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Travel Guide

Wawel Castle showing a castle, heritage architecture and a city

Poland’s former capital is known for its architectural splendor, exciting contemporary art and fascinating history, with castles, ruins and museums around the city.

Krakow is known for its turbulent history as one of the oldest cities in Poland. Its museums, housed in former castles and decadent Renaissance palaces, are filled with royal treasures and Holocaust reminders. But Krakow lives as much in the present as it does in the past, with a thriving contemporary arts scene, weekend markets and a lively nightlife.

The city is more than 750 years old; for five centuries it was Poland’s capital. Successive generations of monarchs constructed castles and cathedrals and instilled a regal air that’s still evident today.

Getting around is easy thanks to a reliable network of trams and buses. Many of the major attractions are located within the compact and easily walkable Old Town (Stare Miasto) district. Visit the decorative St. Mary’s Basilica, which houses one of the most spectacular altarpieces in Europe. Take a walk around the Planty gardens that lie where the old town walls once stood. The old town gate, the Barbikan, is one of the most impressive sights in the park.

Towering above the city is Wawel Castle. This castle has protected Krakow from invaders since the 16th century, and today houses stately rooms, displays of opulent jewels and collections of armor. While here visit the monumental Wawel Cathedral and the Dragon’s Den, a limestone cave where legend says a dragon once lived.

Krakow’s history is intertwined with its Jewish community. Learn about this history at Oskar Schindler’s Factory, which found fame as the subject of the Steven Spielberg movie, Schindler’s List. The former factory has been turned into a comprehensive museum with haunting displays about the Holocaust. Head to the Galicia Jewish Museum, where photographs tell the story of what it means to be Jewish in modern-day Krakow.

In summer Krakow’s city parks come to life with open-air concerts and festivals. Picnic in Jordan Park or take a cruise on the Vistula River that cuts through the city. In winter, see Krakow covered in a layer of snow, giving the buildings of the Old Town a romantic air.

Where to stay in Krakow

Vienna House Easy Cracow
Vienna House Easy Cracow
3 out of 5
Przy Rondzie 2, Krakow, Lesser Poland
The price is $42 per night from May 11 to May 11
Located in the heart of Krakow, this spa hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Krakow Opera, Krakow Barbican, and St. Mary's Basilica. Main Market Square and Oskar ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (29 reviews)
Nice hotel
"Very comfortable room in a nice part of town."

Reviewed on Aug 31, 2020

Vienna House Easy Cracow
 Hotel Betmanowska Main Square Residence
Hotel Betmanowska Main Square Residence
4 out of 5
Ul. Rynek Glowny 44, Krakow
The price is $83 per night from Jun 2 to Jun 2
Located in Krakow Old Town, this hotel is steps from Amber Museum, Main Market Square, and St. Mary's Basilica. Cloth Hall and Krakow Barbican are also within ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (999 reviews)
"The Hotel is right in the middle of the main square and ideal for sightseeing and shopping. The rooms were clean and the staff were friendly."

Reviewed on Dec 18, 2020

Hotel Betmanowska Main Square Residence
Niebieski Art Hotel & Spa
Niebieski Art Hotel & Spa
5 out of 5
Ul. Flisacka 3, Krakow, Lesser Poland
The price is $49 per night from May 9 to May 9
This family-friendly Krakow hotel is located near the boardwalk, within 1 mi (2 km) of Monastery of Norbertan Sisters, Wawel Castle, and Main Market Square. ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (298 reviews)
"Bardzo mily pomocny personel. Hotel rewelacja. Serdecznie polecam."

Reviewed on Dec 5, 2020

Niebieski Art Hotel & Spa
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Antique Apartments Old Town
Antique Apartments Old Town
3 out of 5
Plac Szczepanski 2/9, Krakow, Lesser Poland
The price is $38 per night from May 26 to May 26
This family-friendly Krakow apartment building is located on the Strip, within a 5-minute walk of Palace of Fine Arts, Main Market Square, and Cloth Hall. St. ...
4.2/5Very Good! (409 reviews)
lovely hotel in great spot
"great updates from hotel staff,lovely hotel in great spot just off main square close to all restaurants and bars.easy to book trips and taxis,we were in 32A had everything you need washer fridge microwave iron with board, fans in both rooms excellent showeroom ,diffinately use again."

Reviewed on Sep 19, 2020

Antique Apartments Old Town
Aparthotel Best Views Luxury
Aparthotel Best Views Luxury
ul. Zwierzyniecka 29, Krakow
The price is $61 per night from May 12 to May 12
Located in Krakow City Centre, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Krakow Philharmonic and Dragon's Den. Wawel Castle and Main Market Square are also ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (112 reviews)
"Great stay in Kraków 👌Fashionable, clean and friendly staff"

Reviewed on Oct 14, 2020

Aparthotel Best Views Luxury
Well Well Aparthotel
Well Well Aparthotel
3.5 out of 5
ul. Rózana 21, Krakow
The price is $39 per night from May 9 to May 9
Located in Krakow City Centre, this aparthotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Wawel Castle, Wawel Cathedral, and Main Market Square. Town Hall Tower and Cloth Hall ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (209 reviews)
very nice
"another brilliant night"

Reviewed on Sep 12, 2020

Well Well Aparthotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Krakow

The historic core of Krakow is easy to walk around, and going on foot will give you the best experience of the city’s beautiful old buildings and pretty streets. Be careful of ice if you’re walking around in the winter, though. To get further afield, board one of the city’s trolleys or buses, or use the bike rental system; you can pick up and return bikes at hundreds of stations across the city. Visit the Municipal Infrastructure and Transport Board website.Browse Krakow rental cars.

Best time to visit

Visit Krakow in the summer and you’ll find very pleasant weather, with average highs in the mid 70s F (mid 20s C), perfect for sightseeing and relaxing in the city’s parks. This is also the busiest and priciest time of year to visit. In spring and fall prices are cheaper, but the weather is still pleasant. If you love getting into the festive spirit, visit in December to warm up at the cozy Christmas markets.

Popular places to visit in Krakow

Top things to do in Krakow

Reviews of Krakow


Top Destination

5 - Excellent
5 - Excellent 81.66666666666667%
4 - Good
4 - Good 16.21212121212121%
3 - Okay
3 - Okay 1.8181818181818181%
2 - Disappointing
2 - Disappointing 0.30303030303030304%
1 - Terrible
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 15, 2020

What great little town! Easy train ride from Warsaw

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 14, 2020

Kraków is a beautiful place with many things to see, all within walking distance for those who can handle walking for a few hours to sightsee the city. If not, there are many tours available by foot, vehicle, and bike. Enjoy!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Feb 24, 2020

It is a beautiful city!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Feb 12, 2020

Krakow is a beautiful city and the people are extremely friendly. The dollar goes a long way here. You can have an amazing dinner that would cost $200+ in the USA but only costs $75 in Krakow.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jan 27, 2020

Great place to visit 3 days

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jan 16, 2020

We loved everything about Krakow. An absolutely beautiful city!

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