Polski Bus Review – Travel in Poland
Polski Bus Review – Travel in Poland
Ah Polski Bus…where to begin.? I wasn’t sure what to expect. I usually opt for trains over buses but this was the only practical option to get from Kraków to Zakopane. Polski bus an inter-city express coach based out of Poland. Polski Bus also offers routes from cities in Poland to international destinations such as Vienna, Bratislava, Berlin, and Prague.
I booked the trip on-line at the Polski Bus website from Kraków to Zakopane for some insanely cheap amount. The ticket cost around 20 zloty round trip which is about $5.00. Ok, you can’t really beat that price. And being fair, Polski bus was actually a great, cheap way to get to Zakopane. The Polski Bus website is in English. It is very simple and straightforward to make a booking. The bus was very clean and new; I have no complaints there.
However, if you are considering using Polski Bus here is my only warning, be VERY cautious of is your luggage. The driver should tag your luggage with a sticker, or luggage receipt that has a unique number. One sticker stays on your bag, keep the other sticker to claim your luggage upon arrival. Make sure the bus driver does this! In our case, this didn’t happen. The driver loaded everyone’s luggage under the bus and didn’t hand out any luggage stickers.
My travel partner and I were last to get off the bus. When we went to collect our bags, her bag was missing. We knew her luggage had been loaded onto the bus, as we watched him do it on departure, but it wasn’t there. Someone had taken her bag and, because there was no double-check system in place, we had no idea who that was. The driver didn’t seem too concerned. He told us just to wait near the bus for some moments to see if someone would bring the bag back once they noticed it wasn’t theirs. If not he would contact his supervisor to file a claim.
While we waited, some woman that seemed to be hanging around the bus stop, approached us. She knew who had our bag and we should just wait. Unfortunately, we couldn’t understand her very well and anyway, how did she know what the bag we were missing looked like?
In our wait, my travel companion Christiane started to get VERY agitated because something just didn’t seem right. Maybe it was our intuition, perhaps we were paranoid, not sure, but something just didn’t feel right about the situation. So Christiane decided to call Polski Bus directly. She asked the bus drivers for the number. They really didn’t want to give it to her but did. Just as she was placing the call a van pulls up, and this woman jumps out of the van with Christiane’s bag. Christiane approached her to grab her bag. The woman said something along the lines that she was so sorry she thought it was her bag, etc. Then she got back in the van and drove off. She didn’t even look for her “own” bag.
Now, maybe this was a simple misunderstanding? However, it seemed more like a setup. It seemed as though this had happened before because the bus drivers didn’t seem too alarmed. They didn’t really want to give us the number to Polski Bus corporate, they just knew the bag would show up and it did. Perhaps the driver’s hesitation to give us the information to contact Polski Bus directly had to do with the fact that the drivers knew they did not hand out luggage receipts and that number would be asked of us? I am not sure. The whole situation just didn’t sit right with me and my intuition was pinging.
My thought was more that they (this man and women who I am not even certain were on our bus) had taken her bag hoping something good was in it, took it to a nearby location, and carefully rifled thru it. Then, upon finding nothing of any value, returned it as if it was a complete accident. Do I have any proof of this? No, absolutely not, but my point is to be careful and be aware.
I would consider using Polski Bus again if I was in Poland and looking for a clean, cheap, transportation option. Mainly because Polski Bus is so cheap for travel around Poland and more efficient, in most cases than taking a train. Not only can train tickets be relatively expensive, some of the regional trains are slow and less desirable. I would, however, either carry my bags on the bus with me or demand that the driver tags each bag with a luggage receipt. Even if there was a legitimate mix-up with the bags you really need a luggage receipt. Also, I would be one of the first passengers off the bus so that there is less of a chance for someone to grab your luggage. This way you can see the luggage being unloaded and make sure that yours does not get carried off.
Again, I wouldn’t let this experience detour me from using Polski Bus again and you shouldn’t either; just be vigilant.
**All Opinions Are My Own. I was not sponsored or compensated in any way for this review. **