Useful Krakow Tips For First Time Visitors

Krakow is the most popular tourist destination in Poland. No wonder why! The city itself is beautiful, plus there are many places worth visiting nearby, like Auschwitz Concentration Camp, Zakopane, or Wieliczka Salt Mine. In this post, you will find the best Krakow tips for first time visitors.

Be sure to read our other posts about Krakow including:

Basic Facts About Krakow That You Need To Know

1. Krakow is safe.

The crime rate in the city is really low. As long as you are staying in the city center, you will be perfectly ok, both during day and night.

The only place that I wouldn’t recommend visiting after dark is Nowa Huta district. It’s far enough from Rynek anyway, so most tourists don’t even know the place like this exists. I am not saying that Nowa Huta is dangerous, it’s just it may be weird there sometimes, especially during football games.

There are 2 main football teams in Krakow- Wisla and Cracovia. The extreme fans of both teams sometimes fight with each other, and trust me- you don’t want to find yourself in the middle of this battle.

2. Krakow is polluted.

Actually, it’s one of the most polluted cities in the world. That’s one of the reasons we moved from Krakow (the second is traffic jams).

Don’t worry though- you will be perfectly fine while visiting the city. My advice is to bring a pollution mask if you are traveling to Krakow in the winter.

3. Krakow is a student city.

One of the oldest surviving colleges in the world- Jagiellonian University has been founded in Krakow in the 14th century. There are 23 colleges in the city, and more than 200,000 students from all over the world live there.

If you happen to visit Krakow in May, Google ‘Juwenalia Krakowskie’. It’s an annual event for students. The dates are different every year, that’s why I am directing you to Google to check it all by yourself. 

One of the best Krakow tips is definitely to PARTY! There is no better place to have fun in Poland than in this city.

Prices in Krakow

If you are looking for Krakow tips regarding planning your travel budget, you should be aware that the city is not expensive. The prices in Krakow are low. Here are the examples:

  • double room with private bathroom – 180 PLN (~$45) / a night
  • lunch/dinner with drinks in a restaurant – 35 PLN ($10) per person
  • lunch/dinner with drinks in a milk bar – 18 PLN ($5) per person
  • one bedroom apartment monthly rental – 1800 PLN ($470)

Most of the Krakow activities will be cheaper than in other EU cities.

Where To Party Krakow?

The nightlife in Krakow is the best to experience at Rynek and Kazimierz area.

In my opinion, the best clubs are:

  • Klub Studio on AGH at Budryka 4
  • Stalowe Magnolie on sw. Jana 15
  • Coco on Szpitalna 38

Women usually have a free entrance, men need to pay. Start partying after 11 p.m. before this time, clubs are pretty empty.

The Most Instagrammable Places in Krakow

Krakow is Instagrammable in general. Most of the places mentioned above are great for photos but here are a few more worth mentioning.

Cafe Szał

Rynek Główny 3

This is a place where you can take arguably the best photo of Kosciol Mariacki and Rynek.

Cafe Szal is located on the roof of Sukiennice. It’s open all year round but when it’s warm enough you can sit outside in their beer garden. It’s worth going there to see Market Square from above.

Hotel Poleski

Sandomierska 6

Even though the food in the hotel’s restaurant is average and the hotel itself is outdated, it’s still worth to go there. Hotel Poleski has the best Krakow rooftop bar. You will get there an amazing view of Wawel Castle and the Vistula river.

If you are traveling by car, you can park your vehicle right next to the hotel which is a huge advantage, especially on a rainy day.

Przegorzały Castle 

Jodłowa 13

Przegorzaly castle is located quite a long ride from the center of the city but it’s still worth to go there. It’s one of the best viewpoints in Krakow.

There is a pretty good restaurant (U Ziyada) in the castle, so you may combine this trip with a romantic dinner or simply make it a date.

Where To Go Shopping In Krakow?

The most popular shopping mall in Krakow is Galeria Krakowska, which is connected to the bus and trains stations.

It’s quite nice but it’s always crowded. Better go to Bonarka City Center at Kamienskiego 11. It’s bigger and simply better.

Another shopping malls that we highly recommend are Galeria Kazimierz on Podgorska 34 and Galeria Bronowice on Stawowa 61.

Best Accommodation In Krakow

If you still don’t know where to stay in Krakow, don’t worry! There are thousands of hostels, hotels, and apartments in the city, so everyone can find something for themselves there.

For Luxury Travelers

An iconic place, Hotel Stary is one of the best hotels in Krakow. It’s located in the heart of Rynek, has a spa area, delicious food, and all the other facilities that you can find in the 5-star accommodation.

For Those Who Want to Feel Like Home

If you want to feel like home but still use hotel facilities like daily breakfast, choose Well Well Aparthotel.

It’s located in the quiet area of the city within the walking distance to Rynek. You will have a kitchenette in the room, which is great especially if you are traveling to Krakow with kids. The breakfasts are basic but REALLY good.

For Budget Travelers

If you are looking for a good Krakow hostel, check out Bubble Hostel. It’s very close to Rynek and the main bus and train stations. They have dormitories and private rooms available, that’s why it’s one of the best places to stay in Krakow for budget travelers.

For Longer Stay

Even though there are many apartments and hotels in Krakow centre, it may be hard to choose the best one.

If you want to stay in the city for more than just a few nights, check out Airbnb Krakow. To be honest, we usually find the best places to stay in the city on this website. Our recent discovery is Studio Pomorska, one of the few places in the center of Krakow with free parking.

Krakow Tips And General Info

CountryPoland, European Union
Krakow currencyPolish Zloty (PLN)
Krakow taxiKrakow Uber (click to get the first ride for free) or Bolt (click for the first free ride)
Krakow taxi number+48 12 653 55 55 (iCar)
Rent car KrakowFind the best deals car hire Krakow here.
Krakow taxi fares7 PLN ($1.80) for a start + about 3 PLN ($0.80) for every kilometer.
Krakow rent a bikeSee here.
Krakow public transportUse jakdojade Krakow to plan your trip.
Krakow tourist mapDownload here.
How many days in Krakow?2-5 days.
Best time to go to KrakowAll year round. April- October is the best.
Prices in KrakowLow. It's one of the cheapest destinations in Europe.

How To Get To Krakow?

Check out the cheapest flights to Krakow!

If you are coming from other European countries, choose cheap flights to Krakow Balice Airport.

If you are coming from another city in Poland, take a bus (FlixBus) or train.

How to Get Around Krakow?

One of the best Krakow tips is to walk as much as you can! You can easily get from Rynek to Kazimierz, without using a public transport or a taxi.

In order to get to the Old Town, take a public bus or tram (remember, the only way to get to the market square is walking!).

It’s pretty easy to use Krakow public transport, especially if you are using jakdojade.pl to plan your trip. You can install the app on your phone. It will help you to get anywhere in Krakow. The app can locate where you currently are, so don’t be afraid of getting lost.

Buy Krakow City Pass if you want to use public transport for free and have access to 40+ museums.

Both Uber and Bolt operate in Krakow, so if you want to travel by taxi that’s the cheapest and the most convenient option.

The Most Famous Events in Krakow

My tip for visiting Krakow is to check the event calendar before you travel. There is always a lot going on in the city!

It’s not the full list of festivals in Krakow. I am writing only about the most famous ones. More about the events in the city here. As you can see from the list below, the best time to visit Krakow is the summer and spring.

Spring

Juwenalia- students’ event in May (I am writing about it earlier in this post). 

Krakow Film Festival– one of the most important events like this in Europe. It happens annually in May or June.

Great Dragon Parade– a show of the beautiful and colorful dragons. A must-see if you are in Krakow. The parade usually takes place at the beginning of June.

Summer

Wianki– it happens annually, at night from 23th to 24th June. The tradition of throwing the wreaths to the water is hundreds of years long. Early Slavic maidens believed that if their wreath will be found by the man, they will get married soon. Wianki in Krakow is a colorful event, with firework and music shows.

Jewish Culture Festival – shows, exhibits, and workshops dedicated to the Jewish culture. The event takes place annually, in June or July.

Fall

Independence Day– November, 11th is a bank holiday in Poland. There are different parades and events organized in Krakow during that day.

Winter

Christmas Market and Szopka Krakowska Competition– Christmas is widely celebrated in Krakow. Apart from an amazing Christmas Market that opens up at the end of November, you can see the beautiful nativity scenes (szopka) that Krakow is famous for.

That’s it! If you have any questions about Krakow, comment below, or join our Poland Travel Planning Facebook group. We will be happy to help you.

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My name is Karolina, I was born and raised in Poland. I love my homeland. Even though I’ve been to 50+ countries in the world I’ve never hesitated to make Poland my base!

My mission is to show you the beauty of Poland and help you plan your trip!

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