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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

From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Guided Tour & Pickup Options

1. From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Guided Tour & Pickup Options

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 Guided Tour & Pickup Options

2. From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Guided Tour & Pickup 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. 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."

Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau and Salt Mine Guided Tour

3. Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau and Salt Mine Guided Tour

Take a tour from Krakow that includes visits to the memorial sites of Auschwitz and Birkenau, then continue your excursion with a visit to the salt mines. This 11-hour tour starts in the morning from a meeting point or with a convenient pickup in Krakow. From here you will be transported by a comfortable bus. During the tour, you will be accompanied by your experienced tour leader. Upon arrival at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, you will begin your tour with a professional guide who will introduce you to the history of the memorial sites. The next point of the trip will be the Wieliczka Salt Mine, where a local guide will tell you all about the history of the mine. You'll see amazing chambers, original sculptures, and authentic miners' workplaces. There will be a break for lunch on the full-day tour, but it is recommended that you bring snacks with you. The tour will finish in the evening around 8:00 PM.

Krakow: Wieliczka Salt Mine Guided Tour

4. Krakow: Wieliczka Salt Mine Guided Tour

Discover the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Wieliczka Salt Mine with this entry ticket. Uncover the highlights of this massive salt mining complex on a guided tour. Reach a depth of 135 meters below the surface of the mine.  Choose from a tour with or without transportation from Krakow and have the option to pick a tour with a private transportation service. Breeze past long lines with a skip-the-line ticket to this popular attraction.  Discover the wonders of a salt mine on this guided visit. Starts with a descent down the stairs to a depth of 64 meters. Expereince the micro-climate of the mine which is thought to have a beneficial impact on visitors who suffer from asthma and allergies. Be led through a number of chambers and see underground lakes, shrines, and monuments carved from salt. Pass thorugh through numerous drifts and galleries where evidence of mining activity has been preserved. See examples of sacred art and themed compositions relating to the history of the mine and legends surrounding it. Wieliczka is also home to the world's largest mining heritage museum, with a collection of unique pieces of mining equipment from the Middle Ages. The tour ends at a level that’s 135 meters below the surface. Return to the surface by elevator.

From Krakow: Auschwitz Birkenau Tour with Transportation

5. From Krakow: Auschwitz Birkenau Tour with Transportation

Visit Aushwitz Birkenau with a guidebook. Witness the largest camp built on Polish soil by the Nazis that served as a concentration camp and an extermination camp. Get picked up in Krakow and travel to Auschwitz Museum. After arriving at the museum, collect an admission ticket with the help of your tour leader. Then start your self-guided tour with rented guidebook. Take advantage of the freedom of the tour at your own pace and path of your choice After visiting the museum, continue to the second camp at Birkenau, where the mass killings took place. Benefit from the help of a tour assistant who will be at your disposal from pickup to drop off

Krakow: Zakopane and Thermal Springs Tour with Hotel Pickup

6. Krakow: Zakopane and Thermal Springs Tour with Hotel Pickup

Enjoy unforgettable memories in Zakopane. This captivating destination that caters to nature lovers, offers a perfect blend of traditional highland architecture, vibrant street life on town center and outdoor adventures. Your tour will begin with pickup from your hotel or apartment in Krakow (or from the nearest location if access by vehicle proves impossible or difficult). Transport from Krakow to Zakopane will take about 1,5 - 2 hours depending on road conditions. The first point of the tour is a small village Chocholow. Known for its well-preserved examples of traditional wooden architecture, provides visitors with a glimpse into the region's rich cultural heritage. Get ready for a walk and take your camera for lots of amazing photos from this place. The second stop on the tour is a shepherd's hut (cheese factory). In this place, you will have the opportunity to taste traditional smoked sheep's cheese called Oscypek and a shot of Polish vodka - giving extraordinary taste sensations. The next stop will be the city of Zakopane, where you will have 2.5 hours of free time. Once there, you'll start on the Funicular Railway that will take you to the top of Gubalowka. Viewpoint is renowned for its breathtaking panoramic views of the Tatra Mountains. There you will also find numerous cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops and a gravity slide (open in summer, not included in the tour price). After going down, it is worth going for a walk along the charming streets and lunch in one of the local restaurants (not included in the tour price). Krupowki is the main pedestrian street in Zakopane. This lively and vibrant street is the heart of the town, serving as a hub for both locals and visitors. The street is lined with a diverse array of local restaurants, shops, and market stalls. Visitors can find a wide range of goods, including traditional highlander crafts, souvenirs, local food products, and clothing. The last point of the journey is the Hot Springs Complex. On site, you will receive a watch giving access to the changing room and locker. The admission ticket for 2,5 hours to the Chocholow Thermal Baths includes themed areas for children and adults so that everyone can enjoy their time well. Visitors have access to outdoor and indoor pools, as well as water slides and jacuzzis (nudity zone is not included). Inside you will also find a pool bar where you can order drinks (drinks and food are not included in the price of the ticket). After the tour, your driver will take you back to Krakow, Poland.

From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Tour with a Licensed Guide

7. From Krakow: Auschwitz-Birkenau Tour with a Licensed Guide

Step into history with a visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial. Learn about the tragic history of the largest Holocaust memorial from your guide. Be picked up from the comfort of your accommodation in Krakow and board a comfortable bus for the 1.5-hour trip to the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex, a historic site that serves as an important Holocaust memorial.  Explore the museum in the outskirts of Oświęcim, approximately 60 kilometers west of Krakow. Upon arrival, meet a local guide who will show you around the site and tell you about its inhuman history. Find out how Auschwitz-Birkenau has become both a symbol of human suffering and a witness to physical and emotional exhaustion during a respectful tour with a licensed guide. Walk through the gate marked "Arbeit Macht Frei" (work frees) to enter Auschwitz 1, where your guide will show you around the preserved area and introduce the history of the place. Spend approximately an hour in Birkenau, where the mass killings as part of the Nazi "Final Solution to the Jewish Question" took place. After the visit, you can reflect on the experience during the ride back to Krakow. 

Krakow: Zakopane Tour with Thermal Pools and Hotel Pickup

8. Krakow: Zakopane Tour with Thermal Pools and Hotel Pickup

Soak up the views of the Tatra Mountains on this bestselling Zakopane day trip. Experience the hot spring pools and warm water slides of the best Thermal Baths, ride the Mt. Gubałówka funicular, stroll along Krupowki Street, and taste local cheese and vodka in the village of Chocholow Your tour will begin with a pick-up from your hotel. During the journey to Zakopane, we have two amazing stops planned. Chochołów - one of the most beautiful villages in Southern Poland where you'll find the oldest houses inhabited by locals. You'll have the opportunity to learn about the history and to take some wonderful photos. When we arrive at our destination - Zakopane, your guide will explain how to use the funicular car and provide you with all the necessary tickets, saving you time and avoiding the ticket office queues. Each tourist spends their free time in the center of Zakopane in their own way. Some can savor delicious local spices or take leisurely walks and admire mountain views, some can buy souvenirs while others count the minutes to experience the final attraction - the hot thermal pools where they can indulge in this blissful relaxation. The thermal pools in Chochołów are one of the largest facilities of this kind in Poland. The health properties of the water have a positive impact on the skin and overall well-being. Pool bars allow for a moment of relaxation with a drink. Families traveling with children will also find something for themselves because every entrance ticket we offer at Chocholow Termal Baths grants access to all zones (except the sauna). Don't forget to bring your phone and capture unforgettable moments! See you on board! Choose one the most frequently booked and the best reviewed tour from Krakow. Thousands of people have already trusted us.

Wieliczka Salt Mine: Skip-the-Line Ticket and Guided Tour

9. Wieliczka Salt Mine: Skip-the-Line Ticket and Guided Tour

Book this skip-the-line entrance ticket to Wieliczka Salt Mine and meet your local guide in front of the entrance. Follow him through the underground historic city as you learn about the major health benefits of visiting the salt mine because of its special climate and microelement-filled air. The Wieliczka Salt Mine dates back to medieval times and has a history of around 9 centuries of salt exploitation. The tourist route through the mine is located 135-meters (about 443-feet) underground and is accessible by stairs or by elevator.

Krakow: Oskar Schindler's Factory Entry Ticket

10. Krakow: Oskar Schindler's Factory Entry Ticket

Learn one of the most inspiring stories from World War II with an entry ticket to Oskar Schindler’s former enamel factory in Kraków. Get an insight into the man who inspired the hit movie "Schindler's List" and explore how a member of the Nazi Party helped more than 1,200 Jews escape the Holocaust. Discover what everyday life was like in Nazi-occupied Kraków and examine the personal dramas of the citizens. Museum occupies the former enamel factory of Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who saved over a thousand Polish Jews during World War II. The museum's immersive exhibition guides visitors through the wartime history of Krakow, detailing the establishment and liquidation of the Krakow Ghetto. The museum's permanent exhibition provides a comprehensive and immersive experience, taking visitors on a chronological journey through the wartime events that unfolded in Krakow. The narrative begins with the invasion of Poland in 1939, exploring the occupation and the establishment of the Krakow Ghetto. It delves into the lives of the Jewish population, the oppressive conditions they faced, and the eventual liquidation of the ghetto.

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Frequently asked questions about Krakow

What are the best day trips and excursions from Krakow?

The best day trips and excursions from Krakow are:

Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau

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

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What people are saying about Krakow

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 98,527 reviews

Our tour guide Maciek was brilliant, he definitely knew his stuff and was quite funny. we learnt a lot today and would definitely recommend it to anyone. We have even booked a couple more tours with the same people

Excellent transportation. Guide we had was very informative and explained everything and gave time for the information to sink in. Whilst it is a harrowing day I would highly recommend the trip to everyone.

The cheese was delicious, the driver was really informative and nice, zakopane was mesmerising and the thermal baths were and really relaxing and nice. definitely had recommend

Brilliant service. Could not fault the driver. Highly professional highly recommend

I loved the thermal baths. Wish I had another hour there