Warsaw

Riding the Polish Rails

03 Jul 2017

The Polish rail network has been steadily improving over the last decade with sparkling new stations in most of the country's major cities, new rolling stock being added, and new high-speed lines now being unveiled, which make travel between PL's major cities faster than it ever has been in the past. The high-speed Pendolino route between Kraków and Gdańsk (via Warsaw), christened in 2014, has cut travel times between the north and south from up to 12 hours down to only 5.5 hours. Though the costs of these voyages has increased, by western standards Polish rail travel is still very affordable, with a first-class ticket from Warsaw to Kraków setting you back about 150zł (about €35).

When booking a train the most important thing to check is how long it takes to get to the destination; travel times between destinations can vary widely depending on the type of train making the journey. Generally the longer a train takes, the older the rolling stock, the less amenities it will have and the less comfortable you'll be. The shorter the journey, the nicer the train (and higher the ticket price). The state-owned Polish rail network PKP run so many different classifications of train that it makes the head spin, but here's a quick run-down if you really want to try and unpack it all.

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