Things to do in Krakow

Awe-inspiring history, great landmarks, and impressive landscapes await at Poland’s culture capital.

Our most recommended things to do in Krakow

Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Tour with Hotel Pickup and Lunch

1. Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Tour with Hotel Pickup and Lunch

Pay your respects at the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp. Make use of transportation from Krakow, and take a guided tour of the historical landmark. Benefit from pick-up at your accommodation in Krakow, and journey by air-conditioned vehicle to Oświęcim. Enter the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum for a 3.5-hour guided tour of the former Nazi concentration camps.  Hear how 1.3 million Jews, along with prisoners from Poland, France and Italy were murdered there during World War II. See the infamous "Arbeit Macht Frei" gate and learn the origins of the camp and what life was like for the prisoners. Visit the original barracks and gas chambers, along with platforms and other sites, and take a poignant trip through history via period photos and personal artifacts that bring the past to life.

From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Full-Day Trip with Private Transfer - Non-Refundable

2. From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Full-Day Trip with Private Transfer - Non-Refundable

Visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum with the convenience of a pre-booked entrance ticket and a private roundtrip transfer from your Krakow hotel. See original buildings and artifacts on a poignant and informative tour with a licensed guide. After a 1-hour and 15-minute journey, arrive at the Auschwitz I Museum and embark on a walking tour with a certified educator. Explore the remains of the Nazi camp's barracks, watchtowers, and crematoriums. With the help of the provided headset, listen as your guide tells about the ghastly Nazi crimes committed in the camps and hear stories of the everyday lives of the prisoners. Next, continue the walking tour at the Auschwitz-Birkenau II Memorial. Witness gas chambers and the remains of the railway which transported prisoners to the camps. Commemorate the camp’s victims and discover stories of survival in the memorial site. Afterward, get a bit of time to explore on your own before returning to your Krakow accommodation.

Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Tour Hotel Pickup & Lunch Options

3. Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Tour Hotel Pickup & Lunch Options

Visit Auschwitz on a day trip from Krakow. Learn about the history of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps during a guided tour with a certified historian and guide. Auschwitz-Birkenau was founded in 1940 by Nazi Germany and was the largest concentration camp operated by the Nazis. It became the final resting place for millions of people, mostly Jews and Poles, who were murdered in gas chambers. Upon arrival, you may visit the museum and memorial in the suburbs of Oświęcim, about 60 kilometers west of Krakow. Then, approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes later, meet your professional guide for an in-depth tour. Pass through the gate with the inscription "Arbeit macht frei" to enter Auschwitz I, where your guide will show you around the preserved area and explain the history of the site.  Then, visit the second camp at Birkenau, where mass killings took place as part of the Nazi "Final Solution to the Jewish Question." Spend about 1 hour at the Birkenau camp, before meeting your driver for the return journey to Kraków.

From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Full-Day Trip with Pickup

4. From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Full-Day Trip with Pickup

Visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum with the convenience of a pre-booked entrance ticket and roundtrip transfer from your Krakow hotel. See original buildings and artifacts on a poignant and informative tour with a licensed guide. After a 1-hour and 15-minute journey, arrive at the Auschwitz I Museum and embark on a walking tour with a certified educator. Explore the remains of the Nazi camp's barracks, watchtowers, and crematoriums. With the help of the provided headset, listen as your guide tells about the ghastly Nazi crimes committed in the camps and hear stories of the everyday lives of the prisoners. Next, continue the walking tour at the Auschwitz-Birkenau II Memorial. Witness gas chambers and the remains of the railway which transported prisoners to the camps. Commemorate the camp’s victims and discover stories of survival in the memorial site. Afterward, get a bit of time to explore on your own before returning to your Krakow accommodation.

From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Full-Day Trip with Private Transfer

5. From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Full-Day Trip with Private Transfer

Visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum with the convenience of a pre-booked entrance ticket and a private roundtrip transfer from your Krakow hotel. See original buildings and artifacts on a poignant and informative tour with a licensed guide. After a 1-hour and 15-minute journey, arrive at the Auschwitz I Museum and embark on a walking tour with a certified educator. Explore the remains of the Nazi camp's barracks, watchtowers, and crematoriums. With the help of the provided headset, listen as your guide tells about the ghastly Nazi crimes committed in the camps and hear stories of the everyday lives of the prisoners. Next, continue the walking tour at the Auschwitz-Birkenau II Memorial. Witness gas chambers and the remains of the railway which transported prisoners to the camps. Commemorate the camp’s victims and discover stories of survival in the memorial site. Afterward, get a bit of time to explore on your own before returning to your Krakow accommodation.

Krakow: Auschwitz Guided Tour with Optional Lunch and Pickup

6. Krakow: Auschwitz Guided Tour with Optional Lunch and Pickup

Learn about the history and gain a deeper understanding of the Holocaust and the Nazi concentration camps on a tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau from Krakow. An English-speaking driver will pick you up from a pre-arranged meeting point in Krakow and transfer you in a comfortable vehicle. Upon arrival at the Auschwitz Museum, a local guide or a booklet in your chosen language will be provided, depending on the option booked. Visit both Auschwitz and Birkenau and acquire a sense of the symbolically important place of the Holocaust and Nazi crimes. You will visit the remaining prison blocks, gas chambers, and crematoria buildings, as well as seeing the remains of the railway ramp in Birkenau. The guided tour of Auschwitz will take between 1 hour and 20 minutes and 1 hour and 45 minutes. There will be a 10-minute break for lunch after which you will be transported to Birkenau, for a visiting time of approximately 1 hour.

From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Full-Day Trip with Pickup and Lunch

7. From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Full-Day Trip with Pickup and Lunch

Visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum with the convenience of having a pre-booked entrance ticket, a packed lunch box, and roundtrip pickup service from your Krakow hotel. See original buildings and artifacts on a poignant and informative tour with a licensed guide. After a 1-hour and 15-minute journey, arrive at the Auschwitz I Museum and embark on a walking tour with a certified educator. Explore the remains of the Nazi camp's barracks, watchtowers, and crematoriums. With the help of the provided headset, listen as your guide tells about the ghastly Nazi crimes committed in the camps and hear stories of the everyday lives of the prisoners. Sit and take a lunch break before continuing the walking tour at the Auschwitz-Birkenau II Memorial. There, witness the gas chambers and the remains of the railway, which transported prisoners to the camps. Commemorate the camp’s victims and discover stories of survival at the memorial site. Afterward, get a bit of time to explore on your own before returning to your Krakow accommodation.

From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Full-Day Trip with Lunch

8. From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Full-Day Trip with Lunch

Visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum with the convenience of a pre-booked entrance ticket, a packed lunch box, and a roundtrip bus transfer from Krakow. See original buildings and artifacts on a poignant and informative tour with a licensed guide. After a 1-hour and 15-minute journey, arrive at the Auschwitz I Museum and embark on a walking tour with a certified educator. Explore the remains of the Nazi camp's barracks, watchtowers, and crematoriums. With the help of the provided headset, listen as your guide tells about the ghastly Nazi crimes committed in the camps and hear stories of the everyday lives of the prisoners. Sit and take a lunch break before continuing the walking tour at the Auschwitz-Birkenau II Memorial. There, witness the gas chambers and the remains of the railway, which transported prisoners to the camps. Commemorate the camp’s victims and discover stories of survival at the memorial site. Afterward, get a bit of time to explore on your own before getting back on the bus to return to Krakow.

From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Full-Day Trip

9. From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Full-Day Trip

Visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum with the convenience of a pre-booked entrance ticket and roundtrip bus transfer from Krakow. See original buildings and artifacts on a poignant and informative tour with a licensed guide. After a 1-hour and 15-minute journey, arrive at the Auschwitz I Museum and embark on a walking tour with a certified educator. Explore the remains of the Nazi camp's barracks, watchtowers, and crematoriums. With the help of the provided headset, listen as your guide tells about the ghastly Nazi crimes committed in the camps and hear stories of the everyday lives of the prisoners. Next, continue the walking tour at the Auschwitz-Birkenau II Memorial. Witness gas chambers and the remains of the railway which transported prisoners to the camps. Commemorate the camp’s victims and discover stories of survival in the memorial site. Afterward, get a bit of time to explore on your own before getting back on the bus to return to Krakow.

From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Full-Day Trip - Non-Refundable

10. From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Full-Day Trip - Non-Refundable

Visit the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum with the convenience of a pre-booked entrance ticket and roundtrip bus transfer from Krakow. See original buildings and artifacts on a poignant and informative tour with a licensed guide. After a 1-hour and 15-minute journey, arrive at the Auschwitz I Museum and embark on a walking tour with a certified educator. Explore the remains of the Nazi camp's barracks, watchtowers, and crematoriums. With the help of the provided headset, listen as your guide tells about the ghastly Nazi crimes committed in the camps and hear stories of the everyday lives of the prisoners. Next, continue the walking tour at the Auschwitz-Birkenau II Memorial. Witness gas chambers and the remains of the railway which transported prisoners to the camps. Commemorate the camp’s victims and discover stories of survival in the memorial site. Afterward, get a bit of time to explore on your own before getting back on the bus to return to Krakow.

Frequently asked questions about Krakow

What top attractions are a must-see in Krakow?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Krakow?

The best day trips and excursions from Krakow are:

Auschwitz

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Krakow

Hi! My name is Sam and I’m the blogger behind Check Out Sam. Krakow is one of my favorite places in Europe, because it’s so incredibly diverse and different to most other cities of this continent. To help you plan your trip to Krakow, I’ve listed some valuable tips to get the most out of your city break.

What should I do on my first trip to Krakow?

Go marvel at some of the most beautiful sights of this city straight away by walking to Rynek Główny. This huge square is surrounded by picturesque buildings such as the famous Sukiennice and the stunning St. Mary's Basilica (make sure to go inside too!). There are plenty of great restaurants in this area as well. People watching is yet another thing you should do here!

What are some hidden gems to see in Krakow?

A little bit out of the city center you can find the Kościuszko Mound. If it wasn't surrounded by a ramparts-like wall, you would perhaps think it's just a (very random) hill dominating the landscape, but of course that's not the case! This monument was built by the Polish people to honor Tadeusz Kościuszko, a Polish nationalist who was very much against foreign powers taking over his beloved country. People from all over Poland started adding dirt from their towns, villages and cities and added it to the ever growing mound. Nowadays, tourists can climb this unique attraction and get stunning views over the city. On sunny days you can even see the Tatra mountains!

How much time should I spend in Krakow?

Krakow is not a big city, so you can easily see it in one full day. However, I would advice to at least take two days to fully experience it. If you also want to visit the Auschwitz concentration camps, I would add at least half a day. The same goes for the Wieliczka Salt Mines. There are plenty of tours available who combine these two sights near Krakow, so if you don't want to stress about getting to either of these places this might be something for you.

What food is Krakow known for?

From all the cities that I have visited, Krakow had some of the best food that I've ever had. It's cheap, delicious and at the end you always get offered a shot of Polish vodka. Make sure to try Pierogi (dumplings) filled with anything from fruits to meat. If you like meats, there's also plenty of options for your taste buds!

What is the best way to get around Krakow?

Walk or rent a bike if you are short in time. If you want to visit Auschwitz or Wieliczka, you can do so with public transportation (bus) or with the help of a guided tour.

What are the best months to visit Krakow?

During summer, it can get quite warm in Krakow but almost never too hot. The city feels a bit more crowded because of the nice temperatures, but it never gets out of hand. Also worth mentioning: in Augusts there's a pierogi festival! I personally really liked autumn in Krakow too. The temperatures can get quite cold, but most crowds stay away and the colorful trees make this fairytale like city even more stunning.

What is neighborhood Miasto known for?

Stay in Kazimierz for food, nightlife and (jewish) history. If you want to be located centrally I would suggest Stare Miasto. Here you'll find a bit of everything. It's close to most attractions and also has great nightlife and plenty of great restaurants nearby.

What are the best neighborhoods for food? 

You can find great food all over the city, but I would recommend the Kazimierz neighborhood for the best food. Especially if you want to try out the local cuisine. Not that fond of the heavy Polish dishes? No worries! There are enough other options too (steakhouse, Italian, Lebanese, Thai, ...)

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping? 

Krakow is not really a shopping destination, but you do have some streets and shopping centers which every shopaholic will love. Near the Rynek Glówny (main square) you can find Florianska. This is where you'll find a nice mix of boutiques and souvenir stores. If you're only looking for the latter, I would recommend to head to the Cloth Hall situated on the main square itself.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Krakow?

I would suggest to stay in the picturesque old center of Krakow. That way you're close to all the action and never far away from a good restaurant or a cosy bar. Stick to the areas that I've already mentioned before: Kazimierz and Stare Miasto. They are -in my humble opinion- the absolute best to fully enjoy your stay.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Krakow?

The Wieliczka mines are a fun activity for both younger and older people. Descend into these old salt mines near Krakow and discover the interesting history and stunning sights so deep down. There's even a cathedral completely made out of salt crystals that you'll visit here during a guided tour!

What is the best thing to do in Krakow for solo travelers?

Book a (combined) tour to Auschwitz and the Wieliczka Salt Mines. It's a great way to learn more about the surroundings of Krakow and its history, but also a good way to meet like-minded people. Especially during or after your visit to Auschwitz, it can be nice to talk to someone (guide or other visitors) and let out your thoughts and feelings.

What are the best areas for outdoor activities around Krakow? 

If you don't mind being en route for a couple of hours (one to three), head to the Tatra Mountains or make a stop in beautiful Zakopane. There is plenty of stunning scenery and lots of (challenging) hikes that you can do here.

Other Sightseeing Options in Krakow

Want to discover all there is to do in Krakow? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Krakow

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 96,633 reviews

Super day and the driver was excellent. He arrived 10 mins before the pick up time and was very friendly. Energylandia is difficult to get to so would highly recommend this trip as it took the stress out of organising everything.

Simply beautiful- book through the concert venue directly though cause it’ll be cheaper and it goes straight toward preserving Chopin’s music

Very good and educative experience, excellent museum. We definitely recommend it. Krzysztof was very good and knowledgeable guide.

Richard was so nice and helpfull it was e very good trip❤️

100% recommended! Couldn’t ask for anything more. 10/10!!!