Krakow
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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!

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Wawel

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
    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!

Things to Do in Krakow

Top Attractions in Krakow

Cities in Poland

Other Sightseeing Options in Krakow

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What people are saying about Krakow

Very good guides, especially the driver and the Auschwitz guide

Everything was on time. The driver and semi guide- Michael was very responsible, responsive and nice! The Auschwitz tour was pretty good and we got to enough details but the Auschwitz-Birkenau tour was too short in my opinion. The salt mines were so so, you can’t hear clearly and the guide wasn’t so clear (at least for me, English is NOT my first language), but this is how the mine works. It’s not the company’s fault. All in all it was really nice and worth it!

very helpful and experienced, guide,would recommend this to everyone

great day out at the range, the guide took time to to explain everything,and even arranged a taxi back to apartment,had a ball.

Krakow: 65-Shot Shooting Range Experience Reviewed by joseph, 09/18/2018

A Long pending Wish Fulfilled. Very Reflective Insightful experience

I am so glad I decided to take this tour instead of a cab or doing on my own! For a newcomer to the city/country, doing it on one's own can have several unforeseen hassles but the tour has already taken care of the smallest logistic details for you to the T. For instance, I didn't know that individuals can't even get tickets till after 1pm at Auschwitz - and we on the tour, just walked in with audio devices in the morning, with a very knowledgable and communicative guide. The tour is heavy and went on for about 11 hours in all - but we were never tired, short breaks, lovely outlets for meals, No lack of privacy despite being in a group. By afternoon, we were done and on our way to the Salt mines, which are a TOTAL discovery altogether! For a traveller with huge dependence of devices, this tour has an added benefit to beat all others: A Merc Bus with double USB ports on each seat!! My Goodness!! I cannot begin to express how useful that was! A safe place to keep your books/bag/jumpers!

Amazing service and eye opening experience.

The driver was great. Unfortunately I don’t know his name but right from the start I informed him that my boyfriend has IBS and asked if that was alright if he needed to stop could he accommodate. The driver couldn’t have been nicer and informed me that there were some gas stations on the way if we needed. The tour itself was very emotional and the tour guides were very informative.

Great experience, even with a small baby with us

Marek was an excellent Van driver and gave us all the tips for our best experience. We did it on our own pace because we were with our 9months baby and i was a little bit afraid because of that. But it went all well and doing it without a guide, in our pace was the best solution for us. I recommend to take baby troller and some babywearing once it is not possible to come in the Museum buildings with the troller.