Making sense of Polish trains is not so easy, is it? Just have a look at some of the acronyms for Polish train providers: EIP, EIC, IC, TLK, POLREGIO, KM, SKM, WKD.
In this post, we list and organize all the train operators, from those with the widest coverage (entire Poland and international) to local trains (Mazovian Voivodeship) to those operating only in Warsaw and its surroundings.
POLAND AND ABROAD: THE PKP INTERCITY TRAINS
The PKP intercity trains are long-distance trains, covering Poland and some routes abroad. The comfort, speed and price change depending on what you choose.
These are the available trains, from the fastest to the slowest:
EIP (Express InterCity Premium, also called Pendolino): the most modern, fastest, and priciest train. It has 2 sectors (1st & 2nd class) and a dining section. This train usually makes fewer stops (in the main Polish and international hubs).
EIC: free wi-fi, 3 sectors: business, 1st class, 2nd class), meal or beverage included in ticket price, dining car
IC: comfortable chairs, power outlets, AC
TLK: the slowest & cheapest, stopping at most stations
PKP INTERCITY TRAINS FROM WARSAW TO KRAKOW (or from Krakow to Warsaw)
To go from Warsaw (Warszawa Centralna Station) to Krakow by train (Kraków Główny Station) you can choose between an Express Intercity Premium (about 2h:30min, 2nd class base price: 150 zł), Express Intercity (about 2h:30min/3h, 2nd class base price: 139zł), a “Twoje Linie Kolejowe” (about 3h/5h, 2nd class base price: 60zł) or an Intercity (about 4h:25min, 2nd class base price: 60 zł).
Please keep in mind that the prices provided are base prices and will be affected by fluctuations.
The voivodeships are operated by separate train companies, see the map below.
KM (Koleje Mazowieckie) – TRAINS IN THE MAZOVIA AREA
Koleje Mazowieckie trains are medium-distance trains operating in the Mazovia area. As you see in the image, these trains are easily recognized by the colors white, green and yellow.
They offer a very useful ‘Airport ticket’ to the Modlin Airport, which includes: public transportation in Warsaw (75 min) + train to Modlin station + shuttle to Modlin airport for just 19 PLN. More info and tickets here.
CAN YOU USE TRAINS IN WARSAW WITH THE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION (ZTM) TICKET?
If you have a public transportation ticket for at least 1-day, you can use all the KM (Koleje Mazowieckie) and WKD (Warszawska Kolej Dojazdowa) trains within the borders of Warsaw for free. Beware, that the offer is not valid for 20-minutes and 75-minutes tickets.
THE BEST PLACE TO BUY (OFFLINE) TRAIN TICKETS IN WARSAW?
We all know the pain of having to buy tickets from the cashier that speaks zero English and is the furthest possible from what you could call helpful. We’re here to share a little secret with you that could spare you all that hassle when buying a train ticket.
At Central Railway Station in Warsaw (and in other big cities) there is a Passenger Service Centre. You can not only get information about trains but also purchase tickets.
Best of all, the employees speak English and are always polite and patient (speaking from own experience). At Warszawa Centralna station, this service is located in the main hall, on the right side of the staircase (see the image above).
THE BEST WEBSITE TO SEARCH FOR TRAIN TICKETS ONLINE
This website offers a meta-search among almost all the rail operators (all of those listed above except for WKD). You can also select additional options like searching for fast train only, trains on which you can transport a bike, trains accessible for wheelchairs etc. It’s available in English.
Hope this guide to Polish trains was helpful.
As always we welcome your contribution/corrections. Let us know!
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