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John Paul II Balise International Airport
The John Paul II Balise International Airport is located in Krakow, Poland. The airport accommodates 25 airlines that bring passengers to 63 cities all over the world with nonstop flights. Each week, the airport is able to handle 105 domestic and 791 international flights, making it primarily an international airport.
The second busiest airport in the country, it is conveniently located only 11 kilometers west of the city of Krakow, situated in the village of Balise. With over 8 million people living within 100 kilometers of the city, the airport is an important mode of transportation for its residents who need to go to both international and local cities.
The airport is also the main airport used by travelers and tourists who go to Zakopane, which has been called the “Winter Capital” of Poland. This popular tourist destination is famous for mountaineers, for skiing and all other snow sports and is visited by over 250,000 visitors each year. Zakopane is also famous for its preservation of the Goral culture which is uniquely Polish. Most of the tourists who visit the city use the John Paul II Airport as their main mode of transportation.
There are several airlines operating at the John Paul Airport, such as Aeroflot, Air Berlin, Austrian Airlines, EasyJet, Eurolot, Lufthansa, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Ryanair. Destinations are for domestic and international destinations such as the UK, London, Poland, Warsaw, Munich, Frankfurt, Oslo, Paris, Dublin, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Bergamo, Vienna, Brussels, Bristol and Bologna.
The airport was established in 1964 and was open for civil aviation. It was called the Balise airport but was later changed to John Paul II Balise International Airport in 1995 to honor Pope John Paul II as the official patron of the airport, as he had served Krakow many years of his life and was Archbishop of the city when he was declared Pope.
With over 8 million passengers going through the airport a year, the airport is continuously making improvements and reconstructions to its terminal and its entire area and premises. The construction of a new terminal began in April 2013 and is set to be finished by 2015. In September of 2013 as well, the construction of a new hotel was also started, which will make it easier for passengers to find a convenient place to stay during their travels.
There are VIP services available at the airport where VIP passengers have their check in at the lounge and are transported to the aircraft earlier and use a different transport. Reserved parking is also given to VIP passengers, as well as free WiFi inside the lounge, private catering, office equipment and other amenities.
Shopping at the airport can be done at the Duty Free shops, as well as food services at the coffee shops, restaurants and bistros. There is also a private chapel inside the terminal, as well post office services, a tourist information counter, a currency exchange unit and an ATM machine.
Getting to and from the airport is very convenient with a shuttle that takes passengers to and from the railway station located only 250 meters from the terminal. Budget travelers will definitely find this a very convenient and affordable way of getting around the city and other areas nearby. There are also taxis and buses that can be found outside the main terminal. Car rental services from reputable companies are also available at the airport where you can book ahead or at the terminal. Companies such as Avis and Budget are available at your disposable.
Krakow is one of the oldest places in Poland. The city can trace its history all the way back to the seventh century. Geographically, this city is the second largest in the country. Due to its old age and vast amount of events that marked its place on the map, Krakow has grown to nurse a wide array of culture, art, literature, and history. Right after you arrive, you are advised to take a stroll in the city and experience that sense of wonder and nostalgia that this city never fails to give tourists.
Generally speaking, this city has an oceanic climate. This means that the climate is temperate for the entire duration of the year. You can compare Krakow’s climate to the feeling you get when you stay on the seaside for the entire day. The early morning tide can bring you a gentle mixture of warmth and coldness. The afternoon may be too hot while the evening can boast of coldness that surpasses the morning temperature by far.
There was no official affirmation, but Krakow has long been considered as the cultural capital of the country. With the city’s vast array of museums, cultural centers, sports buildings, and art departments, Krakow indeed has the right attributes to uphold the rich culture of Poland.
Your airport transport experience can be incredibly pleasant with Krakow’s sophisticated facilities. From numerous ticket offices to car rental desks, Krakow airport has it all. For each passenger terminal, an information desk is available. In turn, each information desk is equipped with a readily-available visual information system.
To help you transport your luggage from one point to another, you may borrow a trolley at the designated spot in the airport. You may also access the first aid section in case accidents occur. Aside from these, you may also visit the eateries and try out a wide variety of savory food items.
Some of the facilities that you may also need to use are the automated teller machines and the currency exchange booths. In case you need to buy something, you may also visit the duty-free shop within the airport’s vicinity.
Krakow Airport Guide
Krakow airport is more popularly known as the John Paul II International Airport Krakow-Balice. It is a public international airport that is located 11 kilometers west of the city of Krakow.
Being an international airport, numerous airlines make use of this airport hence checking whether your flight arrives or departs in their runways is imperative. Also, due to the high number of airlines that go through, a certain amount of air traffic is to be expected.
For those who are waiting in for connecting flights, there is are two different business lounges that can be found in the International wing of the Krakow airport. One of which is allocated for those that are traveling to Non-Schengen regions while the other is for Schengen travelers. Free internet access via WiFi is also available in both lounges. Internet access is also available in different kiosks around the first level of Terminal 1. But keep in mind this is not for free and rate are charged by the minute.
ATM's and Foreign Exchange Establishments
ATM's and foreign exchange establishments are also available within the airport vicinity. These are open 24 hours a day.
Food, Dining and Drinks
Terminal 1 houses more choices in terms of food and dining. There are cafes, salad bars, and restaurants to choose from at Terminal 1, while Terminal 2 has its own coffee and salad bar.
Sight Seeing and Recreation
A viewing deck is open to all travelers from the hours of 8am to 8 pm. Access to the viewing deck can be found on the 2nd level of Terminal 1.
Private Cars for Lease
If you do not wish to take the bus or taxi upon arrival at the airport, another option to consider would be renting a car. There are numerous car rental companies that have kiosks in the airport for easier transactions.
Storage Lockers for Lease
For those that wish to go around the Krakow airport and do not want to bring around enormous amounts of luggage while waiting for their connecting flights, storage lockers can be leased in the airport. These are located on Level 0 of Terminal 1.