Krakow
Culture & History

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Popular Culture & History in Krakow

Our most recommended Krakow Culture & History

Krakow: Sightseeing Cruise by Vistula River

1. Krakow: Sightseeing Cruise by Vistula River

Admire the Wawel Royal Castle and see other monuments from the Vistula River, Krakow's historic waterway. Listen to the audio commentary as you sit back and relax, enjoying the comfort of a traditional yet modern vessel. Head to the open deck for panoramic views of Krakow's landmarks. Witness the charms of Krakow’s districts, such as Saltwator and Kazimierz, and see such sights as the Dębnicki Bridge, "Church on the Rock," and Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology.

Krakow: Pierogi Home Cooking Class

2. Krakow: Pierogi Home Cooking Class

Enjoy a day of cooking with a local in a Krakow home. Learn how to cook up a storm in the kitchen and learn 3 authentic Polish recipes. Meet your guide outside the city center at the meeting point to begin the activity. See another side of Krakow, visit a local food market and get all the insider info on the fresh vegetables and produce used by locals. Learn some Polish phrases that a true Krakow native uses. Next, head back to the house and immerse yourself in Polish culinary traditions during this hands-on cooking class.  Roll up your sleeves and start cooking; your guide will teach you how to make 3 delicious dishes that you can recreate repeatedly. Discover how to prepare your fresh, high-quality ingredients that don't require a lot of complicated techniques to release their flavor.  Start your cooking class by making a pierogi, a typical Polish dish similar to dumplings. Listen to Polish music, enhance your authentic cooking experience, and enjoy tasting as you cook. Sit down and dine on the 3-course dishes you cooked paired with Polish beer to wash it down. Eat with the family, and learn about Polish culture and traditions as you get merry, Krakow style. Enjoy a day out in a Krakow kitchen that you won't forget. Return home with something more than just souvenirs — traditional Polish cooking knowledge that will stay with you for life.

From Krakow: Skip-the-Line Day Tour to Wieliczka Salt Mine

3. From Krakow: Skip-the-Line Day Tour to Wieliczka Salt Mine

Visit the most famous salt mine in Europe. The Wieliczka Salt Mine is one of the UNESCO monuments and has been gathering salt for over 700 years. It’s one of the most beautiful facilities of this type in the world. An English-speaking driver will pick you up from the city center or from the hotel if private transport is selected. With an air-conditioned, comfortable bus/van you will reach Wieliczka town in about 25 minutes. Meet your guide, and walk down the wooden stairs to a depth of 65 meters. The guide will explain the rules of a salt mine as well as various legends and stories about mine’s past. The tour takes place in the underground corridors and chambers, well prepared for visitors. Certain points on your way are dedicated to famous people who decided to visit Salt Mine in the past, for example, Chopin or Goethe. There will be many stories about mining and the progress of the works over the years. After a while, you will encounter a huge chapel carved underground. It’s considered one of the most beautiful chapels in the world – St. Kinga Chapel, where the artists carved a church in salt. It’s time to get some photos and have a quick rest before proceeding with the tour. After a short break, you will proceed to a huge area with an underground lake, where the world’s first underground balloon flight took place. There will be a few places to buy souvenirs as well. Don’t worry there is no need to climb these hundreds of steps again to go to the surface. There is a mining elevator that helps you get out of the mine. It’s time to meet your driver at the place of departure to the mine, and have a safe journey back to Krakow.

Krakow: Wawel Hill Audioguide Tour

4. Krakow: Wawel Hill Audioguide Tour

After collecting your audioguide at the local Tourist Information Centre, listen to the commentary as you walk along Kanonicza Street to the Wawel Hill. Wawel has been the monarch’s residency from the 11th century and is also the site where Polish royals were crowned and buried.  Once you've arrived at the Royal Castle, hear about the role of each building, and the stories behind them. You will learn about the history of Main Courtyard, the Arcaded Courtyard, as well as the Crown Treasury and Armory. End the tour at the famous Dragon’s Den.

Krakow: Wawel Royal Hill Guided Tour

5. Krakow: Wawel Royal Hill Guided Tour

Join a guided tour of the Wawel Royal Hill, one of the most important hills in Poland. This was where Polish kings and queens reigned over Poland. Your guide will tell you about the secrets of the royals and show you the most important places within Wawel Hill.  After meeting your guide, you will pass by the most expensive hotel in Cracow, which has hosted HRH Prince Charles and President Bush. You are then going to stop by the house of Jan Długosz, the legendary Polish historian, from where you will have a magnificent view over Wawel Hill. Then, start to go uphill, passing through the Arms Gate, and stopping by the monument to Tadeusz Kościuszko, one of the most important Polish heroes. Walk past the entrance to the Wawel Cathedral. Continue in the direction of the center of Wawel hill and the medieval courtyard, and head to the Austrian Hospital, from where you will be able to see a beautiful panorama of Krakow. You are then going to pass by Sandomierska Tower and go downhill through the Bernardyńska Gate, eventually leading to the cave of the Wawel Dragon. 

Krakow: Chopin Piano Recital at Chopin Concert Hall

6. Krakow: Chopin Piano Recital at Chopin Concert Hall

Indulge your ears with the sounds of Chopin’s piano music, and experience one of the most important elements of culture. Appreciate the genius of Poland’s best-known composer in the unique atmosphere of Krakow's Market Square. Attend a special concert dedicated to Frederic Chopin, an icon of Polish and European music and a piano virtuoso in his own right, and listen to his most famous piano pieces performed by talented young pianists. Concerts are held in the Chopin Concert Hall, decorated with Gothic architectural elements. Listen to nocturnes, mazurkas, and polonaises, in which Chopin expressed his feeling of longing for his homeland. The combination of atmospheric interior and excellent music will provide an unforgettable experience, and not just for music aficionados.

Krakow: Rynek Underground Museum Group or Private Tour

7. Krakow: Rynek Underground Museum Group or Private Tour

You will get to know the Main Market Square. Your local tour guide will take you on a fascinating journey back into the Middle Ages. You will walk above the ground, between the Cloth Hall and St. Mary's Church, and then cover the same path underground, while going 4-7 meters down to the Underground Museum. You will travel back in time and experience what the Main Square looked like 750 years ago. You will learn about the history of the Market Square, which was the setting for the ceremonial meetings of the kings and foreign envoys, and a place where cloth, salt, barrels, shoes, as well as coal, lead and copper were traded. It was also a place where you could meet witches, thieves and alchemists, where the martens were put around the neck of the condemned man, and public flogging was held at the pillory. Over the centuries, the level of the Krakow market has risen up significantly, thus after descending into the underground, you will go back a few hundred years, to the times before the city was founded in 1257. With a little bit of imagination and help from your guide you will discover the atmosphere of the medieval Market Square while walking along the underground route and listening to the colorful stories. You will see the exposed foundations of former commercial buildings, medieval roads, hygienic utensils, used more than 600 years ago, or authentic 11th-century tombs, which will allow you to learn about the burials of vampires and witches. Why Travelers Choose This Tour With your tour guide you will visit the fascinating -and according to many - the best- museum in Kraków, that is the Underground Museum and do it without queuing in a ticket line. You will feel the atmosphere of the medieval Market Square. You will learn first-hand the history of the Main Market Square - the icon of Krakow, because your guide will be a local Krakow resident. You won't get similar knowledge neither from books nor the internet! Meeting point We will meet you at the entrance to the Rynek Underground Museum, Rynek Główny 1, 31-042 Kraków. Sightseeing part I (~ 0.5h) Our professional guide will take you for the first part of the walk during which you will get to know the Main Market Square and its monuments, located above the ground. You will learn where the former medieval cemeteries were located, where the martens were put around the necks of convicts, where the pillory was located and where public flogging took place. Sightseeing part II (~ 1h) Your guide will take you for the second part of the walk to the Underground Museum, where you will descend 4-7 meters below the surface of the Market Square to travel back in time and discover Krakow's medieval realities. End of the tour You will end your tour at the Main Market Square. You may then choose to go to the one of many local restaurants, recommended to you by your guide, and enjoy a delicious dinner. You can also join us on another tour, which starts at 7:30 pm.

Krakow: The Lady with an Ermine at the Czartoryski Museum

8. Krakow: The Lady with an Ermine at the Czartoryski Museum

The "Lady with an Ermine" portrait embodies the Renaissance idea of an image as an illusion of natural vitality. Da Vinci managed to achieve this thanks to his detailed knowledge of anatomy, and his skill with light features. Combining these he was able to create a three-dimensional figure on the image plane. The original background, which was painted over in black in the 19th century, was also modelled with light just like the figure, which must have added to the impression of the model emerging from the shadows. The painting was purchased in Italy in around 1800 by Adam Jerzy, the son of Princess Izabela Czartoryska, and later donated to the Museum in Puławy. The portrait became the property of the Republic of Poland in 2016.

Krakow: Wawel Castle Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

9. Krakow: Wawel Castle Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

Wawel Castle was the residence of the royal family of Poland till 1795. It is a source of great Polish pride and stands as one of the most spectacular buildings on the top of Wawel Hill. During your tour of the castle, you will get the chance to witness the grandeur of Poland’s past as you pass through the magnificent halls of the castle. Presently, the castle also houses a museum that includes beautiful artefacts preserved from the historic times when kings and queens ruled the country. During your tour, you may also visit the Royal private apartments adorned with exquisite tapestries, paintings and chandeliers. The castle serves as a premier art museum and also includes an Oriental Art section with the largest collection of Ottoman tents on the European continent. This 14th-century castle built by King Casimir II the Great was at the top of its opulence in the 16th century when King Sigismund the Old commissioned the castle to be expanded and built into what it looks like today. Once you are in the castle, you will be transported into the era of kings and queens as your guide shares information about the royals who once lived in the castle and the myths surrounding this beautiful place. You may also get to see the Wawel exhibition, which displays objects uncovered during archaeological excavations around the region. It also includes scale models of buildings and other architectural elements. Wawel Castle is recognized as a Unesco World Heritage site and is known to have immense cultural and historical significance in Poland.

From Krakow: Polish Folk Show with All-You-Can-Eat Dinner

10. From Krakow: Polish Folk Show with All-You-Can-Eat Dinner

Enjoy a special evening featuring a folk show. During the event, you will hear dynamic and lively Polish folk music and see traditional Polish dances from Kraków and other part of Poland. You will be invited to interact with the dancers and musicians, if you wish to participate. This event is great fun and entertaining for everybody, especially for guests who want to learn about Polish culture and food. Celebrate with your family, partner or friends during this experience. The restaurant is situated just outside of Krakow and overlooks beautiful Lake Kryspinów. You will be taken by double decker bus through the picturesque parts of Krakow. The folk show dinner includes a glass of cherry vodka upon welcome, a 3-course dinner, a regional cold buffet, and a regional warm buffet. You will also have unlimited drinks - including beer and wine. The pickup departure time is 6:45 PM; please arrive 5-15 minutes beforehand to the meeting point. The folk show finishes at 9:30 PM

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What people are saying about Krakow

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 47,585 reviews

This tour was excellent. A full hour on the Vistula river, amazing scenery. After the boat tour our rep met us for the beer tour. We met Michael. He was really fantastic. Took us to several bars to taste the local beers and some polish starters. Have us lots of information about krakow and was able to give us recommendations on things to do. You really should give this a go. Such great value for money.

Can 100% recommend the Bike Tour with Mike. Would suggest doing this on your first day to get to know the area, Mike is so very knowledgeable of the area and full of all the facts.

expert tour guide and fluent in english, very friendly and helpfull driver

En magisk time med en fantastisk pianist som tolket chopin på en fin måte.

Amazing insights into Jewish life in a krakow during WWII