Come to Krakow

Krakow travel guide

Krakow sights and curiosities Guide for self-guided visits to all sights: sightseeing tour, Royal Castle, Jewish Kazimierz. Nearby attractions: Wieliczka – the salt mines, Zakopane – the winter capital of Poland.

The Polish joke that Krakow is a tourist attraction in itself very accurately describes the attitude of Poles to Krakow. The city, which in the Middle Ages was the capital of the state for the last two centuries, when Poland disappeared from the map of Europe, remained the “center of spirituality” – Poles used to bring their children here to show them the “real Poland”. In the mid 17th century the capital of Poland was moved to Warsaw, thanks to which Krakow’s Old Town was “conserved”, preserving its historic medieval architecture.

After Poland’s independence in the 20th century, Krakow preserved its patriarchal nature, and after World War II it remained the cultural capital of Poland, while preserving its libertine spirit. In terms of tourism, Krakow is a real old medieval Polish city. The second largest Polish city is famous for its academic tradition – from 800 thousand inhabitants, 100 thousand are students.

“Krakow Tourist Guide” is a site for those who have decided to visit the city on their own: almost everything that can be useful to a tourist is collected here. Krakow.ru – this is useful information from travelers, “tips” from locals, as well as author’s guides to the city from local guides, who will consistently lead you through all the sights of Krakow.

Krakow.ru website is conventionally divided into 6 parts:

“Preparing for the Trip” – detailed instructions on how to get a Polish visa, where to choose a hotel, and what else to take care of while you’re at home.

“The Road to Krakow” – ways to travel to Krakow (train, plane, bus, private car) with a description of the nuances of each trip.

“Practical information” – a story about everything a tourist needs to know, little tricks to avoid trouble while traveling. How to get from Russia to Krakow by plane, train, own car. How to navigate in the city, where to rest after the inspection, the peculiarities of urban transport.

“What’s where in Krakow” – where to eat, what to see in the stores, where to go to rest in the evening. How to find the Cracow Water Park.

“Excursions and Sights” – author’s tours of the city districts. Ready-made walking tours of all (almost all) of the city’s attractions for self-guided sightseeing.

“Surroundings” – excursions to the salt mines of Wieliczka, and to the mountain resort of Zakopane.

Everything for the trip to Krakow

Trip preparation

Entry permit What documents do you need to have and how to prepare for entry into Poland
Hotels in Krakow Budget hotels and hotel apartments in Krakow. Compare prices and conditions
Why Krakow is worth visiting What is so good about Cracow?
At Home What to do before you travel and what to care about for students
How to save money while travelling How to save money without loosing quality
Krakow History A short theoretical course
About Site Who Krakow.ru is for
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Driving to Krakow

The road / trip to KrakowDifferent ways to get to Krakow. Detailed description of the trip from Moscow to Krakow hotel, including border control, customs and security issues
By plane to Krakow Cheap carriers (for those who travel in Europe)
By Car to Krakow How to arrive to Krakow by your own car – documents, travel planning
To Krakow by train Travelling from Moscow
From Krakow to other countries Direct trains from Krakow to Prague, Bratislava, Budapest and other countries
Churches in Poland Rules of conduct
Krakow tourist information What maps and guides to buy. Addresses of tourist information centers

Practical information for the tourist

You have just arrived . . in an unfamiliar city. How to get to your hotel and what to do first
Details How to exchange currency, where to find an ATM, how to make a phone call, find 00 and buy a souvenir, something about the weather and photography
City transportation Working hours and features. Which ticket to buy and how much it costs
Getting around Krakow by car Traffic, Pedestrians, Petrol Stations, Parking.
Language of communication What language to communicate in, how to read the inscriptions. And a brief phrasebook
Tips for tourists in winter How to choose the right clothes, how to take pictures in freezing temperatures.
Krakow tourist information What maps and guides to buy. Addresses of tourist information centers
Churches in Poland Rules of conduct

Where to go

Where to eat in Krakow Cafes, bars, romantic spots, fast food, restaurants, and beer
Stores Working hours and features, guide to supermarkets. Tax-Free” refund system
Entertainment Movies, theaters, cabarets, discos
Cracow Aquapark Working hours, ticket prices, terms of use
Krakow Museums List of Krakow museums with addresses and opening hours (old version)

Krakow sightseeing tours

What to see in Krakow What to see in one hour, one evening, one day, one week – Krakow sightseeing tours
Krakow sightseeing tour Krakow sightseeing tour. The main sights in an hour. Where to run and what to see if there is no time, where is the “Red Square”?
Wawel – the royal castle Krakow was the capital of Poland! Wawel Museums
Planty – park ring Hour-long walking tour around the Old Town
Podgórze – Austrian part Walking through a Krakow neighborhood that was once a frontier district
Kazimierz – Jewish Town History and Remained Landmarks of the Old Jewish Town
Nowa Huta – Proletarian Town Proletarian district, a satellite town for a metallurgical plant (theoretical part)
East of the station Střelecký Park, Rakovická cemetery, Botanical Garden
Krakow’s Shopkas. Only in winter, just before Christmas, and the first week of the new year you can see this!
It’s worth seeing Panoramas of the city, real forest, zoo, rocks, river walk, Krakow at night
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Wieliczka – salt mines The world-famous salt mines, a unique and beautiful world heritage site, today a museum
Zakopane, the winter capital of Poland Poland’s most famous mountain resort. How to reach Zakopane, where to stay, hiking trails

Hotel Reservations for your Krakow hotel.

Krakow hotels and things to do

Why Krakow

Krakow is a city that has preserved the historic part not only within the boundaries of the “Old Town”, but also the historic buildings outside it. During the war, Krakow was lucky – its architecture remained virtually intact, and the bombing of Krakow sights, planned by the Nazis, was thwarted by the joint efforts of the Red Army and the Polish underground. Unlike Warsaw and Gdansk everything in Krakow is real.

At the end of the 18th century Poland was divided between Russia, Germany and Austria. Krakow was the Austrian “showcase. Thanks to the salt deposits in neighboring Wieliczka, the city had money, the largest in Europe Jagiellonian University worked here, trade routes ran through the city, and it had a successful trade.

All this is not a thing of the distant past – the locals managed to preserve their style and identity. Today Krakow is rightly considered the cultural capital of Poland. The atmosphere of the old city attracts Polish artists, who prefer Cracow to hectic Warsaw. There is a long-standing rivalry between the theaters of the two Polish capitals, which only benefits the audience.

Modern Krakow is also a city of students. From 800 thousand inhabitants, 100 thousand are students of Krakow universities. Young people come here from all over the country to study, hence the large number of institutions, where you can “have a good time” after the working day. Even at night there are enough people on the streets.

The people of Krakow take pride in their cuisine. There will be no surprises for our stomach here – all the components of Russian, Ukrainian, Polish cuisine are almost the same. But the way of cooking is the pride of Krakow cooks. “Traditional Polish cuisine”, which is called “Galician cuisine” here, is sure to please your palate. Whether you want a sumptuous feast, or you count on an average bill, or are looking for an inexpensive meal, you can find it all in Krakow. And the establishments of different price categories will be located next door.

Krakow is interesting for shopping lovers as well. It is not only about modern shopping centers, which are more than enough in Moscow, but about small stores, for example, in the center of the city. Quality fashion products – in classic and modern style – often turn out to be a discovery even for spoiled Moscow fashionistas. Next door to a well-known brand store, there are stores with completely unknown brands in our country, which offer good-quality items no worse than the advertised ones.

Private business in Poland was developed during Soviet times, thanks to it Poland, which was in the deepest economic crisis in the late 80’s, managed to recover quickly enough from the turmoil, and today the country itself produces quality products. In short, Krakow’s stores, which you will see on your tour, will pleasantly surprise you. The city has no metro, but perfectly developed streetcar network. The intervals are 8-10 minutes, and transportation is very fast thanks to dedicated lanes and the concept of “more speed – lower costs”. It is easy to move around the city, and with a pass for a day, two or three days – it is not expensive.

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Krakow reveals itself gradually. During the first short excursion you see only the architecture, but if you stay here longer than a couple of days, you will begin to feel its unique atmosphere. And then, for sure, you’ll want to come back here again. I hope my guide will help you.

Welcome to Krakow.

Useful information about Krakow

Other Polish cities

From the author of Krakow travel guide

I decided to create this site because I didn’t like the traditional guidebooks. Usually they give a list of sights, selections like “The 10 biggest. “, “Top five most famous. “. And then the tourist has to find where it’s all located. I took a different route.

Usually a tourist sees a city by taking a route. That’s why I created itineraries through which you can examine everything you see on your way and find out what makes it interesting. Along the way, I tell you about the history of what you see.

Tour guides often dump tons of encyclopedic knowledge of the tourist, which tourists are happy to forget after five minutes. Therefore, I tried to dilute the historical information with the facts of modern life.

In the selection of the route my friends from Cracow helped me a lot. Probably all real citizens of Krakow are patriots of their city, and among my friends there are real experts of history, thanks to them I managed to see what escapes from the official guidebooks.

A lot of what first appeared on Krakow.ru has successfully “migrated” to other sites. However, when I come across almost verbatim paraphrases of what I have written on major tourist sites, I rejoice, because such “promotion” is the highest assessment of my work. The sections of the site are updated as needed, so you can count on here for up-to-date information about Krakow.

Come to Krakow

Krakow is a pleasant surprise:) I liked Krakow very much. Were there with my wife on 20-21.11.2019. Spent 2 days there and for another 2 days I want to come and see what we did not have time to see this time.

Worth planning a weekend getaway. Very beautiful city! Were passing through – for this city one day is about nothing. had time to estimate the Old city with the Market square, the Wawel castle and Kazimierz. We would like to come back for at least a couple of days, so we are planning for the future, thanks to your reviews. By the way, maybe someone will find it useful. In the center, on szczepanska street 3 there’s a luggage room, seems to be iluggage or something like that, it’s the very center of the city on the central square, we left the bags for 4 hours for 4 euros.

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Do not visit this city Were in Krakow in late December2018-early January 2019. Before this trip, we toured many Polish cities. But were not in Krakow. Total disappointment. Worse city I have not seen. In the old town on the market square dirt, at the fair crowds of tourists of all kinds eat on dirty tables at street trays, mountains of garbage fall out of garbage cans, no one cleans up this mess, a lot of homeless people and obscenely drunk people with a weeklong booze. In the streets of the old town there are crowds of people pushing and shoving.

I’ll definitely come back to you, Krakow. I was taken to this wonderful city at the end of December, or rather at Christmas. I thought I would plunge into a winter fairy tale: snowballs, garlands, and music. But Cracow surprised me. It met with clear sunshine, good weather and blooming pansies – you could think that spring had arrived. In general, Krakow left an exceptionally good impression, despite the “resting” in honor of Christmas. Let’s go over the impressions in detail: About the city: Krakow is very clean and tidy. The good thing about it is that

  • to go on excursions.

Russians do not need to compare themselves with Europe. Otherwise it’s like in a joke about the Russian word for “compare”: either compare, or neither? You are Russians! And you are hated everywhere. In the whole world!

Cognitively GREAT Wawel is visited by thousands of tourists. Access to the inner chambers is limited (up to 500 tickets per day). The ticket office opens at 9:30, and there is already a queue. The tickets for the Royal Apartments (25 Szl/7doll) and the Treasury (18zl/5doll) are valid for the European Student ID and the Polish Card – free entrance. There is a separate ticket office at the Cathedral, so there are almost no queues and the experience is more impressive than the apartments and the treasury. Entrance to the Cathedral is free, the ticket only for the Royal Tombs – 12zl/3dol and only in cash. Many cafes in Wawel also discuss only for cash, and the prices are quite democratic. On the visit of 3 sites + queue at the box office + cafe Dragon Cave /3zl-1dollar/ took half a day from 9.20 to 15.00, and the power left us. Although we still had a lot to see. Even the whole area of the castle did not go around.

Krakow – the city of surprises. The city is full of tourists even in frosty weather. My impression – Cracow is a city of surprises. You go out to the train station and you are met by a huge shopping center on several floors, where you can get lost for half a day at least. Once you go out of the station and cross the road you are immediately greeted by a cozy old town. It is easy to get to the center of the strictly city, 10 minutes walk from the station. There is a park around the old town. I first thought what’s behind the gate, probably a castle of some kind of fee, but

  • to go on excursions.
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Those who see the trumpeter, good luck! To the Market Square we came from the Wawel Castle on Grodzka street. The first thing we saw was a small old gray building in the Romanesque style – the Church of St. Wojciech. We took a photo at the monument to the knight and looked into the archaeological museum. For Poland, Market Square is like Red Square for us. All roads in Krakow converge to this place. It’s very large, if not huge. From all the squares I’ve seen, it can be compared only with Piazza San Marco in Venice. In the center

Kazimierz is a very special neighborhood. I believe that before walking in such historically important neighborhoods you should either prepare well at home or take a tour. You can take the free Jewish Krakow excursion, dedicated to Kazimierz. It starts near the St. Mary’s Church, but I do not remember exactly at 12:00 or 14:00 and lasts 3 hours, and back to get from the Schindler’s Factory by yourself. Of course, walking quite a long distance, you get tired, but on my own I would not have learned so many interesting things, mainly

The Royal beauty of the royal castle Wawel – one of the most beautiful castles that I have visited. It towers over the city, so graceful and monumental at the same time. And when you get into the castle, it seems that here is a collection of architecture of all countries and peoples. We were in the castle early in the morning and late at night, when there are fewer tourists. There were lines at the castle ticket office all the time. What can you do, August is the peak season. Entrance to the castle is free, you can also go to the Cathedral, which is in the castle, for free. А

Promenade along the Green Ring We arrived in Krakow in August. The weather was perfect. In the morning, we went for a walk to the Old Town. Closer to noon, the sun began to burn, and our walking tour moved to Planty. I should note that there are almost no trees in the Old Town itself. You can hide from the sun only under the umbrella of a cafe.

And Planty is a park ring around the Old Town on the site of the ruined fortress wall. There are trees, bushes, fountains, even a big pond with swans and ducks, lots of benches,

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