Train from Prague to Krakow: Overnight Travel through Eastern Europe

© Prague Information Service linked to
© Prague Information Service linked to

Every time I’ve ventured off to Europe, I’ve heard travelers raving about Krakow – in fact, they rave about Poland in general. They tell me it’s lively, inexpensive, friendly, and quirky – and it seems to satisfy that craving for the eastern European vibe that’s become more and more alluring to travelers in recent years. It offers travelers the typical European delights: castles, a national park, art galleries, opera houses, theaters, and a couple of Nobel prize winners – and there’s even one of the world’s oldest salt mines right beyond the city limits.

Prague, meanwhile, is old news – old, beautiful, classical, historical news. It’s a city caught between east and west – more eastern in appearance and western in attitude. Even though Prague has become much more heavily visited in the past several years, there are a few quiet corners of the city that’ll get you feeling like you’ve stumbled upon a secret that Europe is still just barely keeping.

Many travelers don’t realize how easy it is to go from Prague into Krakow (a quick 240 miles) until they are already in Europe, and by then it may be difficult to secure tickets on the single direct train, an overnight one, that runs between them. Luckily, tickets can be purchased online about 60 days in advance, giving you plenty of time to secure a spot and research that salt mine.

Sukiennice Krakowie Museum in Krakow, Poland. Photo ©JANUSZ-LESNIAK
Sukiennice Krakowie Museum in Krakow, Poland. Photo ©Janusz-Lesniak

How to travel from Prague to Krakow with a ticket

Tickets can (and should!) be purchased online in advance. They are available in both first class (comfort) and second class (economy). When looking at the different prices offered for tickets, click on the “view” button below the price, which will open a dropdown screen that gives details about the types of accommodation offered in each class of service. This train offers both seats and sleeping compartments.

Jackie’s Insider Tip: You can also travel between these cities by daylight, but you’ll need to change trains along the way. Currently the European railways do not offer any direct daytime service for this route. To find tickets for daytime trains, search for a ticket from Prague to Katowice, and then search for one from Katowice to Krakow. The trains within Poland can only be booked up to 30 days in advance.

How to travel from Prague to Krakow with a European East rail pass

Your rail pass will cover the ticket price, but since this is an overnight train, you will also need to purchase a reservation for your seat or sleeping compartment. The reservation for a first class sleeping compartment includes complimentary breakfast. To purchase the reservation in advance on our website, make sure to click “Yes” in the section that asks if you will be traveling with a rail pass. You will see this question right after you enter the departure date and time.

Insider Tip: The European East Pass is one of only three rail passes that includes Poland. If you’re interested in exploring this country and the surrounding region, and if you plan to take more than three trips by train, this pass will probably be a less expensive option than individual point-to-point tickets, even with the reservations you’ll need to purchase for overnight or premier trains.

Got everything planned for your trip between these two cultural gems? Don’t stop there — the European East Pass also covers travel in and between Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary in addition to Poland and the Czech Republic… and I heard there might be another  salt mine in Austria.

Like this post? Share with friends!

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Avatar Joan says:

    Can anyone tell me what the accommodation is like on the overnight train from Prague to Krakow? How small is the compartment and are there bunk beds?

    1. Avatar RICHARD E, WOODARD says:

      Hi Joan!

      I would like to know the answer to the same question. I will be flying to Prague from California and on to Krakow by night train in a sleeping compartment for a four or five day stay before returning to Prague for the rest of my stay alone in Prague. Please let me know what you find out about the night train between the two cities. Thank you very much, Dick

      1. Avatar RICHARD E, WOODARD says:

        Hi Joan!
        I would like to know the answer to your question. I will be taking the direct night train from Prague to Krakow. I will stay in Krakow for five nights and then return to Prague for seven nights. I have not been able to find out if the train has pullman cars with sleeping arrangements in addition to compartments and first class seats. I would appreciate knowing what you found out.

  2. Avatar Roger says:

    When I click for overnight train Krakow-Prague I get message unable to find times or fares. This message is for any date I( choose. Please help

  3. Avatar Aileen says:

    Any ideas on what is the best way to travel from Berlin to Krackow. sleeping places etc.,i want to visit Faustina’s nunnery. any tips would be appreciated i am 68 years old.
    Thank you/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *