10 Must-Do Activities in Krakow, Poland

Krakow, the cultural and historical heart of Poland, is a city that offers a blend of tradition and modernity. From its stunning medieval architecture to its vibrant arts scene and delicious cuisine, there’s something for everyone in this enchanting city. If you’re planning a trip to Krakow, here are 10 must-do activities to make the most of your visit.

  1. Explore the Old Town (Stare Miasto)

Begin your Krakow adventure in the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site that showcases the city’s rich history and architecture. Wander through the charming streets, visit the Market Square (Rynek Główny), and admire the magnificent St. Mary’s Basilica and the Cloth Hall (Sukiennice). Don’t forget to enjoy a traditional Polish meal at one of the many restaurants lining the square.

  1. Visit Wawel Castle

Perched on a hill overlooking the Vistula River, Wawel Castle is a symbol of Krakow’s royal past. Explore the castle’s beautifully preserved rooms and chapels, including the Wawel Cathedral, where Polish kings were crowned and buried. The Dragon’s Den is another highlight, where the famous Wawel Dragon legend originated.

  1. Pay your respects at Auschwitz-Birkenau

While not an easy visit, a trip to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camps is essential for understanding the horrors of the Holocaust. Guided tours provide a sobering and educational experience, reminding us of the importance of never forgetting this dark chapter in history.

  1. Stroll through Kazimierz

Krakow’s Jewish Quarter, Kazimierz, is a district filled with history and vibrant energy. Explore its cobblestone streets, visit historic synagogues like the Old Synagogue and Remuh Synagogue, and discover a thriving arts scene with numerous galleries, cafes, and street art.

  1. Enjoy a Traditional Polish Meal

Polish cuisine is hearty and flavorful, offering dishes like pierogi (dumplings), kielbasa (sausage), and bigos (hunter’s stew). Be sure to try these local delicacies at a traditional Polish restaurant or “milk bar” for an authentic culinary experience.

  1. Take a Day Trip to Wieliczka Salt Mine

A short journey from Krakow, the Wieliczka Salt Mine is a marvel of engineering and artistry. Descend into the depths of this underground world to explore stunning salt chambers, intricate salt sculptures, and even an underground chapel carved entirely from salt.

  1. Discover the Schindler’s Factory Museum

Located in the former enamelware factory of Oskar Schindler, this museum tells the story of the Holocaust in Krakow and the heroic efforts to save lives during World War II. It’s a moving and educational experience that sheds light on an important historical figure.

  1. Experience Krakow’s Nightlife

Krakow comes alive at night with a bustling nightlife scene. Head to Kazimierz or the Main Square for bars, clubs, and live music venues. You can enjoy everything from traditional folk music to electronic beats, making it a city that never sleeps.

  1. Walk along the Planty Park

Surrounding the Old Town, the Planty Park is a green oasis in the heart of the city. Take a leisurely stroll through this beautiful park, admire the flowerbeds, and find a peaceful spot to relax and enjoy the views.

  1. Attend Cultural Festivals

Krakow hosts numerous cultural events and festivals throughout the year. The most famous of these is the Krakow Film Festival, but there are also music festivals, art exhibitions, and traditional folk celebrations. Check the local event calendar to see if any festivals align with your visit.


Krakow, with its rich history, vibrant culture, and welcoming atmosphere, is a city that captivates travelers from around the world. Whether you’re interested in exploring its historic landmarks, indulging in its culinary delights, or immersing yourself in its cultural scene, Krakow offers an unforgettable experience. So, pack your bags, book your ticket, and get ready to discover the many wonders of this Polish gem.

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