Anyone considering a visit to culture-filled Krakow would be on the way to making a great travel decision. What you’ll find upon arrival is Europe’s largest market square and a charming Old Town teeming with some of the city’s best attractions, as well as museums aplenty, and parks and green space galore. If you’re planning on visiting, we have you covered with tips from our local Krakow guides on everything you need to know about getting around and what to see and do once you’re there.
Taking the train is a convenient way to get from the airport into the city. The trains run approximately every 30 minutes to Krakow’s main railway station and also offer free wi-fi. Tickets cost PLN 9 and you’ll need to purchase your tickets in advance at a ticket machine. The train station is located near the passenger terminal, at the rear of the multi-storey car park.
Metered taxis are also available and cost approximately PLN 120 to the city centre. iCar is the cheapest taxi company and it’s usually cheaper to order a cab by phone. Another option, is if you’ve scheduled a tour of Krakow with Urban Adventures, we’re happy to arrange a private car for our visitors.
Walking: Best way to see Krakow? Break out your comfy shoes and walk! Not only is it free, but the majority of the city’s landmarks in the Old Town are within easy walking distance.
Public transit: The city is served by buses and trams (tickets are the same for both) and public transit is available 24 hours a day. Cost depends on the type of ticket you require with the cheapest fare being good for 20 minutes at a cost of PLN 2.80 (enough to go five to eight stops). The price goes up for length of travel and you can also purchase tickets for 24, 48, and 72 hours, depending on how much you’ll be using public transit.
You also might want to think about picking up a Krakow Tourist Card, which gets you free entry to over 40 Krakow museums and free travel on trams and buses, day and night (including to Wieliczka Salt Mine). Two and three-day cards are available for PLN 100 and PLN 120, respectively.
Taxi: Metered taxis are available in the city. A typical journey costs approximately PLN 30-40. Remember, it’s cheaper to order a taxi over the phone in advance and iCar Taxis are one of the cheapest companies currently available.
Bike: Renting a bike is also an option for getting around Krakow if you prefer sightseeing on two wheels.
Krakow’s historic Old Town earned its spot on the first-ever UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978. Just exploring the cobbled streets without a fixed agenda is well worth your time, but you’ll also come across beautiful churches, impressive museums, and Europe’s largest market square. The city’s Old Town is also home to Wawel Castle, the National Museum, St. Mary’s Basilica, Church of St. Anne, the interesting Pharmacy Museum, and small but worthwhile Krakow Poster Gallery (home to over 2,500 Polish posters).
Known as the lungs of Krakow, the Planty consists of three kilometres of public parks and gardens filled with trees, flowers, benches and historic monuments surrounding the Old Town. It takes about an hour (or more depending on how fast your walking pace is) to traverse the entire area, but it makes for a pleasant and relaxing way to see the city.
On a visit to Krakow, you don’t want to miss seeing the historic Jewish district of Kazimierz, one of the city’s most exciting neighbourhoods. This is where contemporary Jewish culture comes alive, and in addition to colourful street art, chic cafés, cool art galleries, interesting museums, and some of Krakow’s best bars, you’ll also find numerous synagogues and Jewish cemeteries. Kazimierz is also where the huge annual Jewish Culture Festival takes place. If you want to explore the city on a guided tour, hop on our private Changing Faces of Kazimierz tour.
Krakow is known as Poland’s cultural capital — and rightly so. There are music, film, theatre and arts festivals going on in the city year-round, and especially during the summer. Consider timing your visit to include Misteria Paschalia (focusing on renaissance and baroque music), the Krakow Film Festival, the Summer Jazz Festival, the International Street Theatre Festival or the Sacrum Profanum Festival, focusing on contemporary music.
If you have time, it’s worth heading outside of Krakow to visit Wieliczka Salt Mine, a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its deep salt mine where everything you see has been carved by hand from salt blocks. Mined since the 13th century, the cavernous mine is spread over nine levels and contains kilometres of galleries featuring works of art, altars and statues sculpted in salt. Visitors are guided in groups and tours take about two hours. Wear comfortable shoes.
Looking for more things to do? Urban Adventures offers day tours in Krakow, all led by local experts that will give you a taste for local life:
Markets & Flavours of Krakow
Get a taste for local life with this sightseeing-meets-food tour that tells the story of Krakow through its markets and squares. Explore historic districts, see iconic sites, sample local delicacies, hang out in hidden cafés, and take a sip of that famous Polish vodka while learning why the markets aren’t just places to shop — they’re the soul of Krakow!
Krakow Food by Foot
Taste the real Krakow on this food tour of the best Polish bites and sites! Sample traditional fare of pierogies, zapiekanka, and oscypek at local hideaways and explore Krakow’s bustling markets and neighbourhoods. The perfect balance of cuisine and culture for a truly authentic local experience!
Made In Krakow
This Krakow tour will take you to the shops and galleries you’d never find on your own, and connect you with the people it’d be impossible to meet without a guide by your side. See the art they’re making for a living, hear the stories behind their crafts, and go home with a piece of Krakow in your pocket.
The Changing Faces of the Kazimierz Jewish Quarter Private Tour
Give yourself over to the bohemian charm of Krakow’s beloved Kazimierz district and get a firsthand look at why the vibrant neighbourhood is an essential part of the Krakow experience. On this private tour, you’ll eat, shop, and explore your way through the day, learning about the Jewish history of Krakow as you go.
Home Cooked Krakow
What? You haven’t tried Polish food? It may not be as famous as some other country’s cuisines (we’re looking at you Italy!) but it’s just as delicious. Join this Krakow tour to get an inside guide to cooking Polish food in the home of a local home cook.
Nowa Huta Communist Experience Private Tour
Being in the Nowa Huta district of Krakow is like travelling back in time — all the way back to the communist era. The places you’ll visit on this private tour are exactly as they were during the communist regime, in this neighbourhood built as a model communist city.
Beers & Cheers Private Tour
Raise a pint at some of the best-loved local pubs and breweries in Krakow while learning about the long history of beer in the city on this private tour. In between beers and bites, explore the Old Town off the beaten path, discovering hidden corners most visitors never find, and delve headlong into beer culture in Krakow.
Watch to see what the Best. Day. Ever. is like with Krakow Urban Adventures!
Before you visit, learn more about Krakow by watching Schindler’s List. Liam Neeson stars in this powerful film as the greedy German businessman who ends up saving the lives of thousands of mostly Polish-Jewish refugees from the Holocaust. In Angel in Krakow, an angel falls in love with the city, after mistakenly ending up in Krakow as punishment for liking rock and roll. These films show the real Krakow in the past and present.
Get in the mood for your trip to Krakow by listening to the band Kroke, a Polish instrumental ensemble of Jewish Klezmer music. Brush up on your classical music with Capella Cracoviensis, a world-class contemporary classic musical group and choir.
Dive into Krakow before you arrive by reading real and fantastic history of the city. Read Schindler’s Ark, the Booker-prize winning novel by Thomas Keneally, which was adapted into Schindler’s List. The novel tells the story of Schindler, the German industrialist who grew into a living legend to the Jewish people of Krakow.
Kacper Ryx by Mariusz Wollny is a Polish historical crime novel featuring historical characters, including Polish poets Mikołaj Sęp Szarzyński and Jan Kochanowski.
To find out more about your trip to Krakow or to book an Urban Adventures tour, you can reach us by phone at + 48 665 015 665 or email us for more information. You can also follow us on Twitter or Instagram, or like us on Facebook.
Walking through Krakow is like strolling through your very own open air museum. Around every corner you’ll find something of interest, whether it be a beautiful building or a cool food truck selling traditional Polish fare. Get to know the local way of life in this gorgeous city on a Krakow tour filled with history, culture, food, and even a bit of local lingo if you’re looking to learn it!