Krakow, Poland: what to do & see there
Top 10 attractions in Krakow + 1 local snack to try
Among top places to visit in Poland, Krakow is often rated No. 1. With two sites included on the World Heritage List, it’s a real architectural gem. However, there’s much more to this old Polish town than just grand buildings. It’s the atmosphere that makes Krakow truly special: a rare mix of history, tradition, bohemian feel and romantic aura. It’s easy to fall in love with this town… for life.
Here’s a list of Krakow top 10 points of interest:
1. Rynek Underground
Go underground! You can now go right underneath Main Square (Rynek) and see the artefacts dating back to the medieval times. The exhibition here is truly special because it includes the original remnants discovered by archeologists during excavations. With its numerous interesting finds and great authentic interiors, Rynek Underground is a must-see not only for history enthusiasts.
2. Main Square (Rynek)
The main square in Krakow is absolutely gorgeous. Not only does it have splendid architecture but also a truly special feel that makes you think of coming back there right after you’ve left. Whether you’re interested in historic buildings or just want to have a coffee in a lovely café, Rynek is a must-see.
3. Oskar Schindler’s Enamel Factory (Fabryka Oskara Schindlera)
The former factory is now a museum and holds a moving exhibition on the Nazi occupation of Krakow. If you’ve seen Schindler’s List or would like to learn more about the local history, make sure you visit this museum.
4. Collegium Maius
The beauty of this old college will strike you from the very first moment of your visit. And the impressive courtyard is only a prelude. Make sure you book a guided tour of the interiors.
Kazimierz is the famous old Jewish quarter in Krakow. With its historic synagogues, romantic courtyards and old buildings, it has an aura of nostalgia and mystery. Kazimierz is also well known for its atmospheric restaurants and bars.
6. Kanonicza Street & Wawel Royal Castle
Kanonicza is a lovely old street leading directly to Wawel Castle. It has its own unique feel and is usually very calm, which adds to its magical atmosphere. On Wawel Hill you can see the Royal Cathedral and the Royal Castle. Make sure you walk around the outer courtyard as the hill offers great views over the Vistula River.
7. St. Mary’s Basilica (Bazylika Mariacka) & St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church (Koscioł Swietych Apostolow Piotra i Pawla)
Located on Main Square (Rynek), St. Mary’s Church is Krakow’s most recognisable landmark. Its interior is truly unique and definitely a must-see. It’s also one of the best architectural attractions in Krakow. St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church is another grand building worth seeing. It frequently hosts classical music concerts.
8. Planty Park
Planty is the green area around Krakow’s historic Old Town. It’s a great place to take a leisurely stroll or sit on a park bench and relax. It looks beautiful in spring and summer but it’s the winter that brings out its magical side.
9. The Botanical Garden (Ogrod Botaniczny)
Visit the Botanical Garden if you’d like to escape the crowds of Krakow’s city centre. The garden is a lovely and calm place with a plethora of plants and flowers. Please note it’s open in season only.
10. Aqua Park Cracow
This water park is a modern sporting facility. It has great swimming pools, saunas and a gym. It also offers fitness classes. Buy a ticket if you want to have fun, travel with kids or if bad weather stops you from sightseeing.
Obwarzanek is Krakow’s iconic bagel-like bread roll. There are stalls all around the historic city centre selling it so whenever you feel like a quick bite, buy one. (It’s available with either sesame or poppy seeds.) For traditional Polish food book a table at Wierzynek which is a top-notch restaurant with amazing interiors. If you’re on a smaller budget, there are copious bistros and cosy cafés, especially in the Kazimierz quarter and the streets adjoining Main Square.
Would you like to know our favourite things to do in Krakow? Read our post 5 things to do in Krakow, Poland