Krakow in October is magnificent. There are a few cities in Poland that match the autumn beauty that you’ll see in Planty park around the old town. Krakow continues to be vibrant throughout the month too. The students flock back to the city to fill the bars around the old town and Kazi, so it’s a great place to be if you’re in your twenties. Plus, you won’t see the summer crowds anymore, which drives the hotel prices down drastically.
This guide to Krakow in October will talk you through all the aspects of visiting this city during this autumn month. We’ll give you in-depth info on the weather and give you tips on what clothes to pack for your city break. We’ll list some of the top things to do in the city and point out a few downsides of visiting during autumn. Let’s delve deeper…
This is is just one part of our complete guide to autumn in Krakow. Check it now to find out more about visiting the city during the most colourful month of the year.
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What’s in this guide to Krakow in October?
The weather in Krakow in October
October in Krakow is when you’ll notice that temperatures suddenly drop, and the summer is truly over. There might’ve still been some T-shirt days a month before, but in October those are very unlikely. You might even see the first snowfall, especially closer to the end of the month. Usually, though, the average temperatures are around 9 C, so it’s rain rather than snow you’re likely to encounter.
The days in October are becoming shorter every day, and the evenings are getting cooler. You might need to wrap up warm, even if there is sunshine in the morning. It’s not unusual for temperatures to be only a couple of degrees above zero, so make sure to bring some warmer layers with you. That said, there are still chances of mild and sunny days, so don’t ditch your sunglasses just yet.
What to wear in Krakow in October
Weather in Krakow in October can be a little unpredictable, but that’s the month when days are getting more and more chilly. That means you will need some clothes to keep you warm, but it shouldn’t be cold enough for a winter jacket quite yet. There is usually more rain than the month before, so it’s worth bringing some waterproofs too.
We’d say that having layers you can put on or take off depending on how cold or warm it gets would be wise. You might notice that Polish don’t always dress appropriately for the weather, once the winter coats are out, they stay out even if it’s warm. Jokes aside, though, October is one of those months where it’s hard to predict what is best to wear. As a rule of thumb, we’d say you should bring some jumpers to keep you warm and a waterproof lightweight jacket. Bauble hats and gloves shouldn’t be a necessity yet, but if you get cold easily, there’s no harm in bringing them too. Ah, and trousers over shorts!
Top things to do in Krakow in October
Although it’s not as sunny or warm as in the summer, October is a great time to visit Krakow. Why? Because the streets around the old town won’t be packed with tourists anymore, but you might experience what the Poles call the golden Polish autumn. That’s when trees around Planty park will be of different shades of orange, golden and red and coupled with sunshine, it’s a photographer’s dream. Taking photos is not where the list of things to do in Krakow in October ends though…
Enjoy one of the coolest music festivals this city has to offer. Unsound takes place every year in the first part of October and lasts for around a week. It’s a series of contemporary music and arts events, workshops, and discussions at various venues around the centre and Kazimierz. You will get to enjoy a mix of local artists and musicians from around the world, and the biggest gigs are usually on the weekends. Some of the events are free, but you will have to buy tickets for most of the concerts (and book them as soon as you can cos they might sell out).
Krakow’s biggest forest, Las Wolski, is where you can really enjoy the golden Polish autumn views and escape from the hustles and bustles of the urban jungle. There is no better time to walk in these vast woods offering five miles of golden beech trees. You can find it in the southwestern side of the city by hopping on a 134 bus that goes to the zoo. You can also climb the Kosciuszki mound, which offers panoramic vistas over the city.
Enjoy the mushroom season
October is the peak season for mushroom picking in Poland, a hobby that lots of Poles pursue with passion. That means there is no better time to taste mushroom delicacies in restaurants around the city, which will be prepared with freshly picked fungi. From sauces to soups, there are lots of mushroom dishes in Polish cuisine. Our absolute favourite is placki ziemniaczane (potato pancakes) with porcini sauce, yum!
Go hiking in Zakopane
If you have enough time, October is a great time to go hiking in the Tatras. It’s super easy to get to Zakopane from Krakow, a town at the foothills of the mountains and a gateway to the Tatra National Park. The beginning of the month is an ideal moment to go walking when the days are still quite long, and the temperatures are mild. Plus, the most popular trails, which are filled with trekkers in the summer, will be almost empty. Additionally, the highland rush on the iconic Czerwone Wierchy range will start turning red – and trust us, it’s beautiful.
October is also a great time to go out in Krakow, especially if you’re in your early twenties. That’s when the University term starts in Poland, which means thousands of youngsters will head out to enjoy Krakow’s lively nightlife. It’s not only the weekends that will be bustling, either. So, why not enjoy some drinks in one of the liveliest cities in eastern Europe?
Where to stay in Krakow in October
One of the best things about coming to Krakow in October is that despite it being a great time to explore the city, it’s not considered the peak season anymore. That means there are better deals on hotels, and you won’t have to book as far in advance as you would for a summer visit. There is no shortage of great accommodation in the city either. Here are a couple of our favourites:
Hotel Pod Różą
If you’re looking for a bit of luxury and your budget allows, we recommend this beautiful historical five-star hotel – one of the oldest in the city. It’s in a fantastic location, in the heart of the old town. The rooms are stylish with antique features mixed with modern finishes. There’s also a lovely spa included in the price.
Liebeskind Boutique Hotel
This is a lovely mid-range option in a fantastic location. It’s an old but beautifully restored building with stylish and modern rooms. It’s right by Planty park only a few minutes’ walk from the main square.
Apartament Golden Place 2
If you’d rather stay in an apartment that comes with a kitchen, it’s hard to find a better place than these pads. These luxury flats are right by the banks of the Vistula River in the heart of Kazimierz. They’re beautifully furbished and benefit from panoramic vistas over the city.
Downsides to travelling to Krakow in October
We think travelling to Krakow in October is a great time, but you should know that the weather might not be ideal. It might get quite cold and rainy, and the temperatures will drop significantly in the evenings. That means you have to bring heavier clothes and might have to fork out extra for baggage. You won’t be able to enjoy the beer gardens anymore, and shorts and t-shirts are probably a no-go. Plus, you’re losing light every day, and if you visit the city in the second half of the month, you will notice that it gets dark pretty early.
The other downside, which is a good thing when it comes to nightlife, is that the university term starts in October, and that’s bad news if you need to use public transport. Trams and buses, especially those travelling on students’ routes, will be unusually busy throughout the month. There is also more traffic, so it’s best to avoid hitting the road during rush hours.
Is October a good time to visit Krakow?
October is a great time to visit Krakow. Yes, it might be rainy and cold, but you might be lucky enough to get those beautiful sunny autumn days without the summer crowds. The trees at Planty park will turn red and orange, and you will hear leaves crunching beneath your feet as you stroll around. The first half of the month is usually the best.
How cold is Poland in October?
October in Poland is much colder than the months before, especially the second half of the month. The average temperature is only 9 C, while the lows are closer to 5 C. There is still a chance to see double figures in October, but it becomes less likely the later you visit. It’s also the month when you might see the first snowfall.