By Rick Steves
Are rail passes a good value for Poland?
Since point-to-point train tickets are cheap in Poland, as they are throughout Eastern Europe, a rail pass isn’t likely to save you much money. The main reason to buy a rail pass in this region is to avoid the hassle of buying tickets as you go. If a rail pass happens to match the countries you plan to visit, it can be a smart choice.
How do I see whether a rail pass makes sense for my trip in particular?
Train Fares: Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia & Austria
Map shows approximate costs, in $US, for one-way, second-class tickets. For first-class fares, add 50 percent.
Use this map to add up approximate pay-as-you-go fares for your itinerary, and compare that cost to the price of a rail pass for the number of days you expect to spend on the train. Also, follow the links below for:
• More tips for figuring out whether a pass makes sense for your trip
• The basics on choosing among rail passes
• More tips on how to save money by fine-tuning your rail pass
• Advice on deciding between first and second class
• Fare-estimate maps outside Eastern Europe
• Answers to frequently asked rail-pass questions
Choose one of the passes below to check prices and to buy your pass (orders are fulfilled by Rail Europe).
Poland’s faster trains require a seat reservation (specifically InterCity, Eurocity, and TLK services), along with overnight trains and some international routes (as indicated in online train schedules). Anyone with a vaild rail pass can make reservations for free at any Polish train station for any domestic trains that require them.
What do rail passes cover in Poland?
Virtually all trains within Poland, as well as the following extras:
- Express Berlin–Kraków buses are covered by both Polish and German rail passes, but require a paid seat reservation (you’ll pay a higher fee if your pass only includes one of the two countries).
- Other bonuses are described in materials that come with the rail pass.
If a rail pass doesn’t pencil out for your trip, see our general tips for buying point-to-point tickets.
Poland Rail Passes: Key Details
Single-country Poland Eurail Pass: Valid for one month, not two, after you've activated the pass (whereas multi-country Eurail-brand passes offer a two-month window of travel).
Germany–Poland Eurail Pass: Since Poland is not covered by the Eurail Select Pass, the Germany–Poland Eurail pass is the only rail pass covering both countries that's cheaper than the full-blown Global Pass. Separate rail passes for each region may be cheaper, but you use a day from each pass when you cross the border.