Are you thinking about spending a weekend in Krakow? Excellent choice! We’d say Krakow is one of the best European cities for a short break away because it’s simply awesome. There are oodles of things to see and do in this city packed full of Polish history. It’s one of the few places in this part of Europe that wasn’t demolished during WWII, so simply walking around the old town is an amazing experience that takes you back in time.
The good news is that Krakow is not a massive metropolis, so you can easily make the most of this city during a brief visit. That said, like many of us, you might be so charmed by the beautiful old town that you’ll keep coming back for more and more.
This guide to a weekend in Krakow will talk you through the ins and outs of a short visit to the former residence of Polish royals. We’ll give you a few tips on things to do and help you decide where to stay. So, let’s delve deeper…
What’s in this guide to a weekend break away in Krakow
Is it worth spending a weekend in Krakow?
If you’re wondering if Krakow is a good place for a weekend breakaway, then we can give you a short and straightforward answer – yes. In fact, we think it’s one of the best cities in Europe for a brief visit because not only there is lots to do in and around the city, but Krakow is also one of the best value destinations in Europe. You also don’t have to worry too much about not having enough time here, it’s not a massive city, so you can make the most of a brief vacation here.
Thanks to budget airlines such as Ryanair and EasyJet, there are lots of cheap connections into and out of Krakow from many European cities, and the flights rarely take longer than two and a half/three hours. That means you can catch an evening flight on Friday after work and fly back late on Sunday without having to take any time off. The good news is that the airport is super close to the centre and the transfer only takes around 20 minutes. Yup, getting to Krakow for a weekend isn’t much of a problem.
Once you’re there, take a walk around the cobbled streets of the old town or hop between bars in hipster Kazimierz. You’ll notice that there are oodles of great restaurants and lovely cafes all around the place. There is also no shortage of interesting museums here, name Schindler’s Factory or Rynek Underground amongst many others. A weekend is enough time to see the most popular sights in the city, but you might need at least three days to make it to the salt mines or Auschwitz Memorial Museum.
Top things to do at a weekend in Krakow
Whether you’re coming for a two- or three-day trip over a weekend to Krakow, you won’t have much trouble filling out your itinerary. From wandering around the cobbled streets leading to the medieval main square to exploring exciting museums, from café hopping to enjoying some of the liveliest nightlife scenes in central Europe, there is no shortage of things to do in Krakow.
However, having limited time over just one weekend means, you won’t be able to do everything you might want to, so here’s a list of the top things to do in Krakow:
- Explore the main square and Kazimierz – If you’d like to get to know the city by getting lost in it rather than ticking off museums then why not wander around the streets of the old town and Kazimierz – two of the most exciting districts in the city. The good news is that both are easily accessible by foot. There is no shortage of cafes, bars and restaurants if you get hungry too.
- Wawel Castle – You can climb up the hill where the castle is and enjoy the view over the Vistula River for free. You can easily get there from the main square or Kazimierz without having to use public transport. There are parts of the palace you can visit without paying, but you should check the opening times beforehand. You can also opt for a paid tour to learn about the royal history of Poland.
- Museums – For those interested in local history and culture, there are lots of fantastic museums in the city. For starters, the National Museum near Blonia park, the largest institution of its kind in Poland, has a range of exhibitions portraying different periods of the country’s arts and history. Then there are places like Rynek Underground and Schindler’s Factory, the list goes on…
- Krawl Through Krakow – The younger visitors, who want to sample the nightlife that Krakow offers, might like to meet other fellow travellers on a night out. There is no better way to do it than on the oldest pub crawl in the city – Krawl Through Krakow. You will recognize them by the pink sign below the statue on the main square at 9 pm. However, if you want to start the night by learning about the history of Poland’s most traditional drink, why not join the Vodka Tasting tour?
- Enjoy the food – Krakow has oodles of fantastic restaurants, street food stalls and resto-bars that serve both local delicacies and international cuisines. In fact, Krakow is not far behind the likes of London when it comes to food on offer but at a fraction of the price. Yup, eating here won’t break the bank, so enjoy it!
The cost of a weekend in Krakow
The good news is that Krakow is one of the most affordable destinations in Europe, which means a weekend there shouldn’t break the bank. Of course, the exact amount you should budget will completely depend on what you do and where you stay, but we can give you a rough estimate of how much things should cost.
On average, people spend around 500 PLN/2-day stay or close to 750 PLN/3-day stays per person. That’s around €110 and €160 respectively, a price, which includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and some entertainment. However, the price of the flights or trains to Krakow is on top. That’s only a rough estimation presuming you stay in mid-range hotels and dine in inexpensive restaurants.
If you choose a more luxurious weekend in Krakow a two-night stay at a five-star hotel could cost you and your travel partner more than €500, and a room for three nights could cost up to around €700. However, if you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum, you could save a lot by staying in hostels. A bed in a shared dorm in the centre can cost as little as €50 for two nights and €75 for three.
Where to stay in Krakow?
There are lots of fantastic hotels in Krakow so finding great accommodation for a weekend shouldn’t be much of a problem. The good news is that you can get quite a lot for your money here, and five-star pads don’t cost a fortune. So, why not treat yourself to a bit of luxury?! Here are some of our favourite spots for a short visit to Krakow:
Bachleda Luxury Hotel Krakow MGallery Hotel Collection
If you have plenty of cash to splash on your weekend in Krakow and are looking for a bit of luxury, you’ll find it at Bachleda Luxury Hotel. This five-star pad is in the heart of Krakow’s old town, just below the Wawel Castle. It comes with a spa, swimming pool and beautifully decorated rooms. Well worth it if you can afford it.
PURO Kraków Kazimierz
If you’re looking for a lovely hotel close to the bars and cafes in Kazimierz, then PURO is a great choice. This modern and stylish spot comes with a fitness centre and a sauna. There is also a very nice cafe on the bottom floor – they do yummy breakfasts. As a bonus, you can rent a bike here for free,
W Sercu Krakowa Aparthotel
This boutique aparthotel is a good choice if you want a place with a kitchen. It’s also a tad cheaper than the hotels above but still in a great location. It’s on a quiet street around a corner from plant park, so you’re only a few minutes’ stroll away from the main square.
Weekend in Krakow – the conclusion.
Weekend in Krakow? Although two to three days in this fantastic city might not seem like enough time to enjoy the city, there are oodles of things you can do and see during a brief visit here. Just strolling around the historical old town is a great experience on its own but you can also pay a visit to a couple of great museums while you’re there. We’d say some of the top reasons why a weekend in Krakow is a great idea is one – the centre is walkable because it’s not a massive place. Two – because it’s one of the best value destinations in Europe with great nightlife and fantastic restaurants.