Top attractions 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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
- 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
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What people are saying about Krakow
Everything worked according to plan, the pickup point in Krakow at 11:30, the tour guide overview, the video, and the guide books in the appropriate languages. On arrival we got our tickets for Auschwitz 1, to ensure we could go straight in, after our visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau first. We had plenty of time to walk round both sites on our own and at our own pace. (The guide books were very informative.) Our coaches took us between the sites, with clear instructions for pick up times and returned us to Krakow by early evening. Our drivers and guides (2 coaches) were friendly and helpful. What was the day like? We weren’t expecting it to be pleasant or enjoyable. It was certainly challenging and very difficult to take in the unimaginable horrors, which had taken place there. The sadistic wickedness was terrifying to consider. The Nazi perpetrators had no consciences; it was truly demonic. The holocaust took place in Poland, but they were Nazi camps, not Polish. Many Poles died too.
Ziggy was clearly well informed, added interesting insight and interacted with our group. He was very friendly, and made you feel comfortable asking any questions. It was a bit rushed with the slower members of the group falling behind into a second group. Should consider revising the section of the tour through the barracks by the execution wall. Basically repetitively similar cells, and with the crowd and single file lines, you get to a particular cell and it looks like the last. Because the guide’s explanation was several minutes prior , you’re not even sure which cell you’re looking at. Everyone around me felt similarly. There has got to be a better way to manage that, while ensuring the important story surrounding that barracks /individual cells are maintained and included In a meaningful way.
Great tour, comfortable bus. security checks carried out. no bags bigger than A4 size and they are strict! Lockers available at a cost. Got split into 2 groups. Our guide was very informative at Auchwitz but at Birkenow I felt that he rushed through it and ended abruptly. He said that's the end and walked away. The 2nd group started 5 minutes before my group but we were finished about 15 minutes before them. Chilling visit but worth every penny. Hard to comprehend what they poor people went through. Finally we were told not to eat or drink on the bus but on the way back the guide and the driver sat at the front eating and drinking. Looks like rules don't apply to them!
I cannot believe how huge this place is and the absolute horror that occurred here. I cannot fathom the de-humanisation and murder that took place. I am lost for words. The tour was a little rushed due to the time it took to enter the camp. I feel tour groups should have had a more efficient entrance as small self guided groups of two or three had to wait up to an hour to enter. Much better to drive yourself and see it at your leisure rather than on a tour bus with time constraints. Lots of walking, wear sturdy shoes. Overall a moving tour.
Good trip. Excellent Lokal smoked cheese taste. Beatiful mountain scenery. Plenty of people although it was a low season. Highest mountain 2,5 km. The train to 1.2 meters was great, beautiful scenery. 1962/when I was a child I remember Finnish skiet Mäntyranta won 30 km competition. The center is lovely, lot of food and drink Places. We visited also the thermal Spa. Warm water inside and outside, the bodies felt newborn ! Our driver and guide was excellent.