Things to do in Krakow

Things to do in Krakow

Underground museums, Gothic churches, enthralling neighborhoods - our ultimate guide to all things to do in Krakow has you covered!

There are 101 things to do in Krakow. Na, there are even more than that. This is where we’ll help you plan your trip to see all the main stars, the niche local things, and the downright curious ones. (Oh, and it’s the best guide to things to do in Krakow because it’s got that local edge, just saying).

Krakow is packed with activities. It’s not for nothing that this city has risen to become one of the most popular weekend break destinations from Poland in the last 10 years!

There’s a formidable array of attractions and draws for just about all travelers, from medieval castles and enthralling Old Town areas to hiking regions and ski resorts nearby.

This guide will try to break it all down into easily navigable bite-sized chunks and categories. That way, you should find it a cinch to plan the places you want to see the most.

Yep, we’ve got sections on all the major sights in the center of the city (perfect for planning those self-guided walking tours) right down to the mountains you might want to hike if you’re feeling adventurous.

Let’s get started…

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The bucket list – The top 21 things to do in Krakow

We thought we’d begin with a curated top 21. Look at is a ready-made bucket-list.

These are the absolute must-do things in Krakow right now.

We update it all the darn time, cos’ we like our readers to get the best of this awesome city. You’re welcome!

You won’t be able to do the whole shebang in a single weekend but you can do lots. Many are in the Old Town and Kazimierz areas. Some will require a day trip.

Basically, read through and pick the ones that tickle your fancy the most.


Tour the Old Town – Krakow’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the most iconic district in the city. It’s an easy one to add to your list because you’ll probably be staying in the area or close by (some incredible hotels are within). Skip the map. Just get lost inside. That’s half the fun.


Kazimierz – Kazimierz is the hipster district of Krakow. It’s south of the Old Town and a hubbub of life. Go here to unearth amazing Jewish culture and hop the coolest cafes around. The nightlife gets pretty wild – you can party in Kazi all night long.


Krakow Castle – The Wawel Castle as it’s known is an enthralling medieval complex that looks like something out of Game of Thrones. Go to tour the historic court rooms, see the crypts of Polish kings and queens, and enjoy amazing views of the cityscape.


Nightlife – We’re thinking a pretty big chunk of the readers here came to party. Krakow sure does have a rep; a warranted one. The Old Town and Kazi districts combine to offer one of the wildest nights out in Europe. We’ve got complete guides on where to go and how to hit it hard. (Consider this listing an umbrella listing for ALL the incredible bars and clubs in the town!).


People watching in the Parks – Krakow does parks fantastically well. Among them, the Planty Park is a legendary circular park that has cafes and sculptures. It’s a people watching mecca. But there are also ancient forests and even national parks within reach of town.



You will have heard us mention the town of Zakopane a few times by now. It’s the charming mountain resort 1.5-2 hours south of Krakow and it’s LOVELY. Come in winter for snowy walks in the forest and warming nights in Polish taverns. Come in summer for hikes and spa hotels.

A church in Zakopane, Poland


Rynek Underground Museum – Our favorite museum in the city takes you below the cobblestones of the Main Square to showcase the actual (yep – the ACTUAL) remains of the 14th century town below. It’s great for all ages. And it’s free on Tuesdays.

Skiing in Poland cover


Skiing in Poland

We have the single best guide to skiing in Poland (and that includes skiing in Krakow and Zakopane) on the whole internet. How do we know? We go like every year, so our hotel recs and our piste reports are always up to date!Tyou


Main Square – The Main Square (the Rynek in Polish) is the hub of the Old Town area. Again, you can hardly miss this one but don’t just breeze through. Take time to see the elegant church on the northeast corner and enjoy the regular markets that pop up on the stones.


Wieliczka Salt Mines – The Wieliczka Salt Mines are a feat of human engineering and they’ve garnered a UNESCO tag for it. Best done on a day trip, they take you hundreds of meters below ground to see audacious salt mines that are now works of art. There’s even a whole cathedral carved out of salt below there!


Schindler’s Factory – Probably the second-best museum in the city center, this one chronicles both the plight of the Schindler Jews in the war and the history of Krakow as a city from its earliest days. The location is incredible – it’s the real factory where the history unfolded.

A market on the Main Square in Krakow


Local markets – From the fairy-tale Christmas Markets that take over the Main Square in the winter to the local food bazaars that draw the locals all year round, Krakow has markets for all. Our guides to them are written by locals who visit them daily.


Vodka tasting – Forget what the Russians say, Poland is the home of vodka. And Krakow has some of the most iconic vodka bars in the world. Start your journey into the world of potent tipples with an evening vodka tasting tours run by passionate local experts.


Cafe culture – Krakow has emerged as a bit of roastery mecca in the last five years. There are spectacular places to taste artisan brews – Karma, Tektura, Wesola – but also coffee shops that offer fantastic people watching for that proper European bout of chilling and gazing at the world go by.


Cafe culture – Krakow has emerged as a bit of roastery mecca in the last five years. There are spectacular places to taste artisan brews – Karma, Tektura, Wesola – but also coffee shops that offer fantastic people watching for that proper European bout of chilling and gazing at the world go by.


Spas and hot baths – The region to the south of Krakow, between the Tatras and the city, is famed for its hot spring baths. Day trips can take you out to them to bathe under the mountains. You’ve also got some top-quality spas and spa hotels in the city to pick from if you prefer not to leave town.


Cycling the Vistula River – There are easy cycles and more challenging ones to be had along the bends of the Vistula River. A bike hire will cost you like 15 quid or less here, and then you can be out among the woods and medieval abbeys in under 30 minutes.


Ojcow National Park – If we ever need a real escape from the hubbub of the town but don’t want to travel too far, Ojcow is our pick. It’s the smallest national park in Poland but only 30 mins away from the Old Town, offering caves, rock stacks, thick woods, and country carp restaurants.


Parks – We have a soft spot for many of the urban parks in Krakow. Simply chilling with a picnic and a book is a joy in the Planty and Park Jordana. Then there are the running tracks of Blonia and the vast wooded terrain of Las Wolski.


Eat, eat, and eat some more – Krakow is a fine place to sample Polish food, it’s true. But the town is also a hotpot for international cuisine. There’s a particularly strong showing of Indian restaurants in Krakow, great street food, along with fine Turkish and Middle Eastern mezze, hummus holes in the wall, Georgian kitchens, you name it!

The top things to do in Krakow Old Town

Florianska Street in the Krakow Old Town

The Old Town is the focal point of sightseeing in the city. For over 1,000 years, it’s been the hub of commerce here, and it’s got the most iconic landmarks in Krakow as a whole.

You can see why we think it deserves a whole special section here. And a whole guide of its own no less!

There are like 500 things to see in the neighborhood. We’ve got in-depth guides to a lot of them – just click through to read more.

  • Main Square – The Main Square is the central hub of Krakow. It’s home to many of the most iconic landmarks in the city, from the Old Town Hall to the Sukenniece Cloth Hall.
  • St Mary’s Basilica – Probably the most iconic church in the city. You can’t miss this one. GO inside to see beautiful painted ceilings. Be sure to learn about the mysterious tales of murder that surround the mismatched towers out front!
  • The Barbican – A centuries-old castle that’s now one of the few remaining portions of the Old Town, the Barbican is a striking addition to the Planty Park.
  • Florianska Street – The main drag of the Old Town and a fantastic shopping and dining area.

Our two cents? If you’re coming to Krakow for the first time then it’s really important you get a hotel in or at least near the Old Town, or in the neighboring district of Kazimierz. We have a guide to the ones we reccomend here, but you can also search below…


Parks in Krakow

Ojcow National Park

Krakow is a city of seriously fantastic parks.

From the mighty mounds – some of them ancient – that tower over the skyline to the legendary Planty – a ring of greenery that enfolds the Old Town – there’s loads of space for escaping to nature.

Check out our complete guide to all the best parks in Krakow if you want an overview.

Alternatively, we have in-depth guides that detail everything about both urban gardens and bigger national parks that are easier to reach from the city center…

  • Krakus Mound – A prehistoric burial site that’s now an amazing place to watch the sunset over the whole city. You’ll see church spires and watch the light fade over the surrounding hills.
  • Ojcow National Park – The smallest national park in Poland is only 20 minutes by car and an hour by bus out of Krakow. Regular buses go in the summer, too. It’s an eye-watering place, with proud medieval castles and mythical rock formations.
  • Tatra National Park – The biggest and most awesome park of them all is actually about 2 hours south of Krakow in Zakopane. This is where you can wander epic trails like the one to Morskie Oko and see the 2,000-meter-high Polish Carpathians in all thier glory. Can be done in a day trip, but best to have a night at least in Zakopane itself, because that’s LOVELY too!