Things to do in
Krakow

Awe-inspiring history, great landmarks, and impressive landscapes await at Poland’s culture capital.

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Our most recommended things to do in Krakow

Auschwitz-Birkenau: Guided Tour, Transfers and Lunch

1. Auschwitz-Birkenau: Guided Tour, Transfers and Lunch

Spend an hour and fifteen minutes in an air-conditioned bus, as you depart Krakow for a confronting day of reflection at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp complex, a solemn place that leaves a lasting impression on all visitors, and an important memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. Visit the museum and memorial in the suburbs of Oświęcim, about 60 kilometers west of Krakow. Upon arrival meet a professional guide who will show you around the site and speak of its dark history. Receive a lunch box, to take a break with during the tour. Discover the tragic history of the largest concentration camp of the Holocaust, funded by the Nazi party in 1940, Auschwitz-Birkenau became both a symbol of human suffering and a witness to physical and emotional exhaustion. Learn how it became the final resting place for millions of people, mostly Jews, put to their death in the hideous gas chambers. Pass through the gate with the inscription “Arbeit Macht Frei" (work sets you free) to enter Auschwitz I, where your guide will show you around the preserved area and explain the history of this place.  Then, spend about one hour at the second camp at Birkenau, where mass killings took place as part of the Nazi “Final Solution to the Jewish Question”, before meeting your driver for the return journey to Kraków.

From Krakow: Polish Folk Show with All-You-Can-Eat Dinner

2. From Krakow: Polish Folk Show with All-You-Can-Eat Dinner

Enjoy a special evening featuring a folk show. During the event, you will hear dynamic and lively Polish folk music and see traditional Polish dances from Kraków and other part of Poland. You will be invited to interact with the dancers and musicians, if you wish to participate. This event is great fun and entertaining for everybody, especially for guests who want to learn about Polish culture and food. Celebrate with your family, partner or friends during this experience. The restaurant is situated just outside of Krakow and overlooks beautiful Lake Kryspinów. You will be taken by double decker bus through the picturesque parts of Krakow. The folk show dinner includes a glass of cherry vodka upon welcome, a 3-course dinner, a regional cold buffet, and a regional warm buffet. You will also have unlimited drinks - including beer and wine. The pickup departure time is 6:45 PM; please arrive 5-15 minutes beforehand to the meeting point. The folk show finishes at 9:30 PM

Krakow: Wawel Hill Audioguide Tour

3. Krakow: Wawel Hill Audioguide Tour

After collecting your audioguide at the local Tourist Information Centre, listen to the commentary as you walk along Kanonicza Street to the Wawel Hill. Wawel has been the monarch’s residency from the 11th century and is also the site where Polish royals were crowned and buried.  Once you've arrived at the Royal Castle, hear about the role of each building, and the stories behind them. You will learn about the history of Main Courtyard, the Arcaded Courtyard, as well as the Crown Treasury and Armory. End the tour at the famous Dragon’s Den.

Krakow: Sightseeing Cruise by Vistula River

4. Krakow: Sightseeing Cruise by Vistula River

Admire the Wawel Royal Castle and see other monuments from the Vistula River, Krakow's historic waterway. Listen to the audio commentary as you sit back and relax, enjoying the comfort of a traditional yet modern vessel. Head to the open deck for panoramic views of Krakow's landmarks. Witness the charms of Krakow’s districts, such as Saltwator and Kazimierz, and see such sights as the Dębnicki Bridge, "Church on the Rock," and Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology. This unforgettable cruise takes approximately 1 hour.

Wieliczka Salt Mine: Guided Tour from Krakow (+hotel pickup)

5. Wieliczka Salt Mine: Guided Tour from Krakow (+hotel pickup)

Just book your trip and relax. On the evening before the tour you'll get an e-mail and text with the details like pickup time. On the day of your tour - welcome on-board, please pass the seatbelts and start magnificent journey! Get some knowleadge about the City of Cracow from experienced host-drivers and after that, join to the guide and group of maximum 30 people in the Salt Mine. At the beginning you'll pass around 370 wooden steps but it'll be not so hard! - See beautiful chambers, salt sculptures, and underground lakes. - See life-size statues, imposing chapels, and intricate altars carved in salt. - Explore the 3 underground levels and learn about the history and cultural importance of the mine. - Return using a specific, very interesting elevator. Easy and fun! Tour with a guide lasts approximately 2-2,5 hours. After all, quick drop to the destination of your choice. In Cracow of course... General, if may offer some advice. Downtown Cracow will always be there. Why not spend some time getting to know the other parts of the city? That way, when you do go "downtown", it will be that much more special... Yes? Okay! Happy travels!

Krakow: Wawel Castle Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

6. Krakow: Wawel Castle Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

Wawel Castle was the residence of the royal family of Poland till 1795. It is a source of great Polish pride and stands as one of the most spectacular buildings on the top of Wawel Hill. During your tour of the castle, you will get the chance to witness the grandeur of Poland’s past as you pass through the magnificent halls of the castle. Presently, the castle also houses a museum that includes beautiful artefacts preserved from the historic times when kings and queens ruled the country. During your tour, you may also visit the Royal private apartments adorned with exquisite tapestries, paintings and chandeliers. The castle serves as a premier art museum and also includes an Oriental Art section with the largest collection of Ottoman tents on the European continent. This 14th-century castle built by King Casimir II the Great was at the top of its opulence in the 16th century when King Sigismund the Old commissioned the castle to be expanded and built into what it looks like today. Once you are in the castle, you will be transported into the era of kings and queens as your guide shares information about the royals who once lived in the castle and the myths surrounding this beautiful place. You may also get to see the Wawel exhibition, which displays objects uncovered during archaeological excavations around the region. It also includes scale models of buildings and other architectural elements. Wawel Castle is recognized as a Unesco World Heritage site and is known to have immense cultural and historical significance in Poland.

Krakow: Skip The Line Wawel Castle Guided Tour

7. Krakow: Skip The Line Wawel Castle Guided Tour

Don’t waste your time at Wawel waiting in lines — skip the line with this fast-track ticket and spend as much time as possible exploring this historic fortified architectural complex. Join a well-organized, small-group tour of between 12 and 15 participants in your preferred language and choose the parts of the complex you would like to see from the various options. From a 1-hour visit of just the Cathedral to a 4.5-hour visit of the entire complex, take in the magnificence of Wawel in a way that best suits your preferences and schedule.   Wawel Cathedral The richest part of Wawel Hill, the Cathedral, is the most important cathedral in Poland and a real pearl among architectural masterpieces. Head inside with your guide and admire the beautiful interior, where Polish kings were coronated and buried. You’ll also see the famous Sigismund Bell in the tower, and many richly decorated chapels.   State Rooms, Wawel Hill, and Courtyard The Wawel Castle State Rooms were home to the most famous Polish kings, like Zygmunt III Waza and Wladyslaw Lokietek. Their interiors are full of ancient paintings and stunning tapestries, which have been preserved from the original decorations. You’ll also explore picturesque Wawel Hill and the courtyard surrounded by impressive defensive walls.   Royal Apartments The private Royal Apartments offer a rich experience for those who love design, architecture, and history. Explore the collections of silverware and paintings, as well as the column hall and Renaissance furniture.

Krakow: Boat Party with Unlimited Drinks

8. Krakow: Boat Party with Unlimited Drinks

Set sail down the beautiful Vistula river at 8:00 PM every Saturday night for 2 hours, and enjoy an open bar for the entire cruise, drinking games, party guides and a full surround sound system. This is an astoundingly great party with all the right ingredients required to have a great time. And to take things to a hot new level, every cruise includes a brilliant fire breathing show. Once back on land, you will be taken to 2 of Krakow's most infamous late night clubs and after parties. This will include VIP entry, no lines and free welcome shots. A professional photographer will be there to capture fun and happy images. 

90-Minute Guided Segway Tour of Kraków Old Town

9. 90-Minute Guided Segway Tour of Kraków Old Town

Let an experienced local guide turn 90 minutes of your day into a unique tour of the city of Kraków at its golden times. As the capital of Poland, it has raised many of Polish national heroes and masters of different crafts. It also was a major city on the trade path from the far east. It has also, most importantly, given birth to Polish culture, tradition and cuisine. Use your Segway to see the Barbican armory, the original leftovers of a big defensive wall that used to surround the whole city. Learn about the mysteries of the Main Square and the dungeons beneath it and complete it with immortal legends and stories. Take a minute to admire the 700-year old architecture of St. Mary’s Church and the enormity of the Royal Wawel Castle. Continue along the Wisła riverside to take some great pictures with the legendary, fire-spitting Wawel dragon before ending your fun and informative tour.

Krakow: 2-Hour Segway Tour of the Old Town

10. Krakow: 2-Hour Segway Tour of the Old Town

Maximize your enjoyment of the idyllic city of Krakow, as you discover its beautiful architecture while experiencing the excitement of a Segway tour. Have memorable fun with family and friends while admiring the many charming sights the city has to offer, from the market squares of the Old Town to the Jewish Quarter. See the highlights at speed as you cruise along the Royal Route, and marvel at the Wawel Royal Castle. Enjoy the ride as you take a whirlwind tour of 4 churches. Visit the famous Wawel Dragon Cave, and the scenic Vistula embankment, and learn captivating stories about the Old Town. Gain fascinating insights into the history and culture of this city of UNESCO World Heritage sites from a knowledgeable guide.

Frequently asked questions about Krakow

What top attractions are a must-see in Krakow?

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Krakow

Hi! My name is Sam and I’m the blogger behind Check Out Sam. Krakow is one of my favorite places in Europe, because it’s so incredibly diverse and different to most other cities of this continent. To help you plan your trip to Krakow, I’ve listed some valuable tips to get the most out of your city break.

What should I do on my first trip to Krakow?

Go marvel at some of the most beautiful sights of this city straight away by walking to Rynek Główny. This huge square is surrounded by picturesque buildings such as the famous Sukiennice and the stunning St. Mary's Basilica (make sure to go inside too!). There are plenty of great restaurants in this area as well. People watching is yet another thing you should do here!

What are some hidden gems to see in Krakow?

A little bit out of the city center you can find the Kościuszko Mound. If it wasn't surrounded by a ramparts-like wall, you would perhaps think it's just a (very random) hill dominating the landscape, but of course that's not the case! This monument was built by the Polish people to honor Tadeusz Kościuszko, a Polish nationalist who was very much against foreign powers taking over his beloved country. People from all over Poland started adding dirt from their towns, villages and cities and added it to the ever growing mound. Nowadays, tourists can climb this unique attraction and get stunning views over the city. On sunny days you can even see the Tatra mountains!

How much time should I spend in Krakow?

Krakow is not a big city, so you can easily see it in one full day. However, I would advice to at least take two days to fully experience it. If you also want to visit the Auschwitz concentration camps, I would add at least half a day. The same goes for the Wieliczka Salt Mines. There are plenty of tours available who combine these two sights near Krakow, so if you don't want to stress about getting to either of these places this might be something for you.

What food is Krakow known for?

From all the cities that I have visited, Krakow had some of the best food that I've ever had. It's cheap, delicious and at the end you always get offered a shot of Polish vodka. Make sure to try Pierogi (dumplings) filled with anything from fruits to meat. If you like meats, there's also plenty of options for your taste buds!

What is the best way to get around Krakow?

Walk or rent a bike if you are short in time. If you want to visit Auschwitz or Wieliczka, you can do so with public transportation (bus) or with the help of a guided tour.

What are the best months to visit Krakow?

During summer, it can get quite warm in Krakow but almost never too hot. The city feels a bit more crowded because of the nice temperatures, but it never gets out of hand. Also worth mentioning: in Augusts there's a pierogi festival! I personally really liked autumn in Krakow too. The temperatures can get quite cold, but most crowds stay away and the colorful trees make this fairytale like city even more stunning.

What is neighborhood Miasto known for?

Stay in Kazimierz for food, nightlife and (jewish) history. If you want to be located centrally I would suggest Stare Miasto. Here you'll find a bit of everything. It's close to most attractions and also has great nightlife and plenty of great restaurants nearby.

What are the best neighborhoods for food? 

You can find great food all over the city, but I would recommend the Kazimierz neighborhood for the best food. Especially if you want to try out the local cuisine. Not that fond of the heavy Polish dishes? No worries! There are enough other options too (steakhouse, Italian, Lebanese, Thai, ...)

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping? 

Krakow is not really a shopping destination, but you do have some streets and shopping centers which every shopaholic will love. Near the Rynek Glówny (main square) you can find Florianska. This is where you'll find a nice mix of boutiques and souvenir stores. If you're only looking for the latter, I would recommend to head to the Cloth Hall situated on the main square itself.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Krakow?

I would suggest to stay in the picturesque old center of Krakow. That way you're close to all the action and never far away from a good restaurant or a cosy bar. Stick to the areas that I've already mentioned before: Kazimierz and Stare Miasto. They are -in my humble opinion- the absolute best to fully enjoy your stay.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Krakow?

The Wieliczka mines are a fun activity for both younger and older people. Descend into these old salt mines near Krakow and discover the interesting history and stunning sights so deep down. There's even a cathedral completely made out of salt crystals that you'll visit here during a guided tour!

What is the best thing to do in Krakow for solo travelers?

Book a (combined) tour to Auschwitz and the Wieliczka Salt Mines. It's a great way to learn more about the surroundings of Krakow and its history, but also a good way to meet like-minded people. Especially during or after your visit to Auschwitz, it can be nice to talk to someone (guide or other visitors) and let out your thoughts and feelings.

What are the best areas for outdoor activities around Krakow? 

If you don't mind being en route for a couple of hours (one to three), head to the Tatra Mountains or make a stop in beautiful Zakopane. There is plenty of stunning scenery and lots of (challenging) hikes that you can do here.

Planning Your Visit

  • How many days?

    Krakow offers plenty to see and do, with some extremely appealing day trip options beyond its borders. Book your stay for at least 4 or 5 days.

  • Where to stay?

    If you're only in town for a couple of days, booking a hotel in the Old Town or nearby Kazimierz will place you conveniently by Krakow's main sights. However, for visitors looking to keep their distance from the tourist district, Zwierzyniec might be the best place to stay. It's certainly the greenest!

  • How much money to bring?

    Krakow is not expensive. Even if you only ate in the Old Town you could do all meals and drinks for as little as $30-40 a day. Match that amount for tours and attraction tickets (more for day trips). It's worth checking to see if you'll get a better exchange rate on your currency there, rather than before you leave. Also, don't be persuaded to start a tab in any bars you're not familiar with and check prices first!

Good to know

  • Language
    Polish
  • Currency
    Polish złoty (zł)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +48
  • Best time to visit
    Spring and fall are the best times to visit, when temperatures are mild and tourist crowds are at a minimum!

Other Sightseeing Options in Krakow

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What people are saying about Krakow

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 86,426 reviews

Everything went well as per the plan and the planning of both places in one day was spot on. The pick up was on time and everything went smooth. Their communication was excellent too before and during the tour. I will highly recommend this one day tour with this company.

Everything was perfect! Our driver very polite and helpful, driving very carefully, and wanda the guide in auschwitz just amazing. Salt mines also worth the visit, but be prepared for a long day with a lot of walking!

Very fun activity! The food was good and the show too! Very good quality better than I expected. Do not miss the sunset on the lake at the back of the restaurant its really beautiful!

Great tours It's a very long day so just be prepared for that. Also a shame we got back so late (around 8:30pm) though I think a normal time would have been around 7:30ish.

Very informative. Paweł, the guide was friendly and engaging.