakow
Start Planning Your Kraków Trip Now!
:: Find available Kraków hotels on Booking.com - usually you can reserve a room with no upfront payment. Pay when you check out. Free cancellations too.
:: Wondering where to stay in Krakow before you book your hotel? See our comprehensive guide to the city's most convenient areas for visitors.
:: Find the cheapest flight to Kraków with 12go - one search will show you the prices and times from scores of airlines for your trip. A real timesaver.
:: Book an airport transfer to take you hassle-free direct from the airport to your hotel with the driver meeting you in Arrivals.
:: Find out how to get your phone set up with a SIM card in Kraków.
:: Make sure you don't forget to bring any of the essentials with our comprehensive Packing List For Kraków.
:: World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while traveling and claim online from anywhere in the world.
:: Get a KrakowCard 1-, 2- or 3-day pass that gives entry to almost 40 of the Kraków's fantastic attractions and unlimited use of the city's bus and tram network.
:: Need inspiration? Check our Kraków Itineraries for two-day, three-day, and four-day trips, as well as our Things To Do In Kraków guide for ideas of where to do and what to do.