Stuck on a Krakow layover at John Paul II International Airport Kraków in Poland? The airport is located about 20 miles from the city centre, which makes it an accessible destination for those stuck on long Krakow layovers. If you’re trying to determine whether you can leave the airport during your layover, click here for useful tips.
The Krakow airport has all the usual facilities to help you pass time while you wait for a connecting flight.
Terminal 1 is for international departures and arrivals. There’s a useful map of the airport here. Aside from a number of eateries and the post office on the ground floor, the majority of airport services are located on level 1 including a snack bar and a few shops selling duty-free, souvenirs and folk art. Passengers have the option of purchasing secure baggage wrapping to prevent luggage being tampered with. Additional services include Internet access points (that charge €1 for 12 minutes and €2 for 24 minutes). Currency exchange desks are open between 8am-8:30pm. In addition, the observation deck on level 2 is open from 8am until 8pm and is a good place to relax away from the busier cafes and eateries.
If you decide to travel into Krakow’s city center, there is tourist information office and you can leave surplus luggage in lockers outside terminal 1. There is also 24-hour airport information phone service: (+48) 801055000 or 122955800 or you can find a full list of services here.
For those who arrive at night or are looking for a place to rest, there are a number of hotel options. For a full list of Krakow hotels at varying price points, click here and for hotels located specifically near the airport, click here.
If you are looking to leave the airport during your Krakow layover, there are a number of transport options to get you into the city. A shuttle service operates between the airport and Glowny, Krakow’s main train station. Trains run every 30 minutes between 4am and midnight and the journey lasts about 25 minutes. You can purchase tickets on the train and a single ticket till set you back just €2. Alternatively you can catch buses 292 or 208 from outside terminal 1 and a journey will cost you under €1 for a single ticket. Line 292 stops at Krakow’s central bus station then continues on to the Zablocie industrial district. Buses are every 40 minutes during the day then every hour between 8pm and 11pm. Line 208 travels to the central bus depot then on to the central train station. This line runs hourly until 9:25pm when line 902 takes over the route running hourly until 1:26am. An official taxi will cost about €25.
Most of Krakow’s landmarks are nearby and much of the historic area is a dedicated pedestrian precinct. Krakow is also well known for its nightlife. You will find many atmospheric cellar bars especially in the up-and-coming Podgorze district and Jewish quarter.
Layover Guide’s Suggestions For Things To Do On A Krakow Layover:
There’s a ton of Krakow tours available to help you see the sites, the food and culture, the history, and so much more! Here’s a full list of Krakow tours available for your layover.
Massolit Books and Café (ul. Felicjanek 4)
Perhaps you left a gripping read at home or perhaps you’re just looking for a good coffee or glass of wine. You’ll struggle to find a cozier spot than Massolit English language bookshop which throws you into the paths of awe-inspiring playwrights, poets and carrot cake.
Pharmacy Under the Eagles Museum (Plac Bohaterów Getta)
The non-Jewish owner Tadeusz Pankiewicz helped many desperate families during the war by offering a discreet meeting point. The Pharmacy Museum now displays harrowing but informative photographs and films about life in the ghetto. Schindler’s factory is close by as is the Square of the Ghetto Victims, an open-air installation of 70 chairs by Piotr Lewicki and Kazimierz Latak which pays tribute to Jews forced to discard their furniture and belongings.
Smocza Jama, Dragon Cave (ul. Miodowa 43)
A treasure trove of Polish microbrews occupying a cellar down one of Krakow’s many alleyways in the old Jewish Quarter. You can sample over 150 beers in Smocza Jama including a rare Boss Bier and listen to 80s music blaring from the speakers.
Wawel Royal Castle
Krakow was once the royal capital of Poland and fans of Gothic or Renaissance architecture will be delighted to discover a city more or less intact after WWII. Wawel Castle lies at the top of a small hill proudly overlooking the Vistula and the surrounding land. Visitors can explore the many chapels, state rooms, beautiful courtyards and even climb the old bell tower.
Wieliczka Salt Mine (ul Daniłowicza 10)
If you decide to stay a few nights, venture beyond the city limits to Wieliczka, about 14km from the city centee. The salt mine has been in operation for nearly 700 years and became a dedicated Unesco World Heritage site in 1978. Visitors can explore the three upper levels of varying depth from 64m-135m underground. The labyrinth of tunnels and chambers along filled with alter figures and monuments were all carved out of salt. There are even underground lakes. A tour takes about 2 hours and visitors should catch the minibus from Krakow at the end of ul Starowiślna near the main post office. The service runs every 10 minutes and drops passengers off at the entrance to the salt mine.
Have a suggestion for a Krakow layover? Leave a comment below!