Riding a bicycle in
There are zealous cyclists who fervently advocate bicycling
through Krakow as the best means of transport. But the
city’s average resident considers biking to be a
recreational activity and good exercise but hardly any
viable alternative to a car and/or public transportation.
Pros 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. It’s 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,
it’s easy to park your bicycle downtown where parking spaces
are preciously scarce.
At the same time, biking in
Krakow has drawbacks, apart from obvious shortcomings such
as exposure to the elements. It isn’t your model
bike-friendly city. Many motorists don’t feel obliged to help
cyclists in Krakow who are left to their own devices in
navigating heavy traffic. Even cycle paths in Krakow aren’t
completely safe and in the downtown some 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 aren’t enough to always prevent
your bicycle from being stolen when you leave it unattended
in the street.
Best 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 Promowa street.
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.
Norbert’s Convent, turn left at Kosciuszki street
to lights and next up steep Sw. Bronisławy 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
Time about one hour each way.
Bike rentals in Krakow.
The city’s bike rentals
close for winter so, in practice, one can readily rent a bike in
Krakow in the period between March 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
– 4 Sw. Anny street, 2 Grodzka street, 33a/12 Starowislna
street, 24 Florianska street, and 9 Koletek 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 environs.
Self-service bicycle rental.
Krakow can also boast an
automated bike rental service with stands scattered around
downtown. Registered users are supposed to take a bicycle
from any of those stations and return the two-wheeler to
another stand. The
service is available on a monthly subscription worth 25 PLN
while otherwise the rental costs 11.4 zlotys per hour.
Bike 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
Biker Shop at 4 Czarnowiejska street, phone (+48)
at 3 Wilenska street, phone (+48) 124187490
at 10 Galczynskiego street, phone (+48) 126479233
at 56 Zakopianska street, phone (+48) 122670394
Pogotowie rowerowe at 14 Kalwaryjska street, phone (+48)
at 43 Kamienna street, phone (+48) 124153535
at 8 Wielicka street, phone (+48) 126562091
at 31 Klasztorna street, phone (+48) 124258430
Vario Bike at 4 Jozefinska street, phone (+48)