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Travelling to Poland by train


In Poland, the national railway carrier PKP has been divided into several different companies, among them are: PKP InterCity (Intercity, Express, Night Express, TLK), PKP Przewozy Regionalne (pospieszny and osobowy) and PKP Cargo (which incidentally owns all the locomotives). There are also some local competitors emerging (KM Koleje Mazowieckie). Tickets are valid for trains operated by the issuing company only. 

Tickets are cheap, but travel conditions reflect the fact that majority of railworks and wagons are from few decades ago. Unfortunately, sometimes it's not very safe to travel by train, especially on some non-express suburban routes - it is recommended to travel close to the front of the train (where train staff is more likely to provide assistance), and to avoid traveling by night. Express and InterCity routes are much safer than slower connections. 

You can expect a fast connection on modernized routes, such as the Warszawa - Katowice, the Warszawa - Kraków and the Warszawa - Poznań lines. 

Train types: 

Express / IC InterCity / EC EuroCity - express trains. usually compulsory reservation 25PLN in IC, 10 PLN in EX(paid); popular routes include:Warsaw-Katowice,(298 km, 2 hours 40 minutes, 81 zł) Warsaw-Kraków (290 km, 2 hours 45 minutes, 81 zł); Warsaw-Zakopane (430 km, 7 hours, 84 zł) You can buy a weekend ticket (99/149 zl). 

TLK- express trains, held by same company. Slower, but cheaper than above and more safe than below types. Not many routes, but very good alternative for budget travellers. Check www.tlk.pl usually compulsory reservation but very cheap (3PLN) 

Pospieszny- long distance, priority trains, stop only in larger cities; popular routes include Warsaw-Kraków (320 km, 5 hours, 46 zł), Warsaw-Zakopane (460 km, 7.5 hours, 50 zł), Warsaw-Łowicz (80 km, 50 minutes, 20 zł). You can buy a weekend turystyczny ticket (60/80 zl) or a weekly one (160/240 zl). 

Osobowy- long distance, ordinary train usually slow, stops everywhere. Warsaw-Łowicz: (80 km, 80 minutes, 12 zł) 

Podmiejski- suburban train 

Travellers under 26 years are entitled to 33% discount on travel fare in Intercity, excluding the price of seat reservation. There is also an option of buying a cheap ticket for 27/59/69 PLN (regarding type of train) that allows you to travel on a selected route regarding the distance. Ticket must be bought at least one week ahead and is vaild for one train. 



Railway services in Poland are much cheaper than in Western Europe, and at the same time their quality usually compares with European standards. The fastest connections are as follows: Krakow (Katowice) - Warszawa, Poznan -Warszawa and Wroclaw - Poznan, operated by express trains, IC and EC. A journey by a fast train from Krakow to Warszawa takes 2 h 35 min (on the distance of 292 km.) 

The lengths of journeys on the main domestic routes are:

  • Warszawa - Lodz (1h40)
  • Warszawa - Krakow (Ex 2h35, pos. 5 h)
  • Warszawa - Wroclaw (Ex 4h40, pos. 5h30)
  • Warszawa - Poznan (Ex 3h, pos. 3h40)
  • Warszawa - Gdansk (4h-4h30)
  • Warszawa - Lublin (2h20)
  • Warszawa - Katowice (Ex 2h40, pos. 4h-4h30)
  • Warszawa - Czestochowa (2h30)
  • Warszawa - Torun (2h30)
  • Warszawa - Olsztyn (3h)
  • Warszawa - Suwalki (5h-5h30)
  • Krakow - Wroclaw (4h-4h30)
  • Krakow - Czestochowa (2h)
  • Krakow - Przemysl (3h40-4h)
  • Krakow - Zakopane (2h40-3h15)
  • Krakow - Krynica (4h30)
  • Krakow - Zagorz (6h)
  • Krakow - Zamosc (7h30)
  • Krakow - Auschwitz (1h30)
  • Wroclaw - Poznan (Ex 1h40, pos.2h)
  • Wroclaw - Zielona Gora (IC 2h, pos. 2h30)
  • Wroclaw - Jelenia Gora (2h40)
  • Poznan - Gdansk (4h)
  • Poznan - Szczecin (Ex 3h, pos. 3h40)
  • Poznan - Torun (2h30)
  • Szczecin - Swinoujscie (2h15) 

Other useful sections of the website

kuTourism in Poland

kuTravel to Poland

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