Every time I’ve ventured off to Europe, I’ve heard travelers raving about Krakow – in fact, they rave about Poland in general. They tell me it’s lively, inexpensive, friendly, and quirky – and it seems to satisfy that craving for the eastern European vibe that’s become more and more alluring to travelers in recent years. It offers travelers the typical European delights: castles, a national park, art galleries, opera houses, theaters, and a couple of Nobel prize winners – and there’s even one of the world’s oldest salt mines right beyond the city limits.
Prague, meanwhile, is old news – old, beautiful, classical, historical news. It’s a city caught between east and west – more eastern in appearance and western in attitude. Even though Prague has become much more heavily visited in the past several years, there are a few quiet corners of the city that’ll get you feeling like you’ve stumbled upon a secret that Europe is still just barely keeping.
Many travelers don’t realize how easy it is to go from Prague into Krakow (a quick 240 miles) until they are already in Europe, and by then it may be difficult to secure tickets on the single direct train, an overnight one, that runs between them. Luckily, tickets can be purchased online about 60 days in advance, giving you plenty of time to secure a spot and research that salt mine.
How to travel from Prague to Krakow with a ticket
Tickets can (and should!) be purchased online in advance. They are available in both first class (comfort) and second class (economy). When looking at the different prices offered for tickets, click on the “view” button below the price, which will open a dropdown screen that gives details about the types of accommodation offered in each class of service. This train offers both seats and sleeping compartments.
Jackie’s Insider Tip: You can also travel between these cities by daylight, but you’ll need to change trains along the way. Currently the European railways do not offer any direct daytime service for this route. To find tickets for daytime trains, search for a ticket from Prague to Katowice, and then search for one from Katowice to Krakow. The trains within Poland can only be booked up to 30 days in advance.
How to travel from Prague to Krakow with a European East rail pass
Your rail pass will cover the ticket price, but since this is an overnight train, you will also need to purchase a reservation for your seat or sleeping compartment. The reservation for a first class sleeping compartment includes complimentary breakfast. To purchase the reservation in advance on our website, make sure to click “Yes” in the section that asks if you will be traveling with a rail pass. You will see this question right after you enter the departure date and time.
Insider Tip: The European East Pass is one of only three rail passes that includes Poland. If you’re interested in exploring this country and the surrounding region, and if you plan to take more than three trips by train, this pass will probably be a less expensive option than individual point-to-point tickets, even with the reservations you’ll need to purchase for overnight or premier trains.
Got everything planned for your trip between these two cultural gems? Don’t stop there — the European East Pass also covers travel in and between Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary in addition to Poland and the Czech Republic… and I heard there might be another salt mine in Austria.