Poland Rail Passes and Train Tips

By Rick Steves

Are rail passes a good value for Poland (or Lithuania)?

Since point-to-point train tickets are cheap in Poland, 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.

A pass makes even less sense for Lithuania — not only are tickets cheap (e.g. about $20 in second class between Vilnius and the port city of Klaipėda), but North American travelers connecting by train to Lithuania need a visa for either Russia or Belarus, as there are no direct international trains between Lithuania and Poland.

How do I see whether a rail pass makes sense for my trip in particular?

Train Fares: Poland

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 Poland
Answers to frequently asked rail-pass questions

What are my options for rail passes that cover Poland and/or Lithuania?

Poland Eurail Pass

Lithuania Eurail Pass

Eurail Global Pass (31 countries) → read more about this pass

Rail Europe shopping cart: Have an order underway? Review and complete it here.

Extra tip: If your trip is primarily Germany-based and your only leg of Polish train travel is between Berlin and Kraków, you maybe fine just getting the German Rail Pass, since it covers buses between Berlin and Kraków (and Katowice and Wrocław).

Do I need to make seat reservations on Polish trains?

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 seat 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 (which also stop in Katowice and Wrocław), provided you make a paid seat reservation
  • A handful of minor bonuses (described in materials that come with the rail pass).

Any tips for buying point-to-point train tickets in Poland?

If a rail pass doesn't pencil out for your trip, see our general tips for buying point-to-point tickets.


What if I need help with my Rail Europe order?

All orders for passes and tickets are fulfilled by Rail Europe (not by Rick Steves' Europe). For customer-service questions, call them at 800-622-8600 (and keep in mind that refund options are fairly limited).