BikeOne - Short Term Bike Rental In The City
BikeOne is a recent (2010) transport innovation introduced by the Krakow city authorities to provide short-term bike hire for getting around the city. This is something that several other European cities provide and Krakow is the first Polish city to introduce it.
The set-up is quite simple. Around the city are about a dozen automatic "bike stations" where the bicycles are electronically tethered. In order to use one you have to register online with the company who operate the service - www.bikeone.pl using a credit or debit card. You pay a deposit (70 PLN) and a fee for the period you intend to use their bikes - currently 15 PLN for 7 days or 30 PLN for a month.
You get issued a customer number and a pincode and then you have unrestricted use of any bike to and from any station for the period paid. To use a bike you simply go to your nearest station and key in the number of the bike you wish to use, your customer number and your pincode and the bike will be automatically released. The bikes are intended for short-distance use around the city and so the first 30 minutes is free of further charge, the next 30 minutes will cost 1.50 and then an hourly rate applies (3 PLN for the second hour and then 4 PLN for each subsequent hour).
After use the bike can returned to any station and redocked which will stop the clock, so to speak. It's advised to plan your journeys in advance and to know where your final docking station will be.
Whilst the main roads of the city are not particularly cycle-friendly there are plenty of off-road cycle paths to get around, including along the river and around the Planty Gardens and of course the streets leading into the main square. The bikes themselves are designed for city use with broad tires and simple gearing and are regularly maintained.
English version of the website is still under construction but Google's translator seems to make it all quite straightforward.Related to:
- Budget Travel
There was a £15 per person fare to get on the WizzAir transfer from Katowice airport to Krakow. The minibus that we traveled on can never be ideal for the 90min or so transfer. On the way back I hung around to get the front seat but a Polish chap had secured it earlier. I was left with the view of the snogging couple in the row in front who once they had popped cakes and fruit into each others mouths then decided on a bit of tonsil tennis. Perhaps it was the same snogging couple who block out my view at the concerts I go to. So my tip is, sit as close to the front as you can or get a taxi
Buses and Trams - A Quick Guide
Krakow as a city has a population of about 800,000 and it is estimated that 95% of the city's residents live within 200 metres of a tram or bus stop - which makes for a pretty integrated transport system. The city centre itself in fairly compact, with most tourist attractions within easy walking distance of the main square (Rynek Glowny).
The bus and tram network covers a radius of about 10 Km including out to the airport and is very simple to use with tickets being valid on both trams and buses. A single trip tickets costs 2.5 zloty and is valid for any one journey, no matter the distance - for instance my favourite No. 4 tram took me from close to my hotel out to Nowa Huta, a total distance of over 15 km!
There are various ticket (bilety) options including a one - hour ticket, 24hr, 48hr and 72 hour. Tickets are available from most kiosks, MPK offices or from the driver with a .5 zl surcharge, though some of the kiosks do not stock the 48 and 72 hour tickets. Tickets must be validated immediately on boarding and inspections are regular - the fine for traveling without a validated ticket is 50 times the standard fare.
One thing to note is that a separate single trip ticket must be purchased and validated for each piece of luggage larger than 20*40*60 cm (the size of an airline carry on case) except for when using the hourly and day passes. The reason for this becomes obvious when you see how crowded the buses and trams get during peak times - i.e. most of the day and early evening!
To get further afield there are a network of buses and mini buses which run out of the central bus station next to the train station, tickets for which can be bought at bus station ticket office or from the drivers.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
Map of Old City
Hope the map helps
Yet since I visited 4 years ago,
there are many maps online
and also good maps can be bought,
but I scanned this in anyway.
I guess 15 years ago, this might have
been of use, but Krakow is a major
backpacker destination and so very well
trodden paths by tourists have made this
city a favourite destination.
Shuttle train from John Paul's Airport to Krakow
The best way to go from Krakow’s John Paul II International Airport in Balice to Krakow is to use the Shuttle train service that links the Airport with the Krakow Glowny main rail station in the city center. Trains leave every thirty minutes between 4 a.m. and midnight. and it takes about twenty minutes. A single ticket costs 6 Zloty and you can buy tickets on the train at the same cost. It departs from a stop 500 meters from the Airport and there is a free shuttle bus every 15 minutes connecting the International Terminal T1, the Domestic Terminal T2, and the train stop.
A Trip from Krakow to Zakopane
Following on the success of our previous trips to Krakow, when we had visited Auschwitz, Birkenau and the Salt Mine, we decided to try something different. We visited Zakopane.
The advice we got from helpers on VT advised us to take the bus from the main bus station in Krakow, as the train journey was too long.
So, on Thursday 10th April, we turned up at the bus station, just above the shopping centre. On asking at a bus office, we were told that a bus would be leaving in about 20 minutes and we purchased single tickets at 18Z each. We subsequently discovered that there are a number of different bus companies serving the route between Krakow and Zakopane. The bus we boarded was fairly full and by the time we reached our destination it was full. The bus was reasonably modern but thespace betwween the seats was very limited. (Just like on a budget airline!). We left at 0940 and reached Zakopane at 1215. The area around the bus and rail station is not too impressive but at the Tourist Office we were advised to take a minibus from in front of the bus station to KUZNICE, to connect with the cable car to the mountain top. The mini bus was clearly labelled "KUZNICE" and we paid the driver, 3Zl each.
On arrival at Kuznice, we joined a small queue at the Cable Car boarding point,paid the fee and started the ascent. Surprisingly, half way up, we had to cross over to another car for the final ascent to the summit. It was a truly amzing trip, to see the Tetra Mountains close up, with all the snow and hundreds of winter sports enthusiasts. We had a pizza in the cafe, took some pictures and made the descent back to the starting point, to get the mini bus back to the town centre. THe town Centre is about 15/20 minutes walk from the bus/rail station and there is a great variety of shops, mostly selling tourist souvenirs.
Although we had been advised not to travel by train, because of the length of the journey, we decided to give it a try. Two single tickets on the 1717 train cost 34.50Z. We went to the station buffet for refreshments, but that was a mistake. They had no cold drinks, a meagre menu all I could get was a coffee, served in a glass, so hot I couldn't hold the glass. We gave that up as bad job and got some cold drinks at a kiosk outside the station.
The train left on time and we had a compartment to ourselves all the way to Krakow, which we reached at 2050. It is a long journey through rural Poland and while it was daylight it was quite interesting. However, the train had to make 3 reversing movements during the course of the journey and stopped at innumerable small stations with few or no passengers.
For lovers of rail travel, this is the way to travel, and it scored heavily on comfort compared to the bus, but it is a long and tiring journeyRelated to:
- Skiing and Boarding
- Road Trip
Collective travel beauty!
Just relax, getting around is a pleasure here. Kraków is the Getting Around Town! All you need is a pair of good shoes and time! Many of the big tourist must-sees is on walking distance. But, if you want to go to other places or get some rest both the trams and the buses are great! Especially the trams. You can buy a ticket for 24 hours and use it as many times as you want, or just buy a ticket for one hour. Don´t forget to stamp it when you start using it. You buy the tickets in small squarish newsstands, and they are really affordable (24 h=10,40 zl September 2005).
And, while we´re at it. Buy a map with the tramstation-names+structure in it. It is really helpful to see the names of the tramstops and the map of the town at the same time. There is a big store at Rynek Glówny 5 called Empik Megastore, that sells good ones. You need to go up a stair to get to the most varied books and maps, but they have some guides on the first floor as well. Don´t forget the cellars, this place is big. Lots of english books as well. I bought a Pilot Atlas over the whole Kraków-area, but I think there are better ones, I know cause I´ve seen them in the hands of other tourists.
When you travel by bus or tram be careful not to be rude. It is easy because the Polish people really knows how to travel together! If an elderly person comes close to an occupied seat the occupier directly rises and offers the place to the older person. Everyone should take a travelling-together course in Poland, it is a beautiful and encouraging experience.Related to:
- Budget Travel
I was surprised when going by tram during my last trip to Krakow. It occured that you don't have to pay for your luggage anymore when travelling by public transport (buses and trams) in the city of Krakow. Nice.:)
no transport necessary
There's a very good tram service around Krakow, and even the taxis are not expensive. But for most people, all of this will be unnecessary unless you're leaving the old town and Kazimierz - walking is best!
Wielicka trains and buses
If you go to Wieliczka by train, make sure to check for return times - the service isn't very frequent. But don't worry about the station being far from the salt mine entrance. The town is tiny, it's less than a ten minute walk.
The alternative is to take minibuses from Krakow Glowny, which apparently are more frequent.
Transport to Auschwitz
There are a number of tour buses, which will take you to Auschwitz, and you will inevitably be given leaflets for them at the main square. The prices are about 80zt. If you prefer to travel independently it is not hard to get there. Firstly you will need to get the train. There are a number of trains which run from the main station (Krakow glowny) it is worth trying to get the 9.30 train as it takes about hour and a half to get to Oswiecim. Make your way to the front of station and get either the number 2 or 3 yellow bus. There will be a number of other people around if you are unsure the bus journey is only about 5 mins.
Just wander around
Krakow is fairly small so it's easiest, weather permitting, to just walk to any areas you wish to visit. You can walk from the South to the North of the city fairly easily and quickly. The traffic isn't too bad so walking is very safe and trouble-free. Public transport is reliable enough should walking not suit. Trams whizz around the city and trains can be used to quickly travel from North to South. Taxis are reasonably priced but can be a bit of a hair-raising experience for nervous passengers.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
- Castles and Palaces
Krakow is not a very big city.If you are able bodied i would recomend you walk around(all the tourist spots are in the main square).From what i understand there is no metro or no buses around the city.the only way to travel is via tram.However all the trams i saw were over packed and looked uncomfortable.
I found Krakow to be very walkable!
There are certain routes and walks set up from the City of Krakow and along the way you will find signposts with explanations and a map. VERY advisable! There are quite a few routes:
The Royal Route
The University Route
The Paths of John Paul II
The Jewish Heritage Route
The Saint Stanislaus of Krakow Route
The Podgorze Historical Route
The Nova Huta Route
Map of Jewish Quarter Kazimierz. in Krakow
Take a tram or bus or even walk to Kazimierz. and see the
Jewish Quarter almost as it was except a lot of the old
buildings are now getting a makeover!
I will be posting many more pics and tips soon.Related to:
- Historical Travel
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