Straight out of a fairy tale, Krakow is one of the most beautiful cities you’ll visit in Europe. The Polish city is home to incredible medieval buildings, fantastic restaurants and uber cool bars, and super lovely people.
If you’re looking for a historical city break, which doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, Krakow should definitely be one for you to consider.
How To Get Around
From the airport – The most affordable way to get into the city from the airport is by bus. It takes about 30-40 minutes to get to the central train station and costs 4zl / £1. Alternatively, you can catch a taxi straight to your destination.
Around the city – Unless you’re planning on making trips outside of the city, e.g. Auschwitz, the main attractions of Krakow can be seen by foot. However, if you have limited time you can also pop on a tram or bus, tickets can be purchased at either a news booth or on the bus itself.
Where to Stay
AirBnb is a great and very cheap way to experience Krakow. Depending on where you stay, it is possible to find a place to rent for approximately £20 a night.
If hotels are more your thing, here are some options:
Art Garden Residence – A hip, industrial designed hotel, perfect for an affordable, yet stylish, stay in Krakow.
Sheraton Grand Krakow – If it’s a luxurious stay in Krakow you’d like, this is the spot for you. Located just next door to Wawel Castle, the Sheraton is an elegant place to stay in the heart of Krakow. Read the review of Sheraton Grand Krakow, here
Where to Eat & Drink
Main Square Restaurants & Cafes
Boscaiola – Italian restaurant with a gorgeously arty deco
Krowarzywa – For vegan burgers
Restauranja Pino – A modern restaurant with a mix of cuisines
Pod Norenami – A vegan and vegetarian restaurant
Szambelan – A traditional, must-go-to vodka shop, where you can taste any kind of flavour vodka you can dream of, for very, very cheap.
Camelot – A cute little spot with a classic and cosy interior to head to for a drink or bite to eat.
Boccanera – Italian restaurant with a modern interior in the heart of the old town.
Kazimierz Jewish District Restaurants & Cafes
Marchewka Z Groszkiem – A traditional polish restaurant.
Cyklop – A delicious Italian restaurant with incredibly affordable prices.
Nova Krova – Vegan and vegetarian restaurant
Alchemia – A small and super cute bar, perfect to hide away in for an afternoon drink or a nightcap
What To Do & Where To Go
Walk around the old town – Simply walking around Krakow’s old town is a wonderful thing to do. The architecture is so beautiful, it’s almost like the town has been frozen in time. There are so many little side streets to walk down and get lost in. It’s a marvellous city, which holds so much history and culture. If you’d like to have a guide while you walk around the town, Crakow Free Tours is a fabulous place to start.
Price: Free, or 45 PLN per person for a 3.5 hour tour with a guide – it’s recommended to book a few days in advance.
St Mary’s Basilica – A gothic church in the main square and one of the most famous sites in Krakow.
Price: 10 PLN. If you visit from April – October you can climb the tower for an additional 15 PLN.
Wawel Castle – A stunning Renaissance palace dating back to the 16th century, the castle is a must to visit to understand Poland’s history. The castle is now a museum, which includes Crown Treasury and Armoury, State Rooms and Royal Private Apartments, to name a few. The castle has beautiful views of the Vistula River and the Old Town.
Price: Depends on what areas you visit, but starts from 10 PLN per adult.
Cracow Historical Museum – An underground museum in the centre of Krakow’s Old Town. Definitely worth a visit to find out more about the medieval history of Krakow and the main square.
Kazimierz – Kazimierz, otherwise known as the Jewish Quarter is a must-visit area for a bit of history and to find quirky bars and local restaurants. The quarter has a different feel to it than the old town main square, but it’s worth the visit. You can easily spend a day exploring the streets, synagogues, memorials and eating and drinking spots.
What to do in Kazimierz:
Ghetto Heroes Square, a Holocaust memorial
Take a walk around the Vistula river
Visit the Alchemia Bar
Words & Phrases to Learn
Saying: Good morning / good afternoon
In Polish: Dzień dobry
Pronounce it as: jane DOH-brih
Saying: Good night
In Polish: Dobranoc
Pronounce it as: doh-BRAH-knots
In Polish: Proszę
Pronounce it as: PROH-sheh
Saying: Thank you
In Polish: Dziękuję
Pronounce it as: jen-KOO-yeh
In Polish: Tak
Pronounce it as: tahk
In Polish: Nie
Pronounce it as: nyeh
In Polish: Na zdrowie!
Pronounce it as: nah ZDROH-vyeh