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)
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- 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
I can say it was a powerful and moving experience to see these sites firsthand. If you’re visiting Krakow, you must go. Evelina (Royal Cracow Tours) provided a superb tour of Auchswitz and Birkenau. She was extremely knowledgeable of both camps and provided a thorough description of each area visited. She was absolutely marvelous in fielding a myriad of difficult questions from our small group. I’m not sure if there’s to request her by name but if you have an option, pick her. You will glad you did. I opted to have hotel pickup and lunch included in my package and it was well worth it. The Mercedes van was brand new and comfortable. The lunch provided included two sandwiches, fresh fruit (apple and banana) as well a cookie and a bottle of water. The lunch was better than anything at the food stalls and I didn’t have to wait in line for it:). Both sites were very crowded and sometimes hard to maneuver through the sea of people there. Wear comfy shoes - lots of walking.
This is a great tour at both venues. It is a long day, but worth it and we scheduled to do both in a day from Krakow. Our driver's personality left a bit to be desired and didn't really seem to like what he was doing. Fortunately, he wasn't our tour guide at the venues. The guides we had were great at both places. There was a bit too much time in Wieliczka for lunch and waiting for our appointed tour at the mines for some reason we didn't quite understand, but wondered the small town and found some ice cream to pass the time.
Obviously the subject matter of this tour is horrific and it is difficult to contextualise what these people suffered. None the less I strongly believe it must be experienced and these people never forgotten. To that end the tour we booked was fantastic. The driver and the tour guides were great and the whole experience was easy and convenient. The salt mines is an absolute must as well and genuinely stunned me, in a very different way to Auschwitz.
Christopher, our driver, was thoughtful and focused on getting us there safely and back. Even tho he had to wait on people a couple of times, he did it with grace and a smile. He took good care of us. Filip, our guide at the site, was a remarkable young man. Very knowledgeable and sincere and clearly moved by the death camps, he made it come alive for us. We saw it all and stayed on schedule. Highly recommend this trip.
Amazing reps that really created a great atmosphere getting everyone involved playing games. An hour of unlimited free drinking in the first bar and free entry to all clubs made it great value Special shoutout to reps Damiano and Annie for being especially friendly :) will defo do again if ever in krakow! Great way to meet people and felt very safe