If you don’t head to Krakow on your next European adventure, you’ll be kicking yourself. This Polish city has streets that look like they're straight out of a Disney film, the best street food around and an amazing rich history. Its bustling nightlife and low prices are a big part of why so many tourists are starting to head to Krakow. Here’s how you can spend 48 hours…
1 day in Krakow | The Must-Do's
Begin your day with a full belly ready to go exploring. Either chow down on your hotel or hostel breakfast or go out to one of the many affordable breakfast restaurants, like Emalia. Your wallet and tummy will thank you later for choosing one of their traditional polish fry-ups, breakfast burgers or pancakes.
Once you're full of delicious food, pop around the corner from Emalia to Schindler’s Factory Museum. Oskar Schindler was a member of the Nazi party who contributed to over 1,000 Jews being saved during WW2 by using them as workers in his enamel factory. This factory is open for exploring - allow yourself around 1 hour 30 minutes here to take everything in. There are both guided and self-guided options.
After exploring the Museum, its just a short 20 minute walk to the Jewish Quarter of the city. Jump on one of the many free walking tours which explore this area to learn about the role of Jewish people in Krakow in the past and today. Be sure to check out the Remuh Synagogue and the Galicia Jewish Museum.
There is no better place to have lunch in the Jewish Quarter than at Plac Nowy - Polish street food at its finest! Try the zapiekanka: an open-face toasted baguette covered with sauce, tomatoes and melted cheese. Otherwise, try some kielbasa: a grilled sausage served with fried onion, mustard and served on fried bread. You will be back for more, trust me.
Check out Wawel Royal castle next. A mere 10 minute walk away from Plac Nowy, this impressive structure is worth taking your camera for, there are so many good photo opportunities! There are always a host of exhibitions to check out for those wanting to get an insight into life within the castle as well.
Afterwards, wander over to the main market square (Rynek Glówny). This square is the largest medieval square in Europe, making it a wonderful sight. The square hosts the basilica, town hall and numerous other buildings and statues of note. During the day, local vendors sell their wares and goodies here.
Down the road from the main market square is Gorące Pączki: home of the Polish paczki. A paczki is a traditional donut with a sugar glazing and rose filling. Given that the prices are so low for something so delicious, you will be back here many more times!
For a traditional Polish dinner, head to U Babci Maliny. The name of this family restaurant literally translates to ‘Grandma’s house’ and the delicious food and grandparent-esque décor definitely live up to the name. Try the pierogi: dumpings served with fillings like meat, cheese or mushroom.
Krakow’s nightlife is next level fun and what better way to experience it than a pub crawl. There are numerous companies that run pub crawls, but a particularly good one is ‘Krawl through Krakow’. Get ready for an hour of unlimited drinks, free shots at every bar and then free entry into a club. If you’re after more of a chill evening then head to Mercy Brown, Krakow’s speakeasy cocktail bar.
If you have more time | Local Experiences
Spend your second day out of the city at the Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp or the Wieliczka Salt Mine. Going to Auschwitz Birkenau is definitely a sobering experience but one that is highly recommended. Give yourself a proper understanding of the role that this camp had in history by booking onto a guided tour and pay your respects to those who lost their lives. To get there, jump on a bus – you can find the timetable online.
Another way to spend a day is by visiting the Wieliczka Salt Mine. Located just a 20-minute train ride away, the Wieliczka Salt Mine is truly something else! As you marvel at how these chambers are chiselled out of rock salt, it’ll be easy to see why this is on the UNESCO list.
Definitely check out Krakow on your next Europe trip with one of our flexible Hop-on Hop-off Travel Passes!