Following a major, multi-year, 130 million PLN modernisation project, Kraków Główny - the catch-all title of the city’s new modern transportation centre - is yours to experience in all its vast, underground glory. The new station has rendered the old above-ground station building obsolete, transferring all services underground, and creating easier transfers between train, bus and tram transport. Of course the Galeria Krakowska shopping mall is also cleverly integrated, and along with modern conveniences like waiting rooms, escalators and elevators, you’ll also find plenty of additional consumer opportunities, including cafes, supermarkets, souvenir shops, bookstores and more. With tunnels, stairs and signs leading off in every direction, it’s all quite confusing (erm, we mean, modern!), but fear not - IYP will help you sort it out.
Pretty much everything the modern traveller could ever expect or desire can be found somewhere inside the sprawling, but spiffy facilities of the Kraków train station. In addition to being fully handicap-accessible, there are also special paths for the blind, plus SOS call boxes if you get lost and can’t find your way out for several days. 24 ticket windows (some open 24hrs), plus several automated ticket machines (in English) throughout the station limit the possibility of long queues. The station is wifi-enabled, there are several waiting areas (including a place for first-class ticket holders to quarantine themselves), tourist information (open 06:00 - 22:00), currency exchange, luggage lockers, showers, and dozens of food and refreshment opportunities, not to mention the Galeria Krakowska shopping mall.
Arriving By Train:
Conveniently situated at the north-east edge of the Old Town, Kraków Główny is within easy walking distance of most Old Town accommodation, making trams and taxis largely unnecessary. If you’re travelling further than you care to walk, you can catch trams to Kazimierz (number 19 in the direction of ‘Borek Fałęcki’ stops at 'Miodowa' in Kazimierz, for example) and other parts of the city by following signs underground to ‘Dworzec Główny Tunel.’ Further tram stops are located just outside the station exits. To skip that trouble however, when you disembark your train immediately head up rather than down from the platform and you’ll find yourself on the top floor parking garage where taxis are waiting to whisk you away.
If you opt to walk - and we encourage you to do so, wandering into the Old Town is dreamy - you’ll find that getting out of the station is now a bit of a challenge. There are at least four exits and it’s wise to choose the correct one, based on where you want to go. Following signs to ‘ul. Pawia’ will lead you straight into the Galeria Krakowska shopping mall (in the words of Admiral Ackbar: “It’s a traaap!”). Signs to ‘Dworzec Autobusowy’ or ‘ul. Bosacka’ will put you on the east side of the transport complex (further from the market square). If you want to head straight to the market square (do it, it’s only 10mins away!) it is easier to take the stairs down from the platforms to the old 'Magda' tunnel, rather than the escalators into the new complex. Once in the tunnel there is a staircase just after platform 1 that will lead you to daylight. If you end up in the main complex, follow the clearly marked signs to ‘Stare Miasto’ or ‘ul. Lubicz’ to escape. Once outside, cross the plaza in front of the old station building (Galeria Krakowska is on your right) to the Andels Hotel and follow the crowds through the underpass; bear right and enjoy a stroll through the Planty Park for two blocks before making a left on Floriańska Street at the Barbican and you’re on the ‘Path of Kings’ to the market square. You’ve arrived.
Departing By Train:
With the train station having been completely moved underground, there’s no longer a clear-cut main entrance, but rather several ways to enter. Basically it is directly underneath the train platforms and bus station, so use those as your geographical targets and you’ll find your way; you can also cut through Galeria Krakowska to get there.
Easily accessed by public transport, there are tram stops all around the train station. If you take the tram or bus to 'Dworzec Głowny' you will end up somewhere near the intersection of Basztowa/Lubicz and Pawia/Westerplatte streets (there are several stops at this intersection); head through the underpass (if necessary) and across the square in front of Galeria Krakowska to the train platforms. If you take the tram or bus to 'Dworzec Główny Zachód,' enter Galeria Krakowska, descend one level and follow the signs. If you take the tram to 'Dworzec Główny Tunel' you are basically already in the underground transport centre - just follow signs to the train platforms. Finally, if you take a tram or bus to 'Dworzec Główny Wschód' navigate yourself through the roundabout toward the buses and you will see the main entrance of the new train station. All of these are perfectly good options, it just depends where you are coming from.
Station departures (odjazdy) are listed on yellow timetables, arrivals (przyjazdy) are the white ones; check the timetables online at the Polish railways website - rozklad.pkp.pl - which has limited but effective English language functionality. If you want a seat on a particular train it is best to book ahead. If in a rush, tickets can also be bought on board the train from the conductor, but expect a surcharge. [Note that train service to Kraków Balice airport will resume from September 28th - buy a ticket (8zł) on-board the train for no extra fee; trains run every 30mins. Until then, travellers to the airport should go by bus or taxi.]