23 Things to Do in Krakow - Best Attractions in and Around Krakow, Poland

Krakow, the former capital of Poland and one of the most enchanting cities in Europe, is brimming with history, culture, and attractions that will captivate any visitor. 

Wawel Castle in Krakow - Poland


Whether you're strolling through its medieval town square or exploring its many museums, there are countless things to do in Krakow. Here are some of the best Krakow guided tours and activities in and around the city to make the most of your visit.

Discover the Rich History of Krakow

1. Explore the Old Town & Main Market Square

The heart of Krakow, the Old Town
, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site teeming with historical landmarks. Start your journey at the Main Market Square, the largest medieval town square in Europe. Here, you can visit the Cloth Hall and St. Mary’s Basilica, with its iconic Gothic architecture and stunning interiors.

The Cloth Hall in Krakow

2. Walk Through Planty Park

Encircling the Old Town, Planty Park is perfect for a leisurely stroll. This beautiful green belt, established in the 19th century, offers a peaceful retreat with scenic pathways, fountains, and statues.

Experience the Jewish Quarter

3. Kazimierz

The historic district of Kazimierz, Krakow's Jewish Quarter, is rich in cultural heritage. Explore its synagogues, vibrant street art, and cozy cafes. Don’t miss Plac Nowy, a bustling square known for its market stalls and street food, including the famous Polish zapiekanka.

Krakow Street Art

4. Ghetto Heroes Square

Visit the Ghetto Heroes Square in the Podgórze district, which commemorates the Jewish ghetto's tragic history during World War II. This area includes the Eagle Pharmacy Museum and poignant memorials that honor the lives lost.

Iconic Attractions in Krakow

5. Wawel Royal Castle and Cathedral  

A visit to Krakow isn't complete without exploring the Wawel Royal Castle. Perched on Wawel Hill, this castle complex, dating back to the 13th century, showcases a blend of architectural styles and houses the Wawel Cathedral and royal chambers.

Wawel Castle in Krakow, Poland

6. Schindler’s Factory

Delve into Krakow's recent history with a visit to Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory, now a museum. This site offers profound insights into the Nazi occupation of Krakow and Schindler’s efforts to save Jewish lives during World War II.

7. Czartoryski Museum

Home to Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece "Lady with an Ermine", the Czartoryski Museum is a treasure trove of European art and antiquities.

8. St. Florian’s Gate

This Gothic tower is one of the few remnants of Krakow’s medieval fortifications. St. Florian’s Gate is a perfect spot for history buffs and offers a great view of the city.

9. Barbican

Adjacent to St. Florian’s Gate, the Barbican is an impressive example of medieval military architecture. It once served as a defensive gateway to the city.

10. Jagiellonian University

Founded in 1364, the Jagiellonian University is one of the oldest universities in the world. Its historic buildings and museums, like the Collegium Maius, are worth a visit.

Day Trips Around Krakow

11. Auschwitz-Birkenau Guided Tour

A sobering yet essential day trip from Krakow is to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. This guided tour provides a poignant reminder of the atrocities of the Holocaust and is a crucial part of understanding Poland's history.

The Auschwitz - Birkenau Concentration Camp

12. Wieliczka Salt Mine Guided Tour

Another must-see is the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a fascinating underground world carved from salt. This UNESCO World Heritage Site features intricate sculptures, chapels, and even a salt lake, making it a unique attraction near Krakow.

The Wieliczka Salt Mine

13. Energylandia

For thrill-seekers, a visit to Energylandia, Poland’s largest amusement park, is a must. Located just outside Krakow, it offers a variety of rides and attractions for all ages.

14. Zakopane and Termy

Take a day trip to Zakopane, the winter capital of Poland, nestled in the Tatra Mountains. Enjoy the scenic beauty and relax at the nearby thermal baths, known as Termy, for a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation.

Unique Krakow Experiences

15. Vistula River Cruise

For a relaxing and scenic experience, take a cruise on the Vistula River. This river cruise offers stunning views of Krakow’s skyline, including landmarks such as the Wawel Castle and the Church on the Rock. It’s a peaceful way to see the city from a different perspective.

16. Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow  

For a dose of modern culture, head to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow (MOCAK). Located in the post-industrial area of Zabłocie, MOCAK showcases a diverse range of contemporary artworks and thought-provoking exhibitions.

17. Nowa Huta

Explore the Nowa Huta district, a fascinating example of socialist realist architecture and urban planning. It offers a stark contrast to Krakow’s medieval and Renaissance charms.

18. Manggha Museum

Dedicated to Japanese art and technology, the Manggha Museum offers a unique cultural experience. It’s a testament to Krakow’s diverse and global cultural scene.

19. Kosciuszko Mound

Climb the Kosciuszko Mound for panoramic views of Krakow. This artificial hill was built in honor of the national hero Tadeusz Kosciuszko and offers a stunning perspective on the city and surrounding countryside.

Additional Must-See Attractions

20. Krakow Zoo

Located in the scenic Las Wolski Forest, the Krakow Zoo is a delightful place for families and animal lovers, featuring a wide variety of species in naturalistic habitats.

21. Tyniec Abbey - The oldest existing monastery in Poland

Take a short trip outside the city to visit the Tyniec Abbey, a Benedictine monastery with stunning views of the Vistula River and a history dating back to the 11th century.

22. Ojcow National Park

Just a short drive from Krakow, Ojcow National Park features beautiful limestone cliffs, caves, and castles. It’s a great destination for hiking and nature enthusiasts.

23. Try Traditional Polish Food

While in Krakow, don’t miss the opportunity to sample traditional Polish dishes such as pierogi, zapiekanki, and maczanka krakowska. These local favorites are a delicious way to experience Polish life. It’s also a chance to learn about local history and culture from knowledgeable guides, making it an unforgettable and delicious experience.

Polish food


Krakow is a city that seamlessly blends its rich history with vibrant contemporary culture. From the medieval splendor of the Old Town to the solemn history of Auschwitz-Birkenau and the artistic flair of Kazimierz, there's something for everyone in this captivating Polish city. Make sure to include these top tours and attractions in your itinerary for an unforgettable trip to Krakow.

No comments

Powered by Blogger.