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Local time Cracow

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Travel to Cracow

Flying to Cracow

Cracow has benefited from the profusion of budget airlines across Europe. British Airways, easyJet, Jet2.com, Norwegian Airlines and Ryanair operate direct flights to Cracow from the UK. Fares vary in price dramatically; off peak, it's possible to find cheap flights to Cracow and pick up a bargain, but in the height of summer you will pay considerably more. There are no direct flights from the USA, but it's easy to connect to Cracow via other major European airports.

Flight times

From London - 2 hours 25 minutes; New York - 10 hours (including stopover); Los Angeles - 14 hours (including stopover); Toronto - 10 hours (including stopover); Sydney - 25 hours (including stopovers).

Travel by road

Traffic drives on the right and the legal driving age in Poland is 18 years. Speed limits are 120-140kph (75-87mph) on motorways, 90-100kph (56-62mph) on main roads and 50-60kph (31-37mph) in built-up areas. Vehicles must be equipped with a first-aid kit, warning triangle, fire extinguisher, reflective vest and nationality sticker, and headlights must be on at all times.

A valid national driving licence is required. Drivers should carry their vehicle registration documents. Green Cards are useful, though not compulsory for EU visitors. You can obtain information about road travel at border crossings and from the Polish Motoring Association (PZM) (tel: +48 22 532 8444; www.pzm.pl).

Emergency breakdown services

PZM (tel: +48 22 532 8444).

Routes

The north-south E77 links Cracow with Warsaw and the coast in the north, and Zakopane and the Slovak border in the south. The east-west E40 arrives from Lviv in Ukraine in the east and then goes west through Katowice and Wroclaw to Dresden in Germany (partly as the A4 motorway). To the southwest, the Czech Republic is easily reached via the E75.

Coaches

The bus station is located on ulica Bosacka, opposite Cracow’s main railway station. The main carrier is MDA (tel: 0703 403 340, in Poland only; www.mda.malopolska.pl). Coach services connect Cracow to the rest of Poland and to many European destinations, including Berlin, Budapest, Lviv, Prague and Vienna.

Time to city

From Wrocław - 3 hours; Warsaw - 4 hours; Prague - 5 hours 30 minutes.

Travel by Rail

Services

Krakow Dworzec Glowny, Cracow's main railway station, is located at plac Jana Nowaka-Jezioranskiego on the northeastern edge of the Old Town.

The fastest trains are the InterCity (IC) and EuroCity (EC) trains, which connect the city with Warsaw, Vienna, Prague, Berlin and Budapest. Care should be taken on some night train routes, particularly the one to Prague, as thieves operate. You can buy tickets at the station.

Operators

Polskie Koleje Panstwowe (PKP) (Polish Railways) (tel: 19757, in Poland only; www.pkpsa.pl) operates clean and efficient trains on the Polish rail network of more than 27,000km (17,000 miles) of lines.

Journey times

From Warsaw - 2 hours 30 minutes; Vienna - 8 hours; Prague - 8 hours 40 minutes; Berlin - 8 hours; Budapest - 10 hours 30 minutes.

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Featured Hotels

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Palac Bonerowski

In the 16th century, Palac Bonerowski was the opulent abode of a wealthy, aristocratic family called the Boners (no chuckling at the back). Today the former royal residence is one of the finest, most lovingly restored hotels in Cracow. Located directly opposite the Main Market Square, Palac Bonerowski sits within a UNESCO World Heritage site and has some of the best views in town. Inside, the elegant rooms are still fit for royalty, and there are period features aplenty.

Hotel Polski

This slice of local history has been operating as an inn since 1815, making it one of the oldest hotels in Cracow. Modern amenities aside, guests could be forgiven for thinking they've stepped back in time; the hotel retains its decadent, 19th-century charm with beautiful antique furniture and period features. Add to that the stunning, Old Town location and exemplary service and you have to surmise this hotel will be good for another 200 years.

Hotel Amadeus

Located within the labyrinth of Santa Cruz, Hotel Amadeus is set in a classically-furnished, 18th-century manor house and has music as a theme. Several instruments, including a grand piano, are available for use by guests. Rooms are small but attractively furnished, with antique furniture and original patterned tile flooring. The hotel's rooftop terrace opens up to a panorama of Seville’s historic centre and is an excellent spot to enjoy breakfast.

Hotel Copernicus

Situated on the oldest and most picturesque street in Cracow, Hotel Copernicus is arguably the finest address in town. Stepping into the beautiful atrium courtyard, it is obvious that nothing has been left to chance here, and the staff are particularly attentive to detail. The hotel successfully blends period features with modern comfort, and the 29 rooms and suites are gorgeous, with elegant dark furniture, wooden floors, reproductions of period frescos on the walls, clever lighting and delicate fabrics throughout. The rooftop terrace, which boasts spectacular views of Wawel, and the swimming pool, which is accommodated in a medieval vaulted brick cellar, add to the allure.

Hotel Pugetow

Part of the boutique Donimirski hotel chain, Hotel Pugetow stands shoulder-to-shoulder with a 19th-century, neo-Renaissance palace of the same name. The rooms and suites have individual names (Joseph Conrad, Bonaparte, etc) and identities. Extras include embroidered bathrobes, black-marble baths and a fabulous, silver-service cellar restaurant. If you can afford it, try the Kwiatkowski, an apartment featuring oil paintings, bone china and soft, cream fabrics.

Hotel Stary

The delightful (but unimaginatively named) 'old' hotel is housed in an utterly charming 18th-century aristocratic residence and is setting new standards for accommodation in Poland. The fabrics used in the 53 guestrooms are all natural, the bathroom surfaces Italian marble, and there's a fitness centre, swimming pool and rooftop terrace. And you can't beat the location just off the northwest corner of the Main Market Square.