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Things to do in

Krakow

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

Our most recommended things to do in Krakow

Krakow: Wawel Hill Audioguide Tour

1. 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: Wawel Royal Hill Guided Tour

2. Krakow: Wawel Royal Hill Guided Tour

Join a guided tour of the Wawel Royal Hill, one of the most important hills in Poland. This was where Polish kings and queens reigned over Poland. Your guide will tell you about the secrets of the royals and show you the most important places within Wawel Hill.  After meeting your guide, you will pass by the most expensive hotel in Cracow, which has hosted HRH Prince Charles and President Bush. You are then going to stop by the house of Jan Długosz, the legendary Polish historian, from where you will have a magnificent view over Wawel Hill. Then, start to go uphill, passing through the Arms Gate, and stopping by the monument to Tadeusz Kościuszko, one of the most important Polish heroes. Walk past the entrance to the Wawel Cathedral. Continue in the direction of the center of Wawel hill and the medieval courtyard, and head to the Austrian Hospital, from where you will be able to see a beautiful panorama of Krakow. You are then going to pass by Sandomierska Tower and go downhill through the Bernardyńska Gate, eventually leading to the cave of the Wawel Dragon. 

Krakow: Wawel Castle Guided Tour with Entry Tickets

3. Krakow: Wawel Castle Guided Tour with Entry Tickets

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.

From Krakow: Skip-the-Line Day Tour to Wieliczka Salt Mine

4. From Krakow: Skip-the-Line Day Tour to Wieliczka Salt Mine

Visit the most famous salt mine in Europe. The Wieliczka Salt Mine is one of the UNESCO monuments and has been gathering salt for over 700 years. It’s one of the most beautiful facilities of this type in the world. An English-speaking driver will pick you up from the city center or from the hotel if private transport is selected. With an air-conditioned, comfortable bus/van, reach Wieliczka town in about 25 minutes. Meet your guide, and walk down the wooden stairs to a depth of 65 meters. The guide will explain the rules of a salt mine as well as various legends and stories about mine’s past. The tour takes place in the underground corridors and chambers, well prepared for visitors. Certain points on your way are dedicated to famous people who decided to visit Salt Mine in the past, for example, Chopin or Goethe. Hear many stories about mining and the progress of the works over the years. After a while, encounter a huge chapel carved underground. It’s considered one of the most beautiful chapels in the world – St. Kinga Chapel, where the artists carved a church in salt. It’s time to get some photos and have a quick rest before proceeding with the tour. After a short break, proceed to a huge area with an underground lake, where the world’s first underground balloon flight took place. There will be a few places to buy souvenirs as well. Don’t worry there is no need to climb these hundreds of steps again to go to the surface. There is a mining elevator that helps you get out of the mine. It’s time to meet your driver at the place of departure to the mine, and have a safe journey back to Krakow.

Krakow: Chopin Piano Recital at Chopin Concert Hall

5. Krakow: Chopin Piano Recital at Chopin Concert Hall

Indulge your ears with the sounds of Chopin’s piano music, and experience one of the most important elements of culture. Appreciate the genius of Poland’s best-known composer in the unique atmosphere of Krakow's Market Square. Attend a special concert dedicated to Frederic Chopin, an icon of Polish and European music and a piano virtuoso in his own right, and listen to his most famous piano pieces performed by talented young pianists. Concerts are held in the Chopin Concert Hall, decorated with Gothic architectural elements. Listen to nocturnes, mazurkas, and polonaises, in which Chopin expressed his feeling of longing for his homeland. The combination of atmospheric interior and excellent music will provide an unforgettable experience, and not just for music aficionados.

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

6. 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: Energylandia Amusement Park Entrance Ticket

7. Krakow: Energylandia Amusement Park Entrance Ticket

Spend your day at Energylandia, the biggest Amusement Park in Poland, offering an impressive number of varied attractions situated on 35 hectares of land, designed with all age groups in mind - children, teens, and adults.  Delight in a fun day out at one of Europe's biggest amusement parks. Discover a fairy tale place for the little ones and adults alike, with attractions for every age. Whiz down thrilling rides and roller coasters, and enjoy spectacular live shows by professional artists. Spend time with the kids in the family zone, with activities to keep the whole family happy. Adrenaline-seekers can head to the rides, and take a turn on the second fastest roller coaster in Europe — if they dare. Bring your swimsuit and splash around in the water park, with 1,800 square meters of pool space, all included in the ticket price.

Krakow: Sightseeing Cruise by Vistula River

8. 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.

Kraków: 1.5-Hour Guided Tour of Schindler's Factory

9. Kraków: 1.5-Hour Guided Tour of Schindler's Factory

Visit Schindler's Factory and explore the museum dedicated to preserving the history of these incredible events. Learn the historical context with your expert guide to fully understand the story of Oscar Schindler. See an intimate portrait of the life of Schindler from his pre-war endeavors to his post-war fate. Visit his original office and hear the accounts of the Jewish survivors that he saved. Step into the old enamelware factory and learn the reality of everyday life in Kraków during the Nazi occupation. Immerse yourself in the past with reconstructions of the 1939 battlefield, the bustling streets of Kraków, public execution sites, the railway station, and the Jewish ghetto wall. As you walk from 1939 to 1945, meet not only Schindler but other important figures active in Kraków during that period: Himmler, Pankiewicz, Pope John Paul II, Amon Goeth, and more.

Krakow: 1-Hour Evening Vistula River Cruise

10. Krakow: 1-Hour Evening Vistula River Cruise

After registering your ticket at the kiosk, meet your crew whom you with travel with throughout your cruise down the Vistula River. The royal city of Krakow is full of interesting and entertaining places, many of which you pass throughout this experience. Sail past picturesque landscapes including Wawel Castle, the Dębnicki Bridge, the Monastery of the Norbertan Sisters, the junction where the Rudawa River flows into Vistula, the Dębniki district, and the John Paul II Family Home. You later encounter the Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology, various other bridges, the Cricoteka Museum, the Kazimierz district, and the Church on the Rock. This cruise is the perfect way to relax and take some rest, accompanied by the sound of the waves lapping up against the side of the boat. At the conclusion of your experience, your boat returns you to your tour starting location.

Frequently asked questions about Krakow

What are the best day trips and excursions from Krakow?

The best day trips and excursions from Krakow are:

Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau

What are the best deals and discounts on activities and attractions 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.

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

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 87,603 reviews

I had a wonderful experience in the trip! and the guide was kind and informative. I learned many things and explored different places in Zakopane and Tatra mountain. Totally recommend this trip!

Really enjoyable tour. Guide was very friendly it was the best way to do the tour on a hot day

Really enjoyed the tour around the City on the segway tour. Fantastic morning

Excellent tour - guide was very knowledgeable and her English was excellent.

Brilliant. Tour guide was fantastic both me and my daughter loved it xx