Close to the UNESCO-listed Białowieski National Park and some of the oldest forests in Europe, Białystok has a lively cultural scene and can be reached from Kraków within five hours.
In the north east of Poland, 200km from Warsaw and close to the border with Belarus, Białystok (pronounced “be-al-ee-stok”) had a rich and diverse cultural history, much of which was destroyed by Nazi occupation. Today it has a lively cultural scene and a handful of tourist attractions. It is, however, also an exceptionally green region of Poland, and is close to the UNESCO-listed Białowieski National Park and the oldest forests in Europe.
The train will almost certainly be faster than taking the coach from Kraków to Białystok, although it is likely to cost roughly three times as much. Both methods are comfortable and give you the option of breaking your journey in Warsaw. Ultimately, it will be a case of whether time or budget is your greatest constraint. There is currently no airport close to Białystok.
See Get Your Guide for an overview of things to do in Białystok.
How To Get From Kraków To Białystok By Train
There is no direct train to Białystok from Kraków, so you will need to change in Warsaw. Journey times depending on how long you need to stopover but it is possible in just over 5 hours, via Warszawa Centralna. You could use the opportunity to spend a couple of days in the capital before moving on to Białystok. The train stations at either end are close to the city centre.
Search for Kraków Główny to Białystok using the PKP portal for Polish train times. The site gives a full timetable, as well as platform departure and arrival information, and everything is very simple to use. Once you’ve chosen a route, click BUY A TICKET and you’ll be taken through to the Intercity booking site. Tickets cost around 180zł (39€) each way at time of writing.
How To Get From Kraków To Białystok By Coach
FlixBus runs regular services from Kraków’s Dworzec Autobusowy, with a change (and stopover of 1-2 hours) in Warsaw. The entire journey can typically be done in 8-10 hours, although some overnight services are faster. These are not daily, so check with a service like 12go. A one-way ticket costs, at time of writing, approximately 60zł (13€). You’ll be dropped off at Białystok’s main bus station (Dworzec Autobusowy), which is close to the main train station and close to the city centre.
How To Fly To Białystok From Kraków
The nearest commercial airport to Białystok is Warsaw Modlin, roughly 200km away, making flight an impractical option for reaching the city.
Other Polish Cities You Can Visit From Kraków
You will find a general overview of the transport network on our page How To Travel From Kraków To Other Polish Cities. This gives information on how to use trains, coaches, planes, and private vehicles in Poland, and where each type of service departs in Kraków.
- Kraków To Gdańsk: On the Baltic coast, Gdańsk is friendly and great for food, and one of Poland’s biggest tourist destinations.
- Kraków To Gdynia: Gdynia is also a port city with some lovely sandy beaches, and also makes a great day trip from neighbouring Gdańsk.
- Kraków To 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.
- Kraków To 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.
- Kraków To 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.
- Kraków To 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.
- Kraków To 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.
- Kraków To 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.
- Kraków To 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.
- Kraków To 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.
- Kraków To 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!
- Kraków To 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.
- Kraków To 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.