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
Other Sightseeing Options in Krakow
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What people are saying about Krakow
You may be able to visit Auschwitz cheaper, as entrance to both sites is actually free. Auschwitz ii, you just walk through the entrance, no ticket required. A ticket is required for Auschwitz i, you can get them from the official Auschwitz website for free, but you can only enter at certain times of the day. Using this tour took out all the hassle of sorting tickets and travel to and from Auschwitz. We watched an informative video on the bus, and got free 25pln (£5.50 ish) guide book included within the cost. We didn't mind not having a tour guide as the booklet you receive has more than enough information in it. Also, the guy on the bus sorts everything out for you, tells you best bits to visit on each site and tells you where to be and where to go for tickets. Highly recommend if you want a stress free day visiting Auschwitz.
The 4 stars are for the guided tour, not the camp. The camps are very well maintained, just excellent. What a place, wow. The tour however is too rushed, it’s like the guides are in a rush to finish, running around and no time for visitors to take their time to appreciate the moment. I was feeling emotional in several of the exhibits and I felt tears coming in, but then I realised the guide is already moving on to the next exhibit so it completely ruined my moment being emotional. It’s a shame really. The breaks are too short, 10 minutes to go to the toilet, have a snack, visit the shops... obviously no time at all. Also we didn’t enter the museum.
Pavel had waited forever as we were the last through immigration. That was a shambles. We then had to find our luggage. As it was now an hour since arrival the carousel didn’t show which one for our Liverpool flight. Two lonely bags were found at the back of a stationary carousel after searching them all. Pavel was still there waiting and smiling. He had his own Mercedes limousine with lovely cream leather interior. He was friendly an d spoke great English. He gave us a lot of local info also.
The guide was lovely and was obviously very passionate about her country. Some of the stories were very moving. I highly recommend. A guided tour is optional; however, everything is explained in a lot more depth than if you went solo and read it all yourself. Very factual and accurate history. We bought a ticket online, as it was slightly cheaper and saved about 20 minutes waiting in a queue. They also accept mobile tickets, so you don’t have to find a printer, which is ideal.
Our guide Filip was very passionate about Auschwitz and really set the mood for our visit to Auschwitz. He spoke with a lot of emotion and it left everyone on the tour feeling a great sense of sorrow for the people who had been sent there many years ago. We also visited the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam and having visited Auschwitz gave us a better appreciation for what Anne Frank had gone through. The salt mine was a good experience. I would recommend this tour