Getting Around in Krakow
Expats moving to Kraków may find that the city’s transportation options are a little limited in comparison with Warsaw. That said, Kraków’s transportation infrastructure is extensive and well-maintained so new arrivals won’t struggle to get around, even without a car.
In fact, while it may be nice to have a car to explore Poland at the weekends, driving isn’t advisable or necessary, especially for those commuting around Kraków on a daily basis.
Public transport in Krakow
Kraków’s public transport infrastructure consists of a comprehensive integrated bus and tram network runs which from 6am and 11pm, and also operates a night service.
Tickets can be purchased at ticket machines, major stops and onboard most services. Tickets are valid on both tram and bus services allowing passengers to transfer between services within the allotted time.
It is important to ensure that tickets are stamped upon boarding as inspectors regularly patrol the lines, handing out costly fines to anyone not in possession of a valid ticket.
Various discounts are offered to children, students and pensioners as well as those who opt to purchase weekly, monthly or yearly passes.
Timetables and online network maps are regularly updated and available in English. These are useful sources of information for new arrivals getting to grips with Kraków’s transport network.
Taxis in Krakow
Taxis are reasonably priced, reliable and plentiful in Kraków. While there are still occasional instances of taxi drivers overcharging foreigners, official taxis that are marked as such should work on a meter. Always insist on having the driver use the meter to ensure fares are accurate.
It is possible to get taxis at ranks which are located close to busy areas or hail them on the street but where possible its best to book online or call ahead of time to ensure the best fares.
Expats familiar with mobile taxi applications like Uber and Bolt will find these services are also readily available in Kraków. These services offer cashless taxi services via mobile apps with regulated fares.
The only significant drawback of this transport option is that these drivers don’t have the same permissions as the city’s official taxi services do, so it won’t always be possible for drivers to drop their passengers as close to a destination as they’d like.
Driving in Kraków
It isn’t advisable to drive in Kraków. Most residents find it frustrating as there is often a lot of traffic and parking is difficult to find and expensive. There are also a lot of rules around local ‘driving zones’, which even many locals find utterly confusing. Taxis are relatively cheap so it makes sense to use them instead.
While road conditions are generally pretty good, local driving behaviour takes a while to get used to. If expats do decide to get behind the wheel, they should do their best to drive defensively.
Cycling in Kraków
Unfortunately, Kraków’s municipal bike-sharing scheme was terminated in 2019. However, many people living in Kraków find that cycling is still the most efficient way of getting around and the city is well equipped to accommodate cyclists. There are a whole host of cycle lanes as well as scenic cycle paths for a more recreational rider. In addition, the city has installed safe cycling storage facilities throughout Kraków to make cycling more convenient.
Walking in Kraków
Many parts of the city's historic centre are pedestrianised and new arrivals will find discovering Kraków on foot to be a safe and pleasant experience. However, snowfall during the winter months can make walking around a little tricky. Investing in a pair of sturdy, waterproof shoes will certainly help.