By | 16th January 2018

Should you rent a car in Kraków?

Do you need a car in Krakow > Should you rent a car in Krakow Poland > Krakow ( KRK )
Our general advice is that this part of Poland has excellent public transport if you are just planning on travelling within and between the major cities, including Katowice and the world heritage site that is the centre of Kraków itself.

Many visitors to Kraków will also want to visit the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp, and this can also be done (perhaps rather chillingly) by train. From Krakow direct, it’s quicker by bus – either way, you will need to go to the town of Oswiecim first, and then take a short walk from the rail / bus station.

Do you need a car in Krakow? Introduction

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Looking further south and into the Tatra mountains, then this is where getting a hire car in Kraków starts to become useful, but it’s also still possible, for example, to travel to a destination such as Zakopane by utilising local train services, even if they might take twice as long as driving yourself. Kraków is also a good starting point for a road trip into neighbouring Slovakia, a country which only has a limited number of inward flights via the capital Bratislava.

For anyone considering a multicity tour of Poland, it’s also easy enough to continue onwards by train from Kraków to either Lodz or the Polish capital Warsaw, although if your aim is to travel around smaller towns to the south or to the west and to focus more on rural areas rather than big cities, then a hire car might still be useful.

When compared with Western European countries, Polish rail services are generally very cheap, with first-class tickets available for a small supplement, although the rail network as a whole is generally lacking in investment. Some visitors might prefer to make inter-city journeys by coach.

Why should you rent a car in Krakow?

In terms of factors like the cost of the hire itself, fuel costs, road tolls and parking charges, is it worth hiring a car in Krakow?

Krakow Car hire summary

Overall drive rating



Cheapest rate for one week




How much should I expect to pay in the peak season?





Free parking score

Total 592 - of which 65 have free parking. [full notes - parking]



  • Kraków car hire makes sense for driving around small towns.
  • Ideal for visiting the Tatra mountains – and faster than taking trains here.
  • Rail network is slow and out-dated in many places.

Why not? Visiting Krakow without a car

Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Krakow public transport quick facts

Train score



Water travel score


Overall public transport score


Walking and Cycling Overview

Active travel score

(walking + cycling)


  • No need to travel around major cities in the region, including to Katowice.
  • City of Kraków has wealth of cultural attractions – no need to leave city at all on a shorter break!
  • Excellent public transport within Kraków.
  • Historical industrial attractions are within easy reach by public transport.
  • Tatra mountains by train – slower than driving and indirect, but still workable.
  • Trains are ideal for multi-city itineraries – see also Warsaw and Poznan car hire advice.
  • Wieliczka salt mine – an easy excursion by train or bus from Krakow


Should you rent a car in Kraków? On balance, our Kraków car hire advice is that there is certainly no need to get one here for the most popular urban attractions, but that a rental car might be useful for some visitors.


Car rental in - Krakow Need v worth & should!

Do you need a car in Krakow?

Based on comparison with transit, walking and cycling.

Is it worth hiring a car in Krakow?

Based on value for money

Should you rent a car in Krakow?

Weighing up the above, if you are asking about hiring a car, is it a good idea?

Who is travelling?

Is it worth renting a car in Krakow if I am a solo / budget traveller?

What about for 2 people travelling together?

For families?


Where are you staying?

Do you need a car in Krakow if we are staying in a central area?

What if we are staying on the edge of the city/resort?

Or in a rural area?


What is your attitude towards driving?

Should I hire a car in Krakow if I prefer not to drive?

If I am easy either way?

If I prefer to drive?



Final score:


Go back up to:
Why? Why not? Ratings Comments

Would you hire a car in Krakow?

Have you driven in Krakow? Do you agree with our advice on whether or not it's worth hiring a car in Krakow?
Tell us what you think using the comments section below:

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