Last Updated on January 28, 2020
Krakow is one of Poland’s most up and coming cities and has become one of the most popular tourists spots in Europe over recent years. The city is the second largest in Poland and is also the oldest, in fact up until the 1500s, Krakow was considered the capital of Poland having being replaced by Warsaw in 1596.
The city is rich with culture and history and is considered to be the academic centre of Poland and the old town is protected as a UNESCO world heritage site. This well loved and beautiful city is a place which is on the bucket list of many keen travellers, but why is this? The simple answer is that there is so much to do in the Polish city, and so much to see.
In this article, we are going to be taking a look at some of the most exciting, interesting and inspiring things to do whilst staying the Krakow. With a mixture from food to art, history to music, there will be something for every taste in this city.
1. Wieliczka Salt Mine
Truly a sight for sore eyes, the Wieliczka salt mine is a must see for anybody visiting Krakow, whilst it is slightly out of the city, it is still within easy access.
The salt mine was used since Neolithic times, giving it a very detailed history and was in operation up until 2007. Visitors to the salt mine can see the incredible underground lake, explore the huge maze that is the salt mine, interact with the displays and view some amazing sculptures and an underground chapel.
2. Wawel Cathedral
Any city break would not be complete without a trip to the cathedral, these stunning buildings really bring to life the spiritual culture of a city and the one in Krakow is no exception.
This Gothic building is over 900 years old and boasts some truly breath taking architecture. It is a Roman catholic church and still hold regular services and mass for those who would like to attend such events.
3. Planty Park
Staying in a city can be an exhilarating experience, however it can also be tiring and spending some time in local green spaces can really relax the senses. Planty park is a beautiful setting, ideal for any afternoon picnic or perhaps a leisurely cycle ride.
The park is spread over a huge area of 21,000 square feet and runs a length of 4km, giving visitors plenty of space to enjoy some quiet time. Within the park, there are 30 smaller gardens, all of which have been given a different theme, perfect for a lazy day of exploring.
4. National Museum
It is always an enjoyable experience to visit a city museum, and the National museum in Krakow is a brilliant one. With almost 800,000 artifacts displayed over 21 departments, there is plenty to see here. The museum was founded in the 1800s and remains one of the most popular in the country to date.
5. Polish Aviation Museum
For fans of aviation, this museum is a goldmine just waiting to be discovered. Located on one of the oldest airfields in the world, the museum boasts a collection of over 200 air craft from various point sin Polish history. If reading up on aviation is more your thing, then you are in the right place as the museum is also a publishing centre for all things related to aviation.
6. Museum of Illusions
This Krakow museum is certainly one with a difference. The building, at 400m2 boasts a huge collection of intriguing illusions, which can be interacted with and is a great day out for families with children, this will really get their minds ticking.
The displays are linked in with educational information around subjects such as history and inventions, making this not only extremely good fun but also an opportunity to gain knowledge.
7. Lost Souls Alley
How do you fancy a more spooky experience on your visit to Krakow? The lost souls alley might be right up your street. These escape rooms offer horror fans the ultimate terrifying experience and are brilliant for group days out.
Not only will they be guaranteed to give a thrill but with the addition of guests having to solve problems and interact with their surroundings, the venue can be a great brain exercise.
For those avid history enthusiasts this attraction is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in learning about Polish history. The entire attraction features models of historical relevance, made from Lego!
This is certainly a way to gain some history knowledge in an innovative way. History land has been lovingly created by three friends who wanted to share their passion for Lego and history with the world, and ten years down the line, the venue has proven its popularity.
9. Starka Restaurant
It just wouldn’t be the same visiting a country and not sampling some traditional cuisine, and what better place to do that than one of Krakow’s most renowned Polish restaurants. Here, visitors can try various traditional dishes from the extensive, hearty menu or tickle their taste buds with the brilliant vodka menu.
10. Harris Piano Jazz Bar
How about a truly spectacular evening out at one of the city’s most well loved bars? The Harris piano jazz bar offers guests live music every night of the week and has a brilliant range of menu items to try.
One of the most outstanding things to note about the bar is that they open in the early afternoon and stay open until the last guest has left, putting you at the forefront of their service.
11. Auschwitz Museum
Perhaps one of the most well known locations in Polish tourism, the Auschwitz museum is located an hours drive from the centre of Krakow, but is still one of the most popular things to do whilst in the city. Buses operate regularly to the site for ease of access and guided tours are given.
Many people go to the site to simply pay their respects to those who suffered at the camp during the second world war, some prefer to get a better knowledge of history, but whatever your reason for visiting, it is guaranteed that this will be a visit you do not forget in a hurry.
12. Main Square
As with many cities, the main square in Krakow is a hub for locals and tourists alike. This popular meeting place can be dated back to the 13th century making it rich with history, like much of the city.
At the center of the square you will find the cloth hall, another favored tourist attraction, whilst surrounding the square there are a number of buildings such as churches and townhouses. The square is well loved due to how lively and vibrant it is.
13. Krakow Barbican
This historic building would have been joined up to the old walls of the city but now stands alone, and is known as the gateway to the old town. As far as fortified buildings in the city are concerned, the barbican is one of the only left standing and features some fascinating architecture.
Inside, visitors will find a museum showing displays connected to the history of Krakow.
14. The Old Synagogue
With a city which has deep Jewish roots, the old synagogue is a wonderful place to learn about this and experience the Jewish culture that is ingrained in Krakow. The beautiful building was erected in the 1400s and still appears immaculate today, despite being utterly devastated during the second world war.
15. Ojcowski National Park
Just a half an hour drive outside of the main city, you will find the Ojcowski national park where nature lovers will be in their element. This breath taking park is the ideal place to escape the noise of the city and offers visitors many things to do whilst there.
Here you will find over 1000 species of plant and 500 different types of butterfly, pretty amazing! Enjoy a bite to eat in the cafe, or visit the on site castle, the options are endless and in some cases you might find that you need more than just a day to fully explore the wonders this park has to offer.
Krakow is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and really must be seen to be appreciated. Tourists visiting the city have a wealth of options to indulge in during their stay regardless of their interests and taste. The city offers a great range of museums, places to eat and drink, historical venues and leisure activities, amongst other things and is sure to make for a fun packed city break.