How to travel between Munich and Krakow?

Sep 15th, 2003, 09:11 AM
  #1  
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How to travel between Munich and Krakow?

We will be travelling in early October from Munich to Krakow. Initially, we were going to take the overnight train and reserve a private sleeping car for 2 (1st class). I have now found out the private sleeping cars are not available on this route--only the cars for 6 (2nd class), which I do not want. (The overnight train was our choice in order to maximaize time. We are only in Europe for 8 days.)

I am now considering flying, although am finding fares outrageously expensive! Any one know of smaller German carriers, like Jet Blue?

I am also considering driving, but have been warned that driving in Eastern Europe is not terribly safe, especially for foreigners. Border crossings have also been pointed out to me as sometimes troublesome. AND, the agency I checked with said we can drive a car into Poland from Germany, but can't drop it off there!!

Help! Please advise, based on your experiences, on which type of travel sounds best. (We leave in two weeks, and I need to make a plan soon!
THANKS A LOT!
travel_chef1 is offline  
Sep 15th, 2003, 11:29 AM
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I would never take a train that involved sleeping with strangers, myself, and I probably wouldn't go overnight. I don't think you are going to find really cheap fares to Poland or a lot of countries in that area. LOT would be the natural one to look at for comparison, as well as Lufthansa. Krakow doesn't have tons of airlines flying in/out of it, that I noticed when I was looking. You can get flights from Paris (Air France) and London (BA) easily. They aren't supercheap for that route, however. I flew BA from KRK to London and it was perhaps about 150-200 euro.

I suggest you try to book a RT flight, instead of one-way, as fares are often lower. I found fares of about 360 euro for a RT but around 600 euro for one-way on that route. I do consider 600 euro very expensive. I also suggest you look for flights into Warsaw rather than Krakow, as Krakow is not the major city--many more flights go to Warsaw. From Warsaw, there are trains all day long to Krakow that are extremely cheap (maybe 25-30 euro) and it only takes a couple hours, as I recall.

There are a couple discount German airlines -- www.germanwings.com is one, they fly from Stuttgart which isn't that far from Munich. They don't go to POland, unfortunately, to my knowledge, but to Prague which is still far away. SAS, LOT and Lufthansa go to Warsaw from Munich.
Christina is online now  
Sep 15th, 2003, 11:41 AM
  #3  
 
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Christina covered just about all the bases and she's correct on all as well.

The only other possibility I could suggest is:

www.europebyair.com

Good Luck!
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Sep 15th, 2003, 11:52 AM
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Trav,

I think you have the airfare options covered pretty well. I also would not consider driving in Eastern Europe. Another option could be to split up the trip. Go Munich to Vienna (4 hours) and then Vienna to Krakow (6 hours). There are some good hotels near the train station in Vienna and you could take some time to see the city. The only problem is that this would cost about as much as flying and take alot longer. Just a thought. Have a good trip.

Greg
GregPCM is offline  
Sep 15th, 2003, 12:40 PM
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Stuff and nonsense. Who tells you there is no 2 berth first class sleeper from Munich to Krakow ? Was it a branch of RailEurope, well known for ignorance and a thirty percent add-on to European prices ? The reference library of a city near you may have the Thomas Cook European Timetable. Table 57 shows that you can board a train at Munich about 2245, leave at 2309, and reach Prague Hlavni station (beware pickpockets) at 0834. The train has 1, 2 and 3 berth sleepers, and crowded 6 berth couchettes. So I suggest you e-mail now four offices, one in the States and three in Britain, give your travel plans, and ask what they will charge you. Details follow.

Euraide. http://www.euraide.de/. Telephone 1 941-480-1555 Telefax 1 941-480-1522 [email protected]. But do get British estimates also. Recent news on Euraide worries me: I have asked them to elucidate.
Based in UK. Happy to serve travelers in North America
Trainseurope Ltd, of Cambridgeshire and London, take credit card bookings by phone and mail tickets to any address. Have the widest access in Britain to rail systems and tickets. http://www.trainseurope.co.uk/ - E-mail [email protected]. Phone 00 44 900 195 0101 - calls from Britain cost 60p per minute, maximum £5, but if the enquiry results in a booking, the cost of the call is deducted from the final invoice.
German Rail UK: www.deutsche-bahn.co.uk/ Phone : 00 44 870 243 53 63 then 6. Fax : 00 44 20 8339 4700. E-mail : [email protected]
Ffestiniog Travel, site http://www.festtravel.co.uk, e-mail [email protected], phone 01 766 512 400
For international tickets, berths and seats Trainseurope are ten percent cheaper than German Rail UK or Ffestiniog Travel. For domestic Italian trains they are cheaper again. German Rail UK are cheaper than Trainseurope or Ffestiniog Travel for domestic trains within Germany and may be competitive with Firm for international trips with a big proportion of miles in Germany. Trainseurope take Visa and MasterCard, but not Amex or Diners.

Would Christina and Frequent Flyer like to explain why they will not travel overnight ?

And would you please tell me what estimate each of the four offices gives you ? I am keen that advice I give shall be correct. It was a fellow-traveller of yours who gave me news of Euraide that raised questions ? not so far serious questions.

Welcome to Europe

[email protected]
ben_haines_london is offline  
Sep 15th, 2003, 12:48 PM
  #6  
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Everyone,

Thanks for all the GREAT info!

Ben, you said station Prague Hlavni...did you mean Krakow? (That is my final destination.)

Thanks!
travel_chef1 is offline  
Sep 15th, 2003, 01:42 PM
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You should reconsider your hesitance to travel by train if it means traveling with strangers. I traveled from Vienna to Brussels once and shared a sleeper with a couple of strangers. I was a little apprehensive at first - afraid of stinky feet, someone eating sardines, etc. It was a very pleasant experience. The other passangers were very well mannered and considerate.

I wore some ear plugs, took some Ambien and slept like a baby. I barely noticed that the other two passengers got out in an earlier city. You might have fun and/or meet someone iteresting. I think that train travel is more relaxed and civilized than air travel and I hope that we as Americans can somehow get away from our love affair with cars and planes.
Bird is offline  
Sep 15th, 2003, 01:57 PM
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rex
 
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I recently drove from Vienna to Prague and then onward into southeastern Poland (near Jelenia Gora, not to Krakow) - - and I think there is little to fear on a drive to Krakow (though I have never been there).

That said, I think the suggestion to break up the journey in vienna has much merit. Train to there; rent an austrian car which you could return to Austria (perhaps Salzburg?)

Best wishes,

Rex
rex is offline  
Sep 16th, 2003, 08:21 AM
  #9  
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Everyone,

The update is as follows:

NO car rental agencies will rent a car from Munich with a drop off in Poland ("Easterm Block countries theft rate too high.") So it looks like driving is not an option, unless I want to returm to Germany, which I am not. I leave for home from Poland.

Rex, good idea on breaking up the trip witha car rental in Vienna, though. Who did you deal with for the rental? I spoke with Auto Europe, who said no dice.

Train may be the only option. Hopefully Ben's suggestion will pan out. Bird, I agree with you. I love train travel I am more concerned with safety and also somewhat with cleanliness in terms of who is sleeping in the berth with husband and I--it is 6 to the berth. Is a couchette a bed/cot or a couch-ish type thing? Sheets? Please elaborate.

Thoughts please, everyone!
Thanks again!
travel_chef1 is offline  
Sep 16th, 2003, 09:52 AM
  #10  
rex
 
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Autoeurope.com told me "no" at about three months out, and then "yes" ab out one month out - - so I don't understand why it goes back and forth.

I think you can find a "willing company" at www.affordablepoland.com - - not just for Poland, for what it's worth...
rex is offline  
Sep 16th, 2003, 10:25 AM
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Last year we took a couchette overnight train from Munich to Krakow. The train was safe & once you get in your little room it can be locked. We were lucky as there were 4 of us in a room for 6 & nobody else showed up. And this was in the middle of August. So you might not get all those strangers you are worried about. We were woken up at the borders to show our passports but that was no problem. In other words we worried about the trip more than we should have.
We got excellent advice from Ben Hines before we left. He helped alot.
Dbacks is offline  
Sep 16th, 2003, 10:41 AM
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Instead of a couchette, why not book a sleeper cabin which holds two people (couple)?

We (husband and I) went from Prague to Krakow, then Krakow to near Budapest on two separate train trips. Each time we had private sleeper cabins. On each trip we had no problems. I think traveling by train at night to maximize your time there is a perfect idea.
kathleen is offline  
Sep 16th, 2003, 10:49 AM
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Sorry for a repeat posting, but I also meant to add that our cabins were 2nd class bookings. I realize from your original post that you had tried to book 1st class. Our trip didn't originate in Munich. That may be the difference, although I can't see why that should matter.
kathleen is offline  
Sep 16th, 2003, 12:47 PM
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travel chef:

First - sorry for misspelling of the word "interesting". I had a spelling virus a few years ago. You can imagine my embarrassment.

I traveled alone so I don't know if you will be together in the same berth or not. I shared a car with two other males.

I was in a car with four sleepers (couchettes?). In the evening, a porter came in with fresh sheets, a blanket, and a pillow and turned the seats into four beds. (I'm 6'3" and I fit into the bed) The restroom was down the hall and was kept very clean. Fresh water was always available. They served a pretty good European breakfast in the morning.

I slept with my money and passport in my pajamas, but that was about my only precaution and I never felt nervous about security.

Ben Haines gave me some good advice before I left(thanks Ben)and it helped me prepare for the trip.

One last thing. After I had purchased my train tickets for the night train, I noticed that Austrian Airlines had a special promotion from Vienna to Brussels for 89 euro. You could always check out some of the last minute promotions while you are in Munich.

Good luck and write us about your trip. I hope to do a similar trip from Berlin to Wroclaw and Krakow in December.
Bird is offline  
Sep 20th, 2003, 12:12 PM
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Definitly break up your trip a bit... Consider Prague (Czech Republic), Wroclaw (Poland) then Krakow... Or as other mentioned Vienna then Krakow. Wroclaw is definitly a worth of a stopover same with Prague... Also renting a car in "Eastern" Europe country will give you less or no hassle to drop off in another "Eastern" European country... To save a bit on Train tix - buy tickets in parts in each country - so in Munich you would buy to Prague, then in Prague to Wroclaw or to Krakow... it will be bit cheaper...Enjoy!
PeterB is offline  

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