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A friend suggested going by bus to Poznan and from there by train to Krakow.

He said there is no particular reason to go to Poznan, but as whole it's a nice trip. You get to know a bit of Poland and a city that otherwise you would never visit. The price compared to an airplane trip is almost the same. From Poznan to Krakow it's possible to travel at night saving the price of the hotel/hostel.

Time is not an issue.

Is this a good idea? would it be better/cheaper just to fly to Krakow?

Hitchhiking is not an option. Even having time I need to know in advance how much time I will spend travelling.

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'cheapest' varies - flights are on special at different times, and there's ancillary costs like getting from airports to the town. I'll try and answer more generally for you. –  Mark Mayo Apr 18 '13 at 17:15
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It can be useful link for you: rozklad-pkp.pl/bin/query.exe/en? (official schedule of polish railways) –  psur Apr 20 '13 at 6:13
    
Poznan is pretty nice. Are you only visiting "particular reason" destinations or do you wish to get a taste of Poland? –  hippietrail Nov 15 '13 at 16:46
    
@hippietrail the idea is getting a taste of Poland, but a friend of mine told me that, unless I am near by there is no particular reason to go there. –  nsn Nov 16 '13 at 9:27
    
I liked it. It has an old historical centre with nice old buildings and some backpacker hostels. I don't know what your friend's list of "reasons to go places" is of course. –  hippietrail Nov 16 '13 at 9:30

4 Answers 4

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Via the webiste of the German Railways (bahn.de), it is possible to book a bus from Berlin to Krakow for 29 EUR, even for a departure on a (very) short notice (read: tomorrow). The price for a regular train ticket is 61 EUR. Eurolines will charge you about the same. The travel time by bus or train is 9 - 10 hours. By train you have to change once. The typical routing is via Warsaw.

The plane is more expensive. Air Berlin has direct flights from Berlin to Krakow. One-way fares start at about 100 EUR, even for a departure at short notice (in a week or so). Travel time is 1h20.

Regarding Poznan, it is an underrated destination in Poland. It's definitely worth a stop. Note that all the trains from Warsaw to Berlin stop in Poznan too.

It is indeed possible to travel on a night train from Poznan to Krakow. I don’t think that you will save a lot of money by doing that (if any at all). The major advantage of the night train is the time saving. You can leave Berlin in the late afternoon and you will arrive in Krakow early in the morning. Traveling by day you will leave in the morning and arrive in the evening. On the other hand it can be pleasant to spend an evening in Krakow and sleep in a real bed.

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Interesting. Many trains now go via Warsaw. In June 2009, I took EC341 directly from Berlin to Krakow, for 34.70 EUR, and during the day. That connection doesn't seem to exist anymore. –  feklee Apr 26 '13 at 12:35
    
I think that this direct EC train has in the meanwhile been replaced by the DB bus mentioned in my post above. –  PERSONA NON GRATA Apr 26 '13 at 16:52
    
It looks like. The bus probably isn't even much slower. Still, I wonder how they can replace an entire train with one bus. Perhaps there are several, if required. –  feklee Apr 26 '13 at 17:46
    
The train had several stops between Berlin and Krakow and only a small number of travelers did the whole journey. These travelers can now use the bus. A majority was only travelling on parts of the route. These can use alternative train services between Germany and Poland. –  PERSONA NON GRATA Apr 26 '13 at 20:45
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The bus has a compulsory reservation. In case there is a very high demand they will perhaps be able to deploy a second bus. –  PERSONA NON GRATA Apr 27 '13 at 9:36

The cheapest way is obviously to hitchhike, especially if time is not an issue. You can check out Hitchwiki for suggestions on how to do that.

To fly might be cheap, but remember that the cheap airlines (RyanAir, for example) often take you to airports well outside the city, and then you have to get a bus/train in.

Also, asking which is the cheapest is variable - flights have specials and vary in price throughout the year.

Odds are good that trains/buses are reasonably priced, and I'd look into those. I did the train two years ago from Berlin to Krakow, and it helps that they're well located, close to hostels, and I did an overnight trip like you suggested, saving me money on a hostel. Indeed, myself and a Brazilian girl found a cabin of 8 seats empty, so stretched out with 4 seats each, and essentially had a bed. Great way to travel.

Eurolines bus may be your alternative method for bussing around Europe, and may be worth a look.

But the cheapest? Hitchhiking.

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Thank you for the answer. I will look at hitchhike website but that's probably not an option. Even having time it's convenient to know in advance the time spent traveling. Hitch hiking can be really variable. –  nsn Apr 18 '13 at 17:28
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Worth including that in your question next time then ;) Some people on this site will do the hitching, but if there's certain methods of travel that don't work for you, it's worth noting it. Enjoy Krakow, it's a great city! –  Mark Mayo Apr 18 '13 at 17:35
    
I personally find hitchhiking out of Berlin pretty hard, at least heading east. I followed hitchwiki's advice taking a local train to a village near the first service area you can walk to and spent a whole day getting nowhere with unfriendly people not even making eye contact. –  hippietrail Nov 15 '13 at 16:52

If you have got luck you can find a cheap ticket for buses (but not direct). For example www.polskibus.com (available in english). There is a bus from Berlin to Warsaw (around 9h) and from Warsaw to Krakow (around 4h30). But sometimes this ticket are not cheap and it may be necessary to spend a night in Warsaw.

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You can also try with mitfahrgelengenheit.de or mitfahrzentrale.de. The prices are between 25 and 40 EUR. Unfortunately there are only few rides in a month.

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Also if you really have to arrive by a certain date these rides are less "guaranteed" than a train or bus. I once had a driver cancel with an hour to go due to having an accident. That was on the busier Frankfurt to Berline route so I found another ride anyway, but on a less popular route it would be a bigger problem. –  hippietrail Nov 15 '13 at 16:54

protected by Ankur Banerjee Apr 26 '13 at 7:56

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