How to reach Krakow city in Poland and things to visit, see, do & explore




While in Poland I planned to visit Krakow city which is the best city in this european country to explore. There are many interesting town in the country but Krakow is very special because of it’s significance in the history and some of the well preserved areas, museums and beautiful pieces of architecture. I spent only one day in Krakow city and have fallen in love with this place. When I visit Poland next time, I will certainly plan another visit now that I know about the place a little better by walking for 6 hrs by covering different parts of Krakow city. In this post, we will share about ways to reach Krakow from different parts of Poland country as well as from other european countries. Then we will share about some of the most interesting places to visit and some recommendations on the basis of your style of traveling - as some folks love walking and this place is perfect for that, while there is other set who want to visit places but not exhaust too much etc.

While in Poland I planned to visit Krakow city which is the best city in this european country to explore. There are many interesting town in the country but Krakow is very special because of it’s significance in the history and some of the well preserved areas, museums and beautiful pieces of architecture. I spent only one day in Krakow city and have fallen in love with this place. When I visit Poland next time, I will certainly plan another visit now that I know about the place a little better by walking for 6 hrs by covering different parts of Krakow city. In this post, we will share about ways to reach Krakow from different parts of Poland country as well as from other european countries. Then we will share about some of the most interesting places to visit and some recommendations on the basis of your style of traveling - as some folks love walking and this place is perfect for that, while there is other set who want to visit places but not exhaust too much etc. 



How to reach Krakow from Warsaw or other cities of Poland -

While in Poland I planned to visit Krakow city which is the best city in this european country to explore. There are many interesting town in the country but Krakow is very special because of it’s significance in the history and some of the well preserved areas, museums and beautiful pieces of architecture. I spent only one day in Krakow city and have fallen in love with this place. When I visit Poland next time, I will certainly plan another visit now that I know about the place a little better by walking for 6 hrs by covering different parts of Krakow city. In this post, we will share about ways to reach Krakow from different parts of Poland country as well as from other european countries. Then we will share about some of the most interesting places to visit and some recommendations on the basis of your style of traveling - as some folks love walking and this place is perfect for that, while there is other set who want to visit places but not exhaust too much etc.

Train connects Warsaw with Krakow very well and so is the case for other main cities in the country. Buses are also available from places where trains are not very frequent. From Warsaw train makes more sense. There are 2 types of train which run from Warsaw to Krakow and way back. Express trains which are 2.5 times costlier in comparison to the normal train. In Express train we saved was 30 mins, so probably saving on money would have been better but we were late for booking our tickets, so we didn't have much choices :). In fact, in express train we got ticket in silent coach where you are not supposed to make any sound.     In general trains in Europe are pretty good and there is good connectivity across the european countries.

Train connects Warsaw with Krakow very well and so is the case for other main cities in the country. Buses are also available from places where trains are not very frequent. From Warsaw train makes more sense. There are 2 types of train which run from Warsaw to Krakow and way back. Express trains which are 2.5 times costlier in comparison to the normal train. In Express train we saved was 30 mins, so probably saving on money would have been better but we were late for booking our tickets, so we didn't have much choices :). In fact, in express train we got ticket in silent coach where you are not supposed to make any sound. 

In general trains in Europe are pretty good and there is good connectivity across the european countries. 




Train bookings can be done through - http://rozklad-pkp.pl/en . No need to take printout of the ticket and just keep a copy on your phone. Just ensure that barcode is part of the ticket, as bar-code is scanned through a machine and it's done by a person inside the train. If you have a ticket, just reach at the station, check which platform you need to go and also estimate the place where your coach will be. There would screens installed with appropriate details and you will find details in English as well. People in Poland are usually very helpful, so just feel free to ask for any help in understanding signs or train details. Young generation understand english. If it's your first time to the country, visit station 45 minutes back. 30 mins should also be fine but spending some wait time at the train-station would not be a big deal.

Train bookings can be done through - http://rozklad-pkp.pl/en . No need to take printout of the ticket and just keep a copy on your phone. Just ensure that barcode is part of the ticket, as bar-code is scanned through a machine and it's done by a person inside the train. If you have a ticket, just reach at the station, check which platform you need to go and also estimate the place where your coach will be. There would screens installed with appropriate details and you will find details in English as well. People in Poland are usually very helpful, so just feel free to ask for any help in understanding signs or train details. Young generation understand english. If it's your first time to the country, visit station 45 minutes back. 30 mins should also be fine but spending some wait time at the train-station would not be a big deal. 

Since I haven't used bus, I can't recommend any web-portal to book but there are many. Better to check with your hotel people as know it best as different buses have different places to pick the passengers. So it makes sense to book the one which can pickup point near your hotel/home-stay in Warsaw or the city from where you want to travel.

Since I haven't used bus, I can't recommend any web-portal to book but there are many. Better to check with your hotel people as know it best as different buses have different places to pick the passengers. So it makes sense to book the one which can pickup point near your hotel/home-stay in Warsaw or the city from where you want to travel. 

Krakow is also well connected through different flights from within the country and outside.     Now let's talk about some of the main/popular places to explore in Krakow City :

Krakow is also well connected through different flights from within the country and outside. 

Now let's talk about some of the main/popular places to explore in Krakow City :


Planty Park - Planty park is very close to the Krakow Railway station 'Krakow Glowny'. One needs to walk through the connected mall and cross an underpass. This is a huge park which is around the popular Market Square of Krakow City. You can walk around the park and when you feel that you had enough of it, you can head towards the centre of it where you can explore Main Square, Wawel  Royal Castle, Vistula River, Town Hall Tower etc.

Planty Park - Planty park is very close to the Krakow Railway station 'Krakow Glowny'. One needs to walk through the connected mall and cross an underpass. This is a huge park which is around the popular Market Square of Krakow City. You can walk around the park and when you feel that you had enough of it, you can head towards the centre of it where you can explore Main Square, Wawel  Royal Castle, Vistula River, Town Hall Tower etc.


Planty Park is one of the largest city parks in Kraków city of  Poland. It encircles the Old Town, where the beautiful city walls used to stand until the early 19th century. More about Planty park can be checked here.

Planty Park is one of the largest city parks in Kraków city of  Poland. It encircles the Old Town, where the beautiful city walls used to stand until the early 19th century. More about Planty park can be checked here


Most of the historic sites of the old Kraków are located inside the Planty park along the Royal Road crossing the park from the medieval suburb of Kleparz – through Florian Gate – at the northern flank of the old city walls. The historic Wawel Castle at the Wawel Hill, adjacent to Vistula River meander, form the southernmost border of Planty. Screenshot of map above would give you better sense and if you click on the map image, it would show you the real map for further navigations.


Most of the historic sites of the old Kraków are located inside the Planty park along the Royal Road crossing the park from the medieval suburb of Kleparz – through Florian Gate – at the northern flank of the old city walls. The historic Wawel Castle at the Wawel Hill, adjacent to Vistula River meander, form the southernmost border of Planty. Screenshot of map above would give you better sense and if you click on the map image, it would show you the real map for further navigations. 



Main Square -     Main Square of Krakow old town is one of the most popular places in the city and this is one of the oldest squares in Europe and because of it's unique street life, lot of folks visit it every year. This square is surrounded by beautiful Planty Park from all sides and there are some marvelous architectural pieces around Market Square of Krakow Old Town. One can explore other important places around Old town when done with following important places to explore in Market square.

Main Square



Main Square of Krakow old town is one of the most popular places in the city and this is one of the oldest squares in Europe and because of it's unique street life, lot of folks visit it every year. This square is surrounded by beautiful Planty Park from all sides and there are some marvelous architectural pieces around Market Square of Krakow Old Town. One can explore other important places around Old town when done with following important places to explore in Market square. 

Do check out following link for detailed post on Main Square. 

Town Hall Tower 



Town Hall tower is most interesting place in Market Square. At least I think so. Why? Because one can go upto the top and enjoy some brilliant aerial views of the Market Square and other places around.     For details, do check out - Town Hall Tower Tour - Things to know before visiting Krakow City in Poland    Krakow Cloth Hall

Town Hall tower is most interesting place in Market Square. At least I think so. Why? Because one can go upto the top and enjoy some brilliant aerial views of the Market Square and other places around. 

For details, do check out - Town Hall Tower Tour - Things to know before visiting Krakow City in Poland

Krakow Cloth Hall

The oldest trade centre in Poland is this Cloth Hall which has Renaissance architecture. This is one of the biggest buildings in Market Square of Krakow and has various sections which are dedicated to markets, restaurants and museums. In the photograph above you can see the market located in central part of the Cloth Hall.    Do check out following link for detailed blog-post on Cloth Hall and what else you should observe, experience and explore in this magnificent building of Main square in Krakow Old Town - The Renaissance Sukiennice Cloth Hall - One of the main places to explore in Krakow City of Poland    St. Mary's Basilica

The oldest trade centre in Poland is this Cloth Hall which has Renaissance architecture. This is one of the biggest buildings in Market Square of Krakow and has various sections which are dedicated to markets, restaurants and museums. In the photograph above you can see the market located in central part of the Cloth Hall.

Do check out following link for detailed blog-post on Cloth Hall and what else you should observe, experience and explore in this magnificent building of Main square in Krakow Old Town - The Renaissance Sukiennice Cloth Hall - One of the main places to explore in Krakow City of Poland

St. Mary's Basilica 

The most eye catching building in Market Square in my opinion if St Mary's Basilica. To know more about this beautiful place, do check out this detailed blog-post : St Mary’s Basilica - One of the Architectural Marvels of Krakow City in Poland    Church of St. Adalbert is another beautiful place to visit and explore. You need to ensure that you put it on your list and follow maps to find this place. Unlike other 3 places of Market Square, you may not locate this one so easily and there are many such beautiful architectures around this place. One day is not enough if you want to explore this region well.

The most eye catching building in Market Square in my opinion if St Mary's Basilica. To know more about this beautiful place, do check out this detailed blog-post : St Mary’s Basilica - One of the Architectural Marvels of Krakow City in Poland

Church of St. Adalbert is another beautiful place to visit and explore. You need to ensure that you put it on your list and follow maps to find this place. Unlike other 3 places of Market Square, you may not locate this one so easily and there are many such beautiful architectures around this place. One day is not enough if you want to explore this region well. 

Wawel Castle -


Wawel Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Poland and has huge trail of historical events. This castle has variety of Architecture pieces from different European styles. Wawel hill overseas the popular Vistula River and one can walk down to the Vistula Boulevard very easily and spend some quality time around green lawns around the river. 


Do check out detailed post on Wawel Castle at following link - Wawel Castle - A UNESCO World Heritage Site in Historic City of Krakow, Poland


Vistula River : 

The famous river of Poland crosses through Krakow town and it's very close to some of the popular tourist destinations of the town. The river and it's boulevard is very popular amongst local folks, but I noticed good amount of tourists visiting the place. I spent 1 hr or little more walking around the river and observing how relaxing environment it offers to 

Do check out detailed post - Vistula River Boulevards - Must visit place when in Krakow city of Poland

Other interesting places to visit and explore in Krakow city are - Krakow Barbican, Rynek Underground, Jewish District, Galicia Jewish Museum, Oskar Schindler's Factory, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Church of Saints Peter and Paul, Old Synagogue etc. I am yet to explore these and they are certainly lined up for next visit to Poland.  

Single Day Plan (Day Trip to Krakow City of Poland) -

1. Just after getting down from the train, head towards Planty Park. This park is around the popular Market Square in Krakow. 

2. Places mentioned above, explore main places in Market Square and head towards Wawel Castle which is again at walkable distance. 

3. Depending upon how much time you spend at Wawel Castle, you can chose to go to Jewish Museum or Jewish Quarters followed by a walk around Vistula River. 

Above is just a proposal by assuming that you like walking around and don't want to rush through. If your priority list is different, you would have to plan something to commute between the places. 

Tips to explore Krakow City within your budget ? 



1. Accommodation : If you are planning to stay in the city there are enough hostels, where you can get good accommodation. There are good ranges of hostels and hotels.  The cost can range from 25 PLN to 250 PLN. Decent airBNB option can be found at around 180 PLN. 

2. Food : Food is very affordable in Poland. There are various milk bars where you get good meal in 30 PLN. In 60 PLN, you can have a decent meal with a drink in restaurants that you see on streets. The cost would certainly vary accordingly to distance of the place from touristy place. So you have to be smart about choosing the place to get good food and pocket friendly price.

3. Transportation : Commute in Poland is again reasonable. If all this is so reasonable so why not plan another trip to Poland (I am telling this to myself :) ). Trains are best ways to commute between the cities. Buses within the city and even taxis are not very costly. I used Uber a few times and it was not as costly (start at 6-8 PLN). 

4. Take free walking Tours : There are great ways to explore main cities of Poland and even Europe. They take you through interesting details about places, culture, history and architecture. Be sure that you tip at the end of the tour.

5. Tourist Card cab be very helpful : If you plan to stay in the city for more than a day, then certainly opt for it. As it gives unlimited access to the transportation and discounted pricing for museums or even some entries for free. Visit Tourism office and get one for you. Even if you are there for a day, it's worth opting for it.

6. Ride-sharing is also an option but personally I avoid that at a new place, but may be worth depending upon your style of travel. 

Why Walking around the city is best way to explore Krakow? 

As a traveler I don't believe in checking things a list of to-do things, although that's exactly opposite of what title of this post says. But cities like Krakow has so much in continuity that you would have a lot of things to explore apart from the things listed, unless you want to save time by moving between the places using taxi. 

Krakow being an old city and still maintained well, you see 2 sides of the city. Even the modes of commute in Krakow are a lot varied - from old trams to latest taxis and the buses. 

Other reason if that most of the places like Planty Park, Market Square, Wawel Castle and Vistual River are all connected closely to each other. 

If you liked this post and found it helpful, I would request you to follow these things when traveling -

  1. Manage your waste well and don’t litter
  2. Use dustbins. Tell us if you went to a place and found it hard to locate a dustbin.
  3. Avoid bottle waters in hills. Usually you get clean water in hills and water bottles create lot of mess in our ecosystem.
  4. Say big no to plastic and avoid those unhealthy snacks packed in plastic bags. Rather buy fruits.
  5. Don't play loud blaring music in forests of jungle camps. You are a guest in that ecosystem and disturbing the locals (humans and animals) is not polite

Hope this post helps you plan your trip to Krakow in a better way. Please do comment below with if you have suggestions or specific questions. 


Comments

d Nambiar said…
Thank you for the Krakaw Tour. Nice buildings. I'm sure the architecture is a great attraction here.
Cloth Hall sounds and looks interesting, too.

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