Top attractions in Krakow
Best things to do 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!
1. National Museum, Krakow
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.
2. Wieliczka Salt Mine
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!
3. Wawel Cathedral
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.
4. Bieszczady Mountains
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!
5. Tatra Mountains
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!
6. Main Square, Krakow
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!
Planning Your Visit
How many days?
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.
Where to stay?
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!
How much money to bring?
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!
Good to know
- 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!
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
The guide plays a key role in this excursion. We came across a very nice and polite girl. Despite her young age, she knew the history of this place very well. She spoke perfect English. Thanks to her, we were able to penetrate deeper into the topic.
Highly recommended! Very friendly staff and the guide was excellent. Great value for money and the tour in general was really interesting. Unfortunately I forgot to go to the ATM beforehand so couldn't tip, so don't be like me and remember to tip :)
My guide was so lovely and informative, and also very kind. We walked a lot and she told me everything I needed to know about the history of krakow, the architecture and where you can get good food. I really enjoyed it.
Grzegorz the driver and Magda the guide were absolutely amazing. Magda was very compassionate and informative, I recommend this tour, very well organised. Smooth pick up and drop off.
The audio guide could be turned off and on at any time. If you didn’t hear something, you can always go back and listen to the track again. Excellent value for money.