Kraków, the former royal capital of Poland, is a city that has something for everyone. Its rich history, vibrant culture, stunning architecture, and delicious cuisine make it a perfect destination for a weekend getaway.
Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s fascinating museums and historic sites, sampling traditional Polish dishes, or simply strolling through its charming streets and squares, The historic city of Krakow has plenty to offer. In this article, we’ll give you a guide to spending a perfect weekend in Krakow.
Itinerary for a weekend in Krakow
Here’s an itinerary for a Saturday and Sunday in Krakow, Poland. Use this Krakow weekend trip itinerary to plan a visit to see the best things to do in Kraków
Day 1 – Saturday
9:00 am – Start your day by visiting Wawel Hill and the Wawel Royal Castle, which is one of the most iconic landmarks in Krakow. The castle is located on a hill overlooking the Vistula River and consists of several buildings, including the Royal Castle, the Wawel Cathedral, and the Dragon’s Den.
11:00 am – Head to the Main Krakow Market Square, which is the heart of the city and one of the largest medieval squares in Europe. The square is surrounded by beautiful buildings such as the Cloth Hall, St. Mary’s Basilica, and the Town Hall Tower.
Take a walk around the square and admire the architecture and street performers. If you have time pop into the Rynek Underground Museum under the cloth hall.
12:30 pm – For lunch, head to one of the traditional Polish restaurants in the main square or nearby streets. Some popular dishes to try include pierogi (dumplings), kielbasa (sausage), and bigos (hunter’s stew).
2:00 pm – Visit the historic Jewish Quarter of Kazimierz, which is just a short walk from the Main Market Square. The area is full of beautiful synagogues, Ghetto Heroes Square, and historic buildings, as well as trendy cafes, bars, and restaurants. Take a stroll through the narrow streets and learn about the Jewish culture and history of Krakow.
4:00 pm – Visit the Schindler’s Factory Museum, which is located in the heart of the former Jewish ghetto. The museum tells the story of Oskar Schindler, who saved the lives of more than a thousand Krakow Jews during World War II.
7:00 pm – For dinner, head to one of the restaurants in Kazimierz. Some popular options include Alchemia, which offers a wide selection of Polish and European dishes, and Klezmer Hois, which serves Jewish cuisine.
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Day 2 – Sunday
9:00 am – Start your day with a visit to St. Mary’s Basilica, which is located in the Main Market Square of Krakow’s old town. The church is one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic architecture in Poland and is famous for its stunning stained glass windows and the hourly bugle call.
10:30 am – Take a short walk to the nearby Planty Park, which is a green oasis in the heart of the city. The park is a great place to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery, and it also features several monuments and sculptures.
12:00 pm – For lunch, head to one of the traditional milk bars, which are affordable restaurants that serve simple Polish cuisine. Some popular options include Bar Mleczny Pod Temidą and Bar Mleczny Wawel.
1:30 pm – Visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine, which is located just outside of Krakow. The mine is one of the oldest in the world and is famous for its underground salt lakes, chapels, and sculptures. Spending a few hours at the Wieliczka salt mine is a must.
4:00 pm – Return to Krakow and take a stroll through the charming streets of the Old Town, which are full of historic buildings, cozy cafes, and traditional shops. Don’t forget to try some Polish sweets, such as paczki (doughnuts) or Mazurek (a traditional Easter cake).
7:00 pm – For dinner, head to one of the restaurants in the Old Town. Some popular options include Restauracja Starka, which serves traditional Polish dishes with a modern twist, and Wierzynek, which is one of the oldest restaurants in Krakow and has hosted many famous guests over the years.
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Tours in Krakow
If you’re looking for something a little different on your Krakow weekend trip from our suggested itinerary above, you might want to consider doing a tour. There are many half-day Krakow tours you can do during your weekend getaway in Krakow, here are a few suggestions that you may find interesting:
Krakow Old Town Guided Walking Tour covers the main historical and cultural landmarks of the city’s Old Town, including St. Mary’s Basilica, Cloth Hall, and Wawel Castle. A knowledgeable guide leads the tour and provides historical and cultural context for each landmark. The tour is recommended for those who want to learn more about the history and culture of Kraków and its Old Town. Book your stroll around the old town today
Kraków’s vodka tour allows participants the opportunity to taste and learn about different types of traditional Polish vodka, including rye, wheat, and potato vodkas. A knowledgeable guide will lead the tour and provide information about the history and culture of vodka in Poland. The tour is recommended for adults who enjoy trying new and traditional drinks and want to learn more about Poland’s vodka culture. Are you ready to learn and drink?
The Segway tour of Krakow's Old Town covers the main historical and cultural landmarks of the city's Old Town, including the Main Market Square, St. Mary's Basilica, and the Wawel Castle. A knowledgeable guide will lead the tour and provide historical and cultural context for each landmark. Segways are provided for each participant, and no previous experience is necessary. The tour is recommended for those who want to experience the city's Old Town in a unique and fun way. Book your Segway tour today.
The Sightseeing Bike Tour of Kraków is a guided tour that takes visitors through the city’s historic streets and landmarks. The tour lasts for approximately 4 hours and covers popular attractions such as Wawel Castle, the Jewish Quarter, and the Old Town.
Participants ride comfortable bikes and are provided with helmets and water bottles. The tour is suitable for all skill levels and the guide shares interesting facts and insights about the city’s history and culture. It’s a fun and active way to see the city while getting some exercise at the same time.
It is hard not to mention Auschwitz Concentration Camp, the reality of it is if you’re only in Kraków for 2 days, and you want to visit Auschwitz it will take up a full day. A visit to the Auschwitz Concentration camp can not be rushed and requires a full day trip from Kraków Poland.
Shopping in Krakow
Krakow is a great city for shopping, with many options for visitors who love to shop. Here are some of the best places to shop in Krakow:
Shopping Streets in Krakow
- Floriańska Street – This street is one of the oldest and most popular shopping streets in the city centre, lined with shops selling clothing, jewellery, and souvenirs.
- Grodzka Street – Another historic street in the city centre, Grodzka Street is home to a variety of shops selling artwork, antiques, and other unique items.
- ul. Szewska – This street is known for its trendy boutiques and designer clothing stores.
- Galeria Krakowska – This large shopping centre is located next to the main train station and features over 250 stores, including international brands and Polish retailers.
- Bonarka City Center – Located outside of the city centre, Bonarka City Center is a modern mall with over 270 stores, a cinema, and a food court.
- Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) – This historic market hall in the city centre has been in operation since the Renaissance and features vendors selling traditional Polish goods such as amber jewellery, textiles, and wooden toys.
- Nowy Kleparz Market – Located near the city centre, this large outdoor market sells fresh produce, meats, and cheeses, as well as clothing and other goods.
I hope this helps you with your shopping adventures in Kraków!
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Eating in Krakow
Krakow is known for its rich and flavourful Polish cuisine, influenced by Polish and Jewish traditions. Here are some traditional Polish foods that are specific to the region and that you may want to try during your weekend break:
- Pierogi: These are small, boiled dumplings filled with a variety of savoury or sweet fillings such as cheese and potato, meat, sauerkraut, mushrooms, or fruit
- Bigos: A hearty, stew-like dish made with sauerkraut, meat, and sometimes smoked sausage or bacon. It’s often served with rye bread
- Kielbasa: A type of sausage that’s a staple in Polish cuisine. It’s typically made from pork and seasoned with garlic and other spices
- Zurek: A sour rye soup made with sausage, potatoes, and sometimes hard-boiled eggs. It’s often served in a bread bowl
- Golabki: Stuffed cabbage rolls filled with ground meat, rice, and spices. They’re typically served with tomato sauce
- Oscypek: A type of smoked cheese made from sheep’s milk. It’s often served grilled or pan-fried with cranberry sauce
- Makowiec: A sweet pastry filled with poppy seeds and often served during the Christmas season
- Pączki: A type of doughnut that’s typically filled with jam or other sweet fillings.
These are just a few examples of the delicious and traditional foods that Krakow has to offer. Enjoy your trip and happy eating!
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When is the best time to visit Krakow
The best time to visit Krakow is during the summer months of June to August when the weather is warm and pleasant for exploring the city’s attractions and enjoying outdoor activities. The city also hosts several festivals and events during this time, such as the Jewish Culture Festival and the Krakow Summer Jazz Festival.
However, if you prefer cooler temperatures and smaller crowds, consider visiting Poland in the spring (April to May) or autumn (September to October). Just keep in mind that the weather can be unpredictable during these seasons. Winters (December to February) can be very cold with heavy snowfall, but the festive atmosphere and holiday markets can make for a charming winter vacation
Where to stay in Krakow Poland
When it comes to finding accommodation in Krakow, there are plenty of options to choose from, depending on your preferences and budget. For a luxurious stay in a central location, you can opt for a hotel in the Old Town or the city’s historic centre, which is where most of the city’s main attractions are located.
The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is renowned for its beautiful architecture, stunning churches, and charming squares. It’s the best area to stay for Krakow city breaks
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Some of the best hotels in the Old Town and City Centre when visiting Krakow include:
- If you’re in search of a lavish hotel that boasts exceptional amenities and a prime location near the city centre, the Radisson Blu Hotel in Kraków is a perfect choice. This 5-star hotel offers chic rooms and suites, a rejuvenating spa, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, an indoor swimming pool, and an array of dining options, all aimed at providing you with the ultimate luxury experience.
- The Sheraton Grand Krakow is a great choice for a luxurious hotel with excellent facilities that is also conveniently located close to the city centre. The hotel is a 5-star property with stylish and spacious rooms and suites, a spa, fitness centre, indoor swimming pool, and on-site dining options. It’s also located just a short walk from the historic Old Town of Krakow, where you can explore the city’s rich history, architecture, and culture.
- Looking for a luxurious hotel that offers top-notch facilities and a central location in Krakow? Look no further than Hotel Copernicus. This 5-star boutique property boasts beautifully decorated rooms and suites, a relaxing spa, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, and an on-site restaurant serving delicious Polish cuisine. Just a short walk from many of the city’s major attractions, including Wawel Castle, the Main Market Square, and the Jagiellonian University.
These hotels offer a perfect blend of luxury and history, with their elegant rooms, first-class amenities, and convenient location for Krakow sightseeing. You can also find some great boutique hotels and apartment rentals in the Kazimierz district, which is the city’s former Jewish quarter. The Kazimierz district is a lively neighbourhood with a Bohemian atmosphere, great restaurants, and trendy bars.
Quick checklist for your trip to Krakow
Accommodation in Krakow
Must have tickets for Krakow activities
- Segway Tour of Krakow
- Creepy Krakow City Walking Tour
- Krakow by night 60 minutes cruise The Vistula River Krakow
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Getting to your Krakow weekend break
Krakow Airport is well-connected to many cities across Europe and beyond, with several airlines offering direct flights to the city’s airport, Kraków John Paul II International Airport. Some of the airlines that fly directly to Krakow airport include Ryanair, Lufthansa, and British Airways.
If you’re traveling from within Europe, you can also consider flying to nearby airports such as Katowice, which is about an hour away from Krakow by bus or train.
Krakow’s main train station receives trains from many European cities. The train is perfect for those wanting to spend 3 days in Krakow. Companies like Flixbus can also get you to your city break in Krakow.
Once you’ve arrived at the airport, you can get to your hotel in Krakow by private transfer, taxi, bus, or train. Taxis are readily available outside the airport terminal, but they can be expensive. Alternatively, you can take the train or bus, which is a more affordable option to start your Krakow itinerary.
The train station is located just a few minutes walk from the airport terminal, and trains run every half hour. The bus station is also located near the airport, and buses run frequently.
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Why should you visit Krakow for a weekend?
Kraków is an excellent destination for a weekend getaway, offering a unique blend of history, culture, and entertainment. With its stunning architecture, rich history, delicious cuisine, and vibrant nightlife, there is something for everyone in this charming Polish city.
Whether you’re interested in exploring historical landmarks like the Wawel Castle, wandering through the vibrant Kazimierz district, or indulging in delicious local delicacies like pierogi and kielbasa, Krakow City is sure to delight and fascinate you.
To make the most of your weekend in Krakow, be sure to plan your itinerary carefully, allowing time to explore the city’s many attractions and soak up its unique atmosphere. With a little planning and some insider knowledge, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience in this beautiful city.
Overall, a weekend in Krakow is a must-do for anyone who loves history, culture, and adventure. With its unique blend of old-world charm and modern amenities, this beautiful city is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to experience the magic of Krakow for yourself.
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