Getting From Prague to Krakow
Prague is in a great location and several picturesque cities are within six hours overland travel. Krakow is one of them. This is going to be a little bit too far for a day trip and many people will combine an overnight stay in Krakow with a trip to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.
Staying in Krakow
As I say below, this is a 6 hour drive for us from Prague and we’ve visited a couple of times over the years, once staying in an apartment and once in a hotel. I thought the hotel was very nice, a 3 star on the eastern edge of the Old Town next to the park ring so it’s a 5 minute walk to most central tourist places and 10 minutes to the railway station. I’d use this place again if I was going by train as parking is an issue in this area. In Prague this is similar to a MobilOne or BB City i.e. clean, bright and basic services. Take a look at the Hotel Campanile in Krakow.
Tours and Activities in Krakow
You’ll find a selection of great tours, activities and adventures at GetYourGuide Krakow.
Expect a journey of around 6 hours to get from central Prague to Krakow and you’ve got a few options especially if stopping on the way. You’ll need to buy a Czech Motorway sticker. Details on the driving page.
The fastest way of getting from Prague to Krakow is to exit Prague in the direction of Brno and stay on the D1 motorway until you get to Ostrava. Then take the A1 to the Polish border. On the Poland side take the A4 in the direction of Katowice until you see the signs for Krakow and take “S7” into the centre. It’s a good option if you want to break the journey halfway at Olomouc and expect the journey time to be about 5 and a half hours.
If you have time and want a more scenic route for getting from Prague to Krakow then exit Prague in the direction of Hradec Kralové and Wroclaw. This takes you away from Prague on the D11 motorway which eventually becomes the E67 where you’ll pass through the Krkonoše National Park. This is a much smaller road and hence the total journey time will be over 7 hours. After the border take the signs for the A4 Katowice and then the “S7” to Krakow. If you want to break up the journey then Hradec Kralové on the Czech side or Katowice on the Poland side.
There are different coach providers that will offer the Prague to Krakow trip and all taking about 6 hours but I prefer Student Agency. They use the new long distance “RegioJet” coaches which are the highest standard you can get on a bus route and include leather seats, on-screen film, wifi (domestic trip), hot and cold drinks, papers etc and a stewardess if you need further help. Simply click on the Student Agency Bus Timetable link, select the “Prague to Krakow” section and times/prices/availability will be displayed. You can pay by card in advance or go to the Student Agency booths at the Florenc Bus Terminal (UAN Florenc). There are fewer services to here compared with places like Berlin, Vienna and Budapest. There’s an early departure on Sunday morning i.e. 0500 but the latest service will be departing between 2pm and 4pm so no overnight option. If you are going to other destinations in Poland then also check the offer at Polskibus. I found that their Prague to Wroclaw Sunday service gets there at midnight so you get the whole day in Prague whereas Student Agency leaves at 10am.
It’s very similar to Budapest in price and duration except that you have to change at either Ostrava or Frydek Mistek so depending on the connection you may have to add another couple of hours. Either way, consider the EUrail “select pass” if you think you’ll be spending time on trains in this part of Europe as the 2-country or 3-country passes might be worth it for you. Familiarise yourself with the Prague Main Train Station. In this case because of the train connection you’ll find it more comfortable to take the bus.