I'm travelling from Krakow to Warsaw in October. I have two options, the bus costs $5 and the train costs around $15. I'm ready to spend $10 more in case the route is scenic. But, is it scenic?

  • 3
    In my experience, bus routes are a bit more scenic and trains are really boring. Trains are usually quicker and more comfortable. But I've got no experience with Eastern Europe, it may be different there.
    – Belle
    Commented Aug 28, 2016 at 22:04
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    You could follow bus path with Street View and take a sneak peak at path.
    – PTwr
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 11:01
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    Train should be over twice as fast (3hrs vs 6), and that's what you're paying for, but it costs around $30, not $15.
    – Agent_L
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 12:18
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    @J.Constantine In my experience, bus routes take motorways which are often very unscenic but trains pass through scenic countryside.
    – Jan
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 12:43
  • 1
    @Jan you take different busses than I do then :)
    – Belle
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 17:33

6 Answers 6


I travelled the opposite direction by train (fast train) recently and while I did spend part of the journey sleeping, I can say that I don't recall seeing anything spectacular outside the windows while I was awake. It's flat land and a you will see rural landscapes plus the odd look in someone's backyard every once in a while.

Personally I would make my choice also based on duration of the journey and comfort.


Traveled this route both by bus and by train, no big difference for me. Consider required level of comfort and the time/money you're ready to spend.

Mostly you'll see flat land, villages. If you're interested in local people life then bus is preferable: you'll cross many villages and towns.


I'm Polish and that route is not scenic. But train ride should be faster. If its direct connection than it should take 2.5-3h. Which train ride exactly you were looking at? Koleje Mazowieckie?

If you would take a bus - then probably you should take Polski Bus which was mentioned here. It's kinda nice - it has WiFi and usually they'll give you small appetizer. Also Lux Express might be travelling in that direction. However, bus may take a little bit longer (depending on the traffic). Usually 5-6h.

BTW If you will be travelling in Poland you can use this site: e-podroznik.pl You can get the timetables and prices.

  • Update: PolskiBus was bought by FlixBus few years ago.
    – Putnik
    Commented Feb 11, 2021 at 12:05

I am from Poland and i use to travel on this route. The best way to go from Krakow to Warsaw will be a high speed train called Express Intercity Premium. It goes up to 200 km/h (125 mph) - bus goes up to only 100 km/h (62.5 mph). Travelling between both cities by theese high speed trains will take only 2:15 h. You can exit the train on stations: Warszawa Zachodnia (Warsaw West) near office buildings, Warszawa Centralna (Warsaw Central) - it is underground station in city centre or Warszawa Wschodnia (Warsaw East) in Stara Praga (old Praga) historical district near e.g. Google Campus.

First, the train is going by clasical railway lines no. 8 and 64. This segment is very scenic, it goes through old villages with wooden houses. Then the train enters high speed line called Centralna Magistrala Kolejowa (Central Railway Trunk Line, no. 4) which ends in Grodzisk Mazowiecki town. This line can be a little bit boring, but it is very fast. Then, on the end of this line the train enters four-track railway line no. 1. It goes through tight urbanized terrain, on second track pair there is a lot of suburban trains station. This line goes to Warsaw centre - behind Warsaw West station it goes into Warsaw City Tunnel (Warszawski Tunel Średnicowy).


I have taken PolskiBus from Krakow to Warsaw. It was somewhere between 5 to 6 hours. I took that bus early in the morning and I think just in the beginning there were some scenic areas. After that mostly it was just plain fields nothing exciting but you will be passing few villages on your way to Warsaw. I was coming to Krakow from Zakopane which is I think 1 to 2 hours bus bus and that route is really scenic. So basically there would be no big difference between bus and train ride. For cheaper option preferably I would suggest a bus ride.

  • 2
    Krakow-Zakopane by bus: 2h is impossible in high season. For me it took 4h in mid-season. Train is much faster between those places, mainly due to traffic jam.
    – Putnik
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 6:56
  • @ putnik you will have to take a look at polskibus.com I used it already last year, how could you say impossible?
    – Ali Awan
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 7:00
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    I traveled exactly by PolskiBus, there was HUGE traffic jam, almost all the way from Krakow to Zakopane.
    – Putnik
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 7:07
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    @ putnik that was a huge traffic jam is different story, initially you said impossible without knowing anything. That was 2 hours journey from zakopane to Krakow
    – Ali Awan
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 7:14
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    A single big traffic jam doesn't tell you anything. It could have been caused by an unusual event, e.g. accident.
    – Alexander
    Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 8:03

The train route from Krakow to Warsaw goes along previous cargo train route to be fast. This is the reason it is not scenic nor interesting in any way. Travelling by bus may be much more interesting and cheaper - but it takes nearly 2 times longer.

  • 1
    No, that is not the reason at all. Railways are built where they need to be built, for engineering reasons. If the route is not scenic, it is because there is no scenery, not because the line was built for cargo. And is the bus really more interesting? It presumably follows approximately the same route so why is the scenery so much different? Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 7:30
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    David Richerby - Polish Central Railway Trunk Line (Centralna Magistrala Kolejowa) was initially projected as a high speed line up to 300 km/h (185 mph) which was included in its geometry. The line was opened about 30 years ago, when Poland had no high speed trains - this line avoids all cities and bigger towns, so there was no reason to redirect classical trains to it, so first cargo trains was redirected through this line. Commented Aug 30, 2016 at 9:55
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    @David Richerby It does not follow the same route as the bus routes. It omits cities & villages and has nearly no stations - because of its original role as fast coal transport medium. As for me scenery includes not only forests and landscapes but also towns and villages - so I support my earlier opinion.
    – tomcatlxv
    Commented Aug 31, 2016 at 21:52

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