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I have received a lot of emails over the last few months about figuring out public transportation in Krakow. The most important thing to remember is that this system is constantly changing. If there is construction one day, or a national holiday, or there has been an accident, the lines will change.
So if your hotel or museum or Airbnb tells you that a certain tram comes to them, but you find information that contradicts that, it is common. The best, and really only way, to know what tram or bus you should be using is to check on the day you are using it, either online using JakdoJade or at the physcial bus stop where there will be a schedule as well.
Now, what is the advantage of using JakdoJade? It will have a map, it can work on your phone as an app, and it updates every minute. At the end of this post will be information about how you buy tickets for the trams and busses etc.. but first I want to show you how to use JakdoJade because it will be a priceless tool to have on your journey.
This route planner is really simple to use. Before you leave for your trip mess around with the program using your home computer. Chances are it will automatically translate everything into English. Become familiar with the planner so that when you get to Poland and start using the app or website and it is completely in Polish, you will still understand everything it is saying. Also remember if you are using it at home that it will adjust the times to you, which can become very confusing. For example, I am currently looking at the route from Galeria Krakowska to Plac Nowy in Kazimierz. If I just search for the route using the current time, it says all the busses/trams are gone, because it is no longer 2:30pm in Krakow, I am looking at schedules that are 6 hours behind. So make sure you adjust the time to period that still exists in the present moment in Krakow. Also remember that Saturdays and Sundays often have different time schedules, so if you are trying to pin-point exact times those days may be different from others. Okay, still with me? Let’s look at all the things JakdoJade can do.
Know your stop? Find what lines go to it…
Below I used the stop “Miodowa” as an example. I typed it into the search bar, and it automatically shows me the stop and in small font the lines that run to it. Now if I click on that image it will expand on these lines……
Now that I’ve clicked, I can see all the different lines that go to “Miodowa” but I can also click on each one to see that lines schedule. What I automatically saw, and is shown below, is which tram will be at Miodowa next. This may not be the most useful information to someone unfamiliar with the lines, but it at least gives you some information to go off of. What will most likely be the most helpful to you is Jak do Jade’s route planner….
Jakdojade: The Route Planner. Getting From Point A to Point B in Krakow
What I showed you above was really an exploration into the schedules of the Krakow tram system. But what you may be more interested in is route planning. What’s awesome about this website and app is that you don’t have to know the name of the stops you need; you simply need to know the addresses of where you need to go, or the Points of Interests that you are using. For this example I have used Galeria Krakowska and Plac Nowy (The mall in the city center that also houses the central bus and train station. Also where you will get dropped of if you take the tram to and from the airport and the little main square of Kazimierz, the hipster-esque Jewish District).
So the first step was to type these two points of interest in the part of the website labeled “Planner”:
Once I typed them in and pressed enter, the planner showed me some options (below). You can notice that since I am not entering stop names, the planner even shows me how far I will need to walk from the POI to the actual stop/the actual stop to the POI. If I clicked Later it would show me more options later in the day. Remember that you can change the date and time of your planner search so that you are looking at the next day or week etc..
Now what I can do is actually click on the route that I want to use. Once I click on the option that I want to use it will expand and show me all the information that I need, even a map of the entire route.
Lists of Tram and Bus Lines in Krakow:
The final thing I want to show you that Jak do Jade can do is show you the list of all the stops on a certain tram line. So for example, let’s say you are staying somewhere that you know has a stop on Tram Line 3. What you can do is look up the schedule for Line 3 and see every stop along the way. That way you can become familiar with this line and know what you can use it for directly:
So there you have it, an in-depth look at JakdoJade and how it can help you get around Krakow! As promised below is more basic information on how the bus and tram system in Krakow works…
Krakow Transportation: How it works
When you get onto a bus or tram, you will buy your ticket from a machine on board. If you are on a bus where there is no machine present, you can buy a 60 minute ticket from the bus driver for 5zł. The ticket that you buy works for both the trams and buses, and is timed; however, there are options to buy a whole day, or longer pass.
For all transportation (bus and tram) you use only one timed ticket. Tickets can be purchased for a number of different times, but what is most important is that once you buy a ticket, you validate it in the yellow machine that says “validate your ticket here” and that if you are a student you purchase a discount ticket.
For everything within the city you only need a Zone I ticket, but if you are going to the Salt Mines by bus 304, make sure you buy a Zone II ticket. The transportation authority checks this bus all the time!
You can buy a ticket for your entire stay as well. Or if you were like me and staying in Krakow for a long period of time you can get a tram card for an entire month or more.
You do not need to show anyone your ticket. But it is extremely important that you validate your ticket because officers will get on the busses and trams occasionally and ask to see your ticket. If you do not have the proper ticket or did not validate your ticket you will be fined.
Click here for a Quick Reference Sheet for Tram Stops and Major Attractions. (Note this may be outdated)