28 Best Things to Do in Krakow, Poland | 2024 (with Photos)

Andreas Rukovski

Andreas Rukovski - Travel Writer

Published: September 28, 2023

Hey there! I'm Andreas, a travel enthusiast who has explored the vibrant city of Krakow, Poland extensively. I've curated a list of 28 amazing things to do in Krakow based on my personal experiences, so get ready to discover the best this city has to offer!

Best Things to Do in Krakow, Poland

Did you know that Krakow is home to the largest medieval square in Europe? That's just one of the many reasons visiting Krakow should be on your travel bucket list.

In this article, we will delve into the rich cultural tapestry of Krakow, from exploring the enchanting Krakow Old Town to discovering the main square's vibrant history.

We will also discuss day trips worth taking, and how Pope John Paul II has influenced the city. Prepare to uncover the essence of Krakow and why it is a must-visit destination. 

Read on to discover the best things to do in Krakow right now.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Wawel Castle

Top Choice Hotel

Sheraton Grand Krakow

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Pod Aniolami

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

The Piano Rouge.

Best Time to Visit

Spring and autumn showcase Krakow's beauty perfectly.

Average Temperature

Chilly winters, mild summers, average temperature of 8°C.

Transportation Options

Buses, trams, taxis, bikes, scooters, walking, car rentals.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Krakow, Poland - a city brimming with history and charm - offers endless opportunities for exploration. Immerse yourself in the magic of the Old Town, where every cobblestone street is lined with breathtaking architecture and vibrant cafes, making it perfect for a leisurely stroll.

For a more personalized experience, I highly recommend visiting the Kazimierz district, the heart of Krakow's cultural scene, where you can delve into the city's rich Jewish heritage, explore quirky art galleries, and indulge in delicious local cuisine - an unforgettable adventure awaits around every corner.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Travel documents (passport, visa, travel insurance)
  2. Comfortable walking shoes
  3. Weather-appropriate clothing
  4. Adapter for electronic devices
  5. Personal toiletries and medication
  6. Travel guidebook or maps
  7. Local currency or credit/debit card
  8. Backpack or day bag
  9. Camera or smartphone for capturing memories
  10. Portable charger for electronic devices.

Krakow, Poland is a vibrant city with a rich history and plenty of cultural attractions to explore. Whether you're visiting the stunning Wawel Castle, wandering through the charming streets of the Old Town, or indulging in the local cuisine, there's something for everyone in this beautiful city. Don't forget to bring your camera or smartphone to capture the picturesque views, and make sure you have comfortable walking shoes to navigate the city's cobblestone streets. Additionally, be prepared for the weather by bringing appropriate clothing and don't forget your travel documents, including your passport, visa, and travel insurance.

What Not to Miss

  1. Main Square
  2. Wawel Castle
  3. Kazimierz district
  4. Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum
  5. St. Mary's Basilica
  6. Wieliczka Salt Mine
  7. Schindler's Factory Museum
  8. Planty Park
  9. Nowa Huta district
  10. Polish Aviation Museum

What to Avoid

  1. Overpacking: Keep your luggage light and avoid overpacking, as it can be tiring to carry around and may limit your flexibility during your visit to Krakow.

  2. Street Scams: Be aware of your surroundings and avoid falling for street scams that target tourists. Stay cautious and don't engage with individuals who seem overly friendly or too persistent.

  3. Unlicensed Taxis: Use only licensed taxis to avoid being overcharged. Look for official taxi signs and make sure the meter is running before starting your ride.

  4. Late-Night Walks: It's advisable to avoid walking alone late at night in less busy or poorly lit areas. Stick to well-populated and well-lit streets or take a taxi.

  5. Flashing Valuables: Keep your valuable belongings, such as cameras, phones, and jewelry, concealed and avoid flashing them in public. This can help deter potential thieves and keep you safe.

  6. Unauthorized Guides: Be cautious of unauthorized guides who approach you and offer their services. It's recommended to use licensed tour guides or reputable tour companies for a more reliable and authentic experience.

  7. Street Drinking: Drinking alcohol in public places, such as on the streets or in parks, is generally not allowed in Krakow. Be mindful of this law and enjoy your drinks in designated areas.

  8. Discrimination Memorials: Show respect when visiting memorials and be mindful of the solemn nature of these sites. Avoid taking selfies or engaging in disrespectful behavior.

  9. Illegal Drugs: It goes without saying, but it's important to avoid involvement with illegal drugs during your stay in Krakow. Possession, sale, or use of drugs is strictly prohibited and can lead to serious consequences.

  10. Ignoring Local Customs: Familiarize yourself with local customs and practices to show respect to the local culture. Be aware of dress codes in religious sites and behave appropriately in public places.

1. Discover the History of Krakow by Visiting the Rynek Underground Museum

Rynek Underground Museum

Among the many things to do in Krakow, immersing yourself in the city's rich history is a must.

The Rynek Underground Museum provides this opportunity through its fascinating exhibitions. Situated beneath the city's main market square, this modern museum offers a captivating insight into the Middle Ages.

Witness the remnants of merchant stalls, touch the ancient artifacts, and learn about the daily life in Krakow dating back over a century.

The immersive presentations and state-of-the-art technologies make this one of the most interesting museums in the city.

A visit here is like a time travel experience that unveils Krakow's deep-seated past.

2. Explore the Town Hall Tower, a Symbol of Krakow's Past

Town Hall Tower

The Town Hall Tower stands as a symbol of Krakow's past, offering another engaging item on the list of things to do in Krakow.

This impressive medieval structure, nestled in the largest medieval market square in Central Europe, allows you to ascend to a vantage point for an unparalleled view of the city. 

Inside the tower, the Krakow History Museum showcases the city's evolution.

You can explore artifacts, maps, and photographs that trace the story of Krakow from its inception to the present.

The tower itself, a remnant of the 14th-century Town Hall, serves as a reminder of Krakow's architectural grandeur.

3. Learn about Aviation History at the Polish Aviation Museum

Polish Aviation Museum

When considering things to do in Krakow, the Polish Aviation Museum is a unique destination that shouldn't be missed.

Located on the historic site of the Rakowice-Czyzyny airport, one of the oldest military airfields in Europe, the museum boasts a collection of over 200 aircraft.

From vintage planes, helicopters, and gliders to a comprehensive exhibit on the history of Polish aviation, the museum caters to all levels of aviation enthusiasts.

It offers a rich insight into the world of aviation, making it a perfect spot for history buffs and technology lovers alike.

4. Wander Through the Old Town

Stare Miasto

A stroll through the Old Town is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Krakow. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a cultural treasure trove, filled with cobbled streets, charming cafes, and historical buildings.

As you wander these picturesque streets, you'll encounter architectural marvels from different eras. The Town Hall Tower, Mary's Basilica with its stunning stained glass windows, and the Cloth Hall are a few highlights.

Every corner of the Old Town exudes a sense of history, with tales of Polish kings, world wars, and the vibrant life of the local community. It's an immersive cultural experience that truly captures the spirit of Krakow.

5. Visit Wieliczka Salt Mine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Wieliczka Salt Mine

Among the most unique things to do in Krakow is a visit to the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This awe-inspiring underground city carved from salt takes you on an unforgettable journey through a labyrinth of chambers, chapels, and tunnels, all hewn from rock salt.

The highlight is the stunning Chapel of St. Kinga, a large church adorned with salt carvings, chandeliers, and even a rendition of Da Vinci's "Last Supper".

The mine, operating for over 700 years, gives a remarkable glimpse into the lives of miners and the importance of salt in Krakow's history.

6. Marvel at the Grandeur of Mary's Basilica

Grandeur of Mary's Basilica

Visiting Mary's Basilica is one of the most popular things to do in Krakow. This magnificent brick church, located on the city's main square, is a true masterpiece of Gothic architecture.

Its stunning glass windows carved wooden altarpiece, and ornate ceilings are sure to leave you in awe. But it's not just the interior that's mesmerizing.

The basilica's twin towers, a defining feature of Krakow's skyline, offer panoramic views of the city, making this site a must-visit for any Krakow itinerary.

7. Visit the Jewish District

Jewish District

Another enriching addition to the list of things to do in Krakow is exploring the Jewish district, Kazimierz.

This neighborhood is a testament to the city's multicultural past, filled with synagogues, cobbled streets, and remnants of the Jewish life that once thrived here.

Immerse yourself in history by visiting sites like the Old Synagogue or experiencing the annual Jewish Culture Festival.

Don't miss the opportunity to dine at one of the local restaurants, where you can sample traditional Jewish dishes and experience the area's vibrant atmosphere.

8. Admire Unique Art at Manggha Museum of Japanese Art & Technology

Manggha Museum of Japanese Art & Technology

For art enthusiasts, a visit to the Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology is among the must-do things to do in Krakow.

This museum is a unique fusion of traditional and modern art, featuring an extensive collection of paintings, prints, ceramics, and textiles.

The modernist building overlooking the Vistula River is also a work of art in itself. Here, you can immerse yourself in Japanese culture, attend workshops, and even participate in a traditional tea ceremony.

This cultural institution is a hidden gem that adds a global touch to Krakow's rich cultural landscape.

9. Wander Around the Majestic Wawel Castle

Wawel Castle

Wandering around the majestic Wawel Castle, the former residence of the kings of Poland, is one of the most awe-inspiring things to do in Krakow.

Perched on Wawel Hill overlooking the Vistula River, the castle complex boasts a blend of architectural styles, ranging from Romanesque to Renaissance.

Explore the Royal Chambers, admire the Crown Treasury and Armory, or stand in awe of the impressive Wawel Cathedral.

The castle's lush gardens and panoramic views over the city add to the enchanting experience.

10. Visit the Historical Museum of Krakow to Delve into Polish History

Historical Museum of the City of Kraków

Another fascinating journey into the past among the things to do in Krakow is visiting the Historical Museum of Krakow.

This museum is home to numerous exhibits spanning over a thousand years of Krakow's history.

From medieval artifacts to World War II memorabilia, each exhibit tells a unique story of the city's past.

The museum's highlight is the Rynek Underground, an innovative archaeological museum located beneath the main market square, where you can step back in time to medieval Krakow.

11. Enjoy Traditional Polish Dishes at a Local Restaurant

Zupy on bread bowl at Chłopskie Jadło

Savoring traditional Polish dishes at a local restaurant in the main market square is one of the most delightful things to do in Krakow.

From hearty pierogi dumplings to comforting bigos stew, Polish cuisine is sure to delight your taste buds.

Paired with a glass of Polish vodka or a pint of local beer, dining in the bustling heart of Krakow offers an experience that is as much about the vibrant ambiance as it is about the delectable food.

12. Visit the Cloth Hall

The Cloth Hall

If you're looking for unique souvenirs and local goods, visiting Cloth Hall, located in the main market square, is one of the essential things to do in Krakow.

Once a major center of international trade during the Middle Ages, today's Cloth Hall houses a variety of stalls selling everything from handmade jewelry, crafts, and leather goods to traditional Polish folk art.

Whether you're on a hunt for the perfect gift or simply want to immerse yourself in the lively market atmosphere, the Cloth Hall is a shopping experience you shouldn't miss.

13. Explore the National Museum, Showcasing Works of Famous Polish Artists

National Museum in Krakow

One of the educational and culturally enriching things to do in Krakow is exploring the National Museum, which showcases works of Polish artists.

The museum's vast collection includes fine arts, crafts, and sculptures, reflecting various periods of art history. Particularly notable are the works associated with the Young Poland movement, including pieces by Stanisław Wyspiański and Jacek Malczewski.

The museum also boasts an impressive gallery of contemporary art, making it a must-visit for art lovers.

14. Learn about the Holocaust at Auschwitz Concentration Camp

Auschwitz Concentration Camp

A visit to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp is a sobering but essential experience among the things to do in Krakow.

As a significant site of the Nazi occupation during the Second World War, Auschwitz serves as a haunting reminder of the Holocaust's horrors. 

On a guided tour, you'll explore the grounds, barracks, and exhibits that tell the stories of the millions of lives lost.

It's a poignant testament to human resilience in the face of tragedy, offering a profound understanding of one of history's darkest chapters.

15. Participate in a Stained Glass Workshop and Take a Piece of Krakow with You

Stained Glass Workshop and Museum

Participating in a stained glass workshop is one of the unique and creative things to do in Krakow.

The city has a long-standing tradition of stained glass artistry, and a workshop provides an opportunity to learn about this ancient craft first-hand.

Under the guidance of skilled artisans, you'll create your stained glass piece, a vibrant memento of your visit to Krakow.

The city's beautiful architecture, including sites like Mary's Basilica, will surely inspire your artistic journey.

16. Visit the Krakow Zoo

Krakow Zoo

For lovers of nature and families, one of the most delightful things to do in Krakow is visit to the Krakow Zoo.

Nestled in the Wolski Forest, the zoo houses a diverse collection of animals from around the globe. It provides an educational and engaging experience for visitors of all ages.

From observing the playful monkeys to learning about endangered species, the Krakow Zoo offers an enriching and fun-filled day.

17. Stroll Along the Vistula River, the Longest River in Poland

Vistula River

Taking a stroll along the Vistula River is among the peaceful and picturesque things to do in Krakow.

As the longest river in Poland, the Vistula cuts through Krakow, offering serene riverside paths perfect for walking, cycling, or simply enjoying the views.

Along the way, you'll see landmarks like Wawel Castle perched on Wawel Hill, historical city walls, and charming streets of the city center. It's an ideal activity to unwind and soak in the beauty of Krakow.

18. Discover the Ghetto Heroes Square

Ghetto Heroes Square

When you visit Krakow, a city filled with history and cultural treasures, one of the essential things to do is pay homage to the Ghetto Heroes Square. 

This monument is a solemn reminder of all the history this city has witnessed during the Nazi occupation.

Placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, Krakow Poland is home to many such poignant historical sites.

Not far from the main train station, the square is easily accessible for day trips. The square stands in what was once the Jewish Quarter, where many Polish people were forced to live in squalid conditions during World War II. 

Now, it serves as a stark memorial, symbolizing the bravery and resilience of those who lived here.

Krakow's old town, with its largest medieval square in Europe, the Main Market Square, is also worth visiting for its history. But visiting Ghetto Heroes Square, a little off the usual tourist path, can provide a deeper understanding of Krakow's past.

You can explore Krakow's complex history through a guided tour, which often includes visits to other poignant sites like concentration camps and Wawel Castle.

19. Admire the Street Art

Krakow Street Art

Visiting Krakow isn't only about historical landmarks; the city is also a hub for contemporary art. One of the most vivid expressions of this is the vibrant street art that brings the walls to life.

These artworks are often hidden gems located in the Jewish Quarter or Krakow Old Town.

As you walk around, keep your eyes open for the famed 0/2–6 mural or the fascinating murals in the Jewish Quarter. Street art in Krakow is not only a visual feast but also an avenue for artists to express their views and tell stories.

You can explore Krakow's urban art scene through a guided tour, which will lead you through the city's most impressive murals, sharing their meanings and stories behind them.

20. Walk Up Wawel Hill for a Bite to Eat

Pod Wawelem Kompania Kuflowa

Krakow, with its bustling main market square and old town, offers an array of delightful culinary experiences. Trying Polish food is a must-do for anyone visiting Krakow. The city center is filled with restaurants serving traditional cuisine.

Whether you opt for a hearty bowl of Zurek, enjoy street food like Zapiekanka, or try Pierogi at a local restaurant, Polish food is sure to delight your taste buds. Make sure to visit the Cloth Hall, where you'll find a variety of local food stalls serving Polish dishes.

Afterward, a stroll through the streets of the old town, or a visit to the Wawel castle, will provide the perfect digestion walk.

Krakow's food culture is as rich and diverse as its history, making the city an ideal destination for both food lovers and history buffs.

21. Enjoy Polish Cuisine at a Local Restaurant

Restauracja Polska | Polish Restaurant

When planning things to do in Krakow, tasting authentic cuisine should undoubtedly top your list. The center, particularly the Old Town, is brimming with local restaurants where you can savor the rich flavors of traditional dishes.

Trying Polish food is one of the delightful things to do in Krakow, offering you a culinary exploration of the city's culture and history.

Whether it's a hearty Zurek soup, traditional Pierogi, or street food like Zapiekanka, your gastronomic journey will add another layer to your visit to Krakow.

With food as part of the experience, you can better appreciate the essence of Krakow, making your visit even more memorable.

22. Explore the Princes Czartoryski Museum

Princes Czartoryski Museum

Among the list of things to do in Krakow, a visit to the Prince Czartoryski Museum is essential.

This is a museum dedicated to preserving Polish art and historical artifacts, making it a key cultural site in Krakow, Poland.

The museum is home to a vast collection, including the famous Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci.

Whether you're an art enthusiast or a history buff, exploring the museum's collections is one of the most engaging things to do in Krakow, providing a deeper understanding of Polish culture and history.

23. Pay a Visit to Oskar Schindler's Enamel Factory

Oskar Schindler's Enamel Factory

One of the most meaningful things to do in Krakow is to pay a visit to Oskar Schindler's Factory. This factory is now a museum that tells the story of Schindler and the lives he saved during World War II.

The museum exhibits provide a vivid glimpse into life in Krakow under the Nazi occupation, making it one of the things to do in Krakow that leaves a lasting impression.

This experience will deepen your understanding of the city's history and the resilience of the Polish people.

24. Explore Central Europe's Largest Medieval Market Square

Central Europe's Largest Medieval Market Square - Rynek Główny

One of the highlights among things to do in Krakow is to explore Central Europe's largest medieval market square.

This impressive site, located in Krakow's Old Town, is a bustling hub of activity, filled with cafes, shops, and historical monuments, including the famous Cloth Hall.

As you explore the square, you'll discover many of the hidden gems that make Krakow unique. From the ornate architecture to the vibrant atmosphere, visiting the square is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Krakow.

You can also take a guided tour of the square to learn more about its history and significance in Krakow, Poland.

25. Try Traditional Polish Vodka at a Local Bar

Bar A Vodka

As you consider things to do in Krakow, do not miss out on the opportunity to sample traditional Polish vodka at a local bar.

Polish vodka is renowned worldwide, and trying it in Krakow, the heart of Poland, is a unique experience. 

This activity not only allows you to appreciate the local spirit but also gives you a taste of Polish hospitality and nightlife.

You can find a wide variety of vodkas to try, from popular brands to local artisanal creations. 

Whether you're a vodka connoisseur or a curious traveler, tasting vodka should be on your list of things to do in Krakow. Remember to enjoy it responsibly!

26. Enjoy a Guided Tour of the Wawel Royal Castle

Wawel Royal Castle

Another top attraction that should be on your list of things to do in Krakow is a visit to the Wawel Royal Castle. As one of the most important cultural sites in Poland, the castle stands proudly on Wawel Hill, offering panoramic views over the city.

The best way to explore this historic site is through a guided tour. These tours provide insights into the castle's history, its past residents, and its significance in Poland's cultural heritage.

You'll see luxurious royal chambers, intriguing artifacts, and stunning architectural details. A tour of the Wawel Royal Castle is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating things to do in Krakow.

27. Visit to a Flea Market for Local Crafts and Goods

Plac Nowy Saturday Flea Market

When compiling your itinerary of things to do in Krakow, don't forget to include some time for shopping. One of the best places to find unique souvenirs and local goods is at a flea market in the city.

Exploring these markets gives you a chance to discover handcrafted goods, vintage items, and local produce that reflects the city's culture.

Whether you're searching for a special memento for your trip or a unique gift, visiting this market is one of the most exciting things to do in Krakow. 

It's not only a shopping trip but also an adventure into the city's local craft and trade scene.

FAQs: Regarding Things To Do in Krakow, Poland

In this section, we answer some of the most common questions that come up when discussing things to do in Krakow.

How many days do you need in Krakow?

To fully explore Krakow, including its old town, main market square, and interesting museum, you would need around three to four days. This allows enough time for day trips to places like the Wawel Castle or the UNESCO-listed salt mine.

What is Krakow best known for?

Krakow is best known for its history and architectural beauty. The city is home to the biggest medieval square in Europe, the Main Market Square, the historic Cloth Hall, and the iconic Wawel Castle. Krakow's old town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and its vibrant Polish food scene are also renowned.

What are the main tourist attractions in Krakow?

The main tourist attractions in Krakow include the old town, with its Main Market Square and Cloth Hall, the Wawel Royal Castle, and the Jewish Quarter. Other points of interest are the Schindler's Factory and the nearby UNESCO-listed salt mine.

Are 4 days in Krakow too much?

Four days in Krakow is not too much, considering the wealth of things to do in Krakow. It gives ample time to enjoy the city's main attractions, and hidden gems, and to savor Polish cuisine. It also allows for a day trip to visit nearby locations such as the salt mine or concentration camps.

Summing Up: The Best Things to Do in Krakow, Poland

Visiting Krakow offers an enriching cultural experience.

The city's captivating old town, the historic main square, and the influence of John Paul II all contribute to Krakow's unique charm.

With several day trips on offer, from historical tours to culinary explorations, a visit to Krakow is undeniably worthwhile.

So, what are you waiting for? Experience the allure of Krakow and uncover the history and beauty this Polish gem has to offer.