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Train from Prague to Krakow - where to stop?

Train from Prague to Krakow - where to stop?

Aug 18th, 2004, 09:12 AM
  #1  
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Train from Prague to Krakow - where to stop?

Hi, I will be taking the train from Prague to Krakow with some friends at the end of October. I know there is the option to travel overnight, but we won't see much that way. We want to see a bit more of the Czech Republic than just Prague, but our time is limited.

Can anyone recommend a worthwhile overnight stopover on the train route between the two cities? Preferably somewhere fairly close to Poland but not actually as far as Krakow.
IrishJenny is offline  
Aug 18th, 2004, 09:24 AM
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I did the same thing and stayed overnight in Olomouc, CR. It's a nice town for an overnight, has an attractive square and few other attractions. It seemed like the most worthwhile stopover to me. The good thing is it's only about 3 hrs or so from Prague, so you can get there noon-ish and have the rest of the day to sightsee there. The train to Krakow from Olomouc takes about 5-6 hours, as I recall (and I think you have a train change in Prerov, just a bit after Olomouc, to a main ECtrain going from Vienna to Krakow).

YOu can go the other direction to get to Krakow, going through Wroclaw and Katowice, POland. The main town before Poland on that line is probably Liberec, but it's not very far from Prague so not sure that would be a good idea (and I know nothing about that town).
Christina is offline  
Aug 18th, 2004, 04:49 PM
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I agree...the town center is quaint and Olomouc is a good place to stop over. Met quite a few people who were there on their way to Krakow from Prague.
crazymina is offline  
Aug 18th, 2004, 08:11 PM
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Christina
Is there a web site posting this train?
Sounds like a good idea rather than a long 9 hour train ride direct to Krakow.
Did you purchase your ticket on line or in Prague. I will be there in March 2005 and going on to Krakow and would like to travel first class. If I wait to purchase in Prague do you think there will still be room ?
Thanks in advance for any info.
hermit is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 05:14 AM
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Rats. I just double-checked my flight info, and we don't even arrive in Prague until 2pm. So it would be 7pm before we got to Olomouc, not much time for sightseeing

It still might be worthwhile staying the night there, though. I'll have to do some more research. Thanks for the information!

IrishJenny is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 08:02 AM
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IrishJenny Where are you finding this info?
hermit is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 09:14 AM
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No, you won't have time at all to sightseeing that town. In any case, we took the train overnight at around 9pm ...I believe and arrive in Krakow at around 5am....pretty early, but at least you sleep most of the way....or try to at least, it's pretty noisy
CarlosSandoval is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 09:47 AM
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hi, well, I know a little Czech so I can navigate the Czech railways web site to find routes and timings. Their web site is www.cdrail.cz

They seem to have an English section now, so you can give it a try if you don't know enough Czech. (flags in bottom right corner) sorry -- I just tried it and you get a message saying it's not prepared yet in English or German.

There are trains all day long between Prague and Olomouc, about two an hour. Trip takes 3:15-3:30 hours.

If you want to use the Czech rail site, I will try to give simple instructions --- go to above URL and you'll see a box on right side that looks like where you fill in information for a search. Fill in the boxes with this info (use Czech names for places, Olomouc is same, Prague is Praha):

Odkud (means "from", departure city)
Kam (means "where", arrival city)
Pres (means "via", I leave blank)
Odjezd (departure) or prijezd (arrival), check approp box for your date/time selection;

Datum (means date, fill in as dd.mm.yyyy, eg, 20.10.2004)

Cas means time of day, eg, 9:00

click on "hledej" (search)

you get results and need to click on "vyhledat" on left side which means "look up" to show results -- click on "vice" for "more" and you go to new page which sort of gives more options you probably don't need.

Anyway, this is too confusing, I guess, but there are trains all day long to Olomouc, more in the afternoon. On 9/20/2004, they show runs at 9:05, 10:03, 11:05, 12:03, 13:05, 14:03, 14:35, 15:03, 15:35, 16:03, 16:26, 17:05 and 17:35 (I stoped at that point).

I bought my tickets in Prague just a day or two before the date I wanted to travel. I was in late May or early June and there was no problem getting seats. I booked first class as 1st class is really cheap in Czech Republic, so why not (it was very cheap even to Krakow), and maybe that's why more seats. Of course, going to Olomouc, with all those runs, there's no problem. There weren't a whole lot of empty seats in first class on the train to Krakow, as I recall, though (which came from Vienna). I remember some people complaining they couldn't get a nonsmoking seat at the last minute. I'm sure the train I took was probably the most popular one due to the timing, which made it arrive in Krakow around 4 pm.

Olomouc has a good web site with town info you can peruse. I think this is it:

http://web.olomouc.com/
Christina is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 09:57 AM
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oh, if you arrived in Olomouc at 7:00 pm or so, I'd still do that rather than take an overnight train to Krakow. First, hotels in Olomouc are real cheap so you can get a very nice hotel for 100 euro or less. Second, if you stay right near the town center (main square), you can actually walk around there and see a few things and there are lots of restaurants around there, etc. I know in October, it will be dark, though. There was a nice outdoor festival in that square when I was there, with a Moravian children's choir, etc. -- none of that was planned by me, but it's a hub of the city.

Mainly, I would not want to take an overnight train -- and especially in conjuction with a flight, and would rather spend a pleasant evening in Olomouc and on an overnight train only to arrive in Krakow at 5 am. Then what? you can't do anything at that hour anyway.
Christina is offline  
Aug 19th, 2004, 12:13 PM
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CHRISTINA Thanks so much for all the information. I'll wait and buy the ticket(s) in Prague . Between now and then I'll have to make the decision whether to stop in Olomouc.
Thanks again
hermit is offline  
Aug 26th, 2004, 02:43 PM
  #11  
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Thanks Christina for the very detailed information there. I realised that I was not seeing all the available trains to Olomouc because I was looking only at trains to Krakow that stopped there -- duh!

However, as it turns out, I think we will have to take the overnight train simply because it is cheaper than getting a hotel room. I am travelling with people who are unemployed students and could not afford to go at all if we were paying for hotel rooms. In Krakow we will be staying in a hostel...

However, I will take a look at hostel availablity in Olomouc and see what there is!
IrishJenny is offline  
Aug 27th, 2004, 02:22 PM
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Jenny, I can understand that, but the cost of a cheap hotel in Olomouc is probably not going to be that much cheaper than paying for the overnight train. I know the trains are very cheap, so perhaps even then, but you can get a cheap hotel room for around 25 euro for a double, and that's a 3* hotel. So it would only cost about 10-12 euro per person.

Here are some examples:
3* Hotel Gol www.hotel.gol.cz has doubles at 780 CK (about 24 euro) and triples at 1000 CK

HEre is a hostel that I think is okay, but it's the same rate as that hotel, Hostel Poet's Corner
www.hostelolomouc.com (800 CK doubles, 1000 triples, 250 CK for a dorm bed)

I think the Hotel U Domu is very central, historic, a 3* but also around 30-40 euro for a double room but I can't find a web site for it.

I'd choose the most central place (I think Poets Hostel is very central). So, I'm not sure it is cost-effective to stay on a train for those prices vs. seeing something.
Christina is offline  
Aug 27th, 2004, 03:21 PM
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Poet's Corner is indeed very central. I liked staying there, but I was there with some other travelers that I knew and we had the entire place to ourselves. The guy who was managing the place has since moved onto Loket though, so I don't know who is there. It wasn't spotless, but it was clean and serviceable, with a kitchen for your use. There is a smaller room that maybe you can rent out. The entire place doesn't sleep a ton of people anyway. 5 in one room and 3 in the other, I think.
crazymina is offline  
Aug 28th, 2004, 05:08 AM
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Christina, you are an absolute gem - a real mine of information! Thank you so much. I will check out the places that you mentioned, and talk to my friends about stopping in Olomouc overnight instead of sleeping (or attempting to) on the train. It's sounding like a much better idea
IrishJenny is offline  
Aug 28th, 2004, 05:12 AM
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Forgot to ask: does anyone know the current cost of full fare train tickets, 1st and/or 2nd class, from Prague to Krakow or from Prague to Olomouc and Olomouc to Krakow? I can't seem to find it listed on any of the train timetable websites, although I'm probably just not seeing it. I have prices from a couple of years ago but they are probably not valid any more.

Or if anyone could point me in the direction of a website with ticket prices listed for that route, it would be much appreciated.
IrishJenny is offline  
Aug 28th, 2004, 02:22 PM
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I did see prices on the Czech railroads web site, at least for the ticket from Prague to Olomouc. that's not much at all, only the equivalent of around 8-10 euro. I couldn't quite find the price for Olomouc to Krakow on there, I'm not sure they list that one because it goes to another country and you really catch an EC train at Prerov from Vienna which comes up into the Czech Republic and then goes to Krakow. My Czech is only rudimentary so I didn't fool around with it a lot.

I did look up my fare from summer 2002, and it was only 1238 CK for the entire route (Prague to Olomouc, then Olomouc to Krakow) which is about 40 euro now. That was for first class, also, the entire route (although I'm not sure it mattered that much on the train from Prague to Olomouc; first class was nice for the EC train to Krakow and I met some fun Austrians travelling to Krakow for a holiday). I remembered it was really really cheap, I was amazed. There was no problem buying that entire ticket and then stopping overnight in Olomouc and then continuing the next day. Second class would obviously be even cheaper.

Some people don't mind trying to sleep on overnight trains (although I imagine you wouldn't have private rooms if you are going cheap), but I really wouldn't want to do that myself. It is nice to see the countryside, also, of both the Czech Republic and Poland, as well as experiencing a smaller town (it's not a real small town, don't mean to imply that, but not like Prague or Krakow). There really isn't anything you can do in Krakow at 5 am anyway.

Christina is offline  
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