Travelling by train and bus
In Poland, you can get to many places by train. A coach or minibus will take you to most towns and villages that have no rail connections. However, some localities can only be reached by car.
A host of railway companies offer transport services to passengers making their way around Poland. PKP Intercity and Przewozy Regionalne operate long-haul connections, while regional carriers (e.g. Koleje Dolnośląskie or Koleje Mazowieckie) cater to cater to passengers travelling shorter distances.
Depending on your budget, when heading for more distant destinations you can choose among express (Intercity), fast and local lines, both national and international ones.
To guarantee that you have a place to sit on the train, make sure to take out a separate seat reservation. Otherwise you risk spending your journey standing in the corridor for several hours.
For information about train arrivals and departures, consult announcement boards and information desks at railway stations, or go online. You can find the most comprehensive timetable at rozklad-pkp.pl.
Tickets are available from ticket windows at railway stations. Some carriers also offer their tickets online for selected connections.
Please note that there is no automatic recognition of tickets by different carriers. So before boarding a train check if your ticket is valid for travel on this route!
Travelling by bus
You can take a bus to reach most smaller towns that have no rail connections. Operated in the past by regional branches of the Motor Transport Company (PKS), today most of these lines have been taken over by private companies. For timetables and fares, look for information at bus terminals, or check online. With information tending to be patchy, though, planning your journey can be difficult at times. You can buy tickets at ticket windows in bus terminals, or from the coach driver prior to departure.
National and international coach lines are also operated by private travel agencies.
In some parts of the country (e.g. in the mountains) they are virtually the only means of public bus transport. Minibus services are offered by scores of carriers; there is no uniform timetable valid for Poland as a whole.
On its front, a minibus will typically have a display with the name of its destination.
Minibuses are fast, but finding your way around the timetables can at times prove challenging.
When charting your journey around Poland it is worth visiting e-podróżnik.pl. The website features probably the most up-to-date timetables of almost all major national carriers.