How to reach the Astronomical Observatory of the Jagiellonian University
Location: The Observatory can be found at the west end of Kraków, between settlements Bielany and Zakamycze. The official address is Kraków, ul. Orla 171.
Travelling to Cracow:
by Plane: The most convenient connection is via direct flight to the Kraków international airport in
BALICE (KRK). It has connections to several European cities.
From the airport one can reach the Observatory in 10 minutes by
taxi or using
There is also another nearby international airport, PYRZOWICE (KTW) near Katowice (100 km from Kraków) with connections to several European cities including connections by cheap lines. To reach Kraków one can take a direct bus from the airport or take an airport bus to Katowice train station, and continue with a local train (query connection from Katowice to Kraków Główny) or bus to Kraków.
Other option is to fly to Warsaw. From the airport OKECIE (WAW) there are public and private buses and taxis - it takes about 20 minutes to reach the main Warsaw train station Warszawa Centralna. There take an express or IC train to reach Kraków Główny. There are also internal flights to Cracow which take about 40 minutes.
Travelling by train in Poland isn't problematic, even though it is not as easy and convenient as in Germany. Normally it is
There are several different standards of train and several different rail companies. Please take care to buy a proper ticket for a train you have chosen. For the best and fastest (and, of course, the most expensive) trains in Poland you have to pay for the ticket and a booking/reservation fee. It is possible to reserve tickets over the Internet. Often you have a choice of coach with or without compartments. Sleepers and couchettes need a special reservation.
Most tickets do not need to be validated after purchase (it is sometimes needed on local trains), however you have to show them to the conductor on board. The conductor can be an uniformed railway worker or (particularly on regional trains) a person in plain clothes. In the latter case, that person should have an identifier with a photograph.
The main railway station in Cracow is called "Kraków Główny" and is localized in the very centre of the city, some 600 metres from the Main Market Square. There are some direct railway connections to Cracow from abroad. Cracow has connections with almost every bigger city in Poland. Particularly good connections are with Warsaw. Check the timetable of the Polish Railways.
From the Cracow main station Kraków Główny you can reach the Observatory by taxi or by public transportation.
Two European routes crosses in Cracow: E40 heading east-west, and E77 north-south. From all directions we recommend using
these routes as they are in the best condition. From the north or south it is possible to follow the E75 route to Katowice
and then turn onto E40 to Cracow. Driving from the west should be the easiest as there is a motorway all the way from the
western border of Poland to Cracow. Most motorways in Poland are payable at motorway gateways with cash or credit cards.
We drive on the right side :). Speed limits in Poland for passenger cars: 140 km/h on motorways, 120 km/h on fast roads, 100 km/h on dual carriageways outside urban areas, 90 km/h on single carriageways outside urban areas, and 50 km/h in urban areas.
Arriving by car: Coming from outside Krakow the easiest way to get to the OA UJ is using the motorway ring (A4). Take it to the junction "Węzeł Mirowski" (north, left bank of the Vistula with a water gate) and then head for the city center via Mirowska street. At first bigger intersection (of Księcia Józefa street) turn to the left, following the signs of the road No. 780 to Oświęcim and Mysłowice. After climbing up the picturesque serpentine road, leave to the right side the road to the monastery of Camaldolese, and the next road to the right is already Orla street leading directly to the Observatory. The Orla Street is narrow and long stretch sadly lacking sidewalks - please drive safely.
From the city most convenient way is to follow the Salwator or bridge Most Zwierzyniecki and Księcia Józefa Street to Bielany (the road No. 780 - Mysłowice, Oświęcim). When you reach the Bielany and climb up the serpentine road, the second road to the right leads to the Observatory.
Driving along 780 from Mysłowice or Oświęcim by Alwernia, or by 774 from the Balice one should head for Krakow. After crossing the town border you should see a small plane-monument on the left side, and then turn left at the next intersection after the pedestrian crossing with traffic lights.
The Observatory has only a few parking places. It is possible to turn a bus.
Taxi: Taxi is the simplest solution, however a bit expensive. Taxi drivers are usually honest, however we advice you to take only company cabs with a phone number on top. The best idea is to order taxi by phone (call e.g. 012 9661 or 012 169 22, consult a taxi company list). Many companies offer a 10-20% discount when taxi is ordered by phone. Do not accept offers of a ride from unknown persons.
This information describes the permanent communication system which is the subject of changes due to road works and diversions. Consult current announcements.
There is a bus line
Obserwatorium some 50m from the
Buses of the line 102 run near the railway station "Kraków Łobzów".
Going from the Old Town or the main railway/bus station you need to change. The best choice is to use buses 152 or 192 first and than change to 102 on any bus stop in the Królowej Jadwigi Street between Piastowska Street and Modrzewiowa Street or on the bus stop Chełm. Other good choices of bus stops to change to 102 are: Cichy Kącik (tram 20, bus 159), Miasteczko Studenckie AGH (buses 139, 159, 173, 208, 501, 511) or Biprostal (trams 4, 8, 13, 14, 24, buses 144, 194).
Going from the airport use the bus 252 and change to 102 but in the opposite direction. The best place to change is the Chełm bus stop.
The other way is to go to the stop called Bielany (the terminal stop for the 120 line). That bus stop is used by lines 109, 209, 229, 239, 269, and 605. All of them go through Salwator, 109 starts at Cracovia Stadion.