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.
Up in the north and on the way to the Kaliningrad border, Olsztyn (pronounced “ol-shtin”) 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.
You can find information about things to do in Olsztyn from Get Your Guide.
Direct flights from Kraków to Olsztyn are competitively priced and generally more convenient than taking the train or a bus.
How To Get From Kraków To Olsztyn By Train
Although there are direct trains from Kraków to Olsztyn, it can be considerably faster to change. Going via Iława, for example, takes just over 5.5 hours, compared to the seven hours it can take direct. Whereas Kraków Główny is right in the centre, Olsztyn Główny is about 25 minutes walk to the north east of the city centre. Buses are available.
Ticket prices will vary, depending on which route you take and how far in advance you book. The fastest journey cost around 230zł (50€), at time of writing. Get tickets at the train station or in advance from the easy-to-use PKP train portal. Search for Kraków Główny to
Olsztyn Główny. Once you’ve chosen a route, click BUY A TICKET and you’ll be taken through to the Intercity booking site.
How To Get From Kraków To Olsztyn By Coach
FlixBus runs a daily, direct service from Kraków’s Dworzec Autobusowy, which takes 8.5 hours and drops you off at the Olsztyn Dworzec Autobusowy, close to the main train station. Certain routes stop at the university instead, so make sure you don’t book one of these by accident. Check with a service like 12go for when the latest times. A one-way ticket costs, at time of writing, approximately 89zł (20€).
How To Fly To Olsztyn From Kraków
LOT schedules a regular flight to Olsztyn-Mazury from John Paul II International in Kraków and Ryanair now run a twice-weekly seasonal service. Flight times are roughly 1h 10m, although you also have to factor in getting to and from the airport, and pre-departure times. Assume this is 4.5 hours in total. Ryanair are currently advertising one-way costs of 25zł (6€). Check Skyscanner for the best price. It takes about an hour from Olsztyn-Mazury airport to Olsztyn city centre by train.
It’s also worth considering a private transfer to get you to the airport in Kraków. The car will pick you up at your accommodation and drop you off right outside the airport check-in area.
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 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.
- 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 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.