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?
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
Choose one of the passes below to check prices and to buy your pass (orders are fulfilled by Rail Europe).
* The only Select Passes that cover Poland are the two-country Germany–Poland and Czech Republic–Poland passes; Poland can't be paired with Slovakia, or included on any 3- or 4-country Select Pass (but is included in the Eurail Global Pass).
Extra tip: If you're considering a Germany–Poland Select Pass, keep in mind that the single-country German Rail Pass does cover buses between Berlin and Kraków, Katowice, and Wrocław.
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 (cheapest either with a pass that covers both Poland and Germany, or with a single-country German Rail Pass, but a little pricier if you have a single-country Poland Eurail Pass or a Select Pass covering just one of the two countries)
- A handful of minor bonuses (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 multicountry Eurail-brand passes offer a two-month window of travel).