Sleeper train from Krakow to Budapest

Direct sleeper trains run from Krakow to Prague, Budapest & Vienna...

This page explains how to travel by train from Krakow to other key European cities, and how to buy the cheapest tickets.  Click here to buy tickets starting in another city.

I want to travel by train from Krakow to...

      Warsaw   Auschwitz   Prague   Vienna
  Budapest   Berlin   Cologne   Dusseldorf
  Amsterdam   Brussels   Paris   London
  Moscow   Lviv (Lvov)   Kiev    

Before you buy your tickets...

I recommend taking a moment to read these important tips for buying European train tickets.  It answers all the usual questions, such as "Do I need to book in advance or can I just turn up & buy at the station?", "How far ahead can I book?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just go online & buy a €35 point-to-point ticket?".

Answering your questions about European train travel...

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to InterRail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...



Krakow to Warsaw & other destinations in Poland...
Krakow to Oswiecim (Auschwitz)
  • Roughly hourly local trains run from Krakow to Oswiecim, see www.bahn.de to check train times.  There two camps to visit in Oswiecim, Auschwitz I which is an ex-Polish army barracks in the town itself about 10 minutes walk from the station (turn right outside the station then steer left), and Auschwitz-Birkenau II which was a purpose-built concentration camp outside the town, about 30 minutes walk from the station (turn right, then turn right again at the first major road bridge across the railway).  There are also regular buses between Krakow and Oswiecim, www.pksoswiecim.pl/strona.php?grupa=9.

EIP trains:  Krakow to Warsaw in 2h28 at up to 200km/h (125 mph)...

Introduced in December 2014, these are the very best trains on the Polish network are modern bullet-nosed pendolinos like this.  They operate on the Krakow-Warsaw-Gdynia route at up to 125mph, with faster operation planned in the future.  Reservation is compulsory and they have a bar-bistro car - for more photos see www.vagonweb.cz/fotogalerie/PL/PKP_ED250.php.  Above right, 2nd class seats.  Buy tickets at www.intercity.pl.

EIP train   2nd class seats on a PKP InterCity EIP train

An EIP train...  Photos courtesy of www.vagonweb.cz

 

2nd class seats...

EIP train, side   EIP bar car   Table for two in EIP 1st class

EIP train...

 

Bar car...

 

1st class...

EIC & IC trains...

EIC & IC trains are the next rank down, with modern air-conditioned carriages and usually a bistro-bar.  Below right, a first class compartment.  Some seats are open-plan, some in compartments like this.  Below EIC & IC, the next rank is TLK which are slower and use older non-air-conditioned cars.

A Warsaw to Krakow InterCity train at warsaw Centralna   A 6-seat compartment on a Warsaw to Krakow train

Krakow to Prague for 363 zlotys (€87) in couchettes, 419 Zlotys (€100) in a 2-bed sleeper...
  • There is a convenient direct sleeper train from Krakow to Prague, leaving Krakow every night around 22:00 and arriving at Prague's central Hlavni station around 06:40 next morning.

  • What's the train like?

    The train has a modern air-conditioned Czech sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin, see the photos below.  There's a sleeper attendant on duty and a security deadlock on each compartment door, and tea or coffee is included in the fare next morning.  In a sleeper this is a safe, comfortable and time-effective option, recommended.  What's the Prague-Krakow 1, 2 or 3-bed sleeping-car like?

    A couchette car with 4-berth & 6-berth compartments is also attached to this train from 16 April to 3rd November 2015.  Although run by Czech Railways, they usually use a smart ex-Austrian Railways couchette car on this route.  What is the Krakow-Prague 6 & 4-berth couchette car like

    If you're interested, you can check the train formation at www.vagonweb.cz.  Click the UK flag then 'composition' then look under 'Poland' and 'TLK' - the train is called the Silesia.

  • How much does it cost?

    Bought at the station, full-price fares per person per bed are:  €77 in 6-berth couchettes, €81 in 4-berth couchettes, €81 in a 3-bed sleeper, €88 in a 2-bed sleeper, €150 in a single-bed sleeper.

    Cheap SparNight fares are available in limited numbers from €29 in couchettes and €44 in a 2-bed sleeper, but these must be booked more than 3 days before departure, preferably more.  In this direction they cannot be booked online, only at the station or via Polrail.

  • How to buy tickets...

    This train cannot be booked online with Polish Railways as they don't yet offer online booking for all international routes.  The cheapest way to book is at the station in person.  However, although there are usually places available even a day or two before departure, in the peak summer months the sleeping-car sometimes leaves fully-booked so pre-booking is a good idea.

    To buy tickets for this train online in advance, contact reliable & recommended Polish train ticketing agency www.polrail.com (their booking system is at http://booking.polrail.com), who can arrange train tickets for all international trains starting in Poland and can offer ticket collection in Krakow or tickets sent to your home country.  Advance booking is advisable in summer if you want to be sure of a sleeper on this train, as it has been known to leave full on peak dates.

    I do not recommend booking using overseas agencies such as Rail Europe, they charge way too much for this train, still believing that 2-bed sleepers require a 1st class ticket, which they haven't done for some years.  You should buy tickets through Polrail or at the station locally.  To book this train online in the other direction (Prague to Krakow), see the international trains from Prague page.

Czech sleeping-car as used on the train from Prague to Krakow   2-bed sleeper on the night train from Prague to Krakow   Washbasin in sleeper compartment

A smart modern air-conditioned Czech sleeping-car now operates this route, with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin (pictured above, courtesy of Vagonweb).  The sleeper fare includes a morning tea or coffee.  For more photos see www.vagonweb.cz/fotogalerie/CZ/CD_WLABmee.php

A Czech couchette car also operates most of the year, usually a smart ex-ΦBB (Austrian Railways) one, see the photos at www.vagonweb.cz/fotogalerie/CZ/CD_Bcmz834.php


Krakow to Budapest for €92 in couchettes, €103 in a 2-bed sleeper...
  • There is a direct sleeper train from Krakow (depart around 22:00) to Budapest (arrive 08:35).  In the sleeping-car, this train is a very comfortable, safe and time-effective option.  What's the Krakow to Budapest 1, 2 or 3 bed sleeping-car like?  To book, either buy at the station (there's almost always places available) or pre-book through reliable Polish agency www.polrail.com (their booking system is at http://booking.polrail.com).  Bought at the station, full-price fares per person per bed are:

  • €92 in 6-berth couchettes, €96 in 4-berth couchettes, €96 in a 3-bed sleeper, €103 in a 2-bed sleeper, €173 in a single-bed sleeper.

  • Cheap SparNight fares are available in very limited numbers (as few as one sleeper berth per train!) from €39 in couchettes and €74 in a 2-bed sleeper, but must be booked more than 3 days before departure, preferably more.  However, in this direction they cannot be booked online, only at the station.

  • If you're interested, you can check the train formation at www.vagonweb.cz.  Click the UK flag then 'composition' then look under 'Poland' and 'TLK' - the train is called the Silesia.

The Polish sleeping-car on the Krakow to Budapest sleeper train   A newly-refurbished sleeper compartment as used on the Krakow to Budapest & Krakow to Vienna trains

The Krakow to Budapest & Krakow to Vienna trains have smartly-refurbish Polish sleeping-cars like this, with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin...

 

Cosy 2-bed sleeper with washbasin...


Krakow to Vienna for €81 in couchettes, €107 in a 2-bed sleeper...

Option 1, by direct sleeper train.

  • A direct sleeper train leaves Krakow every night around 22:00 and arrives Vienna Westbahnhof at 06:32.  In the sleeping-car, this train is a very comfortable, safe and time-effective option.  What's the Krakow to Vienna 1, 2 or 3 bed sleeping-car like?  To book, either buy at the station (there are usually places available even on the day) or pre-book through reliable Polish agency www.polrail.com (their booking system is at http://booking.polrail.com).  Bought at the station, full-price fares per person per bed are:

  • €81 in 6-berth couchettes, €88 in 4-berth couchettes, €94 in a 3-bed sleeper, €107 in a 2-bed sleeper, €196 in a single-bed sleeper.

  • Cheap SparNight fares are available in limited numbers from €39 in couchettes and €69 in a 2-bed sleeper, but must be booked more than 3 days before departure, preferably more.  However, in this direction they cannot be booked online, only at the station.

  • If you're interested, you can check the train formation at www.vagonweb.cz.  Click the UK flag then 'composition' then look under 'Poland' and 'TLK' - the train is called the Silesia.

Option 2, by daytime EuroCity train.

  • You can also travel by daytime EuroCity trains with one easy change at Katowice.

  • For example, Krakow depart 06:58, change Katowice, Vienna Hbf arrive 14:26.  Or Krakow depart 13:15, change Katowice, Vienna Hbf arrive 20:26.

  • PKP Polish Railways don't offer international online booking, but you can easily arrange tickets through reliable Polish ticketing agency www.polrail.com for 350 zlotys (around €83).  Cheap advance-purchase fares exist on this route, but can't be booked online, you'll have to ask Polrail if they can book one.

  • If you're interested, you can check the train formations at www.vagonweb.cz.  Click the UK flag then 'composition' then look under 'Poland' and 'EC'.


Krakow to Berlin from €41...
 

Munich to Prague by bus? No thanks!

Busse? Nein Danke!

Option 1, by daytime trains...

  • Due to major track rebuilding work, there is no longer a direct Krakow to Berlin train.  German railways have laid on a bus, but the nightmare of 8 hours in a bus is to be avoided.  Instead, you can travel via Warsaw as follows:

  • Step 1, take a fast InterCity train from Krakow to Warsaw in as little as 3h10, the fare around is around 108 zlotys (about €24) by modern InterCity (EIC) train or just 51 zlotys (about €12) by less modern TLK train.  You can book this online at the Polish Railways website www.intercity.pl.

  • Step 2, now take an excellent Berlin-Warszawa Express with restaurant car from Warsaw Centralna to Berlin, book this at www.bahn.de from €29.

  • I recommend allowing at least 45 minutes in Warsaw between trains in case of any delay.  Unfortunately there are currently no direct trains between Krakow and Berlin while the line is being upgraded.  DB run a bus, but 8 hours inside a bus is to be avoided, I recommend the more comfortable train option via Warsaw.

  • Note that DB (German Railways) in fact offer spezial cheap advance-purchase fares from Krakow to Berlin via Warsaw from €39, which makes it potentially a bit cheaper than buying the two separate tickets as above.  However, at the time of writing, these spezial fares don't show up online at www.bahn.de, which only shows the €72 full-flex price.  But these cheap tickets can be booked by phone with DB, for example by calling DB's UK office on 08718 80 80 66.  Just make it clear you want to go by train via Warsaw and avoid the bus!

Option 2, by overnight sleeper train via Poznan.  A convenient & time-effective option!

  • Step 1, travel overnight by sleeper train leaving Krakow around 22:37 and arriving Poznan at 06:19 next morning.  You can book this train using the Polish railways website www.intercity.pl.  The basic fare is around 60 zlotys (€15) plus 33 zlotys (€8) for a couchette or 141 zlotys (€33) for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper).  Have breakfast in Poznan...

  • Step 2, travel from Poznan to Berlin by Berlin-Warszawa Express, leaving Poznan at 08:30 and arriving at Berlin Hbf at 11:15.  By all means see something of Poznan's pleasant old town and take a later train to Berlin leaving at 10:31, 12:30 or 17:30.  Fares from €19 pre-booked at www.bahn.de.

Option 3, by overnight sleeper train via Stettin - a variation on option 2 above...

  • Step 1, travel overnight by sleeper train leaving Krakow around 22:37 and arriving Szczecin Glowny at 08:45 next morning.  You can book this train using the Polish railways website www.intercity.pl.  The basic fare is 62 zlotys (€15) plus 33 zlotys (€8) for a couchette or 141 zlotys (€33) for a bed in a 2-bed sleeper).

  • Step 2, travel from Stettin (Szczecin) to Berlin by regional train, leaving Stettin Glowny at 10:15, making a quick change at Angermόnde to arrive Berlin Hbf at 12:20.  By all means see something of Stettin and take a later train.  The fare is around €34, even bought at the station on the day.  You can check times using www.bahn.de.


Krakow to Amsterdam, Dόsseldorf & Cologne...
  • Take a fast InterCity train from Krakow to Warsaw, there are plenty of departures to choose from, buying a ticket at the station or online at www.intercity.pl

  • Then take the excellent EuroNight sleeper train Jan Kiepura leaving Warsaw Centralna at 17:55 for to Dusseldorf & Cologne, arriving 06:14.  This has comfortable sleepers & couchettes, and a bistro car for dinner.  Some deluxe sleepers have en suite toilet & shower.  See the Jan Kiepura page for more details & photos.

    You can book this train online at www.bahn.de from €39 in a couchette or €69 in a 2-bed sleeper, deluxe sleepers with shower & toilet also available.  Booking usually opens 60 days ahead in this case.  You can also order via www.polrail.com (their booking system is at http://booking.polrail.com).

  • Change in Cologne for a connecting ICE train to Amsterdam Central arriving 09:27 Mon-Thurs or 11:27 any day of the week.  Book this as a second transaction at www.bahn.de.


Krakow to Paris or Brussels...
  • Take a fast InterCity train from Krakow to Warsaw, there are plenty of departures to choose from, buying a ticket at the station or online at www.intercity.pl

  • Then take the excellent EuroNight sleeper train Jan Kiepura leaving Warsaw Centralna at 17:55 and arriving Cologne at 06:14 next morning.  You can book this train online at www.bahn.de from €59 in a couchette or €91 in a 2-bed sleeper, deluxe sleepers with shower & toilet also available.  Booking usually opens 60 days ahead in this case.

  • Then book a high-speed ICE train from Cologne to Brussels from €19 at www.bahn.de or a high-speed Thalys to Paris from €35 at www.b-europe.com.  You can also order through www.polrail.com (their booking system is at http://booking.polrail.com)


Krakow to London...

Krakow to Zurich & Switzerland...
  • Step 1, take the overnight sleeper train leaving Krakow around 22:00 arriving Vienna Westbahnhof around 06:32 as shown above.  You can book this through agency www.polrail.com.  It has safe & comfortable sleeping-car and couchettes.

  • Step 2, allowing at least an hour to change in Vienna, take a smart Austrian Railjet train from Vienna to Zurich in 7h44 from €29.  You'll usually find a Railjet leaving Vienna Westbahnhof around 09:36 arriving Zurich HB at around 17:20.  Change in Zurich for all other destinations in Switzerland

  • This is a relaxing and scenic journey through the Arlberg Pass, see the Arlberg Pass scenery video here.  You can book this train at the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at and print your own ticket.


Krakow to Venice, Florence, Rome & Italy
  • Step 1, take the overnight sleeper train leaving Krakow around 22:00 arriving Vienna Westbahnhof around 06:32 as shown above.  You can book this through agency www.polrail.com.  It has safe & comfortable sleeping-car and couchettes.

  • Spend the day in Vienna.  Left luggage is available.

  • Step 2, take the direct overnight sleeper train leaving Vienna Hauptbahnhof at 19:17 to Florence (arriving 06:07) and Rome (arriving 09:22), or the other direct sleeper train leaving Vienna Hauptbahnhof at 21:36 and arriving Venice Santa Lucia at 08:24, as shown on the trains from Vienna to Italy section.  You can book this train at the Austrian Railways website www.oebb.at and print your own ticket.


Krakow to Moscow...
  • There is a daily overnight sleeper train from Warsaw to Moscow, leaving Warsaw around 16:08 and arriving Moscow around 11:45 next morning - the arrival time can vary.  You can easily catch an InterCity train from Krakow to Warsaw to pick it up.

  • You can book the Warsaw to Moscow sleeper train through reliable Polish agency www.polrail.com (their booking system is at http://booking.polrail.com) then book a connecting Krakow-Warsaw ticket online at www.intercity.pl.


Krakow to Lviv & Kiev...
  • Option 1:  There is a daily sleeper train leaving Krakow around 20:55 and arriving Lviv (or in Russian Lvov) at around 06:05 next morning.  It has safe and comfortable 1, 2 and 3 bed sleeper compartments with washbasin.  For Kiev, change in Lviv and buy a separate onward ticket.  How to buy train tickets in Ukraine.

  • You cannot book this train online, although www.intercity.pl may give fares and confirm exact train times.  To book, contact highly-recommended Polish train ticketing agency www.polrail.com (their booking system is at http://booking.polrail.com), who can arrange train tickets for international trains starting in Poland.

  • If you're interested, you can check the train formation at www.vagonweb.cz.  Click the UK flag then 'composition' then look under 'Poland' and 'TLK' - the train is called the Lwow Express.

  • Option 2:  Take a fast InterCity train from Krakow to Warsaw and pick up the overnight Kiev Express from Warsaw to Kiev, leaving Warsaw Centralna around 16:50 and arriving Kiev around 10:35 next morning.  This train has 1, 2 and 3 bed sleepers with washbasin.


Find hotels in Krakow & other cities

 

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less!

www.booking.com is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

  • www.tripadvisor.com is the place to find independent travellers' reviews of all the main hotels.

  • www.booking.com is my own preferred hotel booking system (Hotels Combined being a search/comparison system).  It has a simple interface, a good selection in most countries worldwide, useful online customer reviews of each hotel, and decent prices, usually shown inclusive of unavoidable extras such as taxes (a pet hate of mine is systems that show one price, then charge you another!).

Backpacker hostels...

  • www.hostelbookers.com:  If you're on a tight budget, don't forget about backpacker hostels.  Hostelbookers offers online booking of cheap private rooms or dorm beds in backpacker hostels in most cities at rock-bottom prices.


 


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