Krakow is a historical center of Poland full of important landmarks. You absolutely cannot say that you traveled in Poland if you didn’t visit Krakow. It is a city full of wonderful, interesting, and sometimes terrifying things to do. You can spend a lot of time in Krakow exploring and experiencing Polish culture and history. Here is a list of the best things to do in Krakow to help you better organize your time.
The old town of Krakow is a place where every tourist should start their introduction to this beautiful city.
The central square of the old town is called Rynek square, and it is a place full of many interesting things to do and to see.
Besides visiting historical landmarks at Rynek square, you can have a great time at one of the many cozy terraces that offer a great view of the area.
The Cloth hall is located in the middle of Rynek square. The Cloth hall used to be the center of trade life in Krakow. Nowadays it is a historical landmark, and a souvenir market.
Between the arches of the Cloth hall you’ll see many stalls with traditional clothes, jewelry, pottery, and many other traditional things that can be a great present brought from Poland.
On the side of the Cloth hall there is a door that leads to one of the most unique museums in Krakow – Rynek Underground.
Rynek Underground is a museum that is located under Rynek square and has many hidden secrets about the culture and the day-to-day life of Polish people in the middle ages.
The archeological dig began in 2005 at the main square and led to uncovering 4 000 square meters of tunnels and structures which were hidden under the dirt.
Rynek Underground was opened in 2010 and since then tourists can visit this amazing place.
You can buy your ticket on the opposite side of the Cloth hall. The ticket costs 28 Zloty per person.
Mary’s basilica is one of the highlights of the Krakow old town. It really stands out, so you won’t miss it.
Mary’s basilica is a two-towered Gothic style basilica that was built in the 14th century.
Although Mary’s basilica is majestic from the outside, I advise you not to skip the visit inside as well. Amazing stained glass and the altar of this basilica will take your breath away.
Planty park is one of the biggest parks in Krakow.
The park goes around the Krakow old town, where until the 19th century was the city wall. You still can see some parts of it, but it is mostly gone.
Planty park is a great walking spot with many benches, trees and a nice walking path. It is a great spot to take your kids, since there are a few children’s areas with swings and slides.
Poland is well-known for its great quality vodka. The Poles have been perfecting the vodka production over many centuries, so it is no wonder that some of the best vodka in the world comes from Poland. Therefore, among tourists, vodka tasting is a very popular activity.
You can have a vodka tasting by hopping from bar to bar, or you can have this experience at one place – Wodka Cafe Bar.
Wodka cafe bar is located 2 minutes away from the Rynek square. At this bar you will find a great selection of flavored vodkas (tinctures).
Wodka cafe bar offers tasting sets of 6 shots (25ml each) for around 50 Zloty (you can choose what flavors you want to try yourself).
No country can be experienced without trying traditional cuisine.
Poland has a lot of great dishes that, I am sure, you are familiar with already (pierogi, bigos, kielbasa). You can try all of them at any restaurant in Krakow that serves traditional food.
For those who have a sweet tooth there are a lot of Polish pastries and sweets that you can find in the bakeries and coffee shops all over Krakow.
You don’t need to look for a fancy Krakow restaurant to get high quality food. It is better to visit one of the many unpretentious places that look like grandma’s kitchen. There you will definitely experience homemade Polish food.
Wawel Royal castle is one of the biggest castles in Poland. It is located between the Rynek square and the Jewish quarter (Kazimierz district).
Wawel castle was built in the 14th century, or rather some of the parts were built in the 14th century. Over the years the castle premises grew and new structures were built.
Nowadays you can say that the Wawel castle is actually a whole complex.
Tourists can visit Wawel castle, but for every part/exhibition you will have to buy a separate ticket. Nevertheless, it is worth it to see the premises of Wawel castle and explore some of the parts of this grand structure.
The oldest synagogue in Poland is located in Krakow in the Kazimierz district (Jewish quarter).
Nowadays the synagogue is a museum that tells you about ceremonies and life in general that was happening in the Jewish quarter.
Kazimierz district is a part of the Krakow old town. This district is also known as a Jewish quarter.
Kazimierz district is a place that every tourist should explore. Here you will find funky bars and cafes, weird antique shops, and on the walls you will see cool street art.
Kazimierz district is also a place where all the great restaurants and bars are. It is also one of the best areas to look for accommodation, since it is way less crowded and loud than the Market square.
As I mentioned previously, Kazimierz district is a place with great restaurants and bars. There is also one of the spots in the Jewish quarter that you should visit – Okrąglak.
Okrąglak is a food court where they offer the best Polish street food in Krakow – zapiekanka.
Zapiekanka is a huge open face sandwich with various toppings that literally is made on a half of a loaf of bread.
At Okrąglak you will find many vendors that offer zapiekanka, although each of them has their own special toppings.
Ghetto Heroes’ square is an important historical landmark that commemorates the killing of Jews during WWII.
On the square you will see 70 bronze chairs that represent the furniture (and probably all the other belongings) left behind by Jews from the ghetto who were killed.
It is a truly sad place with a heavy atmosphere, but an important one that people should visit and pay their respects to those who lived and died during this tragedy.
Many people know a little (because of the movie and books) about Oskar Schindler and his factory. Here is where a large number of Jews were saved from Nazis.
Nowadays Schindler’s factory is a museum that tells the story of those who survived due to Oskar Schindler, and of the terror that was happening during the war.
Auschwitz concentration camp is one of the most important historical landmarks that you can visit while traveling in Krakow, Poland.
Auschwitz concentration camp is a place with a dark and horrifying history. During World War II around one million Jews were killed at the famous gas chambers.
During the visit to Auschwitz concentration camp you will see what was day-to-day life of the prisoners and understand how horrifying people can be.
Auschwitz concentration camp is located around one and half hours away from Krakow and there are a few ways how you can visit it (click here to read more on how to visit Auschwitz concentration camp).
Wieliczka salt mine is another day trip that you can do from Krakow that you shouldn’t skip. It is also a relaxed and fun place, a completely opposite experience to Auschwitz concentration camp.
Wieliczka salt mine is located half an hour drive from Krakow. Here are all the ways you can get to the Wieliczka salt mine on your own or with a tour agency.
Wieliczka salt mine has many things that any tourist would like to see. Inside you can find a chapel, many statues carved from salt, galleries, an underground lake, and more.
Things To Do In Krakow, Poland
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