PRIVATE & PUBLIC TRANSPORT, LINKS TO THE ORGANIZATION FOR FOREIGNERS
„The economic powerhouse of the V4”
“Krakow is distinguished in the world by the fact that the IT workplaces are driven here by large international companies, employing over 100,000 people throughout the city in business services and technology centers. With such a large scale, it is possible to achieve incredible momentum, the environment is developing dynamically and at a tremendous pace, and at the same time it attracts both innovations and talented specialists like a magnet.” – said Andrew Hallam, General Secretary at ASPIRE, of an association associating over 160 international companies operating service and research and development centers in Krakow, including Google, IBM, Motorola and Cisco, as well as leaders in the new technologies industry, such as Ocado, OANDA and IG.
Krakow is an ideal place for foreigners because of … other foreigners. It is a very open city and adapted to people from other countries and it is not only about tourism, but also everyday life. The closer to the center, the less Polish is heard. Both at the weekend bars and restaurants close to the square or in Kazimierz, as well as in everyday life during the week on public transport or on residential balconies.
Car through Krakow
Moving around Krakow has its specificity. The city is very “tight”, which is the downside of moving here by car. It can be very uncomfortable. Both during the rush hours and at the weekend, in fine weather, there can be very big traffic jams and a big problem with finding a parking space. The very center of Krakow is fully covered by paid parking from Monday to Saturday from 10-20 and there is no chance of finding a place not only free, but often even paid. Parking for the night and on Sundays is free in these places, but remember not to park in zones for residents, but only in paid parking zones. marked with the road sign “P płatny”. Otherwise, we can expose ourselves to the intervention of the City Guard (“Straż Miejska”), wheel lock and a warning or a fine.
The advantage of this ‘tight’ is that it is close to everywhere. Any other means of transport is therefore relatively comfortable. Trams, buses, bicycles (if you have one) or electric scooters (after configuring the application, eg. Bolt) can often turn out to be a better means of transport than a car.
If we use communication, we can occasionally buy single/short term tickets. Most often we will use 60-minute tickets for PLN 6 (you can travel longer on this ticket if you do not change the line), and 20-minute tickets for PLN 4. If you are a student (e.g. you have a valid student card) and you are under 26, you can buy reduced tickets called “ulgowy”, which are cheaper by half. Tickets can be purchased:
- in one of the mobile applications (e.g. moBiLET, jakdojade) using BLIK codes or after one-off configuration of a payment card, which is very convenient,
- directly through your bank’s application, which is even more convenient
- in a shop or ticket machine at bus/tram stops
- inside a bus or tram – I do not recommend this option at the beginning
The last option can be problematic. Some machines do not accept card payments, do not accept banknotes – only coins and coins can be rejected. In this way, we can be completely without a ticket and risk a fine. Hence, it is better to obtain a ticket or a few tickets in advance. The full price list (in Polish and English) of irregular tickets can be found here: https://www.mpk.krakow.pl/pl/bilety2/cenniki-biletow-jedno-i-wieloprzejazdowych/
Alternative communication are also dynamically operating taxi services such as Uber or Bolt.
Season tickets for public transport
When traveling by public transport to work every day, it is worth considering the purchase of season tickets activated on a paper Krakow City Card “Krakowska Karta Miejska” (KKM) or a mobile card in the application “mobilna Krakowska Karta Miejska” (mKMM), or the cheaper Krakow Card / Krakow Ticket (“Karta Krakowska”) option – also a paper one (KK) or a mobile one (mKK). The KK or mKK option applies only to Krakow taxpayers registered for permanent residence or at least settling the annual tax with one of the Krakow tax offices. Season tickets price list: https://www.mpk.krakow.pl/pl/bilety2/cenniki-biletow-okresowych/. In order to get a card, please go to one of the following addresses with your photo and ID card or passport: https://www.kkm.krakow.pl/pl/informacje-podstawowe/wydaniu-karty/, or electronically here: https: // www.kk.krakow.pl/ by selecting KMM or mKMM.
Krakow promotes cycling quite strongly, so there are many bicycle lanes, and any one-way traffic orders for cars (one-way roads) do not apply to cyclists in most cases. Unfortunately, there are currently no smartphone-based bike rental networks here. However, there are many small bike rentals. However, you should be particularly careful, because the places allowed for cycling often intersect with places with roads for cars, pedestrians, or even along tram lines – so sometimes we even ride “on the tracks”, and the tram behind us.
Organizations for foreigners
Unfortunately, the enormity of formalities that sometimes have to be dealt with means that help from justaskpoland.com is not enough, hence below a few links, addresses and telephone numbers where you can get additional help:
- List of consulates in Cracow: https://www.krakow.pl/krakow_open_city/instcbi/12590,,2525,0,wyszukiwarka.html
- Information Point for Foreigners: https://www.facebook.com/PIO.KRK/
- Locations of foreigner service centres in Małopolska: https://www.malopolska.uw.gov.pl/default.aspx?page=Locations_of_foreigner_service_centres_in_Malopolska
- Support in Obtaining Work and Residence Permits for Companies and Individuals: https://krakspire.com/
We wish you All the Best in Poland.
JustAsk Poland Team