Getting around Cracow
Cracow’s buses and tram are operated by MPK (tel: +48 12 19 150; www.mpk.krakow.pl). Public transport is cheap, but if you need to use more than one bus or tram, it's better to buy a one-hour ticket.
Tickets can be bought at kiosks, shops or from the driver (although this costs extra). They should be validated by punching the ticket using the box inside the bus or tram. Also punch a ticket for each large piece of luggage (free with a pass). Tickets are more expensive for night buses and buses that cross the city limits.
Unlimited travel passes are available for one, two or three days, or for a month. Students get reduced fares upon presentation of an International Student Identity Card. Anyone caught without a valid ticket receives an on-the-spot fine.
Taxis in Cracow are metered and can be found at taxi ranks, located in most of the major squares on the Old Town’s perimeter. You can also hail roaming taxis in the streets. Those with a hail-light, displaying a telephone number and company name, usually charge reasonable rates. Others are to be avoided.
A cheaper option is to order a taxi by telephone. Reputable companies include Barbakan Taxi (tel: +48 12 19661; http://barbakan.krakow.pl), Lajkonik Taxi (tel: +48 12 19628) and Radio Taxi Mega (tel: +48 12 19625, http://megataxi.pl). Check how much the trip will cost before entering the taxi. Taxi drivers are not normally tipped.
Driving in Cracow can be frustrating, especially for non-Polish speakers. The Old Town is closed to traffic, though there is a car park at Plac Świętego Ducha, about a two-minute walk from Rynek Glowny. The street parking situation outside the Old Town is confusing, so use car parks to avoid fines. If you are driving to Cracow, the least stressful option is to find a hotel that offers parking and leave it there.
Both Avis (tel: +48 12 629 6108; www.avis.pl) and Hertz (tel: +48 12 429 6262; www.hertz.com.pl) have rental offices in Cracow, as do Europcar (tel: +48 12 374 5696; www.europcar.com.pl) and Joka (tel: +48 12 429 6630; www.joka.com.pl). Most agencies have a desk at the airport. To hire a car you must be at least 21 years old (23 for some companies) and have a valid driving licence and International Driving Permit.
Cycling around Cracow isn’t risk-free as locals drive fast and trams come out of nowhere, but it is nice to explore the car-free Old Town on two wheels. You can hire bikes from Kazimierz’s Dwa Kolo (Two Wheels), ulica Józefa 5 (tel: +48 12 421 5785; www.dwakola.internetdsl.pl). Alternatively, Cracow's bikeshare scheme, KMK Bikes (tel: +48 12 616 7000; www.kmkbike.pl), has over 300 bikes at 30-plus stations; after buying an initial membership, the first 20 minutes of any journey are free.
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