13 Important Things to do in Krakow That You Can’t Leave Without Doing

Last Updated on February 24, 2023 by Natalie

This post is all about the best things to do in Krakow Poland.

things to do in Krakow

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Krakow is a step back in time.

With its rich history, preserved medieval architecture, and cobblestone streets, Krakow is undoubtedly one of the most majestic cities in Eastern Europe.

Poland is filled with many iconic landmarks, it’s hard to prioritize what to see. Krawkow especially is so rich in history, it can make a first-time visit overwhelming.

things to do in Krakow

Where to Stay in Krakow

Budget – Greg & Tom Beer Hostel (check out my review blog post here)

Moderate –Novotel Krakow Centrum

Luxury – Bachleda Luxury Hotel Kraków 

My Krakow Essentials

Here are the best things to do in Krakow Poland

1. Walk around the main square – Rynek Główny

Rynek Główny is the main square of Krakow and it’s hard to miss!

The beautiful architecture forming the square is mesmerizing. It’s also the perfect chance to see if any events are taking place, like the Krakow Christmas market.

things to do in Krakow

2. St Mary’s Basilica

Located in the main square, St Mary’s Basilica is a stunning church with polish-gothic architecture.

things to do in Krakow

3. Take a Free Walking Tour of the Old Jewish Quarter

Learn about the old Jewish Quarter by taking a free walking tour with Walkative.

This tour will take you all around the old Jewish quarter where you will learn about many historic synagogues, the former Jewish ghetto, and heroes square.

things to do in Krakow

4. The Ghetto Heroes Square

Ghetto Heroes Square is a haunting and important site.

This is where you will find the Empty Chairs of Krakow memorial to remember those who left the Krakow ghetto and were never to return.

Also located in Heroes Square is the famous Eagle Pharmacy. The pharmacist is historically honored for hiding jews in the pharmacy who were marching from the ghetto to their death.

things to do in Krakow

5. Tworzywo Coffee Shop

Tworzywo Coffee Shop is conveniently located in heroes square. Sit down and have a cup of coffee and cake in one of the cutest coffee shops in the former jewish quarter.

6. MOCAK Art Museum

MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow is truly one of the coolest modern art museums! I loved getting lost in all the creative exhibitions. Definitely prepare to spend a few hours here.

Check out my review of the MOCAK here.

things to do in Krakow MOCAK museum

7. Eat Traditional Polish Food

You can’t leave Krakow without trying delicious polish food!

Zapiekanka is a street food must try, which is Poland’s own version of a flatbread pizza. Also, be sure to eat traditional polish dumplings.

Gaska Goose Restaurant and Kuchnia U Doroty are both delicious restaurants to try polish food.

8. Explore Old Town

Colorful buildings and cobblestone streets. Need I say more? Old town Krakow feels like a fairytale.

things to do in Krakow

9. Take an Auschwitz Tour

A chilling experience back in time. While this tour is hard to stomach, I personally think it’s essential to educate ourselves on such a dark period of history.

I had a great experience with the Auschwitz guided tour I took, which you can find linked below.

Auschwitz things to do in Krakow Poland

10. Wawel Castle

The spectacular Wawel Castle was once the royal residence. It is the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in the world.

Wawel Castle things to do in Krakow

11. Harris Piano Jazz Bar

If you’re looking for a night out with quality cocktails and live music, check out Harris Piano Jazz Bar. It’s located right in the middle of old town near the square.

things to do in Krakow at night

12. Oskar Schindler Factory

If you’ve seen the movie (or even if you haven’t!) be sure to take a tour through the Oskar Schindler museum. Go at your own pace or book a guided tour (and skip the LONG line).

The museum is technically called the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków and focuses more on the city during the Nazi occupation. However since it was the real Oskar Schindler factory, it has included bits of him as well.

things to do in Krakow Schindlers factory tour

13. St. Florian’s Gate & Barbakan

What was once a fortified outpost connected to the walls of the city and surrounded by a moat is now a historic gateway into Old Town Krakow.

st florians gate things to do in krakow
Krakow Poland things to do in Krakow
things to do in Krakow Poland
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  1. I visited Germany when I was 16, and I still remember the experience visiting a concentration camp. It is not pleasant, but I agree, it is important.

  2. Thanks for sharing these great tips on what to do in Krakow! I visited a number of years ago but hadn’t really planned on what to do here so I missed a lot. Hoping to go back this year!

  3. What a great list! I’ve always been interested in taking a tour of Auschwitz and to learn more about this devastating time in history. Thanks for sharing your insights; you’ve definitely convinced me to go now. Xx Sara

  4. Krakow looks like such a beautiful city to visit! I’d love to explore the Old Jewish Quarter, it looks like such a charming place! Thanks for the great guide!

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