Krakow Holidays & City Breaks 2019
Considered one of Poland's most beautiful cities, Krakow holidays are both an affordable city break and the perfect base to explore southern Poland. Having survived, mostly, the brutality of the WWII bombings, Krakow's preserved medieval and Jewish core is completely charming. There's an old-world magic to Krakow's narrow streets which bustle with a modern atmosphere. Chic vintage shops huddle close to the crumbling walls of Jewish cemeteries and the stately architecture on Rynek Glowny (the main market square) stand over the ramshackle bars and restaurants of a buzzing culinary and arts scene.
Check out our centrally located bed and breakfast hotels which are popular in Krakow!
Things to do in Krakow
Krakow is a richly diverse city. With plenty of sights to admire, you'll never be bored with this fun packed list of things to do during your Krakow holiday.
- Krakow's Old Town - Ornate architectural delights that highlight Poland's long and powerful history stand alongside small indie bars in the Old Town (Stare Miasto). Also, galleries display works of art by Krakow's creative youth scene.
- Old Jewish quarter (Kazimierz) - Offers up restaurants and cafes on pleasant squares.
- Wawel Castle - A fascinating mix of most medieval castle styles, Wawel was constructed by King Casimir III the Great between the 13th and 14th centuries, and stands to this day, as one of the largest castles in Poland, as a testament to the strength of his rule and to the kings that would follow him. Wawel Castle rests on a bend of the Vistula River. You can follow the path to and from the central districts of Krakow.
- St . Mary's Basilica - Overlooking the main market square (called Rynek Glowny) the striking St. Mary's Basilica is unmissable. You'll pass it daily on your route from the Rynek towards other parts of central Krakow. Each time you pass you'll notice a new aspect to its brick facade and two slightly lopsided towers.
- Rynek Underground - Beneath the Rynek square lies the Rynek Underground, a complex of underground routes that make up a series of medieval market stalls and chambers. Combining history and the 21st century, this interactive wander features holograms and information. Perfect for a rainy or chilly day.
Places to eat
Polish food is scrumptious and you'll find plenty of it on a Krakow holiday. Start your hunt, nose in the air for that classic sausage smell, around the Rynek Glowny market square. The culinary scene in Krakow is growing fast with its new, younger inhabitants getting creative with traditional Polish dishes. Take, for example, the Pierogi, a type of Polish dumpling. Pair that with a Polish IPA and some international tweaks on the old-school dish and you've got yourself a modern culinary delight.
Top places to eat include:
- Cafe Oranzeria
- Pod Wawelem-Kompania Kuflow
- Pod Aniolami
Krakow is absolutely teeming with bars and clubs. If you fancy a fun night out during your Krakow weekend break, you've come to the right city. Navigate along narrow streets, cobbled squares and down stairs that are always a bit tricky after a few Polish beers, and you'll find that there are hundreds of amazing places to settle down for a quick tipple.
- Kazimierz - Start with a bar in the Old Jewish Quarter, home to dozens of little nightlife spots.
- Old Town - Then work your way over to Stare Miasto, another area full of bars. It's just a matter of finding the right one for you.
- Szewska - Hotspot for clubbing.
- Florianska - Another clubbing area, cellar bars and clubs are very popular, so duck down and head into a hedonistic bubble where the music keeps going to the early hours and the drink keeps coming if you're after it.
When to go
Krakow is a city where the weather doesn’t affect the fun time you’ll have there. Making it a great city to visit any time of the year. However, if you’d love to experience lovely weather during your Krakow weekend break, the best time to visit would be during the summertime. Krakow can enjoy pleasant temperatures, although during this time the city will experience huge crowds as well. Additionally, if you’d prefer to miss the crowds, Krakow city breaks during March to May and September to October can be ideal.
Average high and low temperatures (°C)
- January: 0° / -5°
- February: 1° / -5°
- March: 7° / 0°
- April: 12° / 3°
- May: 20° / 8°
- June: 22° / 11°
- July: 25° / 12°
- August: 24° / 12°
- September: 19° / 9°
- October: 13° / 5°
- November: 5° / 0°
- December: 2° / -3°
Shopping in Krakow
Krakow is not renowned for its glitzy shopping promenades, like some other European cities, but its arts and crafts are excellent.
- Old Jewish Quarter (Kazimierz) - is the main shopping area in Krakow. Home to Krakow's young population's galleries and shops. Pick up some unique items and reasonably priced art to pack underneath your clothes in the suitcase you thought was too big but now seems just the right size.
- Pasaz Rynek 13 - If you're after something more mainstream, there are shopping centres in Krakow that offer international brands.
- Cloth Hall - The large building you can't miss in the Rynek Glowny main square for some more authentic shopping.
It should be noted that from March 2018, a Sunday shopping ban has started to be rolled out across Poland. Normal trading days are allowed on the first and last Sunday of the month, but not the interval Sundays. Open-air markets, souvenir shops and places like local bakeries will remain open.
Culture and history
Krakow has culture and history in buckets. A holiday to Krakow is to visit one of the best preserved medieval towns in this part of Europe. Most were destroyed during German and Allied bombing during the Second World War, but miraculously Krakow was saved from the brunt of the bombs.
- Wawel Castle
- Wawel Cathedral
- Rynek Square
- Auschwitz - Often sits at the top of many people's must-see lists. The museum is a powerful memorial to one of the darker moments of human history, though the importance of the site is not lost with the introduction of tourist tours. With an atmosphere that is, as most people who visit end up saying, quite overwhelming, Auschwitz is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences which will leave you rattled, but filled with respect. Humbling, to say the least.