Kraków-Balice airport was officially renamed John Paul II International Airport Kraków–Balice in 2007 in honour of Pope John Paul II. It is the second busiest airport in Poland, welcoming over 3.5 million passengers in 2014.
How to get around
The airport is located 11km away from the city centre. There are a few ways to get to the airport. The Kraków Balice railway line connects you from the airport to the city centre. A single trip ticket costs less than NZD5.
The cheapest method to the city is by bus. Buses no. 208, 202, 292 bring you to the city centre and a trip costs less than NZD2. Car rental services are also available at the airport.
The official taxi service at the airport is Kraków Airport Taxi and fares are flat rate, depending on your destination and the time of the day you are travelling. They are the most expensive way to get to the city centre.
To get around the city, you can rent a car. While it is easy to travel around the city, parking lots are expensive. Public transport in Kraków consists of buses and trams and they operate from 5am-11pm. One-way tickets cost less than NZD2. Tickets can be purchase from newsstands and ticket machines at downtown stops.
Some buses and trams also sell tickets on board. There are also 1, 2, 3 and 7-day passes for unlimited travelling on the public transport. Fares range from NZD5-20. You can also opt for taxis. Travelling within Kraków should not cost over NZD50.
What to see and do
Home to a little over 750, 000 residents, Kraków is the second most important city in Poland after Warsaw. Many places of attraction are located within walking distance of driving journeys of less than 30 minutes from Kraków’s city centre.
Iconic landmarks in Kraków include the Market Square located in Old Town Kraków. Built in the 13th century, this square is one of the most beautiful squares in the world. It features the Kraków Renaissance Cloth Hall and St. Mary’s Basilica. Many public events and festivals take place in the Main Square, more notably the Christmas market every December.
Rock-climbing enthusiasts can head to Skałki Twardowskiego, an old limestone quarry that is now a nature reserve. It is a 10 minutes drive away from the Market Square. Climb to the top of Wawel Hill. You can also trek to the top and if you do not wish to rock-climb.
Take a 10 minute stroll from the city centre to the Botanic Garden of the Jagiellonian University, the oldest botanical garden in Poland. It is home to over 5000 exotic and native plant species.
Another place worth visiting when in Kraków is Wieliczka Salt Mine. Join the salt mine tour and learn about how salt mining has evolved over the years in Europe. There is even an art gallery and chapel underground.
Visit the Auschwitz Concentration camp, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Learn about the history of the occupation of Poland during Nazi Germany and tour the gas chambers and shooting grounds where many were killed.