15 Fun Things to do in Krakow Poland on Your First Visit

Things to do in Krakow

Krakow is not just one of the most incredible cities in Poland, but all of Europe! From its many historical sites to the delicious food and local markets, there are so many fun things to do in Krakow Poland. And don’t worry… Whether you have one day or a whole week there is tons to see and explore. So join us on an adventure through this magical city with all of our favorite attractions, museums, and food!

Poland Travel Inspiration

15 Best Things to do in Krakow Poland

1. Explore Krakow Old Town

The best place to start your time in Krakow Poland is none other than its beautiful Old Town. This famous area is the heartbeat of the city and home to many of the best things to do in Krakow.

This includes St. Mary’s Basilica, the Cloth Hall, and endless colorful walking streets. So before you continue on with our favorite things to do in Krakow Poland just know that it starts and ends with Old Town!

Old Town Krakow Poland

2. Do a Vodka Tasting

Might as well jump right into the mix! Vodka is the undisputed national spirit of Poland and you’ll see it from the darkest dive bars to the fanciest restaurants. If you’re up for a tasting head to the Wodka Cafe Bar.

Here you can try vodka in every flavor at one of the city’s most unique bars. We enjoyed the pineapple, coconut, cherry, and salted caramel! Just be careful… You may want to not plan too many more of these fun things to do in Krakow AFTER the tasting!

Krakow Poland Vodka Tasting

3. Visit Krakow’s Jewish Quarter

Our favorite area of the city is the historic Jewish Quarter. Also known as Kazimierz, this is a special part of Krakow Poland that feels different as soon as you enter. Krakow’s Jewish population sprouted up in the 12th century, and about 300 years later they moved to Kazimierz. 

Unfortunately, World War II brought the systematic killing of the Jews in Krakow, and only very few survived. They did so with the help of Oskar Schindler which was the reason behind the movie Schindlers List being filmed here. 

Today the Jewish Quarter has bounced back and still retains its old charm. In addition to the historic features, Kazimierz is also home to some of the most hip bars and restaurants in the city!

Krakow Poland Jewish Quarter

4. Shop at the Cloth Hall

One of the most fun things to do in Krakow is to walk through the Cloth Hall. Known as Europe’s oldest shopping center, the Sukiennice (as it’s called by locals) has been open since the 14th century.

Its location directly in the center of Rynek Glówny in Old Town has been a bustling center for trade for hundreds of years. Today you can stroll through it any day of the week and check out the many craft stalls.

Krakow Poland Old Town

5. Hop on a Beer Boat Along the Vistula River

Krakow is huge so get ready to do a ton of walking! A place we really loved to have a stroll was along the paths of the Vistula River. On our first trip to Krakow Poland we noticed these peculiar boats that looked to be stationary.

It was only until later on in the afternoon that we noticed some of them were actually bars! Keep your eye out for these fun party boats, especially if you’re visiting Krakow in the summertime.

→ Want to see Krakow from the water? Book a one hour river cruise

What to do In Krakow Poland

6. Climb St. Mary’s Basilica 

The striking tower sitting in the center of Krakow Old Town will immediately catch your eye. You’ll be happy to know that one of the best things to do in Krakow is to actually climb to the top!

We had done something similar at a different St. Mary’s Basilica in Gdansk prior to our visit. As you can imagine, the view doesn’t disappoint from either! 

Every hour if you’re standing in the main square something amazing happens, too! A bugle plays the “hejnał mariack” from in all 4 directions on the top of the basilica. This unmistakable tradition used to be the fire signal for the city, but these days its a lot more fun to witness.

Krakow Poland Tip: Book your tickets in advance if you want to climb St. Mary’s Basilica! There are limited spots and tickets can run out in the popular months. 

St. Mary's Basilica Krakow

7. Walk Floriańska Street

Also known as St. Florians Street, this beautiful walkway leads into the main square of Krakow Old Town. This is somewhere we enjoyed exploring and strolled up and down multiple times on our visit. 

It’s also the start of the Royal Route which heads from Old Town, through St. Florians Gate, and all the way to the Wawel Castle. On this route you can imagine what it must have been like to be a king or queen many years ago!

Things to Do Krakow Poland

8. Eat at Pierogarnia Krakowiacy

You really can’t come to a Polish city without trying some Perogis, and we have just the place for you! Pierogarnia Krakowiacy has been serving them hot and ready for years and it’s located not far from the main square of Krakow.

We recommend getting there right when they open to secure a table and some delicious pierogis without a wait. For more of the best food in Krakow check out our post below!

A Food Lovers Weekend in Krakow Poland

Krakow Poland Pierogarnia

9. Go to a Krakow Poland Museum

One of the best things to do in Krakow Poland is to visit the many museums. Krakow is home to the country’s greatest history and art collections which should not be missed on your trip. Below we’ve listed some of our favorites, but don’t limit yourself to just these!

  • Rynek Underground
  • Sukiennice Art Museum
  • Schindler’s Factory
  • Wawel Castle Museums
  • Aviation Museum
  • City Defence Walls

Best Things to Do in Krakow Poland

10. See the Famous Barbican

On your way into Krakow Old town you should stop and see the epic Barbican architecture. This historic gateway was used in the defense of the medieval city. Built in 1498, it now stands as a constant reminder of how things were in the old days of Krakow. It’s amazing the great lengths they had to go to defend this city!

Krakow Poland Barbican

11. Go to a Krakow Poland Local Market

Krakow is a city where you can experience many fun markets! Aside from the cloth hall, there are also seasonal markets and festivals right in Krakow’s main square! Plac Nowy is an exciting spot to go and where you can try the city’s famous Zapiekanka pizza.

You can also stop by Nowy Kleparz to see the largest and most important farmer’s market in Krakow. The Unitarg is one of the most fun things to do in Krakow on the weekends as it serves as the city’s flea market! 

Zapiekanka Krakow Poland

12. Enjoy a Meal at a Traditional Polish Milk Bar

Getting hungry? After vodka tasting and checking out the great restaurants of the Jewish Quarter, don’t miss out on a local eating experience at a Polish Milk Bar! Milk Bars are one of the best places to try traditional food in Poland.

It’s served cafeteria-style where you can pick out what you want from a line, and the prices are usually very affordable. Our first Milk Bar experience was in Gdansk and since then we’ve been hooked! 

Krakow Poland Milk Bar

13. Hunt for Krakow Street Art

One of our favorite things to do in any big city is simply stroll around and look at street art. So we were so excited when we found out Krakow is full of it! The colorful pictures range from large murals to small sections of grafitti. 

It can be found all over the city and in the most random places, so keep your eyes open! We loved how the historic art museums blend in with new age street art in Krakow Poland.

Street Art

14. Experience the Wawel Royal Castle

Don’t worry, we saved one of the best things to do in Krakow Poland for last! The Wawel Castle is the most iconic landmark in maybe all of Poland. The history behind this epic castle is almost as interesting as its appearance, sitting high on Wawel Hill.

In fact, the impressive history goes back so many thousands of years it was named as the very first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the world! Check out the the multiple museums, the Wawel Gardens, and much more. You could easily spend a few hours just at the Wawel Castle in Krakow Poland.

 Skip The Line Wawel Castle in Krakow Poland and Take a Guided Tour

Things to do in Krakow Poland

15. Take a Day a Trip From Krakow Poland

Now that you know some of the most fun things to do in Krakow, there are many day trips worth taking outside of the city. One reason many people travel to Krakow in the first place is to visit Auschwitz Concentration Camp.

Auschwitz is an important trip from Krakow that everyone should make a point to do at least once. There are also famous Wieliczka salt mines, and the beautiful mountains of Zakopane for hiking and skiing are not much further.

Day Trip from Krakow Poland

Have any questions about this guide or want to share more of the best things to do in Krakow Poland? Leave us a comment below! 

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake

 Where in the world are we? Follow our daily adventures on Instagram @nothingfamiliar

Where to Stay in Krakow Poland

Ultra Luxury (High End) – Hotel Unicus Palace – Modern luxury in the heart of the city, and within walking distance of the best sites. Also complete with beautiful royal rooms and a wellness spa centre with hot tub and sauna. 

Fun Vacation (Mid Range) – Hotel JanAt Hotel Jan you can stay in a 600 year old townhouse just minutes walk from the main square of Old Town. Staying here will be an experience in itself and you’ll be in the very best area of the city! 

Hostel Life (Budget) – Mundo Hostel –  Good location close to old town with cozy dorms and private rooms. This hostel offers a late night bar to meet other travelers, and a common kitchen with free coffee and tea.

For more places to stay while visiting Krakow you can explore the latest prices here!

PIN FOR LATER 

Krakow Poland

Poland Travel Planning 

 Flights: We always find great flight deals using Skyscanner and Kayak. This way you can plan your trip around the cheapest and most direct routes.

 Accommodation: Compare multiple sites to get to the best deal such as Booking.com and Agoda! Also,  Hostelworld should be your go-to source if you’re traveling on a budget. 

Rental Car: We use Discover Cars to rent vehicles on our travels. In Poland, there are many beautiful cities and mountain towns to experience. 

Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for hundreds of activities around the country. Book a Chopin Concert in Old Town Warsaw, skip the line at the Wawel Castle in Krakow, or enjoy Zakopane with Hot Bath Pools

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered! We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

*We receive a commission for purchases made through links in this post. This allows us to continue our travels and keep providing great content to our readers! Also, as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
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4 Comments

  1. August 31, 2023 / 11:13 am

    This history museum features a permanent collection of 20th-century Polish art, including the priceless collections from the Young Poland period, and exhibits of decorative art, Polish arms and army uniforms.

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      August 31, 2023 / 11:21 am

      Absolutely amazing!

  2. May 28, 2023 / 4:23 pm

    Hey JAKE

    You’ve sharing an amazing list with us.

    Those who are after something a little less touristy and a little more off-beat, then head to Krakow’s traditionally Jewish quarter of Kazimierz. Packed with a fascinating history, many museums, and arguably a better nightlife than on offer in the Old Town, Kazimierz was my favourite area of the city.

    • Brigitte & Jake
      Author
      May 29, 2023 / 1:39 am

      Yes, we did mention the Jewish Quarter. It was one of our favorite parts of the city! We will definitely be coming back there on our next visit to Krakow.

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