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Top attractions in Krakow

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Best things to do in Krakow

On the banks of the Vistula River lies one of Europe's most awe-inspiring cities. Historic buildings and monuments abound and create the foundation upon which Poland's capital of culture stands proud. Here are its top attractions!

National Museum, Krakow
Photo: Marcin Zieliński @Flickr (CC BY-SA 3.0)

National Museum, Krakow

The main branch of Poland's National Museum boasts around 780,000 art objects that span throughout history. The key draw for tourists, though, is its emphasis on Polish painting.

Wieliczka Salt Mine

Wieliczka Salt Mine

This 13th-century Wieliczka Salt Mine was in use until 2007. The miners had to spend so much time down there that they carved Catholic statues and chapels out of the rock salt!

Wawel Cathedral

Wawel Cathedral

For those worshipping above ground, this sightseeing essential has been the center of Krakow's religious life since the 11th century. Pope John Paul II was ordained at the Wawel Cathedral in 1946.

Bieszczady Mountains

Bieszczady Mountains

Keen hikers should allow time for a day trip to the region's scenic Bieszczady Mountains. It's pronounced Bee-esh-chardy, for those unfamiliar with Polish!

Tatra Mountains

Tatra Mountains

Significantly higher than the Bieszczady, a far tougher climb is rewarded with breathtaking views. We'd advise against taking Tatras' notoriously dangerous Orla Perć trail though!

Main Square, Krakow

Main Square, Krakow

Want to cover the main sights of Krakow in a day? Start your tour in the Old Town. The Krakow Main Square alone hosts Cloth Hall, the Town Hall Tower, and the Statue of Adam Mickiewicz.



The magnificent fortress Wawel was the seat of the medieval Polish monarchy, but its fascinating history predates even then by quite a bit. Its oldest buildings date back to 970AD!

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

Things to Do in Krakow

Top Attractions in Krakow

Cities in Poland

Other Sightseeing Options in Krakow

Want to discover all there is to do in Krakow? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Krakow

Excellent well organized & and very detailed

Unreal experience to see first hand how the people suffered very educational and the guide was very good explained everything in detail. Well organized

Auschwitz-Birkenau Full-Day Guided Tour from Krakow Reviewed by Sabrina, 12/11/2018

A must-you want be the same person when you leave

A Must visit take the tour with the English guide best thing I did was to book it on line before leaving through very reasonable price.

One of the most important experiences in my life

Very educational tour, quite descriptive and with many historical details. One tip for improvement could be the a priori separation of the people into the busses. Maybe the guide could hold a banner with info for language and time of departure so that people know in which bus to go.

It scan experience that everyone should experience in there life with

Overall the experience is something I will hold and will advis other to take ‘this jou

Sombre but important visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau

Our guide Anna was knowledgeable and well-spoken, and we could clearly hear her on the headphones provided. Importantly, she was very respectful in the way she addressed the material. The pace of the tour felt rushed in certain places given the size of the area and the number of buildings to visit in such a short time allocated. There were definitely times I wanted to spend a few more minutes at specific exhibitions to reflect on what was shown and read what was written on the boards. Perhaps if the tour started earlier in the day, more time could be spent at each of the sites? The meeting point for the bus was easy to find and it was a comfortable drive there and back. We could also leave our backpacks safely on the bus as we weren't allowed to take them through security (only small handbags were allowed).