9 must do’s in Krakow, Poland


Krakow is the most visited and the most beautiful city in Poland. Krakow is a picturesque destination and walking around in Krakow makes you feel like you are in Vienna or Florence! It is a city full of medieval architecture, artistic and cultural heritage, squares with churches, shops, stalls with local specialties, restaurants, and cozy cafes. I think Krakow is beautiful and it is cheap and not yet full of tourists. The famous metropolis on the Vistula river is worth a weekend trip! What are the must do’s in Krakow?

These are my 9 must do’s and favorite things you can do in Krakow!

1. Big Market of Rynek Glowny

In the heart of Krakow lies the largest medieval square in Europe: the Main Market Square of Rynek Glowny. This square dates back to the 13th century and is about 40,000 m² in size. The square is lively and full of market stalls. The buildings around the square are fantastic in terms of architecture and are also very well maintained.

There are also several nice cafes and restaurants around the square and I think this is the best place to sit down and experience the local atmosphere and enjoy watching people. However, the shops, restaurants and bars are set up for tourists and therefore the prices are generally higher than elsewhere in the city. This square must be high on your list with must do’s in Krakow!

must do's Krakow, 9 must do’s in Krakow, Poland

2. Church of the Virgin Mary (Kosciol Mariacki)

On the square there’s the church of the Virgin Mary and this is the most important church in Krakow and has an exuberant and beautifully decorated interior. Every hour you hear the trumpeters play from the tower. Do not be surprised if they stop before the end… this happens every time as a tribute to a trumpet player who was shot in the 13th century while announcing an attack on the city with his trumpet.

Highlights in this church are the Gothic altar as well as the breathtaking stained glass windows that illuminate the church beautifully. The entrance fee is 10 zloty and 5 zloty extra if you want to take pictures in the church.

must do's Krakow, 9 must do’s in Krakow, Poland

3. Schindler’s factory

Oscar Schindler and his factory have become world famous for the film Schindler’s List by director Steven Spielberg. This factory has saved the lives of thousands of Jews during the Second World War and the Schindler’s factory is now an interesting museum. The museum gives a good insight into the terrible history of the Holocaust and the Second World War and the information is catchy and beautifully designed.

What I particularly like about this museum is that the various aspects of that time have been included in the exhibition such as forced labor, propaganda, courage and fear of the people. It can be busy at the cash desk of this museum so I advise you to pre-order the tickets online or to go early in the day. This factory is interesting and should be on your list with must do’s in Krakow!

4. The Jewish quarter: Kazimierz

This is by far the best neighborhood in Krakow and compared to the old city it is not very touristy. Wandering around in this old Jewish neighborhood is a lot of fun, because it is now a young and alternative neighborhood where you can see works of art on every corner of the street. There are also 3 synagogues, 2 cemeteries and many old small alleys and squares. In this district you can also find several nice restaurants and bars and the prices are lower than in the center.

must do's Krakow, 9 must do’s in Krakow, Poland

5. Royal Castle Wawel (Zamek Krolewski)

This Royal Castle is the most visited castle in Poland. On a hill on the banks of the Vistula River stands the Royal Castle Wawel and you have a beautiful view over the city and the river. When Krakow was the capital of Poland, this was the official residence and one of the most beautiful castles in Europe. The famous painting of Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Woman with an Ermine” hangs in the castle since 2012. I find the central courtyard particularly impressive.

must do's Krakow, 9 must do’s in Krakow, Poland

6. The Ghetto Heroes’ Square

This is a square where you can stop for a moment at the dark period of the Second World War. There are now 70 metal chairs in the middle of the square that symbolize the 15,000 Jews who were killed, deported or abandoned in this corner of the city to die in concentration camps. This square is a 5-minute walk from Schindler’s factory and therefore nice to combine.

7. The underground museum of Krakow

Not all of Krakow’s highlights are above ground, because you can visit an underground museum under the square. Here you can see the excavations of the old city and see what is left of the buildings of more than a thousand years ago. It is an interactive museum that shows all kinds of archaeological finds in a fun way.

must do's Krakow, 9 must do’s in Krakow, Poland

8. The Christmas markets

If you are in Krakow during Christmas, you can not skip the Christmas markets. The most famous Christmas market is on the Great Market Square of Rynek Glowny.

9. A visit to Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp

From the city of Krakow you drive in 1.5 hours to the concentration camp Auschwitz and this is the most impressive memorial to the Holocaust in the Second World War. You will learn more about the Holocaust and the Second World War. It is also a place where you can commemorate the victims and the war. I think the concentration camp Auschwitz is an important place to visit for everyone!

These are my 9 must do’s in Krakow! What do you think are must do’s in Krakow?

Hotel Krakow

I loved my stay at The blue Aparthotel. It’s a cute hotel with friendly staff and good breakfast. Comfortable room, good wi-fi, excellent location close to Old Town and railway and bus station. The room is cleaned every day. If you need the hotel can propose some excursions.

  • Not what you are looking for? Find here more great places to stay in Krakow!
must do's Krakow, 9 must do’s in Krakow, Poland
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