How to Spend 3 Days in Krakow, Poland

visiting krakow poland
This post may contain affiliate links, including ones for the Amazon Associates program, which means I may make a small commission at no expense to you.

One of my favorite countries I’ve visited is Poland for many reasons. I’m half Polish, so there’s something special about being in the country and hearing the language I heard my mom and grandparents speak when I was younger. I also love the culture and beautiful architecture in all the cities I’ve visited. Here’s a guide to visiting Krakow, one of the more vibrant cities in Poland.

Getting to Krakow

Krakow is a very accessible city that’s easy to get to. There’s a central train station in the middle of town, so you can take the train in from other parts of town or nearby countries such as the Czech Republic. They also have the John Paul II International Airport which you can fly into from many countries in Europe.

From there, the easiest way is to take a train to Krakow Glowny so you’ll be in the city center. There are several different entrances and exits to this station, but what surprised me when I got off the train was that I was in the middle of a giant mall! I walked through the entire thing before getting out on the streets.

visiting krakow poland statue

Where to Stay in Krakow

Hotel Kazimierz – For a basic hotel that’s under $30, stay at Hotel Kazimierz. It’s still close to the city center, you get free wi-fi, and breakfast is included. I always go for cheaper hotels since I don’t spend much time in them anyways.

Europejski Hotel  – For a midrange hotel, Europejski Hotel is a good choice. They have their own restaurant and bar for meals you don’t feel like venturing out for, but is still close to the city center to make it walkable.

Hotel Polski Pod Bialym Orlem – If this is a special trip or you just prefer to stay in a more luxurious hotel, book a room at Hotel Polski Pod Bialym Orlem. It’s right in the city center so you’re just steps away from restaurants and shops.

visiting krakow poland

Read more: A Guide to Warsaw, Poland

Where to Eat in Krakow

Since I’ve grown up with it, I love Polish food. I also love how cheap it was in Poland! Here are some places I recommend eating at.

Milk Bar Górnik – Milk bars used to be popular decades ago to feed workers for cheap. They now feed more than that, but still keep their low prices for a full meal. It’s a good place to go for an inexpensive breakfast.

Pod Norenami – Sometimes when you’ve been traveling for awhile you crave comfort food. This restaurant sells Asian vegetarian food, which was what I needed after a week of heavy carbs.

Street food – You can get really cheap street food that’s filling too. Many giant sandwiches are available for only a few dollars. The man below is selling obwarzanek, which is a giant pretzel.

visiting krakow poland

Pod Aniołami – For a romantic night or just a unique experience on your own, visit this restaurant. It’s set in a cellar from the 13th century and has an eerie yet fun feel to it.

Restauracja Wierzynek – To try some traditional Polish food in a fancy setting, have dinner here. They have decor from the 14th century, which I loved looking at.

Outdoor cafes – There are many outdoor cafes to enjoy during the warmer months, especially in the Old Town area. Nothing is better than people watching!

visiting krakow poland

Read more: How to Spend 24 Hours in Ostrava, Czech Republic

What to Do in Krakow

Go below Krakow – There’s an underground tour I highly recommend when you’re in Krakow. Explore the museum down there and see how the city came to be.

Walk through the Planty – This beautiful park is a good place to sit down and have ice cream or cool off in the shade. Many people were reading when I walked through it.

Visit Galeria Krakowska – This mall is giant! You might walk through Galeria Krakowska when you exit the train station as I did, but you could easily spend a few hours here with over 250 different stores and restaurants. If there’s something you’ve needed to buy or stock up on during your trip, this is the place to get it.

visiting krakow poland mall

Explore Old Town – This was my favorite part of Krakow, as there was always something going on in the plaza. A beautiful church, St. Mary’s Basilica, towers over all the outdoor cafes in the square.

Attend mass at St. Mary’s Basilica – This massive church is stunning inside. Even non-churchgoers can appreciate the decor inside.

Shop at local stores – There are plenty of local shops to visit near Old Town. I found they had more authentic and affordable souvenirs.

visiting krakow poland

Get a free walking tour – One of the best ways to see a new city is to join a free walking tour in the morning. They’ll get you oriented and show you some of the main parts of the city. Just make sure you tip!

Ride in a horse-drawn carriage – Imagine my surprise when I turned the corner on a busy shopping street to be greeted by two horses pulling a carriage. It seemed out of place among all the modern stores, but it’s a different way to see the city.

visiting krakow poland

Take a Day Trip From Krakow

If you’re spending at least a weekend in Krakow or longer, be sure to check out these day trips.

Wroclaw – There are many fun things to do in Wroclaw and the surrounding area, including exploring gardens, Old Town, and historical churches.

Auschwitz – One of the most well-known places around Krakow is the WWI concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau. You can take a train out of Krakow and be there in about two hours, so plan on spending most of the day getting there and back. Many tour companies will also pick you up from your hotel if you reserve it in advance.

Wieliczka Salt Mines – These salt mines have been used since the 13th century to make table salt, which is pretty incredible. You can now visit the museum to learn about the history of the salt mines over the centuries. It’s about 20 minutes south of Krakow, and again you can get a tour company to pick you up.

You can also take a two-hour train ride to Warsaw in winter during the holiday season.

There are affiliate links in this post at no cost to you.

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

How to Spend 3 Days in Krakow, Poland

15 thoughts on “How to Spend 3 Days in Krakow, Poland

  1. Aleney de Winter says:

    My neighbour, who I adore, is from Krakow and she tells me so many tales of its beauty. It’s so great seeing it come to life in your pictures. Will have to seek out Restauracja Wierzynek if I ever make it there, Polish food is fab!

  2. Anuradha Goyal says:

    Was in Krakow few years ago and I loved walking in the underground museum. It is such fun to see the city from one floor below. Old town square is one of the most beautiful ones I have seen. Even we arrived in Krakow on train from Czech republic and I think it is a more eco-friendly way to travel.

  3. Katherine Beveridge says:

    Krakow looks beautiful and it must be really special for you to visit Poland with your Polish heritage. Are you fluent in Polish? I too seek out Asian food places when I’m in carb-heavy countries. I felt like I was dying from carbs in Argentina and so went out of my way to find Asian places for the vegetables and greater variety of flavours. I like the sound of the underground tour in Krakow too.

  4. Siddhartha Joshi says:

    Krakow has been on my list also for a while and this is a prefect guide to inspire me to make plans! I love the idea of free walking tours for getting oriented to the new city…I have done a few of those, most recently in Canada, and absolutely love them! My favorite part of the city is the old town…always so charming in Europe 🙂

  5. Lauren says:

    Krakow has been on my bucket list for a long time now! I love wandering around places, wandering down streets, exploring on foot. A walking tour sounds like a great idea, like you recommended. Great to learn from a local!

  6. Medha Verma Bector says:

    Krakow (or even Poland) is a very offbeat destination and I’ve hardly heard of people going there for tourism which makes it very attractive for me to explore! I love such cities, the old town is my favourite part and the horse drawn carriages, cobbled stone streets, cafes, these are things I absolutely LOVE in a city. I’d love to visit Krakow one day, thanks for this guide.

  7. Jennifer Melroy says:

    I had the worst experience with an Auschwitz tour of Krakow. The tour company lied to me and then refused to refund me when they didn’t run the tour. I ended up getting a free ticket and directions on how to visit the camp without a tour and a tour time table. It allowed me to explore at my own pace.

  8. Debra Schroeder says:

    What a handy guide. Love that Krakow seems so inexpensive. Pretty smart having a train stop in the middle of a mall. Great way to boost the economy!

  9. Ami Bhat says:

    Krakow is just the kind of place I enjoy. With walking tours, old town cultural hubs and underground tours – the last one in particular, you have sold it to me. Thanks for the useful tips on places to stay and eat as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.