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

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What people are saying about Krakow

Absolutely amazing from start to finish!

First rate trip Peter was so helpful as were our guides, we will definitely recommend you to our friends. Thank you all so much

Could have listened all day to Maciej's knowledge of Krakow and Poland

We were met early by our guide Maciej and he promptly commenced our tour of the Cathedral and Castle. He was very thorough and knowledgable in all their history, as well as explaining the history of Poland. He gave so much information but also gave lots of time to answer our questions. He went beyond the allocated tour time and also helped us seek a buggy tour of the Jewish Quarter. So pleased we booked this tour - it was particularly nice that it was only for our group of 4 as we were able to move smoothly through the tour without getting separated within the crowds who were also visiting. Would certainly would use again.

Krakow: Skip The Line Wawel Castle Guided Tour Reviewed by Kathryn, 02/18/2019

Thoroughy enjoyed getting to know more about beautiful Krakow.

The guide prompt, knowledgeable and polite. Would have liked to arrange a hotel pickup at the time of booking.

Incredibly well organised from start to finish

The minibus arrived at our hotel on time was clean and well maintained. Both tour guides Chris and Anna were extremely professional and knowledgeable, Anna spoke for around 2 hours on the tour around Auschwitz and another 1 hour at Birkenau and explained everything clearly, in detail and confidently answered all the questions that were presented to her. I would recommend taking a snack or sandwich + drink as there are limited facilities with long queues. Well worth the money and I would definitely recommend.

Very interesting place to visit, marvelous scenes sculpted out of salt

Really pleased we visited this place, very interesting place to visit. However the headsets were a bit hit & miss, my husbands stopped working not long into the tour. Plus the Guide spoke very quickly, & we could not always understand what she was saying. I fully understand she had a lot to tell us, & she was very proud of the place ( fully understandable) its a beautiful place. Would recommend anyone to visit.

Wieliczka Salt Mine Tour Including Hotel Pick-Up Reviewed by Diane, 02/14/2019