Thinking of going to Kraków and want an overview of how to get there from the UK? This guide looks at the main travel options – flying, driving, and catching a train or coach – and summarises the details for each.
Kraków is incredibly popular with British tourists, largely thanks to the number of convenient services offered by budget airlines direct from cities around the UK. But what about other ways to travel? What are the pros and cons of driving, taking the train, or catching a coach? We look at the times involved in the main forms of transport, as well as the practical realities and likely costs.
Flying will still be the best solution for most people, but trains and cars have their benefits too. Read on for more information.
Flying To Kraków From The UK
Flying is, without a doubt, the cheapest and most convenient way to reach Kraków from the UK. Many large cities around the country run a low-cost service at least once a week with easyJet, Ryanair, or Wizz Air to Kraków John Paul II International Airport (KRK), which is new, well-organised, and very close to Kraków city centre. See our guide to Kraków Airport for full details.
You can also fly from London Heathrow with British Airways, and Jet 2 plans to introduce flights from Birmingham, Glasgow International, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, and Newcastle International, starting February 2023.
Flight times range from 2.5-3 hours depending on where you depart, and prices can vary drastically, depending on when you want to fly, when you book, and where you depart. But some incredible bargains are available. Ryanair flights started at less than €20 each way, at time of writing.
Timetables are obviously subject to change, so use a flight comparison site like 12Go to quickly compare UK to Kraków flight times and prices.
It’s also possible to fly to Katowice Airport (KAT) from Bristol, Doncaster / Sheffield, Edinburgh, Liverpool John Lennon, London Luton, London Stansted, and Manchester. This is less convenient for Kraków city centre. You can find out more about the differences between the two airports on our How To Get To Kraków page, including details of onward travel to Kraków city centre.
Flights From The UK To Kraków (KRK)
- Belfast International (BFS): easyJet, Ryanair
- Birmingham (BHX): Ryanair, Wizz Air
- Bournemouth (BOH): Ryanair
- Bristol (BRS): easyJet, Ryanair
- Doncaster / Sheffield (DSA): Wizz Air
- East Midlands (EMA): Ryanair
- Edinburgh (EDI): easyJet, Ryanair
- Glasgow International (GLA): Ryanair
- Leeds Bradford (LBA): Ryanair
- Liverpool John Lennon (LPL): easyJet, Ryanair
- London Gatwick (LGW): easyJet, Wizz Air
- London Heathrow (LHR): British Airways
- London Luton (LTN): easyJet, Ryanair, Wizz Air
- London Stansted (STN): Ryanair
- Manchester (MAN): easyJet, Ryanair
- Newcastle International (NCL): Ryanair
Travelling By Train From The UK To Kraków
Travelling to Kraków by train is neither quick nor cheap. It does, however, have more charm than flying and gives the opportunity to stop off in a number of other cities en route. If you have the time (and the money), it’s an option worth considering.
Theoretically, there are dozens of possible routes from a UK city to Kraków, but the most direct is via Eurostar from London St Pancras to Brussels, then to Cologne, and an overnight stay in Berlin. It can be done over two days but a more leisurely pace gives the option of spending time in three fantastic cities.
The trains are very comfortable with good food onboard, and the whole experience is generally a lot more humane than with a low-cost airline.
The first leg (London St Pancras to Berlin Hbf) takes just over nine hours and will cost roughly €140 one-way, if booked well in advance. The second leg from Berlin to Kraków takes just under 7.5 hours and costs about €40. You may be able to get cheaper prices with flexible dates, return tickets, or a slower journey time.
Alternatives include via Paris, Vienna, or Prague, with the option of an overnight sleeper for part of the journey.
You can book tickets via the Rail Europe website, though you will probably need to break the journey into separate legs. Try searching for London-Berlin and Berlin-Krakow, for example.
You could also consider buying an Interrail Global Pass for a limited number of days, such as 7 days within 1 month. Beware that certain routes require supplemental fees, so don’t commit to purchasing until you are sure the pass makes economic sense.
Trains arrive at Kraków Główny, which is right at the heart of the city, a few minutes from the Old Town. It’s a modern station with a large shopping centre attached. See the section What To Expect When Arriving at Kraków Główny on our guide to Getting From Kraków Airport To Kraków City Centre.
Driving To Kraków From The UK
It’s easy enough to drive from the UK to Kraków, although the journey takes at least 18 hours from London.
The fastest route uses the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle service from Folkestone to Fréthun, just outside Calais. Take the M20 down to Folkestone to join the train. You could then join the A16 road past Dunkirk, head towards Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Duisburg, Essen, and Dortmund, before crossing Germany to Leipzig and Dresden. Head into Poland to Wrocław and down to Katowice. From there, it’s a 90-minute drive to Kraków.
The roads are generally very good, though you will have to pay tolls if you want to stay on the motorways, and there can be delays in the final stretch around Katowice. See the section on driving on our How To Get To Kraków page for more information.
If you don’t mind a longer journey, you might consider a ferry to Calais, Dieppe, Dunkirk, or Hook of Holland and stopping off in any number of cities on the way, including Brussels, Cologne, and Prague. All of these lie more or less parallel with Kraków with motorways between the key destinations. This is also likely to be a cheaper option than the Tunnel.
You can check ferry times and prices with a comparison site like 12go.
Travelling By Coach Or Bus From The UK To Kraków
You could also catch a coach from the UK to Kraków, changing first in London and then at either Paris or Brussels, but there isn’t a compelling case for doing so. The costs, travel times, and lack of comfort are prohibitive, and it really does lose out when compared to either flight or train. For example, it takes almost 24 hours from Paris to Kraków in fairly cramped conditions, but will generally cost more than a budget flight.
If you want cheap and fast, it’s generally best to catch a plane. If you want comfort and you don’t mind paying for a more leisurely journey, take the train.
However, there’s no harm in exploring options. 12go will show you the latest times and prices.
Can I Travel From The UK To Kraków By Ferry?
Though it’s possible to sail from the UK to a number of destinations in mainland Europe, and Poland has a number of port cities on the northern coast, you cannot sail directly from the UK to Poland. Any options, including the Harwich-Hook of Holland or Stockholm-Gdansk ferries are complicated and still involve another form of transport for the majority of the journey.