Things to do in Krakow – Poland

Welcome to our comprehensive guide of things to do in the magical city of Krakow, Poland. With its rich history, beautiful architecture, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty, Krakow is a must-visit destination for any traveller. Our guide will take you on a journey through the city’s top attractions, hidden gems, and off-the-beaten-path experiences, ensuring you make the most of your time in Krakow. So, whether you’re looking for historical landmarks, cultural experiences, outdoor adventures, or simply a relaxing break, Krakow has something for everyone.

Key Takeaways:

  • Krakow is a must-visit destination for history buffs, culture vultures, and nature lovers.
  • Our comprehensive guide will highlight the top attractions and experiences in Krakow, ensuring you make the most of your trip.
  • Krakow offers a vibrant cultural scene, delicious cuisine, beautiful parks, and stunning national parks just a short trip away.
  • Whether you’re visiting for a weekend break or a longer stay, Krakow is a destination you won’t forget.

Discover Krakow’s History

As one of the oldest cities in Poland, Krakow has a rich and fascinating history that can still be felt and experienced today. From medieval architecture and World War II sites, to cultural landmarks and Jewish heritage, there are plenty of historical destinations to discover in Krakow.

Medieval Krakow

A visit to Krakow’s Main Market Square is a must, where the Cloth Hall and St. Mary’s Basilica stand as iconic examples of medieval architecture. Take a stroll through Planty Park, which surrounds the Old Town, and get a sense of the city’s original fortifications. Another must-see is the Wawel Castle, which dates back to the 14th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.

World War II Sites

Krakow played an important role during World War II, with the city eventually becoming the headquarters of the Nazi occupation. Visitors can learn about this dark period of history by taking a tour of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, located just outside the city. The Oskar Schindler Factory Museum is also a powerful reminder of the city’s wartime past.

Cultural Landmarks and Jewish Heritage

Krakow is home to a rich cultural scene, with numerous art galleries and museums to visit. Highlights include the Wawel Royal Castle State Art Collection, the National Museum, and the Jagiellonian University Museum. Don’t miss the Kazimierz Jewish Quarter, where you can learn about Krakow’s Jewish heritage and visit the historic synagogues.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply interested in learning about a new culture, there’s no shortage of historical destinations to explore in Krakow. Plan your trip today and discover the city’s fascinating past.

Explore Krakow’s Historical Sites

Krakow’s rich history is evident in the city’s many historical sites. From the iconic Wawel Castle to the bustling Main Market Square, there are plenty of attractions that allow visitors to explore the city’s past.

Wawel CastleLocated on a hill overlooking the Vistula River, Wawel Castle was the residence of Polish kings for centuries. The castle’s numerous rooms and chambers are decorated with exquisite artwork, tapestries, and furniture, providing a glimpse into the luxurious lifestyle of the monarchy.
Main Market SquareThe Main Market Square is the heart of Krakow’s Old Town, featuring stunning architecture and a lively atmosphere. The square dates back to the 13th century and has witnessed many significant events throughout Krakow’s history. Visitors can take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the square or climb the Town Hall Tower for panoramic views of the city.
Kazimierz Jewish QuarterThe Kazimierz Jewish Quarter is a must-see destination for anyone interested in Krakow’s Jewish history. The area was once the center of Jewish life in Krakow and still features many synagogues, museums, and other landmarks that pay tribute to the city’s Jewish heritage.

Explore Krakow’s Historical Sites.

Other notable historical sites in Krakow include the medieval St. Mary’s Basilica, the Renaissance-style Cloth Hall, and the Jagiellonian University. Visitors can take a guided walking tour of the Old Town to learn more about these and other landmarks.

Immerse Yourself in Krakow’s Culture

When it comes to cultural experiences, Krakow has something for everyone. From art galleries to traditional Polish cuisine, the city is a hub of creativity and tradition.

If you’re interested in art, make sure to visit the National Museum, which boasts an impressive collection of Polish paintings and sculptures. For something a bit more contemporary, head to MOCAK, a modern art museum in the Zabłocie district.

For a taste of traditional Polish culture, head to one of Krakow’s many restaurants serving local cuisine. Try pierogi, a type of dumpling filled with meat or vegetables, or zapiekanka, a popular street food made with bread, cheese, and various toppings.

Traditional Festivals

Throughout the year, Krakow hosts a number of traditional festivals that offer a unique insight into Polish culture. The Christmas Market in the Main Market Square is a must-visit during the holiday season, while the Pierogi Festival celebrates the beloved dumpling every August.

For a glimpse into Poland’s Jewish heritage, visit during the Jewish Culture Festival, which takes place every summer and features concerts, workshops, and exhibitions.

Overall, Krakow’s cultural offerings are not to be missed. Whether you’re interested in art, food, or traditional festivals, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.

Find Your Perfect Accommodation in Krakow

When it comes to finding the perfect place to stay in Krakow, there are so many options to choose from that it can be overwhelming. Whether you’re looking for a luxury hotel, a budget-friendly hostel, or a cosy boutique guesthouse, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city.

Accommodation typePrice rangeLocation
Luxury hotel£100-£200 per nightOld Town
Budget hostel£5-£20 per nightKazimierz
Boutique guesthouse£50-£100 per nightPodgórze

For those looking for a touch of luxury, there are plenty of five-star hotels located in the heart of the Old Town, offering stunning views of the city from their rooftop terraces. Budget travellers will find a range of affordable hostels in the bohemian Kazimierz district, while those looking for a more authentic experience may prefer to stay in a cosy guesthouse in the up-and-coming district of Podgórze.

Whatever your preferences, it’s important to book your accommodation well in advance, especially during peak season, to ensure you get the best deal and a room that meets your needs.

Taste the Flavours of Krakow

No trip to Krakow is complete without indulging in the local cuisine. From traditional Polish dishes to international cuisine, Krakow has something to offer every palate. Here are some of our favourite places to eat in the city:


If you’re looking for authentic Polish cuisine, Polakowski is the place to be. This small, cosy restaurant serves up hearty and delicious dishes, including pierogi, bigos (a traditional meat and cabbage stew), and kielbasa (Polish sausage).


For a more upscale dining experience, head to Starka. This elegant restaurant specializes in modern Polish cuisine with a twist, incorporating local ingredients and traditional recipes into innovative dishes. Make sure to try their signature dish: beef tartare with cranberries and mustard.


If you’re in the mood for something different, check out Hamsa. This Middle Eastern restaurant offers a range of delicious dishes, from hummus and falafel to shakshuka and tagine. Their outdoor seating area is perfect for soaking up the sun while enjoying a delicious meal.

No matter where you decide to eat in Krakow, you’re sure to find something delicious. Make sure to try the local pierogi and kielbasa, and don’t forget to save room for dessert!

Explore Krakow’s Parks and Green Spaces

Krakow is not just a city of history and culture, it also boasts beautiful parks and green spaces perfect for a relaxing day outdoors. Here are some of our favourite local parks to explore:

Park NameLocationDescription
Planty ParkOld TownAn iconic park that encircles the Old Town, featuring beautiful gardens, fountains, and historic landmarks.
Park BednarskiegoKazimierzA peaceful oasis in the heart of the Jewish Quarter, featuring a large pond, walking trails, and a playground.

In addition to these local parks, there are also several national parks within easy reach of Krakow:

  1. Ojcow National Park: This park is just a short drive from Krakow and features stunning limestone cliffs, caves, and hiking trails.
  2. Tatra National Park: For those who enjoy mountain scenery, Tatra National Park is not to be missed. It’s about a 2-hour drive from Krakow and offers breathtaking views of the Tatras.

Relax and Unwind in Krakow’s Green Spaces

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful place to read a book or an active day out with family and friends, Krakow’s parks and green spaces offer something for everyone. So take a break from sightseeing and enjoy the natural beauty of this historic city.

Explore the Natural Beauty of Krakow’s National Parks

While Krakow’s city centre is packed with historical landmarks and cultural attractions, nature lovers can also find plenty of breathtaking landscapes just a short trip away from the city. Here are some of the top national parks in and around Krakow:

National ParkMain Attractions
Ojcowski National ParkCaves, rock formations, and forest trails.
Tatra National ParkHigh mountain peaks, alpine lakes, and hiking trails.
Biebrza National ParkMarshlands, wetlands, and diverse wildlife.

If you’re interested in hiking, biking, or skiing, the nearby Tatras are a must-see destination. Known as the “Polish Alps,” this mountain range boasts stunning vistas and abundant flora and fauna.

Keep in mind that some national parks may have limited access during certain times of the year, so be sure to check ahead of time before planning your visit.

Exploring Ojcowski National Park

Ojcowski National Park, located just 16 km from Krakow, offers visitors a chance to see some of Poland’s most unique geological formations. With over 400 caves, the park has long been a popular destination for spelunkers and adventurers. Other highlights include Pieskowa Skała Castle, the park’s picturesque valley, and its rich biodiversity. Here are some popular activities to try at Ojcowski National Park:

  • Hiking: The park has a number of hiking trails, ranging from easy strolls to more challenging treks.
  • Caving: Experienced cavers can explore the park’s numerous caves, some of which stretch for miles underground.
  • Biking: Rent a bike and explore the park’s scenic trails and countryside.

No matter what you choose to do, a visit to Ojcowski National Park is a reminder of the natural beauty just waiting to be discovered around Krakow.

Navigating Krakow’s Transport Options

Getting around Krakow is relatively easy, with a variety of transportation options available to visitors. Whether you prefer to travel by public transport or hire a car, we’ve got you covered.

Public Transport

Krakow has an extensive public transport network, consisting of buses and trams. Tickets can be purchased at newsagents, ticket machines or directly from the driver on board. There are several ticket options to choose from, including single tickets, daily passes and group tickets. Note that tickets must be validated once on board or risk incurring a fine.

Ticket TypePriceDuration
Single Ticket3.80 PLN20 minutes
24-hour Pass15 PLN24 hours
Group Ticket24 PLN24 hours (for up to 5 people)


Taxis are readily available in Krakow, with various taxi companies operating in the city. It is recommended to use established taxi companies to avoid overcharging or scams. Uber and Bolt are also available options, providing a convenient and affordable alternative to traditional taxis.

Car Rental

If you prefer to explore Krakow at your own pace, renting a car is a great option. There are several car rental companies located in and around the city, including international brands such as Hertz and Avis. Be aware that driving in the city centre can be challenging due to traffic and limited parking options.


Biking is a popular way to get around Krakow, with bike rental companies located throughout the city. Krakow has several dedicated bike lanes, making it easy to explore the city on two wheels. A word of caution though, biking in the city can be dangerous, so it is important to wear a helmet and stay alert.

With these transportation options at your fingertips, navigating Krakow will be a breeze. Whether you choose to travel by public transport, hire a car, or explore the city on foot or by bike, you’re sure to have a fantastic time in this beautiful city.

Essential Tips for Visiting Krakow

Now that you have an idea of the best things to see and do in Krakow, it’s time to start planning your trip. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Krakow is during the spring or autumn months, when the weather is mild and there are fewer tourists. Summer can be quite crowded and hot, while winter can be snowy and cold.

Getting Around

Krakow has an excellent public transportation system, including trams, buses, and trains. You can purchase tickets at kiosks or from the driver, but be sure to validate your ticket once you board. Taxis are also available, but make sure to use a licensed service.

Money Matters

The currency in Poland is the Polish złoty (PLN). Many places accept credit and debit cards, but it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand. ATMs are widely available throughout the city.


The official language of Poland is Polish, but many people in Krakow speak English, especially in tourist areas. It’s always a good idea to learn a few basic phrases in Polish to show respect for the local culture.


Krakow is generally a safe city, but like any big city, it’s important to take precautions. Keep an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded areas, and be aware of your surroundings. It’s also a good idea to stick to well-lit areas at night.

Respect the Culture

Poland has a rich cultural heritage, and it’s important to respect the local customs and traditions. When visiting churches and other religious sites, dress modestly and speak quietly. It’s also a good idea to avoid drinking alcohol in public places.

Pack Appropriately

When packing for your trip to Krakow, be sure to check the weather forecast and pack accordingly. Comfortable shoes are a must, as there is a lot of walking involved in exploring the city. It’s also a good idea to bring a reusable water bottle and a small backpack for carrying your essentials.

By keeping these essential tips in mind, you’ll be well-prepared for an unforgettable trip to Krakow.

Explore Beyond Krakow – Day Trips to Nearby Attractions

While Krakow has plenty to offer on its own, there are also several nearby attractions that make for great day trips. Here are a few options:

Auschwitz-Birkenau MemorialA sobering but important visit to the site of one of the largest Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Tours are available from Krakow, and the trip takes about 90 minutes each way.
Wieliczka Salt MineLocated just outside of Krakow, this 700-year-old mine is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visitors can take guided tours, exploring the fascinating underground tunnels and chambers. The trip takes around 30 minutes each way.
ZakopaneIf you’re looking for some outdoor adventure, consider a day trip to Zakopane, a popular ski resort town in the Tatra Mountains. Here you can hike, ski, or simply enjoy the stunning alpine scenery. The trip takes about 2 hours each way.

These are just a few examples of the many day trips available from Krakow. Depending on your interests, you may also want to consider visiting the historic town of Wawel, the Dunajec River Gorge, or the charming town of Kazimierz Dolny.

Experience Krakow’s Vibrant Night Scene

When the sun sets in Krakow, the city comes alive with a vibrant and exciting nightlife scene. Whether you’re in the mood for a sophisticated cocktail lounge or a raucous nightclub, Krakow has something for everyone.

Cocktail Lounges

If you’re looking for a laid-back atmosphere and expertly crafted cocktails, Krakow’s cocktail lounges are the perfect choice. One of our favourites is Wódka Cafe Bar, which offers a wide selection of flavoured vodkas and creative cocktails. For a more upscale experience, head to Bonobo Cocktail Bar, where skilled mixologists can whip up any drink you desire.


For those who want to dance the night away, Krakow’s nightclubs are a must-visit. One of the most popular is Prozak 2.0, a bustling club that offers three floors of music and dancing. If you’re looking for something a bit more underground, check out Szpitalna1 or Pauza.

Live Music Venues

If you’re a music lover, you won’t want to miss Krakow’s live music venues. Jazz lovers should head to Harris Piano Jazz Bar, where you can sip on a drink while listening to some of Poland’s best jazz musicians. For a more rock ‘n’ roll vibe, check out Klub Zaścianek, a tiny bar that features local up-and-coming bands.

Whatever your nightlife preferences may be, Krakow has something to offer. So put on your dancing shoes and discover the city’s exciting night scene.

Shop ’til You Drop in Krakow

When it comes to shopping, Krakow has something for everyone. From trendy boutiques to traditional markets, there are plenty of options to explore. Here are some of our top picks:

Cloth Hall

Located in the heart of the Old Town, the Cloth Hall is one of Krakow’s most iconic landmarks. Built in the 14th century, it has been a hub for traders and merchants for centuries. Today, it is home to a variety of souvenir shops and artisan stalls, selling everything from unique jewelry to traditional Polish handicrafts.

Galeria Krakowska

If you’re looking for modern shopping options, Galeria Krakowska is the place to go. Located next to the main train station, this shopping centre has over 270 shops, including international brands like Zara and H&M. It’s also home to a multiplex cinema and a variety of restaurants and cafes.

Kazimierz Market

If you’re looking for a more authentic shopping experience, head to the Kazimierz Market in the Jewish Quarter. Here, you’ll find a variety of stalls selling antiques, vintage clothing, and other unique items. It’s a great place to pick up souvenirs or one-of-a-kind gifts.

Stary Kleparz

For a taste of Krakow’s culinary offerings, head to Stary Kleparz. This traditional market is the perfect place to pick up fresh produce, meats, and cheeses. You’ll also find a variety of food stalls selling traditional Polish snacks like pierogi and kielbasa.

Whatever your shopping style, Krakow has plenty to offer. So pack your bags and get ready to shop ’til you drop!

Start Planning Your Krakow Adventure Today

Now that you have explored all the amazing things to do and see in Krakow, it’s time to start planning your adventure! Whether you’re interested in the city’s rich history, vibrant cultural scene, or stunning national parks, there is something for everyone in Krakow.

Remember to book your accommodation early to secure the best deals and locations. From luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels, there are plenty of options to suit your needs and preferences.

As you plan your trip, consider the best time to visit Krakow. While the city is charming all year round, the summer months offer warm weather and vibrant outdoor festivals, while the winter months bring a magical atmosphere with the traditional Christmas markets.

Final Tips for Your Krakow Adventure

When visiting Krakow, be sure to pack comfortable walking shoes as the city’s cobblestone streets and pedestrian-only areas make walking the easiest way to get around.

Additionally, be sure to try some of the traditional Polish dishes and local delicacies like pierogi (dumplings) and oscypek (smoked cheese).

Lastly, don’t forget to explore the nearby attractions and day trips, such as the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Wieliczka Salt Mine, to make the most of your Krakow adventure.

We hope this guide has provided you with all the information you need to plan your Krakow adventure. From historical landmarks to cultural experiences and outdoor activities, Krakow truly has it all. So pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable trip to this beautiful city!


Q: What are the top tourist attractions in Krakow?

A: Some of the top tourist attractions in Krakow include Wawel Castle, the Main Market Square, and Kazimierz Jewish Quarter.

Q: What can I do in Krakow to learn about its history?

A: To learn about Krakow’s history, you can explore historical sites such as Wawel Castle, visit museums like the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial, and take a guided tour of the city.

Q: Where can I find the best places to eat in Krakow?

A: Krakow offers a wide range of dining options, from traditional Polish cuisine to international dishes. Some popular places to eat include the Main Market Square, Kazimierz district, and Pierogi Heaven.

Q: What are some recommended accommodations in Krakow?

A: There are various accommodations available in Krakow, ranging from luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels. Some recommendations include Hotel Stary, Sheraton Grand Krakow, and Greg&Tom Hostel.

Q: How can I get around Krakow?

A: Krakow has a well-developed public transportation system, including trains, buses, and trams. You can also explore the city on foot or by renting a bike.

Q: What are some day trips I can take from Krakow?

A: Some popular day trips from Krakow include visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial, exploring the Wieliczka Salt Mine, and going to the Tatra Mountains and Zakopane.

Q: What is the nightlife like in Krakow?

A: Krakow has a vibrant nightlife scene, with numerous bars, clubs, and live music venues. Some popular areas for nightlife include the Old Town and Kazimierz district.

Q: Where can I go shopping in Krakow?

A: Krakow offers a variety of shopping options, including local markets, boutique stores, and shopping malls. Some popular shopping spots include the Cloth Hall, Galeria Krakowska, and Hala Targowa.

Q: When is the best time to visit Krakow?

A: The best time to visit Krakow is during the spring and autumn seasons when the weather is pleasant, and the city is less crowded. However, Krakow has something to offer year-round.

Q: What should I pack for a trip to Krakow?

A: It is recommended to pack comfortable walking shoes, clothing for varying weather conditions, a power adapter, and any necessary travel documents. It’s also a good idea to have some Polish currency, the złoty, on hand.

Q: How can I start planning my trip to Krakow?

A: To start planning your trip to Krakow, you can use this guide as a reference, research accommodations and activities, and create an itinerary based on your interests and preferences.