Krakow
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Top attractions in Krakow

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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!

National Museum, Krakow
Photo: Marcin Zieliński @Flickr (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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.

Wieliczka Salt Mine

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!

Wawel Cathedral

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.

Bieszczady Mountains

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!

Tatra Mountains

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!

Main Square, Krakow

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.

Wawel

Wawel

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 Krakow 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

  • Language
    Polish
  • Currency
    Polish złoty (zł)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +48
  • 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

Want to discover all there is to do in Krakow? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Krakow

It was excellent! Our tour guide at auschwitz was phenomenal.

Our tour guide on the bus was always rushing us, I would have been g’ad If we could have just had an hour or something at each camp to see the museums on our own- I just felt a little rushed and wished that we had time to leisurely process it all- In fact I chose just auschwitz over auschwitz and the mines together on the same day so that I wouldn’t be rushed , but I still felt rushed regardless! However the tour guide at auschwitz hardly the topic so sensitively and was so insightful and shared stories of encounters that she had had with actual survivors. She was incredible

From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Full-Day Guided Tour Reviewed by Anonymous, 07/15/2019

Auschwitz is a hard, but must see site and the Salt Mines are amazing!

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.

Auschwitz-Birkenau & Wieliczka Salt Mine Tour Reviewed by Michelle, 07/08/2019

Beautiful place .. need more attention to customers

The excursion itself was a nice experience however I had to call the local partner twice to get to know the pick up time. They were very nice and helpful but other providers communicate straight away. Driver was very 'robotic'. Although he drove us to all sites mentioned in the programme he had poor knowledge and lack of customer skills compared to other drivers. It is not a complaint about the driver but a little bit of attention to clients would make this excursion an excellent one rather than a good one.

Zakopane Tour with Hot Bath Pools and Hotel Pickup Reviewed by Anonymous, 07/12/2019

A worthwhile experience made possible by our guide's assistance

Our guide was very professional and supportive in very practical ways. He arrived on time and provided us with information and personalised transport and guidance, and also had the foresight to include umbrellas against the scorching heat, adequate water and snacks for the trip back. I would have appreciated a bit more friendliness but maybe that is a cultural thing.

It was very exciting and it never went boring.

I think it is a very interesting tour. You get a lot of usefull information and at the same time you get to see a lot of the city. The four hours went so fast and you never got bored. It was also wonderfull to get to see so much of the town in only four hours. The bikes was a grear way to travel.

4-Hour Krakow Cycling Tour Reviewed by Anonymous, 07/13/2019