There are oodles of pretty parks in Krakow. They range from winding green belts that encase the Old Town’s historic sights to hidden little gardens between the boho bars of Podgorze district. They look great no matter the season; covered in snow or blooming in springtime.
In fact, dog spotting and picnicking amid these gardens has to be up there with the top things to do in Krakow when the sun’s out. Meanwhile, photographers and moody walks in winter mists await during the colder half of the year.
This list curates some of the most beautiful parks in Krakow. There are ones near the UNESCO centre of the city, and others that offer something of a wilder adventure a little further afield. Let’s get a-going…
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Don’t miss the Planty Park. Krakow hardly has a more iconic green space than this. Running a ring around the whole Old Town area, it’s easy to access from virtually all corners of the city.
It actually marks the spot where the medieval walls once rose to defend the centre. They sprouted from the colossal Wawel Hill in the south and went all the way to the turrets of the Barbican in the north. Sometime in the 1800s, one bright city planner had the idea of replacing all that with a park. Bingo: It’s the Planty.
Streams of pedestrians and joggers hit the cobbled paths these days. Folk laze on the benches. Children enjoy the playgrounds. It’s a real hive of life.
Insider tip: Be sure to check out Bunkier Sztuki Café, which has some great coffee and people watching just on the western edge of the Planty.
Park Jordanow is more of a local’s park than the Planty. A patchwork of wide meadows (the grass is annoyingly left quite long for much of the year) and little clutches of trees, it’s a great place to go for a wander.
The eastern edge of Jordanow is filled with statue-lined walkways. They showcase some of the famous luminaries of the city. The western side of the park, meanwhile, has a large hill and playground. To the south are basketball courts, some outdoor exercise equipment, and an open-air cafe.
Insider tip: Try to find the statue of Wojtek the Soldier Bear. It was built after a crowdfunded campaign to honour a bear that fought alongside the Polish army in WWII!
Blonia (Or Błonia)
Okay, so it’s fair to say that Blonia is hardly a park at all. It’s more a huge, continuous meadow that forms a triangle of swaying grass and oak trees to the west of the Krakow Old Town.
It conveniently separates the city’s two large football stadiums (helpful on match days!) and is often used to host big events such as game screenings and festivals.
The path that encircles the Blonia is a hubbub of activity during the summer. Joggers are all over and there are always roller blades about – be ready to dodge em!
Insider tip: Coming here for a run and a bit of people watching in the evening is one of the top things to do in Krakow come summertime.
Spreading out on the hills of Podgorze, away from the usual hustle and bustle of the tourist areas of Old Town and Kazimierz district, pretty Park Bednarskiego is a great place for a little peace and quiet.
From spring time, it comes alive with blooms of pretty tulips and green lawns. There are the usual ubiquitous statues to Adam Mickiewicz and other Polish national heroes. And the walking paths are more interesting (and challenging) than other parks on this list. They weave between craggy outcrops of rock, wind up steep stairs and even alight on clifftops that overlook the south side of the city.
Insider tip: Grab a takeaway from Pizzeria 00. It’s just steps from Park Bednarskiego and serves the real Neapolitan deal!
Park Lotnikow Polskich (The Polish Airmen Park)
You’ll have to head out to the eastern edge of the city to get to the vast green spaces of Park Lotnikow Polskich. They spread out right next to the colossal events space of the Tauron Arena.
Popular with locals, the place has winding running paths (these are even marked with length to make it easy to count how much distance you can cover) and plenty of picnic facilities.
In the summer months, you’ll also find one of the larger public playgrounds in the city in Park Lotnikow Polskich. So, it’s a top choice for younger visitors or travelers with the kids in tow.
Insider tip: When big acts play in Krakow, they usually play in the Tauron Arena. Check what’s on and you could visit Park Lotnikow Polskich before watching Rod Steward or the Foo Fighters to name just two examples.
Of all the Krakow parks on this list, the wild woodlands of Las Wolski are the most feral and remote. It’s still possible to ride the city bus right to their doorstep though – just hop on the number 134 going in the direction of Krakow Zoo.
Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by forests of lanky pines and beech trees that seem to roll on forever. There are a number of hiking paths that weave through the area. They offer hours of walking through a whopping 1,000+ acres of land where seeing another person is rather rare indeed.
If you can, try to find the lookouts on the hills over the Vistula River. That’s the southern end of Las Wolski, where pretty views of the Tatras and Krakow itself unfold. As you hike, always keep the eyes peeled for deer and rare birds of prey – they abound.
Insider tip: Set aside a night to stay in gorgeous Villa Julia. A handful of cosy rooms in a welcoming Polish country house await, all with hiking paths and woodlands just steps outside the front door!
Can you think of any more beautiful parks in Krakow? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below. Or, if you want more info on any of the other parks in Krakow, be sure to ask away.