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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

Kraków: Zakopane Tour with Thermal Pool

1. Kraków: Zakopane Tour with Thermal Pool

Enjoy one of the best views in Zakopane with a cable car ride up to Gubałówka. Marvel at the spectacular views of the High Tatras that are covered with snow up until May. Visit Krupówki, the most popular street in the heart of Zakopane, where you can experience the ambience of the mountain region and enjoy the aromas of local foods coming from the traditional restaurants. After your tour of Zakopane, take a break for some rest and relaxation in the thermal pools. Enjoy outdoor and indoor swimming pools, water slides, whirlpool baths and many other attractions in the heart of the mountains.

Wieliczka Salt Mine: Guided Tour from Krakow with Pickup

2. Wieliczka Salt Mine: Guided Tour from Krakow with Pickup

Just book your trip and relax. On the evening before the tour you'll get an e-mail and text with the details like pickup time. On the day of your tour - welcome on-board, please pass the seatbelts and start magnificent journey! Get some knowleadge about the City of Cracow from experienced host-drivers and after that, join to the guide and group of maximum 30 people in the Salt Mine. At the beginning you'll pass around 370 wooden steps but it'll be not so hard! - See beautiful chambers, salt sculptures, and underground lakes. - See life-size statues, imposing chapels, and intricate altars carved in salt. - Explore the 3 underground levels and learn about the history and cultural importance of the mine. - Return using a specific, very interesting elevator. Easy and fun! Tour with a guide lasts approximately 2-2,5 hours. After all, quick drop to the destination of your choice. In Cracow of course... General, if may offer some advice. Downtown Cracow will always be there. Why not spend some time getting to know the other parts of the city? That way, when you do go "downtown", it will be that much more special... Yes? Okay! Happy travels!

Krakow: Auschwitz & Salt Mine Day Trip with Optional Lunch

3. Krakow: Auschwitz & Salt Mine Day Trip with Optional Lunch

Learn about the tragic history of the largest former concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau and descend to the underground Museum: Wieliczka Salt Mine on this guided tour from Krakow. Begin in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum with a guide provided by the museum. You'll learn the terrible history of the largest concentration camp in Europe. After a short break, you will be driven to the Birkenau Museum where you'll spend around 1 hour with the same guide. During the second half of your full-day program, travel to the Salt Mine in Wieliczka, which is one of the oldest working salt mines in the world. Spend some free time before entering the Wieliczka Salt Mine. Head 140 meters underground on a 2.5-hour journey along more than 2.5 kilometers of tourist routes and see chambers with amazing carvings and statues, with everything made of salt.

Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Guided Tour with Pickup and Lunch

4. Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Guided Tour with Pickup and Lunch

Step into history with a visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Learn about the tragic history of the largest Holocaust concentration camp from your guide. Travel by climate-controlled bus from Krakow, and take a break with a nice boxed lunch during your tour.  Be picked up from the comfort of your accommodation in Krakow and board a comfortable bus for the 1.5-hour trip to the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp complex, a historic site that serves as an important Holocaust memorial.  Explore the museum in the outskirts of Oświęcim, approximately 60 kilometers west of Krakow. Upon arrival, meet a local guide who will show you around the site and tell you about its inhuman history. Stop for a break where you can refuel with a tasty box lunch before continuing your tour.  Find out how Auschwitz-Birkenau has become both a symbol of human suffering and a witness to physical and emotional exhaustion. Hear about how it became the final resting place of millions of people, mostly Jews, that were sentenced to death in hideous gas chambers.  Walk through the gate marked "Arbeit Macht Frei" (work frees) to enter Auschwitz 1, where your guide will show you around the preserved area and introduce the history of the place. Spend approximately an hour in Birkenau, where the mass killings as part of the Nazi "Final Solution to the Jewish Question" took place. After the visit, you can reflect on the experience during the ride back to Krakow. 

Krakow: Sightseeing Cruise by Vistula River

5. 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.

Krakow: Wawel Castle Guided Tour with Entry Tickets

6. 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 artifacts 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.

Krakow: Pub, Bar & Club Crawl

7. Krakow: Pub, Bar & Club Crawl

Begin your bar crawl at 9:45 PM in the Old Town in front of St Mary's Church and Hard Rock Cafe. Meet your party host and get acquainted with the rest of your group. Arrive at the first bar where from 10 PM to 11 PM you can enjoy access to unlimited beer, rum, gin, vodka, shots, and mixers. Play lots of drinking games like flip cup, beer pong, and drinking Jenga. A professional photographer will capture all of the amusement. Then, set off to visit 3 of  Krakow's best bars, pubs, and clubs. At each venue, receive free entry and a free welcome shot. Arrive at the final club at 2 AM where you can take advantage of VIP entry so you won't have to wait in line.

Krakow: Chopin Piano Recital at Chopin Concert Hall

8. 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

9. 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: 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 top attractions are a must-see in Krakow?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Krakow?

The best day trips and excursions from Krakow are:

Auschwitz

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

We had a 2 hours trip around in the electric cart with Michal , really enjoyed it , he was very friendly and relaxed, let us out to look around and take pictures, he took some for us too, told us where was hood to eat/ drink , would recommend

Zakopane is a beautiful place and our driver Gregor made the experience great with lots of knowledge and guidance. Definitely worth visiting Zakopane if you have the chance.

Mateusz had lots of energy and was determined to give us a great and thorough tour. He really knew his stuff and packed a lot in. His English was very good

Tour Guide named Max was great. Friendly and knowledgeable. Highly recommend!

This was a very well balanced show with time to enjoy the food in between.