Travel to Krakow
From many cities in Europe there are direct flights to the John Paul II International Airport Krakow. They include Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussel, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Hamburg, London, Madrid, Munich, Oslo, Paris, Rome, Stocholm, Vienna, Zurich. From other cities Krakow can be reached conveniently with a stop in Warsaw, Fraknfurt, Munich, Vienna or Zurich. In some cases the best option can be to fly to Katowice airport, from which Krakow can be reached by a bus in two hours.
From the airport to the city
The Krakow airport is only about 12 km from the city centre (10 km from the Institute of Nuclear Physics). The transportation options include a taxi, a train or a bus:
- taxi - 15-20 minutes drive depending on location and trafic; at the airport a special taxi service is operating (price 49 PLN up to 10 km, 69 PLN up to 15 km, 89 PLN up to 20 km, other taxi services from the city are less expensive); if you go to the city centre the route by Wola Justowska is a bit shorter (and less expensive) than the other by a highway, but the Institute can be reached best by the highway
- railway - 25 minutes ride to the city centre - Krakow Glowny station (goes every 30 minutes, 8 PLN). However, if you go to the Institute you may leave the train earlier at the Krakow Lobzow stop and walk backwards about 2 km along Radzikowskiego street. Tickets are available from the vending machines at the platform.
- bus - there are two lines connecting the airport with the city centre, the nominal travel time is 40-50 minutes, bus 292 goes every 20 minutes, bus 208 goes about once per hour. You can also use the bus 208 to reach the Institute or the hotels nearby, you need to leave it at Bronowice Wiadukt stop and walk about 1000 m (through a tunnel under the raiway tracks). You can buy the ticket in a vending machine at the bus stop or in the bus (credit cards are accepted). You need a ticket labeled "Strefa I+II" (one way, 4 PLN, or 60 minutes, 5 PLN, if you need to use a second bus or tram), Full timetables of all buses are available here, travel planner (in Polish only) is here.
From the city centre to the Institute
The taxi from the city centre to the Institute should cost about 20 PLN.
If you want to use the public transport, the easiest way to reach the Institute from the old town in Krakow is to take a tram which goes in the direction Bronowice Małe (4, 8, 24). All of these lines join at Teatr Bagatela, but stop in different places before this crossing. From the tram you need to leave at Bronowice Wiadukt stop and then walk 1000 m to the Institute (through a tunnel under the raiway tracks) or take a special bus 772 (3 stops). The travel time is 15-20 minutes, the cheapest ticket (20-minutes 2.80 PLN) should be sufficient.
The street under the railway briges near IFJ PAN is temporarily closed, and all traffic and buses in this area are redirected. The travel from city center and from sothern part of Krakow is severly impact. To reach the Institute from Bronowice Wiadukt tram/bus stop you can either take a special bus 772 (3 stops) or walk 1000 m through a pedestrian tunnel under the railway, as shown in the map below. Note that due to this closure there are big traffic jams in this area, so the travel time with bus 772 and with a taxi may be longer than expected according to the distance. Walking using the shortcut shown below may be the fastest option.
The exchange rate for the Polish zloty (PLN) is about 0.23 EUR, 0.26 USD, 0.25 CHF, 0.20 GBP. You may change your cash in the offices called Kantor and at some banks or withdraw cash from many money machines. In addition, in most places you may pay with a credit card (Visa or Mastercard) - even in a taxi - so you probably do not need a lot of cash.
The rates are best in exchange offices in the city centre, but a few of them offer seemingly excelent rates which in fact are very bad (for example in place of typical 3.82 PLN for 1 USD they write 3,o95 PLN).