a bicycle in Krakow.
are zealous cyclists who fervently advocate bicycling through
Krakow as the best means of transport. But the cityís
average resident considers biking to be a recreational
activity and good exercise but hardly any viable alternative
to a car and/or public transportation.
and cons of cycling in Krakow.
No doubt a bike often offers
considerable benefits in the city. Pedaling a bicycle in
Krakow frequently turns out to be the quickest way to get from
point A to point B in the congested city center at rush hour.
Itís partly due to bikeways that crisscross the city. Plus
bikers in Krakow can take advantage of many shortcuts
inaccessible to motorists and routes closed to vehicular
traffic. By the same token, local bicyclists usually feel free
to venture into pedestrian zones. Also, unlike a car, itís
easy to park your bicycle downtown where parking spaces are
At the same time, biking in
Krakow has drawbacks, apart from obvious shortcomings such as
exposure to the elements. It isnít your model bike-friendly
city. Motorists donít feel obliged to help cyclists in
Krakow who are left to their own devices in navigating heavy
traffic. Even cycle paths in Krakow arenít completely safe
and in the downtown many of them stay blocked by parked cars.
Notoriously pot-holed roads, cracked tarmac, tramways, and
cobblestone streets in the historic center make for a rough
cycle ride. And keeping off busy streets bikers often need to
negotiate their way among dog turds, broken glass, abandoned
rubbish, and other obstacles. Plus standard protections
arenít enough to always prevent your bicycle from being
stolen when you leave it unattended in the street.
short cycling trips from central Krakow.
the Old Town to the Tyniec
Abbey. Starting point Bernardynska street at the
foot of the Wawel
Royal Castle. The cycleway runs via Most
Grunwaldzki bridge, alongside the southern Wisla riverbank,
down Tyniecka street, alongside Wisla embankment, Widlakowa
street, again Wisla embankment, past kayaking course, and down
Time about 1h30 each way.
to the Pilsudski Mound in Las Wolski forest. Starting
point Wisla river embankment next to the Wawel Hill. Take the
cycle path along the northern Wisla riverbank till its end by St.
Norbertís Convent, turn left at Kosciuszki street
to lights and next up steep Sw. Bronis≥awy and Waszyngtona
streets past Salwator cemetery, then beyond the Kosciuszko
Mound and fortress a maze of meandering roads through the Las
Wolski forest link the Krakow
Zoo, the Bielany
Monastery, and the Kopiec Pilsudskiego mound.
Time about one hour each way.
rentals in Krakow.
The cityís bike rentals
close for winter so, in practice, one can rent a bike in
Krakow in the period between late April and late October; as
long as the weather permits. In the city center proper you may
usually get a rental bicycle at the following addresses Ė 4
Sw. Anny street, 2 Grodzka street, and 33a/12 Starowislna
street. Also downtown, in the Kazimierz area, a bicycle rental
outfit operates at 5 Jozefa street. And there is one at 1 Na
Bloniach street (entrance next to the tennis courts), close to
the recreational areas of the Las Wolski forest and its
Krakow can also boast an
automated bike rental service called BikeOne (a small-scale
version of the computerized system introduced in Paris).
Three-speed city bikes, painted dark blue, wait at 16 stands
scattered around downtown Krakow. Registered users are
supposed to take an indigo bicycle from any of those stations
and return the two-wheeler to another stand. One can register
online at www.bikeone.pl but if nothing has recently changed
the interface is in Polish only. Besides, you need to deposit
Ė by courtesy of your credit card Ė 70 zloties
returnable on quitting the arrangement and pay at least the
weekly subscription worth 15 zloties plus minimum 10 zloties
of up-front contribution towards future rental charges. First
half hour of every rental is free of charge while the next 30
minutes cost 1.5 zloties. And note that the loss of a rented
BikeOne vehicle will cost you 1,600 zloties.
The system operates from
April through October.
repair shops in Krakow.
Agasport at os.
Dywizjonu 303, phone (+48) 126416803
at 3 Madalinskiego street, phone (+48) 122690587
at 33A Starowislna street, phone (+48) 124220425
Shop at 4 Czarnowiejska street, phone (+48) 124233262
at 3 Wilenska street, phone (+48) 124187490
at 10 Galczynskiego street, phone (+48) 126479233
at 56 Zakopianska street, phone (+48) 122670394
rowerowe at 14 Kalwaryjska street, phone (+48) 122963350
at 43 Kamienna street, phone (+48) 124153535
at 8 Wielicka street, phone (+48) 126562091
at 31 Klasztorna street, phone (+48) 124258430
Bike at 4 Jozefinska street, phone (+48) 122961885.