There are so many things to do in Krakow that you won’t get bored in this amazing destination for sure! However, you may want to see something more of Poland than just this city. Luckily, there are many interesting day trips from Krakow available.
From the historical destinations such as castles or Auschwitz concentration camp, to the places where you can go for a hike or relax- we’ve covered it all!
Here is a map of the ideas for a day trip from Krakow that you can find in this post:
Auschwitz Concentration Camp
If you are a sensitive person, think twice before visiting the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. This is where Jews, Poles and many other nations were killed and tortured during World War II.
I believe it’s a place everyone should visit at least once (so far, I’ve been there three times). This concentration camp is located in Oswiecim which is about an hour drive from Krakow. I recommend taking a trip to Auschwitz, as it’s may be difficult to organize the entire tour by yourself.
The cost of joining a group tour is pretty similar to what you would pay if you go by yourself (about $30 per person).
More than a million people lost their lives in Auschwitz. But this concentration camp is not only the place of extermination.
It’s also a place where thousands of people were suffering from hunger, misery, and fear. Many of them were tortured. Some were subjected to medical experiments, especially pregnant women, twins, and dwarfs.
Auschwitz is a dark place, where you can feel death, misery, and evil. Be ready to:
- see tones of human hair that was shaved before the victims enter the gas chamber (later the hair was processed into soap)
- hear horror stories about the victims’ lives
- see hundreds of shoes, prostheses, and suitcases. You will see photos of prisoners, all looking the same: skinny, with pale faces, bald heads, and fear in the eyes.
Zakopane, the winter capital of Poland and the main town of the Polish Tatra Mountains is a place loved by tourists and locals.
It’s considered the heart of the Polish mountains. Not only the town itself is lovely and picturesque but also there are many hiking routes around.
Depending on how fit you are, you may take all-day trekking or simply use cable cars to see the majestic views from the top of the mountains. Those who prefer to relax may spend a full day in the thermal baths. Read more about Zakopane here.
Be sure to book your bus to Zakopane online, it will save your time!
Here are some recommended day trips from Krakow to Zakopane:
Wieliczka or Bochnia Salt Mines
There are two salt mines near Krakow- in Wieliczka or Bochnia. Wieliczka is closer but more crowded. It’s one of the best places to visit near Krakow.
Don’t buy trips from sellers on Old Town on Kazimierz because you’ll overpay. Choose public transport, there is a bus that goes directly to the Salt Mine. Book your tickets online to skip the lines and pay less.
You can also choose an organized tour from Krakow to Wieliczka and back. See the recommended ones below:
Considered as one of the most beautiful cities in Poland, Wroclaw is located in the Western part of the country.
It takes about 3 hours drive (or bus ride) to get there from Krakow. The city has a beautiful old town and it’s famous for the fun activity- dwarf hunting.
The statues of the little gnomes are spread all over Wroclaw, so it’s really fun to search for them (especially for kids!).
Read our Wroclaw articles:
- things to do in Wroclaw
- best restaurants in Wroclaw
- top places to stay in Wroclaw
- best day trips from Wroclaw
- Wroclaw’s street art
This unique village is considered as one of the most colorful in the world.
The houses in Zalipie are hand painted with folk, floral patterns. Not only the entire village is insta-worthy but it’s also a destination where you can see the everyday life of the village people.
Since Zalipie is very rural, it may be quite tricky to get there yourself. The easiest way is to take a guided tour from Krakow to Zalipie.
The most famous and the biggest amusement park in Poland is located just an hour drive from Krakow.
You can spend the full day there, having fun, riding the roller coasters and carrousels. Be sure to book your tickets to Energylandia online (follow the link, there are also some transportations options available).
The catholic capital of Poland, Czestochowa, is definitely a good destination for a day trip from Krakow for those who believe.
Join a tour, visit the famous Jasna Gora monastery, and pray to the miraculous painting of Black Madonna.
Wadowice and Kalwaria Zebrzydowska
These two places are one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Poland.
Pope John Paul 2nd was born and raised in Wadowice, while Kalwaria Zebrzydowska is a church complex and the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Book your John Paul 2nd tour here.
Located just 2 hours driving by the highway from Krakow, Lancut has one of the most beautiful castles I’ve ever seen.
Find car hire in Krakow to get a vehicle or take a direct train from Krakow to Lancut. The town is small and charming, so not only you will have a chance to see the amazing palace but also see the everyday life of Poles.
Lancut definitely is a place worth visiting for those who like traveling off the beaten path. If you are in the neighborhood, drop us a line! Our home is located quite close to Lancut, so maybe we will have a chance to meet up.
It’s considered as one of the most beautiful castles in Poland. Located around 2,5h drive from Krakow, it looks like it was a part of a fairytale.
Moszna is called the Polish Harry Potter castle. Take a look at the photo above and you will quickly understand why!
If you are interested in taking a day trip from Krakow to the Moszna castle, check out this tour.
Here are some other interesting day tours from Krakow:
Other Day Trips From Krakow
Although the distance to the destinations mentioned below is quite far, going there for a day from Krakow is doable!
- Warsaw (4h drive)
- Zamosc (3,5h drive) – Polish pearl of Renaissance and the UNESCO site
- Lublin (4h drive) – also known as “The Jewish Oxford” with the beautiful Old Town
- Rzeszow (1,5h drive) – the capital of Podkarpackie province
- Łódź (4h drive) – located in central Poland, it’s the most hippie place in the country
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