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Best Tourist Sites to Visit in Krakow, Poland

Best Tourist Sites to Visit in Krakow, Poland

The second-largest city in Poland, Krakow, is praised as one of the most picturesque in all of Europe. It has served as a national center for finance, the arts, culture, and education. Its historic center, Stare Miasto, is one of the first entries on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites and is home to hundreds of historical and cultural monuments.

The city’s excellent public transit system, which consists of trams, buses, and trains, makes it quite easy to navigate. Tram stops are located all around the Old Town Center’s perimeter, despite it being a pedestrian area.

Old Town Walking Tour

The Old Town (Stare Miasto), the Kazimierz neighborhood, and the Wawel neighborhood (especially the Wawel Castle) make up Krakow’s historic center, which is reportedly one of the first listings on the original UNESCO World Heritage Site list.

A walking tour of the Old Town neighborhood remains a great treat for history-starved tourists. The area houses around 6,000 historical attractions, including statues and buildings (both religious and secular). The Rynek Górny, Wawel Castle, Wawel Cathedral, St. Mary’s Basilica, St. Florian’s Gate, and Krakow Barbican are a few of the most popular attractions.

Podgorze & Jewish Quarter Tour

In Kazimierz, situated on the left (northern) bank of the Vistula River and lies southeast of the Old Town center, the Polish Jews and the ethnic Polish have coexisted since the 14th century. Before World War II started, the Jewish community concentrated its activity in the northeastern part of Kazimierz.

However, in the early 1940s, the Jewish population of Krakow moved to Podgorze, located at the base of Lasota Hill and on the right (southern) bank of the Vistula River. The Jewish Quarter, often known as the Jewish Ghetto, also situates here.

Auschwitz Concentration Camp

Auschwitz, known for the Nazi concentration and extermination camps during World War II and the Holocaust, situates more than 70 kilometers west of Krakow. The enormous complex contained roughly 40 concentration camps, which served as both torture facilities and execution camps after serving as detention facilities for Nazi political and military prisoners of war.

The location later transformed into a museum and memorial monument. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is. A visit to the spot might be quite emotional and difficult.

Krakow Ghost Tour

When darkness falls, you can join an alternate type of sightseeing tour if interested in urban legends and mysteries. The alternate option known as the Ghost and Legends Tour typically addresses taboo subjects and tales and includes obscure locations thought to be home to ghostly tales and tragic tragedies.

Krakow Food Trip

One approach to becoming fully immersed in a place’s culture is to sample the local cuisine. Much about a place’s history and common experiences remains in its traditional foods. Depending on your budget, you can sample Polish food at restaurants or stalls.

Polish Folk Show & Traditional Dinner

If you want to take your search for authentic Polish cuisine to the next level, you may eat while taking in a Polish folk show at a restaurant in the manner of a cottage with a view of Kryspinow Lake.

Schindler’s Factory

Schindler’s Factory situated in the Zabocie neighborhood, remains part of a sizable complex. This also includes the Schindler’s Factory Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow (MOCAK).

The Schindler’s Factory Museum explores a wide range of topics, including the pre-and post-war plight of Polish Jews as well as their experiences during World War II. A permanent display at the museum is titled “Kraków Under Nazi Occupation 1939–1945.”


Kazimierz is one of the three municipalities that make up the city’s historic core and is a part of Krakow’s first administrative district. When it operated as a separate city next to the walled royal complex in Wawel and the Old Town center, the district prospered from the 14th through the 19th centuries. Up until the 1940s, when the Nazis moved the Jewish population to Podgorze on the other side of the Vistula River, creating the Jewish Quarter, it served as the center for Jewish merchants.

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Even now, some of the buildings in Kazimierz, particularly those on the northeastern side, still bear witness to the area’s prosperous Jewish past. The streets line up with oddball businesses, vintage and antique stores, trendy restaurants and pubs, creative spaces, art galleries, and Jewish-related buildings.

Wawel Castle & Cathedral

The Wawel Royal Castle and the Wawel Cathedral are just two of the several historically and culturally significant buildings that can be found on Wawel Hill, which is home to an important cultural complex.

Wawel Castle, built in the fourteenth century, housed Polish kings for many years while incorporating Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque architectural elements. It was one of the first buildings added to the original list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It now serves as one of Poland’s premier art museums.

Additionally, it is designated as the nation’s national sanctuary. The Tadeusz Kociuszko Monument, the Treasury, the Holy Trinity Chapel, the three recognizable towers (Sigismund’s Tower, Silver Bell Tower, and Clock Tower), the sarcophagus of Jadwiga of Poland (the first female Polish monarch), and the graves and crypts are only a few of the cathedral’s areas of interest.

Rynek Główny (Main Market Square)

Rynek Gówny, which lies in the center of the Old Town neighborhood, is prominently shown. It is reputed as the largest medieval square in Europe, covering over four hectares. When it was a thriving trade square in the 13th century, its history may be found there.

Exploring the large area, which is surrounded by centuries-old buildings like churches and mansions, is like being on a feast of historically delicious cultural goodies. The famous focal point of the area is the Sukiennice (Cloth Hall), a Renaissance-style building. The Adam Mickiewicz Monument from the 19th century and the freestanding Gothic Town Hall Tower are two additional, equally significant landmarks that surround it.

St. Mary’s Basilica

In 1978, UNESCO designated this basilica from the fourteenth century as a World Heritage Site. This 80-meter-tall Gothic chapel is one of the most notable buildings that surround Rynek Gówny (Main Market Square).

It’s two towers and brick construction give off an imposing air that attracts interest. Its defining characteristics are the prominent German sculptor Veit Stoss’ late Gothic timber altarpiece and hourly trumpet call.

Barbican (Barbakan Krakowski)

One of the few remaining fortified outposts in Europe is the Barbakan Krakowski (also known as the Barbican). It was constructed in the late 15th century alongside the route of the coronation and was once a part of the defenses encircling the royal city, which is now the Old Town core.

The largest brick building in the Gothic style in Poland has seven turrets, a moat, an interior courtyard, and more than a hundred defensive openings. It served as a defensive building and a checkpoint to the royal city and was regarded as a marvel of military engineering. It still stands bravely today at the gateway to the Old Town neighborhood.

St. Florian’s Gate and Florianska Street

St. Florian’s Gate (or simply Florian Gate) was created in the 14th century as a component of the intricate defense system built around the Old Town center (royal city) to defend it from the Moors’ onslaught, just like the Barbican outpost.

One of the eight gates to the royal city, this rectangular stone tower served as the primary entry to the medieval town center and was once connected to the Barbican by a bridge. Additionally, it served as a starting point for the coronation procession that travels down the Royal Road.

Planty Park

The historic Old Town, which contained the royal metropolis, was originally surrounded and guarded by ancient defensive walls, which may be seen in Planty Park. These medieval defenses were replaced by the green belt that exists today, which divides the old town from the remainder of the city, in the early 19th century.


The four kilometers of lush landscaping are made up of thirty smaller gardens connected by pretty walks and dotted with several statues and fountains. Autumn makes it even more beautiful!

Rynek Underground

One of Poland’s most well-liked museums is this underground one, which opened its doors in 2010. The museum is easily missed if you don’t do your homework before coming to Krakow because it is four feet below the Main Market Square.

It covers an area of more than 6,000 square meters and includes historical recreations, an archaeological site, multimedia exhibitions, and medieval items. Following the Traces of European Identity of Kraków is the name of its permanent exhibition. It depicts Krakow’s history up to the Middle Ages by using contemporary technologies, such as holograms, projections, and touchscreens, to recreate significant events.

Kościuszko Mound

One of two contemporary mounds created to honor significant historical personalities, Kociuszko Mound is situated in the Zwierzyniec District, a few kilometers west of Krakow’s city center. Tadeusz Kociuszko, a nationalist Pole, is honored. Pisudski’s Mound is the other contemporary memorial mound, and it is situated further west.

It was inspired by Krak and Wanda, two prehistoric mounds in Krakow when it was finished in 1823. A granite rock from the Tatra Mountains crowns the summit of Kociuszko Mound. This also contains urns buried there using soil from the battlefields where Kociuszko fought. The mound has a spiraling walkway leading up to it. You’ll be rewarded for climbing to the top with a view of the Vistula River and the surrounding area.

Krakus Mound

One of the two prehistoric mounds – Krakus Mound situates on Lasota Hill in the Podgórze region alongside the Wanda Mound. King Krakus, the legendary founder of Krakow, is thought to have died and been buried beneath the prehistoric burial mound. It is also said to be Krakow’s oldest man-made structure.

Museum of the Jagiellonian University – Collegium Maius

The Museum of the Jagiellonian University, which situates in the western part of the Old Town district, features paintings, vintage scientific instruments, and a treasury that houses significant artifacts, including the Jagiellonian globe, along with lecture halls meticulously preserved and restored from centuries ago.

Saints Peter and Paul Church

One of Krakow’s largest old churches, the Saints Peter and Paul Church is located along Grodzka (Castle Street) in the area’s Old Town neighborhood. The church built in the Baroque style remains the earliest Baroque building in Krakow. The early 17th century marked its completion.

It is most known for having Poland’s longest Focault Pendulum, measuring more than 46 meters. The pendulum, which bears the name of the French scientist Leon Focault, illustrates the rotation and movement of the Earth. The cathedral also has one of the nation’s National Pantheons. This contains the graves of notable figures, especially in the arts, sciences, and culture.

St. Joseph’s Church

Dramatically marking the summit of the triangle-shaped Podgórski Square is St. Joseph’s Church. The church, which features Neo-Gothic architecture, was constructed in the early 20th century. The brick facade’s 80-meter clock tower and flawless masonry give it an intimidating appearance.
The verdant Park Bednarskiego, which has gardens, walking trails, and a playground, is located behind the church.

Polish Aviation Museum

The Kraków-Rakowice-Czyyny Airport was taken over by the Polish Aviation Museum. It currently situates about six kilometers northeast of the Old Town neighborhood. After the airfield shut down in 1963, it reopened in 1964.

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It notably regards as one of the top aviation museums in the world. Rare and distinctive models exist in these collections. The museum also has a sizable aviation-focused library.

Nowa Huta District

Visits to the Nowa Huta District will provide individuals with a look into life in Poland during the communist era. The neighborhood occupies a sizable area in Krakow’s eastern region. It envisioned in the 1940s as an ideal socialist metropolis and planned as a distinct industrial city.

Wanda Mound, Arka Pana Church, Church of Saint Bartholomew, PRL Museum, Nowa Huta Reservoir, Nowa Huta Underground, and Mogia Abbey are a few of the district’s prominent landmarks.

Dragon’s Den (Smocza Jama)

Polish for “Dragon’s Den,” Smocza Jama is a limestone cavern located in the Old Town neighborhood on the western slope of Wawel Hill. Two openings provide access to the nearly 300-meter-long cave. It features a side path that terminates beneath the cathedrals of St. Stanislaus and St. Wenceslaus.

Wieliczka Salt Mine

The Wieliczka Salt Mine is a UNESCO World Heritage Site classified as one of the nation’s Historic Monuments. It enlists among the oldest active salt mines in the world. Thus, because of its operation from the 13th century until 2007. It is currently one of Poland’s most well-known tourist destinations.

The salt mine has a length of over 290 kilometers and a maximum depth of 330 meters. In addition to other rooms, it has an underground lake, four chapels, and statues that the salt miners themselves made. There are more recent statues that modern artists have carved from rock salt.


In 1973, Tyniec became a part of the city as the Debniki District. In the past, the Vistula transported goods and people through the settlement. Limestone hills, canyons, and lush forests make up the area, which is a natural reserve. Zrodlo Swietojanskie, a water source unique to the village, is also available.

The King Casimir the Restorer-founded Benedictine abbey from the 11th century is the most notable landmark. Its vantage point over the Vistula River and beyond, perched atop the limestone ridge, gave it a beautiful outlook. There is a cafe and a restaurant at the Abbey.

Top Budget Hotels & Apartments in Krakow

The best apartments and cheap hotels in Krakow’s central locations;

  • Bentis Luxury Apartments
  • Old Time Apartments
  • Apartament Golden Place 2
  • 1891 Aparthotel
  • Academia Apartments
  • Barbakan Residence Old Town
  • Trip Apartments
  • Ruumz Bed & Rest

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