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6 Best Things To Do In Krakow

Krakow is one of my favourite cities in Europe. It’s got a lot of history with amazing buildings to explore and a fun down to earth vibe about it.

I spent several days in Krakow on 2 different trips and these are some of my favourite things to do in Krakow that will let you see the best of the city.

Krakow can easily be walked around so set off on foot and get exploring!

Check Out Krakow Old Town

the best things to do in Krakow - Krakow old town
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Central square in old city.

Krakow old town is one of the most beautiful old towns in Europe, in my opinion.

It has the romance of old historic buildings and is great for walking around, or enjoy a horse cart ride that you can easily find in the market square area.

You can see the gothic St. Mary’s Basilica church next to the main market square and the Town Hall Tower.

Krakow old town
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Art sculpture in Krakow main market square.
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Krakow Barbican near the old city.

The Old Jewish Quarter: Kazimierz 

Kazimierz krakow Jewish quarter
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Kazimierz is the old Jewish Quarter of Krakow and has a really good vibe to it. It’s interesting in the day and really comes into its own at night.

The Cytat Cafe is one of the best cafes in the area for getting a drink and relaxing although you will find lots of bars and coffee places to relax, such as the coffee Garden.

cytat cafe Krakow
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Cytat Cafe.

Try a zapiekanka toasted sandwich when there. I ate one every day and they are delicious! It’s a massive baguette-style sandwich and I’m sure you will love it too. It’s especially good after a few beers!

Be sure to spend at least half a day exploring this part of Krakow.

Wawel Castle and Cathedral

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Wawel Castle is one of the main sites in Krakow and is free to enter the courtyards and garden area. It is located just south of the old town and easy to walk to.

It has some of the most important historic buildings in Poland and is a must-visit.


Day Trips From Krakow

Wieliczka Salt Mine

day trips from Krakow
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Church in the salt mines.

Wieliczka Salt Mine is only around 10 miles from Krakow and makes a great day trip. It had been in operation since the 1300’s and stopped producing salt in the late 20th century.

You can see churches underground and descend into shafts and explore around what it one of Polands top tourist attractions.

There is a lot more to do there at Wieliczka Salt Mine and the area around. Trains leave from Krakow Glowny Station every hour or so.

Benedictine Abbey in Tyniec

krakow-tyniec-abbey day trip
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This is a beautiful old abbey located only 7 miles from Krakow on the Vistula River that you can do on a half-day trip easily.

It spans back centuries, almost 1000 years actually, and has a lot of history to it that you can learn when there.

There are even bike paths from Krakow that you can cycle to get to here.

Auschwitz Concentration Camp

Auschwitz
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This will be a very dark day trip but one of great historical importance. I’ll admit I personally didn’t go there as I had visited Dachau concentration camp near Munich and that was enough to see pure evil.

But if you haven’t been to a concentration camp then head out to Auschwitz to truly understand what happened during WW2 to the Jews and others that the Nazi regime was against.

Take a train from Krakow to Oswiecim which is around a 2 hours journey and from there it is 2km to the concentration camp.


Visit Krakow

Krakow, as I said before, is my favourite city in Poland and these are the things to do in Krakow to see the best of the city.

For an overall guide to Krakow check out the Lonely Planet Pocket Krakow guidebook or the Lonely Planet Poland guide if you plan on visiting other parts of Poland.

From Krakow I continued on to Kiev in Ukraine, another city I highly recommend!

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