A mere 15km from the city centre, John Paul II International Airport is quickly and easily reached from Kraków. We explain the different ways to get there and what to expect once you arrive
Kraków Airport – image © Jason Weaver
If you’re leaving Kraków by plane, it’s likely you’ll be flying out from John Paul II International, rather than the airport at Katowice. Landside, Kraków Airport is well designed and a relatively calm experience. There’s more of a crush airside but the facilities are good. You’ll find plenty of options for buying gifts and souvenirs, plus a reasonable choice of food and drink if you’ve still got some leftover złoty. For full details of facilities at John Paul II International, see our dedicated Kraków Airport page.
Transport To Kraków Airport
Kraków Airport is only 15km from the city centre and is usually easy to get to. The journey takes less than an hour, especially if you travel by private transfer, taxi, or train.
As with all flights, however, make sure you allow adequate time to arrive, check in, and pass through security. The free airport smartphone app has constantly updated waiting times for securty and live information on specific flights, so you can work out if you need to leave a little earlier.
Although the airport is open 24 hours, nearly all departures fly out between about 5.30am and 11pm, and most facilities wind down overnight. Trains run from 4am and buses around the clock, but see our notes below for those due to leave on an early flight.
You shouldn’t need to spend the night at the airport but, if you do, there are lounger chairs in the Departure Hall and a hotel directly opposite.
Main entrance for Kraków Airport Departures – image © Jason Weaver
Private transfer is the simplest and most convenient way to get to Kraków Airport. You can book everything in advance and get picked up from your accommodation at a time that suits you.
There are several reputable Krakow private airport transfer services available. These include private car transfer for a dedicated airport-to-hotel experience, electric car transfer for environmental advantages, and the cheaper shared shuttle transfers.
Depending on traffic and your start point, the journey should take about 25-30 minutes. The car will drop you opposite the entrace to the Departures Hall. Buses and ‘official’ taxis get the traffic lanes closest to the terminal, so you’ll arrive on the other side of the road.
Head for the first set of doors into the terminal building, enter, and follow the concourse around to the right. You’ll see a large departures board and, to your left, a large area, lined by airline check-in desks.
If you’re already checked in and only have a cabin bag, you can go straight through to airside. Directly to the right of the Check-in Hall is an escalator. Take this to the first floor and Security is in front of you.
Escalator up to Security – image © Jason Weaver
See our dedicated Kraków Airport page for an outline of facilities on either side of Security.
It’s best to have a taxi pick you up directly from your accommodation and to make sure it’s booked a couple of days before you’re due to leave. Your hotel will be happy to arrange this.
If you need to sort it out yourself, you can try iCar on +48 12 653 5555 and +48 12 888 0000 or iTaxi on +48 737 737 737. Both companies have apps if you run into communication problems on the phone. Or hire an Uber.
The base rate is 7zł then roughly 3zł per kilometer, so you can expect to pay around 52zł for a trip to the airport. Rates are higher at night and on Sundays.
As with a private transfer, the cab should drop you off opposite the entrance to the Depatures Hall. Cross the road and enter the terminal. You’ll see a VIP check-in desk opposite. Continue to your right and you’ll find the main area lined with check-in desks for each airline.
At this point, you can either go straight through Security or spend a bit of time landside. See below for the merits of each. There’s an escalator directly to the right of the Check-in Hall. Take this and you’ll find Security in front of you.
Kraków’s main train station is sat inside the Galeria Krakowska shopping mall, accessed via the entrance on ul. Pawla. Look for the sign that says ‘PKP Kraków Główny’ above the doors. Use Jakdojade, Kraków’s online route planner if you need to work out how to get there.
Pawia entrance to Galeria Krakowska and Krakow Glowny train station – image © Jason Weaver
Entrance to Kraków Główny train station – image © Jason Weaver
Once inside, take the escalator down. The train station is directly ahead, with signs to point you in the right direction. You’ll also see a red and white ticket machine in front of the entrance.
Ticket machine just outside Krakow Glowny train station – image © Jason Weaver
Change the language using the function on the bottom right of the touchscreen. To the right of the screen, you should see ‘Your Next Trains’ with a list of the most popular routes. Choose ‘Kraków Lotnisko (Airport)’ and this should take you to a list of departures, with arrival time, duration, and details of the route. Scan through to make sure you have enough time to catch the next one, otherwise pick a later journey. Then click ‘Select’ next to the one you want.
Ticket options at Krakow Glowny train station – image © Jason Weaver
Trains leave roughly every 30 minutes during the day and into the evening. The journey is usually just shy of 20 minutes, though there can be delays.
You’ll next be given the option of how many tickets you want. Click the + button until you have the right amount, then confirm at the bottom of the screen. Finally, you’ll be shown the payment screen which, at time of writing, is 9zł. Insert cash or pay with card. Contactless is accepted.
If this machine is broken or the queue is too big, you’ll find others dotted around the rest of the station, and a ticket hall downstairs, if you’d prefer to deal with a human being.
Enter the station and look for the departures board just to your left. The platforms are actually directly above the station hallway. So, once you’ve worked out which number your train leaves from, wander down the passage until you find the one you need. These are well signed and should be easy to spot. Take the stairs, lift, or escalator up to the next floor and you should emerge on the right platform. Remember: you’ve bought a ticket for a specific train, so it’s important to get on the right one.
Departure board in Kraków Główny train station – image © Jason Weaver
Passageway leading to platforms in Krakow Glowny train station – image © Jason Weaver
Platforms are subdivided in Poland and you may get confused as to where you should wait. I’ve found it’s best not to worry about it. Just be on the right platform number at the right time and always check the destination on the side of the train before you get on. The airport will be your final stop, so as long as your train is headed there, you will be fine.
Kraków Lotnisko train station for Kraków Airport – image © Jason Weaver
Arriving at train station for Kraków Airport – image © Jason Weaver
You’ll know when you’ve arrived. Everyone will get off. Follow the crowd up the escalator and over the footbridge. There are plenty of signs pointing you in the right direction. You’ll emerge on the first floor of the terminal, opposite Security. If you don’t need to check in or drop off any luggage, you’re free to go straight through.
Skywalk bridge to Kraków Airport – image © Jason Weaver
Arriving at Kraków Airport – image © Jason Weaver
Security opposite train station entrance to Kraków Airport – image © Jason Weaver
Otherwise, go past the vending machines and take a slight left. There’s an escalator down. The Departures Hall and check-in area are just ahead to the right.
Escalator down to Departures Hall – image © Jason Weaver
Please note: The Galeria Krakoska entrance to Kraków Główny is only open from 8am (9am on Sundays). If you need to access the station before this, you need to make your way to plac. Jana Nowaka Jeziorańskiego and enter via the walkway tucked in between Galeria Krakowska and the railway tracks.
plac. Jana Nowaka Jeziorańskiego: night entrance to Krakow Glowny train station is to the right of Galeria Krakowska – image © Jason Weaver
Kraków bus station isn’t the most salubrious location, even during the day. And, whilst the bus is cheaper, it’s slow, and the train to the airport is remarkably cheap. Still, if you need to get to the airport before 5am and you’re on a tight budget, the bus might be your only option.
The bus station sits next to Kraków Główny, on the far side of the Galeria Krakowska shopping centre. As with the train station, access is via the entrance on ul. Pawla. There’s a big sign above the doors saying ‘PKP Kraków Główny’. Use Jakdojade, Kraków’s online route planner if you need directions.
Signs for train and bus stations in Galeria Krakowska – image © Jason Weaver
Passageway leading to bus station in Krakow Glowny – image © Jason Weaver
There’s an escalator just inside the mall. Take this down to the basement, you’ll see a sign to the bus station just above, and enter the train station directly in front of you. Follow the hallway to the very end. You’ll eventually come to the bus station. The covered area to the right is for coaches. Instead, you want to turn left to the bay at the very end. The bus stop is marked 208 on the side with a little icon on an plane.
Bus to Kraków Airport – image © Jason Weaver
There’s a sales counter but ticket machines are strangely hard to find here. It’s a good idea to bring 4zł in change with you, just in case you need to pay the driver. Don’t forget to validate your ticket in one of the little machines, once you’re on board. Push the ticket into the slot and wait for it to click. If you have an extended KrakowCard, you won’t need to pay.
The 208 bus runs hourly from just before 4.30am (5.30am on weekends) until just after 10.30pm, although there’s no bus at 9.25am, 11.25am, or 9.25pm. The 902 runs from 11.25pm and then hourly from 12.05am until 4.05am. The airport is the last stop. The journey takes about 45 minutes.
As with private hire and taxi, the bus will set you down close the entrance to the Departure Hall. Once inside, veer slightly to the right and you’ll find a large open space, lined with check-in desks.
To get to Security, take the escalator directly to the right of the check-in area and walk straight ahead. See our Kraków Airport page for an outline of airport facilities both land- and airside.
Please note: The entrance to Galeria Krakoska is only open from 8am (9am on Sundays). If you need to access the bus station before this, you can enter from the other side, via Bosacka. Use Jakdojade to navigate.
If you’ve rented a car, the hire firm will have their own process for returning the vehicle at the airport. Make sure you have clear instructions in advance and factor in some extra time to troubleshoot any complications. How you approach the terminal will, of course, depend which agency you use and where they want you to leave the car. See the Kraków Airport page for general information about the terminal building.
If you still need to hire a car, you can quickly check availability and compare prices using the search box below.